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08-19

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3

You Could Look It Up: Not a One-Shot Wonder
by
Steven Goldman

08-03

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4

You Could Look It Up: The Showalter Gambit
by
Steven Goldman

07-30

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34

You Could Look It Up: The Futility of Selling
by
Steven Goldman

07-14

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13

You Could Look It Up: Steinbrenner: Baseball Operator
by
Steven Goldman

07-09

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2

You Could Look It Up: The Point of Deadline Deals
by
Steven Goldman

06-28

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32

You Could Look It Up: The Dusty Discontents (or You Must be a Cubs Fan)
by
Steven Goldman

06-25

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18

You Could Look It Up: Dusty Baker and the Johnny Oates Affair
by
Steven Goldman

06-18

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15

You Could Look It Up: What's Wrong with the Red Sox?
by
Steven Goldman

06-08

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13

You Could Look It Up: Is Losing This Pick Really Necessary?
by
Steven Goldman

05-31

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9

You Could Look It Up: Memorial Day Meditations
by
Steven Goldman

03-23

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13

You Could Look It Up: Get Back in Line, Part 4
by
Steven Goldman

03-11

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10

You Could Look It Up: Get Back in Line, Part 3
by
Steven Goldman

02-21

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17

You Could Look It Up: Get Back in Line, Part 2
by
Steven Goldman

02-18

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21

You Could Look It Up: Get Back in Line, Part 1
by
Steven Goldman

02-11

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14

You Could Look It Up: Three Joes and Some Other Guys Named Overbay
by
Steven Goldman

01-26

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10

You Could Look It Up: The Statheads vs. Blondy Ryan
by
Steven Goldman

01-18

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52

You Could Look It Up: Enhanced?
by
Steven Goldman

01-08

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15

You Could Look It Up: First-Base Horrors
by
Steven Goldman

11-10

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14

You Could Look It Up: You Can't Spell 'Genius' with IBB
by
Steven Goldman

11-04

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9

You Could Look It Up: Throwing The Series Away
by
Steven Goldman

11-01

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8

You Could Look It Up: He Should Have Picked Lee
by
Steven Goldman

10-01

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12

You Could Look It Up: Walkless in Wrigleyville
by
Steven Goldman

09-29

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35

You Could Look It Up: Fifth-Corner Recycling
by
Steven Goldman

09-18

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5

You Could Look It Up: Mauer's Tower of Accomplishment
by
Steven Goldman

09-11

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7

You Could Look It Up: A Triple Play of Pondering
by
Steven Goldman

09-04

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5

You Could Look It Up: No Juice at Bailout Field
by
Steven Goldman

08-26

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13

You Could Look It Up: Don't Fence Me In
by
Steven Goldman

08-18

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7

You Could Look It Up: You're Demoted
by
Steven Goldman

08-11

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7

You Could Look It Up: On Droughts and Drafts
by
Steven Goldman

08-04

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1

You Could Look It Up: A Whiter Shade of Pale Hose
by
Steven Goldman

07-28

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49

You Could Look It Up: Exhuming McCarthy, Burying Omar
by
Steven Goldman

07-21

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10

You Could Look It Up: A Nationals Disgrace?
by
Steven Goldman

07-14

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14

You Could Look It Up: Royal Pains
by
Steven Goldman

07-10

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12

You Could Look It Up: All-Star Obscurities
by
Steven Goldman

07-03

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13

You Could Look It Up: The Difference a Manny Makes
by
Steven Goldman

06-30

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5

You Could Look It Up: Lest We Forget
by
Steven Goldman

06-24

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5

You Could Look It Up: Bruised but Unbowed?
by
Steven Goldman

06-19

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12

You Could Look It Up: Inglorious Bastards
by
Steven Goldman

06-09

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9

You Could Look It Up: The Naked Draft
by
Steven Goldman

06-04

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10

You Could Look It Up: The No-Decision Kings
by
Steven Goldman

06-02

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12

You Could Look It Up: The Matt Wieters of 1947
by
Steven Goldman

05-26

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15

You Could Look It Up: Bad Offense Recital
by
Steven Goldman

05-22

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5

You Could Look It Up: Ryan Zimmerman
by
Steven Goldman

05-21

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5

You Could Look It Up: The Relaunched
by
Steven Goldman

05-14

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16

You Could Look It Up: Roster Crunches
by
Steven Goldman

05-12

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14

You Could Look It Up: The Importance of Being Paul Waner
by
Steven Goldman

05-05

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10

You Could Look It Up: Kevin Youkilis
by
Steven Goldman

04-30

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10

You Could Look It Up: The Squat Tax?
by
Steven Goldman

04-28

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22

You Could Look It Up: Why Babe Phelps and I Weren't in St. Louis Last Week
by
Steven Goldman

04-22

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5

You Could Look It Up: Reality Therapy
by
Steven Goldman

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February 21, 2010 12:32 pm

You Could Look It Up: Get Back in Line, Part 2

17

Steven Goldman

A continuing look, counting backwards, at the last time major-league franchises won World Series.

Continuing our backwards countdown of the franchise's that have gone the longest between rings.

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February 18, 2010 12:03 pm

You Could Look It Up: Get Back in Line, Part 1

21

Steven Goldman

A counting-backwards look at various franchises' last World Series titles.

With the New Orleans Saints having won the Super Bowl after a 43-year wait, this time out here in You Could Look It Up Land, I thought it might be fun to take an irreverent peek at those teams that have waited the longest to win the World Series. With some, it has been so long that you're looking at vast swaths of history and culture falling between rings. For each team, we have a little capsule like this:

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The Washington Senators' history of first basemen makes one wonder if Lyle Overbay might have been an original Nat in a previous incarnation.

Lyle Overbay has never had an at-bat in the postseason. Some would say that this is not a coincidence, that a team operating with a de-powered first baseman is working under a handicap compared to those teams that carry hulking sluggers at the gateway. Yet, you can win a championship with Overbay. The Washington Senators did it three times.

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January 26, 2010 12:12 pm

You Could Look It Up: The Statheads vs. Blondy Ryan

10

Steven Goldman

Lighting up reaction reliant on straw men with a handy historical example.

Last week, the normally excellent LoHud Yankees Blog had an entry by a guest columnist named Yair Rosenberg. Rosenberg's topic is a sadly typical one, "the tendency of statistical measures to unintentionally obscure the human side of baseball." He proceeds to set up a straw man that he can knock down:

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January 18, 2010 12:59 pm

You Could Look It Up: Enhanced?

52

Steven Goldman

One man's medicine is another man's enhancement.

In the aftermath of Mark McGwire’s confession, one of the more dubious reactions came, as you might expect, from the MLB Network’s own Harold Reynolds. Reynolds said (I paraphrase) that even if you accepted McGwire’s explanation that he received no performance benefit from his usage of so-called performance-enhancing drugs, but rather was doing so to thwart his own physical frailty, then McGwire still did something wrong, because the marathon baseball season requires stamina. If you resort to taking a drug to stay on the field, you’ve cheated your way to overcoming a basic requirement of the sport.

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Which pennant-winner did so handicapped by the worst regular at first base?

I had a brief moment of confusion when the Braves said they'd be signing Eric Hinske earlier this week. "Is he going to be the regular first baseman? Man, they've really gone cheap," I thought, having momentarily forgotten the existence of Troy Glaus after his finally signing earlier this week. I don't feel embarrassed about this at all, because it's easy to forget Glaus, given that he played only 14 games last year. With Glaus' health history-he also spent extensive time on the shelf in 2003, 2004, and 2007-and Chipper Jones' reliable fragility, it is not at all unreasonable to ask how often Hinske might play, and if a team that intends to compete for a division title can live with having him as a regular bat.

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November 10, 2009 11:40 am

You Could Look It Up: You Can't Spell 'Genius' with IBB

14

Steven Goldman

Reflecting on a new book-length treatment of the life and times of Paul Richards.

I've always been eager to learn more about the longtime baseball manager and executive Paul Richards, a personage who, in the 1950s, helped bring the White Sox and Orioles out of long dark ages, and also served as general manager of the expansion-era Astros and the division-winning 1969 Braves. He was the man who invented the oversized catchers' mitt for receiving knuckleballs, consummated the (in)famous 1954 18-player trade with the Yankees, who first considered putting younger pitchers on pitch counts, revived the practice of keeping alternate relievers in the game by stashing one in the outfield, and put Goose Gossage and Terry Forster in the starting rotation during a late return to managing in 1976. When I saw that a new book about Richards was published last month, the only full-length work on Richards, I jumped.

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November 4, 2009 2:12 pm

You Could Look It Up: Throwing The Series Away

9

Steven Goldman

Throwing a World Series game for any reason may seem outlandish now, but that has not always been the case.

Among the many taunts offered by Phillies fans to visiting Yankees supporters during Monday's game was one that insinuated that the Steinbrenner family had ordered the Yankees to throw Game Five of the World Series so that they could reap the benefit of an extra day's gate receipts at Yankee Stadium. This is, of course, preposterous, but these kinds of rumors actually go back to the earliest days of the World Series.

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November 1, 2009 12:02 pm

You Could Look It Up: He Should Have Picked Lee

8

Steven Goldman

The managerial decision tree for picking Game Four starters has had a number of offshoots, but how often did they lead to victory?

The present World Series has been notable for the way that both managers, facing rotations that are just a bit shorter than either would like, have struggled with the question of whether to bring back their Game One starters on short rest for Game Four. The managers tested their staffs and came to opposite conclusions: Charlie Manuel, fearful of pushing Cliff Lee too hard despite his terrific start in Game One and seeing that Joe Blanton had pitched relatively well this (and disregarding a poor track record against the Yankees), chose to wait until Game Five for Lee's encore. Joe Girardi, despairing of losing a World Series game with the wild and rarely utilized Chad Gaudin, decided to pitch big CC Sabathia on short rest, a move that paid off in the last round of the playoffs.

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Or, why Stan Hack died for Shawon Dunston's sins.

Given the advent of the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks, and their run-generating home parks, it's easy to forget that Wrigley Field used to be the National League's premier batter-friendly park. It hasn't really changed as a hitter-friendly environment; though the old ballpark cannot compete with the high elevation of Colorado or the warm, dry air of Arizona, in most seasons it still gives batters more of a lift than the other sea-level, mild-climate ballparks.

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September 29, 2009 12:16 pm

You Could Look It Up: Fifth-Corner Recycling

35

Steven Goldman

Give us your poor, your huddled Quad-A sluggers, yearning to be big leaguers.

I want to share a very personal fantasy with you, something I think about only late at night when no one else is awake. My fantasy is that in this year's annual, under Rod Barajas it will say, "See Miguel Olivo," and under Miguel Olivo it will say, "See Rod Barajas."

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September 18, 2009 1:21 pm

You Could Look It Up: Mauer's Tower of Accomplishment

5

Steven Goldman

Which statistical pinnacle will the Twins' backstop erect next?

Over the last month or so, the focus on Joe Mauer seems to have drifted a bit off topic. Instead of appreciating the season he's having, which as we'll see in a moment is in some small sense historic, the focus has shifted to whether or not he's worthy of the AL Most Valuable Player Award, which is entirely beside the point, as the award won't alter the significance of his season in any way. Great works of art are great works, whether you pin a ribbon on them or not.

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