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05-26

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Tools of Ignorance: The Team-Mandated Player Opt-Out
by
Jeff Quinton

05-26

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Prospectus Feature: On David Ortiz and Perhaps the Best Final Season Ever
by
Aaron Gleeman

05-25

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2

Transaction Analysis: Return of The Freak
by
Matthew Trueblood, Kate Morrison, Bryan Grosnick, Adam McInturff, Steve Givarz and Christopher Crawford

05-23

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5

Prospectus Q&A: Rich Hill, Ace Pitcher
by
Tim Britton

05-21

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BP Boston
by
Matthew Kory

05-16

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What You Need to Know: Papi Endings
by
Ashley Varela

05-14

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BP Boston
by
Ben Carsley

05-13

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What You Need to Know: 77 Strikeouts, 4 Walks
by
Emma Baccellieri

05-13

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The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, May 13
by
Matthew Kory

05-12

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5

Prospectus Feature: RISPy Business
by
Rob Mains

05-10

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6

Raising Aces: David Price Is Disconnected
by
Doug Thorburn

05-09

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6

What You Need to Know: The One With All the Home Runs
by
Ashley Varela

04-27

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5

What You Need to Know: David Price is a True Red Sox
by
Emma Baccellieri

04-27

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7

Baseball Therapy: Can Teams Come Back From a Comeback?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-26

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Outta Left Field: Craig Kimbrel Is Increasing His Lead
by
Dustin Palmateer

04-20

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BP Boston
by
Dustin Palmateer

04-19

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2

What You Need to Know: Let's Roll It Up
by
Daniel Rathman

04-18

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3

What You Need to Know: Psst: Jake Arrieta Has A 0.91 ERA Over His Past 169 Innings
by
Ashley Varela

04-13

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What You Need to Know: When You Had a Taste of Paradise, Back on Earth Can Feel As Cold As Ice
by
Emma Baccellieri

04-12

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What You Need to Know: The Year Of The Botched Infield Fly
by
Daniel Rathman

04-08

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5

The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, April 8
by
Matthew Kory

04-04

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3

Prospectus Feature: Something Like A Hit List!
by
Matt Sussman

04-01

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Rumor Roundup: Panda Endangered
by
Nicolas Stellini

03-23

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Rubbing Mud: Injuries to Boston's Lefties Might Turn Out All Right
by
Matthew Trueblood

03-22

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Rumor Roundup: Dodgers Consider Their Options, e.g. Zach Lee
by
Daniel Rathman

03-02

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Rumor Roundup: Arroyo's Hopes Alive, If Nats Can't Find A Better Man
by
Daniel Rathman

02-22

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8

Winter Is Leaving
by
Ben Carsley

02-11

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Rubbing Mud: Three Evolving Hitters
by
Matthew Trueblood

02-08

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8

Rubbing Mud: A Few Facts About the Designated Hitter
by
Matthew Trueblood

02-08

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6

Life at the Margins: You've Got Males
by
Rian Watt

01-12

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BP Boston
by
Bryan Grosnick

12-17

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6

Pitching Backward: The Rise of the LiRPA
by
Jeff Long

12-16

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17

Baseball Therapy: Have We Been Underpricing Relievers?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-07

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4

Tools of the Trade
by
Jeff Long

12-07

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4

Rumor Roundup: You Can Never Have Enough Pitching Rumors
by
Daniel Rathman

12-02

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18

Transaction Analysis: Oh, Hello David
by
Ben Carsley and J.J. Jansons

11-24

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7

Baseball Therapy: The Kimbrel Gambit
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-20

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4

Players Prefer Presentation: Why We Give David Ortiz A Retirement Tour
by
Meg Rowley

11-18

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Prospectus Feature: Commence Retirement Tour
by
Alex Skillin

11-05

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BP Boston
by
Bryan Grosnick

10-19

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BP Boston
by
Ryan Morrison

10-06

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9

Baseball Therapy: My Bad Baseball Predictions
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-06

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10

Tools of Ignorance: Non-Strategies, Ben Cherington's Job, and the Cole Hamels Trade Market
by
Jeff Quinton

09-22

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BP Boston
by
Ryan Morrison

09-14

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BP Boston
by
Ryan Morrison

09-01

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BP Boston
by
Bryan Grosnick

07-21

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BP Boston
by
Ryan Morrison

06-18

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4

BP Boston
by
Alex Skillin

06-15

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BP Boston
by
Matthew Kory

06-03

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BP Boston
by
Ben Carsley

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Within an unusual and thought-provoking trend, there is an extremely unusual and extremely thought-provoking subtrend.

We, as an internet, have thoroughly discussed the player opt-out, but oversaturation and (a lack of) timeliness have never stopped us before here at Tools of Ignorance and they will not stop us now. In December, at the beginning of the height of player opt-out-mania, I wrote about why this contract structure might have increased in popularity. I hypothesized, among other things, that players might be valuing the opt-out and flexibility it brings more than teams valued it, or that players were just flat out overvaluing the opt-out, or both. It felt right; it felt like it made sense.

Then word came out that David Price did not want a player option, but rather that Dave Dombrowski insisted on including one. The future, it turns out, can be a real know-it-all.

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Somewhere, a recreational Sunday softball league is about to get really, really good.

Seemingly every year or two for the past decade when David Ortiz has gone through a rough stretch—a bad April, a slow start coming back from the disabled list, or even just a hitless key series—it has become a story in Boston, with attention-grabbing headlines asking if he’s washed up. The answer has always been a resounding no. In fact, few players in baseball history have as thoroughly and convincingly avoided being washed up for as long as Ortiz.

At age 26 he was released by the Twins—as a Minnesotan, the state ban prevents me from discussing this matter any further—and from the moment Ortiz started putting up big numbers in Boston many people have been waiting for him to come crashing back down to earth. He never has, topping an .850 OPS in 13 of the past 14 seasons, with a low-water mark of .794 in 2009 that really pressed the “he’s washed up!” alarm.

Just last season Ortiz was hitting .219 in early June when a local television reporter asked him about being washed up, which led to this memorable rant a few days later:

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Tim Lincecum finds a home for his comeback, Blake Swihart rejoins the Red Sox as an outfielder, and the Braves buy a draft pick.

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On the most interesting success story in baseball.

Rich Hill's latest major-league opportunity relied upon a batting practice flyball striking Steven Wright in the head along the warning track at Marlins Park last August. Two days later, the Red Sox signed Hill off the roster of the Atlantic League's Long Island Ducks, and a day after that, he made his first (non-rehab) start in affiliated ball in six years.

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May 21, 2016 6:07 am

BP Boston

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Matthew Kory

For the second time in the past 12 months, Jackie Bradley Jr. has been on an incredible run of offense, but it's been interspersed with long periods of futility in the majors. Is this finally it?

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Jake Arrieta surprises no one with his seventh win, David Ortiz gets a flour shower, and Danny Duffy puts on a one-man show.

The Weekend Takeaway
If you’ve been holding your breath for Jake Arrieta to miss a step this season, well, I have bad news for you.


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May 14, 2016 6:00 am

BP Boston

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Ben Carsley

There really isn't something better for Boston.

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Clayton Kershaw is really doing something, David Price finds his feel again, and Chase Headley finally finds second base.

The Thursday Takeaway
Bartolo Colon took the mound Thursday for the first time since the beauty of his historic first home run last week. But any lingering bliss was quick to evaporate, as the Dodgers piled on for a four-run first inning anchored by a Yasmani Grandal home run. It was quickly made clear that Thursday’s spotlight would belong to the game’s other starting pitcher: one Clayton Kershaw.


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A Hit List for Rich Hill day, or, if you prefer, Real Chill day.

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On trying to find space between clutch performance and coin flips.

If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel, you might have satellite radio. If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel and you’re a baseball fan, you might have SiriusXM so you can listen to home radio broadcasts of games. (This is not a commercial. This is just a statement of facts.) If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel and you’re a baseball fan, though, you can’t listen to games all day, for the simple reason that baseball is not played around the clock. So when there isn’t a game on, you might listen to MLB Network Radio, a SiriusXM station.

I sometimes spend a lot of time behind the wheel, and when there isn’t a game on, I often listen to MLB Network Radio. I like some of the shows better than others. Some have strong elements of sportstalk radio, and like all sportstalk radio, you sometimes hear things that are, well, interesting.

A while ago one of the hosts—not a caller—was talking about Rougned Odor. Odor has had a pretty good start to his season. He’s also been better with runners in scoring position (.360/.407/.600 through Monday) than not (.283/.309/.528). The host said that some batters are consistently better with runners in scoring position (henceforth RISP) than they are otherwise.

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Memo to Price: Slide away, and give it all you've got. That and other standout arms from week five, including Felix Hernandez and Kevin Gausman.

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There were home runs of every flavor this weekend, and none more savory than Bartolo Colon's first tater

The Weekend Takeaway
We laud pitchers for passing certain milestones: completing their first career shutout, notching 200 strikeouts in a season, and if they’re lucky even crafting a no-hitter. The one they never forget, however, is their first home run.


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