Effectively Wild Episode 1654: Home Plate Rump


Stop it now snow. Then somebody stir blow and welcome to episode sixteen or of effectively wildly baseball podcast. Ben graphs presented by our patriotic supporters. I'm ben lindberg of the ringer a rally and neck. Allow you ever have baseball on the brain so much that you think. Something is about baseball when it isn't at all 'cause i just had that experience today because i had been reading some baseball stuff and then i was reading some reviews of recent albums not necessarily music interested in but just sort of seeing. What's out there. Now is reading. A review of an album called popular monetarists by this artist named wildly. I think his real name is john liquor but he goes by wildly. he's like an experimental electronic musician just reading the music review and it says falling twenty nineteen monetize popular interest wildly studies in machine listening using mobile devices running pitch tracking apps and since in order to generate improvised and i was thinking to myself pitch tracking apps. He's making music with what is this like the. Mlb hap is. He like using game. Day is a psych rep soda or something. And then i was looking back at the review for monitoring a precursor album and it says he composed it using several mobile devices running pitch tracking apps which converts signals into data and activate synthesizers. Really was thinking about this for a minute or two. Wow he's making music using pitch data. That is so interesting. Gotta get him on. The podcast took me like a minute or two to realize. Oh wait pitch as in like notes as is that higher low you know like because the music and peaceful so. My brain is broken by baseball. I guess ben. I feel like that is such a delightful way of saying that you're excited for spring training going. Let's interpreted that way so we've got a bunch of emails today. Got some good ones. I've got a blessed for you. Just wanted to briefly bring up one little tidbit from ben. Clemencies post at fan crafts about the playoff odds. Just wanna steal this little fun fact or unfound fact as the case may be. It's about the nfl central so he added up the world series odds of every team in the central. And i did that too and it comes out to three point six percent so essentially you put all of the central teams together and there's only a three point six percent chance that any one of them will win the world series in two thousand twenty one as ben pointed out that is less than the chance that the blue jays alone and not even projected to win a division their projected to finish second in the alleys which is pretty good but their world series. Odds are three point seven percent so the blue jays alone according to the faint grass playoff odds have a better chance of getting rings than anyone and everyone in the nfl sexual. yes. I also know For folks who listen to our conversation about these playoff odds. And then read ben's piece that the cardinals have eked ahead ever so ever so very slightly Of the brewers for for first place in the al central but we should note that it is. It's like a tenth of a win so they are for all intents and purposes sort of tied atop the division but yes there are a number of fun facts. That i think we're going to be able to construct are around the mediocrity of the nfl central and barring some pretty significant signings over the next little bit here. I don't see anything that's going to really move the needle away from that. So yeah even post are not deal. It's just two years ago. I was reading article about whether the al central eight historically weak division. And how it's the central strongest case. And i think as been also mentioned if you go to the projected standings page unfit graphs. Which is different from the playoff page. Fahd's page takes the schedule into account draft strength of schedule. The projected standings page does not. So it's just sort of schedule neutral estimate of how good the teams are and not a single team in the nfl. Central has hit projected record of five hundred on that page like the one thousand nine hundred four aol west. Everyone's under five hundred. Obviously they do. I guess have projected records of like barely above five hundred eighty two games. Maybe on the plates page get to play each other but on the schedule neutral page. It's like brewers. Cardinals are at four eighty nine. So yeah it's not great. It's not great. It just goes to show that the back end of your rotation is important and Very good individual players. Move the needle some but the roster construction has to be a touch more holistic and that end. Yeah the west is going to be. Where it's at for for the anna. Although i i shouldn't give the the east short shrift be rude of me. Don't be rude ben. All right well. I hope that someone out there is working on making music with pitch tracking apps. Just how cool would that be. Just throw a bullpen session. And you get to make an album out of that. Somehow maybe wobbly can do that for his next album. But let's get to some emails. Because i've got a bunch of good ones. So should we start with unpire pants. Seems like a natural starting point all right so this is an email. We just got from listener. Kyle who says. I regularly pack lunches for my kids to take to school and sometimes include a little note from a set called lunch notes from me. Each note includes some sort of wacky fact n. a. usually bad joke. It's not actually from you kyle. You're outsourcing these lunch notes to the company that made the lunch but that's okay. I'm sure your kids. don't mind. cow continues. I tore off a note to stick in lunchbox this morning. And the next note in the stat. Cut my attention. I've attached a picture of the note which reads major league. Baseball umpires are required to wear black underwear while on the job in case they split their pants. I don't recall this. Before at skeptical a few quick searches turned up some miscellaneous online lists of similarly wacky sports. Facts reddit it threads yahoo answers posts etc but i didn't see anything authoritative about this in may admittedly non exhaustive search. I have not listened to the entire effectively wild back catalogue so perhaps this has come up before. Is this actually a thing. If this is the thing that led to this becoming a rule or guideline was it to preemptively address a purely hypothetical possibility that an empire could split their pants or was there a string of embarrassing pent splitting incidents where empires were wearing. Looney toon style. White boxers with red hearts should mlb instead spend a little more on more durable or more frequently replaced. Pants catchers aren't required to coordinate underwear colors varying uniform. Pant colors right again. May first instinct. Here was that this is a myth. Perhaps with a nugget of truth somewhere like maybe. It was true in the nineteen thirties. Or something at best. Do you know. I should point out that i responded to kyle. I have no idea and on the one hand the poll of finding out if it was actually true and the learning what precipitated the role very strong but on the other hand i sort of didn't want investigated it all and even a little bit because i want it to be true so badly and would be sad if it weren't because ben. Let's let's let's get the obvious question out of the way. Which is how would want enforce this rule. That's a good question who is checking. Who is making sure that these fine gentlemen have on black doors. Who who's the one who's who's making sure that that is true. And i would actually presumably rate since check underwear check area the crew chiefs a very awkward bit of business. I imagine that if this is a real rule that the idea is that once pants could split and no one would notice it. All because because you're right your your your pants and your your drawers same color and so people would be like he has intact pants. So that's one thought i had the other thought i had is. They are the pants. True black or gray so wouldn't black underwear. Wish the pants split. And and maybe they don't have to be more durable but maybe they should be. We should give people pants that fit. 'cause presumably you know if you look if you look at a baseball players pants catcher when he's in his crash right so that i have a reason to have noticed this. You know they have a little have a little insert. They have a little lake dart fabric right in the crotch. That is presumably there so that when they are crouching and their pants are tight to the cup the some room to maneuver player pants have anticipated this problem. I imagine that. Catch your pets or excuse me that unpire pads the the split danger is in is in your bum. It's because you're you're bending over as you are trying to see a pitch bending over and then all of a sudden hoops your bum split. And i'll point out the sort of thing where like if you were the catcher and you're in your couch and you know all pires put their hands on the back of of arctic catchers back so that they can get in there and see the pitches. It's coming in to determine if it's a ball restricts there it's an intimate relationship that you have with the catcher and if you're catcher in the band split can you hear it out of work really. I think joe us just split his pants dis. Do you stop things like you would. If the ball came back and hit him in the mask it'd be like chef. The play like notice that you split your pants there. Do you need to pretend that you got injured in some way seek. Go change your pants. Yeah it's potent pence splitting combination. Because you have guys can't who were wearing slacks who are crouching who are not always. The most physically fit people on the field. Let's put it that way so you can imagine that it would happen so i have an answer here. I am going to sadden new at first. And then i'm going to try to cheer you up again so i forwarded this email to an actual umpire. Dale scott who has been on effectively wild in the past was majorly compare for more than thirty years was a crew chief for decades. And did i debate. Whether i wanted to actually send him this question but ultimately i decided to do it and deal has been a good sport about these kinds of questions. He's actually working on a book with friend of the show near as well now. A memoir that. I think is coming up next year. So don't know if this will be covered in the memoir. But just in case he says i have never heard a mandated requirement by the league to wear black undergarments. Although many do there have been rare. Instances where pants have split during a game. I was fortunate not to have that happen to me. But no there's no requirement as to underwear color so thanks to dale for indulging this question and and kyle's rate this everywhere on the internet if you google like you will come up with many citations of this supposed requirement. All of them uncorroborated unsourced. But it's just one of those internet things that like someone said at some point and now everyone repeats. There may be a basis of this in fact like i don't know that there has never been such a rule in any league at any point but according to dale who was in the big leagues up until two thousand seventeen no such rule existed to his knowledge. Now here's where. I will try to cheer you up again because i did some searches in the baseball literature to look for examples of empire pants splitting actually occurring. And let me tell you. They're pretty numerous. This is not really a unique occurrence. Like i'll just go in chronological order here. This is a retro sheet box score and play by play log. I'm just gonna read you the bottom of the second inning here. This is a a white sox. Cleveland game played in cleveland on august. Seventh nineteen thirty six. So here's the rasheed. Play plug for the white sox. Second bonier grounded out third to first appling singled to center hayes grounded into a double play second to shortstop to first appaling out at second moriarty left the field after ripping his pants dust off the plate. Well repairs made our bed. The plate and kohl's for space runs one. Hit zero era left on face. Okay so now. I have a new set of questions for you. What pids split. It does mention later in the fourth inning. Bottom of the fourth gale house singled to left moriarty returned an attempt. I face so it took from the top of the second to the bottom of the fourth for moriarty george moriarty. Who was the home plate. Empire that day to come back on the field after ripping his pants so presumably he did not have a spare set. Ready to go or it wouldn't have taken more than two innings. So maybe that is the amount of time it took to find someone who could like stitches pants back together again. I don't know but seems prudent. That when he returned he moved to first base. Just you know. Don't want to test those pants again. So ban thanks for you the first of which is so. He was bent over using the little broom that they have to use. Finish dusted off. He's pro was the plate half dusted and then he said white. I split my pets. I must address. This pat suggestion mcgowan came over sweeping at so. So that's the first question i have. I think that we haven't considered the actual potential impetus for such a rule. Although i still think the rule again should it have ever existed. Would have been a little imprecise because i think the important role for the purposes of pants splitting is not that one wears black drawers and i will. I will say in the time that you were describing the the rasheed stuff. I googled and these pants look very much to be great to me. So if there ever had been such rule it would have needed to be updated to have the the color of one's underwear incompliance and and sort of In line with the colors of the pants that modern moab on parish worse. So that's one thing. But i think that the real concern is not what color under ruse you are wearing but that you are wearing them at all sister because the thing that you really don't want i mean like splitting your pants open in public. That's embarrassing no matter what color underwear you're wearing and you know if anything maybe you wanna be wearing silly underwear because then people are going to be laughing. They're laughing at you but there are also laughing at your silly underwear and you can laugh along with them this silly underwear like daffy duck. What's he doing down there. The really bad thing would be if you had on going commando and you had no underwear at all. And then you're leaning over to brush off the plate. You split your pants on your bare ass in the mall and tiny child questions and be like wow that grown persons rear so i i think kyle for this email and i meant it at the time but i don't think that i was was sort of boisterous enough in my thanks because this is easily one of the better five minutes i've spent the last year. So thank you very much not done ago. April eighth nine thousand nine thirty nine the boston globe the mystery as to why umpire cal hubbard suddenly withdrew from an exhibition game. Three weeks ago has been solved yesterday. The same unpredictable pants split wide open. Again this is just a what paragraph note. Larger column so poor caliber. This happened to him twice within a span of three weeks. I really like unpredictable as adjective here on paramedical pants really. You would think. Calendar learned his lesson. The first time just pence. I guess it was the thirties. And you know times were tough and the professional landscape of baseball was just different across the board right. But they don't have two pairs of pants. He doesn't have two pairs umpiring pants. Like i would imagine that modern empires they probably travel with a couple pairs of pants. I mean we have talked before and this is not a generous thing to bring up again. But i'm gonna do it. You know because they are normal folks and not athletes. You know sometimes in the summer when it's really hot they'll stand up after they've been umpiring behind home and they have like us. They have a sweat spot on their lap length. That makes them look like. Ap their pants not split. Their pants peed their pants because their bellies have been have been making contact sustained contact with their laps for the last half inning. And they they stand up and there was a little boy. And i imagine that you know. You're you're doing a whole series so presumably you. You're not always able to go to the dry cleaner and you'd have this splotch on your pants and so you would need to have another pair of different pair of pants to to wear the next day when you're umpiring and so i. I feel like rather than having them repaired. You would just you just put on a pair of pants both for expediency and also because you'd have to be very confident in that stitch to go back on the field and not worried about splitting your your pants open again but again in the thirties. Probably a different set of considerations free number of reasons. Depression was on so the next story. I came across. I'm going to send you a link because there is an accompanying picture and this is from the vancouver sun may nineteen sixty four. I will link to this for everyone to enjoy. But this is an empire caught in the act or really the radical pants caught in the act of splitting as the empire is dusting off the plate. This is poor umpire. Joe frizzell in the pacific international baseball league and we could do the wringer press box podcast game of guests the strain pun headline. But you've already seen it decision at home plates and a bent over in. Let me tell you. He was not wearing dark underwear. Stay critically was wearing underwear at all. He was but it is a shining white and shining out for all to see. And i guess that's why he made the paper. If you had been wearing dark underwear that day probably wouldn't have been his obvious. Probably wouldn't have been captured for posterity here so this is great. I came across somewhere a comment by an umpire at some level. Who said that. He had actually been instructed to face the field not the fans while dusting off home plate in case his pants split and then someone else disputed that instead. Why was instructed to do that too. But it's really just so that. I'm not mooning. The fans suggest less route that way. So i'm pires do tend to face the field. I think when they dust off home plate but whether that is to spare themselves the possibility of pants splitting in front of the fans or not. I cannot say for certain. I think the best part of this is that you know you. You look at the picture just as a little clipping and you're like how big can it be and then you see that there's a preview of the entire front page in the corner and you're like this man split drawers. Were like half. The this picture goes below the fold. Pleads it leads it splits it also. It's so here's the next story. I've got here. This is from june one sixty six and this is in the fort worth star-telegram and it's an article with emmett ashford. Who was the first black umpire in be and real trailblazer pioneer. But this is about his uniform and his equipment and he says here ashford says he never has had trouble with a pair of suspenders breaking but once found himself in an embarrassing situation because of a week. Pair of pants. We we're at san diego one night and i bent down to off the plate ashford explained and when i went back behind the plate. I heard someone yell. Hey emmett your pants are split. Which is helpful. I guess he hadn't realized i kept my composure. Step toward the stands announced ladies and gentlemen and inside exists. But it's too late now to do anything about it. Then i turned around and went back to work. But i made sure i took short little steps so it wouldn't be too obvious. God that i. I mean i have to say. I cannot imagine the composure to be able to make a joke about yeoman that's spectacular and also that's like that's very high version of making sure that someone sitting across from you in a restaurant knows that they have something in their teeth like imagine if that woman hadn't said anything how long also why don't you know your pants plant life. You'd think you would know think you would notice that. Yeah all right. So this is from the journal. Herald of dayton ohio in july. Nineteen seventy four. This unpire ralph. Wilhelm who i think was an amateur umpire so it says that he is willing to put up with all the hollering from fans and players umpire for twelve fifty. A game in. It says why he empires for stretches as long as twenty one straight days why he didn't quit after becoming embarrassed when in the first game he ever umpired on the second pitch he ever called his pants split down the middle and he had to work the game with jacket tied round his waist. So that's a solution. If you don't have spare pair of pants a middle school girl period. I lived that life. Yeah it's happened. His second pitch ever. That sounds pretty traumatic here. All right january nineteen seventy six the orlando sentinel. And this is an empire. Harry wendell stat who is A well known umpire being a fire can sometimes be embarrassing. As wendell set knows from experience it happened in the first game. Harry ever worked as a professional. See there seems to be a common theme here. Maybe these rookie are more likely to split their pants. It was opening night in brunswick georgia and i was behind the plate. Wendelstedt recalled as bent over to call the first pitch of the game. I heard a sickening sound behind me. The seem in his pants had split. You can imagine what that looked like with the white underwear showing through staff said the fans were on me the rest of the game but there was nothing i could do as if that weren't bad enough when the local newspaper came out the next day there on page one was a large picture of harry taken from the rear with an arrow pointing to his toe. And i'll never forget the caption above that picture. Says harry it said official on my gosh necessary. That seems like you gotta you know. First of all it's getting it'd be more satisfying for people to laugh at if they find it themselves and also that seems rude. I wonder if part of the solution here would be. you know. They have the little belt bags where they keep the a couple extra balls so that they can switch them out without always having to go to the the ball boy to get more shoes pivot that around and preemptively focus it right down main street. So that if there's a rip there's some there's some natural cover might be able to feign ignorance for two more for you. This is march one thousand nine hundred eight. The santa rosa press democrat and this is a story where players are talking about umpire so this is something that the player kelvin. Chapman said one of the funniest moments for chapman. A former new york. Mets infielder was the day. Eric gregg a three hundred plus pound national league umpire tore his pants as he bent down to call balls and strikes. It's something that happens to every empire sooner or later is it didn't happen to. They'll scott of those got but not everyone. Does it before fifty thousand spectators. It was in the second inning intent series between the mets and cardinals in saint. Louis said chapman thirty one. I remembered wait. Gooden was pitching against joaquin. Do har- everyone was tight. Until greg blew out the back of his pants. That kind of broke the tension. Greg expense most especially very everything was tight to. Yeah they don't. They're not made out stretchy material. This is what you get for putting umpires in like you know mall cop pants which is what they look like. Yeah it continues. Players on both teams had fun teasing greg that night he had to go in and get a pair of sweat pants to finish out the game. It was hilarious. Chapman said that sounds pleasant for greg. Probably not so hilarious for him. And the last one i've got for you. Here is december nineteen ninety arizona. Daily star this about the empire at montague he started in the california league in nineteen seventy-two. His salary was three hundred dollars a month. Money was tight. So were his bargain-basement pants. He was behind the plate for his first game in modesto california. He leaned over and the seat of his pants split open. He picked up a local newspaper the next day and there was this picture of the sports page. It wasn't my best side. He recalled and the headline read opening day. Okay but now. I have another question for you. Because given a seem to split in one's pants. I would think that you would want the baggage settled probably would so much more visible to everyone really certainly to the fans and and of course you know like if you're if you're crouching behind the catcher like no one can really see while you're in the crouch at least so in most social situations i would agree with you as an umpire's hope played empire not sure. Well i guess that this helps to explain how it is that umpire seemed to withstand managers yelling at them in the run-up to an injection. Because like if you have split your pants in front of fifty thousand people you're not gonna. You're not going to budge when a manager is yelling at you and swearing. It's like listen. I have been exposed to the world. Sir you do not intimidate me with your words. My heiner has been out there before. What a gift though to the local sports page of the headline writers who all had some civil rights. all right. Well thank you to dale. And thank you to kyle for this question. Wanted to get to a lot of questions today and then we spent like half an hour talking about umpire pants. But let's see how many we can get through here. This is from nathan patriots supporter. Everyone's favorite baseball figure. The eccentric billionaire purchases a team in loads it with enough all-stars to make it a team. Talented enough to one hundred twenty games every season unfortunately for the fans of that team his only motivation for purchasing the team is that he wants his son to best. Cy youngs wins record of five eleven even worse for the fans of that team. His son has no pitching talent and is only capable of throwing the equivalent of sixty mph batting practice. Fastballs with enough control to at least throw. Strikes wants to centered sixteen. The owner insists that every time. Their team is leading in the fifth inning. The starter must be pulled with two outs and replaced by his son. Making him the winning pitcher of record if he can hold the lead. Once either gets the final out of the inning or blows the lead he will be pulled assuming this is implemented every game until the sun sixtieth birthday could he accumulate. Five hundred twelve wins. How many games would the team win per season. Ps i'm aware that the score keeper isn't required by the rules to make the sun the winning pitcher in the scenario but traditionally this pitcher would earn the wind. So let's pretend the score keepers. Don't repel so. I guess the part of this question that i i mean. I don't know. I don't think that he could because i think that he would. I mean apart from anything else. If you're really if you're really going to throw every single game. I think you'd you'd blow out. I think he just blurt out. I think he'd get hurt and not be able to to pitch for long stretches in the back half of season at the very least right. I mean every every day. Also what does the son wants you. Know what does has been Groomed from birth to just fulfil his father's dream for him here so but what are his hit. What are his real hopes and dreams. Maybe he wants to a teacher potter. Who knows what that kid wants. What does that kid want. Sixteen what does he to go to school. I think the owner would be in jail. His child and education and for being horribly conniving and at a certain point like the sun has to grow up and say ted. I don't want this anymore. Not obligated no. I can't imagine it would be much fun for him. And i will say like. He doesn't have to pitch every day necessarily because he only when the team has a lead and he only throws sixty miles per hour which is like the hardest. You can throw but still. Maybe he wouldn't blow out his arm. Although it depends how long it takes him to get this one out that he needs to be the pitcher of record. Which if you're throwing batting practice fastballs to mutually hitters. Who know that. That's the only thing you can throw could be quite a while so it might take well like the only way he's really gonna get out is when someone hits a hundred ten mph line drive directly at someone and it happens to be caught otherwise it's going to be a lot of line drives so yeah. Endurance might be an issue. You know even though he only has to retire when better here. I think one problem even if the official score keeper doesn't rebel. I think the team would rebel. Yeah because the team is not going to like their whole season being subordinate to the eccentric billionaire. Owners dream of getting his son above cy young so like maybe the first season. They can't do anything about it. But no one's gonna sign with this team. No one's gonna want play for this team. The clubhouse will be a disaster. They'll only be able to recruit the worst players like no one will want to play their. Ob zero morale. So i think that the team just descends into anarchy and is unable to acquire enough talent to actually have a lead very often. So i guess if that's not in the spirit of the question either. Presuming that this experiment somehow gets to be run endlessly. I still kind of think it wouldn't be possible. I don't know 'cause like sometimes he'd have a giant lead and yeah maybe this guy can get an out before like ten runs or scorch or something. But i don't think he's going to hold many run leads really. It comes down to just how long you think majorly kidder's can t off on someone who is throwing bp before they actually make an out and think about again. i just can't get over the psychology of subjecting. Your child to this because you're right with the team would terrible. No one would want to sign. They're the people who did sign. There would know about this dynamic and it would probably be really terrible to him in the clubhouse because he's just you know this constant reminder that their own talent isn't what matters but what actually matters are the maniacal schemes of a billionaire. And you know we get enough reminders of that in our daily lives as normal people and so he he would get ridiculed and people would probably put sticky stuff on his seat so that he would sit in something and maybe he would split his. Somebody messed with them. And so i just. I think it would fall apart pretty quickly and at some point i imagine the the league would intervene and say hey man like we get you. Maybe love your son hard to tell based on this scenario but presumably there some affection there. But you gotta run your franchise in a more. You know logical way because this is getting really the skin out of hand. I think that at a certain point. The commissioner will call pal. He had to do something about this though again. I think the more likely scenario is eventually his son would just be like i will strike out on my own and i would hope so work. A gas station agreed. Don't think this is doable. Question about the psychology of pitching when you're not qualified to pitch. This is from about twenty four hours after mistakenly tweeting that trevor bauer was signing with the mets. Bob nightingale tweeted that bauer is in line to make as much as one point three two eight million dollars every time he takes the mound for the dodgers over the next two years on the subject of having a bad day at work. My question is how much money would it take for you to start one. Mlp game as a pitcher. Let's say you have to get through seventy five pitches and that you would go down in baseball history. Presumably as the worst pitcher of all time would bowers one point. Three two eight million per start be enough to convince you to do it. And we've talked about scenarios like this before. Sam wrote an article few years ago about whether you would be willing to endure the embarrassment that it would take to play a game but in this case you have to be a pitcher. You have to be a starter. What's saying you actually have to stay in there long enough to really get knocked around and well. So you're saying in your staying in for seventy. Five pitches is the minimum. Yes i submit the following to you ben. I think that's like one inning for would take a while but that's like one innings worth of work. And what am i being paid. One point three two eight million. Yeah i would do that. I mean look like i. I'm fortunate to live. You know even in our pandemic lives like i you know. I am not in danger of losing my home. And i can pay my bills and by salad and you know what have you but like there are a lot of things that would just become easier in my life. If i had a million dollars in for you know a little bit of embarrassment yeah. I think i would probably do that. Because it's it's the sort of thing like i'd get a great piece out of it right now. I'd get a really good article. There would probably be plenty of people who don't like me. Who would mock me mercilessly. But when your own expectation is that you're going to be terrible at something when people make fun of you for it. It sits a slightly different way. If you go in knowing that on the back end of it you're going to have a million dollars. I'm familiar with the first part of that sentence. Less second part but i think i would put up with that for for a million dollars like i. You know i'd have a jersey with my name on it. That baseball reference page graphs page. Yeah i'd have. I'd have a page on my on my own website. And i think i'd i'd put up with that for a for a little over a million dollars fine. Yeah i think i would do it too. I don't know if i'd enjoy it. But i think i would do it for the story. I guess i would get booed. Like i'd rather be compelled to do the somehow so that. I'm not just like hogging the spotlight to something that. I'm clearly unqualified to do. And i'm like ruining everything for my teammates and people who wanna see that team win like if they were some way for me to do it in a self deprecating way where. I'm not derailing the entire season and that experience. I mean i think people would watch this. I think people would be entertained by seeing me get absolutely tattooed. So there'd be some entertainment value in it and i would try to convey via my facial expressions and body language that like. I didn't think i would be good at this like i know that i'm bad and i understand that. So then i guess the question is will why am i doing it anyway just to be a big leaguer and to get a million plus bucks i think probably worth the embarrassment and like being lied topic on i take and having been a yell at me or or whatever. I'd probably put up with it for that. It would be something to to write about an a story to tell. I think that if i could add a conditioned at this very real sick hypothetical i think that if this were the sort of thing that was like in the works. I'd wanna be. I wanna be on call to be the person who gets gets put into the rotation when you know a guy gets hurt right like you find. Oh are started. Can't go tomorrow like we thought 'cause something happened during his side session and he's got to get an mri and and then rather than calling up. You know a guy from aaa could say Will the sweat. We have meg for one time. And and then people's expectations would be low although that gets morally tricky too because i don't want to deprive some aaa pitcher of service time. So maybe that's actually worse. So the the exact like Ethical needle you have just read to to not be weirdly a jerk when you were subjecting yourself to other people's humiliation like there. There are some considerations to be to be had there but assuming that i was like truly someone's last gasp. The best thing would be if you're sort of the on call pitcher and then go out there and you get shelled and everyone's like oh i feel really bad. So here's a million dollars to help you get over your embarrassment that would be the ideal scenario but to be clear i wouldn't eat bugs on tv Because that's gross. But i could get like two thousand words out of this so as the calculus is a little different. Yeah you would also be the first woman to play in major league baseball which would be kinda cool to be a trailblazer but then also maybe not the way that you what brooklyn consideration. Because i don't want some you know. I'm sure it would only be one guy all one guy who s is what i've been telling you and i i would say actually no the takeaway you should glean from. This is that the difference between us and major leaguers is what the gap is huge and. My gender doesn't have anything to do with so much as the fact that you play in a beer league softball league and i write about baseball I mean some people eat bugs book. Proteins grosses really culturally determined. So i don't mean that to be like a sassy thing but i i Mariners games. I did that. One time for work see. There's the exception to the bug eating rule. I will do a lot of things to be able to read yes. This reminds me of of that time when like most of the tigers didn't play a game in protest because tycoon was suspended and then they just got a bunch of non players to play for the team that day. And so like allan. Travers started for the tigers and he went eight but he gave up. Twenty six hits and twenty four runs and you walked seven guys like this was in nineteen twelve. So you would have a very allan travers esque baseball reference page where it would just be like one of those oddities. Where a non player played for strange circumstances so The other hand you would get more than a million dollars which allan travers did not so worth it perhaps just accidentally clicked into the tab that had the picture of the with his pants. Just want to say ben. It's still funny. Yes all right. Seth says in the discussion around the hall of fame and the character class. I wondered why we never hear the argument in reverse nelson cruz on the twins is actually what made me think about it. In his case even is tricky as mentioned below by the stats. He would seem to be at best borderline case in most likely on the outside looking in however he seems to garner pretty unanimous accolades for his clubhouse presence and his intangible impact on a team which may be part of what the character clauses getting at. Should this be part of a consideration for him or should the character clause always be viewed as a possible detriment cruises case in particular extra complicated given the previous pd suspension. But they're probably a handful of other players who could fall into this category as upcoming hall voters. I'd be interested in listening to a discussion around this concept. So i will say that i think this was the original intent of the character clause like to give guys a boost but probably just as a tiebreaker to put someone in if they're on the edge and i would be okay with using it in that way. I think i guess. I'm more hesitant to give someone a positive boost than him to take away from someone just because i feel more confident if we know something bad about that player that that player get that bad thing whereas i don't know enough about players to say that. Oh yes they have great character whereas we do know certain things about certain players where we can say they maybe do not have great characters or at least did not exhibit great characters in the specific incident. So i'd be a little wary of basing my case around. Oh this seems like a great guy because you never totally know for sure that they are great guy and then you might discover someday that they actually a great guy. But it's something that you know. If i were really if if someone was like on the border of jaws or whatever and i thought it might kick them over into the induct them camp. I might do that. Yeah i i agree with that. I think that the argument that i share your trepidation at assuming that we know all of the unser documented aspects of a person's life because we often don't and sometimes we ever i mean the scales. A great example of this right were there were revelations that really contradicted sort of what the public perception of his personality and character were so i share your trepidation there but yeah i think that when you have sort of well documented good guys. It's fine for that to give them a boost to me. If we're going to think about a person's resume as a human being then. I think that you know we would be. We'd be silly to not take into consideration you know. They're doing a lot of really good work in their community ear. They're important advocates for somebody. Or what have you so yeah. I think that it's tricky business to do. And i think you do occasionally set yourself up for heartbreak. But i think that especially as time goes on and we just know so much more about these guys Because the way that we talk about who they are as people has has really started to shift in the way that sports media covers them. The you know we do. We're at least able to be a little more confident. that like. Yeah this guy who has a sterling reputation as hopefully who we think he is. And then you have to be willing to admit when you're wrong and adapt to new information when it's presented to you but yeah nellie isn't interesting case because you know the the pd thing even his resume as a player were different. I think would probably be just a nonstarter for people but he is just one of the more sort of universally beloved guys in the game and the the ways that he takes care of younger players and some of the stuff that he has sat around. You know not wanting young pros to go through a bunch of hazing. 'cause just because he did is like i think thoughtful and and sort of self reflective away. That's really admirable. So i'm comfortable with nellie in like a hall of the very good. He far trucks for his hometown in the dr. Like he's you know he's solid sort. So yeah there's a limit to how much weight i would want to give this. Sharon that's true in both directions. I mean that's part of why we had this whole hand-wringing discussion about the character class when it came to keeping people out because i think the hall of fame has the most utility. When it's sort of will these were the best baseball player slick. That's sort of the purpose of the plaques part of it at races just to recognize who the best players are and so when you start keeping out some of the best players because of things they did off the field than well are you sort of distracting from the mission of the hall of fame. Is this diluting the purpose of it or how representative it is of who the best baseball players are and there may be people who did such important things that it's still worth keeping them out but that whole debate wasn't are these hall of fame. People are these hall of fame players so reprehensible as people that we can't even celebrate them for being good at baseball because to do so would be to endorser can donor enable wrongdoing and. I think it's understandable that there would be disagreement about whether it's acceptable to decouple those qualities. But the reason why we're having that argument at all is because we were starting from the presumption that the point is to recognizer anoint. The best baseball players. So i think if you were to go in the other direction and say well. This guy was not a great player but was a real hall of fame person and you start putting in people like that then suddenly. It's just like what. What are we doing here. What what are we giving these plaques up for like they're already awards for character and community service and that sort of thing and i don't want to suggest that that's any west important than being good at baseball but if the point of this exercise is to decide. This is the pantheon of baseball players. And just this person deserves to be there based on their in game performance than if you start factoring in well. Was he nice or did he do. Good things for people. Then you're just recognizing something else really. Just you know it makes the mission of the hall of fame or at least the induction and the plaques part of it less well defined. I think so. That's why i wouldn't wanna just put anyone who was a a nice person in but again it could be a tie-breaker all right. Another hall of fame related question. This is from sam. I'm in atlanta fan and notice that they had at least one hall of famer on their active roster for all but one season nine hundred four since warren spahn returned from world war two in nineteen forty six until chipper jones retired in two thousand twelve. If freddie freeman in any of the hammers young stars are one day enshrined. The street could extend well into the future. Additionally in the lone exception year of nineteen eighty-four the team was led by hall of fame manager. Joe torry with bob gibson and luke appling on the staff. The nineteen eighty five to two thousand twelve streak didn't seem particularly impressive by itself because it just represents a year of bruce suitor followed by tom. Glavin and chipper. Jones is long careers with a few teammates in toe for various stretches but the trend of having a hall of famer on the roster for all but one year since world war two did strike me. It seems particularly surprising. Since the team was not regularly contending for penance. For much of that time. Is this remarkable or is it more or less normal to have a hall of famer on any given team's roster almost every year so this would be a good step less question but built james already answered it for did this basically as stat plast in the most recent edition of the bill. James handbook. There is a whole long essay where he researches this question of. How common is it to have a hall of famer. And he found that from nineteen hundred to twenty fourteen he took all of those teams and he found that seventy three point. Five percent of them had a hall of famer but he said he also expects that figure to rise to roughly eighty percent. More players get inducted because if you look at the current percentages for teams frank in the early decades up to and including the nineteen fifty s. Those percentages are already well over eighty percent and there in the high seventies through the nineteen eighties. Eventually we'll get to the point. Where about eighty percent of teams had a hall of famer. So it's pretty common even so the braves are above average. They have had a pretty remarkable run of having hall of famers and bill had a leaderboard where he ranked every franchise by the percentage of seasons in which they had a hall of famer. And the top of the leaderboard was the new york giants. Who while the giants were in new york. They had a hall of famer every single season. Which is pretty impressive. But after that. It's the milwaukee braves also one hundred percent that was nineteen fifty three to nineteen sixty five and of course they had errand during almost all of that time and then the atlanta braves nineteen sixty six to two thousand. Fourteen are at ninety three point nine percents and if you take all braves seasons combined so nineteen hundred to two thousand fourteen. It's ninety one point three percent and that's the second highest after the perfect giants so even the yankees from nineteen hundred to two thousand fourteen had hall of famer in ninety one point one percent of the season so the braves at ninety one point three even higher than the yankees so yes the braves did have a pretty remarkable run of having a hall of famer every year. That's tackler yes. Well spotted san okay questioned from kieran when the season got shorten last year. My immediate initial reaction was well. What a boon for these pitchers to get a mid career. Break the subsequent reaction over the past year from as far as i can tell literally everyone has been the complete opposite now all the talk is about innings limits. Six men rotations etcetera. This seems to be gospel among baseball teams. Which are universally smarter better funded and have better data than an idiot like me so i accept that this is probably the case but i still. Don't get it really. There's about a million caveats here but take a pitcher who has an established level of work in the big leagues then had a healthy short season or opted out like stroman or price last year. It just seems to me like that. Pitcher should be easily able to return to the previously established level of work but the overwhelming consensus. Otherwise as far as i have seen part of my thinking comes from my experience training for marathons which obviously doesn't have a ton in common with pitching but is a high injury risk train wreck of an activity for the human body. Having trained successfully for a couple of marathons cycles taking downcycle really refreshes my body. It's not like. I have to go through a full cycle of only training for a ten k. After i take downtime it's used to grind and can hop right back in so i emailed this question to glenn fleiss egg. Who is the research director. At a semi the american sports medicine institute and he studies pitching mechanics in pitch counts and workloads and entry risk and i thought his perspective might be useful here so he responded the question about whether there will be an increase or decrease in pitcher entry rates in two thousand twenty. One is a very good one as pointed out below their factors suggesting that the decreased workloads in two thousand twenty across baseball may lead to fewer injuries this year and other factors suggesting that there may be more interest. This year. I don't have a crystal ball on this but i do think. Players and league should consider several factors including the number of innings pitched in twenty twenty number of months pitching or not pitching in competition in two thousand twenty in any injuries in two thousand twenty players and teams should consider longer preparation time in spring training etcetera for players coming back from long layoffs preparation includes pitching and throwing drills but also comprehensive strength and conditioning programs players and teams may also consider ramping up their pitch counts once the season starts is highly individualized and athletic trainers and others and staff neat good honest communication with players to monitor that progress. My final point that the specifics within these generous statements vary not only player to player but also by level whereas mlb pitchers are approaching a full season after playing a shortened. Twenty twenty mlpc's and many minor league pitchers are coming in. Not having pitched competitively for a full year specifics. Also very for our youth. High school and collegiate pitchers who had their own unusual twenty twenty seasons and are not physically mature like professional pitchers that the fact that this is still both an unsettled question generally and one. That is hard to feel confident in the answer in. That's an awkward way of saying that but at an individual level is going to be one of the defining things of the season which you know. It's sort of an obvious thing to say. But i imagine that we are going to see very sort of methodical and purposeful ramp ups in the spring that managers and player development staffs are going to be very conservative with sort of load management when it comes to major leaguers and cash like i don i guess it kinda depends for the minor leaguers. What if any action. They did see. I mean they won't have in. Most cases have pitched in in sort of traditional game settings but some of them might have been at the outsider instructs or played. You know internationally this winter during winter ball. But i imagine that it's gonna unfortunately there are gonna be guys where you know they. They think one thing and and an arm suggests something different after they've started throwing but i don't know that there's a really great way to predict that in advance. I mean my instinct is to say that for guys who are coming off of injury. The lack of sort of new strain on an arm might be good. But you're going to have to go really really slow as you get them back into game shape and you know. I wouldn't be surprised if we see sort of fastball. Velocities depressed for longer than his typical at the start of the year. 'cause i think guys are just going to have to go very slow and steady. Because they don't want to risk blowing out. Yeah i think kieran may be on to something for some pitchers. I think if you are younger. West established less experience. Or if you've got hurt last year that might not bode well but if you are physically mature if you have pitched at that level for a while i think it could be helpful in the long run. I wouldn't be surprised if we do see some pitchers last a long time at a high level and maybe attribute that to the long break they got in twenty twenty because if you do get that time off and you also keep yourself in shape and you ramp up for the season appropriately and take whatever time you need all. Those injuries came about last year. Because pitchers didn't have the time that needed and they tried to compress it in russia. And that had ill affects. But i think if you just had more rest and more time to heal more time in the middle of career then pitchers technically have to rest and repair your ucla. Or whatever just let the body knit itself back together. I think as long as you don't try to rush it when you come back. I think it could be beneficial for some pitchers in the long run again. But i think you probably should try to take it easy. Just as you're coming back because your body may not be built up the way that it would be coming after a regular. Yeah i think that's right okay. Andy says i'm a lifelong pirates fan in my thirties. Sorry andy fa team has never won a traditional playoff series in my lifetime. We got to experience a sense of euphoria in the middle part of the last decade. Only to be dashed by the debacle. That is the wildcard playoff. Game it's obvious that we are in a new rebuild phase. Can you explain this new phase. We're heading into like a parrot explaining heart news to a child that is terrified of another twenty years of consecutive losing seasons. The fan base is naturally an understandably shaded since the one thousand nine hundred ninety s. And i can't say just looking at the board at graphs and the farm system rankings. The pirates after trading everyone who was left essentially are now fourth when it comes to projected value from their farm system it goes raise. Patriots dodgers pirates. So that's encouraging. I guess i think that the thing to keep in mind and you know we'll have updated firm system rankings as we get further into two lists here but this is a legitimately good system and i think that that's that ought to be encouraging to to pirates fans for a couple of reasons the first of which is that. I think that there is much about this new regime. That seems geared toward taking advantage of that in a way where you know. We don't have to rehash the high profile trades that have gone badly for pittsburgh but they seem to have a better handle on player development in this new regime and your ownership group is pretty disinclined to reinvest in the team. And so the nice thing about having good young players is that you might feel a good competitive roster even though your ownership group is cheap. So that that's promising. And you got that beautiful ballpark and so you know there. I think that it's very easy to kinda get stuck in a in a particular team identity. Like i'm a mariners fan. I am aware that propensity. But i think that it is worth giving new team regimes. A little bit of time to figure themselves out into course correct or some of the mistakes in the past and really see what they can do then you if they let you down then you can be mad but but i you know. I think that some of the reaction that we saw to some of the traits that pittsburgh made this offseason was like oh those pirates again. And it's like well. I get that. But this is a new group of folks and they seem pretty savvy and they are headed by someone who has a good reputation for player dav and they seem committed to winning. And so we don't have to excuse the the sort of chiefs gates impulses of ownership. Everyone knows i am disinclined to do that. But you know. I think give the team part. The actual players and team personnel folks a chance to to right the ship because they're pirates good one. Yeah i mean do it. It's you know they have been charrington. Who assembled a championship caliber. Korir in boston and help develop some good players in toronto and then they've got john baker now as the director of coaching in player development coming from the cubs and they signed campo late of the astros so they are recruiting people from other successful organizations. Who have some track records of putting talented teams together and yeah ultimately it comes down to bob nutting and his unwillingness to spend in that might lower their ceiling for as long as he is their owner. You know given the prospects that they have now and the people who are in charge. Now you'd think that they could. We do as well as could be expected given those budget constraints soho lower your expectations appropriately. But also racer expectations appropriately in other ways. I guess that that's right okay. I've got two more here on my list. This is from emily with dustin pedroia officially retiring this week it got me thinking about episode sixteen twenty seven in which you come down pretty definitively against almost all forms of heckling. What would you to red sox. Fans heckling manny machado. Though we can say with near certainty that machado's dirty slide into pedroia during a game in april. Two thousand seventeen is a large part of the reason why destined never effectively made it back to baseball and led to his early retirement. So am i allowed to heckle him. Using this line of attack. I say yes. I certainly have. But i'd be interested in your take. Some other related items. I've been mulling for all. Intents and purposes dustin has at least publicly moved on from the incident incident and has said he's not upset by it anymore. I'm still upset though. And as far as i can tell. Machado has never expressed any form of remorse. Petroria himself as well known for his heckling. It's usually been portrayed in a good humored type of way. This was not an isolated incident for machado east under the things that have contributed to his west than savory reputation in baseball. This would lead me. To think that he is more heck lable than most could dodgers fans heckle him for. Not exactly hustling i in the two thousand eighteen world series. What they have to stop now that they have finally one. Lastly the padres are really really fun. Team and heckling machado feels like heckling them by proxy. Which i don't want to do. I think that if the player who was injured has said that he has moved on then. Then you kinda have to roll with that rate to roll with him having moved on. So that's that's my instinct. I mean look. I i don't like heckling because it is not comfortable for me. Personally it is not like the way that i engage with fandom anymore. I have heckled in the past. But it just feels kind of uncomfortable for me now and i think that you can heckle if you're doing it in a way. That isn't over leap personal. But then what's the point of the heckling like heckle creatively. What does that even mean fan. What does that mean that. I just said i don't know i don't i don't love. I think boo boo heartily. Hardy boo nothing wrong with that. You know it gets the point across it can cover all manner of sends right. It's also just the thing that you as a person who's rooting for the other side in a contest to win can express free of any weird recrimination or getting overly personal with someone who you don't know so i would say if i could offer an alternative and again i think as long as you're not heckling achey. The east can kind of do what you want because these guys really don't pay attention in king unless you're there in the in the on deck circle in your freight there. They just don't really hear you. But i might offer booing alternative because it's you know it's still forceful and it's loud and it could. It just can be both. What is the word like. You're you're chastising them but in like a safely general way i don't know what do you think do you think what do you think about heckling. I don't like echoing i think. Well yes. I'm i'm not really pro heckling to begin with but i think if a player has a really well established and deserved reputation as a dirty player or a head hunter than. I'm okay with certainly doing that. Player expressing disapproval of that behavior. Somehow this particular play. I don't think is an open and shut case a dirty slide. I mean this was much. Disputed i just went back and watched it and again it looks to me like it could very well be an accident and probably was just sort of Elite slide and his foot kind of kicked off the basis he was sliding and then he very quickly showed morrison checked on pedroia. Like it does not look intentional to me. Despite machado's reputation for for other plays like this. And so i am kind of with pedroia in not blaming him for this and patricia said earlier this month. I'm not upset about anything anymore when he was asked about this. That play could happen my rookie year. When you play second base and you play second like me you hang on until the last possible second to get the ball because you watched it. If there's a slim chance at a double play there's one guy on planet earth who could turn it and you're talking to. He hasn't lost any of his veto but he doesn't seem to hold a grudge looking at the play. It really doesn't look like it was clearly dirty to me and it really needs to be like i need to be sure and range like the player has to be like gloating about it like you know. Then i'm comfortable mocking him or heckling him or booing him or whatever but this doesn't rise to that level for me and the red sox retaliated against him in through adam and almost hit him in the head which i think is worse than what machado did so even if you think that he deserved some sort of punishment for that yard took it from the red sox on field so yeah i would let this go and I would not get machado's case. Because of the pretoria slide personally. Yeah and it persisted for a while and at one point you know they were they. Were still coming out. Machado and pedroia was in doug going. That's not me that's not me. Trying to communicate to manny machado that he was not directing this on the part of his teammates. So i think that it's absolutely an unfortunate injury and we're not trying to downplay that and again i don't. I don't think that baseball players really here fans and so. I think as long as you're not like using language that's objectionable not only for the player but for the people around you that i'm not gonna sit here and get overly fussy about it. It's not the way that i expressed displeasure. But i understand that. It is the way that some people do. But i agree with you. I think that it really has to be obvious that it was intentional. And i don't think that this case is unambiguous in that way. So i would offer a hardy boo as an alternative but also said that if the person most affected by it can find his way to kind of moving on from it that we might invite ourselves to do the same agreed all right last question. This is from mona who says i saw. Mlb networks top ten shortstop list on twitter today and regardless of how much people don't agree with the list. I noticed that almost all of the players listed are excellent much less at least very good hitters. Some of them like tim anderson and tender bogart's particularly seem like they stick around to hit more than two field. This stuck out to me. Since for most of my life shortstops have been considered fielders first and hit her. Second much catchers center fielders. I wonder if league-wide or at the very least for the top ten shortstops stats like wrc. Plus plus and particularly slugging percentage to a notable extent are higher than they've ever been even with league-wide slugging taking to the skies in general at side of the stats. I'm particularly curious to hear your thoughts on whether or not this may establish a trend of teams trying to squeeze more hitting out of their shortstops in the future and leave other positions particularly in my mind second base and center field out of mind to lean more toward necessitating dazzling fielding. Let me know what she think. So mona is onto something here. She has picked up on an actual trend. I think if you search the electric pages of fame graphs you'll come up with various posts about a golden age of shortstops and we are in an era when shortstops are hitting better than they have ever hit before there couple of ways. You can look at this. You can look at performance as shortstop so when players were actually playing shortstop that is split on the fan dressed leaderboards but it only goes back to two thousand and two or you can just look at players whose primary position was shortstop even though they didn't necessarily play shortstop all the time and that goes back to the beginning of baseball and i looked at both of those methods and the live ball era or just the two thousand and two twenty twenty period and twenty twenty regardless of which way you look at it was the best offensive. You're ever for shortstops smaller sample of course but shortstops had a one. Oh two wrc plus last year. Which is the first year ever. I believe that shortstops have ever hit above the league. Average at least in the light bulb era they were never higher than ninety prior to the past few years and were generally well below in the seventy something to eighty something. Wrc plus range so that is notable and if you look at the top three seasons of all time it's twenty twenty two thousand nineteen and twenty eight thousand and twenty seventeen and twenty six are right behind so this was not a twenty twenty fluke. Shortstops are actually hitting better than they have ever hit before and so the question is does. This mean anything. Does this tell you anything about the position. And it might. But i think that's a little harder to say because a lot of this is cyclical. So you see that you know. A great crop of players happens to come along at a particular position and they hit really well for a while and then those players age out in things swing back in the other direction so who is just a few years ago that people were writing about like a golden age of second bass hitting and people were speculating about what may because of the shift. You can play anyone there now. You know you can put make stock answer. Whoever at second base and you can just position them better. You don't have to have the traditional second base skill set so you can have some sluggers there but that hasn't really continued in in the last couple years you know. Since then offense there has receded somewhat. And there's just an ebb and flow to it across history so it might mean something it might not like you know. We're in a high point for third base offense to now. So maybe you could say that infielders in general are hitting better or with more power or just because of the shift or or positioning like there's a less rigid understanding of you know you have to have this particular body type to play this position like i. I do think the definition of positions and just like do you have to fit this profile. Teams have gotten a little looser about that. I think they're more willing to put people at positions that historically they might've been shunted away from but you know shortstop always hit like this collectively. I would guess probably not fray. I would tend to agree with that. I think that there's an influence to these things and good defensive positioning from a variety of sir up. The middle spots allows you to be a little looser and and prioritize offense sir. But i think you're also right that this happens to your so wildly talented crop of players many of whom hit the big leagues really young and were athletic. Able to do a bunch of stiff. So i don't know that it is a permanent shift in the position but i think it's a great deal of fun to watch while we have it. I think the place where you're likely to see if i had to pick an infield spot where i think the defense is going to not not matter but continued to be shifted. It's it's more likely at second probably than at short. But i think you're right that there's a lotta eb and flow over the years with this kind of stuff so yeah yeah and like catcher has been bad lately which could be because of prioritizing framing and saying we that seemed to matter so much and so catcher offense hit a low point. But i think it's bounced back a bit and of course if you get robot opposite some point than that won't matter at all and suddenly catchers will probably be hitting better than they have before so sometimes conditions change and that causes these changes and sometimes it really is just a cyclical sort of random thing or you know. Maybe a cal ripken comes along and people think. Oh you can be big play shortstop than a rod play shorter or whatever and you get that crop of mid-nineties shortstops. And i think it's partly related to the juiced ball to that's kind of leveled the playing field power wise because now it doesn't take as much pop to get the ball over the fence so players at positions that haven't traditionally been the province of sluggers can still hit for power and there may be been some advances like unlocking swing changes and pulling the pollen hitting the ball out front that can help littler guys hit like bigger guys and know that the correlation between height and isolated power has been a lot lower in recent years than it has historically so while. We've seen plenty of big guys play short. We've also seen some smaller guys. Like francisco endore learn tap into power that they weren't expected to have but again they come and go so. Enjoy the golden age of shortstop offense while we have it but don't necessarily know that it will last forever. But i think people talk about position with basketball and i think there's some of that in baseball now to where you see like the dodgers for instance will just like you know next month. He'll play second base. Sometimes in the no play first base early. Chris taylor will play center and then play second guys are just roughing all over the field. So i think there's more willingness to do that so maybe there will be less clear distinctions when it comes to the offensive baselines for various positions for one thing teams. Carry so many pitchers on their rosters. These days that they need their position players to play all over the field. But i think you can get yourself into trouble if you try to connect these things to a trend and sometimes it really is just well. You happen to have a bunch of good players at a particular position at a particular time. Yep okay that is the last question i have. It sets up our episode ending. Step last Too the step was inspired by an addition of the joshi and newsletter from earlier. This week where he wrote about the angels and he noted that the angels have gotten the least value from their starting pitchers over the past several seasons. Not a shocker. Perhaps but they're like down there with a bunch of teams that weren't really contending during that time and the angels were trying to content and still not getting any pitching and joe was wondering. Why were they not one of these. Serious trevor bauer bidders given that. They seem like they could really use a durable top of the rotation type and yet they were not a finalist for his services. And now they're trying to cobble together a rotation out of non aces again so i was inspired to look the worst or least productive positions on all teams over the past five seasons so so sort of like Jay chaffee replacement level killers exercise. But i've always liked looking at the least productive positions especially over a period of years. Like when there's a failure by one team to fill a position for years on end yeah so it's like you know not just one year. Things went wrong but you failed for a long time to put a productive players that position. And i've forgotten a lot of things that i've written about baseball but for some reason i remember writing transaction analysis for when the royals signed omar day to a four year deal in two thousand thirteen and at the time i looked at like how unproductive royals second baseman had been in the four seasons preceding that move and you know they had been not only the worst second baseman but the worst position period. That was like chris gets a bunch of other non hitters. And so i had a little leaderboard in there and i thought well omar infante day. That will solve problems. Because he's been pretty good lately and spoiler. It's not solve their problem at all. Over the next four seasons they had the fourth least productive second baseman in game according to fan graphs. Were so fun. Dave didn't even last that contract with the royals. I believe they released him before. That contract was up on the plus side. They won two pennants and world series during that time. So that's another thing. I like about this exercises that you can have a terrible position and still be a good team. It's hard but it's doable. So it's not always just the worst teams that have the worst production. So i did was. I looked at all of the positions except d. h. Laid them out from best team. To worst a looked at the average i got the standard deviation of the war values for those positions over the past five seasons twenty sixteen to twenty twenty and then i looked at how far below the mean in terms of standard deviations. The worst team was at each position over that period. And then i compared the positions. So i looked for basically the worst position relative to its peers at that same position and then ranked them by that so not just like the least were at any position but at least were relative to the positional average. And how that stacks up to the other worse jobs at getting some production from position so if we want to start with the the best. I'll go best to worst. So the best worst position is actually the angels starting rotation which has been worth twenty eight war over the past five seasons lead in playing time by injure. Heaney the late tyler. Skaggs said to see his name and matt shoemaker. And i also looked to see whether they have solved this problem so i looked at the fan. Grass step charts to see. How do they stack up in two thousand twenty one and this problem well. It hasn't been solved. Exactly the the project to have the seventeenth best starting rotation which is better than the worst. But they're projected leader is still andrew and they've added cobb and they've added kintana like there are players there. They couldn't be together. Something good here but a lot has to go right. They they don't have like a an ace. They've failed to bring the the coal or the bauer or someone like that. Who could write the wrong here. So still like middle of the pack rotation at best after years of being the worst. And i guess what they've dylan bundy to do There's some talent there but yeah there's some there are some guys for the back of their rotation who i still think are willing i still think griffin canning is interesting but yeah it's it's not you don't walk into the season finally going yes. We shall see my trout in the postseason again. Angels who metro can pitch but there is show. Hey what's hope fingers crossed. But i want that so badly for him. And for you ben i know i know i have like four shohei shirts that may effectively weld secret. Centers have sent me for the past three years and need an opportunity to wear them. So yeah you know there are some promising players there but still up in the air anyway. The angels rotation was one point three standard deviations below the mean for starting rotations when it comes to where now one point four standard deviations below that is right field the blue jays who were worth one point three war from two thousand sixteen to twenty twenty and that was Jose bautista at the end of his career rental rich and tasker hernandez and task hernandez still the projected world leader at position for them. They rank fourteenth in projected. War from right fielders. Twenty twenty one so again problem not necessarily solved. But they brought in george springer and now tasker is in right and they have some depth there so middle of the pack. At least that's better than bringing up the rear all right the next worst position also one point four standard deviations below the mean second base. The giants giants second baseman. Three point eight war over. The past. Five seasons led by joe panic donovan. Solano and kelpie tomlinson in playing times giant second baseman project seventeenth in second base. Were this year. And tommy la stella is the leading projected war getter there so problem again not solved but at least addressed some yes all right next one also four standard deviations below the mean royals third baseman third base. The royals were the worst five point. One war from their third baseman. Over the past. Five years mike moustakas cuthbert and hundred dosier and this year. They project twenty-first in war from third baseman and hunter dosier is the leading protected. Work at they're right. Next is center field and you could probably guess what team is bringing up the rear here again. One point four standard deviations below the centerfield mean with a total of two point. Five were from their center fielders over the past five seasons. It's the mariners lead in playing time by leeann is martine year mo- heredia and alex smith and the mariners project eighteenth in centerfield war. This year led by kyle. Lewis right next up. This is shortstop shortstop one point six standard deviations blow them in the brewers have gotten two point six were from their shortstops orlando arcia jonathan vr. And eric sogard brewer shortstops project to be twenty fifth. This year again led by orlando arcia so the same guy no surprise that problem is not really solved right next up for space and one point seven standard deviations below the mean we have the rockies with negative to war negative to were most embarrassing one patent. It's it's up there. We make get more embarrassing but negative to were from rockies first baseman over the past five years mark reynolds ian desmond daniel murphy. And here's the kicker project to be the worst in twenty twenty one as well and actually their top projected were at this position is colton welker who is projected to get like thirty five plate appearances at first or something because everyone who is predicted to get more playing time at first is separate placement level. So not only. Is this problem not solved. It is as bad as it has been for the past five seasons. So there you go the rockies right three positions left next up one point nine standard deviations below the mean catcher the tigers tiger's catchers have produced negative three point two war over the past five seasons lead. If you can say that in playing time by james mccann former effectively wowed guest grayson greiner and john hicks and this year tigers catchers project to be twenty fourth with wilson ramos leading. So problem not solved. Okay second to last position. Two point two standard deviations below them in left field. And it's that team again it's the colorado rockies the only team that shows up at multiple positions on this countdown is the rockies and investment is kind of a common element here in i in left field. He's actually fourth in playing time. In left over that period. It's led by harare raimondo. Tapia and david doll and again projected war by rockies left fielders and twenty twenty one thirtieth led by rimal tapia so not only are the rockies on this list twice for having two of the worst and we productive positions in baseball over the past five seasons but in both cases they still project to be the worst in twenty twenty one which like if you fit the worst over an extended period. Like at least you can say okay. We know what we have to fix here. And it shouldn't be hard to like at least be better than worst better than sub replacement like rockies fielders of the past five seasons negative three point one word like come on you can do better than that and yet they do not project to do better than that and there's something about those two positions which are so far down the defensive spectrum being so bad in literally the just strikes you as insulting in a in a weird way. I wish that he doesn't were better. 'cause i remember what team is on and it's not for a good reason. I know all right and less place here with a war. That was two point. Three standard deviations blow them in at that position where up to the bullpen. Now and it's the marlins the marlins bullpen marlins have gotten zero war. A nice neat zero point zero war from their relief pitchers over the past five seasons lead in playing time by kyle bear claw dustin mcgowan and Lean garcia and this year. The marlins penn projects to be twenty-seventh in baseball led by unique arcia. So again what strikes me here is that we're talking about the worst positions in baseball over the past five seasons only one only blue jays redfield projects to be better than average in two thousand twenty one and just barely fourteenth in in baseball and most of these teams that have been bringing up. The rear are still basically bringing up the rear so this is like extended futility and this can happen. You know if if you happen to make a bad bet on a particular player such as in desmond. Let's say and you think that that hole will be filled for years to come and then it isn't and it turns out to be in even deeper hole than the thought like it might be tough to escape that for a few years and maybe your farm system just didn't happen to produce a good player at that position for awhile but really when we're going on several seasons of just like an abyss at that position like do something to it. You know you don't have to be the best at that position but even just like getting to above replacement level would be a big leap for these teams at these positions right. So that's that. I will put this spreadsheet online if anyone wants to see where their teams ranked at every position over that span and that will do it for today. Where pants that fit you all right. That will do it for today. Thanks as always for listening. I will just note as a brief follow up to our discussions. About mickey callaway and jared porter that the league has instituted a couple of changes in response to those reports. I am reading from lindsay adler article at the athletic which i will link to major league. Baseball has updated its workplace code of conduct pertaining to sexual harassment and discrimination after two stories revealed alleged harassment by now former mets general manager jerry porter and current angels pitching coach mickey callaway. The league will also provide a third party anonymous hotline for reporting incidents of harassment and will require anti harassment and discrimination training for club executives during spring training. The league recently proposed the changes to the nlp a which agreed to the modifications. So just letting you know that. Some small measures have been taken to address this problem. Although i'm sure much more remains to be done who knows how much training over zoom will actually help but the anonymous hotline seems like a good idea at least it's a start checkout lindsay's article for more details. You can support effectively wild on patriots by going through patriot dot com slash wild. The following five listeners have already signed up in a moment. The amount out. Keep the podcast. Going and get themselves access to some perks. John zach campbell and magnuson gordon balfour and or custody. Thanks to all of you can join our facebook group at facebook dot com slash groups slash effective filed. You can review and subscribe to effectively wild on i tunes and spotify and other podcasts platforms. Keep your questions and comments for me and meg coming. The email at podcast fame crafts dot com or the patriot messaging system. If you are a supporter thanks higgins for his editing assistance. And we'll be back with one more episode before the end of the sweep off then morning to see dimaggio audrey. Let's go back and put it has to be patch it up.

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