Effectively Wild Episode 1688: Beware of Flying Objects

Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Rays flamethrower Shane McClanahan’s regular-season MLB debut, a Bryce Harper hit by pitch and the causes of the current HBP epidemic, and the biggest surprises of the topsy-turvy standings entering May. Then (33:32) they’re joined by listener and Patreon supporter David Whitcomb to answer listener emails about whether excelling at fantasy baseball could help someone get hired by a team, what motion umpires should make to signal that a play is too close to call, whether umps telling hitters whether a pitch they swung at would have been called a strike is an unfair advantage, the frequent intentional walks of Ichiro Suzuki, making the whole diamond (or the whole field) bigger, how baseball would be different if its history were simulated many times, whether a pitcher could succeed at low velocity, and whether a hitless start in a seven-inning game that went to extras would be classified as a no-hitter.

Audio intro: James Taylor, "First of May"
Audio outro: Death Cab for Cutie, "Your Bruise"

Link to video of McClanahan’s hardest pitch
Link to Sam on flames on the broadcast
Link to story about Harper’s HBP
Link to Rob Mains on the HBP rate
Link to Rob on HBP in 2017
Link to Rob on the most dangerous HBP
Link to percentage of HBP that are breaking balls
Link to average velocity of HBP
Link to Sarah Langs on division leaders entering May
Link to Neil Paine on small-sample records
Link to Jeff on 50-game records
Link to Jeff on the standings in June
Link to Jeff on predicting second-half records
Link to AL bold predictions by Ben Clemens
Link to NL bold predictions
Link to story about Ottoneu
Link to story about Taubman’s fantasy background
Link to Jay Jaffe on position player pitching
Link to tweet about Greinke spring training story

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