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A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1935: How Next Seasons Standings Project Today
"Doing okay. It was all right. This is the second time that you asked me that for full transparency here, just to pull back the curtain pit because Meg tried to commence small talk before we started recording, and I said, we got to save this for the episode. This is good stuff. How was your holiday? Giving that away. Before we even hit record, because this is what the week before the winter meeting. After Thanksgiving, maybe a little lull this week in baseball content. So maybe save the how was your holiday banter for the actual episode? How was your holiday vibe was nice? Yeah, it was lovely. Thank you for asking. I had an enjoyable time. It was a nice to get a little break. I personally, you know, one of my mom's traditions when I get to do the holiday with her is that she in a way that everyone is always very enthusiastic about and never tires of by the letter M, it asks people to go around the table and say, what they are. Thankful for. And we do it alphabetically and everyone gets, you know, you start with, you start with the letter a, you know, because that's the start of the alphabet bent and I don't know if you know that. And then you proceed alphabetically. So I'd like to share that one of the things I am grateful for is all of our friends and former colleagues who work in front offices who decided actually I like my family and I will decide not to transact on this the day before Thanksgiving or indeed really the day after I know there were some smaller signings, but like, you know, no one was like, you know what's a good day to sign Carlos grey Friday? They didn't do that. And I will say today, excellent day to sign Carlos grey. You know, I think pretty much every day between now and the start of spring training is indeed an excellent day for it, but I appreciate them deciding, no, last year we were really busy, but this year we have like a whole normal ass off season ahead of us, so we'll just kind of ease into the little amuse bouche that is Carlos Santana and proceed from there. It was a nice little respite, didn't do any work. There were some non revelatory rumors, perhaps. But that's about it. And some that were maybe a little bit revealing, but really, just not a lot of baseball content and I had two thanksgivings really because I had my family's side Thanksgiving and then my wife's family did Thanksgiving a couple days later. So I had two in a span of three days, I guess. And I don't have a whole lot of hot takes about Thanksgiving food, really. That is well trod territory, but I will say that having two traditional Thanksgiving meals in the span of three days. It's kind of a lot. Whatever you think of Thanksgiving food or traditional Thanksgiving foods in general. Yeah. I think the second time in three days, they lose a little bit of their charm. Yeah. Part of the nice thing about Thanksgiving food is that you really have that meal. Once a year, typically, and even if it's not your favorite, there's at least some novelty value associated with it. Sure, yeah. Not so much if you have two thanksgivings, but it was nice aside from that. And one of my thanksgivings had a similar tradition about going around the table. Not my favorite. I don't like participatory activities. I am always worried about being called on in settings. Don't want to participate generally if I go to a play and it's one of those plays where the cast members are like walking around in the audience and they might call you up to do something not my scene and famously in notoriously when I was a kid like in kindergarten or something I led this activity at Thanksgiving and I sang a little song about what I was thankful for and just like teat everyone up at the table to say what they were thankful for and so every year since then in the 30 years since then someone has brought up that little song I sang and made me remember that and jokingly asked if I was going to sing the song. We may have not sung the song, but this year my great aunt came up with a bunch of little slips of paper and put them in a hat and we passed them around and they all had adjectives and then we had to say something we were thankful for that was associated with that adjective. So that was our version of it this year. It's not my favorite. Yeah. I guess that's the point of the holiday or one of the points if it's not. Gorgeous yourself and your favorite? Well, giving thanks for things. Oh yeah, yeah. Or I guess it's really about seeing family and watching football and gorging yourself. But under the guise of being thankful for things. It's Thanksgiving themed. I don't love it, really. Yeah, you know, it tends to the enthusiasm around the participation intends to wane as the alphabet progresses. Because you know, well, it's a lot of pressure, and then you know, you're always sort of worried you're going to forget one of the people there, you know. You get to their letter of the alphabet and you're like, oh boy, you got to really get a remember everybody. Yeah. And I was just, they're stakes. They're surprising stakes for something that is really kind of silly, but you know. I'm not great at the alphabet. We talked on a Patreon episode once about how I wasn't great at telling time on analog clocks. And this is sort of in the same vein. I don't know, like my nursery or kindergarten school teachers must have been falling down on the job because these basic life skills I just never really mastered. The alphabet, if I don't start at the beginning, I'm lost. If you drop me down somewhere in the middle, in that GH K I J L range. I can get kind of lost in there. If I'm not doing it in this sort of sing songy start from a and just recite it from memory. And if I had to recite it backwards, which is a test that you give people sometimes. I'm pretty sure I'd be terrible at that too. I'd have to really think about it. I'd have to like do the whole 26 in my head from a every time. And then figure out what the second to last was in the third to last word was. So yeah, not great at the alphabet in general. So I might have struggled with that. Yeah, I would be bad at that, I think.
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1934: How to Bring Back Bellingers Bat
"And figure out how to fix Cody palinger and by figure out how to fix Cody Bellinger. I mean, talk to some other people who might be able to figure out how to fix Cody Bellinger because I certainly don't know. So I brought together three of the fine minds of hitting Twitter and of the baseball blogosphere in general, people whose work I have admired and whose hitting analysis I have admired and I have invited them on to try to diagnose what ails Cody ballinger and how it could possibly be corrected. So first, I have rob orr who covers not just hitting. Also pitching also other aspects of baseball for baseball prospectus. Hello rap. How are you doing? Doing well. And we also have with us Esteban Rivera, a fairly recent addition to fan graphs whose work I have been enjoying fangraphs contributor, so hello Esteban. Hey Ben. And we are also joined by Ryan Parker, formerly of baseball perspective and more recently of the Los Angeles angels for whom he was the coordinator of hitting analysis from 2019 to 2021, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, everything they know. I guess he came in a little after that and also they weren't in the minor leagues. But other than that. So Ryan, welcome to the podcast as well. Happy to be here. Thanks for having me on it. And I apologize in advance for the background noise of a two year old and a dog upstairs. Yeah, that's okay. I appreciate all of you being here shortly before. Thanksgiving with travel and family and who knows what else. So we will make the best of that situation. So Cody Bellinger is a riddle is a cipher is an enigma and everyone wants to crack this puzzle, it seems. So he was recently non tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers, which is historic, unprecedented, I think. I don't think there's ever been an MVP who has been non tendered during his arbitration years. And that's partly a testament to the fact that Cody Bellinger was so good, so early that he is still in his arbitration years. He came up in 2017, he hit 39 homers right out of the gate, he was something of a sensation. That was his age 21 season, and then of course his age 23 season. He was something like an 8 win player, according to fan grass, where he was the national league MVP he had a one 61 WRC plus 47 homers, sky was the limit, incredible career ahead of him, and then there was a decline in 2020, and then there was a steeper decline in 2021, and there was a slight bounce back in 2022 that still left him a significantly below average bat, so put it all together, and he has hit since his MVP year in the three seasons since. This is more than 1100 plate appearances. Two O three, two 72, three 76. That is a 78 WRC plus, and according to danson Porsche, that is just the biggest decline really of this kind for anyone who ever had such a great offensive season so young over their subsequent three seasons. So everyone's kind of confused about Cody ballinger and the Dodgers have decided that they didn't want to pay him what he was in line to make an arbitration for 2023, something like $18 million. So he is now a free agent. And the offers have flown in unsurprisingly because he is still young because he was good, not that long ago, that teams are talking to themselves into. Maybe we can make this guy the Bellinger he used to be. He's only 27 years old, and of course he's still a good defender and a good base runner, so he brings some value even if he doesn't hit, but of course everyone is hoping that he will hit and I'm sure he's hoping he will hit. And even though lots of teams called and some teams reportedly offered multiyear contracts right out of the gate, his agent, Scott Boris, without using any puns as far as I'm aware, said that he will only be entertaining one year offers, so he wants a make good pillow contract type deal here where he can restore his value and then be in position to cash in long term in the question is, will that happen? And can any team help him make that happen? So my idea here after that lung preamble was that I would invite each of you one and we could kind of have you role play a little bit as let's say an analyst for a team that is interested in signing Cody Bellinger, maybe you're making a recommendation to the GM about what you would do to help him be better or maybe you're even making a presentation to Scott Boris and trying to convince him that your team is the one that is best equipped to help get Cody ballinger back to where he was. And I'm sure there will be some overlap in what each of you says. So we don't have to stick to this religiously. But I figured that would kind of be the conceit of this and we'll see where it goes. And maybe each of you can provide some diagnosis about what has gone wrong, which I guess is a necessary preface to fixing what has gone wrong. So I've just randomly selected who could go first here and I've come up with rob, so rather if you don't mind leading off and I guess going into whatever level of detail you're comfortable with here, I can diagnose
A highlight from Too Much Cinnamon
"For Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022, and today will be better than yesterday working from the Sarah Abbott studios Bristol, Connecticut. Is Sarah Abbott, Taylor swank is sort of with us today, Sarah. Like I heard a rumor that he was with us, but I'm not seeing him. What's the deal there? Yes, Taylor had a last minute scheduling conflict, but he will be on rest assured. So, but for now it's just you and me. Yeah, I wanted to ask Taylor about it looked like he got some sort of a rug burn watching a soccer game the other day, posted it on Twitter. And I wanted to get some backstory on that. So maybe we could if he joins us for bleacher tweets later, we can ask him about that. And last night, a trade, the brewers moved hunter outfielder hunter
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1933: Bats, Bets, Ballots, and Blasts
"I make rally of fan graphs and I am joined as always by Ben Lindbergh of the ringer, although not from where I often am, Ben, how are you? I'm doing all right. You sound the same. I don't think anyone would have known. Oh, I'm glad to hear that, you know? You never know what new Wi-Fi networks and a lack of a mic stand will do. I feel like I feel like Frankie at the sands just got my mic in my hand, hopefully that does not result in a lot of weird sounds, but anyway, the day before Thanksgiving. You're potting without home field advantage. This is a hotel pad. We'll see whether anyone can notice now that we've ordered everyone, but gave it away. I'm giving thanks that I have not been bombarded by suggestions for baseball tweets or baseball Twitter traditions that we overlooked in our baseball Twitter draft. It seems like we did a decent job, at least so far. I'm sure some were suggestions will trickle in, but it seems like people have enjoyed that. I have coated a short list of the submissions that I've seen of oversights on our part. And one of them is John Boyce, just in general, which did occur to me after we finished drafting, how did we not have John Boyce represented here? I couldn't really think of a specific John Boyce tweet because almost every time west tweet is good, but people suggested that one thing would be John Boyce's watching baseball tweets, his series where he just tweets some strange screenshot or GIF or video clip that happened during a baseball game and says watching baseball just to represent the strangest that the things that sometimes happen in baseball games and then also the Jeff Sullivan John boys years long ongoing baseball reference name threads. Yes. Back and forth, which are one of the joys of baseball Twitter for sure where they will just find some obscure, strange name, sometimes a themed name, and then the other one will have to respond in kind. So that is a great baseball Twitter tradition that I'm sorry that we neglected. Also, editor and producer Dylan Higgins, he nominated a great tweet by Bill Bayer. This is an old one. This is ten years old and it's a lose yourself adaptation. It's zito's palms are sweaty, curves, weak arm is heavy. There's vomit on his uni already here comes Dave ver Getty. Yes, very good. That's a good one. Also, it gets retweeted often. And somehow we neglected a nightingale tweet despite drafting every other night until tweet. Seemingly and it was one of the simplest ones. This was January 10th, 2020, when bob nightingale tweeted MLB. Yeah. That's it. That's the tweet as they say. I think that if it had been the MLB, it probably would have made the pot. Yeah. I mean, kudos to him for at least leaving that out. I don't know what he was going for here. Some people pointed out that it sounded as if he was reporting that there would be MLP action, and then there wasn't for quite some time because it was 2020, so in a sense, I guess you could lump it in with the incorrectly purports things genre. But I enjoyed that one and also the fact that the at MLB Twitter account responded to it and just tweeted back bob. Which was good. I thought about whether we should tweet like sassy team Twitter accounts. But I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not. Especially when they go back and forth with each other and there's some good natured ribbing and trolling, not always good natured. I mean, sometimes it gets a little, it gets a little personal. That's the thing. Are they okay? Right, like I'm never sure if it's a work like if they're putting on a show if they're pretending that there's bad blood because a lot of the team, Twitter accounts, it's centralized now the social media people, right? Like they work for MLB. So I assume that there's some kind of coordination and inclusion going on here probably where you don't really have people go and rogue on the team Twitter accounts and trashing other team Twitter accounts, so maybe it's kind of a choreographed dance that they do for our entertainment. So because of that because I'm never sure just how authentic and sincere it is, I didn't draft it, but there certainly happened some good ones over the years. Yeah, I feel like we are, you know, we are lending to baseball Twitter, a patina of peace and humor that is not always present there, but if it is to meet its end, that's how I prefer to remember it, right? You could decide that what matters is the brainpower, we all spent debating the season 5th. But why? You know, like why? We could all let things go more, you know? I mean, there's some things we shouldn't let go. But some things we should, and I think the baseball Twitter is home to a lot of them. She says having never overreacted or held onto anything for too long, ever in her life. Yep, no glass houses here. Nope. I'm always a little suspicious of brand tweets that as well you should be. Yeah, there are some good ones. Obviously it's a little bit played out because that became a trend where you would have certain brands that would tweet with a distinctive voice and that was kind of weird and entertaining at first and then it caught on and now everyone does it. I don't love the first person brand tweaks where sandwich relax. But MLB team Twitter accounts, I guess it's okay. They don't pretend to be people, usually, or that they don't pretend to be personifications of a person or use first person singular, maybe sometimes they do, but I don't know. When it's a corporate kind of thing, I never know whether I should authentically laugh or whether. You know the ones that I find to be the most disturbing, honestly, are the mascots that have their own. Oh yeah. You know, because it feels like every mascot Twitter account went through a phase where it was like, what the kids will like is for this mascot to be vaguely horny online. And I could have done without that, you know? I don't want to yuck anyone's yum. And if that's your thing, you know, God bless. As long as everyone's saying yes and having a good time, it's one of my business, but I don't need to think about what the moose likes, you know? And there are times that you see these tweets about the mascots and you're like, do they think that we want to, you know, with the mascot? Is that what they?
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1932: The Best of Baseball Twitter
"From time to time we do drafts of things we like about baseball and today we are drafting things we like about baseball Twitter, specifically. They're actually our things we like about it. There are a lot of things we like about it. And we are joined today by three people who have sent some good tweets in their day or at least a lot of tweets, whether they're good is debatable. But I guess that's what we're here to discuss. So we're here, first of all, with a friend whom I have described in print as an accomplished shit poster, which he proves the truth of every day, Craig Goldstein, baseball perspective, editor in chief, welcome to the show. Thank you. I felt the comment about a lot of tweets, but we'll see if they're good with specifically for me. Yeah. And we are also joined by more moderate tweeters Jake mintz and Jordan Schuster and obsessed with his family barbecue and Fox Sports and the Barbara cast to the baseball Barbara cast anterior set exam and other podcast places. Jake and Jordan, welcome back as well. It is so good to be with you, Ben, and also I would just like to say that Jake and I just had, we literally just had lunch half an hour ago in person IRL. We had not seen each other in months. So I don't know if but now we are back in our separate recording locations. So I don't know if that's going to make the remainder of this recording. Just totally unbearable because we might be referencing the sandwiches we had at lunch. We'll see what happens. We have a lot of real life experience that we can now pull on. It's nice to see Jake again. I gotta be honest. Good to see you too. Yeah, the place we were hanging out in my house still smells like you Jordan. I miss it already. Just kiss. No, I don't think so. I don't think we did. Where were the sandwiches from? Oh, wow, wow, no free ads, Craig. Let's be careful now. I like to know offline. The sandwiches were from Patreon, Craig. Wow. But yes, we've been. But yeah, you guys, whatever else you may have done or not done, you did collude on this draft. It was revealed before we started recording that you came up with a list jointly, so you're aware of each other's strategy. This is serious business here, obviously, drafting. And so this is collusion, this probably violates the spirit of Benjamin. Don't tell Andy martino, okay? I was about to say Andy's going to report on this. I guess that's off the draft board now. The prompt collusion investigation. That's a little, there's some little recency bias there. I mean, we're going to be digging back through the archives here. While I will say yes, we do technically have the same draft board. Some of these tweets mean a little bit more to each of us than the other. So I don't think we have the exact same board. Also, we have the same Twitter account, so it doesn't make sense. That's true. That's true. I would like Andy Martinez tweets to be off the draft board because he blocked me after I made fun of him saying a source close to the action but not in the room or something like that. A well placed well placed source not in the room describes. Well placed, not perfectly placed, but well quite close proximity. We have come not to bury baseball Twitter, but to praise it, or maybe we'll do a bit of both, because Elon Musk is currently trashing Twitter. He is laying people off for giving them great reason to leave. He is seemingly just deactivating useful services left and right. He is repelling advertisers. He's reinstating suspended accounts. He's tweeting and trolling through it. And it seems like there's some chance the service will just break basically Twitter has been on a vigil for the last week or so, just waiting for it not to work anymore. But perhaps a better chance that it will just gradually get worse and possibly drive people away, though we all know how rare it is for people who quit Twitter to truly stay away, but we've reached the point where Jeff passing is trying to make news breaking on Instagram a thing. So that's not going to desperate things have gotten. I don't think it's going to happen, Jeff. But if Twitter does die, then this can serve as a memorial. And Irish wake, if you will, for baseball, Twitter, and the good times that we have had on that platform. And if it doesn't die, then this will just be a Thanksgiving themed gratitude draft of things that have brought us joy over the past, however many years we have actually been on Twitter. And I can't claim to know whether Twitter is a net positive or net negative for humanity. But I do know that as much as we joke about it being the health site and assess pool and as much as it is also those things, we don't actually want it to end. I've been contemplating its demise and preemptively feeling its absence. How would I find information? How would I quote classic tweets like the ones that we're going to draft here? How would I contact people? How would people find me and how would I find them? I guess we would manage. We would survive. Even Jake and Jordan were born before Twitter, right? So we have all known a life without it. But unless a perfect replacement popped up, we would miss it. And Internet lightning doesn't always strike twice. Sometimes a Google reader dies and everyone mourns it and wants something just as good or better to come along and it isn't really replaced or maybe Twitter replaced Google reader for a lot of people. Anyway, there isn't necessarily going to be a perfect proxy waiting in the wings. So let's value it while we have it. And while we have had it and that's what we're here to do today. I'm so ready. I'm so ready for this. I'm not at all ready for this. Of course Meg, it's a draft. We know. This is the most I've prepared for. We felt it preparing for a decade, whether we knew it or not, just lurking on Twitter, some of us tweeting more often than others, but all of us at least passively consuming some tweets. And not everyone who listens to this podcast is as extremely online as we are, and that is fine. If you have also been on baseball Twitter, then some of what we discussed will probably be familiar to you. But if not, this can be a guided tour of the fun House. This can just be a sociological anthropological experiment where we document some things that have brought us joy.
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1931: Big Batters Dont Cry
"I'm Meg rally a fangraphs and I'm joined as always by Ben Lindbergh of the ringer and how are you? Doing okay, how are you? I'm doing well. Good. So we have a Patreon supporter joining us later in the episode. A Mike Trout tier Patreon supporter Peter Bonnie will be on and we'll talk a little bit about his baseball background and then get into some emails. Since we last recorded, we've had MVP awards come out. So while the awards are done, they were all pretty predictable, all pretty uncontroversial and we saw as expected that Aaron judge won easily in the AL Paul Goldschmidt when easily in the NL, a little less easily, but still pretty easily. My only observation here and I don't know that this actually matters, but it bothers me, I think still that pitchers are eligible for the MVP, but not recognized as as valuable as they are. You know what I mean? 'cause pitchers have their own dedicated award. They have Cy Young and it's basically the best picture award, you know, we don't call it the most valuable pitcher award, and therefore it seems like no one really cares if the Cy Young award winner was on a bad team or not. We don't have to talk about whether they were valuable enough to win this. Were they good at pitching? So that's maybe a point in favor of renaming the MVP to just say it's the best player award or whatever, but beyond that, you can still win the MVP as a pitcher. You're eligible, but I guess because pitchers have their own dedicated award, pitchers these days, at least, are really at a disadvantage when it comes to winning the MVP award. And so our respective Cy Young award winners this year, Justin rolander in San Diego contra, each of them finished tenth on the MVP ballot. Yeah. And to me, again, like this doesn't matter. But something about that bothers me slightly because it's like, well, are they eligible if they are fully eligible? And this is just who is the most valuable player, then they probably should have finished higher than that, right? I mean, like sandy Alcantara probably should finish above Peter Alonzo. I would think. And Justin rolander, maybe you should finish above, I don't know, Xander bogarts or something, or at least you can make a good case like the best pitcher in the league, probably is going to be better than the tenth best player overall in the league, even these days when pitchers tend to pitch fewer innings. So I think Verlander got a couple of 5th place votes that was the highest he ranked. Alcantara got a couple of fourth place votes, but ultimately they were distant tenth. And I don't know what I want to do about this, but I feel like I want to clarify something. Either this is the position player award, pictures you have your own award, and therefore don't crash the results for the MVP ballot, or if they are legitimately eligible for this thing, then they should probably do even better, like we should remind everyone, hey, even though pitchers have this other award, don't hold that against them here. They should be higher on this ballot too. So I don't know, something about the imprecision of it bothers me, I guess, like the cognitive dissonance of best pitcher is only tenth best player, something about that bugs me. It's a me problem, I think, but there's a lack of clarity, I think, about are these guys eligible, should they win this thing? Should they not? Because they have a dedicated a word for themselves. Yeah, it does seem as if we have it a little wrong. You know, I think the most, I think, the best thing to do would be to use this observation as an opportunity to rename the MVP to make it explicitly about position players and to remove the value piece of it, which we still can't. We just can't get it right then. We can't sort it out. We're confused by it as fans and as a voting body. So I think that we should use your irritation to address some of my irritations and then we will both get what we want and we'll have greater clarity and it seems fine to me that we would have an award that is understood to be just for the position players and an award that is understood to be just for the pictures. And then like if we really want there to be an award that is meant to identify the most important single individual player in all of baseball we could come up with a new award and we could call it something totally bizarre that no one understands. So we have that option available to us also if we really choose to utilize it, but we need some kind of reconfiguration here, I think. Yeah. And I guess you could say we'll hitters have silver sluggers already, but that's just hitting specifically. It doesn't take defense or base running or other aspects of position playing into account. So yeah, I would like just for the symmetry of it. I'd like there to be a picture award in a non pitcher award. Yes. And then maybe there can be an overarching award for the best of either. And a sandy Alcantara Justin Verlander wouldn't be at a disadvantage in that one. It would be like a level playing field and everyone would understand that they're equally eligible and deserving of that award because we've gotten away from MVPs being pitchers and maybe that's because they're just less often deserving of being the MVP than they used to be, but it's not just that. I think it's also just that people are reluctant to vote for them for that award because they have their own thing. There's definitely category confusion there and I think that the way that we tend to treat The Rookie of the year is instructive because that's about how long you've been in the league and pitchers and hitters receive votes, right? We may be expected to be closer, but we thought that was going to be potentially like a tide race between strider and Harris and obviously didn't end up being that way, but people were not reluctant to cast a ballot for a pitcher. And so I think having a little bit more precision there would probably be useful to everyone.
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1930: Meat Your Maker
"So later in the episode, we will be bringing on our most frequent guest Eric longan Higgins who will be here to discuss a panoply of topics we'll be talking about how rules changes affect player evaluation, we'll be talking about when players make changes with one organization, how sticky are those changes when they go elsewhere. We'll be talking about the 40 man roster deadline and roster crunch we'll be talking about code a sanga and other NPP players coming to MLB this winter, but before that, just a few baseball news items that we should probably discuss. We are recording late on Wednesday afternoon prior to the announcement about the Cy Young words. Oh yeah. I can't imagine that there will be anything, all that surprising. It seems like Justin burrow ender will probably win in a walk. I would think on the AL side. And I would guess that the NL side will, if anything, be even more predictable, it just doesn't seem like there's a lot of intrigue here. I guess sandy Alcantara is going to run away with this thing. But it will take two hours for us to learn that. Yes, but we do know the finalists. I can't stand the concept of finalists, but we know the top three finishers in each league. And I just gotta say, as the person who always talks about choho tani, the fact that JoJo tani is not an AL cyan word winner finalist. That flummox is me, because I don't see why he isn't really. I don't think there's at least a war based argument that he should not be in the top three at the top three Justin ver Dylan cease and Alec manoa. All very fine pictures. But Shohei Ohtani, I think deserves to be in that group. I was just looking fangraphs word baseball reference were baseball prospectus war. I talked last time about how I prefer fan graphs were to baseball reference were when it comes to pictures, specifically, but each has its merits and voters look at these things. It's not the only thing to look at, but if you were to look at these things, so ohtani ranks in the top three, whichever metric you use. You actually leads all American League pitchers in baseball prospectus warp. He is second, I believe, in baseball reference were and he is third in fan grafts war. And so if you average baseball reference in fan grass pitching war together, he is second in the AL, just a tenth of a win behind Justin Verlander, and if you include all three metrics, then ohtani is actually the leader by average and just ahead of Verlander and handily ahead of cease and even farther ahead of manoa. So I'm not saying he should win the award or that he's more deserving than Verlander, but I do think he should be in the conversation as to say he's in this current conversation that we are having. So I assume he will finish just outside of the top three, but I wonder why it is that he did not among the voters, and it's just a subset of voters, so who knows, but I wonder whether it's because a so much of the attention is on him as a two way player that maybe just how good he is at one or the other or pitching specifically gets diluted a little because he was more valuable as a hitter in 2021 than he was as a pitcher and then things sort of flipped this year or whether it's that he did not qualify for the ERA title until the very end of the season. And so maybe if people were looking at leaderboards, he would not have appeared on them perhaps. So I don't know what it is, but he was a really great picture this year and he improved as time went on and I'm very excited to see what he can do with hopefully a full healthy season on the mound in 2023 because the pitches that he incorporated and just picked up from scratch is during the 2022 season and incorporated into his repertoire and that we're just like nails for him. I would love to see how he does in a full season. But just even this year, I think he deserved to be one of the top three, which is pretty impressive. I do think that the qualified thing probably mattered. It shouldn't matter. Like, books. If you're a voter, just like, you know, knock that innings pitch down to like a hundred and see what happens. Just do it. You know? You know, just do it as you're assembling things. The fact that it happened so late, I think, does end up kind of dinging guys, you know? Yeah, probably. Yeah. So just not get down. And if you're of the opinion that you have to be qualified to be qualified candidate for one of these awards, I guess I get that there are fewer and fewer qualified pitchers every year, which is why we've talked about whether maybe they should change how you qualify. So these days, it's much more conceivable that you could have a high finish at least without actually qualifying so it's even more imperative to lower that bar a bit, but I'm just saying certainly sandy Alcantara was incredible in a big part of his candidacy is that he
A highlight from Best Product, Every Night
"It's not a bad idea. It's not too hard, but yeah, I practice a little hard. I played extra hard when I was done. You know, a lot of nerves. I will say I did lose my place for about 20 seconds. I didn't number the pages, so it was like shaky hand panic for me. Every once in my voice was fine and the groom, as I was fumbling with my papers, leaned over and whispered. This is awesome. So everyone enjoyed it and it was a nice weekend. And tell me that it was at the longest 20 seconds of your life. Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah, one of the groomsmen was like your hands were shaking like crazy, but your voice was not. And I was like, okay, hopefully that's the reps on baseball tonight coming through. So where'd you lose your place? You know what happened buster? Okay, a couple things. So I printed these pages out. Like as I was leaving, it's chaos in my house. I have a new puppy. So I wasn't really paying mine to these papers coming out. But they were collated. And I didn't really know that until I was practicing before and I looked at them. And then the bride and the groom gave me their little vow books. And I didn't really have anywhere to put them. So I had them like rested underneath the papers, so there was an extra variable thrown in there right at the end, so that threw me off a little bit. I'll know better for you. Sarah, I think you backed me up. I think that was the first official as a new puppy owner, Taylor using the my dog ate my homework excuse because you notice how he threw the dog in there. It's like feeding the chaos. Yeah, you kind of drew Dolly under the bus there. It's okay. She deserves it. She's being a good girl right now, but she was very bad when we came to get her. So she deserves it. You'll find out like dogs are really handy when it comes to excuses because they can't correct the record. Right. Yeah, yeah. She can not speak on the podcast here. Well, congratulations to working way through. I'm sure that that was a nerving and then when you got done, you were incredibly relieved and had a great time. And it's cool that your friend lets you off the hook a little bit in the middle of it. That's really neat. All right, The Rookie of the year voting went down as expected on Monday. Julio Rodriguez won in the American League. Here's what it sounded like. Without further ado, it's my pleasure to announce the 2022 American League rookie of the year award winner. It's Julia Ellie, Rodriguez, of the Seattle Mariners. Yeah, that's what it sounded like on
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1929: Double Your Drafting, Double Your Fun
"I'm Nick rally fangraphs and I am joined as always by Ben Lindbergh of the ringer who was joined by other people sometimes. Yes. But always disappointed when I have to settle for someone else, so we'll come back. Thank you. Well, a lot has happened since we last spoke in the world, not as much in baseball. Some things in baseball too. Baseball. You missed Scott Boris pan week round one. You didn't miss it, I'm sure you are aware that it occurred. In fact, I know you are, 'cause I miss you. You made me aware. Joke that we should record an emergency episode. Instead, I pressed James Wagner into service and made him talk to me about some Boris buns because he was on the scene. Yeah. He was in the room where it happened. But one thing we did not talk about was an actual substantive comment, Scott Boris made, which I thought was interesting. So Scott Boris suggested that the pitch clock should not be used in the postseason. So I'm quoting here from one story Boris also said he wasn't against the pitch clock, which will be instituted next year at the major league level after the miners experimented with the system, but argued it would be a mistake for the playoffs. It's a different scenario than the regular season, and we do not want the players performances rushed, he said. We understand why they would probably do that during the season for the efficiency of the game and what they believe to be a fan positive move for the shortening of games, but for the postseason we don't want these men in a completely different emotional environment and where the settings mean so much more. So he is essentially arguing for the zombie runner treatment for the pitch clock. So what do you think of that?
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1928: Boras, Boldenone, Boondoggles, and Bo
"Lindbergh of the ringer. Well, it's been a busy week in Lake wobegon. Scott Boris punned Williams as the video departed, crypto crashed, Twitter imploded, democracy survived, and Meg is missing today's episode. As mentioned, she has an off day today, so I'm flying solo, but not for long, I will be joined by three great guests today. I kind of keep a mental list. Hey, if I ever need to fill an episode if I need someone to join me, here's some interesting people I'd really like to talk to, filling in for the really interesting co host. I always get to talk to, so Meg will be back next time. I will at the end of the episode give you a little baseball news brief and also, as always, the past blast. So I will timestamp everything in this episode, all the guest segments, the outro, et cetera you can pick and choose or listen straight through, treat it like and all you can eat buffet or listen selectively choose your own adventure. So prior to that baseball news brief, I will be talking to Jeff perelman, formerly of Sports Illustrated and ESPN in the author of ten books about sports. Some of which you've almost certainly heard of, if not read, the bad guys won, his book about the 86 mets, showtime, that's the basis of the HBO series winning time, and now he has a new book, the last folk hero, the life and myth of Bo Jackson just came out recently, never want to pass up a chance to talk about Bo, so we will discuss his life and career and the process of writing about him and some fun hypotheticals before Jeff, I will be talking to Ian rougeau, whom you may know as at no problem gambler on TikTok. So this is the guy you may have seen who does extremely in depth investigations to identify the clips of sports games that are playing in the background of other shows and movies. Just, hey, I saw a game on the screen for one second in the background there. I wonder what game that was? Was that a real game? When was it from? He has an almost preternatural ability to detect and identify those clips. He does it for all sports, including baseball. He's done some really fun baseball ones, so we will explore his process and why these videos have caught on. He has almost a million followers on TikTok. He's become a big deal, and we'll talk about why. Just to give you a little taste if you haven't seen this, here's the setup from one of his recent videos. In this episode of The Office, Jim is watching a baseball game at the dorm where Pam is going to school and you first would think that this is easy to figure out because we can actually see the scoreboard. But after looking at it quickly, it becomes clear that they have edited the scoreboard onto this because it has the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers being the teams that are playing, but neither of those teams are the team that we see on the screen. And here's the payoff, but eventually I stumbled onto this baseball card for Jeff Ballard who wore number 39 in 1992. And looking at these pictures, you can see that he likes to wear long sleeve turtlenecks just like the guy in the video, which makes me think this is our guy. And if you look at the catcher next to him and pause it at just the right time, you can make out the number 25 on his back, which would make that the red birds Ed Fulton. So then after combing through countless box scores Fulton and Ballard only played one game together in Buffalo and it was this game on June 2nd, 1992 that ended redbirds four bison one. That video has more than 5 million views, so Ian and I will discuss how his viral magic happens, but first, and not least, I will be joined by James Wagner of The New York Times, primarily to talk about a great investigation he just did into why Dominican players seem to be overrepresented in positive PED tests in baseball both in the majors and the miners. It's not just Fernando Tatís Jr. this is a widespread problem. The players who do test positive for steroids are disproportionately from the Dominican Republic in James went down to the DR to figure out why that is and what can be done about it. So that's really interesting, but we will also talk about a great story that he did on why baseball players wear perfume and cologne on the field or in the dugout or during practice. This is apparently a pretty pervasive practice. You would never know from afar. And of course, we will lead with Scott Boris, who had a huge word play week. Everyone sent us the poorest quotes we saw the Boris quotes don't worry. So now I'll bring in James and unbeknownst to him. We will start with Scott. All right, I am joined now by James Wagner, who has been covering baseball and will still cover some baseball, although he's switching beats, we will talk about that a bit. For The New York Times and he just did a great deep dive investigation into PD testing and the disproportionate number of positive tests among Dominican players. James, welcome to the show. Thanks, man. Thanks for having me on. And yeah, thank you for the introduction. Yes, something is changing coming forward. And I'm looking forward to it, but this story I think kind of fits in that vein, things I want to look further and deeper into. Thanks for having me on. Yeah, I didn't prep you for this, but can I ambush you for a second and just ask about Scott Boris quotes because this is a frequent topic of discussion on this podcast.
A highlight from Landing Spots for Judge & deGrom
"Odyssey sports presents big time baseball. What is Major League Baseball going to look like next year? What teams are going to make some big moves. Hey, let's not mince words here. If I'm the new York Yankees, I'm spending money like it's 1999. I'm getting my hands on everyone humanly available to never let the Astros knock me out. I'm talking Aaron judge better be coming back. I'm talking. They got to get their hands on Carlos rodon. Go get Zac F one while you're at it to bolster your pen. And hey, Carlos career, Trey Turner, would look really good in pinstripes. Yeah, I mean, it sounds like one of my columns. I've mentioned that twice those very players. One of the great shortstops, you know, whether it be bogarts, Correa or Turner, bring in rogue Don or Verlander, although I think they're discouraged on fur landers since they tried last year and didn't get them. And of course they have to bring judge back. I also recommend a Diaz that's off the board, not officially, but he's got his physical today and should be off the board soon. I'm with you. I know people are saying you should be able to win on 260 million. And guess what? They haven't been able to do it. Also, guess what? I think we know this. Their revenue is greater than every other team. It's not quite double the mets, but it's a lot more than the mets and the mets payroll is much higher. There's room for the Yankees to spend and, you know, they better try hard with judge. I think they will feel like he's more likely to not come in back, but never know when free agency and they're not going to do one of those shortstops because they feel like they're okay with whether it's kind of a potentially. This year and then the next year probably volpe and rather than give someone a 9 year deal or whatever, they're going to live with what they have at shortstop and, you know, I'm with you. I think they should be spending to win after 13 straight years without a World Series appearance, but they love their process as we heard and they have been a winning team all those years just haven't done what they're say that their mission statement is, which is World Series or bust and it's been bust 13 years in a row by their own by their own goal. Well, I think we could say arguably the two biggest free agents this off season. Aaron judge, obviously. I think we can all agree and judge is going to be number one topic. I agree with you. I can't see him leaving the Yankees. I know the Yankees have all the money in the world to pay him. It's not like, but then again, I hate that phrase. Every team has all the money in the world to pay him. Maybe not the Marlins. Maybe not tomorrow. But if he's not a Yankee, of course having fun, I can't imagine him playing for any other team that's not the San Francisco Giants if he's not a Yankee. Is there other teams that you think actually will be a dark horses? Yeah, I mean, I do think that there will be teams in on judge beyond those two with the Giants do seem like a team that's going to go out there and spend not whatever it takes. And I'll never believe that. There's always a budget. They are a team that's going to spend. They may look at I'm sure they're going to look at shortstop as well as judge and try to sell them on. We're going to bring in a shortstop too and it's your hometown team, although he's from London, which is three hours away, and it was a team grew up rooting for, but I mean, he's not really a San Francisco guy. I don't ever believe that anyone really cares that much about playing in their hometown. It's harder at home runs there. New York has got the legacy in the middle of a Hall of Fame career. You think you can go back, but because we said that about Freeman, no guarantees, I do think the Giants I agree with you. They are going to spend big in his market will be fantastic. It's going to be interesting to see whether he or the Grom gets more per year. I mean, overall, it's going to be judge getting the most and then you'll have the short stops after that with certainly led by Correa and Turner, but I mean, per year, we'll see what I mean, I'm hearing he's going to get 40 million somewhere, it's interesting to see where will that be though? I mean, who's going to give a guy who threw 60 something innings? After 90 something year before, 40 million, that's what people are saying. And, you know, I believe it. You know, I just don't know that he's got a number of judges doesn't have a worry about the number of teams. And it only takes one, but I'm just wondering who's going to go over that max money, next year's or money. I don't think the mets will. I don't know. I'm not sure. I don't know. Of the New York of the New York guys. I do not see de Grom coming back and you just said the team. I think de Grom is going to be a Texas ranger. I think the Texas Rangers are about to overspend the living hell out of themselves this off season. Well, they definitely scattered them. They definitely need pitching. They need multiple pictures. The one caveat I would say there is that they need multiple pictures. They need outfielder. I think they need a first baseman. They need depth. Do they spend 40 million plus on one guy? That's the one question I have. They were scouting him. They definitely won multiple pitchers, but
A highlight from Cheers to Dusty Baker
"Baseball's just starting because ladies and gentlemen, the hot stove is already begun. Thanks to papa Steve Cohen and guys, we're gonna talk all about that and of course we're gonna chat about the World Series that just came to an end and you are listening to big time baseball and Odyssey sports. I am Cody decker from professional baseball player to professional smart ass on the radio and with me. The legend himself, you see him everywhere. New York Post, MLB network, probably everywhere else, probably in anything baseball feed, and of course the most important baseball Twitter account to follow ever. John hayman, John, how are you doing, my man? I'm good. How are you, Cody? Thank you for the very nice introduction. Of course. Hey man, I'm great. I just watched maybe one of my favorite Octobers. I've had the opportunity to sit through. We had ups, we had downs. I don't think anyone was very surprised at the Astros came away with the World Series. Dusty baker gets his World Series ring as much as I hate the fact that it has a Houston H on it. I'm so happy for dusty baker, the coolest man in the history of baseball. Well, everybody is happy for dusty. No question about it. He is, wow, he is beloved and they certainly will bring him back and he'll be happy to come back and I think he's the whole Famer. I hope everybody agrees with that now. He certainly was a very good player. That's before your time with your one of your teams. I'm sure growing up. But, you know, it was a very good player and as a great manager. Great man. I mean, this guy went with the reds. He won with a Cincinnati reds. Nobody can do that. You know, that's a great story. He won with the cubs, one with the Giants, no rings, but he finally got it unless it's very, very cool. And I really do think that it's being overlooked just what an incredible job dusty baker did as manager of the Houston Astros, specifically coming in when he did with the new GM with the amount of controversy. The calming force that is dusty baker to come into that chaos and lead this team not to just to a World Series title, but multiple World Series appearances. And quite frankly, if it weren't for dusty baker, I mean, we're still hearing Astros cheater talk and I don't think we'll ever be completely free of it. But if it weren't for dusty baker, I think it would be a million times worse. I mean, that's why he was brought in to try to change that subject. And he did it as well as anybody could have done it, but we're never going to hear the end of it. I mean, they're cheating. I'm sure there are other teams that cheated and a 100%, but they're cheating was a little bit over the top. They were caught. They deserve it. I'm kind of over it. Even as a New Yorker, I was hoping some other people would be, but I get it. The cheating was bad. But he came in there to try to calm things down and you know I did that. As much as he could have, but he got to the World Series twice, as you said, and won a World Series, so I mean, you know, he's amazing. One of the all time greats. Incredible. And just talking about the World Series, of course, 6 games, four I'm sorry, should I say, four to two sports the Astros go. The Phillies. I mean, an incredible run for a miracle run form was a tutus going back over to Houston. It was just an exciting series. And it says in the rundown, where did it go wrong for the Phillies? I don't think that's a misleading statement. I don't think anything went wrong for the Phillies. It's just the Astros were such a buzzsaw. They're pitching was so deep. And as much as I love the offense of the Philly side, you know, it's just power guy after power guy after power guy. The offense on the Houston side was a well rounded offense. You know, you had guys that get on base. You got guys that move guys over. You guys guys, that steel bases take the extra bases. And then, of course, you got your Don Alvarez coming in with a sledgehammer to center field, hitting a ball so deep in game 6 John that I had no idea there were seats in center field of Houston. That's how I learned. I didn't know either. You're absolutely right. When you say it's a deep pitching, that was it. I mean, they're bullpen incredible. Some of those guys looked un hittable. Abreu was unhittable. Presley, you know, it didn't look like he was overwhelming, but nobody could touch him. He was amazing. I mean, clearly Pena was the MVP. Incredible. I saw him in spring training hit a ball about 475 feet. I swore this guy's got talent. You know, I didn't know he was going to be this kind of a player and so consistent and so good defensively, a rookie winning gold glove at shortstop, amazing, and they do a great job, the front office does a great job. Does he get a great job? Team is great and you're right. The deep pitching. I think in the end, that was what did it Philly's got a great lineup, but they were stopped in the end. At the game with 5 home runs next day, no hits, and that's the way I used to pitching was. They didn't lose a game until they got to the World Series. Philly did beat them twice. You know, so I can't say that Philly underperformed. You know, I think Houston was just the best team. And they just were. Fun watch, great playoffs, but before we get into the hot stove stuff and I'm glad you mentioned Jeremy Pena who won not only the ALCS MVP, but the World Series MVP. That's just another thing about Houston. I mean, we talked about the pitching. We talked about the well rounded lineup. This is a team that just lost Carlos Correa last off season and somehow got better with their rookie shortstop in Jeremy Pena. I mean, that organization is a factory of star makers. I mean, they love Springer. They lost Garrett Cole. They lost a lot of guys. They kind of had this idea not to give out more than a 5 year deal, so these superstar players, it's hard to keep them, and they kept out too late because he had signed an earlier contract that was kind of a low contract and wanted to stay there and they extended them by 5 years, but that's kind of their thing is to not give someone more than 5 years if they don't have to. And certainly not at free agency when the players are a little bit older, the Correa was not that old. They did offer them 5 for one 60, didn't get it done. And you know, I can see now why baseball ops was, you know, not going crazy to keep him. They had this kid Pena, which 25 years old, interesting background, his dad was a player, Geronimo Pena, which I thought that was interesting note that he was in the first lineup that dusty faced as a manager in 1993 with the Giants.
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1927: The Living Legend of Willie Mays
"Are you? Hi, that could be our off season intro, I guess. Switching things up. Yeah. Well, I am relieved that we no longer have to worry about whether what we're going to talk about will be obsolete before we can actually publish it. I mean, I miss games going on. Generally in favor of baseball games being played. But the playoffs it's a hectic time because there's no great time to record and we always have to worry about the shelf life of if we talked about this game and there's been another game. Will anyone even care about our thoughts about that previous game? The off season, it's a little looser. We can go at our own pace. Obviously they're still baseball news. Hopefully much more baseball news than there was last year, but still, it's a little more leisurely, and we can just sort of explore the studio space here. So I like effectively wild in the off season, probably my favorite time to do it. Well, and you can appreciate it for what it is when you're not terrified that the entire sport is going to cease to exist or at least your website that covers that. So yeah, I like off season mode. I think I'm down to half a functional brain cell at this point, but I have tried to muster all of its energy for our podcast, because I like chatting with you about baseball so much fun. Likewise, and I'm glad you're not completely running on empty yet in. You're going to get a little break later in the week. Yeah, testing at least going to maybe take a little episode off. Yeah. Not the podcast as a whole, but you personally you can be charged. You can be back next week with perhaps multiple brain cells. Yeah. So that would be good. Wants to rub together, in fact. Not that I have noticed any deficiency in the brain cell department, just saying. But we are giving over our episode today to, I guess, a topical timely hook. I just got done saying that we're not feeling any pressure to do things in any particular timeline anymore. But we sort of are today because we're talking about a new documentary that is airing on HBO, the day that we are publishing this episode, Tuesday. I don't know when people are listening, but Tuesday, November 8th, but of course, what is linear programming anymore and time slots, people can go watch this thing. Whenever they find it and whenever they hear this episode, it'll be on HBO Max. Hopefully in perpetuity, although some things do tend to disappear mysteriously from that series from time to time. But this is a new exciting documentary produced by HBO about Willie Mays. It's called say hey, Willie Mays, appropriately enough. And so we are saying, hey, to the director of, say, hey, Willie Mays, the esteemed Nelson George, a little later. We had a nice in depth conversation with him. So much of our conversation about this documentary will be with the man who made it, but we wanted to do just a little benter beforehand, just some impressions of this documentary. I should say it's at 9 p.m., again, even more irrelevant that I'm naming a particular time that it airs for those of you who open up your apps or whatever or still have cable. Some people still have cable. That is when you can watch it, but you can watch it forever. And we liked it, I think. Otherwise, we would not be doing an episode about it. So we recommend it. We enjoyed it. It's sort of a holistic look at the life of Willie Mays and to some extent, the times of Willie Mays as well. Just tracing him back to his childhood and to his early baseball career and short time in the Negro leagues and then going to the Giants and then his whole historic heroic career as well as his off the field life and some of the challenges and discrimination he faced and how he responded to those things and how it was different from some other contemporary figures when it came to his commentary or lack thereof on civil rights and everyone is in this documentary. Willie Mays, is it it? So kind of buried the weed there. Willie Mays 91 years young. He sat for this thing. He seems to have been in good humor and he's fun to listen to. So he's the big draw here, but he impressed upon his friends and colleagues and former teammates and admirers to talk to Nelson for this movie. And so it's sort of an all access pass and just some other fellow incredible legends, many Hall of Famers, the late Vin Scully, sort of bittersweet to see him here, but glad he got recorded one more time for this documentary. So really just a murderer's row of Talking Heads and more than just the heads also parts of their bodies below the heads, but just really great people to hear from without every aspect of William as his life and career. Yeah, I think that we talk about this a little bit in our interview, but there's just been, it feels like we've had a host of former players past lately and this sad thing where they have been, you know, not that it sounds like I'm saying, no one has ever appreciated Willie mace, which is obviously a ridiculous thing to say, but I think that being able to hear from these guys and engage with them while they're still alive and to have it feel almost like a conversation rather than a eulogy is really exciting and wonderful and something that we should kind of treasure because they don't stick around forever and we have an entire generation of ballplayer who is coming to the end of its life and the end of their individual lives. So I thought it was really wonderful to get to hear from him directly and to get to hear from so many people around him who, you know, any of the players former players they talked to could be the subject of their own documentary. You know, they were all sort of interesting enough and had superlative enough careers and interesting enough lives that, you know, I could have heard a lot more from a lot of those guys, so that part of it was very, very cool. Yeah, if you know I'm always up to hear from non engineering. Yes. Multiple favorite things. In this documentary. So I'm all about that. And just, I mean, if not the best player of all time, then on the extremely short list, I forget exactly what the phrasing was, but there's something like earlier in the documentary where someone hedges too much or couches too much when it comes to like, is he the greatest or one of the very greatest and is arguably or something. And I was like, no, he just, he just very clearly is. And the numbers are incredible, but also the aesthetics of how he played, which is something that when Henri are in pass like we talked about how he is incredible and also has just about as strong a case as the best player ever, but was not sort of IE popping eye catching in the same sort of way, you know, people will praise his consistency and how just steady he was without talking so much about the tools and just the all around talent where maze kind of had him beat in some of those respects and was just sort of more explosive or exciting I guess at least in some aspects of the gamer for some portions of his career. So that's the thing that kind of comes through when you hear people talk, but also when you see some of the old footage, like it doesn't look like really old footage in the way that it looks old sometimes when you see other footage from that time and it's like the dark ages. With Willie Mays, like he kind of looks like you could just step on the field and be a player now and has very distinctive mannerisms and you can just sort of see why and how he was so charismatic and compelling to people. And I think that's something that comes through for me is just like how special it was to be a special baseball player in this period in the United States where baseball sort of rained supreme and had less competition sporting wise and also just other entertainment options. And so when you were the biggest star baseball, like you were one of the biggest stars in the country. You were a super celebrity and it really mattered what you said and did. People wrote songs about you and like baseball players today, even if they're spectacular Shohei Ohtani or so many of the other young compelling charismatic players we talk about all the time here.
A highlight from Short Cuts Lead to Long Cuts
"People holding signs saying, marry me. Mary, all the Astros players were joking about after the parade. How many proposals there were. And that, of course, is because that parade came in the aftermath of this. Bottom of the 6th inning on Saturday night game 6 of the World Series, you're done Alvarez at the plate. And the two one pitch to Alvarez is swinging the ball hit the center field and hit well. Bear with that. Straightaway center field hit a ton. And you're down Alvarez, great shot of it. With a three run Homer to give the Astros a three to one lead.
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1926: Open Offseason
"It's exciting that it will be completed before the season starts. Yeah, speaking of the season starting, we'll take you all the way up to pitchers and catchers reported in mid February and spring training games starting in late February and the world baseball classic in March, and then march 30th, opening day, and then we'll do it all over again. The cycle begins anew. And we'll make time for lots of nonsense and interesting conversations. And silliness and emails and step less along the way. As usual, just for those of you who are new to the show, we do not stop. We don't even change our schedule. We just keep going as if nothing happened. And sometimes nothing does happen, but we have the podcast anyway. We find a way. But it will be hard today because we got a lot to talk about today. And Ben is here ostensibly to talk about the free agent class. He with collaboration and input from other fan graphs members has ranked all the free agents or at least 50 of them, which is most of the important ones. Sadly I ranked more than 50 because I'm stupid. Oh, well, you're pulling along and Higgins there. Can actually stick with a round number that other people stick to. We're complete a spy nature over here. Yeah. But before we turn the page to the off season officially and start to talk about free agents, we should put a bow on the World Series, which is over now. So that happened since we last podcasted, there was one more game, and it was the decisive game, the Astros, won the World Series. In 6, they beat the Phillies on Saturday. It was a pretty exciting game more exciting for aster's fans than for the Philly's fans, but a lot to talk about in this game. And I guess a lot to talk about when it comes to the larger asteroids conversation, which has been raging literally raging. For the last day or two, fully anticipate the amount of stock taking that would be happening about just what this means for the Astros and what it doesn't mean for the asters and what we can say about them and what we can't say about them. But I guess what we can say about them for now is that they were the better team in this series. And in that sense, they deserve to win and a lot of people were saying that the Astros were inevitable and I don't think that they actually were or that any team is in October and if you somehow simulated it over and over again or played it in the multiverse as I mentioned in my article, then I do believe that the Phillies would win roughly 40% of the time, but the Astros made it look inevitable with their 11 and two win to the title and they had a decisive final game. So big picture thoughts on game 6 specifically, maybe before we get into the bigger picture stuff? It sure was nice to see Zach Wheeler look like Zach Wheeler again. Yeah. I enjoyed that very much because when he's going right, he sure is fun to watch. So that was great. I want to extend my condolences to Phillies fans about having Jordan Alvarez help to end your season. I know how that feels. Yeah, the handshake, the Mariners fans, Phillies fans handshake meme. Maybe stop with the bring in a lefty specialist. Yeah. Against Alvarez, who has no observable platoon splits. Yeah, maybe just don't do that. Yeah, we'll talk about that decision, but. Yeah. But it was very thrilling right up until it wasn't anymore. At least in terms of it feeling like it could be anyone's game. The Astros are thrilling in their own way, so I don't mean to denigrate them. But the game prior, we had spent all this time being nervous. We were just nervous on everyone's behalf because it really felt like we didn't know who's going to win when it came down to the final out. But that stopped being true after that Alvarez home run. They seemed deflated after that. So yeah, I don't know, but I have think in general, very fun World Series. So, you know, I enjoyed it. I will admit to being, well, not thrilled that it only went 6, but like I wasn't opposed to it. Oh my God. Jobs are weird. Yeah, I thought it was a nice amount of baseball. It could overstay its welcome every game felt very fun to me. Yeah. Kind of throughout the playoffs with the exception of the Yankees asterisk series. It's just a slog. I think every other series felt like it lasted about as long as I wanted it to, except for, I guess, also Philly's Padres, which should have gone 50. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I don't know if it was like a, I think it was really fun in the moment, so I guess it's a classic postseason. I was going to say, it's not like the best that I can recall. I mean, there were some recent postseasons. They all blur together in my mind once they're over, but there have been some where lots of games went to the final elimination game, and there were tons of win expectancy swings, and that sort of thing. And I don't know that this postseason was anything extraordinary by those standards, but there were a lot of incredibly fun and memorable games in some of them were high scoring and some of them were low scoring and even within this series. Each team got to have games where it felt good about itself and just kind of walked all over its opponent and then the mood changed quickly for at least one of them after that. But yeah, I thought this World Series delivered even though it was a mismatch on paper, probabilistically, statistically speaking. It was not in reality. And it was a competitive series and it didn't go all the way, but it went most of the way. And it entertained us all of the way, I think. So yeah, it's a testament to the Astros bullpen that that four one lead felt sort of insurmountable because it wasn't. It shouldn't be, but when the Astros both end barely allows a run, all postseason long and whatever it was a .83 collective ERA, something like that. I mean, basically the best bullpen performance setting some appropriate minimum in forever, I mean, it was one of the best bullpen performances we've ever seen, which was not unexpected, given that this was a haunted bullpen that was supposed to be a big strength, but even for a Fanta pop end that's supposed to be a big strength. You don't project a .83. No. And some of the runs they allowed were by starters pitching and relief too, so if you limit it to the actual relievers, then they were even stingier. So the Phillies bull pen was great too, and pitched over its head probably, but in a more mortal sense than the asterisk opened. So there was just a totally dominant force, just the degree of dominance was somewhat surprising, but not the fact of the dominance. So it was a pretty impressive performance. Yeah. It feels like it happened a million years ago. Yeah, and once the season ends, I'm not ready to completely move into winter off season hot stove mode yet, but then again, most people who root for teams that were not in the World Series have been in that mode for quite a while. Yeah, so that's true. It's like welcome aboard. Welcome to the winter. We've been here for a while.
Alvarez blasts Astros to World Series title in G6 vs. Phils
"Gordon Alvarez crushed a 6th inning three run Homer that traveled 450 feet as the Astros beat the Phillies in game 6 of the World Series four to one to claim the franchise's second world championship Astros manager dusty baker These guys ain't know how to win They come to play No alibis no excuses You know you can come in our Clubhouse You can't tell if we the next day if we lost her if we won Trevor Valdez earned the win by allowing one run over 6 innings while Jeremy Pena collected two hits and was named series MVP Adam Spillane Houston
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1925: Cristian Science, Monitored
"Doing pretty well. What a difference a couple days makes. At least wait. Last time we talked, the Phillies were in the driver's seat, commanding position, and we were citing postseason odds that said that they were the favorites, and that has changed. A couple days and a couple of games. Yep. That is definitely changed. It turns out that two inspired the other team will shift things around. Yeah, when you only need to win four in the series, two is half as many as the total you need to collect. So that hurts if you're the Phillies. So yeah, the Astros after falling behind to one in the series with the Phillies have been a couple home games ahead of them that they could potentially clinch in. Yeah. That didn't happen. So we had a no hitter in game four. So this was, I think, maybe the best illustration of momentum or the lack thereof or the momentum being the next day's starting pitcher or whatever cliche you want to throw out there. Can't really do better than this because after game three, where the Phillies just put up a 7 spot on the Astros and shut out the Astros and hit 5 homers and looked like they were just walking all over Houston. The next day, it could not have been more different. Did not get a hit. They did. You got to get a hit at some point. They just failed to do that. And the Astros won 5 nothing. So that was an even more commanding performance in the other direction, which I guess can be heartening for Philly's fans because if you're now feeling like the Astros have the big mo, they're going home, they just have to win one of the next two. Well, they were in that position in 20 19 too. And look what happened. Just as quickly as it flipped one way, it could easily flip the other, but that was about as big a disparity in just sort of home team loudness and crowd loudness and just enthusiasm and energy because it's just it's hard to get up and get pumped when your team does not have a hit and really does not threaten all night. Yeah, I mean like you can win without getting a hit, but it's a lot harder. You know, it tastes, it takes some, it takes some doing for sure. Yes, it is theoretically possible, but you're really putting yourself in a hole there. Yeah, particularly when the other team scores 5 runs like that. That's even tougher. That's even tougher. That's just hard to do no matter how many hits you have. Sometimes the other team scores 5 runs and you're like, that's enough runs for them to win. Yeah, I mean, it's not done by any means. We've talked on the pod, we talked on our Patreon live stream yesterday. They're not cowed the Phillies, right? They're not at all. They're not afraid. You know, sometimes they should maybe they would be within their rights to be reasonably more afraid than they are, and no one would fault them for it. And they seem to go, I don't care about that. I'm just not going to be afraid. You know, when you are embodying a thump based feral, you know, vaguely horny spirit, you're not going to be afraid because you're doing other stuff. You got to maintain those energies. So they're not out of it, but it does get harder because now in like you said, Houston, they only had to win one more in order to win four. And as we've established, so many they need, they need four. So it's going to be, it's going to be harder work. And they will have to face good pitching to do it. They will be able to counter with some good pitching of their own, although pitching that hasn't been good of late. I know, that's the thing. Like if you had told Philly's fans that they would have gotten what they've gotten out of nola and Wheeler in this series so far and that they would still be in it going to game 6, maybe they would have felt relieved about that, but now they need Wheeler to stave off elimination. So they kind of need him not to be bad and they gave him a little extra rest and it seems like he's dealing with some fatigue and diminished velocity and it's been a long season and he's been a very durable guy over the past couple of years, but they have taken it easy on him lately and it seems like he is feeling the effects of those things. But they really need him to be the primo Zack Wheeler in this game and try to get the ball back to ranger Suarez and game 7. So yeah, it would be tough. Could you win without getting much of anything of use from Wheeler Enola? Yeah, you could. But it would be quite a tough path to victory. So I think we really have to just sort of salute the esters pitching, which we've done enough of this month and last month too. It's November now. I don't know if you noticed. Different month. I did notice that. Yeah, we're going to get I guess the latest World Series game ever played, I think. So or at least a tie for that. It's the latest World Series game that I've ever had to care about professionally. That's certainly true. Does that make it a fun fact? It's too many qualifiers, I think. But yeah, Christian Javier was so good that we were actually going to devote the large part of an interview in this episode to him. So Javier just dominant, 6 innings, no hits, two walks, 9 strikeouts. Everyone was singing his praises, everyone postgame was trying to explain why he is so good because he's not that hard to throw her by the current standards where everyone is a ridiculously hard thrower and yet he surpasses his stuff or at least that very surface level understanding of his stuff. And it's not new. He's done it all season. He's done it all postseason, but he was particularly good in this game, so we are going to bring on Mikey a head Ho who writes for baseball perspective in 5 38 and pitcher list and look at landing and other places and he wrote a good article about Javier and so he's going to explain how he does what he does and how he and his success illustrate some modern pitching concepts, some new age pitching terminology like vertical approach angle, which he is someone who stands out in that respect. So we will get into all of that. So save your Christian Javier questions for a little later in the episode. But Javier, Abreu, Montero, Presley, just dominant stuff really from all of them. And look, we have disparaged the concept of the combined no hitter, certainly in the past. And it's obviously not as impressive on an individual level, but on a team level to throw a no hitter in the World Series against a good hitting team, like the Phillies, that is very impressive. So I don't want to disparage the combined no hitter. This is not the time or the place. I don't think other times meaningless games, regular season games, yeah, I'm not gonna get that excited about a combined no hitter. And I'm not gonna talk about any individual the way that I would have talked about. Don Larson throwed in his perfect game or any one single starter throwing a no hitter himself. But to no hit the Phillies in that situation, it's pretty impressive. Yeah, it's funny.
A highlight from I Had A Couple...
"This is baseball tonight, the podcast. This is the baseball tonight podcast for Friday. November 4th, 2022 and today will be better than yesterday. Producing from the swing studios in the foothills of Connecticut is Taylor swink, Sarah Abbott is working from the newly named Abbott studios in Bristol, Connecticut on the campus of ESPN, and on buster only in Philadelphia, get ready to fly out to Houston. Guys, how about that World Series game last night? How much fun was that? Electric stuff, dude. I mean, I'll feel really smart if the Astros went in 6 buster, I'm sure you will, too, but you know what? It's going on over the weekend. Let's get 7. Let's get 7 here. Yeah, I'm not gonna take credit for making that right call. Astros in 6 if that happens because that would have bailed on that after I saw a hearing game threes. Sarah Abbott, because you know
Verlander's first World Series win didn't come easy
"Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena drilled a pair of runs up the Astros move one win closer to their first world championships since 2017 with a three two win over the Phillies in game 5 of the World Series Pena had an RBI single in the top of the first He then broke a one one tie in the top of the fourth of the solo home run The first player rookie shortstop in World Series history I just go out and enjoy it and I have fun play hard and I'll play my game and then just trust my preparation Kyle schwarber hoping for the Phil's who tell us best the 7 series three games that two Michael luongo Philadelphia
A highlight from El Reptl
"Producing from the Sarah Abbott studios is Sarah Abbott, Taylor swank is working from the swank studios in the foothills at Connecticut and on buster only working in Philadelphia. First off, good morning, guys, how you each doing? Buster, we talked before the show. The wall is here. The grind is officially set in. I'm worn out. You know, I was hoping for the Phillies to just wrap it on up. That's what we root for here. We don't root for teams. We root for short series. And Sarah wearing a Phillies cap today 'cause you were a three week lifelong Philly fan. Yeah, you know, yesterday was tough. That was a tough, tough day for all the lifelong Phillies fans, and I'm sure for the actual lifelong Phillies fans, it was even tougher. So my heart goes out to them. I am wearing a Phillies hat because when I won or when I wore the Phillies hat, they won. So you got to mix up the mojo, you know, I got a spice it up. So that Los yesterday hand up, that was on me. I should have wore the Philly's hat. See, Sarah, along those lines, you know, before yesterday's game, we meet with the managers before every game. And so we sat down with rob Thompson and boro Perez, our colleague, looked over at him and said, hey, you know, what was your conversation like with a barber? And he noticed that rob got a haircut yesterday and Eduardo said in the booth toward the end of the no hitter like and he didn't say this on air, but he was like, if I'm rob Thompson, I'm not getting my hair cut for anything after what happened in game three. The board of his laughing at himself with that. He wasn't criticizing rob. Because he was like, boy, you got to keep it going, right? You got to roll through it when you have a good thing going. And they got no hits, and maybe we're going to walk in there today and rob will have like hair taped to his head someplace trying to put it all back together, right? That was a bold move, mister Thompson, respectfully, that was a very bold move. Yeah, so it was a very unusual game last night. Of course, it's only the second no hitter in World Series history, but I got to tell you, you know, I was, you know, watch the game and then did the postgame interviews and we did the postgame show and I sat up with Dan schulman afterward after the game and I'm like, you know, when I'm thinking about it from beginning to end, what I saw from one team's pitching staff against another team in a postseason game, that was the most dominant performance I've ever seen. There wasn't a moment when you thought, wow, the Phillies almost got to hit there. It was incredible. Like what we saw last night from the first inning of the 9th inning, I've never seen before. And I've covered no hitters by David wells and David Cohen and Jake Arrieta. I've never seen a team completely dominated in the way that the Phillies were last night. And this was just 24 hours after they put on this unbelievable show with the 5 home runs and 7 runs against the Astros. It was pretty incredible. And you know, it feels like I'm still processing it as we go in terms of how great Christian Javier was. All right, early on, Aaron nola the Phillies was pitching just as well as Christian Javier, keeping the Astros off the board. There were runners on base when this happened, the top of the second. Vasquez
Javier, Astros pitch 2nd no-hitter in World Series history
"The Astros made baseball history as four pitchers combined for just a second no hitter in World Series history in a 5 nothing game four win over the Phillies Christian Javier allows us two walks while striking out 9 through the first 6 innings Brian Abreu struck it all three battles he faced in the 7th Rafael Montero which are at all the battles he faced in the 8th and Ryan Presley recorded the final three outs in the bottom of the 9th I'm not really thinking about the no hitter or anything like that I just want to put a zero up and close the door and go on to the next day Alex Bregman hit a two run double for the Astros who even this best of 7 series at two games apiece Michael Luang go Philadelphia
A highlight from Effectively Wild Episode 1924: Hot Tip
"Hello. We are recording on Wednesday afternoon, which means that we are recording before game four. Just a situate everyone in time here as you're listening, we are in the past. As you are listening, but you know that, just trying to tell you how far in the past we are, so our plan is to watch game four and then live stream during game 5. So Patreon people, potential Patreon people, this is one of your alerts that we will be doing our second and final Patreon playoff live stream during game 5 on Thursday evening. Alert, alert, alert. Yes, yeah, the alarms are sounding and then we plan to podcast on Friday after game 5. Who knows? Maybe the World Series will be over by then. But could perhaps be true, maybe. Probably not, but maybe. What would your preferred alarm sound to be able to be like? I kind of like the Star Wars, obviously I would say Star Wars, but the Star Wars alarm that the empire sounds like
A highlight from Whispers in the Wind
"This is baseball tonight, the podcast. This is the baseball tonight podcast for Wednesday, November 2nd, two 1022, and today will be better than yesterday. I'm buster only working in Philadelphia in my hotel room, which is why I'm trying to keep my voice under control just a little bit. Taylor swink is working from the swing studios in the foothill, Connecticut. And Sarah Abbott is working from the Abbott studios in Bristol, Connecticut, and still, you know, just trying to contain her excitement over the fact that her lifelong Phillies, her favorite team of her life for the last three weeks. Sarah, you're just two wins away from winning a championship with this team. Man, it feels great as a lifelong fan of three weeks. My roommate and I, we were pretty hyped up. The whole night having a great time, it was a great, great night for me. Where's the Phillies cap? I know you gotta wear headphones, and that's might be part of what's going on, but I assumed you'd have your Phillies hat on today. Well, so you see, I'm at ESPN, and I think it is brown upon to wear hats that have certain teams. I don't know. I actually don't know if that's a rule. But in my heart, that feels kind of weird. So it is at home where it is safe. And we've gotten like a minute into this conversation and neither one of us have talked about the fact that I bumped into greatness last night, Miles Teller. And I knew right away you'd want to hear that. Oh, my gosh. So first of all, I was at work when I got that text and one of our coworkers Parker can attest when I got that text, I went, like you would have thought. You would have thought Miles Teller bumped into you. My soul transcended my body. It was like an electric experience. I'm so happy for you. What was that like? It wasn't as electric as maybe the tech suggested. I'll run you through the whole thing when we get to bleacher tweets at the end. But yeah, Miles Teller at the park Lesnar, along with seem like anybody else who's a Phillies fan was at the ballpark last night. What a crazy crowd that was. We're going to be talking with Dan shulman about that. We're going to be talking with Sarah langs about that. And a conversation coming up with buck showalter about managing in the postseason. A couple of notes before the game yesterday, we reported that the White Sox are set to higher royals longtime coach Pedro fall as their next manager full has been on the royal staff since 2013. He's filled with a variety of roles from what I understand the White Sox front office was very impressed with Pedro's interview that first interview and that put him in a position where he was getting this job. Justin Turner was awarded the prestigious Roberto Clemente award before the game last night. He was on the field. And here's a cool backstory guys before the game, I'm trying to think it was Eduardo Perez saw him and mentioned that Sarah was also Sarah Lang's was at the ball game last night and he mentioned to Justin, she was on the field and Justin immediately went over to say hi. We have to have a conversation with Sarah about that later. So that was all before the game, the crowd was in the ballpark early. They were absolutely insane, loud, on their feet, especially when this happened in the top of the first inning. And the first pitch of the
World Series: Phillies aim to push Astros to brink
"As they built it out 5 home runs in a 7 zero win over the Astros in game three of the World Series Bryce Harper had a two run home run of the bottle of the first That was followed by solo home runs by Alec bohm and Brandon marsh and the bottom of the second Kyle schwarber Reese Hoskins at a back to back homers in the bottom of the 5th for Hoskins It was his 6th home run of the postseason We know the type of offense that those guys have over there So it's always key However many runs that we have never feels like enough Ranger schwarz picked up the win Michael luongo Philadelphia
A highlight from BONUS: Jon Has A Special Message For Phillies Fans
"All righty, let's go to John Heyman. I heard him on WIP, I believe. Last 6 months or so. Let's welcome into Philadelphia. Hey John, welcome to town. Thanks very much for joining us. Oh, it's great to be with you. So John, are you covering the World Series? Is that why you wrote this? I normally do, but I have skipped the three in Philadelphia, but I did pick the Phillies, so let's go Phillies. Oh, okay. Will you pleading on the mercy of the court before the gavel comes down? So, John, if I had a characterize this, you said I almost feel sorry for the Astros almost. I know it's not the easiest organization to work up a good cry for, but they're headed into Philly for game three at one game apiece. And you just know it's going to get ugly. You seem to be saying they paid their pound of flesh or there's a statute of limitations on this. It happened 5 years ago. Why make the argument? It's not fair for Phillies fans to use that as their attack point as fans, if you will. Well, I mean, when someone does something wrong they are sentenced to you normally it's a limited term. So I'm being hopeful. I don't think that there's a great chance of this as someone who wore a cheese head in the end zone scenes of an eagles packers playoff game. I understand the fans are very passionate as they are in New York. And you know, I wrote a column pleading with the Yankee fans to lay off Altuve because it wasn't working. And it was just making him play better. And they didn't listen. So I'm not expecting to leave fans to listen and I get it 2017 was an ugly episode. My feeling is L two lay is one of the few on that team who didn't cheat who didn't take the signals the pitch signs and also there's only four or 5 guys left from that 2017 team. But I understand the fans are the fans. But he benefited from that. Now, would it take it a lot? Arguably, Verlander two. They benefit it from that. The World Series champions forever. All right, but why is Altuve the one that targeted more than anybody else? But he's the most prominent player. I mean, Carlos Beltran isn't there. He's going to be dismissed forever. You know, I don't know what else you would say to Altuve if you were a fan. I mean, it's the team. And John, you say this is a city, too. That booed Santa Claus. I mean, do you know how in Philadelphia how tired people get of that that booing of Santa Claus? Well, I'm going to assume that most people reading are not from Philadelphia and don't know that story. And that's the most famous and funny one. So I know it's been repeated a million times and it's cliche to people in Philadelphia, but I would venture to guess that the other people on the Internet are not aware of that. Okay. But what I'm saying is, though, Philadelphia gets an awful reputation that we're animals, we're the worst fans nationally, right? And this just continues to add to that. I would argue, yeah, there have been instances. There are certain examples we could all bring up. But that by and large, it's the intensity here, particularly with Philly's fans. I mean, these are families more related to it. Eagles fans, we could have a different conversation. Today, we're off. I have to say nothing physical. It was only verbal. So that was okay. But I could take it. Yeah, I mean, they're passionate, which is the word that I used. I'm hopeful that they won't be that terrible to them, but I have no expectation. And like I said, Yankee fans were the same way. I just think Altuve is being needlessly targeted. It wasn't his thing. Okay. All right, yeah. I like him as a player. So yeah, I don't have any problem with him. Now John, another part. You talk about their light hitting catcher using an illegal back. Didn't he don't you get a directive. The reason for the illegal bad is it shatters more easily. So there must be an advantage to the wood, but the downside is a chatters, why wouldn't he have known that, do you know? Hey, it's veneta. I was talking to my Friends over at Flint hills resources pine bend refinery recently. They were telling me about a partnership. With the environmental initiatives project car program. Did you know in Minnesota? It's estimated that 90% of vehicle emissions are caused by only 25% of cars, trucks, and other passenger vehicles. Environmental initiatives project car, which stands for clean air repair, is the first of its kind in Minnesota program that fixes some of the