Archive for Effectively Wild

Effectively Wild Episode 1274: Meet the New Manager, Different From the Old Manager

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo, Jeff McNeil, and Juan Graterol, Shaq Thompson and the highest minor-league strikeout rates, the last week of the season, the lowest ERAs of the second half, Bryan Mitchell, and why voting for pitcher awards may be getting even more complicated, then (20:14) bring on The Athletic’s Levi Weaver to talk about the Rangers’ reasons for firing Jeff Banister, what his dismissal says about managerial styles, the value of managers, and the future of managing, the mystery of Manager of the Year Award voting, the power of Jon Daniels, covering Bartolo Colon and Adrian Beltre in what could be their final seasons, the resurgences of Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar, the streakiness of Rougned Odor, how the “opener” spread to Texas, Jeff Baker’s thumb, Brady Feigl and Brady Feigl, writing for The Athletic, and whether covering bad baseball leads to better baseball writing.

Audio intro: Hour Glass, "Down in Texas"
Audio interstitial: Levi Weaver, "All Our Days"
Audio outro: Elliott Smith, "Almost Over"

Link to Ben’s article on Shaq Thompson
Link to Levi’s story on Banister’s firing
Link to Levi’s story on Jeff Baker’s thumb
Link to Levi’s viral Feigls tweet

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Effectively Wild Episode 1273: Baseball, But Louder

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the response to their previous episode, whether improvements in catching or improvements in umpiring have done more to reduce the variation in framing performance among teams, a Mike Trout snub, Breyvic Valera’s contact rate, and the latest revelations about Addison Russell’s alleged domestic abuse, then answer listener emails about Luke Voit and Yankees home-run records, Mike Clevinger and Indians strikeout records, whether it would be noticeable if baseball gradually grew twice as loud, cryogenic freezing after Tommy John surgery, and how long a fan would last as a GM, plus a Stat Blast about two surprising Royals, Ryan O’Hearn and Adalberto Mondesi.

Audio intro: The Milk Carton Kids, "Hear Them Loud"
Audio outro: The Band, "Thinkin’ Out Loud"

Link to Ben’s article on framing
Link to Melisa Reidy’s post about Russell
Link to Trout snub response

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Effectively Wild Episode 1272: Take Money to Make Money?

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Trevor Story’s close call, then (9:04) bring on former MLB pitcher Michael Schwimer, the founder and CEO of Big League Advance, to talk about the mechanics and morality of giving money to minor leaguers in exchange for a percentage of their future earnings if they make the majors, why the company was the subject of a now-dropped lawsuit, the dilemma of low minor-league pay, why Michael maintains that BLA is helping players, BLA’s investment model and efforts to predict pitcher injuries, and Michael’s proposed solution to the rising strikeout rate. Lastly, Ben and Jeff review the interview and offer their thoughts on BLA, minor-league pay, and injury prediction.

Audio intro: Aerosmith, "Make It"
Audio interstitial: Neil Young, "Roger and Out"
Audio outro: Spinal Tap, "Gimme Some Money"

Link to Ken Rosenthal on BLA
Link to Jack Dickey on BLA
Link to Sheryl Ring on BLA
Link to Jonathan Perrin podcast episode

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Effectively Wild Episode 1271: The Stretch Run

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo and Jacob deGrom (as usual), the perception of the Cubs vs. the reality of the Cubs, the dramatic, puzzling increase in infield shifting against Mike Trout, the checkered career of honest but pugnacious umpiring legend Tim Hurst, the future of two-way players, Joel Sherman’s column about new stats driving fans away from baseball, and the end of the American League’s interleague winning streak.

Audio intro: Sloan, "Same Old Flame"
Audio outro: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, "The Losing End (When You’re On)"

Link to Craig Wright’s newsletter
Link to Joel Sherman’s column
Link to Joe Posnanski’s response post
Link to Jeff Fletcher on the Angels’ two-way players

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Effectively Wild Episode 1270: A Cup of Their Own

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo going viral again, a Shohei Ohtani fun fact, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, and how to gauge a player’s value to his teammates, the emergence of A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano, the impending ends to the careers of David Wright and Joe Mauer, a Kyle Freeland update, the surprising NL West race and AL wild card race, and the overlooked excellence of Jeremy Jeffress. Then (34:42) they bring on Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri to talk about her feature on the Women’s Baseball World Cup, the origins and progression of the tournament, baseball vs. softball, the slow growth of women’s baseball in the United States, why the game has grown in Japan, why women’s baseball players don’t all aspire to be big leaguers, MLB’s involvement in promoting women’s baseball, and more.

Audio intro: Jukebox the Ghost, "The Popular Thing"
Audio interstitial: Steely Dan, "Change of the Guard"
Audio outro: Jenny Lewis, "Sing a Song for Them"

Link to Ken Rosenthal on Martinez and Betts
Link to Emma’s article
Link to Christina Cauterucci on co-ed youth sports

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Effectively Wild Episode 1269: Best in the Business

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the unlikely championship season of the Northwest League’s Eugene Emeralds, Jacob deGrom’s latest hard-luck loss, and maintaining perspective about the Phillies’ late-season swoon, then answer listener emails about an MLB ballpark sleepover, whether making ballparks bigger would counter the three true outcomes, Chris Davis’s strikeouts vs. batting average and the worst seasons of all time, Javier Baez and “creating chaos,” the value and cost of good and bad third-base coaches, and clutchness, Dansby Swanson, and Giancarlo Stanton, plus a Stat Blast about the odd batted-ball effects of Citi Field and a last-minute Willians Astudillo update.

Audio intro: Lord Huron, "Emerald Star"
Audio outro: Rakim, "Flow Forever"

Link to Emeralds walk-off balk
Link to Craig Edwards on Baez
Link to Russell Carleton on third-base coaches
Link to Jeff’s post on Citi Field
Link to Carson Cistulli on the best hitters in space
Link to first Astudillo video
Link to second Astudillo video

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Effectively Wild Episode 1268: Replay, Reviewed

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Willians Astudillo, Jeff’s ideal afterlife, Mike Trout’s future and what an extension for Trout might look like, the Tyler Flowers extension, Michael Kopech’s impending Tommy John surgery and the UCL scourge, how being Tampa Bay’s “bulk guy” is affecting Ryan Yarbrough’s WAR, Mallex Smith vs. Giancarlo Stanton, a divisive call against the Astros and the state of replay review, the Cubs and bad weather, Oakland’s incredible bullpen, John Gant’s odd batting line, a wild Triple-A ending involving Giovanny Gallegos, and more.

Audio intro: T-Bone Walker, "Stormy Monday"
Audio outro: Rilo Kiley, "Close Call"

Link to Ken Rosenthal on Trout
Link to Jay Jaffe on Tommy John surgery
Link to Yarbrough WAR article
Link to Astros-Red Sox call
Link to Jeff’s A’s bullpen post
Link to Meg Rowley on replay

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Effectively Wild Episode 1267: The Ohtani Elbow Inquest

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh, The Ringer’s Michael Baumann, and Tommy John surgery researcher Jon Roegele convene to discuss every aspect of the news that Shohei Ohtani will likely undergo Tommy John surgery, including how the Angels handled him and whether they bear any blame for the outcome, their recent rash of similar injuries and unusual treatments, Ohtani’s ongoing hitting heroics, whether his season was a success, the probable timing of his return as a hitter and as a pitcher, his future as a two-way player, and larger TJ trends in MLB.

Audio intro: The Smiths, "Death at One’s Elbow"
Audio outro: Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Made You Feel Better"

Link to summary of how the Angels handled Ohtani
Link to story about stem-cell treatments
Link to Jon’s Tommy John surgery database

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Effectively Wild Episode 1266: Labor WAR

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Dee Gordon’s walk rate, Jonathan Villar’s daring baserunning, how much the “opener” has contributed to the Rays’ success, and Todd Frazier’s variation on the hidden-ball trick. Then they bring on FanGraphs writer Sheryl Ring (22:02) to discuss what the MLB Players Association hiring new lead negotiator Bruce Meyer might mean for the next round of collective bargaining, whether the Mets are committing insurance fraud by delaying the activation of David Wright, and the latest examples of (and possible solutions for) teams manipulating young players’ service time. Lastly, Ben and Jeff reflect and expand on their conversation with Sheryl and the future of MLB labor relations.

Audio intro: Ben Kweller, "This is War"
Audio interstitial: Neil Young, "Union Man"
Audio outro: The Black Angels, "Manipulation"

Link to video of Orioles baserunning play
Link to video of Frazier’s “catch”
Link to Sheryl’s article about Bruce Meyer
Link to Sheryl’s article about the Mets
Link to Sheryl’s article about the right of publicity
Link to Sheryl’s article about whether catcher framing is cheating

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Effectively Wild Episode 1265: Home Runs Per Homestand

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Trevor Story’s improvement, Brady Feigl vs. Brady Feigl, Joe West vs. Austin Davis and an information card, a Carter Capps update, the Mariners’ clubhouse brawl, the continued dominance of Edwin Diaz, the disconcerting pitching return of Shohei Ohtani, and Kyle Schwaber’s lack of clutchness this season, then answer emails about Jack Ryan’s fantasy advice, Alex Bregman as AL MVP, attendance and home-field advantage, the value of a pitcher who always produces the minimum quality start, velocity and the three true outcomes, unexpected team results vs. unexpected player results (and Greg Bird), the effects of fatigue, baseball with headsets, and the most pitchers used in a nine-inning shutout, plus a Stat Blast about Jacob deGrom’s splits by decision and hard-luck loser Eddie Smith.

Audio intro: Jerry Garcia & David Grisman, "I Ain’t Never"
Audio outro: Koufax, "Offering Advice"

Link to Jeff’s post about Story
Link to Levi’s Feigl tweet
Link to scene from Jack Ryan
Link to updated study about velocity and pitcher results
Link to MGL’s first post about projections vs. surprising players
Link to MGL’s second post about projections vs. surprising players
Link to MGL’s third post about projections vs. surprising players
Link to MGL’s post about player fatigue
Link to Smith’s SABR bio

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Effectively Wild Episode 1264: Schrödinger’s Bunt Attempt

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Matt Chapman’s misleading error total, Tyler White and “cheap” home runs, Danny Hultzen, Aaron Nola, and the concept of “safe” players, the latest on Shohei Ohtani and Willians Astudillo, Jacob deGrom and the NL MVP race, a conditional trade followup, Magneuris Sierra and the woeful Marlins, Mike Foltynewicz’s spit balk, Michael Lorenzen’s confusing foul ball, the Andrew McCutchen trade to the Yankees and the state of the Giants, belief in Kyle Freeland, a road-trip addendum, and a Yusmeiro Petit quote.

Audio intro: Slothrust, "Trial & Error"
Audio outro: Death Cab for Cutie, "We Looked Like Giants"

Link to Tyler White’s walk-off
Link to video of spit balk
Link to Sam’s article about balks
Link to Jeff’s Lorenzen post
Link to Ben’s Freeland article
Link to Jeff’s Freeland post
Link to Petit article

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Effectively Wild Episode 1263: Around the Majors in 36 Days

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan have a possibly premature discussion of whether Shohei Ohtani lived up to the preseason hype, then answer listener emails about the Angels’ historic record in two-run games, the last player who’ll be older than them, using expected offensive stats instead of actual ones in WAR, and David Robertson’s far-fetched contract incentives, plus a Stat Blast about the teams that have played the highest and lowest percentages of their games against above-.500 opponents. Then (42:32) they bring on listener (and Episode 1169 guest) Michael Mountain to review his 36-day, 30-ballpark whirlwind tour, including the hurdles he cleared along the way and his reviews of his favorite and least favorite ballparks and ballpark foods. Lastly (1:12:18), Ben brings on Angelina, the artist behind the Twitter account “Acceptably Drawn Baseball,” to talk about how she started doing baseball doodles, how and why the account has caught on, how she produces the doodles, and how she got Rich Hill’s seal of approval.

Audio intro: Tegan and Sara, "Hype"
Audio interstitial 1: Dave Rawlings Machine, "The Trip"
Audio interstitial 2: The Kinks, "The Road"
Audio outro: Bob Dylan, "Farewell, Angelina"

Link to Michael’s road-trip itinerary
Link to tweet about Hill endorsing his doodle
Link to Ohtani/Trout doodle
Link to buy Angelina a coffee

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Effectively Wild Episode 1262: Conquering Coors, with Kyle Freeland

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the surprising home run streak of Kendrys Morales, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, and the fluctuating state of the White Sox rebuild, an unusual Yankees save streak and the changing distribution of saves across the majors, and the Rays-Pirates Chris Archer trade in retrospect. Then (25:41) they bring on Rockies starter Kyle Freeland to discuss growing up rooting for the Rockies, the perils of pitching development and recovery at altitude, how he’s conquered Coors Field and put together one of the strongest seasons in franchise history, the adjustments he’s made this season, the secret to inducing weak contact, pitching in pennant races from the beginning of his career, whether Rockies pitchers are perceived unfairly, the benefits of being managed by former pitcher (and pitching coach) Bud Black, and more. Finally, Ben and Jeff review the interview, weigh the merits of strikeout guys vs. groundball guys, and forecast Freeland’s career, and Ben provides some updates and weighs in on the latest debate about Daniel Murphy’s homophobic comments from 2015.

Audio intro: Bob Dylan, "Seven Days"
Audio interstitial 1: Spooky Tooth, "Kyle"
Audio interstitial 2: The Alan Parsons Project, "Standing on Higher Ground"
Audio outro: The Smiths, "Accept Yourself"

Link to Jay Jaffe’s post about Morales
Link to list of pitchers who’ve induced the weakest contact
Link to Freeland’s pitch selection by season
Link to Whitney McIntosh article about Murphy’s comments

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Effectively Wild Episode 1261: How Luck is Bailing Out Baseball

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the returns of Mike Trout and Willians Astudillo, Astudillo’s new hobby, Jose Ramirez’s power/speed combo, the NL Rookie of the Year race between Ronald Acuna, Juan Soto, Harrison Bader, and Brian Anderson, the decreasing incidence of stolen bases and sacrifice bunts, the Angels’ active offseason in retrospect, the Angels’ lack of playoff appearances with Trout vs. the Mariners’ lack of playoff appearances with Felix Hernandez, David Wright’s painful latest comeback attempt, and a Rich Hill (AKA Dick Mountain) anniversary, in addition to a deeper discussion about the role of randomness in baseball, what the standings “should” look like, and how luck, timing, and clutch hits are saving the season from the boring stretch run that some fans feared before the season.

Audio intro: The Byrds, "Welcome Back Home"
Audio outro: Dandy Livingstone, "There is a Mountain"

Link to picture of Astudillo drawing his bow
Link to Ben’s preseason piece about hope and faith
Link to Jeff’s post about the Dodgers and Mariners
Link to Marc Carig’s David Wright rehab article

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Effectively Wild Episode 1260: Waiver? I Hardly Know Her!

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about a listener-created tool to determine the first big leaguer to be born after and the last big leaguer to be born before any given date, the waiver-claim process, the Nationals’ trades, disastrous season, and hazy outlook, the Cubs acquiring Daniel Murphy and the Rockies opting not to, the Mariners’ second annual Women in Baseball Night, and Michael Kopech’s turnaround, plus listener emails about Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s talent and future, adjusting stats for position players pitching, the disadvantage of hitting at altitude, Chris Davis with fewer fielders, and the cost to a team of an NL manager managing like an AL manager, plus Stat Blasts about the adjustments Mike Fiers has made in Oakland and the Cubs’ historic solo-homer streak.

Audio intro: Koufax, "Younger Body"
Audio outro: Poco, "Flyin’ Solo"

Link to MLB Endcaps calculator
Link to Jeff’s Murphy/Rockies post
Link to Craig’s post about Vlad Jr. batting .400
Link to Jeff’s post about position players pitching
Link to Sam’s post about position players pitching
Link to Purple Row post about the Rockies’ home/road splits
Link to Jeff’s post about the Coors Field hangover
Link to Rob’s article about solo homers
Link to Sheryl’s post about Davis vs. Palmeiro

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Effectively Wild Episode 1259: I Will Follow You into the Park

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Clayton Kershaw’s resurgence and opt-out odds, the state of the playoff races, the Mariners’ balk-off weekend win, an unusual aspect of the 2008 CC Sabathia trade, the impending free agency of Nelson Cruz, and Ben’s article about the 1993 Athletics’ platoon-starter experiment, a precursor to the current Rays’ “opener” strategy. Then (25:09) they bring on Death Cab for Cutie singer/songwriter/guitarist (and Effectively Wild listener/composer) Ben Gibbard to talk about his band’s new album, Thank You for Today, as well as the Mariners’ season and the AL West race, how he got into baseball analysis, his favorite storylines of the season, watching the playoffs while on tour, ballparks as concert venues, singing the National Anthem, batting stances vs. singing stances, the aging curve for musicians vs. the aging curve for athletes, meeting casual music fans, being in the best shape of his life, the value of changing musical lineups, and more.

Audio intro: Death Cab for Cutie, "Gold Rush"
Audio interstitial: Death Cab for Cutie, "When We Drive"
Audio outro: Death Cab for Cutie, "60 & Punk"

Link to Mariners’ balk-off win
Link to 2008 trade-deadline retrospective
Link to Ben’s article on the 1993 A’s
Link to Ben Gibbard’s National Anthem performance
Link to Death Cab’s new album
Link to Death Cab’s upcoming concerts

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Effectively Wild Episode 1258: Slow-Pitch Baseball

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Ben’s introduction to climbing, a Mets-Phillies blowout, Scott Kingery’s slow pitches, Jacob deGrom’s run support, Jose Ureña’s suspension and how to punish hit by pitches, the Rangers’ odd triple play and the 2002 debut of Ron Wright, Matt Kemp’s slump, and an umpire’s rapid reaction, then answer listener emails about Mike Trout’s value if he couldn’t slide, the ethics of using strategy in Little League, Kevin Gausman and the decline of pitching from the stretch, making rental-trade returns contingent on what happens after the trade, how to trade up from nothing to something (Dwight Schrute-style), and the job security of established GMs like Brian Cashman, plus a Stat Blast about the humidor-equipped Chase Field and teams that hit the ball harder at home or on the road.

Audio intro: Aretha Franklin, "Think"
Audio outro: Aretha Franklin, "Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)"

Link to Andrew McCutchen’s brawl recap
Link to Scott Kingery’s slow pitch
Link to Andrew Dominijanni’s slowest-possible-pitch trajectories
Link to Mike Fast on the slowest possible pitch
Link to Levi Weaver on the Rangers’ triple play
Link to umpire bat-flip GIF
Link to Jeff on the new Chase Field
Link to Mike Petriello on Minute Maid Park
Link to Jeff on the disappearing windup
Link to Marc Carig on the Yankees’ clubhouse culture
Link to Dan Szymborski on the decline of Kemp

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Effectively Wild Episode 1257: Being Baseball Ambassadors

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh, Jeff Sullivan, and writer Rachael McDaniel banter about a Scott Boras quote about Bryce Harper, the hot streaks of Matt Carpenter and Ronald Acuña, an Ender Inciarte comment, aging in relation to baseball players, the cold streak of Luis Severino, and a possible old example of groundskeeping gamesmanship. Then (24:22) they bring on former major-league outfielder and current MLB Ambassador for Inclusion Billy Bean to talk about his evolving role at MLB, counseling former minor leaguer David Denson on coming out, MLB’s ongoing response to the discoveries of ugly old tweets by Josh Hader, Sean Newcomb, and Trea Turner, how fans should treat those players, why their tweets weren’t grounds for discipline, how hurtful attitudes evolve, the positives that can come from a bad situation, how clubhouse discourse has improved over time, baseball as a unifier, the Yankees’ standing in the queer community, the importance of pride nights and other inclusive initiatives, and more. Finally (1:09:57), Ben, Jeff, and Rachael reflect on the conversation with Bean and forecast the future, and Ben berates Jose Ureña for his hit by pitch.

Audio intro: The Decemberists, "The Engine Driver"
Audio interstitial 1: The Monkees, "Words"
Audio interstitial 2: Beach House, "Better Times"
Audio outro: The Isley Brothers, "The Pride (Part 1)"

Link to Jeff’s Carpenter post
Link to Matt Trueblood on Acuña’s evolution
Link to Zach Crizer on prospect promotions
Link to Mike Petriello on Severino
Link to Rachael on acceptance and baseball

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Effectively Wild Episode 1256: Grounds Crew Questions

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Ben’s book activities, David Bote’s exciting grand slam, Ramon Laureano’s highlight throw, a few surprisingly (and not-so-surprisingly) streaking players, Taylor Ward’s call-up news, and a weird walk-off win in the minors. Then (26:10) they bring on Zach Ricketts, assistant head groundskeeper at the Oakland Coliseum, to talk about many aspects of being a groundskeeper at the last ballpark to house both an MLB team and an NFL team, including: his daily routine, how to become an MLB groundskeeper, lawn care, configuring the field for baseball and football, moving the mound, groundskeeping equipment, the groundskeeper hierarchy, gamesmanship and field manipulation, sewage encounters, animal encounters, wrestling the tarp, the differences between old and new parks, field-design hypotheticals, playoff shares, what’s under the field, foul-territory size, and more.

Audio intro: Guided By Voices, "See My Field"
Audio interstitial: XTC, "Grass"
Audio interstitial 2: Jack White, "Temporary Ground"
Audio outro: Ocean Colour Scene, "In My Field"

Link to Jeff’s Bote post
Link to video of Laureano throw
Link to video of minor-league walkoff
Link to video of Cardinals groundskeeper cat encounter
Link to video of Nationals groundskeeper getting caught in tarp

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Effectively Wild Episode 1255: Keep Your Eye on the Hidden Ball

EWFI
Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Felix Hernandez’s demotion to the bullpen, Willians Astudillo and the hidden-ball trick, former major leaguers who are still excelling internationally, an Augusta GreenJackets tweet, Dee Gordon’s walk rate, Javier Baez’s success, the state of the MVP races, Tyler Glasnow’s apparent reinvention and the staying power of coaching gurus, a cricket follow-up, Kenley Jansen’s absence, the Fernando Rodney trade, and important trick plays.

Audio intro: Geto Boys, "Mind Playing Tricks on Me"
Audio outro: Pentatonix, "Take Me Home"

Link to Jeff’s Astudillo article
Link to Grant’s article about international players
Link to Jeff’s Baez article
Link to Jeff’s Glasnow article

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