Effectively Wild Episode 1365: If a Bat Flips in a Forest

Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Meg seeing the Padres in person, the Phillies’ attendance surge, rooting for writers who’ve taken team jobs, and the Mariners’ lousy last week, then discuss the aesthetic and competitive ramifications of the huge spike in home-run rate in the majors and minors, why Rob Manfred is still insisting that the ball isn’t responsible, and what, if anything, MLB should do. Then (35:18) they talk to veteran baseball writer Danny Knobler, author of the new book Unwritten: Bat Flips, the Fun Police, and Baseball’s New Future, about the purpose and future of the unwritten rules, the latest incidents involving Chris Archer and Derek Dietrich and Brad Keller and Tim Anderson, whether MLB is being hypocritical by promoting celebratory displays without condemning intentional plunkings, the concept of “respect,” and the current cultural conflict’s fault lines.

Audio intro: Sloan, "Flying High Again"
Audio interstitial: Sloan, "Who Taught You to Live Like That?"
Audio outro: The Tragically Hip, "The Rules"

Link to Rob on the Triple-A rabbit ball
Link to summary of MLB ball report
Link to Manfred comments from February
Link to Sam on MLB disclosing changes to the ball
Link to video of Vlad Jr. homer
Link to Danny’s book, Unwritten
Link to Sam on unwritten rules
Link to Boone bat-flip commercial
Link to preorder The MVP Machine

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Happy Easter to all of you, and thanks for the great listening I will enjoy tomorrow, or Sunday, while working.