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Punk Hits 

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05-28

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3

Punk Hits: Marco Scutaro Plays All the Hits
by
Ian Miller

05-21

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7

Punk Hits: Eyes on the Prize
by
Ian Miller

05-14

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7

Punk Hits: Javier Lopez Learns BABIP
by
Ian Miller

05-07

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20

Punk Hits: The Record the Houston Astros Won't Break
by
Ian Miller

04-16

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7

Punk Hits: Road Games
by
Ian Miller

04-02

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25

Punk Hits: Accidentally Making a Case for Astros Fandom
by
Ian Miller

03-19

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6

Punk Hits: Not Just Another Night at the Yard
by
Ian Miller

03-05

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13

Punk Hits: Why I'm Rooting for the Dutch in the WBC
by
Ian Miller

02-27

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20

Punk Hits: A Love (Hate) Letter From Arizona
by
Ian Miller

02-20

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12

Punk Hits: Baseball Players Are Too Damned Good For Their Own Good
by
Ian Miller

02-05

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3

Punk Hits: Top Team Cookbooks, Part 2
by
Ian Miller

01-29

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13

Punk Hits: Top Team Cookbooks, Part 1
by
Ian Miller

01-22

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9

Punk Hits: She Got the Beat
by
Ian Miller

01-08

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8

Punk Hits: So You've Decided to Join the American League
by
Ian Miller

12-19

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48

Punk Hits: A Modest Proposal for the MLB Network
by
Ian Miller

12-11

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26

Punk Hits: Why Do We Fear The Beard?
by
Ian Miller

11-27

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16

Punk Hits: Why Stadium Giveaways Are So Unbelievably Awful
by
Ian Miller

11-21

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11

Punk Hits: Why Tyson Ross Went South
by
Ian Miller

11-13

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8

Punk Hits: Scouting the Arizona Fall League: Off-the-Field Edition
by
Ian Miller

11-06

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7

Punk Hits: The Year Punk Broke (Into the Majors)
by
Ian Miller

10-31

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16

Punk Hits: Brian Science
by
Ian Miller

10-22

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5

Punk Hits: Three Nights In October, part 3
by
Ian Miller

10-18

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5

Punk Hits: Three Nights in October, Part Two
by
Ian Miller

10-17

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5

Punk Hits: Three Nights In October
by
Ian Miller

10-10

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4

Punk Hits: A Cespedes for the Rest of Us
by
Ian Miller

10-03

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1

Punk Hits: The Bay Area Body-Swap
by
Ian Miller

09-26

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10

Punk Hits: A Not Altogether Helpful Primer to the World Baseball Classic
by
Ian Miller

09-19

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6

Punk Hits: What the Hell Has Gotten Into the Astros?
by
Ian Miller

09-12

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19

Punk Hits: What Billy Beane is Doing Again
by
Ian Miller

09-06

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4

Punk Hits: The Fall and Rise of Joaquin Arias
by
Ian Miller

08-29

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8

Punk Hits: Will the Yankees West Match The Yankees' Success?
by
Ian Miller

08-22

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6

Punk Hits: The Other Side of Scoreboard Watching
by
Ian Miller

08-15

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37

Punk Hits: The Fabulous Major-League Baseball Rock n’ Roll Revue
by
Ian Miller

08-08

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4

Punk Hits: The Worst of the Best
by
Ian Miller

08-01

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14

Punk Hits: Bauer Pop
by
Ian Miller

07-26

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24

Punk Hits: The Goblins & Gauntlets Monster Manual, MLB Expansion Pack: Position Players, Vol. 1
by
Ian Miller

07-18

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8

Punk Hits: Baseball in the Old Country
by
Ian Miller

06-27

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34

Punk Hits: The Goblins & Gauntlets Monster Manual, MLB Expansion Pack: Pitchers, Vol. 1
by
Ian Miller

06-20

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7

Punk Hits: League Average, the Long Way 'Round
by
Ian Miller

06-13

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6

Punk Hits: Pitching In the Age of Comebacks
by
Ian Miller

06-06

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22

Punk Hits: The Most Interesting Man in the Minors
by
Ian Miller

05-30

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9

Punk Hits: 2012 National League Upfronts
by
Ian Miller

05-23

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12

Punk Hits: 2012 Baseball Upfronts
by
Ian Miller

05-16

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8

Punk Hits: Running Hot and Cold
by
Ian Miller

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January 22, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: She Got the Beat

9

Ian Miller

Susan Slusser, longtime A's reporter and the first female president of the BBWAA, answers questions.

In 1986, Susan Fornoff covered the Oakland A’s beat for the Sacramento Bee. Dave Kingman, whose career was in steep decline, took issue with the presence of a woman in the clubhouse and had a rat delivered to Fornoff during a home game. Kingman was fined $3,500 and warned that another incident of this type would result in his release.

Three years later, a young intern named Susan Slusser was hired full-time by the paper to cover the Sacramento Kings and back up both baseball writers, launching her impressive career writing about baseball in Oakland. For the past 15 seasons, Slusser has covered the A’s beat for the San Francisco Chronicle. I spoke with Slusser by phone recently and talked with her about scooping her husband, her new role as president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, and how being a beat writer has changed for women over the course of her career.

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January 8, 2013 5:00 am

Punk Hits: So You've Decided to Join the American League

8

Ian Miller

A helpful pamphlet produced with the review or approval of the Office of the President of the American League of Major League Baseball, which doesn't even exist anymore.

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December 19, 2012 5:00 am

Punk Hits: A Modest Proposal for the MLB Network

48

Ian Miller

Ian proposes some shows he'd actually watch.

On Saturday night, I had the distinct pleasure of watching Knuckleball! If you haven’t yet seen it, I strongly suggest you change that. It’s available on DVD, VOD, and on demand, so you really have no excuse not to watch it.

The film focuses primarily on Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey, who, at the time the film was made (2011), were the only active knuckleballers in the major leagues. And as interesting as their stories were, I found their interactions with and the interviews of their fellow members of the knuckleball fraternity even more compelling. One scene showed a knuckleballers summit, wherein Dickey and Wakefield met up with Charlie Hough and Phil Niekro to discuss their strange craft. Another showed a struggling Dickey seeking guidance from Hough. There are brief interview segments with Jim Bouton and Wilbur Wood. I found these utterly fascinating, and they left me hungry for more.

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December 11, 2012 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Why Do We Fear The Beard?

26

Ian Miller

On Brian Wilson and the etiquette of being different.

As you no doubt know by now, the San Francisco Giants opted not to tender a contract to their All-Star closer, Brian Wilson. He was due a league-mandated minimum of just under $7 million, and was probably hoping for something closer to $10 million. Apparently the Giants decided he wasn’t worth it, and Wilson is now a free agent. News reports have described Wilson as “angry” that the Giants chose not to re-sign him and he is likely to sign elsewhere. It remains to be seen what kind of deal Wilson will get on the open market. On the one hand, Proven All-Star Closer; on the other, those peripherals, and coming off Tommy John surgery. Intriguing hot-stove action!

When the news came down about the Giants' non-tender, there was some recrimination among San Francisco fans, but not a ton. He was the guy on the mound when they won it all in 2010. His numbers in 2010 were eye-popping: a 2.18 FRA and 1.7 WARP to go along with his 48 saves and World Series ring. He was really good. But then the Giants won the whole thing again in 2012, without Wilson, thereby “proving” that he wasn’t necessary. I heard and read the same thing over and over from Giants fans: Many/most/all said that, while they loved him as a player, they “wouldn’t miss his act.”

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November 27, 2012 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Why Stadium Giveaways Are So Unbelievably Awful

16

Ian Miller

A play in one act.

From: [NAME REDACTED], Director of Marketing, [TEAM NAME REDACTED]
To: [NAME REDACTED], Assistant Marketing Director
Subject: Re.: 2013 promotions schedule

Just got the 2013 promotions sched. Not pleased. Chia heads and baseball cards are borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring. And the chia things are $$$!
Scrap it and start over. Let’s have some new ideas. Think outside the dang box for a change!
p.s. Budget still very much in the box. Sponsors won’t pay more than $1/patron. Get creative!





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November 21, 2012 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Why Tyson Ross Went South

11

Ian Miller

The A's gave up on Tyson Ross, but Ian hasn't.

The mind is a terrible thing, both to waste, and just in general. So often the brain fails us utterly: things like deja vu, phantom limbs, and confirmation bias make me wonder why I have one at all.

Confirmation bias makes it especially difficult when it comes to evaluating baseball players. Take Tyson Ross (please!). I watched him dominate at UC Berkeley for two seasons. His sophomore year was especially impressive: look past the 6-6 record and you’ll see he put up a 2.49 ERA and a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Dude was GOOD.         

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November 13, 2012 9:22 am

Punk Hits: Scouting the Arizona Fall League: Off-the-Field Edition

8

Ian Miller

Ian watches the people who watch.

Jason Parks and his crew of experts have thus far done yeoman’s work in their prospect rankings this offseason. But Parks et al’s analysis, while excellent, barely scratches the surface of what's going on in the Arizona Fall League. This article will take you beyond the baseball diamond to scout the talent across the Valley of the Sun, from the scouts to the fans to the lurking Card Guys to paint a full picture of the Arizona Fall League experience.

1. Travis the Open Carry Guy
DOB: 11/15/1992
Height/Weight: 5’9’’ 245 lbs.
The Tools:  Has a big-ass gun on his hip in the middle of the Circle K




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November 6, 2012 5:00 am

Punk Hits: The Year Punk Broke (Into the Majors)

7

Ian Miller

Ian interviews Scott Radinsky, whose one-of-a-kind resume includes time as a punk-rock frontman, big-league pitcher and Indians pitching coach.

In the 1980s, punk records were artifacts. They could be copied (onto cassette), but not easily: duplication required one to be present, physically and mentally. Copying seven-inch records—the form factor of choice for many punk and hardcore bands, due to their relative cheapness—was a downright PITA. You could fit five to eight minutes of music on a side, which meant lots of needle drops and lifts, tape pausing, and record-flipping. It was labor-intensive, but that’s what it took to pass the data from one person to the next, so we did it willingly. I took great pride in the quality of my dupes, making sure the levels were always right and the J-cards were annotated properly.

But having the actual record was always preferable to even the most lovingly curated cassette copy. Having the hard-copy record meant you could stare at the picture sleeve and learn whatever there was to learn about the band. All the better if the record was pressed on colored vinyl—one more thing to ogle while you listened to the songs.

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October 31, 2012 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Brian Science

16

Ian Miller

The Giants' GM is not an idiot, but now Ian understands why some people think he is.

"I cannot forecast to you the action of Brian Sabean. He is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.”

—Winston Churchill

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October 22, 2012 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Three Nights In October, part 3

5

Ian Miller

Every dream ends.

Ian spent three games with a press credential covering the Oakland A's in the ALDS—his first postseason in the press box. Previously: Game Three, and Game Four. Today: meeting Peter Gammons, imagining "what-if," and saying goodbye after Game Five.

We don’t get a true summer in the Bay Area. May to August is just a stretch of perfect days in the 60s and 70s. Mornings are shrouded by fog that burns off mid-morning, so it’s warm (but not overly so) until the fog rolls back in at night.

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October 18, 2012 5:00 am

Punk Hits: Three Nights in October, Part Two

5

Ian Miller

Cheering, and lots of it, in the press box.

Ian wrote Wednesday about covering his first postseason game, in Oakland. Today: his second game, Game Four of the A's-Tigers ALDS.

I’d been nursing a nasty cold for a week or so. It started in my head, but had migrated to my chest. I don’t like to take drugs—I’m a teetotaller, truth be told—but I’d resorted to DayQuil and cough syrup just to be able to get out of bed. It makes the walk across the footbridge from BART to the Coliseum something of an adventure—my steps unreliable, I felt like I was gliding rather than walking.

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Ian finds his postseason press pass takes him places he never expected to go.

The first of three parts.

I jumped out of an airplane once. I was falling at 120 mph at 14,000 feet (then 13,000, now 12,000) and I was perfectly calm. My small simian brain had no frame of reference for what was going on, so it didn’t even register what was happening as a threat to my safety.

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