Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
Ben Lindbergh, Meg Rowley
via Podcasts
Edit: I apparently reviewed this when it first started. While it did get a lot better technically, recently it has become two hours of variable listenability. Some good baseball content, interrupted by interminable stretches of discussion of players crapping. This show badly needs an editor who will overrule the hosts saying “leave it in.” Good information, smart hosts, but the quality is very low. It's hard to pull off two guys chatting off the cuff, and too often they come off as simply unprepared. Not too long ago, they mentioned that they don't prepare for the show, which is by no means a good thing. A rule of thumb I learned in broadcasting is that a good hour on-air results from 3 hours of preparation, and this show would really benefit from the hosts taking an hour a day preparing, getting their facts and relevant points in order, before talking into the mic. The technical problems, including today not actually speaking into a microphone, add to the amateurish feel.
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Better with Ben/Sam and Ben/Jeff
I didn’t mind Meg at first but dear lord, she just drowns on and on about nonsense. Talks herself in circles and makes sure to defend anything she says when it doesn’t need defending. And the constant squeals and noises, come on now. She knows baseball very well but it’s become almost unlistenable lately with all of her other stuff added in.
Smartest talk on the subject of baseball
Intelligent and insight abound here and it will make you roll your eyes a lot at other podcasts’ vapid “hot takes.” The problem for me is that the focus on contracts, collective bargaining, draft rights, etc. gets pretty dry and never lets you forget baseball’s all about business, business, business. But listen enough and you’ll eventually hear some old-school baseball love.
Dice All Day
Meg we worry.
I hope you’re ok. You are very appreciated.
lll Chez lll
One of my favorite podcasts.
Love the several times a week discussion of various baseball topics. Still listening nearly 10 years after posting (most of) this review.
5 Stars!
The analysis is second to none, even if it involves spilt popcorn on a plane!
Matt B B Matt
Great stuff
Truly one of the best, smartest, and funniest podcasts out there.
New heights of lousiness
I dipped a toe back into this feed to see how things are going. Not well. They sound like two people who’ve been ruined by spending too much time on Twitter. When you have little or nothing worthwhile to say, no need to bounce your identical lame takes back and forth ad nauseum.
How politics continue to make appearances on this show and the site bewilder me. Know your role, stick to baseball stats.
Always worth the time
This is one of the few podcasts out there that I know will always be worth a listen. I never miss an episode. Content, discussion, analysis and interviews that you will not find anywhere else. Do it.
Jake Lampert
Amazing podcast
As a huge baseball fan, living in Singapore for the past seventeen years, this amazing podcast is, to me, like an oasis to a thirsty camel. Insightful! Witty! Meg and Ben are amazing. If you like shallow and irate, go someplace else. Meg and Ben are deep and insightful-and yet listening to them is like hanging out in the dorm, talking baseball. They seem so nice and discerning that I can’t believe that Ben was a Yankees fan.
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Woke and below average
Generally a below average podcast but my opinion is that Ben’s voice just isn’t good for radio. Too monotone, careful and bland. Also the show is just too deep and long for my tastes. Also very left and woke when politics are brought up. 😬
Good grief
Can you just get on with baseball? Sick to f’ing death of the “who gives a crap” chitchat.
childish drivel
The best current baseball podcast
In depth, thoughtful, and insightful conversations about current baseball. Often some historical tidbits or references thrown in, but this is my go to for the modern game. The only modern baseball podcast I listen to and recommend to people. Great guests and running bits! Keep up the good work.
Great show.
It’s hornier now.
I used to like it
When it was Ben and Jeff I liked it a lot but Meg is just intolerable. I stopped listening a long time ago but wanted to hear the take on the Correa signing/not signing story. I tried. But the emotion and the amazement and the sighs…. I got 10 minutes in and they hadn’t said a damned thing but she just keeps sighing and squealing…. I never reached a point in the Correa podcast where they actually said a substantive thing before I just couldn’t tolerate another moment of it. Jesus.
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Crowell iTunes
Disappointing to say the least.
Spent more time talking about 2017 than the actual WS, mentioned a QAnon theory, and avoided talking players like Giolito or Votto have mentioned that many teams were cheating.
Kike kiks
Stick to baseball and cut out the wokeness
Seemingly even baseball stats are not immune from woke narratives these days. We get bombarded with this from everywhere else - please quit with the politics/diversity wokeness and stick with the sports.
This is my favorite podcast
This podcast is simply the best. They keep everything in perspective. Lots of fun and great info. Intelligent conversations about baseball and sometimes it’s role in society. Ben and Meg are delightful. Easily my favorite podcast.
Dog Money
Baseball and points slightly adjacent
I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts over the years, and Ben Lindbergh is the best podcast host I’ve ever found. I would gladly spend my time listening to him talk about Brussels Sprouts and toilet flappers. On baseball, even more fascinating! Love the format of the show too.
It is great definitely recommend to baseball fans
Good content marred by blather
Sometimes it is sufficient to say something once, instead of repeating it four or five times.
We want Michael Bauman and Bobby Wagner already
Great podcast hosts in need of an editor (be ready for 30-40 minutes of banter before they get into actual baseball). And come on, how can there be a Fangraphs podcast without Michael Bauman?
Best in class
As the thousands of 5-star ratings demonstrate, Effectively Wild is easily the best long-form Twitter advertisement out there. My Twitter usage has increased roughly 600% since I started listening. My feed is graced with back and forth banter between baseball writers from the Athletic or Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman. I even once had a comment liked by "Baseball Craig" Goldstein and Emma Baccellieri. Needless to say, my life has been ever so slightly enriched.
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Best baseball podcast out there
It can’t be beat, it’s just the best baseball podcast there is!
Best baseball podcast out there
You won’t find a better, more insightful podcast. It’s become a must listen for me and has been for some time. Great banter, thoughtful discussion and an incredibly informative show.
All around great podcast
Mostly informative, often silly, but always a great and fun listen. The hosts do a fantastic job of providing onsite into the game while also keeping things light hearted and entertaining. They are well informed and prepared and bring on enjoyable guests from all facets of the game. Love the show, keep the episodes coming! PS, loved hearing the mid-90’s Royals being drafted in episode 1878! (although they did neglect to mention Jonny Gomes’ World Series speech as part of why anyone would draft them)
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Love it
But someone tell Jordan from CFB that if he says “right” one more time he’s never invited back
Simply the best!
This is the only podcast I’ve found that doesn’t waste time regurgitating all the same old junk stats (W-L, ERA, Avg, and RBI just to name a few) that are still given way too much credence, and is not boring. They find truly valuable information to talk about. I’ve been listening to this podcast for a few years now. I’m chipping away at the old episodes little by little whenever I catch up on the current episodes. Ben and Meg give thoughtful, and insightful takes on a number of baseball and non-baseball topics. I especially enjoy the fact that they don’t shy away from commenting on the hot-button sometimes political issues of the day. Meg is very enjoyable, and she is funny. Don’t listen to the curmudgeons in the bad reviews. She’s great, and I always look forward to hearing what she has to say. She has a moral compass that compels her to comment on issues that plague the game like racism, sexism, sexual assault, bigotry in general, the seemingly anti-lgbtq+ attitude of teams (beyond 1 pride night that some teams make optional. Looking at you Rays). I’m grateful to her for using the platform for more meaningful discourse beyond just the stats. I miss Sam too, but it’s nothing to do with Meg. It’s because Sam is worth missing, and these people should know that he doesn’t want to be in baseball anymore unless they all stopped listening before he came back as a guest. Ben is easy going, curious, thought provoking, and has become a consistent fixture, albeit only audibly, in my home. His voice is like buttah. Both are kind, thoughtful, intelligent people who are easily better humans than most I’ve encountered. You will not like this podcast if you’re an “alpha” *barf* or if you’re a Trevor Bauer fan *more barf* You will most likely enjoy it if you like stats, intelligent baseball talk, and inclusivity.
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The Best Baseball Podcast
I’ve listened to this podcast since the mid-Jeff Sullivan era (so maybe 5ish years as of writing this?) and I don’t think a better baseball pod could exist. I particularly love how reasonable and wholesome this podcast is. Thank you Ben and Meg for all the hard work you do!
It’s so good!
It’s light, funny and interesting. Meg and Ben are delightful and a legit pleasure to listen to. One of the few podcasts I really look forward to.
Used to be better
Can Ben go one episode without talking about Ohtani? Find something else already.
5 stars, yet again
It’s hysterical to me that anyone would rate this show less than 5 stars. Sounds like a cry for help. Effectively Wild’s combination of abundance and quality is flabbergasting. Literally an episode for every imaginable version of appreciating baseball. Keep talking about labor issues! It’s hugely important, and created an easy in to a tough conversation about labor rights more broadly. I donate a small amount monthly and am proud to say it because if you like the pod and listen and can afford it, I think you should too.
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Love EW
Great banter on baseball, hypotheticals, and general nonsense. Wouldn’t want to spend my time any other way. This pod is not Nutting.
Ford Ladd
Great Way to Pass the Time
Thanks for continuing to great episodes during this time!!! I’ve enjoyed it all and it helps get me through these days without baseball.... Meg is awesome! Reposting. Still the best baseball podcast out there. The haters can back off now.
Ryan Huckabay
I’ve pulled my support from FanGraphs. Here’s why
There aren’t many mediums I can publicly bring this to the table. I’m a longtime supporter and listener of FanGraphs. When I was out of work last year due to COVID, I had to make a lot of cutbacks. But one I didn’t make was my support to this site. I believe this site is incredibly important. The podcast is a very nice compliment. I’ve worked in front office environments where these resources are commonplace. However, I can’t morally support this podcast anymore. Bringing in Kevin Goldstein I feel was an incredibly significant character-defining moment of this platform. With many of the bigger names on the site moving on to work with teams, Meg and Dave felt it was necessary to bring in another familiar face. However, the person brought back was an exiled Astros front office member - an organization not only obviously who has a history of egregious cheating, but one that created a culture that allowed front office members to drunkenly scream at female reporters about how great Robert Osuna is. And I’ve challenged Kevin many times in chat about how he did nothing with his power to suggest changing the culture, even down to fighting for more rights for interns, all he did was admit I was right. He’s gutless. And he’s a part of why baseball isn’t for everyone. As he’s become more tenured at the team, he’s been more hostile towards those he interacts with. Perhaps a bit extra defensive? I want no part in it. It’s not one bad seed. I find it to be a serious flaw in the integrity of David and Meg, who I once revered. Next was the elimination of comments for job postings on site. Conveniently, many job postings from teams fail to mention that the jobs are poorly compensated, if at all. In the past, myself or others would make sure to note to readers in the comments section that working for free isn’t all its cracked up to be. There was actually a lot of productive discourse where I felt we helped steer a lot of people in the right direction. Then suddenly, no comments. FanGraphs generally has done well at allowing an open platform, but this is where the line is drawn? Calling the teams out who post these job listings but fail to mention compensation or career path? That’s really lousy. And once again, a huge character indictment on Meg and David. You can constantly peddle articles asking for support, but won’t even allow those who pay in the site’s darkest moment to try and help others in a way you refuse to? I get why you can’t say anything. However, if you choose to integrate social conversation into your site’s content, it’s not just the things on the field that need to be called out. There’s a lot behind the scenes that is vile. And you’re not allowing impressionable young professionals any kind of way to not fall into some of the traps teams lay out. And finally, pertaining to the podcast itself, I’m tired of hearing you complain about your job, Meg. Your tweets are complaining about late nights of transactions. Every podcast is complaining about how you couldn’t have Day X off due to a trade. For someone who was seemingly and rightfully very nervous about their employment last year, there sure is a lot of public complaining. And don’t get me wrong. I worked in the belly of the beast and it is exhausting. You think I liked working every holiday until 10p-1am? No. But people pay to listen to you. Your website is carried by memberships. Yet you’re here complaining about how you don’t even want to do it. You’ve been around long enough - you know the nature of the business. It’s fair to be annoyed that work comes calling after hours. But it’s baseball. This is what it is. And it’s a big part of why I left it. I just don’t see any value in you using this podcast as a way to blow steam about how you just can’t believe that a baseball transaction happened late at night. Such a novel concept. I like what Meg brings to the table in a lot of these conversations. However, I have no interest in what your job satisfaction is or is not. This doesn’t feel like it’s for you. You don’t like being online (who does), you don’t like engaging with your reader base (don’t blame you), and you don’t like erratic baseball hours (I get it). But then stop doing it. An editor has to do a lot of these things without silencing people the way you do or complaining the way you do. I just don’t get it. I’m just so disappointed because I’m a fan of what you do and the content you’ve brought - that it genuinely saddens me that I can’t listen to this show anymore. Look, again, I’ve given this site and it’s editor a hard time. Nobody’s perfect. No system is perfect. To many, the tools at FanGraphs are worth the subscription alone. Ben and Meg have some good podcast chemistry. The website offers lots of diverse content. But, they’re character has been exposed a fair amount the last year. And the podcast can be a drag when the host and editor has zero desire to do her job or interact with others besides who she drinks with at the Winter Meetings in any meaningful way. Just seems like there’s a lot missing here. I really can’t believe I’ve stopped giving this site of all places money after all I feel they’ve given to me. And maybe I’m a huge jerk. I don’t know. I try not to be. But I needed to voice my opinion somewhere it mattered. And this doesn’t matter THAT much, but emails can be ignored and I refuse to comment further on their website. If I don’t pay for the site, I won’t use it. It’s important to pay for the services you use, so it’s a sacrifice on my end as well. Regardless, the hiring and putting up with of Kevin and the removal of job postings comments were big deals to me. And the podcast is uncomfortable because it’s clear a lead doesn’t like their role as a website editor and personality. So what’s left? Plenty for some. Not so much for others. I just happen to fall into the latter category. Not that it matters.
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No one does it better
I recommend it, it's better than a Munenori Kawasaki post game interview
I’m sorry, but Meg and select guest cohosts NEED to quit talking about how tiring their jobs in sports media are. It is discussed for several minutes at the beginning of every episode and frankly enough is enough. It’s gotten old. If you’re that tired from your job, then obviously the healthy thing to do is to step away from the pod. Listeners respect what you do, but to start every episode on such a low note really brings down the vibe. This postseason was awesome and the offseason brings an exciting free agent class at several positions. Get people excited! I hope this doesn’t come off as rude, but constructive criticism. I love this pod and really do not want to have to find another go to baseball pod. But recently the content simply hasn’t been there.
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Always interesting
This is the podcast that will get you excited again about the season unfolding. They hit all the right notes, and know just the right times to dig deeper. Such a great baseball podcast.
Was one of my staple podcasts
For years, this was one of the only podcasts that I listened to without missing an episode. I definitely pick and choose episodes now. I don’t want to rag on any individual, because everyone who participates in this podcast is clearly a grade-A human being, but I really miss Sam Miller’s presence.
It’s a Baseball Podcast Not a Forum For Moral Reform
When they talk baseball or baseball adjacent it gets 4 to 5 stars. When it goes down a rabbit hole where Meg is teaching us to be better people and Ben then has to give this uncomfortable agree or transition through the conversation is where it loses it’s stars. I listen till that starts and move on to the next podcast.
Intentional walks
IMO, the change to who is issuing the intentional walk is due to the 3 batter rule for relief pitchers.
Please stop Meg
I used to really enjoy this podcast, but I think Meg brings it down a lot. I too avoided the Meg episodes in the past, but that is all there is now. Since Sam has left, I have also seen a decline with Ben, possibly to stay on Meg’s level. Meg’s constant awkward attempts to be quirky funny is just unbearable. Don’t get me wrong, I think Meg is very smart and can bring something to the table, but please, please, please stop with the attempts to be funny, you just are not funny. A third co-host is definitely needed to offset the overload of Meg. /* Updated *\ I’m now just fast-forwarding through Meg’s babbling that is only loosely related to what Ben was actually talking about. Has it been a year yet? Can Sam please come back so Meg can be phased out or removed completely? Ben, the ratings are dropping and nearly all the reviews seem just as frustrated with Meg as I am. I really did used to look forward to episodes of the podcast becoming available.
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The Best Baseball Podcast
I’ve listened to this show for a long time, but I really appreciate Meg and Ben for their love of the game and intriguing conversations.
Jack Daddie
Used to be great
The previous show with Jeff was amazing. The new show is rambling and hard to listen to
It’s a shame
As with many of the others, I’ve listened to 1,500 episodes and been a Patreon member for years. Today I’m finally unsubscribing. Everything has been said already in recent reviews, but simply put, this podcast is completely devoid of the joy for the game it once had.
Used to be great
I won’t rehash what the prior reviews say but just incorporate them here. This used to be the best baseball podcast. I’m now very close to unsubscribing. Hoping Sam is back soon and Meg is phased out, though I’m sure that they will just write off these reviews as sexism because how could it ever be anything else?
A once-great podcast that may be on its last legs
I have championed Effectively Wild since around 2014, became a Patreon member and have listened to virtually every episode for six years, but the quality of the show has unfortunately taken a nosedive in the last 6 months to a year. As noted by other reviewers, a big part of the problem has been the show’s recent tendency to center all discussions around a twitter-centric wokeness that neither serves its audience or the hosts’ talents very well. Meg, who I probably agree with on most political issues and I respect as a writer/editor, seems to want to be baseball’s director of Human Resources or ethicist. She has a tendency to use the word “we” when talking about broader topics in baseball in a self-important way that always begs the question who “we” are, beyond baseball twitter and like-minded baseball writers. It’s a philosophy borne of twitter that political action is performed by simply having an opinion and repeatedly sharing that opinion online. Ben, who I also carry an immense amount of respect for, has also fallen into the bad habit of believing that the ultimate goal of a capitalist enterprise like MLB is to reach some level of moral uprightness that would please your average overeducated, upper-middle class, woke twitter user. It didn’t used to be this way. The show has rarely been about the daily game on the field, but its previous incarnations have veered into weirdness and fun, whereas the current show always seems to veer into scolding and ineffectual political and ethical talk where every guest and both hosts agree that they have reached the correct opinion on every topic. Again, I agree with almost all of these opinions, but it makes for a laborious listen as the show approaches a level of didactic self-righteousness and performative outrage that’s caused me to drop my Patreon membership and I will likely stop listening regularly until Sam, whose sense of humor and humanity without dogma is sorely missed, returns. This is hardly limited to EW as our current culture has become helplessly intertwined with shallow, impotent cable news-level political chatter. If any of the hosts happen to read this, I would encourage you that your inquisitive audience is likely seeking out political and news content through other outlets. We listen to EW because we love baseball and your informed, humorous thoughts on the actual game, its past, present and future. UPDATE 7/7/21: I’ve finally stopped listening after 6-7 years of listening to almost every episode and must say that it feels good. The show wasn’t bringing anything redeeming into my life any more, I found it to be a frustrating, draining listen and I was continuing to listen based on inertia. Hopefully, I’ll hear when Sam returns and I’ll give it another shot.
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Creekwood Banks
Don’t know what this is
Used to love the show as it’s right up my alley, but the amount of baseball that’s talked about is astonishingly low. Being funny and exploring tangents is all well and good, but if that’s the entirety of the show then what are we doing here? Like a pitcher and catcher who don’t play well off of each other, these hosts don’t have complimentary strengths/areas of expertise and sometimes that happens. Not everyone is right for every medium and that’s ok. Some people are just better writers than they are podcasters.
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I use a different podcast app that doesn’t have reviews
But after listening to Episode 1701, I felt that I must. There was a strong segment that stood tall. It was hard not to feel pleasure by the tent that was pitched and was a struggle to take down. I think that if it continued for longer than 24 hours, they may have had to consult a physician. All in all, I’m glad I came here to spread the seed that is this great podcast.
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