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02-05

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5

No Pepper: Other Outliers
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Tommy Bennett

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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7

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04-29

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04-27

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04-21

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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04-19

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04-14

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04-12

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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04-06

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3

No Pepper: Against the Fence
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04-05

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5

No Pepper: Against the Fence
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Tommy Bennett

04-01

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2

No Pepper: Against the Fence
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Tommy Bennett

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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03-29

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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03-25

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No Pepper: Against the Fence (Double Edition)
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03-23

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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03-22

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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03-15

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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03-11

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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03-10

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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03-03

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No Pepper: Against the Fence
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02-22

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No Pepper: Search Costs Versus Surplus
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February 5, 2011 11:56 am

No Pepper: Other Outliers

5

Tommy Bennett

A look at baserunning outliers in continuing anticipation of the release of the PECOTA spreadsheets.

We remain in breathless anticipation for the release of the PECOTA spreadsheets, so let us continue to revel in the odd outliers. On Friday, I looked at relief pitcher rate statistics. These are, by their very nature, subject to a relatively high level of noise. That makes it possible for otherwise very good players, like Carlos Marmol, to put up the equivalent of otherworldly results. But the bullpen is not the only place you can find outliers.

Even on offense, there is the possibility that a single player will run out in front of the curve. And who better to do so than that odd blip in the newspaper headlines (circa 2009), Emilio Bonifacio? Though his feeble bat does not afford him many opportunities to let loose on the base paths, when he does he is more than capable of doing damage. Consider the following plot:

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Sleep, pitch types, and clutch performance.

The Seattle PI offers a useful guide to pitch types.
It includes photographs of how different pitches are gripped and are released.

Eri Yoshida, the 18-year-old female knuckleballer, recorded her first strikeout.
Pitching for the independent Chico Outlaws, she went four innings and gave up two runs. She taught herself the knuckleball by studying Tim Wakefield tapes.



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Other people's players and two different types of rankings.

Jeff Zimmerman rounds up the data on extra-roster salaries.
He tabulates all the salaries for players no longer on each team's roster and ranks the teams accordingly. There is also a Google spreadsheet to play around with. Currently, the Orioles receive the most salary from other teams, and the Tigers pay out the most.

How the Cubs fielded last night's walk-off, sac bunt.
Jack Moore has diagrams and visual evidence, as well as some interesting commentary.



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An unrecognized pitcher, an overused pitcher, and Larry.

A great pitcher you've never heard of.
Of course, we've got some sharp readers. Any of you have notes about John Donaldson?

What Greg Prince learned from Lastings Milledge.
His lesson is that it's okay to be enthralled with early success, even if it creates unreasonable expectations.



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Brad Lidge and game theory, the odd HBP/World Cup connection, and what's up with Rich Harden.

David Gassko on Brad Lidge's pitch selection and game theory.
He includes in-depth empirical data. It is thorough and interesting throughout.

Are HBPs less common in World Cup years
They have been 3.5% less common in WC years since 1960, says Plunk Everyone. The rate falls an additional 2.4% on days matches are actually played.



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Making the call at first base, George Will's theory of labor, and Popper in sabermetrics.

How easy is to make that call at first base?
Perhaps not quite as easy as it's cracked up to be.

What do George Will's Men at Work and Karl Marx's Capital have in common?
Jonah Goldwater makes the case that to see baseball as a craft is to glorify the relationship between work and its motivation.



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Mapping baseball websites, bad blackouts, and the battle cry of John Jaso.

The Baseball Analysts' Dave Allen has created a network chart of baseball websites.
It's based on outgoing and incoming links, so sites that are heavy on the links have more overall connections. You can find more info here.

Maury Brown has some choice words for Bob DuPuy on MLB.tv's blackout restrictions.
I wonder if this isn't a case where transaction costs in the short term don't overwhelm the long term benefits.



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Great broadcasters, reliever leverage, and Jeff Francoeur's strike zone.

Is the new-look Jeff Francouer demanding that pitchers pound the strike zone?
Sam Page finds some interesting tidbits, including that Francoeur only walked after an 0-2 count once in four years in Atlanta (he's done it once this year, too).

Larry Granillo flexes his infographic muscles to illustrate the great broadcasters.
Really drives home the impressive longevity of Harry Caray and Vin Scully. One of my biggest worries about baseball today is that there aren't many great young play-by-play guys. Am I wrong?



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Randomness, probability, and the frustrating search for consistency.

Everyone repeat after me: sports are not deterministic with respect to outcomes.
In perhaps no area of human life is it harder to maintain fidelity to probabilistic thinking than in sports. But, as Andrew Bernardin puts it, "[t]here is always a degree of imprecision — and thus randomness — in how we perform."

Did this AP article cause the recent spate of rain-outs?
It seems to me that since it was published just before three recent rain-outs, it only stands to reason that the article jinxed the good run.



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Heyward pays for himself, HBP leadership, and Ryan Dempster as Yossarian.

Why keeping Jason Heyward in the minors would have been the wrong decision, even considering service time.
Peter Hjort shows that Heyward has more than earned the $4 million or so the Braves would have gained from keeping him in Triple-A for two weeks. 

What is the deal with Jay Bruce and BABIP? Red Reporter remains somewhat optimistic.
I was as bounceback-optimistic about Bruce as anyone. At what point does low-BABIP become an expectation rather than the opposite?



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Arbitration in Japan, bias in pitchF/X, and Peanuts in Kansas City

Dan Turkenkopf wonders just how much we really know about the strike zone.
Analyzing pitchF/X pitch location data, Dan shows that there is a persistent park effect when looking at ball/strike calls. Caution is warranted the next time you use Gameday to yell at the home plate umpire. 

Roy Halladay and the pursuit of 250 IP.
I will of course take the under, but Halladay is set to go every five days regardless of off-days. It's worth noting that he has more wins that walks at the moment, a feat accomplished season-long by only four pitchers with at least 125 IP.



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Racial bias, the similarities between hedge funds and bookies, and how to coach a Little League team during a blowout.

There is an apparent lack of evidence of racial bias in the free agent market.
Elsewhere, J.C. Bradbury surveyed the scholarly literature and came to a similar conclusion.

A nice JavaScript visualization of 2009 win percentages by games played.
You can mouseover each team to get a sense of where they stood in relation to their final mark at various stages of the season. 



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