The Ringer MLB Show

The Ringer MLB Show

United States

Bill Simmons and a rotating group of Ringer staffers talking baseball.


The Marlins Sale, Slugging Stanton, and the Hot Hand (Ep. 101)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann banter about the four-man outfield that the Cubs deployed against Joey Votto (01:00), then discuss the reportedly proceeding sale of the Miami Marlins (05:30), the possible impending demise of the Marlins Park home run sculpture (07:30), Giancarlo Stanton's hot streak (11:00), and whether it makes sense for the Marlins to trade the face of their franchise (16:30). Then they bring on FiveThirtyEight writer Rob Arthur to talk about his recent research into the "hot hand" effect for pitchers and why his method succeeds in detecting and predicting hot streaks where so many previous statistical attempts have failed (24:00).

Developing the Stacked White Sox System, and Girls Resisting Softball (Ep. 100)  

On their centenary episode, The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann banter about Bryce Harper's bone bruise and the AL wild-card logjam (03:30), then talk to former big leaguer and current White Sox player development director Chris Getz about how he and the rest of the White Sox front office plan to turn baseball's best farm system into a winning major league team (11:30), how the organization decides when to promote players to the bigs (21:00), and what highly touted rookie Yoan Moncada still has to work on (38:30). Then they bring on Liz Roscher of Yahoo Sports to talk about the latest Baseball For All tournament (42:30), why more and more girls are resisting being forced to switch from baseball to softball (46:00), the continuing relevance of 'A League of Their Own' (48:45), and what the future holds for girls and women in baseball (54:00).

Cold Judge, Hot Trout, and Player Nicknames (Ep. 99)  

The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann banter about an Angels team photo (1:15), the Mets-Indians Jay Bruce trade (2:00), and an Astros blooper (4:05). Then, they bring on ESPN’s Mark Simon to discuss how teams are attacking the slumping Aaron Judge (6:30) and Mike Trout’s continued dominance (15:50). After that, they welcome Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman of and Cespedes Family BBQ to talk about the best and the worst player-chosen nicknames for the upcoming Players Weekend (27:45), and whether the event signals a thaw in baseball’s aversion to self-expression (44:55). Lastly, Ben and Michael discuss what Jerry Dipoto did (53:35).

The Unstoppable Dodgers, A-Rod's Redemption, and More (Ep. 98)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann discuss the leveling out of the infield shift (03:00); the significance of the Dodgers' pursuit of the all-time regular-season wins record (14:30), and the team's playoff outlook (22:00). Then they talk about the latest phase of the Alex Rodriguez redemption saga (32:00), a report about Dave Dombrowski being barred from trading Boston's top prospects (40:30), the Orioles' refusal to spend on the international market (49:00), and, with an assist from FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan and Baseball Prospectus's Meg Rowley, a late-breaking update on what Jerry Dipoto did (55:00).

'Stros of Today and Stars of Tomorrow (Ep. 97)  

The Ringer's Michael Baumann is joined by Jake Kaplan from the Houston Chronicle to discuss Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Cooperstown (03:00), a disappointing trade deadline for the Astros (05:00), Carlos Correa's return (11:15), and the truth behind the funeral for Carlos Beltrán's glove. Then, Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs joins the show to talk about Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (23:00) and other late-season call-ups to keep an eye on (29:30).

The Trade Deadline Dissected (Ep. 96)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann celebrate Adrián Beltré's 3,000th hit and improbable Hall of Fame career path (04:00), then break down all the action on trade-deadline day, including the Dodgers adding Yu Darvish to their already-formidable rotation (10:00), the Yankees acquiring Sonny Gray and Jaime García (21:30), and other contenders (including the Red Sox, Indians, and Nationals) restocking their bullpens (25:00). They also discuss whether teams such as the Red Sox, Astros, and Orioles should have been more active (27:30), as well as the steep decline in the value of Jonathan Lucroy (38:30), who was traded at a second consecutive deadline, this time for a much smaller return.

Hall of Fame Weekend and 'The Cooperstown Casebook' (Ep. 95)  

On the eve of the Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremony, The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann bring on Sports Illustrated writer Jay Jaffe to discuss the future of Hall of Fame debates (06:00), how the Hall would be different if Jay could pick the plaques (12:00), several overlooked inductees and candidates (19:30), Adrián Beltré and the BBWAA's bias against third basemen (27:30), how the Hall should handle relievers (44:00), and Jay's new book, 'The Cooperstown Casebook' (48:00).

Parity, Payroll, and Deadline Decisions (Ep. 94)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann discuss the injuries that forced Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg to leave their Sunday starts early (02:30), then bring on FiveThirtyEight editor and senior sportswriter Neil Paine to talk about the unusual eliteness of 2017's top teams (10:30), how to evaluate whether a team should buy or sell at the trade deadline (16:00), the teams with the toughest buy/sell decisions this season (38:30), the best matches between contending teams and expendable players (41:00), and the outlook for Aaron Judge (43:30).

Trade Season Starts Early (Ep. 93)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann banter about the Astros' funeral for Carlos Beltrán's glove (01:15), the problem with baseball humor (02:30), and why teams aren't waiting for the deadline to make moves (05:30). Then they round up the news from a busy baseball week, including: the Yankees–White Sox trade (08:30); Yoan Moncada's promotion (18:30); the battle to be Chicago's best-looking third baseman (20:45); the Carlos Correa injury (22:15); Kris Bryant's close call (22:00); the pros and cons of headfirst slides (22:30); the J.D. Martinez deal (and why Detroit didn't get more) (30:00); the changing tenor of trade analysis (37:30); Orioles trade rumors (41:30); the red-hot Dodgers and Dodger Stadium naming rights (43:30); what constitutes a blockbuster (47:30); and, for the first time in months, what Jerry Dipoto did (51:30).

The Truth About (the Original) Ty Cobb (Ep. 92)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann banter about Freddie Freeman's performance at third base so far (00:30), the Nationals' trade for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson (02:00), and Matt Holliday's weekend baserunning adventure (06:15). Then, with "Ty Cobb" recently trending for a surprising reason, they talk to Charles Leerhsen, author of 'Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty,' about why the baseball legend was not the cruel, cutthroat racist he's widely believed to be (12:00), how that misconception started (26:30), and what we can learn from how hard it's been to debunk Cobb's bad reputation (49:30).

The Quintana Trade and the Most Fascinating Rest-of-Season Storylines (Ep. 91)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann banter about an All-Star idea (01:00) and the Cubs–White Sox José Quintana trade (04:30), then discuss several stories that are foremost on their minds as the All-Star break comes to a close, including close pennant races (13:30), the staying power of some early-season surprises (and some slow starters' comeback potential) (34:00), who'll do what at the trade deadline (40:30), and the competition for the most valuable individual season (51:00).

Explaining the Unlikeliest All-Stars (Ep. 90)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann bring on a series of writers (including Eric Stephen, Rustin Dodd, Dan Hayes, Andrew Stoeten, and Zach Buchanan) to explain the anomalous seasons of five veterans who are making their first trips to the All-Star Game: Alex Wood (04:15), Jason Vargas (15:15), Avisaíl García (28:00), Justin Smoak (40:30), and Zack Cozart (53:00). In the process, they also discuss the trade-deadline outlooks of the Dodgers, Royals, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Reds.

Tyler Flowers, Framing, and the Robot Umps Debate (Ep. 89)  

The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann banter about All-Star selection philosophies (1:10) and then tee up Ben’s conversation with Braves catcher Tyler Flowers, an elite pitch framer who’s transformed himself offensively and has, by one measure, been one of the most valuable players in baseball this season (10:25). Then, they discuss whether Flowers’s framing skill is good or bad for baseball (36:55), the obstacles that still stand in the way of a computerized strike zone (42:35), and whether they’re pro-robot umps (45:00).

Let the Trade Talk Begin (Ep. 88)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann bring on Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports to talk about the likely (and unlikely) buyers and sellers at this month's MLB trade deadline (01:00), what the contenders can do to address their weaknesses (13:00), the best bats and arms available (31:00), the impact that the massive 2018-19 free-agent classes could have on the market throughout the next year (45:00), and the latest on Japanese superstar Shohei Otani's MLB ETA (48:00).

The First-Half Draft (Ep. 87)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann discuss the Cubs' decision to DFA Miguel Montero (00:30) and the end of the College World Series (06:30), then draft 10 of their favorite stories from the first half of the 2017 regular-season schedule (plus honorable mentions) and forecast how they'll hold up over the rest of the season (10:00).

The Dodgers, the Freeze, and Julio Urías (Ep. 86)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann discuss a wild Dodgers win and the surprising longevity of weak-hitting Michael Martínez (05:30), then talk to superhero/sprinter/Braves grounds crew member Nigel Talton (a.k.a. "the Freeze") about becoming a between-innings phenomenon at SunTrust Park this season (09:30). Lastly, they bring on orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Dugas to discuss the season-ending injury to Dodgers phenom Julio Urías (25:15), the prognosis for his career and return (28:00), and why shoulder injuries have become less common among major league pitchers (32:30).

Marly Rivera on the Lives of Latino Players (Ep. 85)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann talk about Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman potentially moving to third (01:00), then bring on ESPN's Marly Rivera to discuss the Béisbol Experience project (06:00), why baseball's native Spanish speakers still aren't covered enough (09:30), the drawbacks and benefits of Latino players' paths to the majors (16:00), how teams are trying to make it easier for Latino players to learn English and adjust to American culture and food (20:00), differences among countries in off-the-field challenges and on-the-field playing styles (23:30), leadership questions and cultural cliques in the clubhouse (26:00), why baseball players rarely talk to the media (or each other) about politics (33:30), and more.

Baseball Biomechanics and the Secrets of Statcast (Ep. 84)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann banter about balding and baseball hairstyles (01:00), then bring on Kyle Boddy, founder of data-driven training facility Driveline Baseball, to talk about how independent instructors work with teams and college programs (03:45), how Boddy is trying to turn Driveline into baseball's DARPA (12:45), myths about baseball training (16:00), the future of biomechanics in baseball (24:00), and the latest on launch angle and spin rate (26:00). Then, they ask RotoGraphs writer and xStats founder Andrew Perpetua about Statcast's improvements and limitations (32:00) and how he uses Statcast stats to assess skill and project performance (34:00). They wrap up with a brief discussion about the struggle to stay curious about baseball (50:00).

The Michael Baumann Battle (Ep. 83)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann talk about Michael's recent power rankings (01:15) and Carlos Ruiz's pitching appearance (04:00), then bring on ... Michael Baumann, a college pitcher whom the Orioles just selected with the 98th overall pick in the amateur draft (05:00). Later, Ben and Michael (the first one) play a game of "Is This Reliever Currently Good?" (19:30) and end with an Aaron Judge Minute (42:00).

Setting the Scene for the Amateur Draft (Ep. 82)  

The Ringer's Ben Lindbergh and Michael Baumann talk to FanGraphs lead prospect writer Eric Longenhagen about why this draft class is unusual, the class's strengths and weaknesses (02:30), the prominence of two-way players (10:00), the pros and cons of potential top pick Hunter Greene (12:00), which teams have the most at stake in this draft (19:30), how the first several picks are likely to play out (26:00), how much college reputations matter for player development (35:15), the influence of analytics (37:30), which draftees are the best bets to make their major league debuts first (41:15), the draft's unpredictability (44:00), and more.

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