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There have been elite shortstop prospects in recent memory who have been equally devastating at the...

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There have been elite shortstop prospects in recent memory who have been equally devastating at the plate, such as Manny Machado, Hanley Ramirez and the Upton brothers, but they weren't in the same class as Profar defensively. He's the best all-around shortstop prospect since Alex Rodriguez, though I don't think you'll see Profar grow into that same kind of power and they're not particularly similar players.

From Ask BA today.

Months after Luhnow tried to lure Keith Law from ESPN and hired Mike Fast from Baseball Prospectus,...

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Months after Luhnow tried to lure Keith Law from ESPN and hired Mike Fast from Baseball Prospectus, the new name being heard is Kevin Goldstein, also from Baseball Prospectus. (Luhnow called Goldstein "very well thought-of" while declining to say whether he's joining the Astros; Goldstein, known for extensive prospect reviews and clever, sometimes sassy tweets, responded "no comment" via a direct message on Twitter.)

From Jon Heyman's new column. Luhnow pursuing guys like Law, Fast and Goldstein to join his front office might explain why some of the old media types aren't fans of Luhnow.

What is more difficult to prove is the existence of subconscious racial bias: a white man crossing...

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What is more difficult to prove is the existence of subconscious racial bias: a white man crossing the street as a black man approaches, for example. The white man may not even realize he is acting in a way that assumes the approaching stranger means to do them harm, but is acting on a racial bias nonetheless. Are sports announcers guilty of this sort of bias, and are viewers unknowingly absorbing them? To answer this question we dispatched a group of ten people to combine to watch every single television broadcast of a Major League Baseball game for a week last season—95 games total, and nearly 200 separate broadcasts, since nearly every team fields its own broadcast for every game. We analyzed these games for the words announcers used to describe players, with the goal of finding out whether broadcasters spoke about white players and players of color differently. Our analysis shows that while black players are not discriminated against, foreign-born players—of which the vast majority are Latino—find themselves at a disadvantage.

A paper studying how announcers talk about baseball players of different races.

After Rangers reliever Robbie Ross showed up a few minutes late one day recently, he found his...

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After Rangers reliever Robbie Ross showed up a few minutes late one day recently, he found his clothes cut into little pieces. That was third baseman Adrian Beltre's way of letting the rookie know he'd messed up and that someone had noticed. And there was another rookie, reliever Tanner Scheppers, who walked by Beltre without speaking the other day. Beltre playfully poked Scheppers. "You don't talk to me?" Beltre asked. Beltre was letting the rookie know that he indeed was part of the team, that it was OK to loosen up a bit.

From Richard Justice's column on Adrian Beltre.

The following trade idea is presented for your entertainment only, and should not be regarded as...

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The following trade idea is presented for your entertainment only, and should not be regarded as anything more than a launching point for discussion among readers. It is a deal that could not be made until the offseason. It has not been proposed, to my knowledge, and it is unlikely to happen, for reasons that will be explained below. OK, now that I’ve dispensed with the disclaimers, let’s have some speculative fun: Tampa Bays left-hander David Price to the Texas Rangers for shortstop Elvis Andrus, left-hander Martin Perez and right-hander Cody Buckel.

From Ken Rosenthal's column today.

"First of all this guy is over here in the United States on a working visa and he broke the law,...

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"First of all this guy is over here in the United States on a working visa and he broke the law, what's he still doing here?" Sutcliffe said on ESPN Radio. "Forget the 50 game suspension from baseball, why is he still here? That visa should be taken away and he should not be allowed to play over here again or work here again."

Rick Sutcliffe, arguing that Melky Cabrera should be deported.

There were others that just don’t seem to care about wins or losses anymore. Like John Lackey, who...

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There were others that just don’t seem to care about wins or losses anymore. Like John Lackey, who apparently needs to travel with the team and work with trainer Mike Reinold while recovering from Tommy John surgery – a fairly standard rehab that literally thousands of pitchers have come back from stronger-than-ever over the last 30 years. But for whatever reason, the underachieving righty needs to travel with the team even though he won’t be throwing even one measly pitch for them. Lackey was so busted up after the latest defeat that he was strutting around the clubhouse with a can of Bud Light in each hand, or what is known as "double-fisting" on every college campus in the history of mankind.

From a remarkable hatchet job by a Boston writer on pitcher John Lackey.

A four-team trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is complete, multiple...

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A four-team trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is complete, multiple sources told ESPN on Thursday night. A source with direct knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com's Marc Stein the Lakers will receive Howard, the Denver Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the other three teams.

ESPN

Consider this scenario: Player A: An average defensive player over his career randomly has a...

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Consider this scenario: Player A: An average defensive player over his career randomly has a great defensive season. Player B: An average offensive player over his career puts up gaudy offensive numbers out of nowhere. Player A's WAR from that defensive season will be dismissed by the vast majority as being useless and incorrect, and his WAR will be ignored because of the "bad or incorrect data" being used to measure his defense. Quite oppositely, Player B's WAR will be accepted as hard fact, and his numbers are either considered a fluke or a "breakout" campaign. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

From "What is WAR Good For" at the Hardball Times.

It’s one thing to not be happy with your role, which Oswalt’s made clear he’s not. It’s another...

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It’s one thing to not be happy with your role, which Oswalt’s made clear he’s not. It’s another thing to say no to trying to help your team win, which is apparently what he did Sunday in Kansas City when he told manager Ron Washington he couldn’t pitch a third inning of relief. That’s not the way the clubhouse was built. Oswalt should have shown up for the Colby Lewis press conference a couple of weeks ago. He would have seen a pitch who’s eyes were bloodshot because of the tears that he had shed. Those weren’t tears of pity; those were tears of a pitcher who was upset because he wasn’t going to be able to help his team down the stretch.

From Anthony Andro's piece at FSSW on Roy Oswalt.