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July 25, 2013

BP Daily Podcast

Effectively Wild Episode 251: Baseball Stories That Would Be Bigger Today/Finding a Narrative for the Nationals

by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller


Ben and Sam talk about events from baseball's history that would be bigger stories today, then dicuss narratives to explain the Nationals' season.

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Ben Lindbergh is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Ben's other articles. You can contact Ben by clicking here
Sam Miller is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Sam's other articles. You can contact Sam by clicking here

13 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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wpmulligan

The lesson to take from the 2013 Nationals: ya gotta hit.

Jul 25, 2013 05:22 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Stories that would blow up twitter today:
1) Lip Pike signs the first professional contract
2) The mound is moved back to 60'-6", overhand pitching allowed
3) Ty Cobb killed a man (or did he?)
4) Don Larsen WS Perfecto
5) Bill Mazeroski/Joe Carter end WS with one swing.
6) Red Sox come back from 3-0 defecit to defeat the Yankees, win first WS in 86 years.
7) Bartman
8) Tommy John coins a surgery

Jul 25, 2013 06:11 AM
rating: 0
 
gweedoh565

Ooh, the mound moving is a good one- I'd also add that raising/lowering the mound in 1963/1969 would provide a wealth of PitchF/X analysis opportunities.

Jul 25, 2013 06:46 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

I maybe could find reasons to quibble with some of these if I were feeling ungenerous, but 2) and 3) are particularly great answers.

Jul 25, 2013 08:31 AM
 
Jasun Lee

Much in the same vein of what y'all said about Mike Jordan playing baseball, and seeing how today's social media/hot take talking heads have been blowing up over Puig, I think the world would be even more insane about Bo Jackson on a daily basis if he were playing today.

Jul 25, 2013 08:03 AM
rating: 1
 
k3o3r9n0

To comment on something mentioned on the podcast, I think you underestimate the furor that the 56 game hitting streak would cause. Both of you said you'd probably wind up writing an article that would likely be somewhat dismissive of the streak, which I think tends to show that it would turn into another Stats v. Scouts #HOTTAKES contest. Basically, the Trout v. Cabrera of hitting streaks.

Jul 25, 2013 08:29 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

Yeah, I think this is probably right. Really, everything is in place for the streak to be a massive, massive internet freakout, except I'm still hesitant for one reason: I'm just not totally sure anybody would care, emotionally, the way they seem to have cared in 1941. Lots of oxygen would be spent on it, but ... would people really, really, really care? I just don't know. If we assume that we would, then, yes, just absolutely massive.

Jul 25, 2013 08:34 AM
 
k3o3r9n0

I do think a lot of people would wind up caring. Batting average still has a strong grasp over a lot of the baseball viewing public, so I do think it's fair to say that they would be captivated by a hitting streak. Plus, it's one of those records that people always say will never be broken, so the furor as someone really started approaching it (saying 40+ games), would be huge and I think people would really get invested in it. ESPN would have cut ins for every at bat, and there would be Twitter explosions starting every time he's on deck.

Plus, I think the fact that the record is held by Joe DiMaggio, who many hold up as the embodiment of the golden age of baseball, when all was pure and good in the land, would lead to more people being invested in the streak (for better or worse).

That second point may not make as much sense as I want it to, but I do think a lot of people would be into it. Think of how many people STILL won't let go of the MVP debate from last year. People care about these things.

Jul 25, 2013 09:42 AM
rating: 0
 
asstarr1

Stories that would blow up twitter:
1. Maris chasing the single season HR record
2. Hank Aaron chasing the all time HR record
3. Juan Marichal attacking John Roseboro with a bat
4. Roberto Clemente's death
5. Pete Rose gambling investigation
6. Dave Dravecky's arm breaking while pitching

Jul 25, 2013 09:46 AM
rating: 2
 
k3o3r9n0

I love #2 here. It's a singular moment as opposed to being drawn out. Easy jokes can be made about it, plus it'd spawn enough moral outrage to sustain columnists throughout the long, harsh winter.

Jul 25, 2013 09:49 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

#3 is awesome

Jul 25, 2013 10:48 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

Dravecky is a great one

Jul 25, 2013 15:27 PM
 
BP staff member Ryan Lind
BP staff

I think the Sosa/McGwire chase would be even more crazy for twitter than Maris. People love to debate X vs Y.

Jul 25, 2013 11:44 AM
 
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