Author Archive

Effectively Wild Episode 1431: Curtains for Trout

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the Twins’ missed opportunity for a mid-plate-appearance pitching change, more mind-boggling home run facts about the year of the dinger, fun facts about the Diamondbacks and Jarrod Dyson, Guy Fieri endorsing Spencer Torkelson and which celebrity character references might make them draft a player higher, and how to answer the Phillies’ interview question for a quantitative analyst position, then discuss Mike Trout’s season-ending injury and what his accumulating missed time might mean for his career.

Audio intro: Sonny & The Sunsets, "The Application"
Audio outro: The Only Ones, "Curtains for You"

Link to Ben on mid-PA pitching changes
Link to story on the one-baserunner Diamondbacks win
Link to video of Rich Aude’s bat flip
Link to 2018 Phillies interview question
Link to 2019 Phillies interview question
Link to Jay Jaffe on the end of Trout’s season
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1430: To Win or Not to Win

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Kyle Lewis’s debut, Rich Hill’s brief return, Daniel Palka’s second hit of the season, the Braves and Dallas Keuchel, and the Diamondbacks’ Brewers-style rebuild, then (18:13) talk to Will Leitch about what (if anything) Dave Dombrowski’s firing says about MLB teams’ competitive priorities, how the Cardinals (and Jack Flaherty) became the NL’s most successful second-half squad, and the NL Central and NL wild card races.

Audio intro: The Resonars, "Attention Here"
Audio interstitial: Supertramp, "The Meaning"
Audio outro: The Mountain Goats, "Bluejays and Cardinals"

Link to Tony Wolfe on Keuchel
Link to Ben Clemens on the Diamondbacks
Link to Will’s Dombrowski column
Link to Rob Arthur on Dombrowski
Link to Evan Drellich on Dombrowski
Link to Peter Gammons on Dombrowski
Link to Zach Kram on Flaherty
Link to Andrew Simon on Flaherty
Link to Craig on the Cardinals’ defense
Link to Will’s Cardinals podcast
Link to Will’s newsletter
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1429: Catch Me if You Can

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the costs of Christian Yelich’s broken kneecap and other injuries disrupting pennant races and the Mets-centric personal-catcher controversy involving Noah Syndergaard, Wilson Ramos, and Tomás Nido. Then they answer listener emails about the mystery of Edwin Díaz (and the more minor mystery of Justin Verlander) and whether we’re heading for a post-pitch-type sport, plus a Stat Blast about batter results on 3-0 counts and further discussion about out-of-nowhere closers and viral fun facts about Bruce Bochy and the Mariners.

Audio intro: Green Day, "Christian’s Inferno"
Audio outro: The Pigeon Detectives, "Making Up Numbers"

Link to Ben on the Yelich injury
Link to first Syndergaard-Ramos report
Link to Syndergaard-Ramos follow-up
Link to Díaz story
Link to Craig on Verlander dingers
Link to story on Verlander’s strand rate
Link to Sam on surprise closers
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1428: The Big Dombrowski

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about Michael Lorenzen, Shohei Ohtani, and two-way terminology, marvel at Eugenio Suárez and other surprises from the 2019 home run leaderboard, celebrate the AL wild card race, salute the improving A’s and Rays, and discuss teams that are reshaping their potential playoff rosters late in the regular season, respond at length to the breaking news that the Red Sox have fired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski less than a year after winning the World Series, and then play a Cy Young award game and analyze the legacy of Justin Verlander.

Audio intro: Ben Folds, "Fired"
Audio outro: Midnight Oil, "Short Memory"

Link to story on Mitch Garver’s reinvention
Link to Ken Rosenthal’s speculation about Dombrowski
Link to Alex Speier’s book Homegrown
Link to Ben on Boston’s post-championship complacency
Link to Passan report on Dombrowski
Link to Baumann on Verlander
Link to FiveThirtyEight article on Verlander
Link to Craig Edwards on Verlander’s home run rate
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1427: Most Valuable Podcast

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Meg’s time in the mountains and subsequent September disorientation, attempt to divine the family dynamics of a Colin Moran vs. Brian Moran matchup, talk about the Twins pulling away in the AL Central race and the implications for Cleveland, and discuss the downsides of the annual debate about the definition of “value” in the MVP award debate (plus more musings about Daniel Palka’s 1-for-53 start to his 2019 MLB season).

Audio intro: Mavis Staples, "Brothers and Sisters"
Audio outro: Joe Jackson, "Nineteen Forever"

Link to story on the Morans
Link to video of the Morans
Link to THT piece on MVP voting criteria
Link to Sam on Trout’s 2017 MVP award
Link to video of Palka’s lone MLB hit from 2019
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1426: Fun or Foul

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller debate whether a fact about Michael Lorenzen’s multi-way play is fun, banter about Nelson Cruz’s unflagging offense, technology and the future of the knuckleball, and an ignominious achievement by Billy Hamilton, then answer listener emails about the lack of four-homer games, what would happen if foul balls caught in the stands counted as outs, and whether (and how) MLB should ask its audience what it wants to see, plus a Stat Blast about the most-ever talent on one team and another fun-fact debate (about Cody Bellinger).

Audio intro: The Stooges, "No Fun"
Audio outro: The Scruffs, "You’re No Fun"

Link to Lorenzen story
Link to Ben on Cruz
Link to Ben on the knuckleball
Link to Travis on foul balls
Link to Sam on the most talented teams
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1425: Just the Facts

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the Cardinals, the Nationals, and the NL’s increasingly interesting playoff races, the pluses and minuses of expanded September rosters, a caveat about time-traveling to see Mike Trout’s final game, and Justin Verlander’s third no-hitter and the role of health in determining pitchers’ careers, then discuss the significance of five fun (and not-so-fun) facts: Oakland’s history of slow starts and fast finishes; Cleveland’s performance against good and bad teams, Buster Posey’s second-half swoons and the veteran stars having the most disappointing seasons; the Marlins’ attendance and baseball’s future as a remote viewing experience; and the Tigers’ lack of above-average hitters and the entertainment value of terrible teams (plus an update on Aristides Aquino and facts about fastest starts).

Audio intro: The Resonars, "Three Times Around"
Audio outro: John Doe and The Sadies, "The Cold Hard Facts of Life"

Link to Glanville on expanded rosters
Link to Sam on Stallings
Link to Sam on Statcast no-hitters
Link to article about Verlander’s low point
Link to Sam’s power rankings contributions
Link to Max Marchi on who’s ahead of whom
Link to Neil Paine on the terrible Tigers
Link to Aquino story
Link to Sam on Bellinger
Link to Sam on Yelich
Link to Ben on knuckleballs
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1424: Dance With the Bat That Brought You

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about GPS, resisting the urge to take the bait on bad takes, and the debate about access for broadcasters who double as team personnel, answer listener emails about not replacing broken bats, earning/working walks, and players with underutilized skills, and close with a discussion of Félix Hernández’s future and some podcast metacommentary (plus a postscript about another unintended consequence of mercy rules).

Audio intro: Tame Impala, "Be Above it"
Audio outro: Pete Townshend, "You’re So Clever"

Link to Meg on the 12-minute game
Link to Marc on double-duty broadcasters
Link to article about broken bats
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1423: The Futures Game

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about whether they would take a time machine into baseball’s future, Yu Darvish’s midseason makeover and ability to pick up new pitches, then answer listener emails about whether the warning track should be widened, players having the second halves of Hall of Fame careers, and a robot ump challenge system, plus a Stat Blast about the most common stolen base totals for players with lengthy careers.

Audio intro: Matthew Sweet, "Time Machine"
Audio outro: Sleater-Kinney, "The Future is Here"

Link to Sam on the baseball time machine
Link to Sam on Bellinger’s homers
Link to article on Darvish’s knuckle-curve
Link to article on Darvish’s midseason turnaround
Link to Glanville on the warning track
Link to Ben on Cruz
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1422: Tie Goes to the Robot

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about what GPS directions have to do with analytics-averse managers, MLB’s black and white uniforms fiasco on Players Weekend, Sam’s takeaways from his trip to see a former podcast guest’s game in the Southern California Vintage Base Ball League, a philosophy professor’s quest to establish that the tie goes to the runner and a complaint about replay review, and whether Lance Lynn’s career year and the ascendance of data-driven development suggest that players who re-sign with the same team will no longer outperform players who depart to play for a different team.

Audio intro: The Inbreds, "My Favorite Satellite"
Audio outro: PUP, "Bare Hands"

Link to column about MLB and Players Weekend
Link to podcast episode about vintage baseball
Link to Southern California Vintage Base Ball League website
Link to article about Ted Cohen’s quest to make ties go to the runner
Link to audio recording of the essay “There Are No Ties at First Base”
Link to Matt Swartz’s earliest research about other people’s players
Link to Matt’s most recent research about other people’s players
Link to Zach Kram on trading top prospects
Link to Michael Baumann on Lance Lynn
Link to order The MVP Machine

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