Effectively Wild Wiki


Ben and Sam review listener responses to their skepticism about Cubs-celebration attendance figures, then answer emails about the offseason outlook, changes in closer usage, Times on Base, Edwin Jackson, identical Andrew Millers, Mike Trout and more.


  • Impact of free agent pool on offseason trades
  • Chicago Cubs rebuild review
  • Times on Base
  • Reliever usage and decline in saves
  • Sub-replacement regular players
  • Mike Trout pitching in the World Series
  • Andrew Miller clones


  • Episode 973 follow-up: Several listeners wrote in about the Chicago Cubs' World Series parade attendance.
  • Listeners wrote in that the estimate was made before the event and that only a few blocks away from the parade route traffic and congestion was relatively normal.
  • 1.1 million took the L trains in Chicago the day of the parade.

Email Questions[]

  • Kyle: "Do you think this offseason will be more exciting because of the lower rated free agent class? Should we expect to see more trades compared to normal years? Do you think the free agent class affects how teams operate in other ways besides signings? Will the weak free agent class lead to more teams signing younger players to extensions?"
  • Mike: "Apparently Theo Epstein at the Cubs' victory rally 'Let's be honest for a couple years we forgot the not in 'try not to suck'. Do you think it's possible the Cubs knew what they were getting with Edwin Jackson and signed him with that in mind?"
  • Angus: "Why isn't times on base a more common statistic? If OBP has taken precedence over batting average why hasn't times on base overtaken hits in importance?"
  • Jacob: "How long do you think it will be until the 50 save season becomes a thing of the past? Will it happen in our lifetimes?"
  • Aiden: "Let's say Mike Trout is a free agent this offseason and not being fussy about avocados will happily sign anywhere. However he has one contract demand that must be met in order to fulfill a childhood dream. The team that signs him must allow him to pitch the final inning of any potential clinching World Series game. How much money does Trout lose because of this contract demand? How different would his contract be if he only wanted to get the final out instead?"
  • Kyle (Boulder, CO): "If you had two identical Andrew Millers, in what roles would you deploy them? Same question for if you had 3, 4, 5 identical Andrew Millers on your team."

Play Index[]

  • Sam uses the Play Index to look up trends about playing time for sub replacement players. This is based on a search of players that had 0 WAR or lower for a season while having 400 or more plate appearances.
  • 2016 was the second lowest ever percentage of sub-replacement players. In 2016 4.9% of players with 400 plate appearances or more (10 players) had WAR totals equal or less than zero.


  • Ben is excited that the podcast will end the week on an episode number that is a multiple of five.
  • Ben, on the crowd estimates, "I just can't imagine that anything could beat Rod Stewart in '94".
  • Listener Jessie wrote in to say that there have been at least 11 relievers to have 35 or more saves in every season since 2003.
  • Ben and Sam discuss whether they would ask a reliever when negotiating with them if they are comfortable with a fireman type role (as opposed to strictly being a closer).
  • Ben, on trying to guess the 10 sub replacement regular players, "This is going to be excruciating for everyone."


  • Effectively Wild Episode 975: And Here's the Pitch from Trout