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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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December 21, 2010 9:00 am

Prospectus Perspective: Giants Among Men?

19

Christina Kahrl

What has Brian Sabean been up to, and will it provide enough stuff for a successful title defense?

Almost two months later and still basking in the afterglow of having gotten to the game's pinnacle, there isn't a lot of controversy or second-guessing—the Giants are world champs, after all. But now's the time to start dialing in on what, if anything, they should have done and should be doing. How has Brian Sabean responded to life on the other side of the ultimate? More importantly, what, if anything, has Sabean done to guarantee his team's future as a contender? No time to rest on one's laurels, after all—there ain't no rest for the wicked.

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Trying to determine the value of three NL West pitchers and their potential impact for next season.

At the beginning of the year, a Blockbuster Video near my house was closing down and held a liquidation sale for about a week or two. Movies, video games, posters, and even the stands that hold the movies were up for grabs, and it became common to see customers exit the store with 10 or more items in their bag. After a bit of skepticism with regards to the types of movies that would be on sale, I ventured over for the first of my three visits. My skepticism was well-founded, as the movies that remained were not award-worthy by any stretch. Still, they were so inexpensive that I couldn’t help but walk away with a small stash. Traitor for $1? Sure, why not?

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Do you believe in magic? Yeah, me either. Luck? Well that's a different story. There's something about the inexact science of fantasy baseball that drives us to scour expanded ratings and listen to media pundits in hopes that a waiver wire pick or trade acquisition will morph into a guy like 2008's Ryan Ludwick.

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December 16, 2007 12:00 am

Every Given Sunday: The Official Response

0

John Perrotto

Bud Selig and Don Fehr address what action will be taken, if any, in the wake of the Mitchell Report, while BBWAA members assess Clemens' Hall of Fame candidacy.

It has been three days since every serious baseball fan with an internet connection downloaded the 409-page Mitchell Report. Though the report certainly isn't light reading, enough time has passed to at least digest what was in the document, sort through the list of 89 current or former players linked to performance-enhancing drugs, and try to figure out what it all means. As George Mitchell, the former Senate Majority Leader who spearheaded the investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, said, the game should use his report to look forward rather than retroactively punish players accused of cheating.

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April 12, 2006 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: April 5-10

0

Christina Kahrl

One of the game's sluggers gets locked up for the next few years, the Cubs re-up Hendry, and the Yankees wander into the free talent market again.

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April 14, 2005 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: Credit Where It's Due

0

Joe Sheehan

Two pretty good left-handed hitters serve as the jumping-off points for today's column.

In reality, though, the deal that the Indians made for themselves--about 15 minutes after the Sun article was posted here yesterday--isn't bad. Hafner will make $500,000 this year, $2.5 million in '06 and $3.75 million in '07. The team holds an option for '08 at $4.75 million, with a $250,000 buyout. The '06 salary is almost certainly less than what Hafner would have made in arbitration; just going from "no leverage" to "arbitration eligible" is usually worth that much. Even a Hafner who hits at 80% of his peak for the next two years would have made more than $4 million if arbitration, so the '07 salary is probably a bargain, too. The low '07 salary also makes him a very tradable commodity if Aubrey and Franklin Gutierrez and Jason Cooper begin to crowd the outfield/DH mix.

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August 3, 2004 12:00 am

Breaking Balls: More on Rules

0

Derek Zumsteg

But I've come to realize that they're inseparable: Tweaking the rules is a smaller move in philosophy, but in implication and consequence can be just as large as the sweeping one. Which in turn is why this is such a fascinating discussion for me.

--Richard Poole

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For this study, I estimated career VORP for the BA's top 100 prospects from 1990 through 1997, that is, those who have had at least five years to prove themselves. I used the rule of thumb that 10 runs of value moves one game into the win column. This is what I found:

Can a "can't-miss prospect" miss?

Will young pitchers really break your heart?

Last year, in a highly entertaining Baseball Prospectus roundtable Joe Sheehan remarked:

I would submit that there are no circumstances in which a pitcher is the best prospect in baseball.

To which Derek Zumsteg replied:

If a pitcher can't be the best prospect in baseball, can he be the #2? Can he be the #3?

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Will young pitchers really break your heart?

Last year, in a highly entertaining Baseball Prospectus roundtable Joe Sheehan remarked:

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April 4, 2002 3:43 pm

The Daily Prospectus: The Daily Prospectus: Underestimation

0

Joe Sheehan

Over the past three seasons, the National League West has been a royal pain to project. The teams with the best individual players have had incomplete lineups and rosters; the teams with the best pitching have had lousy offenses; the teams spending the most money have put on the worst performances.

Over the past three seasons, the National League West has been a royal pain to project. The teams with the best individual players have had incomplete lineups and rosters; the teams with the best pitching have had lousy offenses; the teams spending the most money have put on the worst performances.

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