Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the seemingly building backlash to the extra-innings automatic-runner rule and Dusty Baker’s comments about anti-Astros heckling, then (19:51) bring on high performance coach Gary McCoy to discuss his epiphany about preventing player injuries, the importance of deceleration, how he helped a team in Taiwan have an injury-free season, the problems with innings limits and pitch limits, how MLB teams should be handling players in a season following a light workload, how and why teams are investing in sports science, how motion-tracking technology and artificial intelligence can help prevent injuries, and more.
Audio intro: Durand Jones & The Indications, "Make a Change"
Audio interstitial: Parquet Courts, "Picture of Health"
Audio outro: The Posies, "Take Care of Yourself"
Link to Ginny Searle on the automatic-runner rule
Link to Dusty on heckling
Link to Joe Lemire on Gary and the Brothers
Link to Gary’s LinkedIn page
Link to study on injury rates in 2020
Link to Mike Petriello on teams managing workloads
Link to J.J. Cooper on innings limits
Link to study on innings limits
Link to second study on innings limits
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Ben Lindbergh, Meg Rowley, and FanGraphs writer RJ McDaniel banter about a controversial walk-off hit by pitch call involving the Mets’ Michael Conforto, the early success of exciting Tigers Rule 5 pick Akil Baddoo, and unexpected fauna on the field, then conduct the second annual Effectively Wild Team Fun Draft, in which they draft all 30 teams in order of how fun they are to follow in 2021.
Audio intro: Dean Martin, "Just for Fun"
Audio outro: The Donnas, "Friday Fun"
Link to Conforto HBP video
Link to RJ on Baddoo
Link to RJ on the Coors Field cat
Link to cat Statcast video
Link to RJ on the angry goose
Link to first Team Fun draft
Link to Ohtani wave video
Link to Rosenthal’s Bauer report
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley convene an emergency podcast to discuss Shohei Ohtani’s exhilarating, terrifying, and historic Sunday Night Baseball performance against the White Sox (which veered from triumph to near-tragedy), touching on Ohtani’s titanic home run and resounding bat crack, the aesthetics of his stuff, his Statcast superstardom, his narrow escape from injury after a controversial move (or non-move) by Joe Maddon, and more, plus ruminations on Ty Buttrey’s farewell.
Audio intro: Jane’s Addiction, "Superhero"
Audio outro: Of Montreal, "Let’s Do Everything for the First Time Forever"
Link to video of Ohtani game
Link to video of Ohtani homer
Link to Baseball Savant Gamefeed page
Link to Sam on dropped third strikes
Link to video of 2005 Pierzynski play
Link to Fabian Ardaya on Ohtani’s spin rates
Link to Ohtani outing fun facts
Link to MLB.com Ohtani outing game story
Link to ESPN Ohtani outing game story
Link to Alden Gonzalez column
Link to list of pre-Ohtani games with no DH
Link to Gary Ashwill on Negro Leagues games
Link to Ardaya on Walsh
Link to Walsh’s helmet highlight
Link to SI piece about “as so often happens”
Link to story on leading off inning after great play
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about immersing themselves in Opening Day action, Opening Day highlights and oddities, early-season optimism, the divisive automatic-runner rule, the Francisco Lindor extension and why it matters so much for the Mets, the perception of players’ positive COVID tests today compared to last season, what they’re most looking forward to this season, and much more.
Audio intro: Hippo Campus, "Baseball"
Audio outro: Paul Weller, "Brand New Start"
Link to Sam on the automatic-runner rule
Link to Cabrera home run video
Link to Trout on his swing
Link to Jay Jaffe on Cabrera
Link to FanGraphs staff predictions post
Link to Ringer staff predictions post
Link to video of Turner/Bellinger play
Link to list of runners passing runners
Link to Yang’s Yankees scarf tweet
Link to Ben on the Lindor extension
Link to Reddit thread on Bally scorebug
Link to Ben on the ball in spring training
Link to latest Ringer MLB Show episode
Link to Darius Austin on preseason predictions
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the completion of the season preview series and the Marlins renaming Marlins Park “loanDepot park,” do a draft of current corporate-sponsored MLB ballpark names from least to most objectionable, and then preview the 2021 Dodgers (24:20) with Pedro Moura of the The Athletic and the 2021 Orioles (1:09:03) with Joe Trezza of MLB.com.
Audio intro: Toto, "We Made It"
Audio interstitial 1: Kiwi Jr., "Dodger"
Audio interstitial 2: Matthew Sweet, "Baltimore"
Audio outro: Gene Clark, "Opening Day"
Link to Ben on the Dodgers
Link to Andy McCullough on the Dodgers as champs
Link to Pedro on Lux
Link to Pedro on Bellinger
Link to Pedro on Seager
Link to Pedro on Bauer
Link to Pedro and Dennis Lin on Dodgers-Padres
Link to Zach Kram on the Dodgers-Padres race
Link to Joe on Mancini
Link to Joe on Santander
Link to Joe on the Orioles’ new Dominican facility
Link to Ben on Jannis and the knuckleball
Link to Ben on the Brennameme
Link to Ben on the new baseball
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Meg getting vaccinated, the social dynamics of looser restrictions for vaccinated MLB players, an update on the infamous Tom & Jerry baseball scene, another baseball term named after a player, Willians Astudillo making the Twins, a few other players not making their respective teams, politicians’ performative fandom, Randy Dobnak and the future of contract extensions, and FanGraphs’ spring membership drive, then preview the 2021 Yankees (41:14) with Lindsey Adler of the The Athletic and the 2021 Pirates (1:19:54) with Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Audio intro: Danko/Fjeld/Andersen, "One More Shot"
Audio interstitial 1: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, "Yankee Go Home"
Audio interstitial 2: The Lemonheads, "Pittsburgh"
Audio outro: Golden Earring, "One Shot Away From Paradise"
Link to Lindsey on vaccinations and protocols
Link to Tom & Jerry baseball scene
Link to Hader tweets and 2018 ASG
Link to Laurila’s latest Sunday Notes
Link to video of Willians out at second
Link to Willians styling his homer
Link to Yang tweets
Link to reversible Mets/Yankees mask
Link to Tony Wolfe on the Dobnak extension
Link to Sam on contract extensions
Link to FanGraphs’ new contributors
Link to FanGraphs spring membership drive
Link to Travis on the “elbow spiral”
Link to Lindsey on the pitching workshop
Link to story on Kratz and García
Link to Brault’s showtunes album
Link to Ben on Keller’s 2020
Link to Jason’s interview with Nutting
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about how the absence of the injured Eloy Jiménez will affect the White Sox, follow up on their discussions from the preceding episode about distracting on-field animals and baseball terms named after teams or players, then preview the 2021 Padres (19:37) with Dennis Lin of the The Athletic and the 2021 Rockies (1:03:17) with Nick Groke of The Athletic.
Audio intro: Todd Rundgren, "Don’t Hurt Yourself"
Audio interstitial 1: The Shazam, "Turnaround"
Audio interstitial 2: The Delgados, "If This is a Plan"
Audio outro: Landlady, "Western Divide"
Link to Jiménez injury video
Link to James Fegan on Jiménez
Link to 2009 air show story
Link to Harvard pigeon prank story
Link to seagull-assisted walk-off video
Link to rhea birds story
Link to BA story about Padres trades
Link to Dennis on the Tatis contract
Link to Dennis on Cronenworth and Grisham
Link to Zach Kram on the Dodgers-Padres rivalry
Link to Zach on the Dodgers/Padres vs. the NL
Link to Nick and Ken’s Rockies story
Link to David Roth on the Rockies
Link to Monfort’s 94-win projection
Link to Nick’s column about the Arenado trade
Link to Nick’s questions about the Arenado trade
Link to Nick on analytics department departures
Link to Nick on Bard
Link to Bobby Brown SABR bio
Link to NYT Bobby Brown obit
Link to story about Bobby and Eddie Robinson
Link to video of Bobby and Eddie
Link to WSJ story about Eddie
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Isiah Kiner-Falefa being mad at Meg (sort of), a billboard in Boston about Mookie Betts, MLB’s renewed attempts to crack down on foreign-substance use, and what an NHL referee oopsie says about umpire makeup calls and automated strike zones, then answer listener emails about whether the season preview podcast series influences their appraisals of teams, how baseball would be different if it weren’t different at all, the definition of a “Chicago,” exploits associated with certain teams, training geese to distract defenders, and the most disruptive form of wildlife to have on the field.
Audio intro: No Doubt, "Magic’s in the Makeup"
Audio outro: This is the Kit, "Greasy Goose"
Link to Kiner-Falefa tweet
Link to shortstop positional power rankings
Link to article on Kiner-Falefa’s positions
Link to story about Betts billboard
Link to report about foreign-substance memo
Link to Evan Drellich on the memo
Link to Ben on foreign substances
Link to foreign substances EW episode
Link to NHL ref hot mic comment
Link to NHL statement about ref
Link to article about NHL ref
Link to FiveThirtyEight study on NHL penalties
Link to article on umpires and close pitch calls
Link to another article on umps and close calls
Link to Russell Eassom on umps and calls by count
Link to Guy Molyneux on umps and calls by count
Link to John Walsh on umps and calls by count
Link to Steve Treder on strikeouts over time
Link to story on 2014 transfer rule kerfuffle
Link to SABR on the “Chicago”
Link to video of goose on the field
Link to Sam on the skunk in the outfield
Link to RJ McDaniel on the angry goose
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the latest spring exploits of Shohei Ohtani, the Royals extending Salvador Perez, rooting against injuries in spring training, and a mysterious former major leaguer known only as “Lewis,” then preview the 2021 Mets (37:09) with Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News and the 2021 Marlins (1:14:26) with Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald.
Audio intro: Mark Knopfler, "Nobody Does That"
Audio interstitial 1: Radiohead, "Lewis (Mistreated)"
Audio interstitial 2: Queen, "Put Out the Fire"
Audio outro: Feist, "Get it Wrong, Get it Right"
Link to video of Ohtani’s two-way game
Link to Ben Clemens on the Perez extension
Link to Jared Diamond on the Royals’ humane behavior
Link to Rustin Dodd on the Royals’ anti-porn campaign
Link to “Lewis” Wikipedia page
Link to “Lewis” B-Ref page
Link to “Lewis” on the Stathead ERA leaderboard
Link to story about deGrom’s spring speeds
Link to Matt Kelly on deGrom’s velo in 2020
Link to Travis Sawchik on deGrom’s velo in 2020
Link to Deesha on Jared Porter
Link to article on the Mets’ defense
Link to Jordan on Kim Ng
Link to Stephanie Apstein on Kim Ng
Link to Jordan on the Marlins’ pandemic year
Link to story about Marlins security guard
Link to Realmuto cracking the fish tank
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley preview the 2021 Astros with Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle and the 2021 Rangers (54:07) with Levi Weaver of The Athletic.
Audio intro: The Felice Brothers, "T for Texas"
Audio interstitial: Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez, "Dirty Little Texas Story"
Audio outro: 2nd Grade, "Bye-Bye Texas"
Link to Michael Baumann on the aging Astros
Link to Chandler on Valdez
Link to Chandler on Álvarez
Link to Martino’s Astros book
Link to Drellich’s Astros book
Link to Levi on the Rangers and fan safety
Link to ESPN on the Rangers front office
Link to The Daily News on the Rangers front office
Link to story on Charley Pride Fellowship Program
Link to Levi on Young
Link to Levi on the Rangers’ rotation
Link to Ken Rosenthal report about Lynn
Link to Andrew Simon on Kiner-Falefa
Link to Levi on Kiner-Falefa
Link to Levi on Calhoun
Link to Levi on Arihara
Link to Levi on Dunning
Link to Levi on the first-base battle
Link to things Levi is looking forward to
Link to story about B-Ref being sued
Link to Baseball-Reference Stream Finder