Archive for Effectively Wild

Effectively Wild Episode 1456: Sign Language

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the latest linguistic crimes by Scott Boras, then discuss the Astros sign-sealing scandal, touching on Mike Fiers’ role in the revelations, whether sign-stealing actually benefited the Astros, the immorality of sign-stealing, what the Astros’ punishment should be, the history of sign-stealing, whether the Astros sign-stealers acted alone, whether other teams are stealing signs in a similar way, what MLB can do to prevent electronic sign-stealing, the future of pitch-calling, moral hypotheticals, the implications for Carlos Beltrán and Alex Cora, and more, plus a Stat Blast about close MVP races.

Audio intro: Eric Clapton (with Bob Dylan), "Sign Language"
Audio outro: Moe Bandy (with Janie Fricke), "It’s a Cheating Situation"

Link to The Athletic’s report on Astros sign-stealing
Link to 2018 Passan report
Link to story on 2017 sign-stealing scandals
Link to BP article on 2019 Astros sign-stealing examples
Link to Jomboy breakdown of Astros sign-stealing
Link to story on Nationals’ plan to counteract sign-stealing
Link to report about Beltrán’s role
Link to story about Beltrán’s denial
Link to story about Cray supercomputer
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1455: The Fifth Free-Agent Contracts Draft

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the baffling trade rumors swirling around Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, and Kris Bryant, try to discern why they would be on the block, discuss how the likelihood of the top-rated team winning the World Series compares to the likelihood of the best team taking the title in other sports, and then conduct their fifth annual free-agent-contract over/under draft.

Audio intro: Ben Kweller, "Free"
Audio outro: The Only Ones, "You’ve Got to Pay"

Link to Rob Arthur on ticket prices and attendance
Link to Neil Paine on “paper champions”
Link to study on how often the best team wins
Link to blog post about how often the best team wins
Link to FanGraphs top 50 free agents
Link to MLB Trade Rumors top 50 free agents
Link to EW competitions and drafts
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1454: Where Have You Gone, Mr. Robinson?

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Ben’s return from vacation and Meg and Sam’s episodes in his absence, former Angels minor leaguer Mike Fish (not to be confused with Mike Trout), and a roundup of recent news, including Stephen Strasburg opting out, J.D. Martinez not opting out, Mookie Betts trade rumors, robot umps coming to the minor leagues, new old Hall of Fame candidates, and comments by Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos that kicked off a collusion conversation. Then (39:11) they talk to 98-year-old Eddie Robinson, the second-oldest living former major leaguer, about finding time to play baseball during the Great Depression and his 65-year career in pro ball, including making the majors in 1942, serving in the Navy during World War II, winning the 1948 World Series in Cleveland, playing against Jackie Robinson, with Satchel Paige, and on the great Yankees teams of the mid-1950s, his friendships with Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, and other greats, lending Babe Ruth a bat, getting involved with the early Players Association, working for larger-than-life owners, and hiring the first sabermetrician.

Audio intro: Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, "Return"
Audio interstitial: Small Faces, "Eddie’s Dreaming"
Audio outro: The Crystals, "I Love You Eddie"

Link to Baseball-Reference page for Mike Fish
Link to college player page for Mike Fish
Link to Rob Arthur on robot umps
Link to Eddie’s SABR bio
Link to Eddie and his wife at the 2016 World Series
Link to Eddie and his wife in 1955
Link to 2016 article about Eddie and Bobby Brown
Link to photo of Eddie in 1947
Link to famous 1948 Babe Ruth bat photo
Link to alternate Babe bat photo with Eddie in background
Link to 1948 Cleveland infield (Eddie third from left)
Link to Eddie celebrating the 1948 win with Bob Lemon and Joe Gordon
Link to Eddie with Ken Keltner and Gordon
Link to Eddie with Minnie Miñoso
Link to Eddie at the 1953 ASG, flanked by Lemon and Mickey Mantle
Link to Eddie with Moose Skowron, Hank Bauer, and Yogi Berra
Link to Eddie in 2019
Link to Eddie’s autobiography
Link to order The MVP Machine

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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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Effectively Wild Episode 1451: A World Series Worth Waiting For

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Nationals’ well-earned World Series victory, the Nationals players they’re happiest for, the a strange, all-road-wins series, the brilliance of Zack Greinke, the decisions of A.J. Hinch (including a bad bunt, pulling Greinke, using Will Harris, and not using Gerrit Cole), Max Scherzer’s high-wire act, the futures of the Nationals and Astros, the free agencies of Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Anthony Rendon, Scott Boras owning the offseason, which franchise without a championship will be the next to break through, and which team deserves to be named the team of the decade, then close by discussing bat-carrying, playing loud, and an upcoming brief break for Ben.

Audio intro: The Kinks, "Salvation Road"
Audio outro: Lou Reed, "Halloween Parade"

Link to Ben on the future of the Astros
Link to Ben on playing loud
Link to Ben on the World Series free-agent trio
Link to Ben on World Series rosters sticking together
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1450: Play Loud and Don’t Carry a Big Stick

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about a wild World Series Game 6, including a controversial interference call on Trea Turner, a strange conference call with New York, the ejection of Dave Martinez, the greatness of Stephen Strasburg, George Springer, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto, bat-carrying briefly becoming the new bat-flipping, a Max Scherzer sighting, why this series has been strange, the Nats pulling Strasburg in the ninth inning, and the outlook for Game 7.

Audio intro: The Decemberists, "Don’t Carry it All"
Audio outro: Thom Yorke, "Interference"

Link to video breakdown of Turner play
Link to Schwarber tweet
Link to video of Torre’s explanation
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1449: The Nationals’ Lost Weekend

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about audible umpires, Lance Barksdale’s ball/strike calls in World Series Game 5, the Nationals’ offensive outage in Games 3-5, Max Scherzer’s neck spasms, Dave Martinez’s moves, why the series has been somewhat unexciting, the Nationals’ and Astros’ outlooks going into Game 6, the Astros’ retraction of their statement about Stephanie Apstein and Sports Illustrated, and a few hirings across the league, including the Pirates firing GM Neal Huntington and the Red Sox hiring the Rays’ Chaim Bloom as their new chief baseball officer.

Audio intro: The Who, "Run Run Run"
Audio outro: Joel Plaskett, "Run, Run, Run"

Link to Barksdale video
Link to Ben on Game 5
Link to Jim Crane’s retraction
Link to Chaim Bloom’s article archive
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1448: The 21-Soto Salute

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley discuss the latest on the Astros and the benefits and limitations of front-office diversity, Rob Manfred’s new comments about the baseball, Kris Bryant’s grievance against the Cubs, umpire Rob Drake’s apology for a bad tweet, and Yu Darvish’s good tweets, then answer listener emails about Juan Soto’s age and clubhouse drinking, the Nationals’ clubhouse chemistry, whether teams should stagger their starters to avoid opponents’ aces, whether stealing third is easier than stealing second, whether baseball should have a playoff losers bracket, and whether pitchers can use the variation between baseballs to their advantage.

Audio intro: Thrush Hermit, "This Week"
Audio outro: Modern Baseball, "Play Ball!"

Link to Manfred’s comments about the ball
Link to article about Bryant’s grievance
Link to article about Rob Drake’s tweets
Link to Rob Drake’s apology
Link to Boswell article about the Nats’ chemistry
Link to Svrluga article about the Nats’ chemistry
Link to article about the Astros’ chemistry
Link to Ben on forecasting chemistry
Link to Emma on MLB’s issues
Link to video of Soto’s sparkling grape juice
Link to story on Harper’s apple cider
Link to Rob’s new research about the ball
Link to story on Darvish/Verlander tweets
Link to Ben Clemens on staggering starters
Link to Dan Lependorf on staggering starters
Link to Dan Meyer on staggering starters
Link to Roger Cheng on staggering starters
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1447: The Astros Stay Losing

EWFI
After an update from Ben Lindbergh on the Astros’ firing of Brandon Taubman and inadequate apology, Ben and Sam Miller follow up on a discussion of postseason chase rate, talk more about Taubman, and break down the first two games of the World Series, focusing on what went right for the Nationals, what went wrong for the Astros, why putting balls in play can be both good and bad, what lessons teams might draw from this postseason and the Nationals’ success, the outlook for the rest of the series, and more.

Audio intro: The 88, "Not Enough"
Audio outro: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, "Houston Hades"

Link to latest Astros statement
Link to Luhnow’s press conference
Link to Ben on Taubman
Link to Ben on Game 2
Link to order The MVP Machine

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