Archive for Effectively Wild

Effectively Wild Episode 1459: The History of Sign-Stealing

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller talk to Paul Dickson, author of The Hidden Language of Baseball: How Signs and Sign-Stealing Have Influenced the Course of Our National Pastime, about, well, what the book’s subtitle says, including the origins of sign-sending, the earliest allegations of sign-stealing, historical precedents for the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme, the effects of sign-stealing, why so many players say they prefer not to know which pitch is coming, the frequent disagreements surrounding which types of sign-stealing are acceptable, the reluctance of the league to get involved in stopping or punishing sign-stealing, the future of policing sign-stealing, and more.

Audio intro: Damon Albarn, "The History of a Cheating Heart"
Audio outro: Brittany Howard, "History Repeats"

Link to Paul’s book about sign-stealing
Link to list of all of Paul’s books
Link to EW Secret Santa sign-up
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1458: The Overlooked League Leaders

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about “sinister right-handers” and scientific songs, then discuss the latest revelations about the Astros sign-stealing saga before reviewing the overlooked accomplishments of some of 2019’s league leaders and discussing the role of bold ink in the era of sabermetric saturation.

Audio intro: Liam Gallagher, "Bold"
Audio outro: Sloan, "Follow the Leader"

Link to image of Astros tunnel
Link to The Athletic report about email to Astros scouts
Link to ESPN report about email to Astros scouts
Link to article about MLB video monitors
Link to EW Secret Santa sign-up
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1457: The Sign-Stealing Spiral

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the first stirrings on the free-agent market, the latest developments in the Astros sign-stealing scandal, where MLB investigation’s might lead, what the appropriate punishments would be, the psychology of sign-stealing, whether pitchers should call pitches, fighting technology with technology, Mike Trout’s MVP award win, a fixable flaw in the BBWAA’s awards voting, the hirings of Ben Cherington and Gabe Kapler, and EW Secret Santa sign-ups, plus a postscript about still more aspects of the sign-stealing story.

Audio intro: Spiritualized, "You Lie You Cheat"
Audio outro: Doug & The Beets, "Bangin’ on a Trash Can"

Link to story on teams’ sign-stealing paranoia
Link to Rob’s sign-stealing audio footprint story
Link to article about crime deterrence
Link to FanGraphs post on Trout’s third MVP win
Link to Andrew Baggarly on Kapler
Link to Grant Brisbee on Kapler
Link to video of Darvish and Yelich
Link to Jeff’s 2017 post about the Astros’ projected strikeout rate
Link to EW Secret Santa sign-up
Link to order The MVP Machine

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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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