Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Baseball Related Review - Effectively Wild - The Daily Baseball Prospectus Podcast

Do you love baseball?  How about listening to things?  If you like both, can I just take one dern second and suggest that you check out the Baseball Prospectus podcast  - Effectively Wild?  Thanks.  Effectively Wild is hosted by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller and sometimes co-hosted by some crickets.  In the podcast, Ben and Sam each bring one topic per day to the table and then they present and discuss.  Every so often, they each bring the same topic, which usually makes me drive right off the road. 

Before I explain the many reasons why this podcast should be the first thing you do in the morning, I need to give some background.  Both are writers for Baseball Prospectus.  Ben Lindbergh is also the Editor-in-Chief.  Baseball Prospectus is outstanding.  If you don't subscribe... well, why don't you?  It costs 40 bucks per year.  By comparison, this Ryan Braun designed abomination is on sale for 50 bucks.  Are you really going to try to argue that shirt is worth 25% more than a BP subscription?  For the visual learners, here is a nice chart:

Ok, that part is out of the way.  Clearly, if you do not subscribe to BP, you should.  However, if you followed that link and then bought the shirt (against my wishes), you can still listen to the podcast because it is free!  In addition, it is a daily podcast.  That's right, every Monday through Friday, you can wake up, download the podcast and then make your drive to work.  Unless you work from home 3 days per week like I do, then I would not suggest driving to work just to listen to the podcast.  Just listen from home or whatever. 

For the attention deficient individual, this podcast is perfect.  It isn't one of those 3 hour podcasts that you hear about every day.  They try so hard to keep it to 10 minutes, but it usually ends up being 15-20.  I am thankful for those extra minutes though.  The podcast is short enough to not take up a large chunk of the day, but long enough for the two of them to get into detailed and in-depth conversations on the topics that they bring.  The fact that they only discuss two things per day make for almost no repetition of topics.   The daily frequency means that they still cover a lot of baseball throughout the week.

A few more reasons to enjoy.  Ben Lindbergh podcasts from New York, Sam Miller from California.  So, it is not clear which coastal bias is in play.  You can listen yourself and try to figure it out.  Both have a great dry sense of humor.  They each record from weird places like Honda Fits and showers.  Every so often, a rock star will randomly guest host.  If you stay up really late, you can usually listen around 1am central time.  Both of their first names have 3 letters.  I always wanted to see a blue duck.

My favorite part of this podcast is that they do not take it too seriously.  I mean that in an endearing way.  They discuss their topics and present their arguments, but they do it without any sort of arrogance.  I think a lot of people are turned off by learned baseball writers for a sort of condescending, know-it-all confidence.  I also think that some associate Baseball Prospectus with some sort of stat-nerd haven, which is just simply not the case.  These two are knowledgeable, informative and entertaining.  They are far from any of the following things:  nerds, jerks, or stat-heads.  They are two guys who happen to know a lot about a sport that you all enjoy.  They are also really polite with each other, which I bet my mom really enjoys. 

All joking aside, I strongly suggest that you check this podcast out.  Most mornings, it is waiting for me in my iTunes and you can have a fresh podcast waiting for you each morning too!  These two know so much about baseball, it really is amazing.  The level of knowledge that they have about individual players and teams is impressive.  They are both able to come up with names and facts from past seasons without much pause.  It really is something to listen to two professionals talk so eloquently about a subject that I enjoy and that I am pretty sure you all enjoy as well.  Give it a listen, you won't be disappointed.  If you are, you can tell them on Twitter at @ben_lindbergh and/or @SamMillerBP.

Confession:  I bought the shirt.

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