Archive for Effectively Wild

Effectively Wild Episode 1496: The Mookie Betts Breakdown

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley break down the three-team Mookie Betts blockbuster, analyzing the historic strangeness of a player as good and young as Mookie being moved, what it means for the Red Sox and Dodgers competitively and financially, how Red Sox fans must feel about Betts (and David Price) being traded, why the Red Sox wanted to move Mookie and whether their reasons are sound, and what the Sox got back in Brusdar Graterol and Alex Verdugo (plus banter about the Twins’ acquisition of Kenta Maeda, the corresponding Dodgers-Angels trade involving Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling, and Luis Rengifo, the Astros hiring James Click as their new GM, and Rays execs and internet nerds taking over teams).

Audio intro: Grateful Dead, "He’s Gone"
Audio outro: Brian Eno, "Here He Comes"

Link to Ben on the Betts trade
Link to Dan’s Mookie post
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1495: Season Preview Series: Reds and Brewers

EWFI
In the first installment of the eighth annual Effectively Wild season preview series, Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller preview the 2020 Reds with The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans, and the 2020 Brewers (40:26) with The Athletic’s Derek VanRiper.

Audio intro: Dispatch, "Begin Again"
Audio interstitial: The Decemberists, "A Beginning Song"
Audio outro: Imperial Teen, "The Beginning"

Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1494: Listen to What the Bang Said

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley recap and consider the implications of the latest and greatest analyses of the Astros’ banging scheme, which appear to show that the team’s cheating didn’t increase its offensive production in the aggregate. Then (20:08) they talk to the man who made that research possible, longtime Astros fan Tony Adams, about his epic effort to document the extent of the Astros’ banging scheme, what motivated him to spend weeks watching and listening to pitches from 2017 Astros games, how he felt about the revelation that the Astros had illegally stolen signs, what the 2017 title meant to him at the time, what it means to him now, and the 2020 team. Lastly (53:56), they bring on Professor Woody Studenmund to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the pioneering North East League, the oldest APBA league in existence, and explain the appeal of baseball simulation games, the highlights of the league’s history, and the value of having a lifelong hobby.

Audio intro: Galactic (Feat. Mavis Staples), "Does it Really Make a Difference"
Audio interstitial 1: Johnny Flynn, "Been Listening"
Audio interstitial 2: The Coasters, "Keep on Rolling"
Audio outro: Lee Graves, "Sixty Years and a Day"

Link to SignStealingScandal.com
Link to Rob Arthur’s article
Link to Bill Petti’s thread
Link to Ben on sign stealing’s effectiveness
Link to The Athletic article about Tony
Link to info on APBA
Link to article on the NEL
Link to The APBA Blog
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1493: Getting Dusty in Here

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the “vibrathrob” episode, the Astros hiring Dusty Baker, Kris Bryant reportedly losing his service-time grievance, and Delmon Young raking in Australia, then answer listener emails about a disrespectful intro for Isiah Kiner-Falefa, teams patenting tactics, and the enduring legacy of Carlos Beltrán’s NLCS-ending strikeout, plus Stat Blasts about intentional leadoff walks, plate appearances by Hall of Famers by franchise, and whether managers call for replay reviews more often on good teams than bad teams.

Audio intro: Outkast, "Vibrate"
Audio outro: The Go-Betweens, "Dusty in Here"

Link to passage about the “vibrathrob” episode
Link to Craig Edwards on Bryant losing his grievance
Link to the legal argument against service-time manipulation
Link to Craig’s proposal for ending service-time manipulation
Link to Jayson Stark’s suggestions for ending service-time manipulation
Link to Sam in 2015 on shaming the Cubs about Bryant
Link to the ABL batter leaderboard
Link to Kiner-Falefa video
Link to video of the Boggs knuckler
Link to video of the Canseco knuckler
Link to Russell on the spread of ideas
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1492: The Hidden Hall of Famer

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about umpire crew chiefs getting microphones for the 2020 season, the Reds signing Nick Castellanos and the small gaps between the top four teams in the NL Central, the Diamondbacks trading for Starling Marte and whether the Dodgers can be beaten in the NL West, and MLB getting sued over sign stealing, and then Sam makes the case for Andy Pettitte as a deserving Hall of Famer, prompting a discussion of the most challenging era in which to develop pitchers and how we assess players’ Cooperstown qualifications.

Audio intro: Soul Position, "Mic Control"
Audio outro: The Cranberries, "Desperate Andy"

Link to Sam on balks
Link to Craig Edwards on the Castellanos signing
Link to story about sign stealing and fantasy baseball
Link to SI story on sign-stealing lawsuits
Link to Ben on Reds scouting reports
Link to Jay Jaffe’s latest breakdown of Pettitte’s Hall of Fame case
Link to Sam on Colon and the Hall of Fame
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1491: The Baseball Ombudsperson

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Mitch Haniger’s excruciating-sounding injuries, how Mariners fans may feel about the Braves signing Félix Hernández, the winter of Nolan Arenado’s discontent, where the Rockies went wrong, the oddness of being a baseball player, why Scott Boras believes Astros players shouldn’t apologize for stealing signs (and why he’s wrong), whether baseball could benefit from appointing an ombudsperson, and Rob Manfred’s recent comments about his second term as commissioner and the future of the sport.

Audio intro: The Cranberries, "Rupture"
Audio outro: 23frames, "The Ombudsman"

Link to article about Boras
Link to Manfred’s comments
Link to Rob Arthur on tanking and attendance
Link to Rob Arthur on ticket prices and attendance
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1490: Yeah Jeets

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller do a brief, spoiler-free followup on their Knives Out banter from the previous episode, then break down the elections of Derek Jeter and Larry Walker to the Hall of Fame, touching on the contrast between their voting trajectories, how and why Walker made it, the lone Jeter ballot holdout, the next sabermetric Cooperstown Cause célèbre, Scott Rolen vs. Omar Vizquel, the next few Hall of Fame ballots, and more. Then they banter about the Braves signing Marcell Ozuna and answer listener emails about the possibility of a player blackmailing a cheating team, whether sign stealing is more powerful than PEDs, when baseball becomes “history,” and why politicians so often bring up baseball, plus a Stat Blast about the Rockies’ pre-Walker Hall of Fame shutout.

Audio intro: The Spinanes, "Fame and Fortune"
Audio outro: Silver Jews, "Pet Politics"

Link to Hall of Fame voting results
Link to Baumann on Jeter and Walker
Link to Stark on the Hall of Fame results
Link to Ben Clemens on the Ozuna signing
Link to Jay Jaffe on the sign-stealing and PED scandals
Link to Ben on the statistical effects of steroids
Link to story on when history ends
Link to Bryan Curtis on baseball metaphors in politics
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1489: Let’s Create an Award

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the symbolism of the baseball in Knives Out (beware of slight spoilers from 4:17 to 10:32), follow up on a few reader suggestions about outside hires who could clean up the Astros, and discuss the latest developments in the sign-stealing scandal, then try to invent a new end-of-season baseball award that could catch on in an era of advanced stats and award saturation, plus a postscript on a baseball reference in an episode of Sex and the City.

Audio intro: Radiohead, "Knives Out"
Audio outro: Fabolous (Feat. Pusha T), "Life is so Exciting"

Link to info on the baseball in Knives Out
Link to Sam’s article about the most exciting players
Link to paper on WAR and MVP voting
Link to Sam on WAR and Hall of Fame voting
Link to article about advanced stats and Gold Glove voting
Link to video of Sex and the City scene
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1488: Wrinkle, Wrinkle, Little Star

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller review a wild, rumor-filled Thursday in baseball, touching on Jessica Mendoza’s comments about Mike Fiers, the end of Carlos Beltrán’s brief tenure as Mets manager, the Mets’ handling of his exit, the saga of not-Beltrán’s-niece, Twitter detectives following alleged leads about buzzers, Alex Bregman, and José Altuve, how efforts to document the banging scheme fueled the search for suspicious jerseys, MLB losing control of the sign-stealing narrative, comments on sign stealing by non-Astros players, how bad the scandal will be for baseball, and (on a happier note) the Giants’ hiring of Alyssa Nakken, the first female major league coach, then answer listener emails about how the Astros’ performance in 2020 will affect perceptions of sign stealing’s effectiveness, how many games the Astros would win if they were barred from the playoffs, the baseball equivalent of Ed “Straight Arrow” Gennero from Necessary Roughness, and Beltrán’s chances of making the Hall of Fame, plus a Stat Blast on striking out every hitter in a game.

Audio intro: Dr. Dog, "Buzzing in the Light"
Audio outro: Donovan, "Jersey Thursday"

Link to Mendoza comments
Link to Michael Baumann on the spread of sign-stealing rumors
Link to Jeff Passan’s recap of Thursday
Link to Alyssa Nakken story
Link to Bregman’s 2018 comments about Beltrán
Link to Cora’s 2018 comments about Beltrán
Link to Verlander’s 2017 comments about sign stealing
Link to Jay Jaffe on Beltrán’s Hall of Fame chances
Link to Will Leitch on the sign-stealing scandal
Link to Congressional letter
Link to order The MVP Machine

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Effectively Wild Episode 1487: We Remembered Some Guys

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Red Sox firing Alex Cora, the Twins signing Josh Donaldson, an uptick in online player pettiness, fans taunting the visiting Astros, and a baseball-themed Jeopardy! clue. Then (22:30) Ben and Sam Miller banter about baseball fandom as a form of family bonding and the appeal of Remembering Some Guys and conclude by remembering something about each of the players who just appeared for the first time on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Audio intro: The Walkmen, "Another One Goes By"
Audio interstitial: Jenny Lewis, "Just One of the Guys"
Audio outro: Chance The Rapper (Feat. Death Cab for Cutie), "Do You Remember"

Link to Red Sox announcement
Link to post about Minor
Link to Jay’s ballot breakdowns
Link to David’s video series
Link to order The MVP Machine

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