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Doctoring The Numbers 

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10-14

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39

Doctoring The Numbers: Starting Them Young, Part Two
by
Rany Jazayerli

10-13

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57

Doctoring The Numbers: Starting Them Young, Part One
by
Rany Jazayerli

10-28

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5

Doctoring The Numbers: When the Rains Come
by
Rany Jazayerli

04-05

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Doctoring The Numbers: Dodgers and Nationals
by
Rany Jazayerli

03-25

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Doctoring The Numbers: Royals and Phillies
by
Rany Jazayerli

03-12

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Brewers and Giants
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-27

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Cubs and the Red Sox
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-20

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Doctoring The Numbers: Mariners, Braves, and Diamondbacks
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-13

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Doctoring The Numbers: Mets, Rangers, and Orioles
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-06

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Doctoring The Numbers: Angels, Indians, and Reds
by
Rany Jazayerli

01-23

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Doctoring The Numbers: Marlins, White Sox, and Rays
by
Rany Jazayerli

01-13

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Doctoring The Numbers: Diving into Data
by
Rany Jazayerli

04-05

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Doctoring The Numbers: Charlie Haeger
by
Rany Jazayerli

03-23

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Doctoring The Numbers: Worst. Contract. Ever.
by
Rany Jazayerli

01-31

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Hidden Market Boost
by
Rany Jazayerli

08-08

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Doctoring The Numbers: Building the Best in Motor City, Part Two
by
Rany Jazayerli

08-07

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Doctoring The Numbers: Building the Best in Motor City
by
Rany Jazayerli

06-05

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part 12
by
Rany Jazayerli

06-02

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part 11
by
Rany Jazayerli

05-11

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Ten
by
Rany Jazayerli

03-15

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Nine
by
Rany Jazayerli

03-07

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Eight
by
Rany Jazayerli

09-13

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Seven
by
Rany Jazayerli

08-02

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Six
by
Rany Jazayerli

06-09

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Five
by
Rany Jazayerli

06-02

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Four
by
Rany Jazayerli

05-25

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Three
by
Rany Jazayerli

05-19

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Two
by
Rany Jazayerli

05-13

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft
by
Rany Jazayerli

03-17

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Doctoring The Numbers: A Star No One Sees
by
Rany Jazayerli

08-18

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Doctoring The Numbers: Chasing Wes Ferrell
by
Rany Jazayerli

08-16

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Doctoring The Numbers: Chasing Ron Herbel
by
Rany Jazayerli

07-14

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Amazing Danny Kolb
by
Rany Jazayerli

06-03

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Doctoring The Numbers: Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel
by
Rany Jazayerli

05-06

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1

Doctoring The Numbers: Hot Starts, Part III
by
Rany Jazayerli

04-28

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Doctoring The Numbers: Hot Starts, Part II
by
Rany Jazayerli

04-22

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Doctoring The Numbers: Hot Starts (a.k.a. Should Royals Fans Get Excited Yet?)
by
Rany Jazayerli

08-30

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Five-Man Rotation, Part 3
by
Rany Jazayerli

08-20

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Five-Man Rotation, Part 2
by
Rany Jazayerli

08-13

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Doctoring The Numbers: The Five-Man Rotation
by
Rany Jazayerli

07-16

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Doctoring The Numbers: Defense in Colorado
by
Rany Jazayerli

07-16

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Doctoring The Numbers: Defense in Colorado
by
Rany Jazayerli

07-11

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Doctoring The Numbers: Offense in Colorado
by
Rany Jazayerli

06-18

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Doctoring The Numbers: Doctoring the Numbers: Sweet Relief
by
Rany Jazayerli

06-18

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Doctoring The Numbers: Sweet Relief
by
Rany Jazayerli

05-14

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Doctoring The Numbers: Historic Walk Rates in Montreal
by
Rany Jazayerli

05-14

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Doctoring The Numbers: Historic Walk Rates in Montreal
by
Rany Jazayerli

03-06

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Doctoring The Numbers: Doctoring the Numbers: Improvement Ratio
by
Rany Jazayerli

03-06

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Doctoring The Numbers: Improvement Ratio
by
Rany Jazayerli

02-21

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Doctoring The Numbers: Do Lefties "Break Out" More Than Righties?
by
Rany Jazayerli

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June 9, 2005 12:00 am

Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Five

0

Rany Jazayerli

Measuring the value of drafted hitters and pitchers in an effort to quantify the difference, if any, between the two.

Here are the 15-year WARP lines for all pitchers and all hitters, from 1984 through 1999:

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June 2, 2005 12:00 am

Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Four

0

Rany Jazayerli

Having established that there is no longer any difference between high schoolers and collegians in the draft, the question now is, "why not?"

Reader after reader responded with their own theory as to what could cause teams to do a significantly better job of drafting high-school talent, even as they drafted more high-school players. And each response looked frighteningly liked the last: it's the signing bonuses, stupid.

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May 25, 2005 12:00 am

Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Three

0

Rany Jazayerli

Rany Jazayerli has more on draft history, including a conclusion that may surprise you.

  • College players taken in the first three rounds are about 50% more likely to reach the majors than high school players;
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    May 19, 2005 12:00 am

    Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part Two

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    Rany Jazayerli

    What pool of players to emphasize at the draft table--college or high-school--is one of the game's ongoing debates. The data indicates that one group has a decisive edge in value.

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    May 13, 2005 12:00 am

    Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft

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    Rany Jazayerli

    In the first of a series, Rany examines 15 years' worth of draft data to establish some basic rules.

    Sexy, it's not. Neither is it all that telegenic, although it certainly could be if MLB ditched the conference call for an amphitheatre with good lighting and tried to make a production out of it. There's no denying its importance, though. There is no source of talent that comes close to matching what's available in what is officially called the Rule 4 Draft. Moreover, there is almost no way to build a successful ballclub without some measure of success in the draft. (The Yankees are trying to prove that last sentence incorrect. They are not succeeding.)

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    March 17, 2005 12:00 am

    Doctoring The Numbers: A Star No One Sees

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    Rany Jazayerli

    He's more than just underrated; Bobby Abreu is on his way to the Hall of Fame.

    This might be one of the reasons (admittedly down the list) for why Barry Bonds is so disliked by the media. He has rendered one of the greatest of all barstool arguments--"who is the best player in baseball?"--utterly irrelevant for the past half-decade.

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    August 18, 2004 12:00 am

    Doctoring The Numbers: Chasing Wes Ferrell

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    Rany Jazayerli

    Having embarrassed the meek, the good doctor now celebrates the strong by counting down the best-hitting pitchers in baseball.

    While a pitcher's career numbers are weighed most heavily on this list, recent performance counts as well. So you rabid Chris Hammond fans out there, chill.

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    August 16, 2004 12:00 am

    Doctoring The Numbers: Chasing Ron Herbel

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    Rany Jazayerli

    What kind of list has Ben Sheets in between Sterling Hitchcock and Ryan Dempster? Not one you want to be on. The good doctor shines a light into some deep, dark corners of the batter's box.

    At times like these, it's always nice to be able to rely on an old standby. If songs and movies can be re-made, why not articles?

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    July 14, 2004 12:00 am

    Doctoring The Numbers: The Amazing Danny Kolb

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    Rany Jazayerli

    Imagine spending a week at your cubicle at work, slaving away at that TPS report, and then as you hand it to your boss, she tells you, "Thanks, but the company just decided that they didn't need the report after all. I was just about to e-mail you the memo." That's about how I feel right now. Having painstakingly put together an article on Danny Kolb, which centered around Kolb's incredible stretch of surrendering no extra-base hits all season, I was all set to have the article published during the All-Star Break--and then Kolb ran into the unstoppable force that is the PECOTA-powered Wily Mo Pena on Sunday. (Yes, I'm aware that Jason LaRue homered off Kolb before Pena did. But I've been working as a journalist long enough to know it's considered poor form to let the facts get in the way of a good story.) So the article is ruined. But you're going to have to read it anyway, unless you really want to hurt my feelings. I've taken the liberty of making some small changes to the piece, in light of Kolb's Sunday meltdown. Most of the points made in the article still stand, even if the punchline has been spoiled.

    That's about how I feel right now. Having painstakingly put together an article on Danny Kolb, which centered around Kolb's incredible stretch of surrendering no extra-base hits all season, I was all set to have the article published during the All-Star Break--and then Kolb ran into the unstoppable force that is the PECOTA-powered Wily Mo Pena on Sunday.

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    It takes a lot these days to awaken me from my slumber and coerce me into penning a column for BP. Between taking care of a baby daughter at home and starting my own medical practice, the truly important things in life--like baseball analysis--have gotten short shrift of late. But finally, I have found a topic that arouses my passion. A question so intriguing as to get my heart racing, my blood pumping, my brain thinking. Finally, a puzzle worth being solved, a code worth being cracked. That question, of course, is: "Does Alex Sanchez have the emptiest batting average in major-league history?" Consider the evidence. Bolstered by an obscene number of bunt hits, Sanchez was hitting .359 going into Wednesday night's game, which ranked him third in the American League. (By the way, who had the exacta on a Melvin Mora-Ken Harvey-Alex Sanchez top three at this point in the season?) But Sanchez's impressive ability to hit singles is neutered by his inability to do anything else: hit for power (eight extra-base hits), reach base by other means (four walks, no HBPs), or make effective use of his speed (11 steals, 10 caught stealings). For the season, Sanchez is hitting .359/.371/.431. His batting average may rank third in the league, but his 802 OPS ranks just 43rd--in a tie with Jose Cruz, who's hitting .237. Put succinctly, Sanchez's batting average is about as empty as Le Stade Olympique. But is it the emptiest ever?

    But finally, I have found a topic that arouses my passion. A question so intriguing as to get my heart racing, my blood pumping, my brain thinking. Finally, a puzzle worth being solved, a code worth being cracked.

    Read the full article...

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    May 6, 2003 12:00 am

    Doctoring The Numbers: Hot Starts, Part III

    1

    Rany Jazayerli

    Welcome to the third and final instalment of my look at the meaningfulness of the first few dozen games of a team season. (Go back and review Parts 1 and 2 here. There will be a test later.) This final article looks to merge a team's starting record with its established performance over the past few years, to come up with a formula that most accurately projects its final record based on the available data. Warning: If you thought Part 2 was laden with too many equations, you're not going to like Part 3 any better. I ended Part 2 with a projection that the Royals, based on their 17-5 start, are projected to finish with about 97 wins. The folly with that logic should be self-evident, but let me share some evidence with you to make the point a little more clear. When the Royals' record reached 13-3, my inner circle of fellow Royals fans finally got serious about questioning whether such a strong start really meant anything in light of the team's 100-loss season in 2002. I decided to look for comparable teams throughout history that had gotten off to a similar start. Using my database of all teams from 1930 to 1999, I found a total of 75 teams that started the season either 12-4, 13-3, or 14-2. Sixty-three of those teams, or 84%, finished above .500. As a group, they finished with a .545 winning percentage. But it's not all roses. Because I then whittled down that group to look only at those teams that had played less than .420 ball the previous season, which corresponds to a 68-94 record or worse.

    I ended Part 2 with a projection that the Royals, based on their 17-5 start, are projected to finish with about 97 wins. The folly with that logic should be self-evident, but let me share some evidence with you to make the point a little more clear.

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    April 28, 2003 12:00 am

    Doctoring The Numbers: Hot Starts, Part II

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    Rany Jazayerli

    Welcome to Part 2 of our look at the importance of hot starts. If you haven't already, read Part 1 first. We'll wait for you to get back. Last time, I looked at how teams fared at season's end after starting the season with a particular record, varying the data by looking at starts of varying lengths. While I pointed out general trends in the data (as well as the exceptions that proved the rule), I did not sum up the data concisely into a single, coherent formula to predict a team's final record. That's what today's article is about. In Part 3--yes, there will be a Part 3--I want to examine how the interaction between a team's record at the start of the season, and its record the previous season, affects its final winning percentage.

    Last time, I looked at how teams fared at season's end after starting the season with a particular record, varying the data by looking at starts of varying lengths. While I pointed out general trends in the data (as well as the exceptions that proved the rule), I did not sum up the data concisely into a single, coherent formula to predict a team's final record. That's what today's article is about. In Part 3--yes, there will be a Part 3--I want to examine how the interaction between a team's record at the start of the season, and its record the previous season, affects its final winning percentage.

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