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July 2, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Ben’s effusive streaming recommendation, the Korean baseball drama Stove League. Then (8:51) they start the second episode of their week-long celebration of the Negro Leagues by bringing on Jeremy Beer, author of the award-winning baseball biography Oscar Charleston: The Life and Legend of Baseball’s Greatest Forgotten Player, to […]
July 1, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the backlash to MLB’s use of the sponsored term “summer camp,” four players’ decisions to opt out of the season, a heartfelt, thought-provoking post by Ian Desmond, and the official cancellation of the minor league season. Then they explain the Negro Leagues theme of this week of Effectively […]
June 27, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley talk to a beat writer and a broadcaster—The Athletic’s White Sox reporter James Fegan and Diamondbacks and MLB Network Radio host Mike Ferrin—about how they plan to tackle the unique challenges of covering the 2020 season, touching on how often they’ll be at the ballpark, how restricted access to players […]
June 27, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley answer listener emails about statistical leaders and record-setters in a small-sample season, what would make winning a championship in a 60-game season more impressive, the odds of good teams missing the playoffs, bad teams making the playoffs, and teams having unrepresentative 60-game stretches, the possibility of losing a perfect game, […]
June 25, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley discuss the long-in-the-making announcement about the MLB season starting, touching on the resolution of the dispute between the league and the union, their deeply conflicted feelings about baseball being played during a pandemic, the strangeness of a 60-game season, how to reframe fandom and reorient rooting interests in a short […]
June 23, 2020
Meg Rowley is joined by the New York Daily News’ Bradford William Davis and Baseball Prospectus’ Shakeia Taylor to discuss Major League Baseball’s response to the police killing of George Floyd and the recent Black Lives Matter protests, why the league’s statements have been so wanting, whether teams have a role to play — both […]
June 20, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley review the latest lack of progress toward starting the MLB season, touching on the false hope offered by a meeting between Rob Manfred and Tony Clark, the subsequent breakdown in talks, a poll about where the public places blame for the standstill, what negotiations without leaks would look like, how […]
June 17, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley discuss Rob Manfred’s rapid flip-flop from expressing 100 percent confidence about an MLB season starting to expressing a lack of confidence in an MLB season starting, his ultimatum to the union, how Manfred has floundered at a pivotal time and how that failure effects his future, how some owners’ reluctance […]
June 15, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller interview AJ Shnack, the director of ESPN’s new 30 for 30 documentary about the 1998 home run race, Long Gone Summer, touching on the involvement of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, how AJ structured the story, which slugger was the star of the race, the myth that the home run […]
June 12, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the continued standstill over starting the season, MLB’s series of superficially different, substantively identical, and equally unproductive proposals, public perceptions of the owners’ and players’ positions, the difference between a 50-game season and an 80-game season, and how the “negotiations” seem destined to end, plus a Stat Blast […]
June 9, 2020
Ben Lindbergh talks to Braves outfield prospect Trey Harris about how he’s processed the murder of George Floyd and learned from the ongoing protests, how race and racism have affected his life and career, the additional barriers black players face, how he’s tried to talk to teammates, coaches, and friends about systemic racism and recent […]
June 5, 2020
Ben briefly explains this week’s podcast hiatus. Link to Joon Lee on players’ statements Link to Marc Carig on MLB’s response Link to Bradford William Davis on team and league statements Link to Randy Wilkins on MLB’s statement Link to Doug Glanville and other ex-players on race and baseball Link to Shakeia Taylor on civil […]
May 30, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the results of a survey of sports fans about fake crowd noise on telecasts, then discuss a difficult, frustrating week for baseball, touching on ownership overreach and intransigence, widespread releases of minor league players, teams and players that have made more commendable choices, baseball’s lost opportunity to lead, […]
May 28, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about MLB’s ongoing labor negotiations, the team-to-team differences in minor-league pay and front-office furloughs, and the perils of believing that baseball is purely for profit, follow up on the previous episode’s discussions of Carney Lansford’s claim to be a descendant of Sir Francis Drake and a forward-thinking 1989 Cy […]
May 26, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about viral particles, Mike Trout’s self-identified best at-bat, Carney Lansford’s possible link to Sir Francis Drake, sports card “breakers,” a perplexing story involving Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, Wilbert Robinson’s five birthdays, why a love of playing baseball often translates to a love of anything connected to baseball, the […]
May 23, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about a mystifying comment on the back of track star and Oakland A’s designated runner Herb Washington’s 1975 Topps card, the phenomenon of wildly inaccurate appraisals of player value, and the utility of pinch-running specialists. Then (21:48) they talk to ESPN broadcaster Jon “Boog” Sciambi about calling KBO games […]
May 21, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the reliability of betting on baseball using the Grays Sports Almanac from Back to the Future Part II, then answer listener emails about a baseball broadcaster reality show, awarding bonuses for success in specific batter-pitcher matchups, and whether there’s any way to make pitchers into less terrible hitters, […]
May 19, 2020
Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and Meg Rowley banter about MLB’s proposed in-game distancing measures and what degree of difference from the norm would prevent the game from still looking like baseball, then draft and discuss their favorite highly specific ways in which to follow a baseball game, whether in person or from afar. Audio intro: Sloan, […]
May 16, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the announcement of a second Astros sign-stealing documentary and what they would want out of a sign-stealing docuseries, the ongoing negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA about starting the season, the public perception problems the players face, the way the media has covered the financial component of the […]
May 14, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the difficulty of interpreting the context of old articles about baseball and a man obsessed with smashing certain plate glass windows, then answer listener emails about what qualifies as hitting a ball out of the ballpark and eliminating force outs, plus Stat Blasts about the all-time defensive indifference […]
May 12, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about an anecdote in David Halberstam’s book The Teammates about prescient Cardinals pitcher Harry Brecheen, the uproar when players were first prevented from leaving their gloves on the field, and the 20th anniversary of Glenallen Hill’s rooftop home run, then revisit Michael Jordan’s motivations for playing baseball and discuss […]
May 9, 2020
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 […]
May 8, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about KBO season excitement and answer listener emails about MLB precedents for Warwick Saupold’s KBO complete game, whether MLB fandom would work if teams didn’t play games in their “home” cities, the ethics of time travel in Tommy John surgery rehab and if and when it makes sense to […]
May 5, 2020
Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and Meg Rowley banter about fear of criticism, Eddie Murphy vs. Eddie Murray, and dreams, then take turns building the best imaginary Hall of Fame exhibits they can by picking five baseball items from their lifetimes for Cooperstown preservation, drafting one artifact apiece from each of five categories. Audio intro: Death Cab […]
May 1, 2020
Facing the prospect of a season without fans in the stands, Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley console themselves and fight baseball withdrawal by revisiting classic accounts of going to games. The authors of three revered books based on single games—Arnold Hano, the author of A Day in the Bleachers (1955), Dan Okrent, the author of […]
April 30, 2020
Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and senior writer for The Athletic Andy McCullough banter about the people they would be (or have been) most nervous about interviewing and two new noteworthy articles, then discuss Andy’s and Rustin Dodd’s highly controversial ranking of the 30 greatest baseball songs of all time, the dispute about John Fogerty’s “Centerfield,” […]
April 28, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about Johnny Vander Meer’s ear boils and the surprisingly ancient origins of the phrase, “A walk is as good as a hit,” then answer listener emails about why some players prove to be flashes in the pan, whether a home run derby would work under current conditions, whether the […]
April 25, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about beverage consumption, foreign baseball leagues’ potential for popularity in the U.S., and the life and death of legendary flamethrower Steve Dalkowski, who passed away this week. Then they talk to Rob Liu of CPBLStats.com (25:48) and Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net (58:22) about two leagues that have beaten MLB […]
April 23, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller discuss the results of MLB’s investigation into Boston Red Sox sign stealing, touching on Boston’s lighter penalties and seemingly lesser offenses compared to the Astros’, whether Boston’s front office and coaches deserved to be absolved, the moral hazard of the advance scout who doubles as a replay-room operator, and more. […]
April 21, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the Effectively Wild community’s least-disliked MLB teams and two unjust Cy Young/MVP snubs, then discuss what Michael Jordan’s brief baseball career taught us about Jordan and about baseball. Audio intro: Willie Nelson, "Why Do I Have to Choose" Audio outro: Emmylou Harris, "Jordan" Link to EW MLB Survivor game recap […]
April 20, 2020
With MLB in limbo, Ben Lindbergh investigates virtual baseball, talking to the designers of three new baseball video games—Ramone Russell of Sony San Diego, makers of MLB The Show 20, Markus Heinsohn of Out of the Park Developments, makers of Out of the Park Baseball 21 (37:56), and Scott Drader of Metalhead Software, makers of […]
April 18, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley speak to FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen and ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel about their new book, Future Value: The Battle for Baseball’s Soul and How Teams Will Find the Next Superstar, touching on topics including the best kinds of scouting stories, how technology and data have confirmed or overturned traditional scouting beliefs, how […]
April 16, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the strange story of a man named Bill Henry who impersonated former major league reliever Bill Henry for decades, then answer listener emails about seasons with an ERA+ or OPS+ of 420, teams from the past that they would most want to cover as time-traveling beat writers, and […]
April 14, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about how runs, hits, and errors became baseball’s standard scoreboard stats and the piecemeal way in which baseball evolves, then reminisce about and reevaluate the 2015 experiment that led to their 2016 book about running the independent league Sonoma Stompers, The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our […]
April 11, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about new options for supporting FanGraphs and a potential plan to play the 2020 season with a radically realigned league structure, then talk to FanGraphs writer and ZiPS projection system proprietor Dan Szymborski about how a shortened or canceled season would affect projections for 2021, whether players would exceed […]
April 9, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about a possible banter shortage, a mysterious sack of flour from 1971, the kinds of baseball stories being published in the absence of baseball, the greatness (and eye-popping pitcher usage) of the 2001 World Series, the October travails of Charlie Leibrandt, and how MLB should approach planning for the […]
April 7, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller split up to talk to the authors of two new baseball books. First, Sam speaks to Sports Stories newsletter author Eric Nusbaum about Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between. Then (33:18) Ben brings on Wall Street Journal national baseball writer Jared Diamond to discuss […]
April 3, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the response to FanGraphs’ request for financial support, discuss the latest news about minor league pay, Tommy John surgeries, college eligibility, the possibility of baseball coming back, Astros suspensions, and the suspiciously lively ball, and unveil a Stat Blast song cover and a Stat Blast about the longest […]
April 1, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller talk to Brad Balukjian, author of brand-new baseball book The Wax Pack: On the Open Road in Search of Baseball’s Afterlife, about the long road (figuratively and literally) that led to the book, how he decided to try to track down the players from an old pack of baseball cards, […]
March 31, 2020
Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and Meg Rowley begin by discussing the financial impact that the pandemic and the postponement of the baseball season have had on FanGraphs and requesting reader/listener assistance. Then Ben and Sam review some of the worst mistakes managers made in World Series games of the 1980s and mull over why managerial […]
March 28, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the benefits, uncertainties, and downsides of the deal between MLB and the MLBPA to sort out salary and service time in the event of a shortened or canceled season, whether and how a social distancing-approved version of baseball could be played while maintaining a six-foot minimum distance between […]
March 26, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about which types of old games they would want to rewatch, Noah Syndergaard’s Tommy John surgery, and how short is too short for a regular season, then answer listener emails about whether the 2020 title will be tainted by a shortened season, whether MLB should skip the regular season […]
March 24, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller revisit Sam’s tradition of viewing the beloved and despised 1989 film Field of Dreams on the eve of Opening Day (or in this case, what would have been Opening Day) and examine how their perceptions of the movie have evolved, what makes Field of Dreams the most divisive baseball movie, […]
March 21, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about advice for working from home, Chris Sale’s Tommy John surgery, concerns about pitcher health in a shortened season, the possibility of playing more doubleheaders when baseball comes back, how late would be too late for the season to start, the overuse, injury, and treatment of pitcher Wes Ferrell, […]
March 18, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller follow up on a previous discussion of advance scouting’s contribution to Kirk Gibson’s legendary 1988 home run and banter about the strangeness of not having a date for Opening Day, then answer listener emails about how to get into baseball for the first time, how a shortened season could affect […]
March 17, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about life during self-isolation and delayed media consumption and explore some of the long-considered and ultimately rejected article ideas in Sam’s tickler file, including Ken Griffey Jr.’s rap career, an undiscovered baseball star in Yosemite, an advance-scouting conspiracy theory, an unorthodox solution to extra-inning games, and a complaint about […]
March 13, 2020
In the absence of real baseball (and with plenty of solitary time on fans’ hands), Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley devote an episode to three new fictional depictions of baseball, speaking to novelist Emily Nemens (9:18), the author of spring training tale The Cactus League, novelist Gish Jen (36:56), the author of dystopian baseball saga […]
March 13, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley react to MLB’s COVID-19-caused cancellation of the remainder of spring training and the postponement of Opening Day and discuss the disquieting week and the ramifications for the culture and the 2020 baseball season. Audio intro: Dan Bern, "Ballpark" Audio outro: Frank Sinatra, "I Get Along Without You Very Well" Link to MLB […]
March 11, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about Padres outfield un-fun facts, then discuss MLB’s $1 million “The Vault” competition to predict several statistical leaders of the 2020s, producing their picks in each category, reviewing how hard it would have been to pick the winners of the 2010s, and ruminating on the nature of baseball predictions […]
March 9, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about Mike Trout’s career spring training stats, then preview the 2020 Minnesota Twins (9:01) with the The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman, and the 2020 Pittsburgh Pirates (46:33) with The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey, plus a conversation between Ben and Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller (1:19:30) about Keller’s historically unlucky debut MLB […]
March 6, 2020
Meg Rowley and Sam Miller briefly banter about the state of Chris Sale’s arm and appreciating one’s friends when they are on vacation, then preview the 2020 Boston Red Sox (4:40) with the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, and the 2020 San Francisco Giants (38:40) with The Athletic’s Grant Brisbee. Audio intro: David Bowie, “Under Pressure” Audio interstitial […]
March 5, 2020
With Ben Lindbergh on vacation, Meg Rowley and Sam Miller answer a few very special listener emails on Shohei Ohtani, what they want to know about the 2020 season (complete with a twist), and how we treat umpires. Plus, a Statblast! Audio intro: The Police, “Message In A Bottle” Audio outro: Letters to Cleo, “Cruel to be […]
March 2, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about Twins reliever Zack Littell’s powerful affinity for cruise ships and bidding for baseballs from a baseball movie, then preview the 2020 Washington Nationals (12:39) with the Washington Post’s Sam Fortier, and the 2020 Kansas City Royals (40:26) with The Athletic’s Alec Lewis. Audio intro: Frankie Ford, "Sea Cruise" Audio interstitial […]
February 28, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about passing the halfway point of the season preview series, Zach Eflin’s spring training feedback on a possibly less lively baseball, the effect of sign stealing on the average time between pitches, a recent rash of spring pitcher injuries, and the incredible career trajectory of former Phillies GM Ruben […]
February 26, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Astros confiscating signs at spring training and Madison Bumgarner’s rodeo alter ego, Mason Saunders, then preview the 2020 Athletics (13:58) with the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, and the 2020 Rockies (39:47) with The Athletic’s Nick Groke, plus a postscript on the implications of Luis Severino’s season-ending […]
February 24, 2020
In a special narrative episode of Effectively Wild, Ben Lindbergh traces the parallels between baseball’s latest sign-stealing crisis and an almost 60-year-old sign-stealing scandal that caused a comparable upheaval in the sport, drawing on archival clips, contemporary music, and interviews with author Paul Dickson and former major leaguers Eddie Robinson, Al Worthington, and Jay Hook […]
February 22, 2020
Will we see baseball’s sign stealers in court, or will attempts to take legal action be a suing and a miss? In a bonus episode of EW, Ben Lindbergh talks to sports-law expert Nathaniel Grow about the viability of and precedents for several lawsuits related to MLB’s ongoing sign-stealing scandal, as well as another case […]
February 22, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the AL/NL distribution of the season preview pods so far and a few notable numbers from the newly published FanGraphs playoff odds, then preview the 2020 Indians (8:11) with Sports Illustrated’s T.J. Zuppe, and the 2020 Rangers (38:55) with The Athletic’s Levi Weaver. Audio intro: Della Mae, "The Odds […]
February 20, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about walk-off balks, a Zack Greinke oral history, and how teams will use the new 26th roster spot, break down the responses to a Jayson Stark survey of baseball insiders about the winter and upcoming season, and answer listener emails about players’ outspoken criticisms of the Astros’ sign-stealing and […]
February 17, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the latest developments in the escalating player war of words over the Astros sign-stealing scandal, José Altuve‘s alleged unfinished tattoo, Rob Manfred’s roundly criticized comments, Shohei Ohtani’s new driver’s license, and a modest pay hike for minor leaguers. Then they preview the 2020 Braves (34:29) with From the […]
February 15, 2020
In the third incarnation of a time-honored tradition that recurs every 500-ish episodes, Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and Meg Rowley are joined by The Athletic’s Grant Brisbee and ex-EW cohost (and current Tampa Bay Rays “Analyst, Baseball Development”) Jeff Sullivan to draft assorted things that they like about baseball. Audio intro: Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack, […]
February 14, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about why the Astros sign-stealing scandal won’t go away, and the reception to the team’s first attempts to apologize. Then they preview the 2020 Angels (28:13) with The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya, and the 2020 Cardinals (1:03:49) with MLB.com’s Will Leitch. Lastly (1:37:15), Ben talks to FanGraphs’ Craig Edwards about […]
February 10, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the remade Mookie Betts trade, the latest revelations about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal (including “Codebreaker” and “the dark arts”), and the Mets’ failed sale to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen. Then they preview the 2020 Cubs (46:13) with The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma, and the 2020 Diamondbacks (1:20:08) with […]
February 7, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about probability, the baseball significance of a Super Bowl comeback, and whether win expectancy stats are more useful for fans during or after a game (featuring a cameo from Meg Rowley, who sort of settles the debate). Then Ben and Sam preview the 2020 Padres with MLB.com’s AJ Casavell […]
February 5, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley break down the three-team Mookie Betts blockbuster, analyzing the historic strangeness of a player as good and young as Mookie being moved, what it means for the Red Sox and Dodgers competitively and financially, how Red Sox fans must feel about Betts (and David Price) being traded, why the Red […]
February 3, 2020
In the first installment of the eighth annual Effectively Wild season preview series, Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller preview the 2020 Reds with The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans, and the 2020 Brewers (40:26) with The Athletic’s Derek VanRiper. Audio intro: Dispatch, "Begin Again" Audio interstitial: The Decemberists, "A Beginning Song" Audio outro: Imperial Teen, "The Beginning" Link to […]
January 31, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley recap and consider the implications of the latest and greatest analyses of the Astros’ banging scheme, which appear to show that the team’s cheating didn’t increase its offensive production in the aggregate. Then (20:08) they talk to the man who made that research possible, longtime Astros fan Tony Adams, about […]
January 30, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the “vibrathrob” episode, the Astros hiring Dusty Baker, Kris Bryant reportedly losing his service-time grievance, and Delmon Young raking in Australia, then answer listener emails about a disrespectful intro for Isiah Kiner-Falefa, teams patenting tactics, and the enduring legacy of Carlos Beltrán’s NLCS-ending strikeout, plus Stat Blasts about […]
January 28, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about umpire crew chiefs getting microphones for the 2020 season, the Reds signing Nick Castellanos and the small gaps between the top four teams in the NL Central, the Diamondbacks trading for Starling Marte and whether the Dodgers can be beaten in the NL West, and MLB getting sued […]
January 24, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Mitch Haniger’s excruciating-sounding injuries, how Mariners fans may feel about the Braves signing Félix Hernández, the winter of Nolan Arenado’s discontent, where the Rockies went wrong, the oddness of being a baseball player, why Scott Boras believes Astros players shouldn’t apologize for stealing signs (and why he’s wrong), […]
January 23, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller do a brief, spoiler-free followup on their Knives Out banter from the previous episode, then break down the elections of Derek Jeter and Larry Walker to the Hall of Fame, touching on the contrast between their voting trajectories, how and why Walker made it, the lone Jeter ballot holdout, the […]
January 21, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the symbolism of the baseball in Knives Out (beware of slight spoilers from 4:17 to 10:32), follow up on a few reader suggestions about outside hires who could clean up the Astros, and discuss the latest developments in the sign-stealing scandal, then try to invent a new end-of-season […]
January 18, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller review a wild, rumor-filled Thursday in baseball, touching on Jessica Mendoza’s comments about Mike Fiers, the end of Carlos Beltrán’s brief tenure as Mets manager, the Mets’ handling of his exit, the saga of not-Beltrán’s-niece, Twitter detectives following alleged leads about buzzers, Alex Bregman, and José Altuve, how efforts to […]
January 15, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Red Sox firing Alex Cora, the Twins signing Josh Donaldson, an uptick in online player pettiness, fans taunting the visiting Astros, and a baseball-themed Jeopardy! clue. Then (22:30) Ben and Sam Miller banter about baseball fandom as a form of family bonding and the appeal of Remembering […]
January 14, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley discuss MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s report about the findings of the league’s investigation into the Astros’ sign-stealing activities and the firings of Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch, touching on the appropriateness of the punishments, the new details revealed in the report, where the report fell short, why players weren’t suspended, […]
January 11, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about 2019’s non-playoff teams actually being the big buyers this winter, the six-player Rays-Cardinals trade involving Matthew Liberatore and José Martínez, working with friends, and the Mariners not making trades, then answer emails about what constitutes a blockbuster trade, the worst go-for-it trades, and whether it’s better for the […]
January 10, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the latest revelations about Red Sox sign-stealing, MLB’s impending punishment of the Astros, and long-term sign-stealing solutions, then answer listener emails about banning executives, the offseason coverage of the Cubs and White Sox and what it means to win the winter, why bench players aren’t displayed in box […]
January 7, 2020
Ben Lindbergh and a slightly light-headed Sam Miller banter about baseball and vomit and 2019 World Series Game 7 losing pitcher Will Harris signing with the Nationals, then attempt to predict what baseball will look like in the 2020s, touching on the most celebrated retirements, how high the strikeout rate will rise, how many games […]
January 3, 2020
In the final (for now) installment of a special, seven-episode series on the past, present, and future of advanced analysis in non-baseball sports, Ben Lindbergh talks to sabermetric pioneer Sherri Nichols about her trailblazing work in baseball analysis and then data scientist and sports entrepreneur Tiffany Kelly (41:02) about her experience in the sports analytics […]
January 2, 2020
In the sixth installment of a special, seven-episode series on the past, present, and future of advanced analysis in non-baseball sports, Ben Lindbergh talks to Motorsports Analytics founder and The Athletic writer David Smith about NASCAR and then former Garmin-Sharp and Team Sky analyst Robby Ketchell about cycling (47:48), touching on the origins of sabermetrics-style […]
December 31, 2019
Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and Meg Rowley banter about Kohl Stewart signing with the Orioles, another convoluted Scott Boras quote, and a few of the things Sam learned in 2019 (including Candlestick Park’s “Cardiac Hill,” the sound of Hideki Matsui’s swing, and the disturbing story of “Toothpick” Sam Jones), then discuss what the most defining/enduring […]
December 30, 2019
In the fifth installment of a special, seven-episode series on the past, present, and future of advanced analysis in non-baseball sports, Ben Lindbergh talks to ESports One Head of Esports Data Science Tim Sevenhuysen about esports and then Volleymetrics founder Giuseppe Vinci about volleyball (43:25), touching on the origins of sabermetrics-style analysis in each sport, […]
December 29, 2019
In the fourth installment of a special, seven-episode series on the past, present, and future of advanced analysis in non-baseball sports, Ben Lindbergh talks to StatsBomb managing editor Mike L. Goodman about soccer and then professor and soccer/rugby analyst Dr. Bill Gerrard about rugby (27:20), touching on the origins of sabermetrics-style analysis in each sport, […]
December 28, 2019
In the third installment of a special, seven-episode series on the past, present, and future of advanced analysis in non-baseball sports, Ben Lindbergh talks to Tennis Abstract founder Jeff Sackmann about tennis and Every Shot Counts author Mark Broadie about golf (39:17), touching on the origins of sabermetrics-style analysis in each sport, the major challenges, […]
December 27, 2019
In the second installment of a special, seven-episode series on the past, present, and future of advanced analysis in non-baseball sports, Ben Lindbergh talks to Evolving-Hockey.com’s Josh and Luke Younggren about hockey and writer, commentator, and team analyst Jarrod Kimber about cricket (57:13), touching on the origins of sabermetrics-style analysis in each sport, the major […]
December 26, 2019
In the first installment of a special, seven-episode series on the past, present, and future of advanced analysis in non-baseball sports, Ben Lindbergh talks to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell about football (the American kind) and ESPN’s Kevin Pelton about basketball (48:43), touching on the origins of sabermetrics-style analysis in each sport, the major challenges, big breakthroughs, […]
December 24, 2019
Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller, and Meg Rowley discuss the signings of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Keuchel, the Blue Jays’ historic 2019 rotation, the depleted pitching market, MLB’s rising revenue and the continued strength of spending on free agents, Jake Odorizzi and the qualifying offer, Nick Senzel’s switch to Scott Boras, and Rich Hill’s arrest(!), then […]
December 20, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about whether this year’s good free agents have actually gone to an unusual selection of teams and whether they believe in Wade Miley’s supposed pitch-tipping, and then, in the third and final installment of a three-part series, discuss stories that they overlooked about 10 more teams in 2019, touching […]
December 19, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about Scott Boras’s mystifying goose metaphor and then, in the second installment of a three-part series, discuss stories that they overlooked about 10 more teams in 2019, touching on a Fernando Tatis Jr. fun fact and BABIP extremes, Ian Kinsler cursing, JD Hammer, Scott Kingery, and a Phillie Phanatic […]
December 16, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the Texas-Cleveland Corey Kluber trade, the Diamondbacks signing Madison Bumgarner, the fallout from both moves, and what Kluber and Bumgarner meant to their franchises, and then, in the first installment of a multi-part series, discuss stories that they overlooked about 10 teams in 2019, touching on Mike Soroka, […]
December 14, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about baseball’s busy week and the Giants and Marlins moving in their outfield fences, then discuss the Angels’ signing of Anthony Rendon, touching on Rendon’s greatness and similarity to Mike Trout, what the Angels still need to do to contend and their outlook for 2020, Shohei Ohtani’s probable workload, […]
December 12, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller debate the merits of a possible Mike Trout fun fact, banter about Nomar Mazara and the evolving definition of “slugger,” discuss the record Gerrit Cole contract and its implications for the Yankees, the battle to be the best team in baseball, the Dodgers and Angels without Cole, baseball’s competitive balance, […]
December 10, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley link up during the Winter Meetings for a brief bonus episode in which Meg tries to stump Ben about genuine and fake media-scrum statements supposedly made by baseball superagent Scott Boras. Audio intro: Yo La Tengo, "If it’s True" Audio outro: Jethro Tull, "Sparrow on the Schoolyard Wall" Link to photo of […]
December 10, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller follow up on (o)possums playing dead, discuss the Nationals signing Stephen Strasburg to a record contract for a pitcher and the implications for the Nationals, Scott Boras, Anthony Rendon, and Gerrit Cole, banter about the possibility of Shohei Ohtani hitting on the days he pitches, the elections of Marvin Miller […]
December 7, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about covering transactions past and present, the latest eye-catching comments by Scott Boras, the Tommy Pham trade and Blake Snell’s candid real-time reaction to it, and what the busy signing season so far augurs for the future of free agency and labor relations, then answer listener emails about players […]
December 5, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller discuss a crowdsourced effort to help baseball writer Jen Ramos, then banter about hot stove terminology and why free-agent activity seems to be picking up, analyzing the implications of a busy non-tender deadline day and the expectations-exceeding signings of Drew Pomeranz, Mike Moustakas, Cole Hamels, Zack Wheeler, José Abreu, and […]
December 2, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter anew about José Abreu’s perplexing RBI total, then predict and discuss the answers in the sequel to “the Crasnicks,” a survey of front-office executives on hot-button offseason questions conducted by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. Along the way, they touch on the four-player Padres-Brewers trade involving Luis Urías and Trent Grisham, […]
November 27, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the artifacts from the 2019 season that will be preserved by the Hall of Fame, and then (32:25) Ben talks to FanGraphs’ Jay Jaffe about the 2020 Hall of Fame induction cycle, including the shrinking of the ballot backlog, first-timers Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu, whether Jeter will […]
November 26, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about Charlie Finley’s dual “innovations,” Harvey and Little Blowhard, then answer listener emails about Chris Davis and why some veteran players may be unwilling to change, whether Gerrit Cole could regress away from Houston, the purpose of punishing the Astros for sign-stealing and how many years of draft picks […]
November 26, 2019
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about what the Padres’ 2017 Rule 5 trio is up to now, the Mariners’ aggressive Evan White extension, how teams would distribute their spending if every player (amateur or pro) were a free agent but spending were capped at a percentage of MLB revenue, the just-announced All-MLB Team, the […]
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