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
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Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley attempt to make sense of unsightly spring training uniforms, then preview the 2021 Braves (08:42) with Grant McAuley of From The Diamond and the 2021 Mariners (45:27) with Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.
Audio intro: Ken Stringfellow, "Uniforms"
Audio interstitial: Anti-Flag, "20 Years of Hell"
Audio outro: Jethro Tull, "Uniform"
Link to Meg’s tweet about the Padres’ uniforms
Link to Uni Watch on the St. Patrick’s Day unis
Link to Mike Petriello on the Braves’ projections
Link to Petriello on Tatis/Acuña/Soto
Link to Craig Goldstein on Fried
Link to study on Cobb County
Link to Neil deMause on the Cobb County study
Link to From The Diamond
Link to BP Mariners preview
Link to Rodríguez homer video
Link to Ryan on the Rodríguez homer
Link to Ryan on Kelenic and Mather
Link to Ryan on Kelenic’s injury
Link to Ryan on Dunn and spring training clichés
Link to Dan Szymborski’s hitter bust candidates
Link to Ryan on Kikuchi
Link to Ryan on the pandemic and the M’s rebuild
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about weirdness and whimsy in spring training, the Giants and Cleveland playing an unnecessary bottom of the ninth (without umpires), the 22-pitch plate appearance between Jordan Hicks and Luis Guillorme, Jacob deGrom’s ever-escalating velocity, and two recent research pieces, then preview the 2021 Twins (23:33) with Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic and the 2021 Tigers (59:27) with Evan Woodbery of the MLive Media Group.
Audio intro: Fruit Bats, "The Bottom of It"
Audio interstitial 1: Joel Plaskett, "Catch 22"
Audio interstitial 2: John Frusciante, "Central"
Audio outro: Will Butler, "Finish What I Started"
Link to story about Giants-Cleveland game
Link to Jesse’s Giants-Cleveland Twitter thread
Link to story about 22-pitch PA
Link to RJ McDaniel on the 22-pitch PA
Link to Forman tweet about timing the 22-pitch PA
Link to Russell Carleton on full-count fouls
Link to spring Statcast standouts
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 Ben on moving the mound back
Link to Rob Mains on the modern TTO penalty
Link to Rob on the TTO penalty in the past
Link to Matt Trueblood’s Twins preview
Link to Aaron on impact Twins rookies
Link to Aaron on the playoff losing streak
Link to Aaron on the closer-less bullpen
Link to Aaron on Cruz
Link to Aaron on Colomé
Link to Aaron on Simmons’s defense
Link to Aaron on a Kirilloff extension
Link to Travis on Garver’s framing
Link to Dan Syzmborski on hitter bust candidates
Link to Evan on the Tigers’ spending
Link to Evan on Baddoo
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley pass the halfway point of their 30-team season preview series by previewing the 2021 White Sox with James Fegan of The Athletic and the 2021 Diamondbacks (46:45) with Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic, plus a brief postscript on the career and retirement of Nick Markakis.
Audio intro: Parquet Courts, "Black and White"
Audio interstitial: The Hives, "Try it Again"
Audio outro: Nick Lowe, "Halfway to Paradise"
Link to Athletic article on teams developing velocity
Link to James on Kopech
Link to James on Crochet
Link to James on La Russa and team unity
Link to report about Reinsdorf and La Russa
Link to James on Vaughn
Link to James on Giolito
Link to James on Lucroy
Link to James on Cease
Link to Dan Szymborski’s bust candidates
Link to Szymborski’s breakout candidates
Link to Nick on Lovullo’s contract
Link to Jake Mailhot on Ketel Marte’s power
Link to highest-WAR seasons without an MVP vote
Link to highest-WAR careers without an MVP vote
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the new baseball format embraced by the Savannah Bananas, the experimental rules MLB is imposing at various levels of the minor leagues in 2021, and whether they would want to live in a ballpark (like a man who claims to have lived for three years in Veterans Stadium), then answer listener emails about whether this season’s spring training stats are more or less meaningless than usual, the ideal photo to represent baseball on the sport’s Wikipedia page, the definition of pitchability, whether the public’s perception of player mega-contracts has changed, whether this is the “tanking era” or the “superteam era,” and whether tanking is as bad as it’s cracked up to be, plus a Stat Blast about teams that scored the highest percentage of their total runs in one game.
Audio intro: Louis Prima, "Yes, We Have No Bananas"
Audio outro: Iron Maiden, "The Number of the Beast"
Link to story about the Bananas
Link to video about the Bananas
Link to MiLB rules changes announcement
Link to Jayson Stark on the new rules
Link to story about living in Veterans Stadium
Link to The Secret Apartment
Link to Dan Rosenheck on spring training stats
Link to Dan’s presentation on spring training stats
Link to Heyward photo from Wikipedia
Link to Alex Chamberlain on Hendricks
Link to A-Rod contract facts
Link to Zach Kram on the superteam era
Link to Ben on competitive balance and tanking
Link to Craig Edwards on competitive balance and tanking
Link to Craig on the 2019 competitive balance problem
Link to Stat Blast data
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about MLB.TV repetition, Yadier Molina throwing out Jose Siri, teams opting to end innings early, the effect of Jarred Kelenic’s injury on the Mariners service-time controversy, the Astros signing Jake Odorizzi, and teams being more brazen about lowering their competitive balance tax assessments, then preview the 2021 Blue Jays (21:50) with Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic and the 2021 Giants (1:06:14) with Grant Brisbee of The Athletic.
Audio intro: Zeus, "At the Risk of Repeating"
Audio interstitial 1: Neil Young, "Far From Home"
Audio interstitial 2: Old & In the Way, "Old and in the Way"
Audio outro: Sloan, "Everything You’ve Done Wrong"
Link to sentient-baseballs email episode
Link to MLB Film Room
Link to Molina/Siri play
Link to Evans/Phillips face-off
Link to Ichiro/Cameron simulated game
Link to story about Kelenic’s knee injury
Link to rule about “rolling” innings
Link to Dan Szymborski on the Odorizzi signing
Link to Odorizzi contract terms
Link to drafts and competitions spreadsheet
Link to story on Kovalchuk’s 17-year deal
Link to story about Kovalchuk penalty reduction
Link to story about Blue Jays’ radio feed
Link to story about Blue Jays’ free agency premium
Link to Kaitlyn on where the Jays will play
Link to Kaitlyn on Vlad
Link to Dan on Vlad as a breakout candidate
Link to Kaitlyn on the Jays’ pitching depth chart
Link to Kaitlyn on the Jays’ new complex
Link to story on the Jays’ high performance department
Link to story on Biggio and the less lively ball
Link to Spin Rate podcast
Link to Ben Carsley on the Giants
Link to Matt Trueblood on Yastrzemski
Link to Grant on Yastrzemski
Link to the Giants’ giant coaching staff
Link to Andrew Baggarly on Alyssa Nakken
Link to Grant on the Giants’ old lineup
Link to Grant on the Giants’ rotation depth
Link to Grant in 2017 on AT&T Park offense
Link to Grant on Oracle Park offense in 2020
Link to Baggs & Brisbee podcast
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Shohei Ohtani’s first home run and pitching appearance of spring training, follow up on their previous discussion about the abominable baseball scene in Tom & Jerry, and recap the results of a Baseball America study about the number of big leaguers (and good big leaguers) in the average farm system, then preview the 2021 Red Sox (31:32) with Alex Speier of The Boston Globe and the 2021 Reds (1:13:42) with C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.
Audio intro: Real Estate, "It’s Real"
Audio interstitial 1: The Style Council, "All Gone Away"
Audio interstitial 2: Cordovas, "Step Back Red"
Audio outro: Fiona Apple, "Red Red Red"
Link to Ohtani splitter GIFs
Link to story on Ohtani’s homer
Link to Fabian on Ohtani having fun
Link to Tom & Jerry clip
Link to actual Gordon fly ball
Link to Tom & Jerry director interview
Link to Baseball America prospects study
Link to earlier BA study about future all-stars
Link to Jeff on good players and prospects
Link to Jeff on good players who weren’t prospects
Link to Alex on Martinez rebuilding himself
Link to Alex on Cora
Link to Alex on Cordero
Link to Alex on Boston’s outfield
Link to Homegrown paperback
Link to Trent on Greene
Link to Trent in 2020 on Driveline
Link to Redleg Nation post on Reds’ unlucky offense
Link to Reddit post on Reds’ unlucky offense
Link to Trent on Farmer
Link to Trent on the Reds’ payroll
Link to Redleg Nation post on Votto’s adjustment
Link to Trent and Eno on Votto
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Justin Dunn’s offseason overhaul and the value of spring training clichés, the Brewers signing Jackie Bradley Jr., why Jake Odorizzi is still a free agent, where he’ll end up, and why he’ll decide the EW free agent contracts competition, and an abominable baseball scene from the new movie Tom & Jerry. Then (41:25) they bring on Sam Rosenthal and Joel Clarke of video game studio The Game Band, the creators of the viral online simulation league Blaseball, to talk about their baseball backgrounds, how they created Blaseball, how and why it took off, how the game works, its active fan community, its dedicated researchers, how they write the story and simulate games, how they make money, how to get into the game, the impact of the pandemic on the game, the demographics of its fans, player incinerations/resurrections, and more.
Audio intro: The Garages, "Empty Stadiums"
Audio interstitial: Josh Millard, "Let Me into the Blaseball"
Audio outro: The Garages, "Rogue Ump"
Link to Dunn story
Link to Ben’s BSOHL study
Link to Ben’s new pitches study
Link to David Laurila on Bradley
Link to Jay Jaffe on Odorizzi
Link to FA contracts draft stats
Link to Ben Clemens on Houston’s rotation
Link to Tom & Jerry clip
Link to actual Gordon fly ball
Link to Sonic the Hedgehog baseball scene
Link to Blaseball website
Link to the Blaseball wiki
Link to The Game Band intro Twitter thread
Link to Blaseball explainer video
Link to Polygon intro to Blaseball
Link to Polygon on Blaseball fans
Link to Vice on Blaseball
Link to Android Central on Blaseball
Link to Defector on Blaseball
Link to Cat Manning’s Blaseball primer
Link to the Los Angeles Times on Blaseball
Link to The Universal Baseball Association
Link to SIBR
Link to Blaseball Reference
Link to story on The Garages
Link to Blaseball Patreon page
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about spring training games starting, Jeff Mathis batting cleanup in a spring training game (and once improbably batting fifth in a regular-season game), the latest reports about suspended Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway, the postponement of the start of the Triple-A season, the outlook for attendance in Texas, and Zack Greinke’s quest to join the exclusive 10-10 club for pitchers, then preview the 2021 Angels (26:23) with Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic and the 2021 Royals (1:09:10) with Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star.
Audio intro: Shovels & Rope (Feat. Brandi Carlile), "Cleanup Hitter"
Audio interstitial 1: Filthy Friends, "Angels"
Audio interstitial 2: Heart, "Treat Me Well"
Audio outro: Pavement, "Harness Your Hopes"
Link to 2012 Mathis game
Link to latest Callaway report
Link to Alderson comments about Callaway
Link to Passan report about Triple-A
Link to Rangers attendance story
Link to Greinke’s 10-10 quote
Link to Fabian on Ohtani’s offseason
Link to story about Angels’ GM hiring process
Link to story about Angels’ furloughs
Link to story about Pujols paying employees’ salaries
Link to Jared Diamond on the Royals treating people well
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Jarred Kelenic’s beef with the Mariners about alleged service-time manipulation, then preview the 2021 Nationals (25:37) with Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post and the 2021 Cubs (59:43) with Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic.
Audio intro: Ty Segall, "Manipulator"
Audio interstitial 1: Gary Louris, "D.C. Blues"
Audio interstitial 2: Jason Isbell, "Chicago Promenade"
Audio outro: Van Morrison, "March Winds in February"
Link to USA Today article about Kelenic
Link to Mather video transcript
Link to Craig Goldstein on holding down prospects
Link to Jayson Stark on fixing service-time manipulation
Link to R.J. Anderson on the Bryant grievance
Link to Sahadev on the Darvish trade
Link to Sahadev’s interview with Breslow
Link to Sahadev on Kimbrel
Link to Sahadev on Arrieta
Link to Sahadev on the Cubs’ defense
Link to Alex Chamberlain on Hendricks
Link to Joe Sheehan on hitters in walk years
Link to Jesse on Schwarber getting squatty
Link to Jesse on Kieboom
Link to Jesse on Strasburg
Link to Jesse on Hand
Link to Buzz Saw