Effectively Wild Episode 1772: Bananas in Pajamas

Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about a flurry of signings and other transactions, including the Tigers signing Eduardo Rodriguez, the Angels signing Noah Syndergaard, the Blue Jays extending José Berríos, and the Mets (finally) hiring a GM, Billy Eppler, plus musings on the Tigers and Mariners “turning the corner,” followups on player rankings, unorthodox trades, and the worst way to end a series, and a real-time reaction to some Shohei Ohtani sponsorship news. Then (43:47) they talk to Zack Frongillo, Director of Entertainment for the Savannah Bananas, about the team’s history, his history, the development of “Banana Ball” and its experimental rules, foul balls being in play, how a typical gameday goes, the team’s online and offline appeal, the tryout/audition process, what baseball could borrow from Banana Ball, the Bananas’ plans for the future, and much more.

Audio intro: Radiohead, “Banana Co.
Audio interstitial: Arkells, “Savannah
Audio outro: Matt Costa, “Savannah

Link to Ben Clemens on the Rodriguez signing
Link to ICC cricket rankings
Link to ICC cricket rankings wiki
Link to story on the Guardians’ name
Link to Phanatic lawsuit story
Link to Harwell trade story
Link to story about Youppi! trade
Link to video of 2014 Japan Series ending
Link to story on 2014 Japan Series ending
Link to Twenty20 cricket wiki
Link to the Bananas’ “About” page
Link to Banana Ball explainer
Link to Banana Ball video
Link to Baseball America on the Bananas
Link to the Boston Globe on the Bananas
Link to the WSJ on the Bananas
Link to Max Patkin SABR bio
Link to Eddie Feigner obit
Link to the Bananas on TikTok
Link to Zack’s post in the EW Facebook group
Link to EW episode about Blaseball
Link to info on the Bananas’ 2022 tour
Link to Stove League teaser video
Link to stream Stove League via Kocowa
Link to stream Stove League via Viki

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2 years ago

I know that folks are going to respond that I’m nuts, that the Mets have completely screwed this up, etc. – but the only thing that’s screwed up is the number of internal leaks from the Mets org during this process, and if I’m Cohen, I’m looking to button that up. Half the names that got out should never have gotten out. Every team “checks in” on executive candidates the same way they check in on trade candidates. As you all know, a lot of the trade “rumors” that get published are not substantive discussions but rather check-ins. Andy Martino has reported that this is the case here; a lot of Mets check-in calls got leaked and then published as candidates who didn’t want the job, which is a false narrative.

Also… I know it’s fun to LOLMets… but you have to at least consider the full picture. I am living the challenge right now of trying to find and hire talent, including executive level talent. Fair; I’m not looking to hire a GM of a baseball team in a major market. But, it’s REALLY hard to hire right now. I could fill every job that allows for remote work 10x over. Asking executive level talent to relocate, right now, is a completely different story and this is true across industries. We have interviewed execs to relocate that were on board… until their spouse/family said “There’s no way we’re moving right now, for a million reasons.” In addition , existing employers are breaking the bank to keep good talent. And while I know the perception is that Steve Cohen should just write whatever size check is required, he is going to run the Mets like a business (and should do so!) and avoid overpaying. I suspect that at least one candidate (Stearns) had his existing employer sweeten the pot to ensure retention.