Author Archive

Effectively Wild Episode 1321: You Are the Boss of Me

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo being plunked in reprisal for his home-run pimp, the surprisingly small contract of Yasmani Grandal and the state of the Brewers and the NL Central, Jed Lowrie and the Mets’ positional logjam, DJ LeMahieu joining the Yankees and the ramifications for Manny Machado, the latest in teams trying to lure Machado by recruiting Machado mentors, the Dodgers signing Russell Martin, the latest on A’s first-rounder Kyler Murray, and a real-life analogue to a listener hypothetical about running the bases clockwise. Then (26:47) they bring on FanGraphs founder and overlord David Appelman to discuss his history at AOL and the site’s origin story, how he could have ended up building a database for a team, his philosophy of acquiring and providing data, gambling and baseball, balancing the site’s stats and writing, the secret to making a stats site work well, losing writers to teams, whether he wants the site to be acquired, the state of public baseball analysis, what’s on the horizon for FanGraphs, the future of sports media, and more.

Audio intro: Bob Dylan, "Lord Protect My Child"
Audio interstitial: Arkells, "Oh! The Boss is Coming"
Audio outro: Paul Simon, "When Numbers Get Serious"

Link to Astudillo buzzing and beaning
Link to weird Willians hit
Link to Jeff’s Grandal post
Link to Jeff’s Nelson post
Link to Murray interview episode

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Effectively Wild Episode 1320: Mets Are From Mars

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo going viral yet again, his iconic winter-league home-run pose and the state of celebration in baseball, the improbable personality of an improbable player, Astudillo’s future in Minnesota, and the Mariners bringing back Dustin Ackley. Then (23:59) they talk to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Systems Engineer (and baseball nerd) Shannon Towey about her past work at CERN, her present work on multiple Mars missions at JPL, her scientific interest in baseball, baseball fandom at JPL, her thoughts on the state of the Mets, Baseball Twitter vs. Space Twitter, misconceptions about science, her top Solar System destinations, and more, plus a postscript about the Brewers’ surprising signing of Yasmani Grandal.

Audio intro: The Jayhawks, "Big Star"
Audio interstitial: Robyn Hitchcock, "NASA Clapping"
Audio outro: Guster, "Rocketship"

Link to Astudillo homer
Link to Jeff’s post on Astudillo
Link to volcanologist interview episode
Link to Jeff’s post on Citi Field
Link to Shannon’s pitcher-classification post
Link to Mars 2020 mission site
Link to Mars Helicopter

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Effectively Wild Episode 1319: Scott, Bore Us

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Oliver Drake’s new (and also old) team, the Mets, Brodie Van Wagenen, and Keon Broxton, the Yankees signing Zach Britton, how data and technology have helped some free agents and hurt others, the state of free-agent spending and baseball’s economic past, present, and future, Scott Boras’s latest linguistic crime, the White Sox acquiring the friends and family of Manny Machado, Jonny Gomes getting hired as an unlikely coach, and Willians Astudillo’s winter league playoff performance, then answer listener emails about choosing which way to run the bases, televising winter leagues, scoring on defense, and the worst things for players to be the best at, plus a Stat Blast about the least and most consistent team winning percentages.

Audio intro: Nat King Cole, "Thou Swell"
Audio outro: Neil Young, "Sample and Hold"

Link to Drake interview
Link to Jeff’s post on Britton
Link to dolphin story
Link to Sam on Harrison’s pickle powers
Link to Ben’s article on the FA market

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Effectively Wild Episode 1318: The Keeper of the Game

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about New York Met Rymer Liriano and the minor league free agent draft, David Robertson signing with the Phillies, Robertson’s underrated record, and a Sabermetrics Mount Rushmore, then (14:43) talk to Retrosheet founder and president Dave Smith about how he started Retrosheet, the organization’s mission to collect a record of every major-league game ever played, its most valuable and most unlikely play-by-play sources, how games get entered into the database, the unreliability of players’ recollections, Dave’s Vin Scully/Sandy Koufax story, how Retrosheet is continuing to unearth missing games, how it deduces games when complete records aren’t available, whether it will ever complete its task, why baseball stats and history are so fascinating, and more.

Audio intro: Whitney, "Dave’s Song"
Audio interstitial: Gillian Welch, "Everything is Free"
Audio outro: The Who, "Daily Records"

Link to EW minor league draft results
Link to Jeff’s Robertson post
Link to Ben’s Sherri Nichols story
Link to David Neft interview
Link to Retrosheet’s most wanted games
Link to Tewksbury interview
Link to Secret Santa montage

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Effectively Wild Episode 1317: Alphabatical Order

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the Yankees signing Troy Tulowitzki, Whit Merrifield’s vaguely worded optimism about the Royals, and the necessity of unrealistic expectations, then answer listener emails about holiday sports conversations (featuring Ben’s mom’s hot take about Mariano Rivera and the truth about Rivera versus Edgar Martinez), players who are literally in the Hall of Fame, why many fans side with owners over players in economic matters, the worst baseball card poses, fans managing games, playoff teams drafting players from non-playoff teams, and imposing time limits on games, plus Stat Blasts about Willians Astudillo, John Jaso and the best players never to qualify for the batting title, and alphabetical batting orders.

Audio intro: The Delgados, "Accused of Stealing"
Audio outro: Elliott Smith, "Alphabet Town"

Link to Pecota baseball card
Link to Grandstand Managers Night recap
Link to Schaumburg Flyers fan voting story
Link to alphabetical lineup game
Link to post about winter league playoff format
Link to Pelota Binaria

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Effectively Wild Episode 1316: Oh Say Can Yusei

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the Mariners signing Yusei Kikuchi, Willians Astudillo’s last 10 days, and Oliver Drake’s latest designation for assignment, and then grade the Hall of Fame’s many choices of in-game artifacts from the 2018 season. After that (44:41), they bring on Kyodo News writer Jim Allen to talk about Kikuchi’s origin story, recent performance, balky shoulder, and comparable pitchers, plus the use of stats and technology in Japanese baseball, how the posting system has (and hasn’t) changed NPB, how Shohei Ohtani’s rookie MLB season was perceived in Japan, the greatness of potential future major leaguer Yuki Yanagita, and more.

Audio intro: Superchunk, "Drool Collection"
Audio interstitial: Legion of Mary, "Every Word You Say"
Audio outro: The Undertones, "Save Me"

Link to Drake interview episode
Link to list of Hall of Fame artifacts
Link to Jeff’s Kikuchi post
Link to Jim’s Kikuchi primer
Link to Jim’s story on Kikuchi’s use of technology
Link to Jim’s story on Kikuchi’s evolving approach
Link to Jim’s podcast

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Effectively Wild Episode 1315: The 2019 Minor League Free Agent Draft

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh, Jeff Sullivan, and ESPN’s Sam Miller review the top candidates for the most enduring baseball memory of 2018, then conduct the sixth annual Effectively Wild Minor League Free Agent Draft, selecting 11 minor league free agents each and competing to see whose roster will accumulate the most combined MLB playing time in 2019 (followed by a Nelson Cruz signing addendum).

Audio intro: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, "Here We Go Again"
Audio outro: Teal Wicks, "I Know He’s Out There"

Link to Sam’s article about 2018 memories
Link to video of Bregman play
Link to MiLB FA list
Link to Moreland video
Link to EW competitions and drafts sheet

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Effectively Wild Episode 1314: What We Missed in 2018 (NL Edition)

EWFI
In the second of two themed episodes, Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan review one aspect of each National League team’s year that they overlooked on earlier episodes, touching on stories involving the Baby Braves, Charlie Culberson, and Dansby Swanson, Brent Suter vs. Corey Kluber, Jack Flaherty vs. Walker Buehler, Willson Contreras’s wedding, Archie Bradley, Yasiel Puig, Dereck Rodriguez and Gorkys Hernandez, Wei-Yin Chen’s record split, Zach Wheeler and the Mets, Dave Martinez and camels, the Padres’ bullpen, Jorge Alfaro, Trevor Williams, Jesse Winker, D.J. Johnson, and more.

Audio intro: Kim Wilde, "The Second Time"
Audio outro: Bryan Adams, "We Did it All"

Link to article about Baby Braves
Link to Swanberson photo 1
Link to Swanberson photo 2
Link to Suter homer
Link to Meg on Bradley
Link to Chen’s record split
Link to Williams turnaround article
Link to Johnson origin story

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Effectively Wild Episode 1313: What We Missed in 2018 (AL Edition)

EWFI
In the first of two themed episodes, Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan review one aspect of each American League team’s year that they overlooked on earlier episodes, touching on stories involving Mike Scioscia, Myles Straw, Stephen Piscotty, Rowdy Tellez, Jose Ramirez, Mike Marjama, Richard Bleier, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, a stathead in uniform, Tony Renda, Brad Keller, a fight between broadcasters, Byron Buxton, Yolmer Sanchez, Gary Sanchez, and more.

Audio intro: John Cale, "You Know More Than I Know"
Audio outro: Neko Case, "I Missed the Point"

Link to Straw article
Link to Straw spray chart
Link to Piscotty post
Link to Ramirez Mario Kart article
Link to Bleier post
Link to Erlichman article
Link to innovative walkoffs
Link to wild pitch caught stealing

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Effectively Wild Episode 1312: A Puig of Their Own

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the Daniel Murphy, Trevor Cahill, Anibal Sanchez, and Andrew Miller signings, react in real time to the three-team Jurickson Profar trade, and answer listener emails about signing Bryce Harper for one year, signing Harper as a catcher, choosing between watching games and having access to all other information, rebuilding by collecting exorbitant contracts, an NBA case of mistaken identity, and the offseason if teams were in the dark about transactions, plus a Stat Blast about one-year wonders. Then (54:38) Ben talks to The Ringer’s Katie Baker about the greatness of the late Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own, its casting and most quotable lines, the best what-ifs from the film, what the movie missed, and what it means to many women. Lastly (1:21:36), Ben brings on another Ringer colleague, Zach Kram, to talk about the Dodgers-Reds blockbuster involving Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood, the Mariners’ trade for Domingo Santana, and his research about why trading for prospects often doesn’t pan out.

Audio intro: Willie Nelson, "So Much to Do"
Audio interstitial 1: Guided By Voices, "The Littlest League Possible"
Audio interstitial 2: Koufax, "Work Will Never End"
Audio outro: Pixies, "The Holiday Song"

Link to Travis on the slow free-agent market
Link to Jeff on the Murphy signing
Link to Jeff on Cahill
Link to Russell on the defense of emergency catchers
Link to Katie on A League of Their Own
Link to Britni on A League of Their Own
Link to Zach on trading top prospects

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