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09-10

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16

Baseball Therapy: Reading Lolita in Teheran, Part 1: Intro and Losing Focus
by
Russell A. Carleton

02-16

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8

Wezen-Ball: The Drawbacks and Demise of a Stat
by
Larry Granillo

01-24

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15

Baseball ProGUESTus: The Latest in Baseball Lingo
by
Cecilia M. Tan

06-02

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1

Wezen-Ball: Ranking MLB's Spanish-language URLs
by
Larry Granillo

04-25

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11

Spitballing: Cracking the Scouting Code
by
Jeremy Greenhouse

10-26

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1

Prospectus Q&A: Miguel Montero
by
David Laurila

09-15

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0

Minor Issues: Pitching in Spanish, with Mark Brewer
by
David Laurila

09-01

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8

On the Beat: Manny Being Manny with a SAP Button
by
John Perrotto

07-29

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1

Minor Issues: Isolation and Addiction, with Max St. Pierre
by
David Laurila

07-27

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2

Prospectus Q&A: Julio Borbon
by
David Laurila

07-06

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2

Prospectus Q&A: Manny Mota
by
David Laurila

06-14

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4

Minor Issues: The Kung Fu Panda Comes to America
by
David Laurila

04-29

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1

BP Unfiltered: Talking two languages
by
Colin Wyers

04-28

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0

Minor Issues: The Language of Baseball, with Garrett Broshuis
by
David Laurila

07-05

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2

Prospectus Q&A: Brian McCann
by
David Laurila

08-13

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Lars Anderson
by
David Laurila

06-03

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0

Prospectus Toolbox: Translating Scales
by
Derek Jacques

09-23

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Carlos Pena
by
David Laurila

03-05

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Bob Tewksbury
by
David Laurila

06-27

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0

Prospectus Game of the Week: Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox, June 23, 2006
by
Derek Jacques

05-01

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0

You Could Look It Up: Why Baseball Is Obligated to Throw the Book at Delmon Young
by
Steven Goldman

09-28

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0

Three Strikes and You're...Given a Fourth Strike
by
Thomas Gorman

08-02

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0

Baseball Buzz Words
by
Allen Barra

01-27

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0

Boone's Law
by
Andrew Baharlias

09-23

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0

Home Run Race
by
Steven Rubio

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Are we really talking about the same thing when we talk about RBIs?

Sometimes when I'm talking about baseball with someone, I feel like... like we're speaking two different languages, with a common ancestry perhaps. There's a dissociation between what I'm saying and what they're saying. And no matter how long we discuss it, we don't come any closer to real understanding - we just keep circling round and round each other's points.

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Garrett Broshuis discusses clubhouse vernacular.

Garrett Broshuis, who led off this series 16 installments ago, is back to talk about the language of baseball. Broshuis became well-versed in the game’s distinct, and often vulgar, vernacular during six seasons in the Giants organization. He retired earlier this year.

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July 5, 2009 1:28 pm

Prospectus Q&A: Brian McCann

2

David Laurila

A conversation with the Braves' backstop on multi-cultural catching, comparisons of young and old, and more.

Brian McCann wants to be thought of as more than just one of the best-hitting catchers in the game. The Braves backstop also wants to be known for his defense. A National League All-Star in each of the past three years thanks to his productive bat-his career numbers are .300/.364/.503-McCann began this season several pounds lighter and with an increased emphasis on his defensive game. Already regarded as a solid handler of pitchers, the 25-year-old native of Athens, Georgia came into the year having thrown out only 20 percent of runners attempting to steal, a number that has improved to over 30 percent in the first three months of the 2009 campaign. McCann talked about his work on the defensive side of the ball, including communicating with a pitching staff, catching Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens, and his desire to spend the rest of his career behind the plate.

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The Red Sox prospect talks about life out on the diamond and on the inside.

Lars Anderson is more than just one of the top hitting prospects in the game, because the 20-year-old native of Carmichael, California is also one of the most thoughtful and intellectually curious. Anderson bypassed a scholarship to Cal-Berkeley to sign with the Red Sox in 2006, and began this season in High-A. After shining there, he has continued to wield a potent bat since a mid-July promotion to Double-A Portland. The lefty-swinging Anderson, a 6'4" 215 pound first baseman, is hitting .317/.410/.520 with 16 home runs on the season, and impressing scouts along the way.

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Not all the kids can be above average, so how do we define it?

When it comes to baseball's numbers, I'm often more interested in how they function as language than anything else. As Joe Sheehan recently pointed out, the 500- and 600-home run milestones don't, for analytical purposes, have that much value over the numbers 499 and 599, or 501 and 601, for that matter. They're round numbers that end in double zeroes, and that's why we paid more attention to Manny Ramirez's at-bats this weekend than we did his at-bats the weekend before, and more attention than we'll pay to his at-bats during the weekend to come.

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September 23, 2007 12:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Carlos Pena

0

David Laurila

The former Tigers first baseman has found a home in Tampa Bay. Pretty good for a guy who was released at the end of spring training.

Carlos Pena is having a career year. One of the most highly-respected players in the game, the Dominican-born first baseman has clubbed 42 home runs in his first season with the Devil Rays. Drafted tenth-overall in 1998, the 29-year-old Pena showed flashes of his potential with the Rangers, A's, Tigers, and Red Sox, but never lived up to his billing as a first-round pick--until now. After spending most of last season in the minor leagues, the former engineering student at Northeastern University is hitting .278/.400/.610 and is a leading candidate for comeback player of the year in the American League. David talked to Pena about his home run numbers, keeping things simple and focused, and the challenge of acclimating to a new language and culture.

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Bob Tewksbury, former major league pitcher and current Red Sox sport psychology coach, discusses how the mental aspect of the game can affect on-field performance, and how that mental aspect can be altered for the better.

Known for having outstanding control, Tewksbury spent 13 seasons as a big league pitcher, compiling a career record of 110-102 with six teams. Originally with the Yankees, he had his best season in 1992 when he went 16-5 with a 2.16 ERA for St. Louis. After retiring, Tewksbury received a Master's Degree in Sport Psychology and Counseling from Boston University. A player development consultant for the Red Sox in 2004, he has been in his current role since 2005.

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A rematch of the World Champs and the NL pennant winners is what Derek's clicker dials up this time around.

It's been a busy week for both ballclubs. The Astros had the season debut of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens on Thursday, making the decision to have Clemens go against the Minnesota Twins at home, rather than pitch against the White Sox in Chicago. Clemens was hardly dominant in a game where young phenom Francisco Liriano emerged victorious.

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Steven chimes in on the Delmon Young fiasco, looking to history for a bit of guidance.

That Labor Day at Toledo, Derr was calling the plays at first base. The Mudhens had been leading the pennant race, but were in the midst of a losing streak that had dropped them out of first place; tempers were running short. When Derr called a Mudhen out on a close play at first base, Stengel came running out to argue. Whatever he said--use your imagination--it got him thumbed from the game. That was standard operating procedure. What happened next was new. Stengel didn't leave the field. He turned towards the stands and began conducting them like a band leader, exhorting them. Writing about it a few days later, John Kieran of the New York Times said,

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September 28, 2005 12:00 am

Three Strikes and You're...Given a Fourth Strike

0

Thomas Gorman

The Players Association finally responded to Commissioner Selig's proposed testing program. Tom Gorman takes a look at the fine print.

The Commissioner's proposal was made in a publicly-released April 25th letter to Don Fehr. In that letter Selig suggested five substantive changes to the current Joint Drug Agreement (hereafter called the Agreement for brevity's sake), agreed to in January of 2005.

  1. The Commissioner proposed that punishments increase to 50 games, 100 games, and a lifetime ban for first, second and third offenses from the previous schedule of 10 games, 30 games, 60 games, and one year for first, second, third, and fourth offenses.

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August 2, 2005 12:00 am

Baseball Buzz Words

0

Allen Barra

Guest columnist Allen Barra shares a few words about the mangling of baseball language.

In baseball, there's good jargon and bad jargon. Like Ozzie Smith on artificial turf, the definition of jargon covers a lot of ground. The Oxford English Dictionary, for instance, offers one definition: "the language, esp. the vocabulary, peculiar to a trade, profession, or group." Applied to baseball, that definition conjures up images of Ring Lardner, Casey Stengel and Harry Caray--you know, slang. I like that kind of jargon.

Yet another definition reads: "Speech or writing characterized by pretentious terminology and involved syntax." Unfortunately, that definition takes in just about everyone broadcasting or writing about baseball today. I don't like that kind of jargon, and I'll bet you don't either. And like me, I'll bet you use it all the time.

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January 27, 2004 12:00 am

Boone's Law

0

Andrew Baharlias

Boone, who recently agreed to a one-year, $5.75 million contract, has freely admitted that the injury he sustained occurred during an activity not related to the playing of, or training for, Major League Baseball. Brian Cashman has already gone on record saying that basketball is a prohibited activity under Boone's contract. In a fairy tale world of grand rewards for moral behavior, Boone would get credit for admitting his error without having fabricated some Jeff Kent-style story in which he tore up his knee after slipping off the top of Roger Clemens' Hummer while polishing the foghorn. Unfortunately, New York is the place where contract language trumps contrition every time out; truth is no defense when you've signed on the dotted line.

Boone, who recently agreed to a one-year, $5.75 million contract, has freely admitted that the injury he sustained occurred during an activity not related to the playing of, or training for, Major League Baseball. Brian Cashman has already gone on record saying that basketball is a prohibited activity under Boone's contract. In a fairy tale world of grand rewards for moral behavior, Boone would get credit for admitting his error without having fabricated some Jeff Kent-style story in which he tore up his knee after slipping off the top of Roger Clemens' Hummer while polishing the foghorn. Unfortunately, New York is the place where contract language trumps contrition every time out; truth is no defense when you've signed on the dotted line.

When Boone signed his contract (which, incidentally might not have even been properly executed yet--once a player agrees to a deal, teams are sometimes slow to get everything processed--but for the sake of this article let's assume a properly executed copy is sitting in Cashman's filing cabinet), it contained language that would have prevented him from performing certain activities during and after the season. That language is the team's "out" of a guaranteed deal. It is very comprehensive legalese which allows the team to convert a guaranteed contract into one which is non-guaranteed. All guaranteed contracts contain a section that discusses the guarantee to pay and termination rights for the team. In fact, this aspect of a player's contract is usually what is fought over the most between agents and general managers after the "agreement in principle" is first struck.

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