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11-20

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7

Skewed Left: Saving on Stanton?
by
Zachary Levine

11-13

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0

Skewed Left: Fixing Awards Season
by
Zachary Levine

11-10

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5

Skewed Left: Rarefied Rookie Relief
by
Zachary Levine

10-31

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18

Skewed Left: Those Lucky Red Sox
by
Zachary Levine

10-16

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9

Skewed Left: The Molina Mind-bender
by
Zachary Levine

09-29

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0

Skewed Left: All Games Are Equal Except For These
by
Zachary Levine

09-17

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5

Skewed Left: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
by
Zachary Levine

09-11

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2

Skewed Left: It's Not a No-Hitter 'til _____
by
Zachary Levine

09-05

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4

Skewed Left: The Billy Beane Famous-Old-DH Gambit
by
Zachary Levine

08-28

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21

Skewed Left: A Three-Hour Tour
by
Zachary Levine

08-21

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4

Skewed Left: Saber Seminar One Year From Now
by
Zachary Levine

08-14

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16

Skewed Left: Where Have All The Suspensions Gone?
by
Zachary Levine

07-31

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1

Skewed Left: The Nomar Garciaparra Trade Turns Ten
by
Zachary Levine

07-25

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4

Skewed Left: The Mismatched Incentives of Draftees and Their Agents
by
Zachary Levine

07-15

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4

Skewed Left: What Is An All-Star Pitcher?
by
Zachary Levine

07-09

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7

Skewed Left: What the CBA Says About the All-Star Game
by
Zachary Levine

07-03

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16

Skewed Left: The Ingrained, Misguided, 162-Game Schedule
by
Zachary Levine

06-26

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3

Skewed Left: Which Position Players Make the Best Pitchers?
by
Zachary Levine

06-19

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2

Skewed Left: The Missing Mound Charge
by
Zachary Levine

06-12

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1

Skewed Left: The Wisdom of Pinch-Hitting with Pitchers
by
Zachary Levine

06-05

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17

Skewed Left: The Economics of the Singleton Extension
by
Zachary Levine

05-29

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7

Skewed Left: What We've Learned About Replay
by
Zachary Levine

05-22

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1

Skewed Left: Dallas Keuchel Defies his Destiny
by
Zachary Levine

05-13

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21

Skewed Left: How Much Losing Jose Fernandez Hurts
by
Zachary Levine

05-08

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2

Skewed Left: The Five Teams That Don't Have to Play by (All of) the Rules
by
Zachary Levine

05-01

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0

Skewed Left: Staying Alive in the Independent Leagues, 2014 Edition
by
Zachary Levine

04-24

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9

Skewed Left: The Squandered Promise of the Diamondbacks Rotation
by
Zachary Levine

04-18

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4

Skewed Left: How Service Time Dictates Top Prospect Promotions
by
Zachary Levine

04-10

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7

Skewed Left: The Surprising Sameness of Justin Upton
by
Zachary Levine

04-03

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11

Skewed Left: The Revolving Door Rankings
by
Zachary Levine

03-27

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11

Skewed Left: PECOTA vs. Vegas
by
Zachary Levine

03-20

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7

Skewed Left: Where Are All the Australian Position Players?
by
Zachary Levine

03-13

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25

Skewed Left: The Good and the Bad News About Instant Replay's Spring Trial
by
Zachary Levine

03-06

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42

Skewed Left: The Art of Explaining Baseball
by
Zachary Levine

02-27

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13

Skewed Left: What it Means to Move Off Catcher
by
Zachary Levine

02-13

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9

Skewed Left: Fun with 2014 PECOTA Comparables
by
Zachary Levine

02-06

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7

Skewed Left: The Truth About One-Day Contracts
by
Zachary Levine

01-30

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18

Skewed Left: Saying Goodbye to Lance Berkman
by
Zachary Levine

01-23

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3

Skewed Left: Bobby Abreu, the Phillies, and Other Reunions That Might Make Sense
by
Zachary Levine

01-16

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5

Skewed Left: The Historical Precedent for an A-Rod Comeback
by
Zachary Levine

01-07

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21

Skewed Left: What the 1936 Hall of Fame Ballot Tells Us About Today's
by
Zachary Levine

01-02

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25

Skewed Left: Better Versions of Bad Hall of Fame Arguments
by
Zachary Levine

12-26

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9

Skewed Left: The Quiet Offseason in Odds
by
Zachary Levine

12-19

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2

Skewed Left: The Company They Tweet, The Sequel
by
Zachary Levine

12-12

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11

Skewed Left: A Cooperstown Party Like it's 1999
by
Zachary Levine

11-21

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12

Skewed Left: My Column: The Jokes the Internet Killed in 2013
by
Zachary Levine

11-14

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42

Skewed Left: Why Deserving MVPs Don't Win
by
Zachary Levine

10-25

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6

Skewed Left: Shane Victorino and the Hunt for the Elusive 9-3 Putout
by
Zachary Levine

09-26

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5

Skewed Left: The Canadian World Series Drought
by
Zachary Levine

09-19

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Skewed Left: Danny Valencia and the Orioles' DH Merry-Go-Round
by
Zachary Levine

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November 20, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Saving on Stanton?

7

Zachary Levine

Just how much does backloading Giancarlo Stanton's contract help the Marlins?

That the Marlins are backloading Giancarlo Stanton’s contract in order to go out and sign players now is a nice story. It might also be true—there’s fair reason to doubt it, given the Marlins’ dubious history when it comes to spending—but giving him $6.5 million in 2015 rather than the $25 million average annual value of the deal frees up space to make a better run in 2015.

And Stanton is saying all the right things. At his Wednesday press conference, the takeaway line was “We’ve got to trust that we are all in it to win it,” a trust that seemed to be all but gone when Stanton was sniping at his own front office after the post-2012 liquidation sale.

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November 13, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Fixing Awards Season

0

Zachary Levine

The timing of the baseball awards creates a few issues, is there a better way to do things?

It’s probably more this year than most years, but every time an award comes out this awards season, we’re realizing more and more that we’ve entered disclaimer season.

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November 10, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Rarefied Rookie Relief

5

Zachary Levine

Dellin Betances may not have racked up the saves, but that hasn't stopped voters from giving Rookie of the Year votes to a non-closer, something that rarely happens.

Dellin Betances very well could, at a few minutes after 6 p.m. Bronx Time, post the highest finish ever in the Rookie of the Year voting for a middle reliever.

He won’t win. Jose Abreu will win and very well could receive all 30 of the American League’s first-place votes to join Mike Trout and Evan Longoria as the only unanimous AL MVPs since the Jeter-and-Nomar back-to-backs of the mid-1990s.

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October 31, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Those Lucky Red Sox

18

Zachary Levine

Perhaps the 88-win Giants had luck on their side in winning the 2014 World Series, but can the same be said for the 97-win 2013 Red Sox?

We as a community tended to view our 2014 bracket champion San Francisco Giants, not to mention the Royals who finished a neck behind, as a little bit lucky. Hence, the rather dismissive language associated with the seventh and 10th best teams from the regular season, the latter being the one crowned champion. Hence, the discussion of whether the playoff structure had failed us.

We didn’t – OK, fine, I didn’t – want any runners-up winning short series and fluking their way to a title in a sport that used to be designed to reward the start-to-finish steady.

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Could sending Molina to the batter's box essentially without a bat be a better option for the Cardinals simply due to his elite talents behind the plate?

When Yadier Molina went to the bullpen to warm up Trevor Rosenthal in Game 3 of the NLCS, the speculation was totally warranted. Why not bring Molina in to catch with his oblique injury? That’s something that affects the swing, and if you can get some defensive work out of him, that’s where so much of his value is anyway.

In that light, we had received one of my favorite questions to the Effectively Wild podcast, which Ben and Sam passed along:

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September 29, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: All Games Are Equal Except For These

0

Zachary Levine

In hindsight, some games loom larger than others for the six teams that were still fighting for position on the last day of the year.

With three races coming down to Game 162 on Sunday, we didn’t get that much drama, but we got some memorable performances. We’ll remember David Price pitching the Tigers to the AL Central crown and, maybe even more, Sonny Gray shutting out the Rangers to give the Athletics the final playoff spot.

But divisions are not won, playoff spots not earned, in Game 162 alone. They can be won or, in three excruciating cases, lost anywhere in the 183-day season.

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September 17, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

5

Zachary Levine

Ten players who turned their seasons around after being traded

Brandon McCarthy’s pitch this offseason was probably going to be one of faith. He was going to have to convince teams that he was what his fielding independent pitching said about him, not what the results did. In 78 innings with the Yankees, the whole tone of the presentation changed.

Since his trade from Arizona, McCarthy’s ERA has been cut nearly in half, from 5.01 with the Diamondbacks to 2.54 in New York. His walk and strikeout rates have improved slightly, but they were already fine; it’s been the BABIP and a change in his repertoire from more two-seamers to more cutters and four-seamers that have made the difference.

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September 11, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: It's Not a No-Hitter 'til _____

2

Zachary Levine

A guide to when to tune in to a no-hitter in progress.

There were some years in there, before he got busy and I got Twitter, that my brother and I would have this arrangement. He would text me or I would text him “turn on the Phillies game” or “turn on the ESPN game.” The rest would go untexted, not because either of us was necessarily all that superstitious, but just because the rest was assumed. Somebody had a no-hitter going.

When to send the message, though? Too early, and you’re wasting somebody’s time. Not that baseball is a waste of time, but if we weren’t watching the game, we were probably doing something better. Too late, and you’re depriving him of some of the more exciting innings.

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September 5, 2014 1:20 pm

Skewed Left: The Billy Beane Famous-Old-DH Gambit

4

Zachary Levine

The acquisition of Adam Dunn continues one of Billy Beane's most repeated tactics. Does it work?

Kevin Mitchell was 36 years old and coming off 84 games played in three years when he signed with the Oakland A’s in the middle of spring training 1998. A former National League MVP and home run and RBI champion from across the Bay Bridge, Mitchell was clearly on the way down from his 1989-90 mini-peak and mini-resurgence with the 1993 and 1994 Reds, but first-year general manager Billy Beane made the call for Mitchell as part-time DH.

It was Beane’s first platoon as general manager. He would switch off the right-handed-hitting Mitchell with the young(er) lefty hitter Matt Stairs.

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August 28, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: A Three-Hour Tour

21

Zachary Levine

Is there an ideal length for a baseball game?

At the heart of the biggest conversation going on in baseball right now, there is one conversation we’re not having.

We hear all about the games being too long. It’s item 1 or 2 on every listicle in the wake of Rob Manfred’s ascent to commissioner-in-waitingness. It's the subject of countless hot takes (3 balls! 7 innings! No mound visits!). It’s the subject of countless lukewarm takes that don’t deserve exclamation points (just enforce the rules on pitchers). And it often gets spliced with the discussion on pace of game, which would be a worthy one were not all the evidence presented in the form of game length.

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August 21, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Saber Seminar One Year From Now

4

Zachary Levine

What are the major topics of conversation among the analytically minded going to be come 2015?

My favorite question of the entire 2014 Saber Seminar came in extra innings.

The two-day 9-to-5 event had blown past 5 p.m. on getaway day, but everyone seemed to be having fun. So Effectively Wild co-host and Grantland writer Ben Lindbergh and FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron continued on with their valedictory Q&A. One of the final questions came from an attendee named Phil DiPirro, who asked a natural going-away question. What did the two writers think would be the big topics when everybody reconvenes in Boston for the 2015 edition of the seminar on “Sabermetrics, Scouting, and the Science of Baseball?”

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August 14, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Where Have All The Suspensions Gone?

16

Zachary Levine

Has MLB given up on stopping intentional beanballs?

One of my least favorite hot takes in all of sports comes when people say that the National Hockey League should ban fighting. Not because I find the sport’s method of supposed self-regulation to be at all attractive but simply because fighting in hockey is banned. Know how I know it’s banned? Because not only is it a penalty to fight, it’s a major penalty. The NHL banned shooting the puck over the glass from your own zone a few years back, and you only get two minutes for that; thus certainly fighting is banned if it's five.

So technically you are not allowed to throw at hitters in Major League Baseball. If you hit someone, he goes to first, which, if it’s leading off the inning, costs about a third of a run. And if you miss, the 1–0 count isn’t good either. And these days you’ll probably try again. Sometimes you’ll even get ejected like Randall Delgado did when he punctuated Andrew McCutchen last week.

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