Effectively Wild Episode 1332: The Life of Riley

Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan dissect the trade that sent catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins to the Phillies for Jorge Alfaro, Sixto Sanchez, and Will Stewart, honor the legacy of Frank Robinson, and then (22:28) bring back 88-year-old 1950s two-way player and podcast king Johnny O’Brien, along with his 24-year-old grandson, current Tampa Bay Rays minor leaguer Riley O’Brien, for an inter-generational conversation about baseball and player development, touching on Robinson and the late Bob Friend, the relationship between Johnny and Riley, life in the minors, baseball’s salary structure, changes in how players train and spend their offseasons, advances in velocity, strikeouts, and technology, and much more (plus a postscript on MLB’s just-concluded Mariners and Dodgers investigations).

Audio intro: Real Estate, "It’s Real"
Audio interstitial: Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Jules Munshin, "O’Brien to Ryan to Goldberg"
Audio outro: The Byrds, "John Riley"

Link to Jeff’s post on Realmuto and Marlins Park
Link to Jeff on Realmuto as baseball’s best catcher
Link to Jeff on the Realmuto trade
Link to first interview with Johnny
Link to Seattle Times article on the O’Brien twins
Link to video of Riley
Link to SI report on the Dodgers and Kapler
Link to SABR Award voting
Link to preorder The MVP Machine

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3 years ago

Ben and Jeff. Thank you so much for this podcast. As a 64 year old, I remember watching half of the players Johnny mentioned on the show. But damn, what a memory. Ten thousand thank yous. Have him back anytime. Also, Ben, thanks for the link to the first podcast with Johnny.