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02-14

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7

Western Front: Dirk Hayhurst's Search for Sustainable Happiness
by
Geoff Young

10-31

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11

Baseball ProGUESTus: Silly Goose: Mariano Rivera and the Myth of the Seven-Out Save
by
Kevin Baker

01-21

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23

Dustying Up
by
Eric Seidman

06-05

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0

Prospectus Toolbox: Reliever Tools
by
Derek Jacques

10-16

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0

Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten-Pack
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-16

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Six
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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0

Future Shock: Where Did the Tigers and the Athletics Come From?
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-14

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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0

Playoff Prospectus: The Best and Worst of Mets and Cardinals Postseason Pitching
by
Jim Baker

10-13

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Three
by
Joe Sheehan

10-12

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0

Prospectus Today: The Games Go On
by
Joe Sheehan

10-12

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0

Player Profile
by
Marc Normandin

10-11

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0

Remembering Buck O'Neil
by
Alex Belth

10-11

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0

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day One
by
Joe Sheehan

10-09

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0

Completely Random Statistical Trivia
by
Keith Woolner

10-09

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0

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Six
by
Joe Sheehan

10-07

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0

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

10-06

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0

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Three
by
Joe Sheehan

10-06

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0

Prospectus Matchups: October Musings
by
Jim Baker

10-05

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0

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Two
by
Joe Sheehan

09-07

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: What to Do With Papelbon
by
Nate Silver

08-30

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0

Lies, Damned Lies: To Close Or Not To Close
by
Nate Silver

03-02

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0

Baseball Prospectus Basics: A Brief History of Pitcher Usage
by
Rany Jazayerli

01-26

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0

A Study in (Near) Perfection
by
Blake Kirkman

01-14

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0

The Class of 2004
by
Jay Jaffe

03-12

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0

The Grand Experiment
by
Nate Silver

05-22

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0

Prospectus Feature: Analyzing PAP (Part Two)
by
Keith Woolner

05-22

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0

Analyzing PAP (Part Two)
by
Keith Woolner

10-12

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0

Call It In The Air!
by
Dave Pease

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October 11, 2006 12:00 am

Remembering Buck O'Neil

0

Alex Belth

A great ambassador for the game--and for humanity--passed away last week.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

The Baseline forecast is also significant in that it attempts to remove luck from a forecast line. For example, a player who hit .310, but with a poor batting eye and unimpressive speed indicators, is probably not really a .310 hitter. Its more likely that hes a .290 hitter who had a few balls bounce his way, and the Baseline attempts to correct for this.

\nSimilarly, a pitcher with an unusually low EqHR9 rate, but a high flyball rate, is likely to have achieved the low EqHR9 partly as a result of luck. In addition, the Baseline corrects for large disparities between a pitchers ERA and his PERA, and an unusually high or low hit rate on balls in play, which are highly subject to luck. '; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_32 = 'Approximate number of batting outs made while playing this position.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_33 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats. In PECOTA, Batting Average is one of five primary production metrics used in identifying a hitters comparables. It is defined as H/AB. '; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_34 = 'Bases on Balls, or bases on balls allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_35 = 'Bases on balls allowed per 9 innings pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_36 = 'Batters faced pitching.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_37 = 'Balks. Not recorded 1876-1880.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_38 = 'Batting Runs Above Replacement. The number of runs better than a hitter with a .230 EQA and the same number of outs; EQR - 5 * OUT * .230^2.5.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_39 = 'Batting runs above a replacement at the same position. A replacement position player is one with an EQA equal to (230/260) times the average EqA for that position.'; xxxpxxxxx1160583428_40 = 'Breakout Rate is the percent chance that a hitters EqR/27 or a pitchers EqERA will improve by at least 20% relative to the weighted average of his EqR/27 in his three previous seasons of performance. High breakout rates are indicative of upside risk.

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October 11, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: LCS, Day One

0

Joe Sheehan

The Tigers take on a completely different personality at the plate, and use it to win.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160590386_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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Keith checks in with all kinds of fun facts from the completed season.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

The Baseline forecast is also significant in that it attempts to remove luck from a forecast line. For example, a player who hit .310, but with a poor batting eye and unimpressive speed indicators, is probably not really a .310 hitter. Its more likely that hes a .290 hitter who had a few balls bounce his way, and the Baseline attempts to correct for this.

\nSimilarly, a pitcher with an unusually low EqHR9 rate, but a high flyball rate, is likely to have achieved the low EqHR9 partly as a result of luck. In addition, the Baseline corrects for large disparities between a pitchers ERA and his PERA, and an unusually high or low hit rate on balls in play, which are highly subject to luck. '; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_32 = 'Approximate number of batting outs made while playing this position.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_33 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats. In PECOTA, Batting Average is one of five primary production metrics used in identifying a hitters comparables. It is defined as H/AB. '; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_34 = 'Bases on Balls, or bases on balls allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_35 = 'Bases on balls allowed per 9 innings pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_36 = 'Batters faced pitching.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_37 = 'Balks. Not recorded 1876-1880.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_38 = 'Batting Runs Above Replacement. The number of runs better than a hitter with a .230 EQA and the same number of outs; EQR - 5 * OUT * .230^2.5.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_39 = 'Batting runs above a replacement at the same position. A replacement position player is one with an EQA equal to (230/260) times the average EqA for that position.'; xxxpxxxxx1160407218_40 = 'Breakout Rate is the percent chance that a hitters EqR/27 or a pitchers EqERA will improve by at least 20% relative to the weighted average of his EqR/27 in his three previous seasons of performance. High breakout rates are indicative of upside risk.

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October 9, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Six

0

Joe Sheehan

The Cardinals step up to be the dance partner for the Mets.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160433082_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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October 7, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Four

0

Joe Sheehan

The A's won a Division Series, and they did it their way. The Tigers are one win away from joining them in an ALCS matchup no one predicted.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160276734_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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October 6, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Three

0

Joe Sheehan

The Yankees continued their run through the ... hey, not so fast! In San Diego, the Cardinals continued to make a statement about the importance of home-field advantage, while in New York the Mets were the one team to keep order in the first two games.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160157644_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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Jim cleans up some old business, ponders the all-time greats at second base, and tries to avoid throwing things at the TV set.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160158525_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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October 5, 2006 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Two

0

Joe Sheehan

The Play is the talk of the water coolers, but plenty of other things happened on an abbreviated second day.

\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. '; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.'; xxxpxxxxx1160071649_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.

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September 7, 2006 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: What to Do With Papelbon

0

Nate Silver

Nate picks up where he left off last week, and wonders what the Red Sox should do with their new closer.

Since 1946, there have been exactly 100 pitchers who pitched at least 80% of their innings in relief after having pitched at least 80% of their innings as a starter in the previous season (minimum 50 IP in year n and 100 IP in year n-1). Sometimes, these were pitchers like

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Boston already has a Big Papi, and now they have a Big...Papel? Nate has some thoughts on whether Jonathan Papelbon's destination should be the rotation.

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In the beginning, there were no rotations. There were no relievers. There was only one pitcher, and the term "everyday player" had no meaning. In 1876, George Bradley started all 64 games for the St. Louis Brown Stockings, completing 63 of them; his teammates combined to throw four innings all year. Of course, in the early days of the National League, the task performed by the pitcher bore little resemblance to what we call "pitching" today. At various times in the first two decades of professional baseball, the distance from the pitcher to home plate was less than 50 feet; a walk required nine balls; bunts that landed in fair territory before skidding to the backstop were considered fair balls; hitters could call for a "high" or "low" pitch; pitchers could throw the ball from a running start; and curveballs and overhand pitches were illegal. The game changed quickly, and it quickly became impossible for a team to rely on a single pitcher for its entire season. And once that point was reached, the question of how best to maximize each pitcher's usage was born.

Of course, in the early days of the National League, the task performed by the pitcher bore little resemblance to what we call "pitching" today. At various times in the first two decades of professional baseball, the distance from the pitcher to home plate was less than 50 feet; a walk required nine balls; bunts that landed in fair territory before skidding to the backstop were considered fair balls; hitters could call for a "high" or "low" pitch; pitchers could throw the ball from a running start; and curveballs and overhand pitches were illegal.

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January 26, 2004 12:00 am

A Study in (Near) Perfection

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Blake Kirkman

To say that Eric Gagne's adjective-inducing 2003 performance was just another season would be akin to the notion that the Beatles were just another rock band. The truth of the matter, at least in the case of Gagne, is that his season's performance was one for the ages. The all-world reliever was not merely good, he was "Nintendo." Traditional metrics alone, such as his 55 saves and sporty 1.20 ERA, showed enough to make the goggle-wearing Dodger closer the sexy pick for the National League Cy Young Award, while he further impressed by striking out an astronomical 137 over-matched batters in only 82.3 innings. Further proof that his performance was from another world (and no, I don't mean Canada) was his limiting opponents to an eye-popping .133 batting average against. As is most often the case, the traditional metrics prove to be only the tip of the iceberg in discussing Gagne's 2003. For all the strikeouts and saves, the bottom line may best be seen through the realization that Gagne was the best reliever in baseball in terms of preventing runs. His 32.6 Adjusted Runs Prevented, based on the analysis of Michael Wolverton at Baseball Prospectus, represents the idea that Gagne prevented approximately 33 runs more than what would have been prevented by the average major league reliever during the course of his specific 82.3 innings pitched. That's an incredible difference of 3.6 runs for every nine innings pitched.

To say that Eric Gagne's adjective-inducing 2003 performance was just another season would be akin to the notion that the Beatles were just another rock band. The truth of the matter, at least in the case of Gagne, is that his season's performance was one for the ages. The all-world reliever was not merely good, he was "Nintendo."

Traditional metrics alone, such as his 55 saves and sporty 1.20 ERA, showed enough to make the goggle-wearing Dodger closer the sexy pick for the National League Cy Young Award, while he further impressed by striking out an astronomical 137 over-matched batters in only 82.3 innings. Further proof that his performance was from another world was his limiting opponents to an eye-popping .133 batting average against.

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