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A look at the ten most likely places for a new MLB club

It seems that nearly every week, articles surrounding the potential relocation of the A’s and Rays surface. A panel looking into a potential San Jose relocation for the A’s has been gridlocked since 2009 (and remember, the A’s have been looking to move to San Jose for a heck of a lot longer than that). The Rays haven’t been far behind in their efforts to get out of Tropicana Field. Whether it’s the commute for fans to get to the domed stadium, the aesthetics, or the need to be closer to an urban core, it seems that Tampa Bay has been seeking a new ballpark for just as long. Relocation for these two clubs is crucial.

Another thing that comes up less frequently but has extra meaning going into 2013 is expansion. With the Astros moving into the AL West, the American League and National League will now be balanced at 15 clubs a piece. The problem is that 15 is an odd number, and as a result, interleague will become a daily affair. It’s unlikely that’s something that the league wanted, so getting to 32 clubs would take care of that matter. That would mean revenues spread thinner with two extra mouths to feed. Additionally, it’s no given that one or both wouldn’t be revenue-sharing takers, and trying to get ballparks built is no easy feat in this economy. So, 30 is a number that seems to suit the “Big Four” sports leagues in North America. The NBA has it. Ditto for the NHL. Currently, only the NFL—which has the advantage of being highly centralized (revenues are shared more evenly across the franchises) and exceptionally popular—is the exception at 32 clubs.

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How many of the last millenium's burning baseball questions remain unanswered over a decade down the road?

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.

Over 11 years after their publication in Baseball Prospectus 2000, how many of Keith's questions for a new millenium have we already set to rest?


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April 23, 2008 12:00 am

Under The Knife: Aces Down

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Will Carroll

With names like Beckett, Sheets, and Bedard on the list of pitchers with problems, teams are working around their top starter's absences.

Josh Beckett (0 DXL)
The Red Sox pulled Beckett from his start last night, citing a stiff neck as the cause. They were ready, having David Pauley up from Pawtucket, but holding off on the official roster move until they knew they needed to make it, which shows that this didn't just happen immediately before the start. The Sox didn't really say much about the flu going around the clubhouse, but the Boston Globe noted that Beckett was dealing with some flu-like symptoms, and that they likely factored into the decision. Right now, the Sox are in wait-and-see mode with Beckett, unclear over whether they will skip his start or if they'll slot him in later this week. I'd bet on the latter, which will also, in essence, buy them one of those extra days of rest for their young pitchers and for Daisuke Matsuzaka. Expect some roster juggling, because Pauley didn't pitch well, and the Sox may not need to keep him up.


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April 3, 2006 12:00 am

Under The Knife: Play Ball

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Will Carroll

Will opens the season with a look at the first in-game injury of 2006, plus updates on Adam Eaton, Pat Burrell, the Yankee rotation, Mark Prior, and more.

The coverage early by ESPN2 was dominated by talk of the steroid investigation. The Mitchell Commission is more than simply a PR move: it's a backdoor attempt at bringing the non-analytic positive into baseball. MLB has had two chances to negotiate this type of policy into the drug testing procedures and either ignored it or failed. A non-analytic positive is something that most baseball fans won't know, so allow me to use Gary Wadler, the noted WADA member, to explain:

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May 11, 2005 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Mark Johnson

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Thomas Gorman

Johnson served as Senior Analyst of Baseball Development for the 2004 NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Now back in Silicon Valley, Johnson sat down with BP during a recent San Jose Giants game to discuss his background, his experience with the Cardinals, and where he sees the the most valuable applications of sabermetrics, both now and in the future.

Baseball Prospectus: Could you begin by telling our readers a little bit about your academic background? In the baseball industry it is a bit atypical.

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Fresh off his stint as a Questec operator, BP Intern Jason Karegeannes takes you behind the scenes to see how the system works, and what changes can be made to improve it and help umpires do their jobs.

Since its first inroads into major league ballparks a few years ago, Questec has exploded onto the baseball scene, exploded at the hands of Curt Schilling, and has since evaporated a bit from our consciousness. Still, Questec continues to grow its reach, with systems now functional in 23 of the 30 MLB parks. The company's promising technology and increasing reach into the game show Questec's potential. Technical glitches in the system and cash flow problems could stand in the way.

From April to July of this year, Questec played a big part of my life (I'm moving to Texas next week to start grad school). Rotating Miller Park home games with a working partner, I'd arrive about an hour before game time to complete pre-game procedures. Pre-game procedures include saving the previous game and clearing the system of the last game's data, all of which takes 10-15 minutes. Unless of course something goes wrong, which is the main reason for early arrival. As an operator, you need to be prepared to deal with bumped tracking devices, expired software licenses, lack of an audio feed, video feed or both, and a raft of other little problems.

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February 24, 2004 12:00 am

Prospectus Roundtable: Top 50 Prospects, Part IV

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Baseball Prospectus

Let's compare J.J. Hardy and Bobby Crosby: Player Age EqBA/EqOBP/EqSLG Hardy 20 .240/.316/.380 Crosby 23 .273/.356/.490 Adjusted for park and league context, Crosby's numbers were much, much better. How to balance that against the age differential? I think the question becomes: How likely is it that Hardy will post a line of .273/.356/.490 or equivalent by the time that he's 23? It's possible, certainly, and it's also possible that he'll post a line even better than that. But I don't think that it's *probable*. That's a lot of improvement to make. PECOTA would put the possibility at somewhere around 25%, I'd think, and I think that's enough to render Crosby the stronger prospect.

Baseball Prospectus Top 40 Prospects Roundtables:
2003 Part II
2003 Part I
2001


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February 10, 2004 12:00 am

Baseball's Hilbert Problems

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Keith Woolner

"Who of us would not be glad to lift the veil behind which the future lies hidden, to cast a glance at the next advances of our science and at the secrets of its development during future years? What particular goals will there be toward which the leading sabermetric spirits of coming generations will strive? What new methods and new facts in the wide and rich field of sabermetric thought will the new years disclose?" Here at Baseball Prospectus, we're not completely immune to the general fascination with the recent turn of the world's odometer. So, with this edition marking the final year of the second millennium, let's take a look forward at what the third holds for us seamheads. Our inspiration comes from a similar effort nearly 100 years ago. In 1900, a mathematician named David Hilbert addressed the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris and delivered what was to become history's most influential speech about mathematics. Hilbert outlined 23 major problems to be studied in the coming century. In doing so he expressed optimism about the field, sharing his feeling that unsolved problems were a sign of vitality, encouraging more people to do more research. The above quote is, in fact, a bastardization of the opening statements of Hilbert's speech. Hilbert referred to mathematics instead of sabermetrics and spoke in terms of "centuries" instead of "years." Given the relative youth of sabermetrics and baseball analysis compared to math, it's appropriate to use a period of smaller scope than Hilbert. The quotes that appear periodically throughout this essay are similarly taken from Hilbert's speech and altered to refer to baseball analysis.

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March 28, 2003 12:00 am

Team Health Reports: A Second Look

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Will Carroll

Each and every THR came with its own set of pitfalls. Players were analyzed based on several factors, such as injury history, comparable players, style of play, biomechanics, and inside information from my sources. With no good statistics and no usable injury database, early readers screamed and yelled for "proof!" My response: There is no proof to injuries--sports medicine is like baseball before Bill James, and injury analysis is as much art as it is science. What the THRs did do was spark some discussion, get people thinking about the effects of injury on their favorite teams and players, and bring sports medicine into the conversation more when performance analysis comes up for discussion. Sometimes, the evidence took care of itself, as in the case of Phil Nevin. That one call probably got more notice than any other, but it shows that there's a method to the madness--add up injury history, a positional change, a player with an odd career pattern, and the advice of the UTK Medical Advisory Board and it's not voodoo or Satanism, as one Pizza Feeder accused me of, Cotton Mather-style. I've said that if I do my job well, everyone will be able to make the same types of judgments with varying degrees of success. With statistics, some of us stick with OPS since there's no long division; in injury analysis, if you only want the results, I'll be here.

Good opening line from one of my favorite movies and one I should have thought of as I tried to introduce myself to BP readers with a series of 30 pieces analyzing each team's health. Who thought it would extend to some 60,000 words? Who thought I would be forced to agonize and second-guess myself with each decision on a "light?" Who knew that color-blind people would have such a problem with the stop light system?

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Despite what you may have heard or read over the past several years, the information age has yet to actually arrive in business. Not a single company in the Wilshire 2000 has done anything near optimize how their organizations acquire, process, generate, and use information. Hundreds of billions of dollars have gone into investments in information technology in enterprises of every shape and size throughout the world, but overall productivity gains have been marginal.

Despite what you may have heard or read over the past several years, the information age has yet to actually arrive in business. Not a single company in the Wilshire 2000 has done anything near optimize how their organizations acquire, process, generate, and use information. Hundreds of billions of dollars have gone into investments in information technology in enterprises of every shape and size throughout the world, but overall productivity gains have been marginal.

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