Presented here is a guide to some of the more memorable segments and episodes of Effectively Wild, the (semi-)daily podcast from Baseball Prospectus (iTunes feed).

Our own detailed write-ups on episodes 1-26 can be found at our EW Rewind section. Some of the show’s more enduring running jokes and references were explained (and voted on) during our Wild Four Tournaments for 2015 and 2016.

Some entries include post-episode outtakes which should probably be heard for maximum enjoyment.  (Newly added entries in bold.)

You can also browse Ben’s EW Songs and Sounds list, and listener Arthur Rudolph’s Spotify playlist of available songs.


Each time out, we'll pick an interesting topic or two from the previous night's news and action to discuss in depth, and with any luck, we'll wrap up the episode in around 10 minutes.
228/16/12"Why BP Didn't Break the Melky Cabrera Suspension"
Ben and Sam discuss how they came to know that Melky Cabrera was about to be suspended for a positive PED test before the news broke, and how they decided what to do about it.
5710/5/12The Teams That Will Win a World Series in the Next Five Years/Are Beat Writers Becoming More or Less Important?/The O's Start Saunders
Ben and Sam are joined by Marc Normandin, formerly of Baseball Prospectus and currently of SB Nation, to discuss which teams will win a World Series in the next five years, the changing role of beat writers, and Joe Saunders, the Orioles' starter in tonight's play-in game.
7010/26/12World Series Game Two/Protective Gear for PitchersFirst multiple of 5 on a Friday
Ben and Sam discuss all the notable events from World Series Game Two, including Madison Bumgarner's impressive outing, the line drive off of Doug Fister's head, and Jim Leyland's decision to play the infield back in the seventh, then assess the odds of a comeback by the Tigers.
78 11/7/12Quantifying Coaches/Why Some Fielders Look Better Than They Are/How Do We Know What Pitchers Should Weigh?First full email listener episode
Ben and Sam answer listener emails about the importance of coaches, defensive stats, and how we know whether pitchers should gain or lose weight, with guest appearances by Colin Wyers and Doug Thorburn.
10012/12/12Astros Pro Scouting Coordinator Kevin Goldstein on Being Inside Baseball
Ben and Sam talk to Kevin Goldstein about his life after leaving Baseball Prospectus to work for the Houston Astros, what he's working on, and what he's learned about how baseball teams work. Also, what he's drinking.
2005/10/13Will Leitch on Media, Fans, and Media and Fans
Ben and Sam talk to Sports on Earth Senior Writer Will Leitch about the evolution of baseball coverage and the fan's relationship with sports media.
2045/16/13The Yankees and Luck/How We Watch Baseball/Consuming Scouting ReportsPrevious crossover on 56
Ben and Sam team up for a simulpodcast with Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs and FanGraphs Audio to discuss whether the Yankees have been lucky, the best way to watch baseball, and the value of old scouting reports.
2065/20/13When Does it Make Sense to Fire Managers?/What We Think about Hot StreaksOrigin of "Wobbly Chair" ("hot seat" discussion continues in 207).
Ben and Sam talk about the circumstances under which they'd feel comfortable recommending that a manager be fired, then discuss different beliefs about hot streaks.
2467/18/13Anniversary Episode Emails
On EW's one-year anniversary, Ben and Sam chat with Jason Wojciechowski about baseball and copyright law, then answer other listener emails.
2497/23/13Gabe Kapler on Advanced Stats from the Player's Perspective
Ben and Sam interview former big-league outfielder Gabe Kapler about his respect for sabermetrics and the purpose advanced stats can serve for players.
2658/14/13Answers to Your Burning Baseball Questions"Baseball on ice"
Ben and Sam answer listener emails about baseball with clockwise bases, whether in-game managerial moves help or hurt, who pays players who get released, and more
30010/4/13Brian Kenny on Sabermetrics, Broadcasting, and Confrontation
Ben and Sam talk to Brian Kenny about the reaction to his campaign to kill the win and why sabermetrics needs a confrontational face.
31110/26/13 The Postseason Mythbusters Edition
Ben and Sam talk to Russell Carleton about whether momentum and previous playoff experience matter, whether bunts are always bad, and the importance of shutdown innings
32011/1/13Colin Wyers on Mathematical Modeling for the Astros and the Future of Public-Sector Sabermetrics
Ben and Sam talk to Colin Wyers about how he got hired by the Astros, working in baseball, and where sabermetrics is headed.
32411/7/13Kevin Kerrane on Scouting and Dollar Sign on the Muscle
Ben and Sam talk to author Kevin Kerrane about the Dollar Sign on the Muscle reprint and the world of scouting.
32611/11/13The Minor League Free Agent DraftSqueaky laugh (intro/outro)
Ben and Sam select 20 minor league free agents with decent chances to see big league playing time in 2014.
35512/27/13The Last and Longest Show of 2013
Ben and Sam close out the year by answering listener emails until Sam’s battery dies
3962/28/14Your Emails, Answered“If baseball were different, how different would it be?”
Ben and Sam answer listener emails about scouting based on one swing, how much GMs know, paying young players, psyching out opponents, and more.
4063/14/14The Answers You SeekFirst discussion of Webb-Albers (later mentioned in 423, 436, 536, 583, 717, and more)
Ben and Sam answer listener emails about Andrelton Simmons, finishers who can’t close, pitcher injuries, and more.
4163/28/14Listener Emails: One Miguel Cabrera, Many Mike Trouts
Ben and Sam answer listener emails about the Miguel Cabrera contract extension, bullpen usage, productive at-bats, multiple Mike Trouts, and more.
4274/14/14Owen Good on the Past, Present, and Future of Baseball Video Games
Ben and Sam talk to Owen Good about MLB 14: The Show, where baseball video games have been, and where they're going.
4304/17/14Dirk Hayhurst on Cheating, Beaning, and Clubhouse Race RelationsOther Hayhurst episodes: 441 and 603
Ben and Russell talk to Dirk Hayhurst about doctoring baseballs, hitting batters, and the perceived effect of race on clubhouse chemistry.
4314/18/14The Rising Strikeout Rate Symposium
Ben discusses the origins and implications of baseball's skyrocketing strikeout rate with a panel of experts including Harry Pavlidis, Rob Neyer, Brian Bannister, and Alan Nathan.
4575/27/14Do the Astros Have a Perception Problem?Smash Mouth banter
Ben and Sam discuss whether the Astros’ analytical approach has become (or could become) a PR problem.
4746/19/14The Rest-of-Season Projections Test“Ben and Sam” or “Sam and Ben” discussion
Ben and Sam identify the players who’ve most overperformed or underperformed their PECOTAs and discuss what they’ll do next.
4907/11/14Announcements and Aces
Ben and Sam discuss their new jobs and the future of the podcast, then talk about how ace starters are defined.
4967/21/14The Q&A EpisodeSnowpiercer discussion (also in 570 and 571)
Ben and Sam banter about unwritten rules, then discuss the Angels-Padres trade, Oakland's ingeniousness, and a few other subjects.
4987/23/14The Astros’ Draft PostmortemDiamondback headlines contest (also in 499, 502, and more)
Ben and Sam banter about banning the shift, then discuss the way the Astros’ draft deadline went down.
5007/25/14 The Somewhat Special 500th Episode
Ben, Sam, Grant Brisbee, and Jeff Sullivan draft their favorite things about baseball.
Effectively Wild Theme
5128/12/14TV Blackouts Will Rot Your BrainSam sings the Effectively Wild theme song ("remixed" in 526)
Sam and Craig Goldstein bring on Wendy Thurm to talk about a big ruling out of New York that could affect MLB’s television territories and blackouts.
5339/12/14Life in an Indy League
Ben and Sam talk to 2014 St. Paul Saints pitcher Andy Johnson about what life is like in the independent leagues.
5389/19/14Nate Silver, By Popular Demand
Ben and Sam talk to Nate Silver about baseball analysis and the first six months of FiveThirtyEight.
55110/8/14Debating Postseason Unpredictability and Decisive Game FoursSam's "distractions/dying/rigor mortis" soliloquy
Ben, Sam, and Zachary Levine discuss whether the postseason is too unpredictable and then break down the managerial decisions from two decisive NLDS games.
57511/18/14The Giancarlo Stanton ExtensionNon-revelatory
Ben and Sam banter about non-revelatory rumors, replay-review revisions, and Barry Zito, then discuss the reported terms of the Marlins' historic Giancarlo Stanton extension.
58912/18/14How Super Mega Baseball Was Made
Ben talks to Scott Drader of Metalhead Software about the development of their successful new video game, Super Mega Baseball.
5981/12/15The A's, Rebuilding, and Ben Zobrist
Ben and Sam banter about Ryan Lavarnway and Billy Beane fan fiction, then discuss the Ben Zobrist trade.
6192/20/15Effectively Wild Episode 619: 2015 Season Preview Series: Baltimore Orioles (And an Announcement)Ben and Sam announce their new job with the Sonoma Stompers
Ben and Sam make an exciting announcement and preview the Orioles' season with Jeff Long, and Sahadev talks to Orioles beat writer Roch Kubatko (at 32:04).
6353/15/152015 Season Preview Series: Texas RangersBen and Sam in California; Lindbergh burrito method
Ben and Sam preview the Rangers’ season with Russell Carleton, and Sahadev talks to FOX Sports Southwest reporter Anthony Andro (at 28:13).
6624/22/15Michael Schur on Metacommentary 10 Years After Fire Joe Morgan's First Post
On the 10th anniversary of Fire Joe Morgan's first post, Ben and Sam talk to Michael Schur about FJM, sports-media sins in the age of Twitter and, oddly enough, The O.C.
11847/8/17When Would You Want Your World Series?
Ben and Sam discuss the optimal distribution of World Series wins across an average lifespan.
7057/17/15The Anniversary Emails Edition"The Daylight Play Guy"
On the podcast's third anniversary, Ben and Sam answer emails about how much baseball players work, whatever happened to offensive shortstops, breaking unwritten rules, projecting prospects, and more, then place an impromptu call.
7209/4/15The Extra-Long Listener Email BlowoutGonny Jomes
Ben and Sam banter about the Mets, Matt Harvey, and Scott Boras, then answer listener emails about pitcher stuff, park effects, permanent shifts, a magic Jonny Gomes, playoff seeding, and much more.
7229/10/15Cold-Calling Ned Garver
Ben and Sam answer listener emails, come across a baseball mystery, and get answers straight from a primary source.
74410/15/15The Texas-Toronto Seventh-Inning Insanity Draft"Sam's Dark Analogy"
Ben and Sam draft their favorite moments from the unbelievable seventh inning of Blue Jays-Rangers Game Five.
75711/2/15World Series Lessons Learned
Ben and Sam say goodbye to Grantland, the World Series, and the 2015 season.
76011/5/15Andy McCullough Reveals Every Royals Offseason Move
Ben and Sam talk to Kansas City Star Royals beat writer Andy McCullough about why the Royals won the World Series and what their offseason might look like.
76211/9/15Effectively Wild Episode 762: The Best Barry Bonds Facts
Ben and Sam talk about the best Barry Bonds facts with Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman of Cespedes Family Barbecue.
77411/26/15The Thanksgiving Emails Episode the World Didn't Want You to Hear
Ben and Sam banter about troublesome software (for some reason), then answer emails about constructing sensible trades, solving moral hazard, subbing for Andrelton Simmons, and what makes free agents happy.
7911/6/16Brewster's EmailsBaseball movies
Ben and Sam banter about Justin Upton and answer listener emails about baseball movies, rap lyrics, restructuring divisions, free-agent demands, and more.
7971/14/16How to Have the Trout Talk
Ben and Sam banter about Chris Davis and burning ships, then answer a listener email about how to make Mike Trout matter to non-fans.
8202/17/16The Posing Pineda Edition
Ben and Sam banter about a picture of Michael Pineda, then answer emails about deferred contracts, players they wish would write books, Michael Jordan the minor leaguer, and more.
8433/19/16Cole Figueroa is Your Sabermetric Spirit Animal
Ben and FiveThirtyEight author Rob Arthur talk to Pittsburgh Pirates multi-position player Cole Figueroa about his use of statistics, why athletes should keep a close eye on what teams are tracking, and how his future depends on a small sample.
8554/5/16Jeff Passan on Righting the Elbow and Writing The Arm
Ben and Sam talk to Yahoo! Sports columnist Jeff Passan about his new book, The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports.
8785/6/16Gender Imbalance in Baseball Operations
Ben and Sam talk to Dodgers Baseball Operations Coordinator Emilee Fragapane and Senior R&D Analyst Megan Schroeder about their backgrounds and responsibilities and the gender imbalance in baseball operations departments.
8885/20/16Meet the Minor Leagues' Latest Recruit
Ben and Sam talk to former Sonoma Stomper (and The Only Rule Is It Has to Work character) Santos Saldivar, a pitcher they discovered on a spreadsheet last summer who was just signed by the Brewers. (No book spoilers.)
8925/26/16Carson Cistulli on Ranking Baseball's Broadcasts
Ben and Sam talk to FanGraphs writer Carson Cistulli about his recently completed television broadcast rankings for baseball's local markets.
9096/21/16Vin Scully Meets Mount Rushmore
Ben and Sam banter about Clayton Kershaw and clarify five-man infields, then discuss who would be on a baseball Mount Rushmore and dig through Sports Illustrated's archives to pinpoint what makes Vin Scully so great.


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5 Responses to “Effectively Wild: Essential Works (updated 10/13/16)”

  1. Aaron S.

    I remember a great conversation–probably in a 2013 episode–about Sam and Ben’s love of extra inning games. I vividly remember a discussion about rooting for neither team to score–up until the visiting team scores, and then rooting for the home team to score the exact same number of runs. Ben also commented on possible injuries forcing players to play way out of position in late innings, to which Sam replied, “That’s not a bug, that’s a feature!” That’s one I’d recommend.



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