Ben Lindbergh (The Ringer), Sam Miller (ESPN), Meg Rowley (FanGraphs), and an array of guests talk about baseball with an analytical bent, covering a mix of timely topics from the serious to the absurd a few times per week.
Effectively Wild Episode 1644: Block and Report
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley discuss ESPN’s report about Mets GM Jared Porter’s harassment of a female reporter when Porter worked for the Cubs in 2016, Porter’s subsequent firing by the Mets, Mets president Sandy Alderson’s comments about Porter’s hiring, the limitations of assessing character, the obstacles media members who aren’t cis men encounter in […]
Effectively Wild Episode 1643: In Theo We Trust?
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Blue Jays missing out on DJ LeMahieu and which remaining free agents might be bound for Toronto, follow up on their previous discussion about bagged milk and tax implications for free agency, marvel at LeMahieu’s unique invulnerability to the shift and his unlikely career trajectory, and examine […]
Effectively Wild Episode 1642: Supply and Pent-Up Demand
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Blue Jays missing out on several free-agent or trade targets, then answer listener emails about whether fans feel pride in their division/league, the history (and future) of fundamental changes to baseball technique, how many championships one would win if transported back to 2000 and appointed as GM […]
Effectively Wild Episode 1641: The Confounding Free-Agent Market
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about why the free-agent market has been both slow-moving and fairly lucrative for the players who’ve signed, the White Sox inking closer Liam Hendriks, whether the White Sox are the American League’s front runners, the latest report that the season will start on time, napping, MLB’s plans for fans […]
Effectively Wild Episode 1640: Ethically Speaking
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley break down the six-player blockbuster trade headlined by Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, touching on Cleveland’s decision to cut costs by dealing two fan favorites and the face of the franchise, how much better Lindor makes the Mets, and more, then banter about NPB ace Tomoyuki Sugano re-signing with the […]
Effectively Wild Episode 1639: Cobra Sigh
Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the re-naming of Miller Park and the good and bad of ballpark naming rights, the improbable beginning of Phil Niekro’s career and what it says about the downsizing of the minor leagues, an intriguing projection of the outcome of the Padres-Dodgers NL West race, Boog Sciambi calling Cubs […]
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This has always been (and will always be) my favorite baseball podcast
A once-great podcast that may be on its last legs
I have championed Effectively Wild since around 2014, became a Patreon member and have listened to virtually every episode for six years, but the show's quality has unfortunately taken a nosedive in the last 6 months to a year. As noted by other reviewers, a big part of the problem has been the show’s recent tendency to center all discussions around a twitter-centric wokeness that neither serves its audience or the hosts’ talents very well. Meg, who I probably agree with on most political issues and I respect as a writer/editor, seems to want to be baseball’s director of Human Resources or ethicist. She has a tendency to use the word “we” when talking about broader topics in baseball in a self-important way that always begs the question who “we” are, beyond baseball twitter and like-minded baseball writers. It’s a philosophy borne of twitter that political action is performed by simply having an opinion and repeatedly sharing that opinion online. Ben, who I also carry an immense amount of respect for, has also fallen into the bad habit of believing that the ultimate goal of a capitalist enterprise like MLB is to reach some level of moral uprightness that would please your average overeducated, upper-middle class, woke twitter user. It didn’t used to be this way. The show has rarely been about the daily game on the field, but its previous incarnations have veered into weirdness and fun, whereas the current show always seems to veer into scolding and ineffectual political and ethical talk where every guest and both hosts agree that they have reached the correct opinion on every topic. Again, I agree with almost all of these opinions, but it makes for a laborious listen as the show approaches a level of didactic self-righteousness and performative outrage that’s caused me to drop my Patreon membership and I will likely stop listening regularly until Sam, whose sense of humor and humanity without dogma is sorely missed, returns. This is hardly limited to EW as our current culture has become helplessly intertwined with shallow, impotent cable news-level political chatter. If any of the hosts happen to read this, I would encourage you that your inquisitive audience is likely seeking out political and news content through other outlets. We listen to EW because we love baseball and your informed, humorous thoughts on the actual game, its past, present and future.
Socialism Distancing at the ballpark