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The evolution of chess can tell us a lot about the evolution of baseball.

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March 30, 2012 3:00 am

Pebble Hunting: Moneyball: The Prequel


Sam Miller

Decades before Billy Beane and Ricardo Rincon, there was Steve Boros and "computer baseball."

I spend a lot of time going through archives, and any time spent in archives inevitably leads to more time in archives, because an awful lot of things found in archives seem ironic or significant in retrospect. Like this:

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December 9, 2003 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: The Rules Have Changed


Joe Sheehan

Two years ago, I wrote a column that lambasted a couple of teams which had neglected to offer arbitration to their free agents: The decision to offer arbitration to a player eligible for free agency is one of the few bright-line tests of a baseball team's front-office acumen. The elements of the decision are fairly simple, yet nearly every year a handful of teams do things that border on the bizarre, that reflect a lack of preparation for the problem or a misunderstanding of the issues involved. My first reaction to the news that Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Sheffield, Greg Maddux and others hadn't been offered arbitration was pretty much in line with the above. It seemed silly to decline even the option to continue to negotiate, and to forfeit the valuable draft picks that you get if the player signs elsewhere, as most free agents of this quality do when faced with current teams who show little interest in having them return. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that the thought process from two years ago no longer applies.

As most of you know, I didn't write for Baseball Prospectus 2003. Having taken a year off, I apparently completely forgot what it was like to put together book chapters, and getting back on that horse has swallowed all my time since the postseason ended. Hopefully, you'll all enjoy the finished product, because a lot of work has gone into putting together our first book with a new publisher.

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