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Ben Lindbergh, Meg Rowley, and FanGraphs author Ben Clemens break down the Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons, and Tommy La Stella signings, the Steven Matz trade, and Masahiro Tanaka’s decision to return to NPB’s Rakuten Eagles (with digressions about Japan’s tradition of awarding t
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Ben Lindbergh, Meg Rowley, and FanGraphs author Ben Clemens break down the Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons, and Tommy La Stella signings, the Steven Matz trade, and Masahiro Tanaka’s decision to return to NPB’s Rakuten Eagles (with digressions about Japan’s tradition of awarding the uniform number 18 to aces and the greatness of Hiroki Kuroda) before explaining what the internet-driven inflation of GameStop stock has to do with the Mets, why Billy Beane isn’t leaving the A’s after all, and why teams are so intent on treating the competitive balance tax threshold as a salary cap. Then (57:32) they’re joined by Dr. Barton Smith, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Utah State University, to discuss how the Hawk-Eye component of MLB’s Statcast system is enabling new breakthroughs in pitch design, the concepts of seam-shifted wake and spin mirroring, which pitchers and teams are on the cutting edge, why some earlier analysts were wrong about pitching, whether hitters can counter the latest advances, what we still don’t understand about pitching, the increasing complexity of player evaluation, and how this all relates to foreign substances and the baseball’s surface.
Audio intro: The Shazam, "Squeeze the Day"
Audio interstitial: Buzzcocks, "Wake Up Call"
Audio outro: Heatmiser, "Wake"


Link to Ben Clemens on the Semien signing
Link to Dan Szymborski on the Simmons signing
Link to Tony Wolfe on the La Stella signing
Link to Tony on the Matz trade
Link to Brendan Gawlowski on the Tanaka signing
Link to Jim Allen on the Tanaka signing
Link to Rob Arthur on MLB FA going to Japan
Link to Slate’s GameStop stock explainer
Link to report about Steve Cohen’s losses
Link to report about Beane’s bid
Link to report about Oakland&#821
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