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The hot stove burns both player and executive alike in this edition of The Week in Quotes.

"When we spoke at the end of the year, I felt like he wanted to be back here. Not only does he like it here, he has the faith we will get better."
--Jim Hendry, general manager of the Chicago Cubs, on signing third baseman Aramis Ramirez to a new five-year deal. (ESPN.com)

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September 8, 2005 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: September 1-7

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Christina Kahrl

While some teams gear up for the stretch run with oodles of pinch hitters and LOOGYs, some teams fill needs with useful players. Chris has the details.

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April 12, 2005 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: March 29-April 4, 2005

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Christina Kahrl

Early-season moves have featured their share of funkiness, writes Chris Kahrl.

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January 14, 2004 12:00 am

The Class of 2004

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Jay Jaffe

The Baseball Writers of America's standards on what constitute a Hall of Fame pitcher are in a curious spot now, both when it comes to starters and relievers. Spoiled by a group of contemporaries who won 300 games from the mid-'60s to the mid-'80s (Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton, Nolan Ryan, Phil Niekro), the writers haven't elected a non-300-winning starter since Fergie Jenkins in 1991. That Perry, Sutton and Niekro took a combined 13 ballots to reach the Hall while Ryan waltzed in on his first ballot with the all-time highest percentage of votes is even more puzzling. Apparently what impresses the BBWAA can be summarized as "Just Wins, Baby"--which is bad news for every active pitcher this side of Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux. Of the 59 enshrined pitchers with major-league experience, only two of them--Hoyt Wilhelm and Rollie Fingers--are in Cooperstown for what they accomplished as relievers. While the standards for starters are somewhat easy to discern (if lately a bit unrealistic), the growing number of quality relievers on the ballot, the continuous evolution of the relief role, and the paucity of standards to measure them by present some interesting challenges to voters. If there's an area in which performance analysis has struggled mightily against mainstream baseball thought, it's in hammering home the concept that the pitcher doesn't have as much control over the outcome of ballgames--as reflected in his Won-Loss totals--or even individual at-bats--hits on balls in play--as he's generally given credit for. Good run support and good defense can make big winners of mediocre pitchers on good teams, and .500 pitchers of good hurlers on mediocre teams. As such, it's important to examine the things over which a pitcher has control and account for those he does not. Once again, the Davenport system rides to the rescue.

[Note: The research for this piece, and much of the writing, was done prior to the Hall of Fame voting results being announced.]

INTRODUCTION

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April 9, 2003 12:00 am

Transaction Analysis: March 25-April 6, 2003

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Christina Kahrl

The Snakes bury John Patterson, the Red Sox sort through a batch of soft tossers, the Marlins vie for a 25-catcher roster, and the Devil Rays solve all their problems by grabbing Al Martin and Damion Easley.

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Howdy gang, nothing like spending five hours typing up the index for this year's edition of Baseball Prospectus to make me desperately hungry to dive right into playing catch-up on real-time baseball news. Yes, Transaction Analysis is long overdue, and for that I apologize, having spent the intervening time working with our writing team and the incomparably enthusiastic Jonah Keri to get this year's book out the door. If you can forgive me that, you'll also have to forgive me this temporary break from format, as I run down the most-notable moves made over the last couple of months, going by divisional pairs (Easts, Centrals, and Wests) to get caught up and resume your regularly scheduled TA mayhem by next week.

Howdy gang, nothing like spending five hours typing up the index for this year's edition of Baseball Prospectus to make me desperately hungry to dive right into playing catch-up on real-time baseball news. Yes, Transaction Analysis is long overdue, and for that I apologize, having spent the intervening time working with our writing team and the incomparably enthusiastic Jonah Keri to get this year's book out the door. If you can forgive me that, you'll also have to forgive me this temporary break from format, as I run down the most-notable moves made over the last couple of months, going by divisional pairs (Easts, Centrals, and Wests) to get caught up and resume your regularly scheduled TA mayhem by next week.

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September 20, 2002 9:58 pm

Prospectus Q&A: Tommy John

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Jonah Keri

After hurting his elbow in 1974, Tommy John's successful 11-year career with the Indians, White Sox and Dodgers looked like it was over. But Dr. Frank Jobe and his partner Dr. Robert Kerlan parlayed a long-shot procedure (ulnar collateral replacement surgery) into 14 more productive years for John's left elbow.

After hurting his elbow in 1974, Tommy John's successful 11-year career with the Indians, White Sox and Dodgers looked like it was over. But Dr. Frank Jobe and his partner Dr. Robert Kerlan parlayed a long-shot procedure (ulnar collateral replacement surgery) into 14 more productive years for John's left elbow.

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August 7, 2002 12:00 am

Touring the Minors

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Keith Scherer

The trades may help them win the NL Central in 2002, but they left the organization with a lack of mature talent. This year's pennant race will mask the ugly truth that for the foreseeable future, this is as good as it's going to be for the Cardinals. Under Branch Rickey, the Cardinals created the minor-league system. This past spring, Baseball America rated the Cardinals' farm system the worst in all of baseball.

The current Cardinal roster is largely homegrown. In 2001, the NL Rookie of the Year Award went to Albert Pujols. In recent years the Cardinals have gotten solid rookie seasons from Rick Ankiel, Alan Benes and Matt Morris. J.D. Drew is a fragile, but excellent, player. The Cardinals have had a knack for developing players to play key roles on their good teams. So far, so good.

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July 16, 2002 1:58 am

Doctoring The Numbers: Defense in Colorado

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Rany Jazayerli

Continuing our discussion from last week on how to build a team at Coors Field, this time, from the run-prevention side.

Continuing our discussion from last week on how to build a team at Coors Field, this time, from the run-prevention side.

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(Numbers in parentheses indicate number of ballots on which the player appeared, then number of first-place votes received.)

AL MVP (14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1)

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