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WIth a city grieving, baseball came through.

The role of sports during times of tragedy has been debated in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. How can one cheer, yell, and feel joy in a time so filled with sadness? I suppose the answer is up for each of us to decide on our own, but it seems that, in times such as these, when heartbreak and fear have touched us so deeply and it’s all we can do to not break down and cry, sports has the power to help unite us in common purpose. It can alleviate, however slightly, our sadness, and through that, can help us feel a little less sad and a little less alone. Maybe that’s putting too much on it, but that’s the way I feel.

On Saturday the Red Sox returned home for the first time since the bombings at the Boston Marathon. On a sunny Saturday afternoon in an exhausted and shaken city a baseball game was played. And it was perfect.

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December 5, 2012 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: Boston Declares Victorino


R.J. Anderson

The Red Sox paid for an outfielder coming off a down year. Is it an extravagant risk?

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Which players will be staying at home this year who should be playing in Kansas City?

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There are surprises that are awful, like Carl Crawford's collapse. Then there are the other kind.

As sabermetricians, we are imbued with the idea of sample size. The larger the amount of data we have, the more certain of our conclusions we can be. But sometimes it’s the strange things that happen over a third of a season, the very things you’d be nuts to predict, that make the season exciting.

Take, for example, Daniel Nava. He plays left field for Boston. That’s weird, you say, because the Red Sox have a left fielder. True. His name is Carl Crawford. He played nine years for the Rays/Devil Rays, displaying defensive brilliance, above-average power, and speed that could alter the molecular structure of water. Between 2004 and 2010, his last season in Tampa, Crawford hit .301/.344/.461 with gold glove defense (as opposed to Gold Glove defense which is often worthless). After that, the Red Sox snapped him up for seven years, $142 million. He was the heir apparent to Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, and Manny Ramirez.

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April 4, 2012 3:00 am

Sobsequy: Flipping Quad-A Players


Adam Sobsey

The unexpected success of a Triple-A retread can be more rewarding than the continued excellence of a major-league veteran.

I just remembered why I prefaced my last BP piece, a look at the best of this season’s Triple-A retreads, by talking about Dan Johnson. It wasn’t just because he’s Dan Johnson—even though that is almost reason enough—but more specifically because of something I learned about him from this offseason article about him in the Star Tribune (Minn.) by Joe Christensen:

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