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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

09-12

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2

Skewed Left: Three Narratives About the NL Central's Crowded Playoff Picture
by
Zachary Levine

09-05

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3

Skewed Left: The Literal Rise of the Shortstops
by
Zachary Levine

08-29

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5

Skewed Left: Overlooked Atlanta?
by
Zachary Levine

08-22

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11

Skewed Left: Miking Up Umpires
by
Zachary Levine

08-15

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10

Skewed Left: The Nationals' New Future
by
Zachary Levine

08-08

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5

Skewed Left: Fisking a Preseason Pirates Article
by
Zachary Levine

08-01

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7

Skewed Left: The Last Time the Phillies Considered Selling
by
Zachary Levine

07-25

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Skewed Left: The Dodger Batter Who's Been Better Than Puig
by
Zachary Levine

07-18

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4

Skewed Left: Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, and the Pirates Approach to Building a Bullen
by
Zachary Levine

07-11

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14

Skewed Left: Planning the Best Baseball Road Trip
by
Zachary Levine

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May 22, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Dallas Keuchel Defies his Destiny

1

Zachary Levine

The Astros southpaw's transition from a walk machine with no strikeouts into a strike machine with no walks.

As much as it might look like we have, we’ve never seen anything like this in the short career of the Astros’ best pitcher to date, Dallas Keuchel.

His career began in June 2012 with terrific results—one run allowed in five innings in the Ballpark at Arlington, a complete game six days later with one run allowed. At the All-Star break he had a 2.45 ERA on his way into a start against Arizona. Something wasn’t right, though.

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May 13, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: How Much Losing Jose Fernandez Hurts

21

Zachary Levine

Where does the likely loss of Jose Fernandez rank on the baseball internet's list of potential tragedies?

Yesterday was a sad day down at headquarters.

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Searching for exceptions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Baseball’s two publically accessible governing constitutions send us scrambling to their pages for very different reasons, and usually with very different results.

If you find yourself heading for the rule book, you’re probably doing so in a state of confusion and probably some anger. When you dive into the much weightier collective bargaining agreement, well, first of all, you’re probably also confused. Let’s face it; readers of this site probably don’t have to look up much of what happens in the flow of the game (in the case of the rule book) or the baseball calendar and off-field choreography (in the case of the CBA). But you might be intrigued by what’s in there anyway.

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Ten players you might not realize are still active in organized baseball.

The Atlantic League is back, and with it, the comers-back, the hangers-on, and the other bizarre stories that make the premier independent league so much fun have returned.

Last year, I went through the rosters and found my 15 favorite names and stories—mostly recognizable names to major-league fans. They were spread out across the Northeast and one Texas outpost, either trying to restart something or keep the passion for the game alive years after the Show got away from them.

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Remembering when Arizona's rotation looked like the next best thing.

The best rotation in baseball so far this season was an accident. Years of scouting and strong drafting left the Braves with an almost unparalleled trove of young talent as the decade turned to the 2010s, along with a plan to surge through their cost-controlled near-peak years. Aaron Harang (0.85 ERA) wasn't part of the plan four years ago. Ervin Santana (slacking a little bit with a 0.86 ERA) wasn't part of the plan two months ago.

But the best rotation in baseball was the story of a little luck and a fast response to a sudden crumble.

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And why the Astros would have been silly to promote George Springer sooner.

If you stretch, maybe you could come up with a good baseball reason for the Astros not to have called up outfield prospect George Springer until earlier this week. And yes, GM Jeff Luhnow probably did need to stick with baseball reasons in his public explanations of the delayed promotion: Springer needed some more at-bats to work on cutting down his strikeouts, or the team wanted to see whether Robbie Grossman could start this season as strong as he finished the last one, etc.

You understand why Luhnow can’t say the real reason, but at some point, you wish that we could let a smart guy be a smart guy and tell you that by waiting two weeks, he was able to exchange a minimal amount of Springer in a bad season for a full year of Springer in what could be a good season. That would be the 2020 season, which is now part of the Astros’ control period on Springer as he won’t have a full six served after 2019. (Read more of the details in this Evan Drellich piece at the Houston Chronicle.)

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April 10, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: The Surprising Sameness of Justin Upton

7

Zachary Levine

Remember what we were thinking about Justin Upton a year ago?

“Ideally you’re judging a trade by what you know at the time, and if you want to be really strict about that, you stop judging the trade after it happens.” – Ben Lindbergh, Effectively Wild Episode 191

“I think probably it’s best that nobody who talks or writes about baseball for a living ever pats themselves on the back.” – Sam Miller, same episode

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April 3, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: The Revolving Door Rankings

11

Zachary Levine

Which teams have gone the longest without a consistent starter at a particular position?

When Derek Jeter took the field for the season opener at Minute Maid Park, it was the first time since 1996 that he’d done so coming off a year in which he was not the Yankees’ primary shortstop. In 17 consecutive seasons before Eduardo Nunez took the title from him in 2013, Jeter had played the most games at the cornerstone position on the infield.

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March 27, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: PECOTA vs. Vegas

11

Zachary Levine

Don't bet on baseball. But if you must...

One year later, I couldn’t bring myself to take PECOTA back to Las Vegas with me. It wasn’t that we did badly last year. We did OK. We nailed a couple of the big unders, betting on the White Sox and Phillies not reaching their above-.500 Over/Under figures in what would turn out to be terrible seasons. We lost on some others, as PECOTA was too high on the beat-up Yankees, too low on the Orioles (like the rest of us) and missed the Braves party completely. We also collected on the Dodgers winning the NL West, which they did easily after a slow start.

So we’re still solvent; it’s just that I can’t take PECOTA back to Las Vegas with me. I can’t really explain why, but it was something in between the Riviera and the Rhino, and while the details are sort of fuzzy, when we got the request to revive PECOTA’s best gambling bets, I thought it was best to do it from the comforts of home through the magic of offshore wagering.

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March 20, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: Where Are All the Australian Position Players?

7

Zachary Levine

Australia has produced plenty of baseball talent. But why has most of it been on the mound?

As the Dodgers and Diamondbacks embark on their mission to go Fightin’ Around the World and bring baseball to a new frontier in Australia, the challenge they face isn’t as enormous as the setting of their showdown—a cricket ground—would lead you to believe.

No, baseball doesn’t rank highly in the hierarchy of sports on the smallest continent. Cricket laps it in popularity among bat sports. There’s also soccer, which they have generally called “soccer,” and their own kind of football.

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What do expanded replay's early returns tell us about how well the expanded replay system will work this season?

I give it one year until there’s a fundamental change to Major League Baseball’s new replay system.

I’d give it even less time if we weren’t less than three weeks from baseball season. While MLB certainly isn’t opposed to going seat-of-the-pants on this, the league probably won’t want to make another major change so soon.

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March 6, 2014 6:00 am

Skewed Left: The Art of Explaining Baseball

42

Zachary Levine

How quickly can you describe baseball to someone who's never seen the sport?

When you attend a graduate school program that’s 45 percent international, there are some things you expect to come with the territory. You may be asked to edit some classmates’ papers for things that seem pretty simple to us, like subject-verb agreement. You may have to relent and call that all-kicking sport “football” for a couple of years just to avoid an argument. But there will be payoffs. You expect to be introduced to all different cultures, and more importantly all different kinds of food, and that’s more than met my expectations so far.

But one thing I didn’t expect, even in a program that’s so diverse, was to show up at class one day and have this projected onto the pull-down screen.

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