Author Archive

Effectively Wild Episode 1725: Jerry Built

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Padres trading for Adam Frazier and other pre-deadline activity, Joey Votto’s offensive resurgence, Shohei Ohtani’s dirty uniform, and more, then react in real time to the Mariners surprisingly trading Kendall Graveman to the Astros for Abraham Toro. They also answer listener emails about adding a pitcher/DH position, bringing back unlimited two-strike foul bunts to combat the shift, trading catchers at the deadline, the possibility of pitchers, not catchers, calling pitches, and enjoying baseball via stats alone. After that, they do a “Meet a Major Leaguer” on two rookies recently traded to the Pirates, Hoy Park and Tucupita Marcano, and share a Stat Blast on Merrill Kelly and the longest team streaks in which the only wins were in starts by one pitcher (plus postscripts on trades, “pulling the goalie,” cycles, and more).

Audio intro: The Pretty Things, "Joey"
Audio outro: Lana Del Rey, "Mariners Apartment Complex"

Link to Dan Szymborski on the Frazier trade
Link to latest Ohtani two-way outing
Link to story on the “phantom DH”
Link to story on electronic pitch-calling
Link to The Hidden Language of Baseball
Link to story on Maddux pitch-calling
Link to Gallo shift before two strikes
Link to Gallo shift with two strikes
Link to story on the two-strike-bunt rule
Link to Travis Sawchik on foul balls
Link to story on Marcano
Link to Stat Blast data
Link to Ryan Divish on the Mariners’ reaction
Link to story on Piniella’s “cycle”
Link to tweet about Kepler
Link to Facebook thread on cycles and no-nos
Link to Mary Shane podcast

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Effectively Wild Episode 1724: Changing of the Guardians

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the new name and look of Cleveland’s MLB team, the Guardians, then react to the Rays trading for Nelson Cruz and dealing away Rich Hill, analyze a new electronic system for sending signs from catchers to pitchers that’s about to be tested in A ball, and salute Juan Soto’s post-Home Run Derby hot streak. Then (38:42) they bring on FanGraphs writers Ben Clemens and Kevin Goldstein to talk about their just-completed ranking of the 50 players with the most trade value, touching on how the series’ sausage was made, the most divisive players, the toughest omissions, valuing pitchers vs. hitters, evaluating Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Max Kepler, Ramón Laureano, and other players, synthesizing stats and scouting info (and production and pay), what they expect at this year’s trade deadline, and how teams’ behavior at the deadline has changed (plus a postscript on historic pitching matchups and more alternate cycles).

Audio intro: Lou Reed, "Guardian Angel"
Audio interstitial: The Bats, "Trade in Silence"
Audio outro: Sloan, "I Can Feel It"

Link to Guardians announcement video
Link to Guardians logo and lettering
Link to Guardians uniforms
Link to story on Tom Hanks and Cleveland
Link to article about the Guardians name selection
Link to Dan Szymborski on the Cruz trade
Link to BP IL Ledger
Link to report on electronic signs system
Link to story on Soto and the Derby
Link to story about the Derby “curse”
Link to Trade Value series

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Effectively Wild Episode 1723: Absolute Zero

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the return of the debate about batting around and other unending debates they do or don’t care about, whether MLB should borrow the NFL’s plan to make clubs forfeit games that can’t be played because of unvaccinated players, Willians Astudillo being back in the big leagues, and listeners’ suggestions for alternate cycles, then answer listener emails about Zack Greinke and the Expos, turning the zombie runner into a ghost runner, beliefs about baseball that they have changed their minds about or will change their minds about, a baseball equivalent of pulling the goalie, and how long it would take aging former stars’ career WARs to hit zero, plus a Stat Blast about the Mariners and teams with the longest droughts since their last sweep of a homestand or road trip.

Audio intro: Lou Reed, "Endless Cycle"
Audio outro: Death Cab for Cutie, "Debate Exposes Doubt"

Link to WSJ batting around article
Link to Deadspin batting around article
Link to 2019 batting around video
Link to 2021 batting around video
Link to “triple short of cycle” games
Link to “Miggy cycle” games
Link to story about NFL forfeits
Link to post about pulling the goalie
Link to post about civilian WAR
Link to post about potato WAR
Link to Stat Blast data

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Effectively Wild Episode 1722: One Month Without Sticky Stuff

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the length of the baseball season (and postseason) compared to other sports’, whether Shohei Ohtani ever grows frustrated with his mere-mortal teammates, the prolific predictions of the Rockies’ Mike Redmond, a possible modification to the zombie-runner rule, an update on the Marlins’ run differential, a story about a broadcaster bet gone wrong, a listener report on Tony La Russa, Willie Stargell’s stars, an Ohtani playing-time fun fact, the AL MVP race, the Blue Jays returning to Toronto (and a hat tip to John McDonald), a few potential variations on the cycle, and when MLB will welcome its first active, openly gay player, then close with a discussion of MLB’s first month sans sticky stuff, focusing on the offensive effects and whether cheating is overrated.

Audio intro: Vetiver, "Been So Long"
Audio outro: The Posies, "Flavor of the Month"

Link to study on postseason randomness
Link to Neil Paine on MLB vs. the NBA
Link to Ohtani’s postgame comments
Link to The Onion on Ohtani
Link to Ohtani Week intro
Link to Redmond predictions story
Link to Nightengale on the zombie-runner rule
Link to The Athletic on the zombie-runner rule
Link to Jim Rooker story
Link to Jake Mintz’s ride
Link to Buster Olney on Stargell’s stars
Link to Engadget on Stargell’s stars
Link to cycle tweet
Link to story on Ron Wright
Link to story on the “Saint Cycle”
Link to Ben on sticky-stuff effects

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Effectively Wild Episode 1721: Forget it, Jake. It’s Chi-Town.

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the conditions David Fletcher has faced during his hitting streak compared to those Joe DiMaggio faced, follow up on a discussion of baseball in a multiverse scenario, discuss the difficulty of extending (or trading) Byron Buxton, mention a quest to collect Willians Astudillo cards, puzzle over the stagnation of former top prospect Nomar Mazara, and marvel at Padres rookie reliever Daniel Camarena’s improbable grand slam. Then (32:53) they talk to Jake Mintz of Cespedes Family BBQ about his All-Star week experience, his upcoming baseball bike ride from New York City to Chicago, the teams he’ll see along the way, his fateful bet about the White Sox not hiring Tony La Russa, how La Russa has handled the job in Chicago, the challenge of gauging how effective any manager is, Jake’s friendship with Jordan Shusterman, and more.

Audio intro: Billy Bragg & Wilco, "Joe DiMaggio Done it Again"
Audio interstitial: 2nd Grade, "My Bike"
Audio outro: The Dukes of Stratosphear, "Bike Ride to the Moon"

Link to Stats about DiMaggio’s streak
Link to story about official scorers and DiMaggio
Link to list of pitchers Fletcher faced
Link to Larry Niven story
Link to Buxton extension story
Link to Astudillo card collector
Link to Wallach card blog
Link to Sam on the Wallach card collector
Link to one million Cubs cards account
Link to 2019 Mazara moonshot
Link to Camarena homer
Link to Camarena backstory
Link to Camarena high-school stats
Link to story about Duggleby
Link to Andy McCullough on La Russa
Link to 2014 Cespedes BBQ road trip
Link to Jake’s 2021 trip website
Link to Lost Boyz Inc.

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Effectively Wild Episode 1720: Fun Differential

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Meg’s airport problems, discuss the All-Star Game (touching on mic’d up and profane players, unsightly uniforms, All-Stars being friendly on the field, and MLB embracing the game’s lack of stakes), lament that the zombie-runner rule may not be (un)dead after all, follow up on more players with high highlight-to-value ratios, reflect on Will Craig seeking solace in the KBO, celebrate David Fletcher’s 24-game hitting streak and unique offensive profile, examine some entertaining pettiness between Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve, and assess the state of the standings, focusing on teams that may make a late-season charge. Then they wrap up with a Stat Blast about the underperforming (but opponent-outscoring) Marlins and note some news about Roy Campanella.

Audio intro: The Byrds, "The Airport Song"
Audio outro: Beady Eye, "Back After the Break"

Link to mic’d up Ohtani and Soto
Link to mic’d up Tatis
Link to mic’d up Hendriks
Link to Ben on mic’d up players
Link to Rovell’s first Derby tweet
Link to Rovell’s second Derby tweet
Link to Manfred’s comments
Link to article about Craig
Link to Fletcher leaderboard
Link to Fletcher’s Baseball Savant page
Link to Fletcher hitting head-high pitch
Link to BP on the Yanks-Astros beef
Link to the Chronicle on the Yanks-Astros beef
Link to the Post on the Yanks-Astros beef
Link to FanGraphs playoff odds
Link to FanGraphs BaseRuns standings
Link to FanGraphs team pitching Clutch scores
Link to B-Ref team pitching high-leverage splits
Link to Craig R. Wright on Campanella

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Effectively Wild Episode 1719: The Derby and the Draft

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Rob Manfred teasing a possible permanent reprieve from zombie runners and seven-inning doubleheaders, react to Monday’s Home Run Derby and outpouring of appreciation for Shohei Ohtani, and lament Ronald Acuña Jr.’s season-ending injury (and assess the state of the Braves). Then (45:46) they bring on FanGraphs Lead Prospect Analyst Eric Longenhagen and National Writer Kevin Goldstein to break down the amateur draft, touching on the Pirates’ surprising first-overall pick, the best player picked, draft-day maneuvering, players who fell further than expected, how to break news about the next players picked, teams with “types,” the best and most eyebrow-raising team approaches, the Angels’ no-hitter draft, the draftees who’ll make the majors fastest, the potential two-way players, the oldest player ever drafted, the impact of the late draft date, the future of the draft, standouts at the Futures Game, and more.

Audio intro: Willie Nelson, "Denver"
Audio interstitial: Eli “Paperboy” Reed, "Pick a Number"
Audio outro: Bob Seger, "Get Out of Denver"

Link to story about Manfred’s comments
Link to story about Players Alliance donation
Link to story about Ohtani ASG rules
Link to Ben on the Derby
Link to MLB The Show Tatis promo
Link to MLB Network Ohtani interview
Link to players’ reactions to Ohtani
Link to amateur draft results
Link to Eric and Kevin’s last mock draft
Link to Eric and Kevin’s Day 1 draft recap
Link to story on the Angels’ draft
Link to list of oldest players drafted
Link to Ben on Ohtani’s origin story

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Effectively Wild Episode 1718: MLB in the Multiverse of Madness

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the 10th anniversary of Mike Trout’s promotion to the majors, Rey Ordóñez and other players with high highlights-to-value ratios, opting against an Albert Pujols pun, MLB wisely forgoing the humidor for the Home Run Derby, and a quibble with the Derby bracket, then follow up on a discussion of mid-inning coaching visits for hitters and answer listener emails about the value of an above-average broadcast crew, letting All-Stars wear a special patch on their regular jerseys, how baseball would be different in a multiverse scenario, the differing levels of outrage that resulted from MLB’s assorted cheating scandals, and when rooting for individual players crosses over into rooting for teams.

Audio intro: Earlimart, "10 Years"
Audio outro: The Big Bopper, "Bopper’s Boogie Woogie"

Link to MLB.com on Trout’s 10-year anniversary
Link to Ben on Trout’s rookie year
Link to Michael Baumann on Lindor and the Mariners
Link to Ordóñez defensive highlights video
Link to story on Vieira’s debut
Link to story on the humidor and the Derby
Link to FanGraphs TV broadcaster crowdsourcing
Link to FanGraphs radio broadcaster crowdsourcing

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Effectively Wild Episode 1717: The Bad Hatters

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Rays’ combined seven-inning hitless game, knuckleballer Mickey Jannis as a secret weapon in MLB The Show, Jacob deGrom and the near-impossibility of breaking the ERA record, Billy Hamilton and players with the highest highlight-to-value ratios, a six-man outfield against Joey Gallo, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the retelling of player predictions, a first for Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera’s recent semi-resurgence, Pablo López and an (almost) unprecedented one-pitch loss, Sonny Gray getting naked, another Max Muncy, the hidden difficulties of Shohei Ohtani’s two-way season, Max Stassi and the virtues of a catcher who can frame, and the Angels without Mike Trout, plus a Stat Blast about Jake Arrieta and the fewest pitches before grand slams. Then (1:05:34) they talk to Hat Club community manager Benjamin Christensen about the online backlash to the New Era “Local Market” and “Mixed Font” caps, why those caps are more successful than they seem, the process of designing hats, the overlap (or lack thereof) between Baseball Twitter and baseball-cap buyers, baseball caps as fashion statements, the continued cap dominance of MLB, how caps can promote the sport, and his favorite baseball caps.

Audio intro: Oasis, "(Probably) All in the Mind"
Audio interstitial: The Rose Petals, "The Man Who Sold the Hats"
Audio outro: First Aid Kit, "Ugly"

Link to story about Rays’ “notable achievement”
Link to Jannis in MLB The Show 21
Link to Ben on mid-PA pitching changes
Link to video of Hamilton catch
Link to shift against Gallo
Link to Vlad prediction clip
Link to full mic’d up video
Link to Ben on in-game interviews
Link to BP on López and Cabrera
Link to story on López and Art Schallock
Link to story on Gray getting changed
Link to FanGraphs mock draft
Link to info on the new Muncy
Link to video of Ohtani at-bat and homer
Link to story on Ohtani and Stassi
Link to Ohtani curve/fastball overlay
Link to Ben on the .500-ish Angels
Link to tweet about economical grand slams
Link to Stat Blast spreadsheet
Link to WaPo on the “Local Market” caps
Link to BP on the “Mixed Font” caps
Link to Hat Club website
Link to story about Griffey’s backward cap
Link to Shakeia Taylor on hats and hip-hop culture

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Effectively Wild Episode 1716: Hey Mickey

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about their long weekends, birthday boy (and two-way All-Star) Shohei Ohtani, MLB’s perplexing timing when it comes to announcing awards and All-Star honors and scheduling special events such as the Futures Game and the amateur draft, the Yankees’ continuing troubles, pitchers who’ve struggled since the sticky stuff crackdown began, and Kyle Schwarber falling prey to the hamstring-injury epidemic. Then (35:34) they “Meet a Major Leaguer” up close by bringing on Mickey Jannis, right-handed knuckleball pitcher for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, who discusses making his major league debut for the Baltimore Orioles last month, his journey from the 44th round to indy ball to the O’s, how he learned the knuckleball, how high-speed video has helped him refine his unusual pitch, being inspected for sticky stuff, the future of the knuckler, and more.

Audio intro: The Decemberists, "Down on the Knuckle"
Audio outro: Hinds, "Finally Floating"

Link to story about all-Star Ohtani
Link to video of Ohtani steal/walkoff
Link to video of Walsh/Ohtani hug
Link to video of Ohtani whiff
Link to story about the Yankees and analytics
Link to Lindsey Adler on Cole and Chapman
Link to video on Cortes
Link to video of Cortes vs. Ohtani
Link to Devan Fink on Richards
Link to BP article on hamstring strains
Link to Derek’s hamstring injury visualization
Link to Ben on Jannis and the knuckleball
Link to Jannis’ Twitter account
Link to Jannis’ first MLB out (and K)
Link to Jannis’ spring training knuckler
Link to Jannis’ knuckler grip
Link to Jannis’ knuckler on high-speed video
Link to story on Jannis’ “perfect” loss
Link to Ben on the Castellanos meme
Link to new Castellanos clip

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