Archive for Podcast – FanGraphs Audio

FanGraphs Audio: Book Club With Tim Neverett and Dan Epstein

Episode 926

On this edition of FanGraphs Audio, David Laurila is joined by a pair of authors from different parts of the baseball world to talk about their work and the game.

  • First, David welcomes Dodgers broadcaster Tim Neverett to the program. Tim recently wrote COVID Curveball, a book about the Dodgers’ strange 2020 championship season. David asks him about the challenges of the unique experience and Tim shares tales about players like Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, and David Price, as well as what it was like to work in the Boston and Pittsburgh organizations before ending up with Los Angeles. Finally, Tim breaks the first rule of Joe Kelly Fight Club. [2:09]
  • In the second half, David talks to writer Dan Epstein about his latest book, The Captain & Me: On and Off the Field with Thurman Munson, which he co-wrote with Munson’s teammate, Ron Blomberg. David and Dan talk about the career, life, and legacy of the Yankee captain, what it was like to write the book with Blomberg, and some of Dan’s previous works. David and Dan also dive into the long relationship between baseball and music, how ballplayers always seem to want to be musicians (and vice versa), and give a shoutout to The Baseball Project. [21:01]

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FanGraphs Audio: Dan Szymborski and Ben Clemens Analyze “Some Baseball”

Episode 925

On this week’s show, Dan Szymborski and Ben Clemens have an extended chat about baseball happenings before eventually going a little off-topic.

The pair discuss what is going on with the surprising San Francisco Giants, as the club exceeds expectations and tries to make the postseason in a very competitive NL West. Dan and Ben look into what is fueling the Giants’ success and whether they should go all in this summer.

They also contemplate a revitalized Kris Bryant and Javier Báez leading the first-place Cubs, whether Tyler O’Neill can keep it up, and the truly incredible Jacob deGrom, who is trying to make history. Ben and Dan also consider intentionally walking the bases loaded and how early you could pinch-hit for your starting pitcher.

Finally, we hear about the legends of Jerry Wombat and Johan Santa before Dan educates Ben on the official drinks that go along with the most famous horse races.

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FanGraphs Audio: Kris Atteberry and Jared Sandler Issue Grades

Episode 924

This week on FanGraphs Audio, we ask a pair of broadcasters to evaluate the performance of their clubs before welcoming a new contributor to the pod.

  • To start things off, David Laurila welcomes Kris Atteberry, broadcaster for the Minnesota Twins, and Jared Sandler, broadcaster for the Texas Rangers. David asks Kris and Jared to judge their teams based on how they’ve done this year, keeping in mind that preseason expectations certainly affect the grading curve. They talk about Franmil Reyes’s batting line vs. Kenta Maeda, Adolis García’s wrestling career in Cuba, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa playing with motivation — and backing it up. They also discuss how easy it is to root for Kyle Gibson before considering the problems created by Willians Astudillo’s incredible contact skills and if it is possible to not strike out enough as a batter. [2:39]
  • In the second segment, Ben Clemens is joined by Justin Choi to discuss some of their recent articles at FanGraphs. Ben keeps researching sliders in The Shadow Zone, while Justin has taken a closer look at Bryan Shaw‘s pitch mix. Also, what is fueling Adrian Houser’s success? And what is Hyun Jin Ryu doing differently this year? Finally, Ben and Justin consider the merits of a pitcher having a velocity differential versus a variety of velocities. [36:28]

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FanGraphs Audio: Cole Irvin and Colin McKee Chat Pitching

Episode 923

On this week’s episode, we’re talking to a pair of pitchers before discussing a future Hall of Famer changing uniforms.

  • At the top of the show, David Laurila is joined by Oakland A’s left-hander Cole Irvin and Houston Astros right-hander Colin McKee to talk about their craft. Irvin and McKee explain what kind of Statcast data they like to utilize — and what they don’t — and how they can use analysis to continue to develop on the mound. They also discuss teaching pitching in the offseason, how spin affects pitchers in various ways, variety in long-toss exercises, and the differences between pitching in the rotation and the bullpen. [2:27]
  • After that, Jason Martinez and Jay Jaffe get together to discuss Albert Pujols joining the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jay recently wrote about the move, and he and Jason go over what kind of impact Pujols could make for the defending champions. Can he still hit lefties well enough to make a difference? And how will this potentially affect his legacy? Jason and Jay ponder the possibilities of Pujols’ future and reflect on the influence he has had on the game and its players. [28:17]

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FanGraphs Audio: Joon Lee and Jeff Levering Talk Stardom

Episode 922

This week on the show, we talk about superstars, unknown stars, and no-hitters. Lots of no-hitters.

  • To begin the program, David Laurila welcomes Joon Lee, writer for ESPN, and Jeff Levering, broadcaster for the Milwaukee Brewers. David, Joon, and Jeff discuss how we react to stars from different media markets and how today’s baseball icons are not quite the same as those from the past. The trio also covers the concept of ties, how to reach different age groups of fans, all the recent no-hitters, and how Shohei Ohtani should be an even bigger name. [2:37]
  • Following that, Tony Wolfe and Sara Sanchez dive deeper into the early season’s wave of no-nos. Sara recently wrote about the historical significance of these performances, while Tony covered Wade Miley’s effort for the Reds. The pair contemplate a number of factors that could be contributing to this phenomenon, the possibility that the 2021 season sets a new record for no-hitters, and the concept of baseball suffering from too much of a good thing. [29:26]

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FanGraphs Audio: Marly Rivera and Lars Anderson Swap Stories

Episode 921

On this week’s show, we get fun perspectives from a reporter and a former player before an on-the-ground report from the Arizona ballfields.

  • In the first half, David Laurila is joined by Marly Rivera, writer and broadcaster for ESPN, and Lars Anderson, former major leaguer, current music producer, and co-founder of Birdman Bats. The trio discuss Yankee Stadium’s reaction to the return of the Astros, Boston’s reaction to the return of Alex Cora, and how managers like him and Torey Lovullo make you want to play for them. Marly and Lars each share Manny Ramirez and Mariano Rivera anecdotes, before Lars discusses his experience playing in Japan and Australia. Finally, they offer their own professional insights into a few serious clubhouse matters. [2:42]
  • After that, Eric Longenhagen welcomes Bill Mitchell of Baseball America back to the show. Eric and Bill recently wrapped up their look at minor league spring training, and getting back to field was nice. The duo discuss some of the best players they have seen recently, including A’s prospect Tyler Soderstrom (and how to pronounce his name). Eric and Bill also go over the effects of so many minor league players having been out of game action for so long, as well as the impressive velocity spikes they’ve seen seemingly across the board. [42:54]

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FanGraphs Audio: Dan Szymborski Recites His Jeff Bridich Poetry

Episode 920

This week on FanGraphs Audio, we cover the changing of the guard in Colorado, the beginning of the minor league season, and some strange new rule experiments.

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FanGraphs Audio: “Shock the Goose” Feat. Andy Freed and Dan Hasty

Episode 919

On this week’s FanGraphs Audio, we welcome a pair of broadcasters before engaging in some good ol’ staff banter.

  • At the top of the show, David Laurila is joined by Andy Freed, radio broadcaster of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Dan Hasty, voice of the West Michigan Whitecaps. Dan recently got the opportunity to call his first major league game, leading Andy to share the story of his own call-up. The trio also talks about the logistical challenges of broadcasting baseball games right now, as well as some of the longest games they’ve ever called. David also brings a pack of baseball cards to open live, which leads to anecdotes about players such as Austin Meadows, Buck Farmer, Bronson Arroyo, and more. Finally, Dan shares an encounter he had with an angry goose on a road trip. [2:22]
  • In the second half, Ben Clemens and Eric Longenhagen catchup on what’s been going on in baseball and with each other. Ben is still really into Corbin Burnes but less enthused by umpire performance early in the season — although the data seems to suggest it isn’t as bad as you think. Meanwhile, Eric shares video of a questionable RoboZone, and the pair considers the potential of a perfect pitching machine that can throw real sliders before discussing the mythical left-handed catcher. [34:04]

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FanGraphs Audio: Ross Atkins Feels Fortunate

Episode 918

This week on FanGraphs Audio, we speak to an award-winning broadcaster and an major league GM while also looking back fondly on Fernandomania.

  • To begin the program, David Laurila is joined by Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, broadcaster for the Lansing Lugnuts and author of The Baseball Thesaurus. Jesse talks about his experiences calling live games that he was unable to see with his own eyes, what it was like to grow up a Tigers fan, meeting Ernie Harwell, and some of his favorite prospects to play for the Lugnuts. Finally, David and Jesse share some of their favorite baseballisms [3:32].
  • Following that, Jason Martinez and Jay Jaffe get together to recall the legacy of Fernando Valenzuela. Jay recently wrote about Fernandomania, and the pair discuss what it was like to be young baseball fans at such an exciting time in the sport. Valenzuela was incredibly successful while not exactly looking like most other major leaguers, and Jason and Jay discuss the impact that had on the sport and their own fandom. [30:30]
  • Finally, David returns to welcome Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins to the show. The pair talk about the last time they spoke, Atkins’ recent extension, what it’s like to work with Charlie Montoyo, and what the day-to-day life of a GM is like. Atkins also discusses some current Blue Jays players, including Julian Merryweather, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Alejandro Kirk, and Nate Pearson, before David asks him about his college thesis on baseball. [56:30]

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FanGraphs Audio: The KBO Preview Episode

Episode 917

On this week’s episode, Brendan Gawlowski is joined by Patrick Dubuque of Baseball Prospectus to discuss the Korea Baseball Organization’s 2021 season.

Brendan and Patrick each recently wrote KBO previews, and they spend the episode going over what to expect from the league this year. How will Shin-Soo Choo fair in his return? Who are the most exciting rookies? And why does Patrick think Brendan is wrong about the KBO playoff structure?

The pair also discuss the normalization of bat flips, the weirdest rule in the KBO, why Patrick won’t speak ill of Matt Williams, and the biggest differences between the leagues.

Finally, Brendan and Patrick run down all 10 teams and where they expect them to finish this season.

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