Effectively Wild Episode 1793: Measuring the Unmeasurable

Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about Fanatics purchasing Topps and MLB Network reportedly parting ways with Ken Rosenthal because of his criticism of Rob Manfred. Then (27:36) they kick off a series of episodes about measuring difficult-to-quantify aspects of the sport by talking to Cameron Grove about translating his study of astrophysics into baseball research, assessing pitchers’ stuff, the cause of the time through the order penalty, pitcher deception, catcher game-calling, tracking and analyzing pitchers’ motions from video, proprietary data he wishes he had, the behavior of the ball, and his baseball ambitions. Finally (1:12:00), they bring on Eric Chalek to explain how he developed Major League Equivalencies (MLEs) for Negro Leaguers and other pre-integration Black baseball players, how his MLEs help put those players’ careers in context, the challenge of assessing league quality, Josh Gibson’s and Satchel Paige’s MLEs, Cooperstown implications, and missing data.

Audio intro: Robert Plant, “Network News
Audio interstitial 1: Jimi Hendrix, “Astro Man
Audio interstitial 2: The New Pornographers, “Loose Translation
Audio outro: The Delgados, “Ballad of Accounting

Link to WSJ report on Fanatics/Topps
Link to EW episode about Fanatics/Topps
Link to report about Rosenthal and Manfred
Link to 2020 Rosenthal column
Link to Rosenthal tweet
Link to Cameron’s website
Link to DESI’s Wikipedia page
Link to Cameron’s pitch quality app
Link to Cameron’s TTOP tweet
Link to Cameron’s other TTOP tweet
Link to previous familiarity/fatigue research
Link to Cameron on pitcher workloads
Link to Ben on playoff familiarity
Link to Cameron on over/underperformers
Link to Cameron’s motion data
Link to Ben on pitching deception
Link to Cameron on game-calling
Link to Cameron on game-calling leaders
Link to Cameron on the ball’s behavior
Link to Alan Nathan on fly ball variation
Link to Cameron on umpiring difficulty
Link to Adam Darowski EW interview episode
Link to Adam’s interview with Eric
Link to 42 for 21 EW interview episode
Link to Eric’s 42 for 21 ballot
Link to Adam on post-integration stars
Link to Hall of Stats MLEs announcement
Link to Eric’s website
Link to Eric’s MLE method for hitters
Link to Eric’s MLE methods for pitchers

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