Author Archive

FanGraphs Audio: Craig Edwards Decries Lazy Cheating

Episode 874

On this edition of FanGraphs Audio, I welcome Craig Edwards back to the program. Craig and I discuss the Astros sign-stealing scandal and how much is too much cheating in baseball, before we turn our attention to the offseason, the free agent market, the motivations of baseball owners, and the troubling trend of good teams seeming interested in shedding good players to reduce payrolls and avoid rich extensions.

You can read Craig on the Yankees’ payroll here.
You can read Craig on the Cubs’ potentially eschewing their window of contention here.
You can read Craig on the wisdom of the crowd when it comes to free agent contracts here.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @megrowler on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximate 47 min play time.)


Meg Rowley FanGraphs Chat – 11/12/19

2:01
Meg Rowley: Hey pals, will get started in a second here, just need to fetch a cup of coffee.

2:03
Meg Rowley: Ok, am returned, caffeine in hand.

2:03
Meg Rowley: A few things to highlight from today:

2:03
2:04
Meg Rowley: Jay made the case for Ted Simmons to be in the HOF: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/ted-simmons-election-to-the-hall-of-fame-i…

2:04
Meg Rowley: David Laurila continued his excellent pitching series with a look at the evolution of a couple of changeups: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/dylan-bundy-cory-gearrin-and-dereck-rodrig…

Read the rest of this entry »


Effectively Wild Episode 1453: Time Is on Our Side


Effectively Wild Episode 1452: Play It Again, Sam

EWFI
Meg Rowley and Sam Miller banter about Ben Lindbergh’s vacation-induced absence, an unusual umpire Wikipedia entry, and the acceptability of failure, before turning their attention to a few listener emails answered during the Jeff Sullivan era, including what would happen if Giancarlo Stanton only tried to hit home runs, how they would prefer to consume baseball if they could only do so through either twitter or a livestream, and whether baseball would be better if it were played in masks.

Audio intro: Death Cab for Cutie “I Dreamt We Spoke Again
Audio outro: Dashboard Confessional “Living in Your Letters

Link to Sam’s Giancarlo Stanton home run piece
Link to the Effectively Wild Email Question Database
Link to order The MVP Machine

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FanGraphs Audio: Eric Longenhagen Endures Two Swears, Does a Third

Episode 873

Fresh off the conclusion of the 2019 season, FanGraphs’ Lead Prospect Analyst Eric Longenhagen joins the program to discuss a few moments of potentially questionable decision-making during the World Series, some Umpiring Choices during that same Fall Classic, and our experience of robo-umps in the Arizona Fall League and a few prospects who stood out there, as well as the merits of the word “spooktacular.”

A word of warning for those listeners with tender ears: This episode does contain three swears. Those swears are not the fault of Dylan Higgins, who is away, but are instead the fault of the host, who got flummoxed by the prospect of editing them out. Generous listeners who are not undone by those bad words might describe the episode as “loose.” Those with a vendetta against the host might instead assert that said host sounds tired. Both camps might be correct.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @megrowler on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximate 1 hour and 13 min play time.)


Announcing FanGraphs Live! New York

The offseason is almost upon us, which is sad, so we’re hosting a reader event at SubCulture in New York City on Thursday, November 21 to help get through the long winter months. The evening will feature drinks, plenty of time for mingling, and a fun slate of not one, not two, but three panels staffed by FanGraphs writers and our friends from around the game, plus audience Q&A.

The panel lineups are below. Ringer staff writer and Effectively Wild co-host Ben Lindbergh and I will emcee the proceedings to make sure no one misbehaves too badly. And while we hope you’ll join us live, if you can’t, don’t fret. The panel program will be released as an episode of Effectively Wild.

Major League Update
Jay Jaffe and The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler and Marc Carig.

Baseball by the Numbers
Craig Edwards and MLB.com’s Mike Petriello

UMP: The Untitled McDongenhagen Panel
Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel

Doors open at 7 PM; the event will kick off at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $35. FanGraphs members will receive $10 off each ticket purchased — a coupon will be automatically applied if you are logged in when you purchase.

Tickets can be purchased here.

We hope to see you there!

Event Details
Thursday, November 21
SubCulture New York, 45 Bleecker Street, New York, NY
Doors open at 7 PM
Program begins at 7:30 PM

The event is all-ages, though children under 8 years of age are not allowed in the venue.

Please note, the venue is an easy walk (within two blocks) from the 6 at Bleecker Street, the B/D/F at Broadway-Lafayette, and the N/Q/R/W at Prince.


On Work and Being Found Wanting

We talk about work as a cohesive, coherent thing — I am a writer, your dad is a plumber, these are our jobs — but it isn’t really. Jobs are a bunch of tasks and to-do lists and calendar reminders, wholes made up of discrete parts that add up to our work. Part of the work of covering the Astros involves an honest accounting of Roberto Osuna: The pitches he throws and how they play, and also how he came to be in Houston. It means considering the cost of his acquisition, not just in so many Gileses, and Paulinos, and Perezes, but also in the bits of humanity it denied and disregarded. It involves recognizing that the Astros got to the World Series in part by commodifying one of the worst moments of a human being’s life, and putting that chilly awfulness into the context of a game somehow.

That was and is the work of the three female sportswriters who were in the Astros’ locker room on the evening of Houston’s pennant-winning triumph. Only that night, a new task emerged. Part of their work became now-former assistant general manager Brandon Taubman and his venom, the drumbeat of “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f—— glad we got Osuna!” delivered with cigar in hand. It became locating that venom alongside the purple domestic violence awareness bracelet one of the reporters was wearing, and Taubman’s prior frustration at her practice of tweeting out resources for victims and survivors when Osuna would pitch. These new bits of work added to the queue, one of those reporters, Stephanie Apstein, went about her business, detailing the incident and its context for Sports Illustrated.

And that’s where the trouble started, in this moment when Apstein’s work butted up against Taubman’s notion of his, with his understanding so clearly marking those bits of humanity disregarded as of a different category than Osuna’s fastball. The latter was baseball and the former something else, both not-work for Apstein and the anonymous reporter in the purple bracelet, and a cudgel to wield against these three women. Taubman clearly thought he had gotten the better of a couple of pests, but by denying the validity of these women’s work, women just there to do their jobs, what he revealed was just how much more work the Astros have left to do themselves. Read the rest of this entry »


World Series Game 7 Chat

8:05
Avatar David Laurila: Hello fellow baseball fans. Let’s get this thing started.

8:05
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Greetings chatters and chatees.

8:06
Avatar Dan Szymborski: The end. The end of baseball.

8:06
Magic Kingdome: Let’s pretend the Mariners make the World Series in the next few years [hearty chuckle].  Who throws out the first pitch?

8:06
Avatar David Laurila: Don’t know what we’re going to see tonight, but I’m rooting for a nail-biter with no ump-show controversies.

8:07
Avatar Dan Szymborski: Unless he’s signed with a team, no way King Felix doesn’t get to throw out a first pitch in this case.

Read the rest of this entry »


World Series Game 6 Chat

7:50
Ben Clemens: Hey guys, thanks for chatting with us tonight. Meg and I will be here for all inevitable four hours of baseball. We’re going to let the chat queue fill up with a few questions, but I’ll throw in some links while you wait.

7:51
Ben Clemens: First, there’s an artisanally hand-crafted World Series preview that is, in my opinion, excellent:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/postseason-preview-the-2019-world-series/

7:51
Ben Clemens: Craig Edwards wrote about how Stephen Strasburg is god*:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/stephen-strasburg-is-a-postseason-god/

7:51
Ben Clemens: *not in a religious way or anything

7:52
Ben Clemens: And as a quick recap of how we got here, Jay Jaffe on Game 5:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/road-warriors-again-astros-take-third-stra…

7:54
Ben Clemens: And if you aren’t interested in the World Series, well first of all, weird place to be if that’s the case! But second of all, here’s Dan Szymborski on the Texas Rangers, in case that’s more your speed:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-texas-rangers-were-surprisingly-releva…

Read the rest of this entry »


Contract Crowdsourcing 2019-20: The KBO and NPB Ballot

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating a contract-crowdsourcing project this offseason, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2019-20 free-agent market.

Below are ballots for four of this year’s possible free agents — in this case, a group of players who may come to (or return to) Major League Baseball from Japan and Korea.

Shogo Akiyama, the 31-year-old left-handed center fielder who has been playing for the NPB’s Saitama Seibu Lions, was recently confirmed as an international free agent. Japanese outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who is 27, will be posted by the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. Left-handed starting pitcher Kim Kwang-Hyun, whose name may be familiar as he was posted in 2014 but was unable to come to terms with the San Diego Padres, has a more complicated case. The 31-year-old has a year remaining on his existing contract. Despite that, there is a chance he will be granted free agency and would not be subject to a posting fee. He may also be posted by his current club. Or he may stay put. He has been scouted by MLB teams, however, and so is included here. Right-handed starter Josh Lindblom, who last played in the States with the Pirates in 2017, has also generated some interest after a strong season with the Doosan Bears.