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Crooked Numbers 

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02-02

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Crooked Numbers: You Stay Classy, San Diego
by
James Click

01-12

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Crooked Numbers: More Hilbert Questions
by
James Click

01-05

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Crooked Numbers: Double Play Thursday
by
James Click

12-29

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Crooked Numbers: The Numbers You Saw
by
James Click

12-22

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Crooked Numbers: Value Over Replacement Column
by
James Click

12-15

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Crooked Numbers: Deviation from Standards
by
James Click

12-01

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Crooked Numbers: Plop Plop Fizz Fizz
by
James Click

11-17

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Crooked Numbers: What Were They Thinking?
by
James Click

11-10

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Crooked Numbers: Today's Oxymoron Is Free Agents
by
James Click

11-03

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Crooked Numbers: Homeland Defense
by
James Click

10-27

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Crooked Numbers: Taking Advantage
by
James Click

10-19

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Crooked Numbers: An Appreciation
by
James Click

10-13

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Crooked Numbers: In Need of Relief
by
James Click

10-06

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Crooked Numbers: Crappy Odds
by
James Click

09-29

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Crooked Numbers: Still Not Clutch
by
James Click

09-22

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Crooked Numbers: Popping the Clutch
by
James Click

09-16

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Crooked Numbers: No Team without M-E
by
James Click

09-08

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Crooked Numbers: The Bull in the Pen
by
James Click

09-01

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Crooked Numbers: In Reverse
by
James Click

08-25

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Crooked Numbers: Going Streaking
by
James Click

08-18

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Crooked Numbers: Royal Flush
by
James Click

08-12

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Crooked Numbers: The A's Take Over
by
James Click

08-11

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Crooked Numbers: Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200
by
James Click

08-04

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Crooked Numbers: Objects at Rest
by
James Click

07-28

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Crooked Numbers: Stopped Short
by
James Click

07-21

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Crooked Numbers: There's no 'D' In Cincinnati
by
James Click

07-14

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Crooked Numbers: Subroutines
by
James Click

07-07

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Crooked Numbers: Un-Stars
by
James Click

06-30

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Crooked Numbers: Left Wing Conspiracy
by
James Click

06-23

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Crooked Numbers: Seeing Red
by
James Click

06-16

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Crooked Numbers: The Bronx Defense
by
James Click

06-10

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Crooked Numbers: Protons:Electrons::Swinging:Looking
by
James Click

06-02

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Crooked Numbers: Eight Is Enough
by
James Click

05-26

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Crooked Numbers: Saving for Another Day
by
James Click

05-19

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Crooked Numbers: Getting Bigger All the Time
by
James Click

05-12

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Crooked Numbers: Are 'Roids the Reason
by
James Click

05-05

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Crooked Numbers: Do Not Pass Go
by
James Click

04-28

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Crooked Numbers: The Ivy is Always Greener...
by
James Click

04-21

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Crooked Numbers: April Fools
by
James Click

04-14

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Crooked Numbers: Sizing Up Small Sample Size
by
James Click

04-07

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Crooked Numbers: On the Run
by
James Click

03-31

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Crooked Numbers: Neither Snow Nor Sleet...
by
James Click

03-24

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Crooked Numbers: Whiff or Whiff-Out You
by
James Click

03-17

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Crooked Numbers: Wild Wild West
by
James Click

03-10

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Crooked Numbers: The Only Constant Is Change
by
James Click

03-03

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Crooked Numbers: The Morning After
by
James Click

02-24

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Crooked Numbers: More on the Lineup
by
James Click

02-17

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Crooked Numbers: Playing With the Lineup
by
James Click

02-10

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Crooked Numbers: More Time in the Park
by
James Click

02-03

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Crooked Numbers: Park Effects on Pitcher Types
by
James Click

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October 13, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: In Need of Relief

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James Click

With just a few guys getting work in postseason bullpens, James wonders if relievers perform worse when summoned several days in a row.

Post-season baseball is a wholly different animal. Teams play like there's no tomorrow, which, for half of them each time, there isn't. This attitude change manifests itself mainly in pitching usage; struggling starters are pulled immediately, marginal relievers are skipped, top relievers are used more often and for longer stints. In many respects, it's the kind of baseball teams played long ago before the effects of pitching fatigue was appreciated or quantified.

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October 6, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: Crappy Odds

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James Click

Winning a playoff series is often seen as a crapshoot. Is it?

It's a crapshoot.

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September 29, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: Still Not Clutch

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James Click

James makes a key adjustment to his clutch work from last week.

As expected, last week's discussion of clutch hitting generated more than the usual share of reader e-mail. BP readers, an intelligent group, pointed out a few problems with both the methodology and conclusions drawn from the data. Thus, this week will be a follow-up, taking those suggestions into account.

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September 22, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: Popping the Clutch

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James Click

James takes a crack at win probability and the concept of clutch, and discovers that a certain media darling is just not clutch.

Win probability is not a new concept. Events in a baseball game have long been analyzed by not only the number of runs they produce, but by their impact on a team's probability of winning the game. The Mills brothers were some of the earlier analysts to discuss the concept in depth with their metric Player Win Average (PWA), but it has been refined many times and various frameworks are employed both here at Baseball Prospectus and elsewhere. Currently, our version--discussed in depth by Keith Woolner in Baseball Prospectus 2005--is employed in our pitching metrics, particularly the reliever evaluation tools like WXRL.

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September 16, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: No Team without M-E

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James Click

Depending on your definition of "value," Derrek Lee might be the MVP this year. He won't win the award, though. James explains why.

Let's just get this out of the way now: Derrek Lee is not going to win the MVP award. Andruw Jones set a well-publicized franchise record by hitting his 50th home run, his sterling defensive reputation is still intact, and he's perceived as leading a dynasty reborn back to its rightful place atop the division. If that's not good enough for the writers, Albert Pujols is once again the best player on the best team in the league and he'll likely garner the sympathy vote from those writers who know that in a Barry Bonds-free world, Pujols would already be a three-time MVP.

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September 8, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: The Bull in the Pen

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James Click

James tackles the divide between the way the mainstream media values relievers, and the way more advanced metrics do.

In his discussion of the likely NL MVP race shaping up, Joe Sheehan pointed out that if you look at the most prominent contenders--Derrek Lee, Albert Pujols, and Andruw Jones--Lee distances himself from the field in WARP by a vast margin. Looking at the traditional stats, Lee leads the league in batting average, Jones leads in home runs and RBI, and Pujols is second, third and second in those categories, respectively. It's easy to see why those three would be the favorites headed into the final month of the season.

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September 1, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: In Reverse

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James Click

Our view of the season would be very different if it had played out exactly in reverse to reality. James rewinds the year, and shows us how.

The length of the baseball season can easily obscure some important trends that are developing. Teams like the A's get noticed because their rise from the depths has been so dramatic that it breaks free of the mass of information built before its arrival. But there are may other trends that can easily escape our eyes because so much of the season has already passed.

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August 25, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: Going Streaking

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James Click

Last week's column on the Royals' losing streak generated a lot of discussion, and revealed some errors. James sets things straight this time around.

Not unlike the old Sports Illustrated Jinx, it seems that as soon as we talk about something here at BP, things turn around. Jonah Keri covered Sunday's A's game yesterday in his Game of the Week column, but it's safe to say that my last two columns--about the Royals' losing streak and the A's winning ways--have made large U-turns in the last week. The Royals' managed to finally break out of their near-record slump and it's this subject that deserves a little more of our attention.

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August 18, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: Royal Flush

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James Click

The Royals' losing streak is approaching some of the longest in baseball history, but it's notable for another reason. James breaks out Pascal's Triangle to crunch the numbers.

To start, let's get some perspective. The Royals' streak of 18 straight losses is not the worst run of baseball of all time. The worst losing streak in the major leagues since 1901 was the 1961 Phillies who managed to lose 23 games in a row from 7/29/61 to 8/20/61. Interestingly, it could have been a lot worse; the Phillies lost five in a row just before the streak, so they actually lost 28 of 29 games in what may very well be the worst month any team has ever had. Here are the rest of the worst:

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August 12, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: The A's Take Over

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James Click

With a wild end to the three-game series between the teams, the A's passed the Angels in the AL West. James ponders how it happened, and what it means.

While the rest of the league usually attaches the adjective "walk-off" to things like home runs or doubles, the A's seem more inclined to use it before things like "bunts" and "return throws to pitchers too busy acting like five-year old children who aren't allowed to buy what they see in the local Toys 'R Us to bother catching the ball." While Ramon Hernandez's impersonation of Jake Taylor in Game 1 of the 2003 ALDS certainly carried more weight, Jason Kendall's scamper down the line to cap off yesterday's A's-Angels battle royale was equally as improbable and equally as exciting.

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August 11, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

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James Click

Are some of the turnarounds we've seen in the second half of the season because teams are plating more of their baserunners? James takes a closer look.

Three months ago, I took a look at the struggles of the A's, Indians and Pirates with regards to their complete and utter inability to get runners home once they'd put them on base, a light stat called runner scoring percentage. While the Indians' offensive struggles were more a result of overall struggles (they were batting .226/.296/.379 at the time and were plating a more respectable 35.4% of their baserunners), the A's and Pirates were plating a lower percentage of their runners on base than any team since 1990, and it wasn't particularly close.

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August 4, 2005 12:00 am

Crooked Numbers: Objects at Rest

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James Click

James answers a reader question about the effect of consecutive games played on a team's W-L record.

Jumping right in today, reader Benjamin Lauderdale sent this question Will Carroll's way; he was kind enough to forward it to me:

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