Effectively Wild Episode 1539: It’s Not the Destination, it’s the Journeyman

Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about an aggressive umpiring demotion in the KBO, FanGraphs adding KBO stats, and the pleasures of falling asleep with baseball on in the background. Then (16:30) they talk to former lefty pitcher Andy Van Hekken, who pitched professionally for 21 seasons across nine countries, about being one of the most-traveled pro players of all time, his memorable MLB debut with the 2002 Detroit Tigers, pitching in the KBO, CPBL, and NPB, the customs, strike zones, and strategies of Asian baseball, match-fixing in Taiwan, the key to overseas success, the baseball language barrier, the art of the forkball, becoming a star player and local hero in an unexpected place, and more. Finally (56:45), they bring on Leander Schaerlaeckens to discuss his Slate investigation into President Trump’s high school baseball career, how and why he fact-checked claims about Trump being a pro prospect, and Trump as a player and teammate.

Audio intro: Mac DeMarco, "Baby You’re Out"
Audio interstitial 1: Slothrust, "Travel Bug"
Audio interstitial 2: Yo La Tengo, "If it’s True"
Audio outro: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, "Travel Song"

Link to article on umpiring demotions
Link to FanGraphs KBO stats post
Link to MLB.com article on Van Hekken
Link to local Michigan article on Van Hekken
Link to video of Van Hekken’s MLB debut
Link to KBO video of Van Hekken
Link to CPBL video of Van Hekken
Link to list of players who played in MLB/NPB/KBO/CPBL
Link to list of B-Ref’s most-traveled players
Link to article on CPBL match-fixing
Link to article on the CPBL’s resurgence
Link to Leander’s Trump investigation
Link to Kram on the home-court assists advantage
Link to order The MVP Machine

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