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04-02

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12

BP Unfiltered: Do the Rays Have a Drug Problem?
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-26

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10

Overthinking It: The Rays' Changeup Revolution
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-18

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3

The Call-Up: Wil Myers
by
Jason Cole and Bret Sayre

05-29

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2

Painting the Black: The All-Hit, No-Pitch Rays
by
R.J. Anderson

03-26

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7

Prospectus Preview: These Questions Three: The Legit Contenders
by
Sam Miller and Adam Sobsey

03-15

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15

Raising Aces: Trending: Over the Top
by
Doug Thorburn

02-26

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2

BP Unfiltered: Grapefruit League Journal: Tampa Bay Rays
by
Mike Ferrin

02-06

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10

Sobsequy: Why Some Fringy Minor Leaguers Make It
by
Adam Sobsey

12-11

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47

Overthinking It: The Royals, the Rays, and the Problem with Windows
by
Ben Lindbergh

12-11

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 99: Two More Reactions to the Rays-Royals Trade
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-10

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71

Transaction Analysis: The Shields/Myers Blockbuster
by
R.J. Anderson and Jason Parks

11-27

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 89: The Evan Longoria Extension, the Rays, and Why Players Aren't Holding Out for More Money
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

11-13

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25

Overthinking It: The 50-Run Receiver
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-26

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4

Sobsequy: The Orthodoxy of Winning
by
Adam Sobsey

09-14

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3

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 42: Breaking Down Baltimore's Latest Extra-Inning Win/Should Rafael Soriano Opt Out?
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

09-05

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2

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 35: Is Coors Field to Blame for the Rockies' Struggles?/Are Fans at Fault When Teams Don't Draw?
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

08-22

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4

BP Unfiltered: Hit Home Run, Eat Ice Cream
by
Ben Lindbergh

08-20

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3

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 24: The Rays Are Rolling/Assessing the Angels' Strange Season
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

08-03

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2

BP Unfiltered: Joe Maddon Says "Sabermetrics Rule"
by
Ben Lindbergh

07-09

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1

What You Need to Know: Monday, July 9
by
Daniel Rathman

06-19

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11

Overthinking It: The Cincinnati Reds and the Benefits of Being Homegrown
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-16

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28

Overthinking It: Brett Lawrie Was Framed
by
Ben Lindbergh

04-28

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2

BP Unfiltered: Baseball Prospectus Day at Tropicana Field - May 5, 2012
by
Joe Hamrahi

04-17

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2

Prospectus Game of the Week: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox, April 14
by
Adam Sobsey

04-07

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5

Inside The Park Blog: It Is Never Too Early To Strategize
by
Jason Collette

04-06

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5

Inside The Park Blog: Expectations High in Tampa Bay
by
Jason Collette

02-20

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19

Prospectus Preview: AL East 2012 Preseason Preview
by
R.J. Anderson and Jason Collette

02-06

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18

Prospectus Hit and Run: Beware of Falling Payrolls
by
Jay Jaffe

01-12

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22

Transaction Analysis: Off-Brand Bargains
by
Ben Lindbergh

10-05

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16

Kiss'Em Goodbye: Tampa Bay Rays
by
Ben Lindbergh, Kevin Goldstein and ESPN Insider

09-13

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2

Painting the Black: Rays of Hope?
by
R.J. Anderson

09-08

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4

The BP Wayback Machine: Incompetence
by
Joe Sheehan

05-26

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3

Transaction Analysis: Return of the Prodigal Sluggers
by
Ben Lindbergh

03-31

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42

Pre-Season Predictions
by
Baseball Prospectus

03-10

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4

Overthinking It: A Review of Jonah Keri's The Extra 2%
by
Ben Lindbergh

03-08

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63

The Payoff Pitch: Contraction-traction, What's Your Traction?
by
Neil deMause

01-18

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9

Fantasy Beat: Tampa Bay's Closer Options
by
Jason Collette

10-21

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6

Kiss'Em Goodbye: Tampa Bay Rays
by
Marc Normandin, Kevin Goldstein and ESPN Insider

10-06

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9

Playoff Prospectus: Wednesday LDS Game Projections
by
Eric Seidman

10-05

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9

Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Preview: Rays vs. Rangers
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-20

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9

Prospectus Perspective: How Important is the AL East Title?
by
Ben Lindbergh

08-06

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4

Prospectus Perspective: Rays and Yankees: A Good Old-Fashioned Dogfight
by
Tommy Bennett

07-28

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4

On the Beat: Worth the Price
by
John Perrotto

04-04

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29

Pre-Season Predictions
by
Baseball Prospectus

09-14

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16

Prospectus Today: 11 and Counting
by
Joe Sheehan

09-14

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13

Kiss'Em Goodbye: Tampa Bay Rays
by
Baseball Prospectus

07-26

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13

Prospectus Today: Shining Light on the Rays
by
Joe Sheehan

05-27

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6

On the Beat: Bouncing Back
by
John Perrotto

04-06

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28

Preseason Predictions
by
Baseball Prospectus

03-22

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5

On the Beat: Changing Their Rays
by
John Perrotto

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Is Jose Molina a stealth MVP candidate? Ben looks for photographic evidence.

The Tampa Bay Rays were eliminated from playoff contention on October 1st, falling short of their fourth playoff appearance in five seasons, but it wasn’t because of their pitching. The staff’s walk rate fell from 3.1 per nine innings in 2011 to 2.9 in 2012, and its strikeout rate rose from 7.1 strikeouts per inning to 8.5, good enough to set a single-season AL strikeout record. Granted, it wasn’t exactly the same group of pitchers in both seasons, and the strikeout rate rose across the league. But the pitching improvement wasn’t just maturation on the part of the pitchers or another manifestation of the game’s trend toward more strikeouts. There was also a Molina in the machine.

In March, I mentioned the Rays’ Jose Molina signing as one of my favorite moves of the offseason, writing “Molina for $1.5 million (plus an option for 2013 at the same price) might be the best value any team got from the free agent market this winter.” The month before, Max Marchi had summarized Molina’s weaknesses (hitting and blocking) and strengths (framing and throwing) in a piece called “What Are the Rays Expecting from Jose Molina?” Like Mike Fast, Max found that Molina was among the best backstops in baseball at the things he was good at and among the worst where he struggled. But according to Max’s calculations, Molina’s framing skill was so superlative that it made him the best pitch-for-pitch defensive catcher of the past 60 years, which more than made up for his flimsy bat. That’s why the Rays wanted him, and that’s why it looked like they’d gotten a good deal.

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September 26, 2012 5:00 am

Sobsequy: The Orthodoxy of Winning

4

Adam Sobsey

When it comes to fandom, can it really be true that it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game?

I was surprised to find the Orioles-Rays game still on when I came home. It had stretched into the 13th inning, though, nearing four hours. I didn’t have much time—I had to go back out again in a few minutes—but Chris Archer, who as a Durham Bull I have watched, interviewed, and written about often over the last year or so, was pitching a third inning of long, late relief. This was just his fourth career appearance in the major leagues. So of course I wanted to tune in.

Archer issued a leadoff walk to Endy Chavez, then made a poor throw on Manny Machado’s sacrifice bunt attempt for an error. That put two men on. Mark Reynolds followed by hitting a tantalizing corkscrew fly ball into shallow right-center field that retreating second baseman Elliot Johnson couldn’t quite catch. It ticked off his glove—oh, poor Elliot—for a single, loading the bases with no outs in the 13th inning of a game fraught with post-season implications for both teams

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Ben and Sam discuss the Orioles' exciting 14-inning victory over Tampa Bay, then break down Rafael Soriano's season and his upcoming opt-out decision.

Ben and Sam discuss the Orioles' exciting 14-inning victory over Tampa Bay, then break down Rafael Soriano's season and his upcoming opt-out decision.

Episode 42: "Breaking Down Baltimore's Latest Extra-Inning Win/Should Rafael Soriano Opt Out?"

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Ben and Sam consider whether the ballpark might be to blame for the Rockies' lackluster first two decades, then discuss the annual phenomenon of attendance shaming.

Ben and Sam consider whether the ballpark might be to blame for the Rockies' lackluster first two decades, then discuss the annual phenomenon of attendance shaming.

Episode 35: "Is Coors Field to Blame for the Rockies' Struggles?/Are Fans at Fault When Teams Don't Draw?"

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The latest inefficiencies exploited by the Rays: ice cream and classical conditioning.

The Rays are baseball's hottest team, having run up a 15-5 record in August. Their pitchers, who've posted the lowest team ERA in the American League this month, deserve most of the credit. But their latest victory owed something to a secret more valuable than any of their statistical and scouting skills: the power of classical conditioning.

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The Rays demolished the Angels in a four-game weekend sweep, which gives Ben and Sam the idea to discuss the two teams' divergent directions since the deadline and reevaluate Anaheim's offseason approach.

The Rays demolished the Angels in a four-game weekend sweep, which gives Ben and Sam the idea to discuss the two teams' divergent directions since the deadline and reevaluate Anaheim's offseason approach.

Effectively Wild Episode 24: "The Rays Are Rolling/Assessing the Angels' Strange Season"

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We now know for sure where Joe Maddon stands on sabermetrics.

Rays manager Joe Maddon has long been known as one of baseball's most statistically savvy skippers, but extensive Googling suggests that despite doing a two-part interview at BP, he has never stated explicitly and on the record that sabermetrics rule. Until now.

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Brian McCann's hot streak has the Braves on a roll heading into the break

The Weekend Takeaway
On Thursday, Ben Lindbergh picked three players to rise and three to fall during the second half of the schedule, based on BABIPs, past performances, and expectations. One of his three risers was Brian McCann—and, right on cue, the Braves catcher has hit a home run in each of the team’s last four games.

Thanks in part to McCann’s efforts, the Braves enter this week on a four-game winning streak with things looking up for the second half. Fredi Gonzalez’s team is 46-39 at the break, four games behind the division-leading Nationals, and currently penciled in as the second Wild Card. That puts the Braves on an 88-win pace, but a hot summer from McCann would help them exceed it.


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The Reds have the lowest payroll of any first-place team, in large part because they haven't had to reach outside the organization for talent. Can they keep it up?

Well, homegrown’s all right with me
Homegrown is the way it should be
Homegrown is a good thing
Plant that bell and let it ring.

-Neil Young, “Homegrown”

Take a look at the Reds’ lineup from last night:





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May 16, 2012 9:22 am

Overthinking It: Brett Lawrie Was Framed

28

Ben Lindbergh

Brett Lawrie was right to be upset about the two strikes that got him ejected on Tuesday, but framer extraordinaire Jose Molina had as much to do with the calls as umpire Bill Miller.

On Tuesday night, the Rays beat the Blue Jays 4-3. All of the scoring was over by the seventh, but the real action occurred in the bottom of the ninth, when Brett Lawrie was ejected by umpire Bill Miller after arguing balls and strikes, first with loud body language, then with loud words, and finally by transforming his helmet into flying suspension bait. Lawrie probably brushes his teeth more intensely than you’ve ever done anything, so you can only imagine what he looks like when he’s called out on borderline pitches in a close game against a division rival. Actually, that’s not true—imagining it isn’t the only thing you can do. You can also watch this video:

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Baseball Prospectus Visits Tropicana Field

Baseball Prospectus and the Tampa Bay Rays invite you to join us for a great day of baseball on Saturday, May 5 at Tropicana Field. Thanks to the fine folks in the Rays front office, we are proud to be able to offer our guests the following:

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Jeremy Hellickson gets hit hard and Clay Buchholz impresses in the game of the week, plus thoughts about Tampa Bay's pitching and Bobby Valentine's way with words.

The night before Saturday’s game, the Red Sox scored eight runs against the Rays to turn a relatively normal game into a 12-2 laugher. Actually, there was something abnormal about it, even before the offensive explosion: Rays starter David Price lasted only three innings. He gave up three runs on four hits and three walks while running up an 83-pitch tab. Josh Beckett, meanwhile, suffocated Tampa Bay for eight innings, allowing just one run on five hits.

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