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Ben and Sam discuss their new jobs and the future of the podcast, then talk about how ace starters are defined.

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Bloomberg Sports wants you! (If you meet their qualifications.)

Bloomberg Sports is seeking applicants for the position below. For more information, click on the linked job titles or contact BSports Application Developer Craig Glaser via email or Twitter.

ANALYST, BASEBALL SYSTEMS

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Indians seek a Data Architect for Baseball Systems

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We don't like to hear baseball players complain about their lots in life, but can we blame them for not counting their blessings?

Back in December, Ken Rosenthal tucked this into a column about Bobby Abreu: “Abreu, who turns 38 on March 11, is not the type to demand a trade, but he would welcome one, according to sources with knowledge of his thinking.” The news in that sentence was that Abreu would welcome a trade, but the most telling part was that Abreu “is not the type to demand a trade.” To oversimplify things: we don’t like guys who demand trades, and we like guys who don’t. Rosenthal was protecting Abreu and stressing that Abreu is a good guy in a tough situation. Rosenthal knows Bobby Abreu well—I’m pretty sure; Rosenthal knows everybody well—and Rosenthal vouches for Abreu. Abreu is not the type to demand a trade. Remember that.

Two months later, of course, Abreu demanded a trade, or at least said it would be “the best thing... The right thing to do.” He also said he has “learned not to have much trust in these people,” which is just a staggeringly dumb thing to say about one’s boss. He suggested that the lack of clarity on his role has affected his preparation, sort of making an excuse for his sub-.100 batting average this spring. It’s gotten ugly, and Bobby Abreu looks like a jerk. But he’s not a jerk, is he? Ken Rosenthal vouched for him. So what’s going on?

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May 29, 2008 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: Instant Replay

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Joe Sheehan

It's a cut-and-dried issue--you're for it or against it--but the case for it is compelling.

I suppose that if I keep getting asked enough times on radio about instant replay, I should write about the topic. Let me make this simple: the only human element I want involved in the outcome of a baseball game has a minimum salary of $400,000. Players and their actions should be all that determines wins and losses, not the interpretation of what they've done by what amounts to middle management making a fraction of that number.

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April 19, 2007 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Caught Stealing to Lose the Game

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Dan Fox

Erick Aybar ended two Angels' losses by getting caught on the basepaths. Was there any method behind this madness?

"It was a good time to run and it happened to be a good pitch for the catcher to throw onIt's just part of the game. You want to get a guy in scoring position. Sometimes you're aggressive and it comes out against you. We're an aggressive team, and we like to play our game, within ourselves. It's not always going to work in your favor."
-- Howie Kendrick, after teammate Erick Aybar was thrown out stealing to end the April 10th game against Cleveland


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March 15, 2004 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: More Job Battles

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Joe Sheehan

The Cards' decision to make Albert Pujols the everyday first baseman opened a hole in left field, and no matter who stands out there on April 5, it's going to be hard to argue that it's been filled. None of the candidates for the platoon--and it will almost certainly be a platoon--has anything resembling a track record of success. Kerry Robinson and So Taguchi are fifth outfielders who bring defense and some speed and little else. Mark Quinn and Ray Lankford combined for 76 major-league at-bats in 2003. Emil Brown hasn't played in the majors since 2001, but he's 8-for-14 with two homers so far, so he's in the mix. I don't think there's an acceptable solution here.

Cardinals' second-base and left-field jobs

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November 18, 2003 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Kim Ng

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Jonah Keri

Kim Ng started her baseball career straight out of the University of Chicago as an intern for the Chicago White Sox. After rising to take over arbitration duties with the Sox, she took a job with the AL league office. Ng then spent four years with the New York Yankees as an assistant GM, where at age 29 she was the youngest in that position in baseball when hired. After completing her second year as vice president and assistant GM for the Los Angeles Dodgers, she's now one of only two women to hold such a position in baseball operations and the highest-ranking Asian-American executive in the majors. She was mentioned as a candidate for several GM jobs this off-season. Ng recently chatted with BP about learning the business, taking lessons from different mentors, and what it takes to succeed in baseball.

Baseball Prospectus: How did you first get your foot in the door with the White Sox?

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May 3, 2003 12:00 am

Behind the Mask Q&A

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Jason Grady

Jim Evans broke into Major League Baseball in 1972 as the youngest umpire ever at age 23. His career spanned 28 seasons, including 18 as a crew chief. He umpired four World Series, eight League Championship Series, three All-Star games, and was the plate umpire for Nolan Ryan's first no-hitter. Currently, Jim is the owner and chief instructor of the leading professional umpire-training academy, the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring, founded in 1989. He recently chatted with BP about his career in the bigs, the intricacies of the rule book, and a few dustups with ornery managers.

Baseball Prospectus: How did you get started as an umpire? What drew you to that career?

Jim Evans: As a youngster, I played in Little League, Pony League, and all sorts of amateur baseball programs growing up. I was a catcher and got to know the umpires pretty well. I was very curious and was always asking lots of questions. When I was 14, I played in a summer league. One night the chief umpire asked me if I would like to try umpiring. There was a Little League tournament coming up and he needed more umpires than he had. Since I was a catcher, he figured I had a pretty good idea of the strike zone. That first Saturday I ever umpired, I worked five games and loved every minute of it. The managers thought I had a good strike zone and the players liked the way I hustled. Looking back on those games, I probably hustled out of position as much as I hustled into position since I really never had any real training. I was working on instincts alone. My first experiences umpiring were very positive and the $3 a game were icing on the cake. I was still playing two nights a week. With encouragement from the chief umpire, I started umpiring the nights I wasn't playing. I reached the point where I actually enjoyed the umpiring more than playing.

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April 9, 2003 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: March 25-April 6, 2003

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Christina Kahrl

The Snakes bury John Patterson, the Red Sox sort through a batch of soft tossers, the Marlins vie for a 25-catcher roster, and the Devil Rays solve all their problems by grabbing Al Martin and Damion Easley.

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March 18, 2003 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: March 11-16, 2003

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Christina Kahrl

Mark Quinn, Bruce Chen and Rob Bell still dishing out torment, Benny Agbayani peddling his Hawaiian Punch to the wrong team, Dan O'Dowd shopping Helton for an impulse control device to be named later, and the Dodgers messing with the wrong Alvarez.

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October 9, 2000 12:00 am

The Managerial Shuffle

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Christina Kahrl

Now that Davey Johnson's pink slip has surfaced from a long lurk in the Dodgers' interoffice mail, there are five managers out of work. Within the next couple of weeks, we'll probably see Jimy Williams and Jim Fregosi join the list. While it makes for nifty trivia that no manager was fired in-season, the firings mean something slightly different for each of the teams. The usual crocodile tears are being shed for the public's benefit about how Buck Showalter, Gene Lamont, Terry Francona and Jack McKeon all deserve better, but what are the really important elements of these firings, and the hirings yet to come? And how much recycling are we going to have accept this time around?

If Jack McKeon was cranky enough to sue over the question of whether or not he was fired because of age discrimination, his dismissal would be a particularly interesting case. If Jim Bowden ends up selecting Bob Boone as McKeon's replacement, it would be Bowden who would have given greater evidence of age-related handicaps like memory loss. Has everyone forgotten Boone's ineptitude as a manager during his stints with Tacoma and Kansas City? There's a hint of a glaucoma problem here if Boone gets the job, at least as far as what George Bush called "the vision thing." Firing the oft-recycled McKeon for someone who hasn't demonstrated any core competency to deserve recycling strikes me as poor judgment on a par with acquiring Fonzie Bichette or Ruben Sierra. On a similar level of irrelevance, Bowden is supposed to be considering Hal McRae, last seen as the Phillies' hitting coach. I don't know what the fascination with uninspired and uninspiring ex-Royals managers represents, but it isn't a good thing. Why not dig up Duke Wathan? If the objective is to bring back Davey Johnson, that's fine, but if the choices are limited to Ken Griffey's dad and some ex-Royal flops, then Bowden isn't rating the job as one with any real importance.

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