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Another piece on the Astros, but a good one, at least.

By now you've read too many articles about Jeff Luhnow and his plans for the Astros to keep track of them all. Even so, Richard Justice's latest at MLB.com brings some new information to the table. Here's a snippet:

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This year's catchers are hitting like few catchers in history have hit. But will it continue?

At the risk of being branded some kind of weird catcher fetishist, I would like to point something out:

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Attempting to solve the central mystery of Mike Scioscia's managerial career--why Jeff Mathis gets so much playing time--and exploring its implications for how managers make up their minds.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Sam Miller writes about baseball for the Orange County Register. He covered local government, education and autism before moving to the sports section in 2009. He lives in Long Beach with his wife and newborn daughter, and you can follow him on Twitter at @sammillerocr

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A comprehensive recap of a big day for FIELDf/x.

I have seen the future, and its name is FIELDf/x. OK, so we kind of knew that. But today, FIELDf/x started to seem a lot more real, and even more exciting than I’d imagined. You may have noticed that BP had a man on the scene at Sportvision’s PITCHf/x summit whose liveblog was actually live. So why am I doing this, when Colin already did? Well, for one thing, Colin arrived fashionably late, and I was all over those first 14 minutes that he missed. For another, his computer died before a lot of the fun started. And for still another (this is a third reason, now), I thought it might be fun to do a Simmons-style quasi-liveblog (written live, published later) that would free me from worries about frequent updates, and allow me to write at length. Most likely that length turned out to be a good deal longer than anyone has any interest in reading, but if you’re determined to catch up on the day’s intriguing events without sitting through eight hours of archived video, you’re welcome to peruse what lies below. If you’d like to follow along, here’s an agenda, and here’s where you should be able to find downloadable presentations in the near future.

Here we are in sunny California, home of the cutest girls in the world, if the Beach Boys are to be believed (I gather there’s also a more recent chart-topper that expresses a similar view). Okay, so by “we,” I mean the attendees at the 3rd (annual?) Sportvision PITCHf/x summit, held at the Westin San Francisco in—you guessed it—San Francisco. I, on the other hand, am watching from the other end of the continent, via a webcast that dubiously claims to be “hi-res,” despite being blurry enough to make deciphering text an adventure (I guess “hi-res” is relative, in the sense that there are even lower resolutions at which it could’ve been streamed). And sure, maybe the Beach Boys weren’t thinking of this particular gathering when they extolled the virtues of California’s beach bunnies. But never mind that—it’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon here in New York, and how better to spend it than to watch a video of some fellow nerds talk about baseball in a dark room some 3,000 miles away? Well, to describe the experience at the same time, of course. Let’s get this quasi-liveblog started.

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May 4, 2007 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Defining a Market, Part Two

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Nate Silver

Nate's attempt to determine a market size for every major league team continues, with stats on attendance and television spheres for all the clubs.

I hope yesterday's part one didn't lose you guys, because now for the (comparatively) fun part: our team-by-team breakdown. In addition to the attendance and TV estimates from my model, I have provided a comparison to the Mike Jones figures, and also the raw census data from each team's primary MSA. The numbers in parenthesis represents a team's relative market share (with 100 representing league average) and its rank among the 30 clubs in that category.

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September 17, 2004 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: August 30-September 15

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Christina Kahrl

Chris Kahrl has all the roster expansion and early-September movings and shakings in this supersized edition of Transaction Analysis.

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March 17, 2004 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: March 10-15, 2004

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Christina Kahrl

The allegedly cash-strapped D-Backs give Brandon Webb peace of mind. Calvin Pickering has another summer in Omaha ahead. The Brewers will take their time with J.J. Hardy. Wiki Gonzalez will get a closer look at Mount Rainier. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.

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August 27, 2003 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: The Value of Speed

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Nate Silver

As you are all unfortunately aware, Bobby Bonds died this past Saturday after a long battle with cancer. Bobby came before my time, and I'm not fit to eulogize him. But perhaps I can honor his memory in some way by looking at players of the sort that Bobby exemplified: power-speed sluggers. A lot of analysts are fond of disparaging the value of speed (this Web site has been no exception). Speed is perceived as a scouty thing, a tool that looks impressive, but has little practical value on a baseball diamond. The one definitive advantage that speed would seem to provide--the stolen base--is rightly considered an overrated tool. Even within mainstream circles, speed seems to be losing currency. As ballplayers bulk up, and deeper lineups grow ever more capable of scoring runs with the bat alone, stolen base attempts become less frequent. Entire teams are willing to put together their rosters without so much as giving speed the once-over. Well, I think speed has gotten a raw deal. Certainly, speed isn't as important for a position player as the Big Three skills--hitting for contact, hitting for power, and controlling the strike zone--and to list it alongside those three, implying that it is of equal significance, is confusing. But speed is still plenty important for a number of reasons...

A lot of analysts are fond of disparaging the value of speed (this Web site has been no exception). Speed is perceived as a scouty thing, a tool that looks impressive, but has little practical value on a baseball diamond. The one definitive advantage that speed would seem to provide--the stolen base--is rightly considered an overrated tool. Even within mainstream circles, speed seems to be losing currency. As ballplayers bulk up, and deeper lineups grow ever more capable of scoring runs with the bat alone, stolen base attempts become less frequent. Entire teams are willing to put together their rosters without so much as giving speed the once-over.

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Optioned RHP Matt Wise to Edmonton; optioned RHPs Elvin Nina and Scot Shields and C Jason Dewey to Erie (Double-A); optioned OF Elpidio Guzman to Lake Elsinore (A); assigned RHP Steve Green and C Shawn Wooten to their minor-league camp. [3/14]

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