Effectively Wild Episode 1389: Too Good to Be Two


The. Hello, and welcome to episode thirteen eighty nine of festively wild a baseball podcast from van graphs, presented by our patriots orders. I n them in Burke of the ringer joined by Sam Miller of ESPN. Oh, Sam had been I just went to ban graphs up the drop down. And I said show me, the last seven days of baseball throughs at the top of that leaderboard for offense, and it is Shohei Ohtani through hit for the cycle, perhaps the cycle. I've cared about on Thursday. He's been on fire lately made some mechanical changes. He's looking really great. And I think was that you who asked me earlier in the year when I said, I was really looking forward to seeing Otani as a fulltime hitter, whether I was worried about whether people would if you did succeed suggests that she should just be a hitter fulltime. Yeah. Yeah. I wasn't that worried about it at the time, but I have already seen the first rumblings about that. The excellent Joe Sheehan whose newsletter. I subscribed to and recommend has recently said, some nice things about. The book which I appreciate his latest addition of the newsletters all that how Shohei Otani has been great as a hitter. And perhaps he should just be a hitter and it's not worth messing around with him as a pitcher and love Joe's rating. But I wish he would stop trying to take away to way Otani for me. Yeah. Well, I mean, I wasn't so much worried about people suggesting it as the actual angels, actually doing it because I mean I last year around this time, I think I wrote a piece, looking at sort of the math of how good Otani has to be at both things to make it worthwhile for to do both things. And there comes a point where these two good hitting than it doesn't make sense from the pitch, just because the pitching cannibalize is his value, as a as a position player more than the other way. And so if I mean, it almost doesn't matter how good a pitcher he is if he's a better hitter. And if he's a, you know, like a, a really an incredible hitter just because. You know the the way that he is used right now take while not right now right now. But the way that he's used to a role cost him all that great defensive value that he would presumably adding. And it's just really hard to make it up as a you know, sixty percent of the time D H compared to one hundred percent of the time. Right. Fielder. Whose presumably, I would think plus rightfielder. Yeah. Oh, I'm sure he would give as arm and he'd be. I mean he, he could be. He was. I think he I, I think I'm remembered that didn't play centerfield in Japan, when he was starting out before they moved him to Deitch. I dunno. The new outfield definitely. Yeah. He played outfield but I think you might avoid centerfield anyway. So, so, yeah, so the like there's I, I had, like sort of nine like a grid of nine possibilities where he's like good at hitting great at hitting Batta hitting good at pitching. Great pitching bad at pitching. And the great at hitting ones. There was really no way to make the, the war math come out to he should be a two way player if he's great at hitting, if I remember this correctly, I don't want that to be true. He didn't play center in Japan according to baseball reference, mostly. Right. Some left but yeah, I mean he is now at five hundred four career plate appearances. And in that time since the start of last season. Minimum five hundred appearances he is the ninth best hitter by WC plus in baseball. That that's really good hitter. And that's given an uneven schedule where he was bouncing pitching and hitting for much less year. He had that long. Layoff in the middle of last year. He was hitting like three days a week, even when he was hitting and he also had a, a messed up ligament, that perhaps could have affected him. And then he was coming back from Tommy, John this year and started sort of slow who knows what he could be just, you know, fulltime no injuries. Nothing. So I am. I'm happy that he's that good. Because that was the thing that everyone doubted when he was coming over whether he could hit, and now looks like he so good at hitting that, that might jeopardizes pitching but he could be so good at pitching to both tick tick one away for me. We only get one of these guys every century. And I didn't think we would ever get one again. It's almost like baseball should step in and say, in this might be better for you angels to just have him hit all the time. But better for baseball to have him do this thing. No one else can do you? We only kinda even got him a century ago, Babe Ruth was mostly a pitcher, who is a really good hitter. And then he was a incredible hitter, who had previously pitched, but there was only a very a fairly short overlap of those two. And in that overlap his, his pitching got much worse. And he talked about how exhausting it was and how he couldn't do it for a whole year and didn't seem to want to do it. And I, I mean it's. It's not probably right to think of Baber as a two way player because he, he it was very brief that he was, and it wasn't his most successful Berea. Yeah. That's right jet cram wrote about that for the ringer last year a link to that. But anyway, I will enjoy him for now. There's nothing we can do for now. He's he can't pitch. So I'll enjoy his hitting and worry about the rest later and hopefully he will want to pitch so much that he will force the until still let him pitch. Even if it's not the best things that typically speaking anything on your mind. Yeah. So I've been listening to I've decided that I'm going to go back and listen to all of your episodes. So I I've started that project, great starting with the most recent and moving backward. Why that way, partly because I find it a a little bit. I, I don't want annoying, too strong. A word tedious isn't quite the right word. But sometimes we get emails from people who reply who are responding to something that and then twenty minutes later, we get another Email from them. Going. Oh, you already addressed this later in the. Yeah. Or sometimes we know that we already addressed it, three episodes later, and I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to be responding to things knowing I said, they were going to change dramatically over the next, you know, hundred episodes or whatever, and partly because I think that there's an enjoyable sort of dramatic irony that comes from knowing the end before you meant, the beginning, not, if that makes sense. And so that's probably why doing backward, anyway. So I started with the Jeff's, farewell. Emotional. I and yeah, and then I moved onto the episode before that when he gives a long detailed analysis of the state of the Tampa Bay rays organization. Yes. We, we pushed off the tip varies preview episode to like the next one her, or a little after that, just because it felt weird to have him on that one. But yeah, he, he kept talking about the race read right up until the end even after he knew he was going to work there. I think. Yeah. Did you? Okay. So a couple of things that I just wanted to bring up from those couple episodes, I, I don't know if I'm going to do this. I don't know if I'm going to respond to every episode or not. But I, I just can't I can't I have to I have to on these. All right. So first of all, Jeff talked about how the he was he had been told when he went to fan rats, don't read the comments that commenters are mean but he actually appreciated the commenters if not for the commenters, he would never have realized that he had a bad habit of writing rambling leads that didn't go anywhere. And I just could not possibly disagree more with those commenters that was such a beautiful. Quirk of Jeff's writing. And I, I missed those leads. I cannot believe he listened to people telling him to, to get rid of those leads. They were wonderful ruined. Jeff. They did. And, you know, a commenter is not going to go in and say of your article that doesn't have a unorthodox lead. Hey, where's your unorthodox lead? I demand idiosyncratic writing styles from you there in, so he's not getting the commenters that say that he should be doing those leads and I know that some people did not like them. I like them. They were fantastic. They were distinct, and they were, they really sort of I thought captured the character of Jeff's writing, which is simultaneously, taking the topic extremely seriously. While also recognizing the sort of farcical nature of what we do carrying this much about the thing that we are simultaneously carrying this much about. And so, so I. I mad at those commenters, and I wish that I had known in real time that Jeff was letting them a burrow into his head like like, like one of those bugs, rose into your brain. Yeah. It's possible that he just decided he wanted to start writing less into finished with his posts sooner because he's doing an awful lot of posts there that could be way. I always always felt that those leads were away of writing more quickly because by not putting a lot of value in having a traditionally refined lead. It was a way of getting out of the way, and sometimes he would say, in the lead, like, basically, this is a lead. I need to have lead this is it now. We're going to go onto the topic instead of trying to crack something anyway. That's one thing, the other thing is that you guys talked about, farewell tours and you both referred to the original farewell tour that Chipper Jones hat when he got what it get a rocking chair of Broken Hill. India, sir, sir floored, Mariana got the rocking chair, broken bats surfboard. And I wanted to let you know than than the original farewell tour was much earlier than that. I don't know what the original ones. But, but I can tell you that it was at least in nineteen sixty three. So I have here, a great Sports Illustrated article about STAN, museums farewell tour when he announced his retirement few months ahead of time. And I'm gonna read this paragraph as Musial Muzio Musial, do you pronounce it mutual mutual at don't know. But I, I hear that. Yeah, I heard it recently and thought could be that I've been getting that Musial Icee museum do zeal. I do as musical made his way around the league for the last time the old love affair between the ballplayer and the American people began to overflow, even as it drew to a close. There were times when STAN was in danger of being drowned intrigue oil, he was heaped with gifts and honors and awards in San Francisco, in Houston, in Los Angeles in New York and Chicago Philadelphia and Cincinnati, moist, eyes blinked from Costa. Coast, and then just when the whole retirement threaten to sink beneath the sea of sentiment two things occurred to help people remember that baseball is still baseball. And then even STAN Musial museum plays for the Musial half for the other side in San Francisco Alvin dark refused to present a plaque ordered cast for museum by the giants owner Horace Stoneham quote. When the season is over dark said, I'd go anywhere for STAN Musial, but I wouldn't give anything to anybody on another team during the season and in Philadelphia while STAN was walking to the dugout after a home plate ceremony in his honor, a Philadelphia fan bellowed from the upper deck Musial, your bum. I hope you strike out every time you come up Musial smiled. It was somehow comforting to know that Philadelphia fans would never change this lists throughout the article list, some of the different honors that he was getting in real time. And so here's an example, an organization called the Vikings convivial group gave a lunch for him at his favourite Hollywood restaurant. Scandia the Vikings gave Musial cardinal red. Rocking chair and a vastly over sized old fashioned glass on which was embossed STAN, the friend. And one of the things that you get, you sort of get a sense from this, that you raise the question in this conversation of why why players announce in advance because it, it feels a little bit presumptuous that you would expect people to recognize your retirement, or just a hassle or a hassle cranky to said about no hitter hitter, the hassle. So it seems out of character to think that it would be that the, the sense you get from this article, though, is that when you're, I mean, you know, besides being a public figure ballplayers are people with jobs in their working, this is their office and they have sort of normal workplace relationships with people around them, and they want to have the opportunity to actually say goodbye in be said goodbye to in non public ways. So, like there's all these scenes of, like, you know, unpire 's coming across the to his clubhouse to say goodbye and. Folks from different teams. Tell him goodbye, you know privately before games and in order to say goodbye to someone you need to know that they're leaving in order to know that they're leaving, they have to told you that they're leaving. So this is a way, I think of just simply doing the private business of telling your friends and your coworkers that I'm retiring next year I'll probably have party. But in the meantime, just so, you know, I'm winding things down. I'll be around a little bit. I'll still be checking emails, but, you know, things we quieting down into then everybody can say goodbye. Once you have that, then there becomes a bit of a public demand to say goodbye to you in the rocking chair way. I don't I don't think that that's primarily for the player. I think that's more for a combination of more for the fans and also a little bit more kinda wanna say performance for the teams. And in fact, Andrew Baguley had a noted that a couple of weeks ago that some teams have been doing farewells for Bruce Bochy and some teams have not. And Bagley actually criticized one team for not because OG it was the nationals, and bocce had a grown up as a Washington, senators fan and also had some other connection to them. I forget what it was. And so there's a sense that if you underdo it, you might be maybe criticized or that you might be seen as, as if the other team sets the precedent they rock owing an right? Yeah. So, so that's I think all little bit part of it. And can I just I would also like to read to you, this is totally off the retirement tour topic. But it's a part of this article and it's just so good. So this is this is okay. All right. This is a conversation a dialogue between Musil and Joe Garagiola. The broadcaster old cardinal teammate, burlesque gang those players who be Mon, the passing of the good old days. All right. So this. Then making fun of players who were previous generation, and who were good old days ING things even than even to STAN Musial, like one of the ultimate guys from the good old days was already dealing with good old days ING for people from people auditing art. So this is the dialogue back then shouted Musial in mock bitterness. We didn't have any radio or any television or any writers following us around. We just played ball. That's right. Agreed garagiola. We didn't have any bats. We just played ball. We didn't have any ceremonies at home plate said, Musial we just played ball and we hit three seventy kids today. Have it too easy. We just played ball. No batting helmets. Either. Snowed gergiev. We just let our hair grow long and we just played ball. That's good. Really good, right? Yeah. Players are funny. Well, jokers yell is pretty funny. Yeah, that's good. That's good fake dialogue. I mean if you're doing fake ballplayer dialogue, that's quality stuff. I like the, the three seven hits a, there's something like very aware about the three seventy you know, 'cause it used it was easy to hit three seventy at one point. And even STAN Musial was like I only hit three thirty six and and had to deal with, like guys who were playing against like plumbers who were saying that in their days they hit three seventy three. Seventy was like some sort of like number, in vacuum anyway, last thing been you guys talked about Johnny cueto's dead horse and is. And then you talked about see Souflias retirement tour, and then you merge. Those two things into the greatest show title in history, which is was Horst retirement. And I just wanted to know if you were like holding your breath with nervousness about that because it's like so. Darshan good. Yeah. Sometimes it takes me a while to come up with the podcast title. So always glad when one just leaps into my mind never pass up of upon or some play on words. So as pretty happy with that one. All right. Zoning. That's the that's that's that, that Sam instill old episodes of podcast that he was not a right. I like the segment. I don't know if other people will put, but a lot of them were listening along. So they'll know what you're talking about. So that's good. This will be fun. Well, one thing that you will hear the two of us talk about sometime soon when you get to that old at the sewed is players giving more than one hundred percent effort. And I just wanted to tell you something about players giving less than one hundred percent effort. So there's a, a new study that I was clued into by Craig Goldstein BP, who I think intern was could into it by Ginny Searle of BP. And this is a study by Gwen Fleiss. Ig of the American sports medicine institute is been kind of a. Maneerin in pitching research, and many other co-authors also on this paper and this paper wealth, if I if I read the title, I guess it will kind of away conclusion, but it's about what happens when players are told to throw at lower levels of effort, you know, you're coming back from injury or something, and it's while he was throwing seventy five percent. Throw fifty percent ninety percent just take it easy, and, you know, that's like a part of rehab programs. It's like a set progression. He is throwing from flat ground at seventy five percent effort or something. And so the study was trying to determine whether when players are told to throw it seventy five percent effort or whatever whether they actually throw at seventy five percent effort, which is a good question that I did not know the answer to. And so they took a bunch of guys. I think they were healthy, and they had them throw from flat ground one hundred twenty feet, and they told them to throw at these different Evert levels and. They had modus sleeves attached to them. So those are those sensors with, like accelerometers and gyroscopes in them that can assess the force in the speeds involved, and I will just read the conclusion here. It says for every twenty five percent decrease in perceived effort, elbow Varis torque. So how much strain is placed on your elbow, essentially only decreased seven percent. And velocity only decreased eleven percent thus when players throw it, what they perceived to be reduced effort, their actual throwing metrics, do not decrease at the same rate as their perceived exertion. So I thought those really interesting. So when they were told to throw at seventy five percent effort, the torque was only reduced to ninety three percent of the maximum, and velocity up to eighty six percent. And then when they were told the throw it fifty percent effort. The elbow strain was still eighty seven percent of the max and velocity was still seventy eight percent of MAC. So says something. That's probably useful for people to know and they're coming up with rehab programs and trying to get players back to the field. If you tell them to throw it, a, a certain level, they're probably gonna throw harder than that. But that's kind of an interesting thing because you would think like, well maybe players, or so well tuned that they actually can calibrate it. So there's some how giving exactly seventy five percent effort, but that sounds like a difficult thing to do. And sometimes when you hear someone say, well, I'm taking a little off my fastball are, why doesn't he just take a little off, so that maybe he'll have better command or, or he'll be healthy? There is actually a another paper that Fleiss just did and sent me from another journal where they looked at the elbow strain, according to velocity. And even though it's not that telling like cross pitchers like not all hard throwers have more elbow, strain than soft throwers, because they mechanics are different and everything in general higher. Velocity is higher strain. But that's particularly true for. Within pitchers. So, like if a pitcher is gonna throw ninety five and you tell them to take a little off. There's a lot less strain involved therapies tries to go all out and throw ninety seven or something, it's way more strain. So in theory if you're telling someone will just take a little off. Maybe they can't maybe they don't exactly know how to take a little off because you're used to throwing one way and it's hard to calibrate the kind of thing. Okay. Not interested. Well, they did decrease their effort and the did. Look, I mean look, if you say throw at fifty percent effort. I don't know if I know exactly what that means. I don't know if today, well, I don't know. I don't even know in a in a perfect world. What I would think that would mean like it. If you throw ninety does that mean you should be throwing forty five if someone says throw at twenty percent effort, you would not be able to get the ball airborne. And so, does it exist like it feels to me like this is like where you set your axes in a way? And if like you say, maybe maybe, like, the, the baseline is like getting a pitch aloft, then like that would be like forty five and so then, you know seventy five percent effort might be seventy five percent of the way between forty five and ninety five rather than between ninety five zero. Yeah. That's a good point. Yeah. There there is a minimum. Minimum is not zero really. So I guess if you put it that way, maybe they are kind of percents between something in something. But yeah, I don't know. I did a piece a couple of days ago. About fastest fastballs, right? Each pitchers fastest fastball. So I wanted to talk to Indra Miller because one he was one of the fastest fastballs that interested may because it was considerably faster than his second fastest fastball. So he averaged ninety three last year. His second fastest fastball was like a little over like it was like ninety six and a half. And I think it's third-fastest was, like ninety five and a half and his fastest was like ninety seven and a half. And that was a most people. You most pitchers have about three to four miles an hour more for their max than for their average and some pitchers are five or six some pitchers or two or three. But even the ones who are like, like Bartolo Cologne was six, but he had shocking. That was wasn't that throws like through ninety three something ninety three point seven yet. He was something like something like ten th from the bottom average fastball, but two hundred from the bottom and max max apple. But while that is his very fastest. There was a little cluster of those, so he he had like six that, that were kinda like near that. And Miller's was more of an outline because he really he had the one, maybe if you're generous to that were up there. And so I asked if like if I if I asked him about that Pige if he remembered anything about that picci's like, well, no, I said, you know, is your fastest would that ring a bell? Not really, like he didn't really remember like you remembered throwing he like he he kind of basically remembered like what he was thinking in that plate appearance. And he remembers that plate appearance, and he remembers throwing that pitch and wanting to throw it past Adam Jones, but he doesn't remember like it coming out of his hand being. An outlier and that's, that's sort of was interesting to me. I think that's probably kinda kinda kinda common. So it was like it's not like it was in any way an accident that, that was his fastest pitch. But it also wasn't like he said, all right now, I flip the switch. This is the amusing my one young. Throwing my star punch here, right? Yeah, max marquee wrote about that similar topic for baseball perspectives, some years ago, he found as sort of you did in a kind of more dodo way that guys will throw harder against better pitchers, which you would expect and you found that everyone seems to throw their peak fastball gets Bryce Harper more so than any other hitter seemed like probably too much to be random, which is interesting. Number two, as Manny Machado, which fell kinda Manny Machado is in some ways, like they're sort of genre those. Yeah, that's true. And I mean Harper's not the best hitter, even close to. So you should save your. Best ball for Harper. But he is perceived to be better or perceived to be out. No someone you really wanna get out and say you preach back in throw. It'll harder. But that may or may not be beneficial to you. Yeah. I was surprised. So I was surprised writing that by two things. One is I thought it was going to be a lot more random than it was. I thought that a large number of these pitches. Most of them were just going to be whatever. Fastballs like that. They would be distributed among all play, roughly equally, and they were not. They were they were outliers in and they, they were used in a way that was was very notable. Like there were real trends when you group them together, as a cohort that was one thing. But the other thing was how little difference in results. There were compared to regular fastballs. There was a little bit of difference. But I expected lots of whiffs and really wild and it was only slightly wild and only slightly. More with. Yeah. And both of those things to be honest. Both of those things could pop potentially be explained by other factors because these pitches are not thrown randomly. But in particular situations in the situations themselves, might cause slightly more with and slightly more balls, or, you know, maybe not I'm just sort of hypothesizing, but there wasn't a big difference in. So now I'm just giving away all the answers that I asked in this question, and tried to tease you along in the article now, you know, but the article link to all right? We should enter a few emails before we just talk for this entire episode. So this question comes from Stewart he says, as someone who's both in avid, Red Sox, fan and casual soccer fan. I wanted to write about the upcoming Red Sox home games in London against the keys. The games are taking place in London stadium. A multipurpose facility built for the Olympic Games that has since become home to west him United reviews of it as a soccer stadium seemed to be that it lacks character. But it's modern and. A conventionally sized baseball field can fit in it. Here's what gets me their number of stadiums in England. That seemed like kindred spirits of Fenway. And one of them is even owned by Fenway sports group. If the Red Sox have to play, quote unquote home games in England, why not play them at suck. Sports. Brethren Liverpool f c is home Enfield soccer stadiums have been used for baseball before, even including Liverpool's other historic stadium. Everton's Goodison Park, the downside apart from being outside of London is that the soccer optimized playing field, even if stripped of foul territory would max out at about three hundred thirty feet down one line and two hundred thirty down the other with the deepest part being about three ninety five in what would have to be one of the alleys. So to get to my question if baseball games are going to be played in non traditional baseball countries, is it better to find a venue that matches the dimensions of baseball, or is it worth it to pick a historic local venue, that calls for warped outfield dimensions. Better for better for me. Well, better for maybe inflaming the passions of the fan base getting people interested in a sport in a territory where it's not the primary sport. I think it's a good question because d want to showcase baseball to its best advantage or it's typical guys. Or, or do you want to present it in a place where people are comfortable already, and they have some attachment to it? And so, porting baseball into that place that they Ardy have some thoughtless for may make them more. Receptive to baseballer, or maybe they could more easily. Imagine themselves watching baseball if it's taking place in a stadium where they Ardy. What sports? Well, imagine the reverse. Imagine that there was going to be a big cricket tournament, and you're going to go to it, and it could be in either, like it could be on some like, let's say could be I don't know what is cricket pitch. Look like what's what shape is it? It's like a glob in my head. I I've only seen cricket played on a big flat field. That was like kinda rectangular in it was. And so then you'd think you'd you'd play it on, like a soccer field on the soccer pitch or which I've never been to a soccer field like I've never been to soccer stadium. I don't know where am I going with this, or I was gonna say or you could play it in a in baseball stadium that I'm very comfortable in, and I've been to a bunch in the I know where the good concessions are, but it would be strangely shape in and I would not even know that it was strangely shaped because I don't know. I'm not feeling like this hypothetical rephrasing. The question is getting any closer to. I feel like it's actually giving me, no clarity. Also, to thirty though. Yeah. To really extreme. Yeah. So I don't know. The thing about it is, do you feel like if you wanna ask, well, what would be more interesting for an American audience watch? Ching games on TV or what would be more pleasing for an American audience watching games on TV that would be different question than what would be better for a London audience that presumably doesn't for the most part doesn't know that much about baseball hasn't watched that much baseball and for whom of two hundred and thirty foot home run would not seem like a travesty or strange in any way because for all they know. That's how baseball is played. And so in the in, in that sense, you'd say, well, yeah, you'd go to the venue, where people already have more attachment where they're going to be more comfortable and you don't really worry about how much the game Hughes to traditional play because nothing is going to seem discordant to people who don't have baked in baselines. But I don't think that is the purpose of these games primarily, I think that for the most part, major league baseball is is trying to preserve the integrity of their champion. Chip season as much as possible, while while experimenting a little bit with a new market, and new locale. And there's a small sacrifice to expose the game to another continent, but they're not willing to make. I don't think they really wanna make a big sacrifice. I don't think that they wanna have the league's homerun champ be determined by the eight home runs that someone hits over the two hundred thirty foot wall over three games eary's. Yeah. That's a good point. This is not an exhibition series. So he don't wanna compromise the competition in the play. I think when you're trying to introduce or to a new audience, you want to meet those people on their territory as much as you, can you want to try to show them, how it could fit into their lives. So I wouldn't want MLB like while you have to build us a baseball stadium. Or we won't come in play for you a think that we should play in, in the pre existing structures and make the best of it in this case, though, we're talking about. Scenario where they're already is a stadium where people go to see matches all the time. So London stadium is in. That's already the home of a soccer team here in, we're just talking about the difference between that kind of blender facility and one with more history. And I don't think that's really that important consideration because this is a place where people there, go to sporting events all the time they feel comfortable. I don't know that putting it in infielder or some other historic place, would make them that much more receptive to baseball. And if it distorts the true nature of baseball, I don't think that's worth the benefit, so because there is a natural home for it where you wouldn't have to have a two hundred thirty foot outfield fence that I think probably just make sense to have it in one in stadium. But if there were no lended stadium if it were like the difference between playing an infield and like forcing them to build up field somewhere or something that I would say just compromise. And you want people to like your sport. So beat them on their own territory. So I don't actually know what the point of this is. And I don't mean that in dismissive rhetorical since I don't actually know what the point of this is what why are they in London? Just introduced the game to incidental. But what like it's not like Europe is unaware of baseball like they've is so they've, I mean, they're aware of it. They know baseball is baseball's Ben a thing that they've played in the colonies forever. They so is the and so, like it's not like it makes sense. For instance, to play games in baseball in countries where baseball is a thing because then that's the sort of it's a diplomatic outreach. It's a way of saying, like we're all in the same, you know, we're all part of the same sport we're all part of the same ecosystem and. And, you know, were we would like to have a relationship you, you are sister city? It's a little, it's a different thing when you go to a country that has its sports that isn't probably in any real way interested in, in taking yours. And so if they're I don't know if they're trying to convince Londoners to pick up baseball or if they're just trying to sell a hundred thousand tickets for two games, or whatever how many games are playing in like, it's the, the point of it is to get the money, right there. And then, like it makes a little bit more sense to have football because football play in London, because football is a sport that is not already international. It is an American sport. And at some point, you might think, hey, let's try to spread this around the world. But baseball is already an international sport and the countries that don't play it presumably have chosen not to they've had their chance. They, it's they're just that's not their sport. They. Similar sports instead. And so it feels like it's not particularly ripe for evangelism or for whatever you Commissioner Jerry outreach of the sort. So like, again, that's what I'm saying. I don't know what the goal is. I don't know if the goal is to convince Londoners who are at the game. That is a great sport in that they should host more baseball games. Or if it's that they think that Great Britain is going to watch these games on TV because they're happening in their country, even though baseball games are already, you can already watch them if you want to just being played in other countries like you don't have to be in London to watch a game that's being played in London. The game doesn't have to be played in London to watch it. If you live in London already, so I'm kind of confused of just what the, the outreaches here, and I kind of feel like the point of it is actually, to get me to watch it to get Americans to watch it because this is something a little different in which case then. Then it's becomes a different question. If the actual audience is Americans in, it's a little bit different. Yeah, that's a different answer potentially, but I think it could be both. I think even though baseball is an international sport. It's not everywhere in. I don't know that you can say that, like other countries have rejected it. I think maybe they just haven't had the outreach, yet at some point it spread in some way, because it was exported in, maybe there really hasn't been attempt to export it. So I mean, those games are going to be well attended of you say, there are a lot of ex pats there will go. And there's a small, but thriving, British baseball community from what I understand and know of the internet. So those people will be happy and I think it's a little different. Even if you know that the sport exists if the sports says you're important to us, and we want you to like us again. We're, we're coming to, to your backyard. You don't have to come. Meet us will come to you and. Time zone is an obstacle for usually watching baseball in England. And so will be on your time zone and not only recovering, but we're bringing our fabled rivalry, the Yankees and the Red Sox were were not giving you Marlins versus razor something. So this is gonna be the marquee matchup. And, and I think it's good. I don't know that England will be the, the new Japan, her something in terms of liking baseball, but it can't be bad to, to spread it around. And we can still watch those games and follow them. So, yeah. What would you do? If you if you're in, if you were the major league baseball executive in charge of growth in Europe, what would you do? Well, I'd probably try to foster participation among amateurs and, and know their various amateur baseball programs in a bunch of European countries. So I guess I'd send over coaches and equipment and try to get kids interested in the game. Probably hope that they grow up to want to keep playing. Watching baseball. Yeah. I think that's what I do too. I think that's probably where I would go more than when this. But again, I'm not a I don't know enough about the motives. I don't know enough about the current business model to say what the point is year or how successful so I'm not trying to dismiss it in any way. Okay. All right. Chrissy says I was listening to recent podcasts where benenson discussed the potential merits of switching pitchers during at that it led me to think about why teams don't try new things that may give them a competitive advantage, down the line could be an effective and lead to upset players managers less trust in the future. It cetera. However, I'm sure other teams wouldn't mind. Better observing new tactics to see their effectiveness this led me to an odd idea could a competitive team. Try to outsource trials of new tactics to a noncompetitive team. For example. What if the Astros offered a mid tier prospect to the Marlins to try out switching pitchers mid at that this may seem like it be collusion, but hypothetically, what would teams pay to have a half season of trying out? New tactics without any rim affiliations for their own teams. Well, this would make a lot more sense if you didn't already have eight teams under your aegis. I mean it just feels like the real question is how come we're not. How can we don't see more of this in the minor leagues it does happen from time to time you know, like the, the Astros in the piggybacking starters is an example, that for instance, got a lot of attention the dodgers. But it was kind of a brief little moment where the dodgers got attention for having a lot of their minor leaguers, playing out of position or not out of position, but playing a lot of different positions. And also batting in a lot of different parts of the batting order that they would get used to being ballplayers instead of seeing themselves as a particular type of hitter at a particular position, so things like that have been experiments that have been used in the minor league level. But you would think that if you wanted to try. I something like this. It would make a lot more sense to use players who are already working for you and to do it at games that are already widely appreciated to be developmental in nature more than purely competitive. And you would be absolutely roasted both you in the team that you were colluding with if you were if you were to try this in the major leagues. Yeah. And plus everyone can see what happens. So all the other teams are getting really the same insight that you are, or at least the one team that you're outsourcing it to is, so you're not really getting any information advantage there. So I agree that there are better ways that you could do this. Or you could perhaps in the way, that MLP is currently maybe have like a sister team in the independent leagues where you have some sort of relationship like when we were doing the suppers thing, there was a team that we were talking to write about potentially having the stoppers be like a laboratory for that. Him and it didn't happen. But there was a conversation about that. So you could do that kind of thing. So I think they're places where you wouldn't have to worry quite as much about the ramifications and you could kind of keep the incites secret so that would make more sense. All right, questioned from Emilia via Anton Antanas, sending a question from his daughter, Amelia, Amelia, says will we ever have another universally retired number like Jackie Robinson's? What could occur player due to make that happen? Well that, that is to questions because we could have a universally retired number, and it might not be current player at all. Yes. Risa minute, the it seems to me that more likely than any other scenario is that the movement that the, the, the sometimes movement to get Roberto clementes, number retired would would be adopted MO. More likely than anything that I could imagine, you know, Blake Snell doing, but or snow for that matter, who is mentioned in the second to last episode of the Jeff years. I love the snow. Remember, Ian Snell, do. Yeah. I don't know if I loved him but yeah. L had a year with Pittsburgh, where he, I guess he didn't you gotta start. Did he have a start? He had a crazy start where he had like thirteen strikeouts. No auction something like that he had one of those things and I don't know. I always with. Yeah he did have a good year. I feel like I remember Ian Snell being. Well, did he though? Well. Pretty good. I for some reason, I remember thinking, Ian Snell was a good breakout candidate. That's what I remember. Maybe based on one start. All right. So, but so let's put so I don't do you want to? I don't know if you have anything to say about the Clemente situation, the Clemente idea, but we could also talk about the more abstract current player thinking that Amelie. Yeah I mean current player, I don't know. I mean, I think the first woman in major league baseball, the anther Seth Ginny Baker scenario. That would be a very natural fit. I think possibly the first publicly gay player for player to come out. I don't know minute has to be a trailblazer. Obviously someone who likes breaks down barriers because they don't hand out. These retired everywhere numbers, very easily took an it took what fifty years before. They retired. Jackie Robinson's number. Yeah. So it's not like you can just be. Be really great or really well loved, and that would do it. You you'd have to can't even think of other than like being the first to, to be a person who was that kind of person who was in the majors. I don't know what else could do. And it's you know, in, in some ways, it's hard because Jackie Robinson came along at a time when baseball was such a huge part of culture, such a huge part of the world that what he accomplished was in no way limited to baseball that his role in society was massive that he is one of the defining in, in a lot of ways. He is one of the defining political actors historical figures of the twentieth century. And baseball is no longer probably in that in that part of the culture. So it's hard. It's probably hard to imagine anything that you could do in baseball right now. That would have you in general textbook. Six seventy five years from now the way that Jackie Robinson. Absolutely is. And so that might be an honest on the other hand now that Jackie Robinson number is retired universally, there's that precedent in. So it might not be as difficult to get the moment to have a number retired as as it was for, for Jackie Robinson. Yeah. That's all I can think of Shohei Ohtani, TRU two way player. Probably not. Is he? I mean. Is there there, there has to be some cultural social relevance to your career? You have to be an inspiring figure boundary breaker in some way. And so that there are only so many options that are coming to my mind. Yeah. I will update you think of something later. It's, it's okay that we can't of many because they're probably shouldn't be many. So it should be a rare honour so, that's, that's all right. Okay. Do you have a step list? I sure do. So my friend, Mike who put together the two thousand fifteen Pacific association, simulation thing, which have you mentioned that on here. No push it in the face. All right. So anyway, he's my friend, Mike. He's currently simulating the twenty fifteen Pacific association season. By the way, this is not related to the stat last, but he sent me an Email yesterday, letting me know that he had brought Sean Conroy in to the middle of the fifth inning with bases-loaded, even though he had been used for like, seventy six pitches the day before and Conroy got out of it, right. Paul. Also, by the way, hasn't ERA of about three in this sim exit. Oh man, I, I would love to live that I would love to live another season of Paul and Taylor ease. Yes to see I 'cause I do still feel like definitely they in the right year both of those could have turned out to be stars in early anyway. Mike listened to your conversation, our conversation about clay Bellinger signing giving you your autograph any told me that his first autograph was ROY Smalley ROY Smalley and he brought this up because he's. Been thinking a lot about ROY Smalley recently in relation to Cody Bellinger, in the reason, is that in nineteen seventy nine ROY Smalley was in credible. He I don't know how much you know about Smalley, but Smalley was drafted five times. This was back in the days where there was a draft in June secondary draft in January for people who I think maybe what didn't sign or didn't declare or something they didn't. They somehow were reality in January. So Smalley was drafted five times, including first overall in the nineteen seventy four January phase of the draft. He was the nephew of Jean mock in the son of ROY Smalley the nineteen forties shortstop. And so he was he had a lot of reason to think that he'd be really good in nineteen seventy eight. He was really good. He had a six war season and then in nineteen seventy nine everything came together. And so he was hitting four away. Eight on may twentieth which I believe is one day earlier than Cody Bellinger, lost his four hundred this year. But he even after that kept raking. He was hitting three ninety two on June first with, by the way at ton of power, and what's the date today? Ben today is June fourteenth on June fourteenth of that year. He was hitting three seventy six four fifty five seventy five which is remarkably similar to Bellinger, except with a little bit less power. But that's not surprising. It was nineteen seventy nine and this is two thousand nineteen in the baseball is flying. Smalley was shortstop. He was a rated as about an above at a little bit above average shortstop for the years before that, and the years after that. So he was probably a pretty good defensive shortstop. I don't know what his war is was at the time, but it was probably comparable to bellinger's any hit, ZOA gave you the on June fourteenth in. And then he kept hitting basically until July fourth when he. More or less like peaked a he had a higher. He had higher numbers earlier in the year. But if you're just going like the peak of his season when he had the biggest sample of the best stats, it would probably be July fourth. He went two for four with the Homer, and an intentional walk and at that point, he was hitting three seventy two four fifty to five ninety five with twelve sacrifice buns. By the way. And, and then and then he just then he stopped that was it. He went over four the next day and his opium dropped sixty eight of the final eighty four days of the season. He was hitting three seventy two on July fourth. He was hitting two ninety nine by August twenty seventh. And he wasn't done. He ended up at two, seventy one. He went from three seventy two July fourth two to seventy one at the end of the years, opium dropped from one thousand forty six to seven ninety four. He was still had a good year. Still had a good year four and a half. More season got him VP votes, and so on. But, you know, he he was Bellinger ask, and he was great. He seemed like a great ball player already. And then and then he did that. And so Mike for cruel. Reasons has taken to thinking, well, nothing is guaranteed in every Cody Bellinger. Could be xactly as bad as as ROY Smalley going forward. And that's a fine way of it's a it's a harsh way of you in the world. But it basically is saying that no more is guaranteed to you than has been guaranteed to the very worst precedent that has ever come before. And so I wanted to see if ROY Smalley is in fact, the worst president, the worst president of a first half deteriorating into a second half. And so I looked at T O P s plus inches players, opiates, Jeff Sovan favorite as you'll learn. And so it's his opium in, in the split compared to his opiates overall and smallest first half in nineteen seventy nine is in fact, the I think it's fifth best t- opiates plus ever with some minimum number plate appearances, but it's not the best. It's not even really close to the best. So the best is actually Brennan Bosch, in Brennan, Bosh in two thousand ten as a rookie came up in the first half he hit three forty two three ninety seven five ninety three. I mean, I kinda remember that I remember Brennan Bosch, being a rookie and hitting in not really. He wasn't supposed to be that great. I don't think at the time. And so it was like, wow. And then he he did much worse after that. And then he settled into a career that didn't last that long in wasn't that distinguished, but had some moments but Bosh TOPS plus was one sixty. Seven he hit one sixty three to thirty seven to twenty two in the second half. So he went from a almost thousand opiates to four fifty in the second half. And so, we're, of course, not at the end of the first half yet for Bellinger. But if we take Mike's pessimistic, assumption that whatever the worst of us can do all of us can do. And that Brennan, bashes second collapse is within the range of, what Cody Bellinger could do than we could imagine, Cody Bellinger, hitting in the second half as bad as this hyp Hy designing that Brennan botched did Cody Bellinger would have an on base percentage of to sixty eight in the second half a slugging percentage of two sixty five in the second half and he would still end up with an opium of the for the season. With an on base percentage of about three sixty five and a slugging percentage of four eighty five which is actually better than he. He did last year. So even if he bought it, he would he would still end up better than he was last year, which is pretty impressive. But so, but that's not my point. That's not actually my step last. I reject. I reject wholeheartedly Mike and his, his presumptions, I believe that we need to consider the alternate, which is that whatever the best of us has ever done. So may we all? And so I looked for who had the most improvement in the second half and the most improvement in the second half ever was Casey Stangl in nineteen fifteen Casey Stangl his first half TOPS plus was forty two. So I like to imagine that Cody Bellinger, could also end up with a first-half TOPS plus of forty two which would me. Which, of course would mean that he would be much better in the second half. How much better to match Casey Stangl? Well, he would have in this scenario, a slugging percentage of thirteen forty five and an on base percentage of seven eighty seven. It is in my opinion, just as likely as the Brennan Bausch. So, so that's what we have possibly to look forward to Cody Bellinger, seven eighty seven on base percentage and thirteen forty five slugging percentage in the second half to give him a TOPS. Plus, I have a forty whatever I said and just to end this. I was gonna go try to find some buddy in some split that would be comparable to Cody Bellinger. But I got waylaid by this. Totally unrelated thing in two thousand Mark McGwire reached thirty seven three in one counts. Okay. Reached three and one thirty seven times I should actually check this. It's possible that I miss ribs. Hang on his. I think this is right. If it's not then you don't even have to hear it. No, I got it right. All right. So he reached thirty seven three one counts after those thirty seven three one counts. So this is not on three one is after three months, the going forward from those thirty seven thirty seven three one counts. He made three outs. How he not even three. Oh, these aren't even intentional walks. Right. Because it would make sense. He got intentionally walked lots after three. Oh, he was pretty good. None of these were even intentional so thirty seven three one counts. He went on to walk thirty one times Homer. Three times and make three outs. He had a five hundred nine nineteen two thousand slash line. In thirty seven after thirty seven three one counts. Mar mcguire. I don't I don't know how much you remember his final either the sort of like late stage. Bad foot Mark Maguire where he could hardly play. But, like Tony LaRussa would have him pinch hit in the first inning. And that would be his whole his whole game. And. He would strike out a lot, but he would hit a lot of home runs anyway. So Mark Maguire in nineteen ninety eight hit seventy home runs. And he did that in six hundred eighty one plate appearances, so six, eighty one in his final two seasons has hobbled seasons. He had six hundred eighty five plate appearances so basically exactly the same number of plate appearances, and he hit sixty one home run in his final two seasons. Now, of course you know why, but he hit sixty one home runs in the equivalent of a full season. And then he quit, then he walked away and do you remember his retirement. No. I did not remember this either, but this is the anti STAN Musial, okay, not only did he not have a retirement tour. He announced his retirement by fax ESPN and then went on vacation before the cardinals could call him. So he they. So there's all these, like, basically, he, he faxed his retirement statement that said the cardinals and I agreed on a two year extension last spring. But I've decided I wouldn't be worth it. So I'm going to retire instead, and then the, you know, ESPN went to the cardinals and they're like, that's really weird. We have not heard anything. They were kind of light Tony LaRussa. I would believe he would have told the cardinals I the guy's a first class guy. Find it hard to believe he wouldn't call the owners or Walt Jocketty first, but he didn't. He heard about the facts from ESPN and the quotes from the cardinals are all were trying to find Mark. He's in Mexico. We haven't talked to him yet. We'll let you know. And that's weird. Well, what a way to go. Yeah. So anyway, that's Mark Maguire after three one count. All right. Well, I'm glad you finally got TOPS plus to one of your step. Class at teen some people who amending the lack of TOPS. Plus, I think there were lots of TOPS plus play indexes band test. I've probably, yeah. All right. Good. Fact, we did a whole. I think we didn't I think I did a play index on the best TOPS pluses for every split. So, like what's the highest anybody ever did in any count? What's the highest anybody ever did in any scenario? And some I don't remember what the what the goal that was. But it was looking at things like that anyway, go, okay. Can I do more quick one? All right. This one comes from Jake m while traveling for work. I was able to go to Portland seadogs game. The AA affiliate of the bus in Red Sox previously of the Florida Marlins in their stadium. They had a well, dedicated to seadogs hall of famers, which was ultimately a list of alumni with success in the majors, the while included players like Mukhi. Bets. Andrew Benintendi, Dustin Pedroia at cetera. This made me think if there were a true minor league baseball hall of fame who would be those players that had great careers indoor seasons in the minors. Are there any players who had a minor league season with a war similar to major league players? Similarly are there lifelong minors players with very high career war without extended time in the majors. So I won't exactly enter this. I don't have minor league career war. But it is kind of an interesting philosophical question about what a minor league baseball hall of fame would look like I believe there still isn't one. There are many leagues that have their own health aims, minor leagues there. I'm sure many teams that have their own minor leagues. And there's a an article a link to win the southern league got a hall of fame. This was from a mile dot com in twenty fifteen and they talked to various people who are involved in making minor league coliforms, and it sounds like they just kind of left it up to each team. Like who's nominated or how you decide, who to induct. So the question is, do you just want to do what the dogs did, which is, basically, like guys who graduated and went onto big Greer's and wrote honor to your minor league affiliate having passed through on their way to bigger and better things and probably like dominated the league while they were there or do you wanna go with the lifers? The ones who racked up the most career value for that league or that team even if they never got to the majors or or didn't really make it, which is I don't know, which I would say because on the one hand no-one aspires to be in a minor league hall of fame because they couldn't make major said they just got stuck in the minors. But on the other hand, which hand I'm announce, but it is an accomplishment to be recognized if you are rate in that league. So I think like my Kesselman is in the AAA hall of Famer internationally call fame. So he's the career. Egner league homerun leader who never had much of a career in the majors. So there should be room for the Hessman of the world. Yeah, it's there's something sort of cruel about baseball only recognizing those that make it the top. We don't like we many of us are able to get recognition in our careers in our lives in the, the world's that we live in, even though the world, we live in are not the very top of are possible profession like the like you can get recognized a lot of ways. And it's that's great about the world. Like my. Well, no. Anyway. What was I going to say knows, you'll never know. But in baseball we act like we there is a, there is a sadness to Mike Hessman career that that is a little bit unfortunate. Mike has been played a very long time at the second highest level baseball in the United States against a lot of great players and trying to make that in big you ass-. Well, we can't help but make an empty use, and it's a little bit as a little bit sad. But yeah, I, I agree. I mean, I think that the it is, you, you do have to decide like, are you going to put someone in the hall of fame based on what they did not in your league in which case you end up with monkey bets and Dustin Pedroia, or you're gonna put them in the league based on what they did in the hall of fame based on what they did in your league and risk turning it into a, a spotlight on the players kind of limitations like. You only got here and then you got stuck here and I don't know. I mean I. Given the way that we treat minor leagues given the the emphasis on constantly moving up given the feeling that it has all subservient to what happens to the major leagues. I almost feel like you can't have a hall of fame. You just need to not do it. His name to like, that's not what we're gonna do. Or maybe not for players. You know have it for executives. Or whatever. Yeah. Exactly right. Yeah. It's like your goal as a players to spend a little time in that league as possible. So you don't wanna be in the hall of fame and it's almost like comes off, as like needy or something if you're like, the, the minor league level that this guy was at for a season or something, he couldn't wait to get out of there in your like he's our hall of Famer it's he didn't want to be in your league. So, yeah, it's but I would kinda like if you had a place to recognize like the quadruple guys who did dominate their league. So, maybe if you just said, like, well, in a sense like you're a minor league call Famer if you leave if you graduate and you get to the big league. So we're not gonna count those guys were just gonna count the guys who accumulated the most value for their teams in this league. And I think if I were one of those guys still wanna be in that hall of fame. I mean, it would be a reminder of the fact that you got. Stuck there. And you never got to make it to the next level for long, but I'd still want to be recognized for what I pushed at that level. I think so. Yeah. So have a Hessman hall of fame. That's fine. Okay. All right. I don't think you could hurt them though. It's weird a few of. Yeah. A Hessman hall of fame in a- Mookie Betts, all fame, that's less. Like if you had, like the most extraordinary minor league season ever, maybe you could get in for a single season. Even if you got promoted and left, but you just like laid waste to the league and you said every single season record in that league in that year, then I could save maybe putting you in there. It's a jumble, it would be a weird hall of fame for shirt. Yes. And specially the weird thing about putting Hessman in there is that you, you kinda have to rename it like you don't you have to make it like the hall of accomplishment or something. Yeah. 'cause it's very definitely not fame that you're getting. Yeah. This is true. All right. Okay. So we will talk next week that will do it for today and for this week, final prefigures day reminder, you can go get my book, the MVP machine, how baseball's new nonconformist are using data to build better players, does make a fine Father's Day gift out that it needs to be a Father's Day gift. Go check it out pick it up. I think you'll enjoy it. And if you do, please leave us a review on Amazon and good rates that really helps us out. You can also support this podcast on patriots going to patriots dot com slash affectively wild falling five listeners have already signed up and pledge some small monthly amount to keep the podcast going. Emily thompson. San Hutchins, Jeremy Hayden. Doug, barron. Jimmy pobosky's. Thanks to all of you can join our Facebook group at Facebook dot com slash groups, such wild, and you can rate him if you and subscribed to affect wild on itunes and other castes platforms, keep your questions and comments for me and Meg and Sam coming via Email at Todd cast. Fan, grass dot com or via the patriot messaging system. If your supporter thinks Dylan Higgins, for his editing assistance, this week, we hope you have a wonderful weekend, he will back to talk to early next week. Digging into the. Then Lindbergh transa- chick and the team Sheen's book, it's great read. It will be this generation's moneyball. Furner is mentioned very early on in the book. One of the themes of it. The moneyball era. Ten fifteen years ago. The advantage was procuring undervalued talent, who took walks time runner value. Well. Getting those players is not an advantage anymore because everybody's trying to get those guys and they are being valued properly. So the next thing you talk in a Lennox all the technology, which is changing rapidly. The idea of developing plays.

Coming up next