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A semi-complete list of people who are (and aren't) at fault for Manny Machado's almost beanball.

On Sunday, Matt Barnes threw a 90 mph fastball at Manny Machado’s head.

It was on purpose. Barnes denies it was on purpose, and you’re free to believe him if you want, but come on. Come on. We’re adults here. We know when other adults do stuff we’d tell kids not to do. This is that stuff. Barnes threw the pitch because Machado injured Dustin Pedroia on Friday on a bad slide. It wasn’t on purpose. Machado said it wasn’t on purpose. Pedroia said it wasn’t on purpose. Barnes said, Let’s be stupid anyway.

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Might as well lean into the wind, right?

If you’ve ever been on Baseball Twitter, or really any part of Baseball Internet, you’re familiar with Joe Kelly’s Great Stuff™. It’s been memed. It’s been looked at seriously. It’s allowed certain former BP Local site managers to get away with extreme abuse of editorial privilege. Any time Joe Kelly appears in a game the Great Stuffs start rolling in, from tweeters and commenters and Kelly’s colleagues in equal measure.

But just where did the saga of Joe Kelly Has Great Stuff begin, and how did we get to where we are now? Who is primarily responsible for the meme? These are the types of questions we’ve all been asking. These are the kinds of questions to which you deserve the answers.

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A tight race for top honors.

For all 2013 voting results released thus far, look here. You can also view the IBA's rules and history.

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How the Red Sox sent the series back to Boston with a one-win lead.

This series has been compelling from the start, but it took until Game Five for it to look like a contest between two of the best teams in baseball. Game Five was the first without an error. It was mercifully free of egregiously bad baserunning, and it didn’t end with a debatable call. With the memory of Dana DeMuth's floating strike zone still fresh, it felt well-officiated behind home plate, aside from this third-inning strike three to Matt Carpenter.

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Ben and Sam discuss David Ortiz, Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright, and the latest questionable moves by Mike Matheny and John Farrell.

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What the questions posed to each manager before Game One reveal about the storylines surrounding each team.

Conceptually, if not always in actuality, the baseball manager’s pregame press conference is an incredible opportunity.

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An object lesson in implementing the shift drawn from two consecutive plate appearances.

Out here on the internet, the things we know for sure about defensive shifts are easily outnumbered by the unknowns. We’re still mostly in the dark about some pretty fundamental information: how often shifts are used, how effectively they’re implemented, and how much hitters can alter their approach to combat them. What data we do have indicates that shifting is becoming more common, and some anecdotal evidence suggests that it works. But there’s still considerable cause for skepticism and, judging by the dramatic team-by-team differences in the rates at which shifts are applied, nothing close to an industry consensus.

One thing we know with some certainty is that the shift can be almost as frustrating for defenders as it is for batters who have to hit into it. Earlier this year, Astros starter Lucas Harrell expressed frustration after a loss in which he felt that the shift had hurt him, saying,

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May 15, 2013 7:18 am

Daily Roundup: Around the League: May 15th, 2013


Clint Chisam

News and notes from around the league for May 15, 2013.

Thanks to Jason Martinez and Clint Chisam of MLB Depth Charts, we'll now be bringing you daily news, notes, transactions, injury updates, and notable performances from the previous day's games...throughout the entire season! And if you like what you see here, don't forget to check out MLBDC's Insider subscription, which also includes starting pitcher rankings and matchups, top 25 batter vs. pitcher stat rankings, lineup tracker (includes lineups from past seven games), rotation report, stat tracker, and more! 

Probable Pitchers for May 15, 2013

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Examining the mechanical changes that have driven the success of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and the Red Sox.

One of the biggest stories of the first month of the 2013 season has been the incredible turnaround of the Boston Red Sox. The team went from a near-lock for the postseason in September of 2011 to the victims of one of history's greatest collapses, and the disaster carried over to 2012. The Sox were a .500 team in April of last season, and were still three games over at the end of June. However, Boston would go 28-56 over the rest of the campaign, winning just one-third of their remaining games in a brutal crash that was catalyzed by bad blood in the clubhouse and the fire sale of August 25th, in which the Red Sox flipped a quarter-billion dollars worth of contracts in a salary-dump that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to Los Angeles.

General Manager Ben Cherington made a splash in free agency, signing a handful of players to revamp the roster, but the general outlook for this season was bleak. Preseason predictions by the BP staff placed Boston fourth in the AL East this year, but the team and the city have become a symbol for triumph in the wake of tragedy. Going into play on Tuesday, the Sox have the best record in the game at 18-7, and their run differential of +40 also leads the majors.

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On the first stop of his spring training tour, Mike talks to John Farrell and David Ross about whether the cutter caused problems for Jon Lester.

Our MLB Network Radio tour takes me to all 15 spring camps in Florida, so I figured I’d jot down some thoughts along the way. Sort of a Journal, if you will. We start in Red Sox camp…

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February 7, 2013 5:00 am

Out of Left Field: Shorting the Red Sox


Matthew Kory

After 2012, what should we unlearn about the Red Sox?


One of the difficult parts about fantasy baseball is dealing with perception. When a player hits a home run, it feels like that’s what they’ll always do. Put another way, do you take a guy who just homered out of your lineup? No, of course not. He just homered. Therefore he’ll continue to homer. That’s a good way to lose. I know because that’s what I do best in fantasy sports. The way to do it, so I’ve been told, is ignore that homer. Let your understanding of the player’s value over the course of the season dictate your decisions. A single event, in this case the homer, shouldn’t enter into it. Yet it always does and I always pay the price.

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The Blue Jays trade their manager, and Kevin Towers reacquires Heath Bell, with baggage.

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