Effectively Wild Episode 1444: Ball Don’t Lie

Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller discuss the Nationals’ sweep of the Cardinals, why the Nationals are good and fun, Stephen Strasburg and the history of no. 1 draft pick pitchers, Gerrit Cole’s performance in ALCS Game 3, how Wednesday’s rainout affects the Yankees and Astros, and the Angels’ opioid problem and hiring of Joe Maddon as manager. Then (36:22) they talk to writer and researcher Rob Arthur about the de-juiced postseason ball, how we can tell that the ball is behaving differently, how much balls vary from pitch to pitch and game to game, how the ball affects pitches, why the ball change reflects poorly on MLB, whether the change was intentional or unintentional, and what offense might look like in 2020.

Audio intro: Guided By Voices, "Calling Up Washington"
Audio interstitial: Gillian Welch, "Wrecking Ball"
Audio outro: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, "Rumors"

Link to ESPN report on Skaggs and the Angels
Link to The Athletic report about MLB opioid testing
Link to Rob’s recent research on the ball
Link to Ben on the ball
Link to Jeff Passan on the ball
Link to Michael Baumann on the ball in 2020
Link to Rob on the ball and pitch movement
Link to Gerald Schifman on shadows
Link to Ben on MLB marketing
Link to order The MVP Machine

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