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    The Uniform

    It's surprisingly easy to picture Mario Guerrero as part of a radical militia. I can almost convince myself I've seen pictures of him with Patty Hearst. Bravo.
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    Extreme Makeover: The Jarren Duran Edition

    One of my favorite old baseball nicknames. Not quite as good as Death to Flying Things Ferguson or Pebbly Jack Glasscock.
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    Extreme Makeover: The Jarren Duran Edition
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    Let's Predict the 2023 Red Sox Season

    88-74, which is good for the third wild card. September is exciting, the sort of month where you bring a radio outside when doing yardwork. October is not so good. -Team leader in Wins? Kluber -Team leader in Saves? Jansen -Team leader in ERA (qualifying)? Sale -Team leader for Batting Average...
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    The New Math (I’ll gladly pay Justin Turner today not Bogaerts in 9 years)

    Thank you for the kind words. I changed the dividing line from ages 27/28 to 29/30. To ensure that I selected a comparably talented group of players, I required a minimum of 28 WAR by the player’s age 29 season. Again, I limited it to the past 50 years. As before, the details are long. They are...
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    The New Math (I’ll gladly pay Justin Turner today not Bogaerts in 9 years)

    I had a little time on my hands today and tried to wrap my head around the recent spate of big dollar, long-term contracts. I decided to look back at what kind of production one can expect after age 28 from good young players. I decided to limit the study to the last 50 seasons (1973-2022). In...
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    2022 MLB Draft

    Elijah Green? Did the Nats just pick Pumpsie Green?
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    ESPN's Top 100 Players of All Time

    Barry Bonds Willie Mays Babe Ruth Honus Wagner Oscar Charleston Josh Gibson Alex Rodriguez Roger Clemens Walter Johnson Ty Cobb Breadth of accomplishment matters to me - speed and defense, as well as hitting - as does sustaining a high level for a long time. Toughest omissions: Ted Williams (he...
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    Is the 3,000 hit club over?

    Yeah, I think that's how the method is intended to work. The sum of all the percentages should give an estimate of how many active players will reach the goal. When Bill James developed the formula, he tested it by looking at how it would have worked in the past. In the 1990 Baseball Book, he...
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    Is the 3,000 hit club over?

    Right now the Favorite Toy gives Bichette just a 3.9% chance at 3,000 hits (there's some fine print in the formula that says the "established hit level" can't be less than 75% of the most recent season, so that helps him a little). I agree that this method probably underestimates his true hit...
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    Is the 3,000 hit club over?

    This is where the Favorite Toy can be fun, as it works retrospectively. After 2009, coming off five uninspiring years in Seattle, Beltre was still seen as having a 13% chance at 3,000 hits. One year later, after his great year with the Sox, his chances had more than doubled to 27%. Getting an...
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    Is the 3,000 hit club over?

    Running a couple of names mentioned above through the Favorite Toy: Manny Machado 19% (1425 hits, established hit level of 165, estimated remaining hits 1087) Mookie Betts 3% (1152 hits, established hit level of 148, estimated remaining hits 980)
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    Is the 3,000 hit club over?

    In the 1980s, Bill James had a method for estimating this, which he called the Favorite Toy. Basically, you use the player's age, career hit total, and "established hit level" to estimate the "projected remaining hits". Then you compare the projected remaining hits with the hits needed to reach...
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    On The Athletic: The Evolution of "Manny Being Manny"

    Jim Woods' call of this (as it appears on the highlight album Super Sox of 75) is a cherished memory. "Man alive, did he get all of that one. Otis didn't even move. It disappeared somewhere in the folds of the American flag." You can hear it here, beginning at c. 13:30: View...
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    All-Potential and All-Disappointment Teams

    Gammons: “The prize apparently is 18-year-old Puerto Rican shortstop Rey Quiñones, a 6-foot-1 Frank Robinson lookalike, who is leading the club in homers (4) and has exceptional defensive tools.” [Pulled from Quinones' bio at] The Frank Robinson comparison apparently originated with Ted...
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    All-Potential and All-Disappointment Teams

    Ivan Calderon could occupy space in rightfield for the All Disappointment Sox.
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    All-Potential and All-Disappointment Teams

    Rey Quinones as shortstop on the All-Potential Sox.
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    Garrett Whitlock

    Whitlock has been breathtaking. I like this role of middle relief for him, as well. It reminds me of something Bill James said in a 1980s era Baseball Abstract: Earl Weaver liked to break in his promising young arms with a year in middle relief (Doyle Alexander '72, Wayne Garland '74, Scott...
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    Thank you, Petey: Dustin Pedroia announces his retirement

    Not unexpected, but still the end of an era. I was living in Vienna in 2008, feeling slightly cut off from baseball and the American presidential race. One afternoon, walking through the center of the city, I saw a tee-shirt up ahead, "Pedroia for President". The wearer turned out to be a...