Effectively Wild Wiki
Effectively Wild Wiki


Ben and Sam banter about a T-Pain tweet, two famous phrases, Ray Searage, and the final results of their contracts draft, then answer listener emails about the Cubs, a baseball broadcast from Better Call Saul, redistributing salaries, and more.


  • Weak NL Central and Chicago Cubs' win projection
  • Baseball broadcast from Better Call Saul
  • Redistributing salaries based on performance
  • Sam's hypothetical MLB debut
  • Best MLB debuts ever


  • Ben and Sam differ on how to deal with the banter backlog. Sam just moves on but Ben wants to discuss all the things they missed.
  • T-Pain and the Lindbergh Burrito Method
  • Wobbly Chair: A listener wrote in that Germany sports media often refers to soccer coaches in danger of being fired with a term that translates to 'his chair wobbles'. dd 'his chair wobbles'
  • Episode 830 follow-up: Listener Garrett did research on rotations that Ray Searage worked with and found evidence of his real impact, including a 7 point reduction in batting average.
  • The phrase 'Suck It, PECOTA' has been embraced by many Royals fans online in light of their World Series title last season despite a low PECOTA projection.
  • Episode 766 follow-up: Ben won the free-agent-contract over/under draft.

Email Questions[]

  • Drew: "I admittedly am a huge Cubs fan, and all I want is for them to win the series, but don't we all? As I look at how bad the NL is in general with 6 out of the 15 teams totally just giving up on the season and specifically the NL Central has two of those teams in it. So given all of the games against teams that will be downright terrible, how crazy am I to think that with all the depth of talent that the Cubs have that if they play like they could with the magic of Joe Maddon managing all of them, that they could win close to 110 games?"
  • Marcus (Arlington, VA): "In the last episode of Better Call Saul a character named Mike, while on a stakeout listening to a baseball game the clearest thing that can be made out is the phrase, "Murphy has gone 13-29 in his last 8 games'. Considering the show is based in 2002 is there any chance that this was a legitimate call or did the writers make it all up?"
  • Tim: "One of the biggest issues facing team building is that free agents are getting overpaid for past performance, something that has been happening basically since its inception. Jose Bautista's recent talk of wanting a big contact in what would be the waning years of his career got me thinking about how the majority of players think of past performance as future indicators regardless of how old they are. They did well and they want to get paid for it. So what if there was a system in MLB that awarded player salaries based on present performance? Say if you took the revenue sharing idea and combined all the team payrolls in MLB into a giant performance pool in which to pay the players and then as league revenues increase year to year or teams want to add to it themselves you keep adding to this pool in which to pay players. All 30 teams would be able to use money in the pool as it would allow small market teams the ability to keep their good young talent without future salary growth getting in the way. Take Mike Trout as an example. Initially he was paid the league minimum for a rookie for his first two seasons before he got his big extension but obviously he'd performed to a much higher value. What if instead you were to take that baseline rookie salary and then use some metric (such as WAR) to measure how much a player was worth and pay him a salary commensurate with his performance. It would shift the strategy of team building to be based more around bringing up young talent so that they can be contributors to the big league club from the start. And if it sounds familiar this is what most of the European soccer clubs do with their academies which means a transfer/loan system could be a possibility as well. For a player you have a built in incentive to do well from the start and if you go with a normalized performance curve or even are a late bloomer, the better you perform you'll still have the opportunity to make some money for having a great season."

Play Index[]

  • Sam's Play Index is based on a school assignment he completed in 3rd grade where he had to write about a day in his (future) life.
  • Sam imagined his MLB debut where he went 5-5 with 2 HR, a single, double, and triple. He would score 4 runs, have 4 RBI and also draw a walk.
  • There have been 8 times in MLB history where a player hit for the cycle with two home runs. Joe DiMaggio did it twice.
  • The exact batting line that Sam imagined has not happened in MLB history (including RBI and runs scored totals).
  • Sam then wants to look up information about which players had the best MLB debuts ever.
  • By total bases, J.P. Arencebia had the best ever debut with 11 total bases.
  • By WPA Maurice Van Robays had the best ever debut in 1939 with a WPA of 1.022.
  • Mark Quinn is second in total bases and WPA for MLB debuts.


  • Sam is wary of Marcus' question and reminds Ben to be 'very careful' and avoid spoilers.
  • Ben connected with Better Call Saul writer Tom Schnauz and found out that it was a fictitious and scripted radio call.
  • The power in the MLBPA is likely to be centered around older players which would make it harder to pass changes that would give a greater share of league revenue (via payroll) to younger players.
  • Fireworks were set off at Kauffman Stadium once after Mark Quinn walked, something he did very rarely.