Effectively Wild Episode 1272: Take Money to Make Money?

Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Trevor Story’s close call, then (9:04) bring on former MLB pitcher Michael Schwimer, the founder and CEO of Big League Advance, to talk about the mechanics and morality of giving money to minor leaguers in exchange for a percentage of their future earnings if they make the majors, why the company was the subject of a now-dropped lawsuit, the dilemma of low minor-league pay, why Michael maintains that BLA is helping players, BLA’s investment model and efforts to predict pitcher injuries, and Michael’s proposed solution to the rising strikeout rate. Lastly, Ben and Jeff review the interview and offer their thoughts on BLA, minor-league pay, and injury prediction.

Audio intro: Aerosmith, "Make It"
Audio interstitial: Neil Young, "Roger and Out"
Audio outro: Spinal Tap, "Gimme Some Money"

Link to Ken Rosenthal on BLA
Link to Jack Dickey on BLA
Link to Sheryl Ring on BLA
Link to Jonathan Perrin podcast episode

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Honestly, a pretty wild conversation. I wanted to buy into this. I think the “futures” element isn’t that much of a problem. I think the players that do make it will be short-changed, but I’m ok with this to help the guys that don’t make it. However, I think Mike is a bit of a dork, especially as it relates to the injury risk. You can’t be the best sports analytics team in the world and also have the CEO not know how to pronounce “Hellickson.” So, I guess we’ll see what happens. Maybe it’s just the difference between Mike and Jeff/Ben, but the arrogance surrounding the analytics just doesn’t sit well. It doesn’t really matter, but the firm’s website doesn’t make it look like they have “the best team. ” Oh well… I’m not making 250k working for them.