Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Effectively Wild community’s Secret Santa exchange beginning again, a new podcast featuring former EW guest (and oldest former living player) Eddie Robinson, and two more Scott Boras quotes, then reflect further on Kim Ng’s hiring and review listeners’ responses to a recent podcast discussion about picking a new rule to differentiate MLB’s leagues. Then (44:32) they talk to 15-year-old Canadian pitcher Raine Padgham about throwing 83 miles per hour, playing with and against boys, her origin story as a player, gaining velocity and protecting her arm, pink hair, and her aspirations to play professionally.
- Raine Padgham interview
- The story of "the pitch"
- How she got into baseball
- Baseball opportunities for girls, and the experience of playing on boys teams
- MLB Trailblazers Series, a baseball tournament for girls
- Hurdles for girls in baseball
- Her other pitches
- Does she plan to stay a pitcher?
- Help she gets from coaches
- Other sports
- Throwing exercises and regimen she has found helpful
- Arm care during the winter
- Has there been pressure to switch to softball?
- How do boys react to playing against a girl?
- Long-term baseball aspirations
- Women's baseball opportunities overseas
- How fast does she hope to get?
- Raine's baseball heroes
- The story of her pink hair
- Has she gotten used to the attention?
- Stevie Nicks, "Listen to the Rain"
- Registration is now open for the listener-organized Effectively Wild Secret Santa gift exchange.
- Eddie Robinson, oldest living former player and former EW guest, has started his own podcast consisting of his reminiscences.
- Deciphering two more Scott Boras quotes.
- Rachael McDaniel's article on FanGraphs reflecting on Kim Ng's hiring as Marlins GM.
- Responding to listener suggestions for new rules to differentiate the two leagues.
- Meg flubs the intro and remarks that she hadn't messed one up in a while.
- Ben is taking time off from work (but not the podcast) for the week of Thanksgiving. Meg applauds the decision.
- Meg marvels that Eddie Robinson is still sharp as he nears age 100, but also hopes that when she gets to 100, she isn't still podcasting.
- Scott Boras was interviewed by Toronto radio station The FAN. Quote number 1 was another nautical analogy, viewing baseball as an ocean. Meg wonders if Boras owns a boat and riffs on whether he has a fear of the ocean and this is how he faces it.
- Boras quote number 2: The Blue Jays are "in a definite phase where I think they have the lamp, and now they’re looking for the lightbulb." Meg thinks the analogy is backward: You have the light bulb (raw talent) and want to find a structure (lamp) that can make it succeed. Ben tries to rescue the analogy with mixed results.
- Ben thinks that Boras just looks around the room and makes an analogy about whatever he sees. He has made a flowers/vase analogy.
Differentiating the two leagues
- Meg recalls one of her friends who is more into football, and whose mind boggles that outfield dimensions vary from park to park.
- Meg likes a little variety in the game, "as long as the bit of variety we have is not pitcher hitting." She also doesn't want the variety to unbalance things too much, like having deader balls in one league.
- Ben also is not interested in seeing pitchers hitting.
- For a lot of proposals, Ben feels that you should just pick whichever way is better and use it everywhere.
- Meg notes that the difference between the two leagues and the variety in the parks are an artifacts of history, not something that was designed. If we were designing a sport, we wouldn't have done it that way.
|Proposal||Meg's reaction||Ben's reaction|
|Runner on second in extra innings||"No thank you."||No|
|Keep all 2020 special rules||No||No|
|No replay review||"That's a terrible idea."||No|
|Mound visit limits||No real effect|
|Ban the shift||"I would be open to that."||"I suppose so."|
|Different regular season and playoff structure||"Absolutely not."||"Sorry."|
|Can change batting order after every 9 batters||"Bonkers."||"Sounds like chaos."|
|Infield ball is fair if it touches fair territory twice||"Sure."||"Not a bad one."|
|Home runs score only the batter (runners remain at bases)||"Sure."|
|Day games/night games only||"I can't imagine this would
actually matter that much."
|Snake batting order (1 to 9 then 9 to 1)|
|Visiting team bats last||Confusing.|
- Ben is philosophically opposed to banning the shift and would rather other rules come first, like limiting the number of pitchers. He doesn't feel the shift affects balls in play as much as people believe.
- Meg doesn't feel we need to ban the shift either, but it doesn't seem unreasonable as a distinguishing characteristic.
- Having teams play more games in one league than the other would lead to unfair inter-league games due to players being more tired.
- Meg does not begrudge listeners proposing ways to make the game zany (the entire listener email segment seemingly dedicated to the topic), but if you're going to do it, just do it in both leagues.
- On the topic of batting order, Meg notes that the one of last team to bat out of order was the Mets. "What are we going to do when the Mets are like a competent baseball organiztion?" She fears that we'll end up making fun of the Mariners.
- Meg doesn't feel strongly about the fair ball proposal, which means "Try it for a season and then we can go this is terrible."
- Ben recalls that early baseball rules for fair/foul were similar to the proposal.
- Meg thinks the home run proposal would be fun to try for a year since it would alter a team's offensive strategy.
- Meg feels that it is unfair that our rules experiments are performed on minor leaguers. Make the major leaguers suffer through them too.
- Meg feels that if the lockdown continues into next season, we should have more day games so people have something to do during the day.
- Ben hopes this closes the books on the "how to make the leagues different" proposals.
- Raine's bullpen coach told her to throw as hard as she could, so she did. She was herself surprised that she hit 83, never having previously hit 80 as far as she knows.
- Raine got into baseball at age 3. Both of her parents played baseball, as does her brother. She started pitching at around age 4 or 5.
- Raine is currently the only girl on her team. During the winter months, only the boys leagues are playing. The girls leagues run only in late summer to early fall, focusing on national competitions.
- At age 12, she was the first girl to play both on the boys team and girls team at the Western Championship. She was also a trailblazer at the 13U level, and was the first girl to play on her local team.
- Raine thoroughly enjoyed participating in the MLB Trailblazers Series, a tournament for girls.
- She hasn't experienced too much difficulty joining boys teams. It's awkward at first because the boys are uncomfortable talking with her. After a few games, they warm up to her. Sometimes, a coach may not believe in her talent until he sees it for himself.
- Raine has a curve and a change-up. She abandoned her knuckleball to focus on the other pitches.
- Raine enjoys pitching, but she also wants to play positions as long as possible, understanding that at the college level she may have to specialize.
- Raine also plays volleyball, rugby, and football. Conditioning and skills for the other sports help her with baseball, too.
- Raine's brother is a catcher, which made it easier to practice during the pandemic.
- In cold weather, they throw fewer pitches, and when it gets very cold, they stop throwing entirely and do stretching and other exercises.
- Raine explored softball as a backup option in case she couldn't get into university as a baseball player. She didn't feel pressured by anyone to switch; this was her decision.
- At younger ages, it was more common for boys to get angry when they struck out against a girl, which boosted her confidence. It doesn't happen much with older boys, who have better control of their emotions.
- Raine hopes to continue playing baseball in college. Next year, she will be eligible for the senior women's national team, and one of her goals is to help win the world cup.
- Raine would love to play professionally in the United States, but wouldn't turn down an opportunity to play in Japan, say.
- Raine prefers to aim for a series of smaller goals, rather than one giant one. She's working toward 85mph, and will work upward from there.
- Raine looks up to Ichiro, Derek Jeter, and Claire Eccles. Eccles plays on the Canadian national team and is the first woman to play in the West Coast League.
- Raine started dying her hair pink at age 6. She did it because everybody mistook her for a boy when she played baseball.
- Raine is not yet comfortable with the attention she's getting.
- Ben notes that he is a Canadian dual-citizen.
- Episode 1619: Pink Hair Don’t Care
- EW Secret Santa: Link blocked by web site, copy manually: https://truefire.typeform.com/to/utnX5Vnt
- Eddie Robinson’s podcast
- Eddie Robinson interview episode On this wiki
- Boras interview
- Rachael on Kim Ng’s hiring
- Raine’s 83 mph pitch
- Raine’s website
- Raine’s YouTube channel
- Article about Raine’s pitch
- Second article about Raine’s pitch
- Third article about Raine’s pitch
- 2019 article about Raine
- 2017 article about Raine