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Baseball Therapy 

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07-08

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7

Baseball Therapy: What is a Fast Runner Worth?
by
Russell A. Carleton

07-01

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4

Baseball Therapy: Do Some Pitches Do More Damage Than Others?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-24

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17

Baseball Therapy: Is it Really Harder to Scout in New England?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-19

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12

Baseball Therapy: Should You Trust the Projections?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-17

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7

Baseball Therapy: What High School Has to Do with Tommy John
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-13

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3

Baseball Therapy: What You Can Do With Your Old Baseball Cards
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-10

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4

Baseball Therapy: Can Draft Lightning Be Bottled?
by
Russell A. Carleton

06-03

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19

Baseball Therapy: Introducing My Daughter to Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-30

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16

Baseball Therapy: The Hard Part About Preventing Tommy John Surgeries
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-27

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13

Baseball Therapy: The Annual Amateur Draft Guessing Game
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-20

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7

Baseball Therapy: Beware the Genius Tag for Coaches
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-13

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7

Baseball Therapy: Analytical Master or Leader of Men?
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-06

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5

Baseball Therapy: Is Oakland's Run Differential for Real?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-29

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11

Baseball Therapy: Do Innings Limits Work?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-22

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8

Baseball Therapy: The Houdini Hangover Effect
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-15

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16

Baseball Therapy: Why Sabermetrics Needs Translational Research
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-07

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9

Baseball Therapy: Beware of the Intentional Walk?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-01

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14

Baseball Therapy: The Complete Value of a Complete Game
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-27

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15

Baseball Therapy: Advances in Chemistry?
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-24

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5

Baseball Therapy: The Complicated Recoveries of Aroldis Chapman and Salvador Perez
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-17

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22

Baseball Therapy: The Viability of Burying a Bad Bat
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-10

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13

Baseball Therapy: The Baseball Questions We're About to Be Asking
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-04

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9

Baseball Therapy: Why The Cardinal Way is the Most Important Book in Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-24

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22

Baseball Therapy: But…He Finished Strong Last Season!
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-17

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10

Baseball Therapy: Looking for Meaning Amid the Small-Sample Flukes
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-11

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15

Baseball Therapy: When Sabermetrics Gets Personal
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-03

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11

Baseball Therapy: How Would We Know That a Team Has Good Chemistry?
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-27

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38

Baseball Therapy: Why Are Smart Teams Spending Money on Relievers?
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-13

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15

Baseball Therapy: Building a Better Starting Rotation
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-09

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23

Baseball Therapy: The Hall of Fame Ballots By the Numbers
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-06

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11

Baseball Therapy: The Five-Man Rotation: The Appendix of Baseball
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-26

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7

Baseball Therapy: Rest an Extra Day to Keep the Doctor Away?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-16

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28

Baseball Therapy: What Happened to the Four-Man Rotation?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-09

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12

Baseball Therapy: What Happened to the Complete Game?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-02

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5

Baseball Therapy: Dating the Impulse to Protect Pitchers
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-25

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38

Baseball Therapy: The Corner-Outfield Inefficiency
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-18

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20

Baseball Therapy: Why Do Teams Overpay for Free Agents?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-11

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14

Baseball Therapy: The Cost of a Cost-Controlled Win
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-06

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4

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Running Penalty?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-04

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10

Baseball Therapy: What Do Fielders and Homecoming Queens Have in Common?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-28

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3

Baseball Therapy: Is Cardinal Magic Real?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-21

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7

Baseball Therapy: The Effects of the Shutdown (Inning)
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-16

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1

Baseball Therapy: Did Big Papi’s Big Home Run Give Boston the Big Mo?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-14

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6

Baseball Therapy: Does Postseason Experience Really Matter?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-11

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10

Baseball Therapy: Why Sabermetricians Don't Talk About Chemistry
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-08

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27

Baseball Therapy: What My Four-Year-Old Taught Me About Bunting
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-30

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3

Baseball Therapy: Who Has the Momentum? And Does it Matter?
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-23

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18

Baseball Therapy: If One Win is Worth $5 Million...
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-13

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11

Baseball Therapy: My MVP Case for Miguel Cabrera
by
Russell A. Carleton

09-10

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16

Baseball Therapy: How to Work with Scouting Data
by
Russell A. Carleton

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November 18, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Why Do Teams Overpay for Free Agents?

20

Russell A. Carleton

An argument in favor of more nuanced free agent analysis.

It’s free agent season, which means it’s time to complain about whom your favorite team is signing. Or not signing. Or reportedly thinking about signing. Or reportedly thought about signing and whom you would have complained about if they had signed him, but now that you know that they are not signing him, you’re angry that they didn’t have the courage to do it. In the eyes of their fans, all 30 teams will do so much to damage their potential for a World Series championship in the next three months. And they’re mostly right. There will be 29 teams that will fail to win the World Series next year. Teams are really bad at this.

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November 11, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The Cost of a Cost-Controlled Win

14

Russell A. Carleton

And why scouting and player development are your team's hidden superstars.

It’s free agent season, a time traditionally reserved for the baseball commentariat to wonder aloud how we’ve gotten to the point where passably decent outfielders are worth $10 million a year. The standard line is that, in the free agent market, one win above replacement retails for about $5 million. More recent research suggests that GMs actually ended up paying about $7 million per win for free agents during the 2013 season.

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November 6, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Is There a Pinch-Running Penalty?

4

Russell A. Carleton

Do runners perform worse when they're inserted late in games?

With the end of the playoffs last week, we’ve reached the end of designated pinch runner season. Quintin Berry had a good run on the Red Sox postseason roster, appearing three times (once in each of Boston’s three postseason series) as a pinch runner and stealing a base each time. Over the past few years, it seems that teams have been more willing to use that strategy in the playoffs. The nice thing about a playoff roster is that with plenty of off-days, having guys on the bench who can cover for tired regulars isn’t as important. A lot of times it frees up a spot for a designated runner, a guy who is really, really fast, but has very little value in any other part of the game.

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An open letter in response to Murray Chass' recent rant about fielding metrics and the Gold Gloves.

Mr. Chass:

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October 28, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Is Cardinal Magic Real?

3

Russell A. Carleton

Investigating St. Louis' success with runners in scoring position.

The St. Louis Cardinals hit .330/.402/.463 with runners in scoring position during the 2013 regular season.

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October 21, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: The Effects of the Shutdown (Inning)

7

Russell A. Carleton

Does pitching a shutdown inning deserve the recognition it gets on baseball broadcasts?

In the month of October, we’ve been hearing a lot of talk about shutdowns. No, not the debt ceiling thingy. The one that really matters: the shutdown inning. It’s playoff time, during which we often confuse something that players routinely do for an amazing feat of bravery and virtue. This postseason, everyone’s all a-twitter with thoughts of “shutdown innings.” For a pitcher, it’s the half-inning after your team scores (according to some people, it has to be scoring that leads to your team tying the game or taking the lead). Your job, in this most sacred of innings, is to keep the other team from scoring. It’s totally okay to give up runs if your team didn’t score last inning, apparently. Suddenly, that other shutdown seems downright logical.

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Putting momentum to the test.

Last night, the Tigers and Red Sox faced off in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. It was the first meeting between the teams since the Red Sox tied up the series at one game apiece after trailing 5-1 going into the eighth inning. In case your short-term memory isn’t so good lately, that was the game where David Ortiz, a man who has had great troubles in the past during key situations, did this:

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What do the stats say about the value of previous playoff appearances?

David Ortiz has come to the plate in a playoff game more than 300 times over the course of his career. Justin Verlander has started 14 games in the postseason and faced more than 300 batters. When they meet during this week’s American League Championship Series, who has the advantage? What about when Ortiz inevitably faces Tigers lefty reliever extraordinaire Drew Smyly, who prior to this year had a postseason resume consisting of four innings (all last year)? What about postseason neophyte (and rookie in general) Jose Alvarez? Does Verlander’s experience in the postseason give him an advantage over Will Middlebrooks, who made his playoff debut last week, that he doesn’t have against Ortiz, who’s been doing this since 2002 with the Twins? (Post hoc: I wrote this before Big Papi hit his big home run. #YCPB)

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And why maybe they should more often.

On Thursday’s episode of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast, host Buster Olney, while discussing the Cardinals’ NLDS victory over the Pirates with ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, made a comment that sabermetricians do not often discuss matters of team chemistry or clubhouse culture. (Well, maybe once in a while…) Olney then proceeded to talk about how he believed that one reason for the Cardinals’ success, both within the NLDS and more broadly over the past few years, has to do with the culture that the club has worked to cultivate. Olney cited, among other things, that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, himself worthy of some legitimate MVP support this year, is also one of the hardest workers on the team. Olney pointed out that Cardinals management (Tony LaRussa and, later, Mike Matheny) has gone out of its way to specifically ask its star players to set an example for the rest of the team. He reasoned that other players on the team see this sort of commitment from Molina and are inspired to commit themselves to similarly hard work, and pointed out that it’s rare for sabermetricians give much credence to this as a reason that some teams win while others fall by the wayside.

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Why bunting isn't as bad as you think.

My daughter completely schooled me this week. In the 2013 Baseball Prospectus Annual, I talked about how she, at the tender age of three, was a better sabermetrician than I, because she’s much more experimental about life than I am. She turned four a few months ago, so she’s not really young for her level any more, but she’s still better at this than I am. Last week, my wife and I were in the kitchen and my daughter was busily drawing a picture of… something. My wife mentioned that one of her friends had made a bunting (the kind that a baby wears) for her infant daughter. My daughter asked what a bunting was and my wife explained. As an afterthought, I tacked on, “and it’s a bad strategic play in baseball.” My daughter stopped drawing, looked over at me, and asked her favorite question, “Why?”

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Does how hard you had to fight to make the playoffs matter once you're there?

Oh boy, it’s playoff time! Time for all of the baseball prognosticators out there to find that perfect little factoid that no one else has noticed about each series. It needs to be slightly surprising and counter-intuitive so that the reader is entertained by your erudite knowledge of the game, not to mention your use of the word “erudite.” You also need to be able to make a case, probably though some questionable logic, that this factoid will, over the next five games between these two teams, not only make a difference in the outcome of the series, but will be the difference between the teams. You get bonus points if you refer to someone really obscure as an X-factor.

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September 23, 2013 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: If One Win is Worth $5 Million...

18

Russell A. Carleton

Why big ideas to make baseball teams better aren't always easy to implement.

Lately, there’s been a lot of writing among baseball analysts and thinkers about how teams might leverage small investments to their benefit. You know the ones. They all start with “Well, if a win is worth five million dollars, then spending fifty thousand on this has to net just one hundredth of a win to be worth it.” (I’ve written a few of them myself.) Then they continue with an exasperated tone, wondering why teams don’t seem to do much of this sort of thinking. (Or do they?)

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