It's playoff time, so Jason and I discuss when going with your ace on three days rest is a good thing, Saturday night's pitching match-up, and a change in the way we watch baseball. Then special guest Rob Neyer of ESPN stops by to chime on the playoffs with some interesting tangents here and there on how teams have gotten smarter. For Pop Culture Moment, writer Joel Stein (Time Magazine) comes on to talk about the book he's working on and how part of the research involved getting a baseball lesson from former All-Star Shawn Green. Then it's the usual goofiness as Jason pilfers a beverage.. As always, we hope you enjoy.

Note: We do alert you to the presence of the occasional adult language. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Up And In Episode 21: "I'm Not A Criminal, But I Stole This"

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Table Of Contents

0:00 Intro, agenda review (mosquitoes, hail, and miners too)

4:28 Housekeeping (Email Us! Join our Facebook group!, Episode 22 delayed!)

8:01 Emails: Live web-cam requests, Mark Rogers, Idaho, recipes, more dream crushing

19:32 Jason gets another beer

20:27 Let's talk about the playoffs

27:15 3-man vs. 4-man rotations in the post-season

35:18 The dream match-up of Roy Halladay vs. Tim Lincecum

39:43 Watching the playoff games without emotion

50:38 Special Guest Rob Neyer of

  • Getting labeled as a sabermetrician
  • Compelling moments vs. compelling series
  • Are the Phillies the best post-season team?
  • Bobby Cox getting out-managed in his final series
  • Chiming in on the concept of the post-season three-man rotation
  • How teams are smarter now than they were 15 years ago
  • Are there any tactical advantages left out there?
  • Preserving pitcher's health
  • Does the Yankees + $$$ = fair?
  • A little bit about Rob Neyer Baseball

81:00 Not Jim Tracy on post-season sportsmanship

82:49 Pop Culture moment with writer Joel Stein (Time Magazine)

  • Learning about baseball from Shawn Green
  • Newark vs. Los Angeles
  • Tantric baseball viewing
  • Working for Martha Stewart
  • Naming the book
  • Shawn Green predicts Halladay's no-hitter
  • Getting your Q rating
  • Playoff wagering
  • Opening the door for the wife
  • Morgana The Kissing Bandit update

114:15 Scrambling for guests

116:12 Musical Guest: Hifana

116:53 What Are You Drinking?

125:25 A quick discussion of mole sauce

127:41 Update on Jason's mental state

Music is by Hifana, copyrights W+K Tokyo Lab.

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Dinner conversation for next week: Players you're watching in the AFL.
I don't get how this isn't the #1 sports podcast on iTunes with an EXPLICIT tag. I just listened to the Puck Nuts Smodcast (currently #1) and it is awful. Keep on rockin' in the e-world.
It's hard to take on the podcast megalopolis that is Smodcast Nation. We're doing our best dammit.
On the Mexican coke: seeing as this is a Baseball Prospectus podcast; I think a study should be done on the site. Have Colin, Matt and Eric come up with a blinded taste test and analyze the results from all different statistical angles! You can determine once and for all if the great taste of Mexican coke is all in your head, or if there is a real difference in taste.
Re taste tests: Not before they test Malort and Cynar (read the second set of comments on that link). I have tried both, which makes me a bigger man than Kevin, Jason and Joel Stein put together. (Not that I give a shit, which is the true mark of being a man. There, see? Now you don't have to wait until 2012 to read Stein's book.) Michael Lewis may have gone overboard in Moneyball (which is why I'm guessing you're not interested in him as a guest), but I think he'd make an interesting guest overall. This article did a fantastic job of explaining why CDOs were so pervasive during the mortgage boom.
Would Steve Albini and Bob Weston talking AL Central baseball be dream guests?
Steve Albini and Bob Weston talking about ANYTHING would be dream guests.
Just please, make Jason ask Albini what he thinks about fashion.
Albini is a bright guy, and is entitled to his opinion. But failing to recognize the validity and necessity of the fashion industry by ignorantly assuming people who embrace it are in need of substance is just sad and narrow. Albini has a fashion aesthetic just like everybody else; he doesn't live in a bubble, despite trying to make you think he does. Fashion isnt always about utility no, but neither is music or art or lavender scented body soap or automobiles. Choosing to have a sense of style (as it pertains to fashion) shouldn't be seen as a character flaw any more than choosing to listen to the Beach Boys over Justin Beiber. It's about having taste.
The wisdom of using a starter on short rest should be fairly straight forward to measure as far as immediate impact goes. Just measure the ERA (or whatever measure of effectiveness you want to use) of starters who pitched on three days rest and compare it to the combined season's ERA of those pitchers. Then, compare that difference using the same method with all top three starters who pitched on four days rest. That will give you an idea of how much that fourth day of rest helps a pitcher and a manager can judge whether to recycle his top starters or go to his fourth starter based on that. The only thing left out of this calculation would be the season after effect - or if it is not that starters last start of the year, the effect on latter starts.
I'm not sure those averages would be of much value. I think it's a very individual decision. I don't think Tim Lincecum would have barely, if any, drop on three days, while there are guys that would see huge drops in effectiveness.