Author Archive

Effectively Wild Episode 1781: Hidden Balls Trick

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about listener responses to their earlier conversation about the proper pluralization of “hit by pitch,” then (11:41) bring on Bradford William Davis and Dr. Meredith Wills to discuss the reporting and research that revealed that two types of baseballs were used during the 2021 MLB regular season, as well as the differences between balls, players’ and teams’ reactions to the news, whether MLB’s ball problems stem from incompetence or conspiracy, how the league could improve its messaging and production process, the outlook for offense next year, the ball’s impact on gambling and the labor situation, and more.

Audio intro: Sparks, “Balls
Audio outro: Roy Orbison, “Two of a Kind

Link to SABR style guide
Link to Bradford’s report
Link to thread about Bradford’s report
Link to SI report about 2020 balls
Link to study about the Yankees
Link to Alonso’s comments
Link to Ben’s first piece about the HR rate
Link to Ben’s first piece about the ball
Link to Manfred’s 2019 comments
Link to Meredith’s 2019 analysis
Link to Ben on 2019 postseason balls
Link to article about Wilson basketballs
Link to Sporting News on three-pointers
Link to NPR on three-pointers
Link to Effectively Wild Secret Santa
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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Effectively Wild Episode 1780: Thank You for Your Service

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about which teams have the most unfinished roster construction to complete post-lockout and the league’s and union’s dueling playoff format proposals, then answer listener emails about what Wander Franco would make as a free agent today, a plan to combat tanking, and the proper pluralization of “hit by pitch,” Stat Blast about Rich Hill and Scott Service, and meet two major leaguers, the Nationals’ Joan Adon and the Cubs’ Tyler Payne.

Audio intro: Leftover Salmon, “Mountain Top
Audio outro: Biz Markie, “My Man Rich

Link to 14-team-playoffs proposal
Link to 12-team-playoffs proposal
Link to Ken Rosenthal on Freeman
Link to Sam Miller on seeking contracts
Link to article about Boras loophole
Link to the “Gold Plan”
Link to article on MLB vs. NFL TV ratings
Link to Ben Clemens on the Hill signing
Link to list of most signings with one team
Link to list of most stints with one team
Link to article about Cubs players used
Link to article about Service
Link to Servais vs. Service record
Link to Servais vs. Service video
Link to Travis Sawchik thread
Link to Adon debut highlights
Link to Adon debut post
Link to Effectively Wild Secret Santa
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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Effectively Wild Episode 1779: The Show Must Go On

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the beginning of the lockout, which marks MLB’s ninth work stoppage and the first in 26 years. They also discuss a flurry of buzzer-beating transactions, including the Dodgers re-signing Chris Taylor, the Cubs signing Marcus Stroman, the Brewers and Red Sox swapping Jackie Bradley Jr. and Hunter Renfroe, and the Red Sox remaking their rotation with Rich Hill and James Paxton. Then (32:13) they bring on Indiana University professor and FanGraphs contributor Nathaniel Grow to discuss the significance of the lockout, what can and can’t happen while the lockout is in place, how and when it might be resolved, challenging MLB’s antitrust exemption, and more.

Audio intro: Crowded House, “Locked Out
Audio interstitial: Lucinda Williams, “Changed the Locks
Audio outro: Pink Floyd, “The Show Must Go On

Link to Manfred’s letter
Link to Tony Clark’s statement
Link to Manfred’s press conference
Link to more Manfred and Clark comments
Link to Ben Clemens on Taylor
Link to Eric Longenhagen on Renfroe/Bradley
Link to Kevin Goldstein on Iglesias
Link to Dan Szymborski on Paxton
Link to last Evan Drellich podcast appearance
Link to Evan on the most divisive issues
Link to Evan on the start of the lockout
Link to Evan on the path to the lockout
Link to Nathaniel’s CBA preview
Link to Nathaniel’s lockout preview
Link to Travis Sawchik on 1995 signings
Link to Ben on spring training for free agents
Link to Mike Axisa on work stoppage rules
Link to Nathaniel on the antitrust exemption
Link to Baseball on Trial
Link to Effectively Wild Secret Santa
Link to Travis on agents and earnings
Link to Shi Davidi on the Gausman signing
Link to Davidi on Gausman vs. Ray
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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Effectively Wild Episode 1778: The Storm Before the Calm

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley discuss the onslaught of transaction activity leading up to the expiration of the CBA, touching on why they and others misread how fast the market would move, why players and teams have done deals so quickly and how the burst of spending could affect labor talks, the group of non-playoff teams that are trying to win, the Rangers and Mets pushing in their chips, the futures of Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Javier Báez, Max Scherzer’s record-breaking contract, Kevin Gausman vs. Robbie Ray, the aesthetics of Starling Marte, how close to contention the Mariners, Tigers, and Marlins might be, the Byron Buxton extension and the state of the Twins, the prominent teams that haven’t been busy, what the Rockies are thinking, where Carlos Correa could end up, and more.

Audio intro: The Orange Peels, "All at Once"
Audio outro: Bee Gees, "All My Christmases Came at Once"

Link to Dan Syzmborski on the Mets’ signings
Link to Jay Jaffe on the Scherzer signing
Link to Dan on the Semien signing
Link to Kevin Goldstein on the Seager signing
Link to Dan on the Ray signing
Link to Ben Clemens on the Gausman signing
Link to Brendan Gawlowski on the Frazier trade
Link to Ben Clemens on the Buxton extension
Link to Justin Choi on the Gray signing
Link to Ben Clemens on the Báez signing
Link to Danny Knobler on a signing deadline
Link to MLB-proposed free-agent signing deadline
Link to MLB.com on a signing deadline
Link to SI on speeding up free agency
Link to RosterResource payroll page
Link to Ken Rosenthal on Correa
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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Effectively Wild Episode 1777: Happy Francsgiving

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Rays signing 20-year-old Wander Franco to a long-term extension, rapid movement in the starting-pitcher market (capped off by the Cardinals signing Steven Matz and Mets owner Steve Cohen tweeting out his reaction), and the White Sox inking Kendall Graveman. Then (36:41) they continue their series of discussions of Korean baseball drama Stove League by breaking down Episodes 5–8. (Note: No spoilers beyond Episode 8.)

Audio intro: Willie Nelson, "I Let My Mind Wander"
Audio outro: Lana Del Ray, "Not All Who Wander Are Lost"

Link to Dan Syzmborski on the Franco extension
Link to Ginny Searle on the Franco extension
Link to Devan Fink on the Giants’ deals
Link to story about Cohen and Matz
Link to Luke Hooper on the Graveman signing
Link to Korean report on corporal punishment
Link to “Fighting!” expression
Link to “You’ve worked hard!” expression
Link to first EW Stove League discussion
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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Effectively Wild Episode 1776: How Can You Not Be Romantic About Baseball?

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh talks to baseball writer and romance novelist KD Casey about Unwritten Rules, her new romance novel about catchers and catcher framing, focusing on her history as a fan and writer, the intersection of sports and romance fiction, fictionalizing MLB teams, delivering details about baseball without alienating readers who aren’t fans, the ethics of dating a teammate, why MLB still hasn’t had a publicly out active player, the legacy of Glenn Burke, whether it’s harder to write baseball scenes or sex scenes, picking the cover model for a baseball romance novel, calibrating readers’ romance expectations, and more. Then (1:08:22) Ben brings on Baseball Prospectus author Gerald Schifman to discuss his latest research into whether shadows creeping across the field actually affect offensive performance.

Audio intro: Julian Lennon, “Kiss Beyond the Catcher
Audio interstitial: Dion, “In and Out of the Shadows
Audio outro: Great Lake Swimmers, “Catcher Song

Link to Unwritten Rules publisher page
Link to Unwritten Rules Goodreads page
Link to KD’s website
Link to all of KD’s books
Link to KD’s social media landing page
Link to KD on Jewish families
Link to vote in Reads Rainbow Awards
Link to Ben’s 2013 framing piece
Link to most-read Goodreads baseball books
Link to Goodreads baseball romance books
Link to Emma Span on baseball slash fiction
Link to Billy Beane/Theo Epstein story
Link to podcast about Pitch
Link to retrospective Pitch piece
Link to EW episode with Billy Bean
Link to story about Burke
Link to Burke bio Singled Out
Link to excerpt from Burke bio
Link to Andrew Maraniss on Burke
Link to True Blue LA interview about Burke
Link to The Athletic interview about Burke
Link to Moneyball “romantic” scene
Link to Gerald’s first shadows study
Link to Gerald’s second shadows study
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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Effectively Wild Episode 1775: Ask the Audience

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley follow up on an earlier conversation about ERA vs. FIP and banter about Seiya Suzuki being posted, Noah Syndergaard’s explanation of why he left the Mets, the rumored Sandy Alcantara extension and the future of the Marlins, how Canada’s new policy about unvaccinated athletes could affect the Blue Jays, and a dirty punch thrown by Willians Astudillo. Then (26:49) they discuss whether and how Ben, who’s eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame for the first time, should cast his ballot in a year with an unusually divisive slate of candidates.

Audio intro: Crowded House, "Fame Is"
Audio outro: Ry Cooder, "One Cat, One Vote, One Beer"

Link to Syndergaard comments
Link to story about Canada’s policy change
Link to Reddit thread about Astudillo’s punch
Link to blog post about Astudillo’s punch
Link to earlier Astudillo brawl
Link to 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot
Link to Jay Jaffe on the 2022 ballot
Link to Jay on the Era Committee ballots
Link to 2022 ballots at B-Ref
Link to Jay on his 2021 ballot
Link to EW interview with philosophers
Link to Jared Diamond on the character clause
Link to Jeff Passan on Bonds and Clemens
Link to Passan on not voting
Link to Andy McCullough on not voting
Link to The Athletic’s HoF survey
Link to Beyond the Scrum pod on not voting
Link to starting pitcher JAWS leaders
Link to Ken Rosenthal’s 2021 ballot
cw // Link to comments by Bonds’s ex-wife
cw // Link to comments by Bonds’s ex-girlfriend
Link to FanGraphs post about playerElo
Link to paper about playerElo
Link to 2019 playerElo ratings
Link to FiveThirtyEight Elo ratings
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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Effectively Wild Episode 1774: In Defense of FIP

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley recap the results of awards week, focusing on the controversy over Corbin Burnes’s victory over Zack Wheeler in NL Cy Young voting, the inconsistency between the AL and NL Cy Young results, how voting patterns are evolving, whether anyone actually discounts the value of innings, FIP vs. ERA and a misconception about the suitability of FIP for retrospective evaluation, and the MVP victories of Shohei Ohtani and Bryce Harper. Then (43:24) they start their series of discussions of Korean baseball drama Stove League by breaking down the first four episodes of the show. (Note: No spoilers beyond Episode 4.)

Audio intro: The High Water Marks, "Award Show"
Audio outro: The Lemonheads, "Stove"

Link to NL Cy Young voting results
Link to AL Cy Young voting results
Link to AL MVP voting results
Link to Ben on Ohtani’s stats
Link to NL MVP voting results
Link to Alex Speier on Cy Young voting
Link to Jayson Stark on awards stats
Link to Jeff Passan’s tweet about innings
Link to Tom Tango on deGrom vs. Urías
Link to Tango on predicting Cy Young results
Link to Dan Szymborski on his NL RotY ballot
Link to Ben Clemens on Burnes
Link to Neil Paine on MVPs and team performance
Link to history of BBWAA Cy Young voting
Link to history of BBWAA MVP voting
Link to Russell Carleton on reliever workloads
Link to Incheon SSG Landers Field
Link to Moneyball bat scene
Link to Twitter thread on Jung Hwa Kim
Link to explainer about Korean beef
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to Stove League review
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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Effectively Wild Episode 1773: Hats Off

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Astros re-signing Justin Verlander and MLB’s plan to house minor leaguers, then (19:53) bring on listener and top-tier Patreon supporter John Choe to discuss the single game he played in indy ball, the Moonlight Graham Society he co-founded to recognize minor league cups of coffee, how his love of baseball stats helped guide him to his current career, how he and his kids have spread the gospel of sabermetrics, his daughter’s on-field experience with Baseball For All, and more. After that (42:29), Ben, Meg, and John answer listener emails about why popular pitcher stats don’t mirror popular hitting stats, how different baseball would be if players were removed from games after making outs and if players and teams could copyright tactics, whether umps should intervene in an unforced walk-off, and whether players could opt not to wear caps. Lastly (1:24:17), Ben talks to another listener/Patreon supporter, Michael Mountain, about the most efficient itinerary for a trip to every affiliated ballpark in 2022.

Audio intro: Kelley Stoltz, "You’re Out of This World"
Audio outro: Smash Mouth, "Shoes ‘N’ Hats"

Link to Brendan Gawlowski on Verlander
Link to Baseball America on MiLB housing
Link to MiLB.com on MiLB housing
Link to the Moonlight Graham Society website
Link to John’s page at the MGS site
Link to John’s article about the MGS
Link to NPR story on Evan Katz
Link to Sam Miller on playing in a pro game
Link to list of minor league one-game players
Link to lists of major league one-game players
Link to Baseball For All website
Link to paper on protecting sports secrets
Link to Ben on keeping secrets in MLB
Link to Bryan Grosnick on openers
Link to Sam on the history of bullpenning
Link to story on copyrighting game mechanics
Link to Michael’s previous pod appearance
Link to Reddit thread on 2022 road trip
Link to Michael’s ballpark grand tour
Link to traveling salesperson problem
Link to NoContextEWPod account
Link to Acuña’s quote
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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Effectively Wild Episode 1772: Bananas in Pajamas

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about a flurry of signings and other transactions, including the Tigers signing Eduardo Rodriguez, the Angels signing Noah Syndergaard, the Blue Jays extending José Berríos, and the Mets (finally) hiring a GM, Billy Eppler, plus musings on the Tigers and Mariners “turning the corner,” followups on player rankings, unorthodox trades, and the worst way to end a series, and a real-time reaction to some Shohei Ohtani sponsorship news. Then (43:47) they talk to Zack Frongillo, Director of Entertainment for the Savannah Bananas, about the team’s history, his history, the development of “Banana Ball” and its experimental rules, foul balls being in play, how a typical gameday goes, the team’s online and offline appeal, the tryout/audition process, what baseball could borrow from Banana Ball, the Bananas’ plans for the future, and much more.

Audio intro: Radiohead, “Banana Co.
Audio interstitial: Arkells, “Savannah
Audio outro: Matt Costa, “Savannah

Link to Ben Clemens on the Rodriguez signing
Link to ICC cricket rankings
Link to ICC cricket rankings wiki
Link to story on the Guardians’ name
Link to Phanatic lawsuit story
Link to Harwell trade story
Link to story about Youppi! trade
Link to video of 2014 Japan Series ending
Link to story on 2014 Japan Series ending
Link to Twenty20 cricket wiki
Link to the Bananas’ “About” page
Link to Banana Ball explainer
Link to Banana Ball video
Link to Baseball America on the Bananas
Link to the Boston Globe on the Bananas
Link to the WSJ on the Bananas
Link to Max Patkin SABR bio
Link to Eddie Feigner obit
Link to the Bananas on TikTok
Link to Zack’s post in the EW Facebook group
Link to EW episode about Blaseball
Link to info on the Bananas’ 2022 tour
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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