Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about what Shohei Ohtani might mean for the Mariners’ slight playoff chances and Riley O’Brien’s recent debut, before Ben shares some (good) personal news. Then (17:33) they bring on Will Leitch to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals. Will shares what it has been like to root for the team during its win streak, when he realized they were playoff bound, what has gone into this incredible run, and which Cardinals are candidates for some postseason devil magic. Plus, Will makes the case for this year’s version of the team actually being fun before predicting just how deep into October the Cardinals might play. Read the rest of this entry »
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Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Giancarlo Stanton’s awe-inspiring weekend at Fenway, the most aesthetically pleasing home run hitters, what the Cardinals’ 16-game winning streak portends (or doesn’t portend) for their playoff hopes, and the last week in the remaining playoff races. Then (26:32) they bring on Patreon supporter Dylan Buell to talk about his career as a professional sports photographer and answer listener emails about setting a winning-percentage cutoff for admission to the postseason, subtracting a strike for each pitch thrown outside the strike zone, a baseball equivalent of the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award, other baseball occupations that should be eligible for the Hall of Fame, how players’ appearances can affect fandom, baseball players sneaking onto Survivor, and the problems with plate-discipline highlights, plus Stat Blasts about precedents for the MVPs in both leagues coming from non-playoff teams, and the Rangers’ possibly unparalleled streak of innings without a lead.
Audio intro: The Glands, "So High"
Audio interstitial: The Pretty Things, "Photographer"
Audio outro: Bill Jr. Jr., "Run Home"
Link to Stanton homer against Chicago
Link to longest Stanton homer against Boston
Link to Ben on a Stanton homer from 2014
Link to video of that Stanton 2014 homer
Link to Strawberry dinger videos
Link to 1986 NLCS G3 homer
Link to 1986 World Series G7 homer
Link to Lindsey’s tweet about Stanton
Link to Lindsey on Stanton and Judge
Link to Glenallen Hill homer
Link to Sam on home run highlights
Link to Jay Jaffe on September records
Link to study on playoff randomness by sport
Link to Dylan Buell’s Instagram
Link to Nav Bhatia article
Link to 2016 article on Blue Jays scarf fan
Link to 2020 article on Blue Jays scarf fan
Link to article about Loretta’s Lounge
Link to article on Pros vs. Joes
Link to video of Jeff Kent on Survivor
Link to Ben on the Soto Shuffle
Link to article on the Rangers’ streak
Link to second article on the Rangers’ streak
Link to leadless streaks data
Link to 1916 Pirates/1932 Sox streaks data
Link to end-of-inning losing streaks data
Link to info on non-playoff MVPs
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Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about teams pitching around Shohei Ohtani and a second conspiracy theory about Rays/Jays Cardgate, then rank the fun quotient of potential playoff teams and draft their preferred playoff matchups.
Audio intro: Steve Gunn, "Protection"
Audio outro: Frankie Siragusa, "I Don’t Want to See You Again"
Link to article about Ohtani’s walks
Link to lineup protection explainer
Link to Tom Tango on lineup protection
Link to Davis-West card article
Link to current playoff bracket
Link to White Sox playoff rate
Link to Ben on Foundation
Link to past SP waiver acquisitions (before)
Link to past SP waiver acquisitions (after)
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Cardinals being unbeatable, the Giants setting a record for outperforming PECOTA, the Orioles’ and Diamondbacks’ race to MLB’s worst record, the White Sox and Yankees also having identical records (and the vagaries of unbalanced schedules and divisional assignments), the saga of Drew Maggi’s call-up and demotion and the phenomenon of “phantom ballplayers,” the Phillies’ weird ways of winning, and Shane Baz in the playoffs, then answer listener emails about a Jays and Rays Cardgate conspiracy, a team of Triple-A players vs. a team of inactive ex-MLB players, completing every long extra-inning game in an end-of-season marathon, what would happen if teams could literally refuse to lose, hitters gleaning pitch locations from where the catcher sets up, and MLB’s World Series rings vs. Australian rules football’s premiership medals.
Audio intro: Daniel Johnston, "Phantom of My Own Opera"
Audio outro: The Cars, "I Refuse"
Link to Kevin Goldstein on the Cardinals
Link to Rob Mains on PECOTA overperformers
Link to Patrick Dubuque on the Giants
Link to Jay Jaffe on Wade
Link to Jay on the Orioles
Link to Phil Miller on Maggi
Link to Do-Hyoung Park on Maggi
Link to phantom ballplayers wiki
Link to Craig Goldstein on Borucki
Link to “family portrait” tweet
Link to Carleton College softball game
Link to Ben on Kratz and catching
Link to 2021 peeking controversy
Link to Jason Turbow on peeking
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the unwritten rules controversy stemming from Kevin Kiermaier absconding with a Blue Jays scouting card, the Padres’ collapse, dysfunction, and outlook for 2022, the Cardinals’ surge and the Braves’ revamped outfield, Anthony Gose’s return to the majors as a pitcher, a number of injured arms making comebacks, the Pirates yet again failing to sweep, and the impact of depressed pitcher pay on team payrolls, then (41:43) talk to Jonathan Judge of Baseball Prospectus about his proposal to redistribute MLB revenue between the owners and players and to reapportion pay among the players.
Audio intro: The Clash, "The Card Cheat"
Audio interstitial: Laura Marling, "I Was Just a Card"
Audio outro: Kiwi Jr., "Salary Man"
Link to story on Kiermaier controversy
Link to story about Rays apology
Link to story about Mets-Dodgers dispute
Link to episode on banning in-game cards
Link to The Athletic on Padres dysfunction
Link to The Union-Tribune on the Padres
Link to story on Tatis and Machado
Link to Dan Szymborski on the Padres
Link to story on the Cardinals’ surge
Link to story on Atlanta’s outfield
Link to story on Gose’s comeback
Link to story on Syndergaard and deGrom
Link to story on Bieber
Link to story on Bassitt
Link to Rob Mains on pitcher pay
Link to Judge’s baseball economics article
Link to old EW episode about similar proposal
Link to story about minor league wristbands
Link to Angell watching the Mets
Link to Roger Angell EW episode
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the potential benefits of a 15-second pitch clock and the massive winning-percentage mismatch between the NL’s impending wild card winners, then answer listener emails about intentionally swinging at a wild pitch to reach base, the obsolescence of ERA, whether Statcast should be used instead of video to make fair-foul calls, and whether DJ LeMahieu is good, then meet major leaguers Kaleb Ort and Sammy Long and do Stat Blasts about whether relievers are really all failed starters and the Pirates’ historic failure to complete sweeps (plus a postscript about Austin Adams’ record-breaking HBP).
Audio intro: Remember Sports, "Clock"
Audio outro: The Scruffs, "I’m a Failure"
Link to Jayson Stark on the pitch clock
Link to Mike Sonne on pitch clocks and injuries
Link to J.J. Cooper on pitch clocks and game times
Link to MLB time of game by year
Link to Grant Brisbee on time between pitches
Link to David Smith on time between pitches
Link to Smith on why games get longer
Link to Rob Arthur on hitters’ time between pitches
Link to Rob on pitchers’ time between pitches
Link to EW episode about wild card game
Link to Travis Sawchik on the wild card round
Link to Griffin strikeout post
Link to Griffin strikeout video
Link to Griffin strikeout newspaper clipping
Link to Fuentes strikeout video
Link to Fuentes strikeout podcast
Link to Sandoval swing video
Link to Sam Miller on the ERA qualifier threshold
Link to J.J. on the ERA qualifier threshold
Link to story on Statcast’s margin of error
Link to story on Hawk-Eye in tennis
Link to Chet Gutwein on LeMahieu’s power outage
Link to Jeff Sullivan on LeMahieu’s power
Link to Kenny Kelly on LeMahieu and park effects
Link to story on Ort’s debut
Link to Oort cloud explainer
Link to Susan Slusser on Sammy Long
Link to story on Long’s debut
Link to Chafin’s “Failed Starter” shirt
Link to relievers Stat Blast data/graph
Link to Stat Blast sweeps data
Link to “Full Nelson” tweet
Link to current “Full Nelson” club
Link to Zach Kram on Adams
Link to Adams’ record HBP
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Jake Arrieta’s sub-replacement pitching and the sorry state of the Padres’ starting staff, Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, and the NL MVP race, Shohei Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and the competing, persuasive narratives of the AL MVP race, and the ascendance of micro sports betting. Then (31:49) they talk to FanGraphs writer Jay Jaffe about tracking “Team Entropy,” fun and far-fetched tiebreaker scenarios, the potential for wild endings to 2021’s division and wild card races, the retirement and legacy of Ryan Braun, and the players who’ve most helped their Hall of Fame cases this season.
Audio intro: Humble Pie, "The Sad Bag of Shaky Jake"
Audio interstitial: The Stroppies, "Entropy"
Audio outro: Mandolin Orange, "Old Ties and Companions"
Link to Ohtani on the Time Top 100
Link to story on Ohtani’s Top 100 appearance
Link to Jeff Sullivan on Harper’s 2015
Link to Rob Arthur on Harper’s 2015
Link to Ben on the Soto Shuffle
Link to story on micro sports betting
Link to study on micro sports bettors
Link to story on cricket betting scandal
Link to tennis match-fixing wiki
Link to Jay on Team Entropy in 2011
Link to MLB.com 2011 retrospective
Link to CBS Sports 2011 retrospective
Link to 2011 retrospective video
Link to Ben on five-way tiebreakers
Link to Russell on five-way tiebreakers
Link to Jay’s 2021 Team Entropy intro
Link to latest Team Entropy piece
Link to Rob on the Mariners’ run differential
Link to Jay on Braun
Link to Jay on pitchers’ Hall cases
Link to Jay on hitters’ Hall cases
Link to Jay on Negro Leagues candidates
Link to Jay’s first Sausage Race piece
Link to Jay’s second Sausage Race piece
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Padres reliever Austin Adams tying the single-season hit by pitch record (and some resulting safety concerns), Corbin Burnes pitching (most of) the season’s record-setting ninth no-hitter and the changing norms around pulling pitchers mid-no-no, Max Scherzer’s recent run, pitchers whose whole careers are covered by pitch-tracking tech, and Scherzer vs. Walker Buehler, the Padres’ stretch-run incentives, the Blue Jays raking and the Orioles imploding, the Yankees moving Gleyber Torres from shortstop to second base, and the latest demotion for quintessential journeyman Ryan Lavarnway. Then (40:18) they talk to writers Russell Carleton and Robert O’Connell about their recent (and not-so-recent) research and reporting about conditions in the minor leagues, touching on whether pay and housing have improved, the role of advocacy groups and media members in influencing public opinion, the cases for and against paying minor leaguers more, how much it would cost to raise the standards, the roots of low minor league pay, the impact of anxiety on development, and more.
Audio intro: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, "Just Outside of Austin"
Audio interstitial: Motorists, "Blood From the Stone"
Audio outro: The Both, "Pay for It"
Link to Zach Kram on Adams
Link to locations of Adams’ HBP
Link to Adams’ pitch to Turner
Link to story on Planet Nine
Link to Will Sammon on Counsell’s decision
Link to 1974 Preston Gomez story
Link to Jay Jaffe on Scherzer
Link to Jeff Passan on the Scherzer trade
Link to Dodgers Nation on Scherzer vs. Buehler
Link to Scherzer’s Kershaw reaction video
Link to MLB’s 3000-strikeouts graphic
Link to Ben Clemens on the Blue Jays
Link to Hyde’s postgame quote
Link to Dan Szymborski on Torres
Link to Lavarnway news
Link to Robert’s Defector story
Link to Russell on minor leaguers in 2012
Link to Russell on what it would cost
Link to Russell on responding to objections
Link to Russell on minor leaguers as investments
Link to Russell on minor league anxiety
Link to Russell on player-development losses
Link to Russell on changing teams’ thinking
Link to Marc Normandin on unionizing the minors
Link to story on G League union
Link to G League union announcement
Link to Joon Lee’s Angels report
Link to Brittany Ghiroli’s recent report
Link to Ghiroli on Astros housing
Link to FanGraphs post on housing costs
Link to story about Orioles housing
Link to subsequent story on Orioles housing
Link to Advocates for Minor Leaguers requests
Link to EW meetup info
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Blue Jays’ hot streak and playoff outlook and the meaning of clutchness, then meet major leaguers Andy Ibáñez of the Rangers and Janson Junk of the Angels. After that (37:07), they’re joined by Rob Mains of Baseball Prospectus to discuss the state of starting pitching, the future of pitcher usage, and the ebb and flow of competitive balance in MLB.
Audio intro: Magnolia Electric Co., "North Star"
Audio interstitial: Justus Proffit, "Split Into"
Audio outro: Dag, "Living in the Balance"
Link to Michael Baumann on the Jays
Link to Mike Baumanns podcast
Link to AL East playoff odds graph
Link to Levi Weaver on Ibáñez’s debut
Link to Ibáñez on his call-up
Link to Junk’s FG Audio episode
Link to last part of Rob’s starter series
Link to last part of Rob’s TTOP series
Link to Rob on limiting pitcher usage
Link to FiveThirtyEight on pitcher usage
Link to Twins’ seven-man rotation
Link to Ben on bullpenning
Link to Russell Carleton on bullpenning
Link to Ben on pitching prospects
Link to Gerald Schifman on options use
Link to Russell on four-man rotations
Link to Russell on six-man rotations
Link to Russell on swingmen
Link to Russell on one-inning relievers
Link to Rob on mobility vs. inequality
Link to Rob on competitive balance
Link to Ben on “hope and faith”
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Salvador Perez’s power output, durability, defense, and career, Shohei Ohtani’s offensive slump, the Rays calling up Josh Lowe to go with Brandon Lowe (but not Nathaniel Lowe), and the desirability of being teammates with one’s brother or father, then draft unsung players who are having good seasons that haven’t been mentioned much on the pod.
Audio intro: Ages and Ages, "Unsung Songs"
Audio outro: John Prine, "Pretty Good"
Link to Patrick Dubuque on Perez
Link to Perez oppo homer video
Link to Jay Jaffe on Perez
Link to players with more homers than walks
Link to MLB.com on catcher home runs
Link to Craig R. Wright on Ted Simmons
Link to BP on Josh Lowe
Link to Craig on manager fathers
Link to MLBFrameJobs Twitter account
Link to MLBFrameJobs app
Link to Ben Clemens on Narváez
Link to Kevin Goldstein on the Rays
Link to DRaysBay on Springs
Link to Jake Mailhot on Sewald
Link to Lookout Landing on Sewald
Link to Chet Gutwein on Cease
Link to Dan Szymborski’s breakout picks
Link to pitcher run support leaderboard
Link to EW episode on Wainwright/Miley
Link to Patrick Dubuque on Miley
Link to Ben Clemens on Wainwright
Link to Devan Fink on Riley
Link to Ben on the Soto Shuffle