Archive for Podcast – FanGraphs Audio

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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FanGraphs Audio: Opening Day Jubilation

Episode 916

Happy Opening Day! On this episode, we cover some 2021 projections — and the reactions to them — before catching up with a former major league manager.

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FanGraphs Audio: Robert Ford Strikes a Balance

Episode 915

On this edition of the podcast, we are joined by a major league broadcaster before we dig into the latest spring training happenings as we tick down to Opening Day.

  • At the top of the show, David Laurila welcomes Robert Ford, radio voice of the Houston Astros. They discuss how important it is to get name pronunciations right in their respective lines of work, college basketball allegiances, the dearth of African American broadcasters in the majors, how important broadcasting is to the minor leagues, the future of Kyle Tucker, and more. Robert also explains the important difference between being critical and negative when covering baseball, and discusses working with Dusty Baker and Steve Sparks.[2:35]
  • After that, Eric Longenhagen and Jason Martinez chat about the state of baseball as teams begin to make their final roster decisions. What will the White Sox do following Eloy Jiménez’s injury, and what is the plan in the Cardinals’ outfield? Eric also shares his thoughts about the side effects of a league changing rules in response to team behaviors. Finally, the pair look ahead to their staff predictions, with a particular eye on the American League West. [36:58]

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FanGraphs Audio: Jayson Stark and Tyler Kepner on Covering Baseball

Episode 914

On this week’s episode, we welcome a pair of renowned writers to discuss the baseball landscape before digging into the latest projection highlights.

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FanGraphs Audio: Joe Block Talks Pirates

Episode 913

This week on FanGraphs Audio, we are joined by a major league broadcaster, who brought stories from Florida and the booth with him, before we get excited about baseball’s most enticing player.

  • At the start of the show, David Laurila sits down with Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Joe Block. David and Joe discuss how spring training is going so far, both for Joe and the Pirates, as well as the Blue Jays’ controversial plans for their radio broadcast this year. Joe also discusses the potential broadcasting futures of a few Pittsburgh players and shares stories about Ernie Harwell and Bob Walk. [2:19]
  • After that, Jay Jaffe is joined by RJ McDaniel to talk about Shohei Ohtani mania. Jay and RJ each wrote earlier this week about how the two-way phenom still offers plenty to be optimistic about. They go over Ohtani’s own comments on his struggles, how his unique hype compares to that of Bo Jackson, and how his potential represents a bright spot after a long and challenging winter. [30:28]

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FanGraphs Audio: Mitch Haniger Laces up the Spikes

Episode 912

On this week’s program, we welcome a major league player who is as eager to see the field as we are before talking about a few of the challenges facing the Philadelphia Phillies.

  • At the start of the show, David Laurila sits down with Mitch Haniger to talk about returning to action. The Mariners outfielder is back from injury and shares his thoughts on recovery and the upcoming season. Haniger also discusses playing with Brent Suter in the minors, the talented players in Seattle’s system, and just how automatic reaction time at the plate has to be to succeed. [2:13]
  • Following that, Ben Clemens and Eric Longenhagen try to figure out what to do with the Phillies’ defense. The infield’s range is stretched thin, the outfield isn’t doing much better, and the team could really benefit from the designated hitter. Ben and Eric also discuss Philadelphia’s creative bullpen options, the state of their farm, and a position of depth from which they may be able to trade. [18:53]

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FanGraphs Audio: Bill James Updates His Rankings

Episode 911

This week we welcome an all-time great of baseball analytics, discuss Fernando Tatis Jr.’s big 14-year contract, and assess one of the frustrating teams in the NL Central.

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FanGraphs Audio: Eric Longenhagen Talks Evaluation

Episode 910

As part of Prospects Week, this episode of FanGraphs Audio features interdisciplinary conversations between lead prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen and experts from non-baseball fields about the industry of competitive evaluation.

  • At the top of the program, Eric welcomes Matt Lloyd, assistant general manager of the Orlando Magic. They discuss how analytics has changed basketball in recent decades and the many challenges presented by evaluating players in the sport. Matt also outlines what the year-round schedule of draft preparation looks like in the NBA and how trades come to be in the league. [5:14]
  • After that, Eric is joined by Luis Scott-Vargas of ChannelFireball. Luis is a Hall of Fame Magic: The Gathering player who has been a dominant force in the game for many years. He and Eric talk about how a collectible card game spawned an immense following and the competitive analysis that has come along with it. Luis also offers insight into how things like technology and the resulting wisdom of the crowds has shaped the game, as well as the ethics of outsmarting your opponent vs. “angle shooting,” and how they are similar in MTG and baseball. [37:10]
  • In the third segment, Eric talks to Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus. Eric begins by asking Steve about his baseball career and what led him to working in football evaluation. Then the pair go over how different teams have started using analytics to their own varying degrees. They also discuss how the influence of research has started to change decision-making on the field, some of the unique challenges of trying to appropriately evaluate football players on a crowded gridiron, what the current best solutions are for most accurately understanding talent — and how all of this affects the draft. [1:08:17]

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FanGraphs Audio: John Sadak Joins the Booth

Episode 909

On this week’s episode of FanGraphs Audio, we talk to a new major league broadcaster, an astrophysicist about the deadened baseball, and a true journeyman southpaw.

  • To begin the show, David Laurila welcomes John Sadak, the new play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Reds. They talk about how John went to college thinking he wanted to do something with math — such as astrophysics — before deciding to pursue a career in sports. He also shares his thoughts about his great opportunity in the TV booth, how he hopes to reach a fanbase as storied as Cincinnati’s, and remembers the late Pedro Gomez. [2:47]
  • Following that, Dan Szymborski welcomes Dr. Meredith Wills to the program. With news that MLB plans to change the baseball, Wills’ extensive research on baseball physics is once again top of mind — and was recently featured in a piece at Sports Illustrated. The pair discuss the history, nebulousness, and many ramifications of the issue, as well as mathematical knitting, Mark Twain, and a fun nickname for this new ball. [30:40]
  • In the final segment, David returns to talk to left-hander Derrick Loop. The 37-year-old recently pitched in the Caribbean Series, and he shares stories about his experiences playing across the globe, including a few funky playing environments. Loop also gives a little insight into his stellar pick-off move that helped him nab 17 baserunners in a single season in the minors. [1:05:56]

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FanGraphs Audio: Kevin Goldstein Debuts, Rubén Amaro Jr. Reflects

Episode 908

On this edition of FanGraphs Audio, we welcome our newest writer to the program before bringing on a true baseball lifer to talk Philly sports.

  • At the top of the show, Eric Longenhagen sits down with Kevin Goldstein. Kevin recently joined the FanGraphs staff after many years working with the Houston Astros, and he has plenty of insight to share after his time in the front office. Kevin and Eric discuss what Kevin’s experience was like, what he will be doing at FanGraphs, and how he feels about returning to writing after all this time. [2:11]
  • In the second half, David Laurila is joined by Rubén Amaro Jr., former Philadelphia Phillies general manager as well as major league outfielder, first base coach, and television analyst. Amaro has stories about the multitude of sports legends he has encountered over the years, from growing up in Philadelphia while his dad played for the Phillies, to playing in the minors and majors, to being in charge of a successful franchise. David also puts Amaro on the spot as he asks for his Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia Sports. [28:21]

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