show episodes
 
The Sports Anomaly is a comedic, sports video game podcast that features interviews, news-you-can-use, and reviews in a shambolic setting that will wow, ensorcel, mildly confuse and hilarify. Hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga, author and co-writer of Madden NFL's award-winning LONGSHOT and LONGSHOT: Homecoming interactive movies.
 
Baseball is the perfect sport for conversation, and no one can converse about it better than the Baseball Rabbi, one of the world's greatest experts on advanced statistics, sabermetrics, and baseball history. Join Pesach Wolicki and Scott Kahn as they apply advanced metrics to the Major Leagues, reevaluate historical assumptions, and discover new baseball trends and theories that will leave you questioning everything you assumed you knew about the National Pastime.
 
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show series
 
Last week Pesach talked about the demise of the Yankees... which aged like month-old milk left in Death Valley. So let's try again: what's the deal with the Yankees? But while Scott and Pesach can laugh at the Yankees, they're extremely irritated at Rob Manfred's plan to maintain this 16-team playoff format into the future. Why will something that …
 
This week we're joined by Allen Brooks (@AllenCBrooks) to talk through the release of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 (including a T-U-R-D-E-A-T story that'll warm your cockles). Plus, we have a skater draft (that includes the first-ever mid-draft trade), and we talk through NBA 2K21's catastrophic Metacritic score, and what sports game might steal Game…
 
The Yankees looked like a team with no weaknesses, a team that might be one of the greatest ever to play. But that was in March; today they look... OK. What went wrong? (No, it's not just injuries.) And what happened to the promise exhibited by Gary Sanchez a few years ago, and what can he do to regain that form? Pesach has a suggestion, so please …
 
Can Madden 21 predict the upcoming NFL season? Probably not! But that didn't stop us from talking through Madden 21's predictions for the upcoming season with Jeff Solomon (@jerfsolo) and Scott Bins (@darthobvious) in one of the sloppiest Sports Anomaly episodes in the last 100 years (we blame host Adrian Todd Zuniga, who is typing this). Plus, the…
 
The trade deadline has come and gone, and the Baseball Rabbi Podcast checks out the difference in strategy between teams like the Padres, the Yankees, and the Blue Jays - and Pesach explains why some seemingly similar teams may be playing for 2020, while others are more concerned about the future. Scott and Pesach also interview former Brewer Lary …
 
We have all heard the very sad news that Tom Seaver, one of the greatest pitchers of all time and by all accounts a gentleman and one of the most beloved players in baseball history, passed away yesterday from complications from covid-19 and Lewy Body Dementia at the age of 75. About a year and a half ago, on March 19, 2019, we recorded a segment a…
 
With the baseball season more than halfway finished, it's safe to say that the Pittsburgh Pirates are a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad team - and the tragedy is that this was management's choice. Pesach goes off on a rant about the mismanagement of the Pirates, and how this franchise differs from other currently bad MLB teams. The Baseball R…
 
DAY-AND-DATE! DAY-AND-DATE! In what may go down as one of the most thoughtful breakdowns of EA Sports' Madden franchise, we're joined by US Gamer editor-in-chief Kat Baily (@The_Katbot) for a day-and-date special as we talk through the entirety of Madden 21 — from Face of the Franchise, to the all-new The Yard mode, to where this game fits in the a…
 
Is there too much disparity between the haves and the have-nots in baseball? And how does MLB compare to other sports in this regard? Listen to this segment from August, 2018, where Scott and Pesach argue about the relative parity in baseball compared to the NBA, NFL, and NHL. (Part two of this discussion will be released next week.)…
 
Stolen bases don't accomplish very much... except when they do. How can we square the mathematical fact that they aren't very valuable, with the historical fact that sometimes they represent the difference between winning and losing? Also: Miguel Cabrera is going to the Hall of Fame, and deservedly so. But we're witnessing his decline, and it's hap…
 
SPORTS ANOMALY NEVER SLEEPS! On the brink of Madden 21's release, we quickly turn our attention to the impressive additions in FIFA 21, as we talk with soccer nut Jeremy Stein (@RealLifeStein) to break down the game's new additions in Career Mode, Pro Clubs and Volta in our shortest episode since our 10-year hiatus. Follow us on Twitter: @sports_an…
 
Last week, Pesach demonstrated that almost every pitcher gets worse each time through the batting order, and - now that teams have figured this out - starting pitching may never be the same. But does that mean that the great pitchers' duels are a thing of the past? Does that rule hold true even for the greatest pitchers of all time? Who are the exc…
 
IT'S A MADDEN ONLINE FRANCHISE DEEP DIVE! In advance of Madden 21's release, this week we talk with Jeff Solomon (@jerfsolo49) about the best way to run an online Madden franchise. YOU WILL LEARN SOMETHING. Plus, we fit in an epic UFC 4 soundtrack tournament, which makes us sound like clueless doofs. Follow us on Twitter: @sports_anomaly Support th…
 
It's a few weeks into the 60 game season, and certain trends seem to be sticking - not the least that hitters can barely hit (as evidenced by an MLB-wide .231 batting average). Are pitchers that much better, or have managers figured out a better way to use them? Join Pesach and Scott for a deep dive into pitching history, and how we may be seeing t…
 
Soccer stans throw your hands up! (Or your headphones on.) This week we're joined by Jeremy Stein (@reallifestein) the man who CREATED the short passing feature in Madden. A FIFA obsessive, we talk to him about FIFA 21's 10-point feature reveal, plus talk through FIFA 20's flaws, along with tips for playing Football Ultimate Team, and if "FUT" soun…
 
The Marlins are suffering from an outbreak of the coronavirus; Pesach points his finger at Don Mattingly, saying that he should be fired as a result. (And yes, this was discussed on the Baseball Rabbi Discussion Group on Facebook - but Pesach has a lot more information now and thinks it's even more egregious that the media have largely been giving …
 
Baseball is back (today, at least), and a fun opening weekend gave Pesach a list of news and notes that just might be storylines for the upcoming season. But Scott is less excited, and thinks that the players should act like Rembrandt (Pesach naturally thinks that this is a bad analogy - whatever it means - and the players are doing just great). Pl…
 
Pancakes all around! This week we're joined by ex-NFL offensive lineman Uche Nwaneri (@Chukwu77) host of The Observant Lineman (youtube.com/UcheNwaneri) to discuss what Madden ratings really means to NFL players, Jamal Adams being traded to the Seahawks, and what it was like to see himself in Madden. Plus, he has three Star Wars tattoos, so we have…
 
The 2020 season is about to begin, and things look a bit different from what we anticipated when we had our season preview episodes back in March. Pesach will help you understand what you need to know about the sixty game season and the unusual schedule that's coming up. Stat Guru Moshe Schorr joins us in order to discuss whether catching foul tips…
 
A DAY-AND-DATE EXTRAVAGANZA! This week we're re-joined by Player One Podcast's Greg Sewart (@sewart) for a F1 2020 REVIEW BLOWOUT that comes with some surprises, plus Washington's Mascotless Football team in Madden 21, MLB The Show 20's lack of key changes for the MLB season, and an emotional ending that will change your life. Follow us on Twitter,…
 
Analytics are wonderful tools to help us understand what happened; but from the perspective of the players on the field, the game is often quite different from what fans are able to measure. With that in mind, Pesach and Scott talk to three-time All-Star catcher Jason Kendall about learning how to call a game, framing, catching foul tips, what make…
 
Movie fans, rejoice! This week we're joined by Nathan Caywood (@Nathancaywood) for a soccer-rich cinematic blend of weirdness as we pick a soccer team filled with film directors. Plus, we pit the future Washington Football Team's replacement mascots into a tournament for the ages, revel in the Tennis World Tour 2 trailer, and momentarily blather ab…
 
Bobby Bonilla Day has come and gone, but the Baseball Rabbi isn't in the mood to celebrate the Mets' futility; Pesach and Scott would rather talk about why buying Bonilla out was a smart move for everyone. (Don't worry, there are plenty of other reasons to mock New York's NL club.) More importantly, in honor of the Negro Leagues' centennial, they t…
 
This week, we're joined by Dakota Lupo (@DakotaLupo) as we deep-dive into the political, drafting an ENTIRE cabinet from President to Trade Representative, but with athletes. It sounds super-boring but is a delight and a half, though it turned into another marathon-not-a-sprint. Plus, 2K21 rookies in 2K20, and ATZ's pitch for a future story mode. F…
 
In 2018, Max Scherzer led MLB in strikeouts with 300, he led the National League in strikeouts per nine innings with 12.2, and he also led the NL in strikeout-to-walk ratio with 5.8. After reaching strikeout number 300, Scherzer gave a shout-out to catcher Matt Wieters for being the best at catching foul tips. Scherzer, however, provided no evidenc…
 
With the baseball-loving population already frustrated with both players and ownership, MLB decided that it was the perfect time to tamper with tradition in order to shave a few minutes off games that go into extra innings. Scott asks Pesach if this is as stupid as it sounds, or if there's some super secret reasoning that makes it all make sense. (…
 
As Major League Baseball desperately tries not to destroy itself, one rare positive development has been the suggestion of a universal designated hitter. But what about tradition? What about strategy? What about logic? Lefty Grove never complained about batting! The Baseball Rabbi - Pesach in particular - destroys these and other arguments and demo…
 
This week we're joined by Joey Devine (@JoeyDevine) and Sean Keane (@seankeane) for a colossal chat about the history of NBA 2K's story modes, Madden 21 details, the weirdo next-gen Madden/FIFA trailer, and a colossally life-changing Disney Animated Basketball Draft™ to celebrate the NBA's maybe-possibly return to Orlando that you'll be playing wit…
 
In 1979, Fred Lynn won the slash line triple crown by leading the AL in batting average, OBP, and slugging... but he came in fourth in the MVP balloting. Did any others with comparable seasons do as poorly in the MVP voting? What does the answer tell us? (Hint: Larry Walker is the star of this episode.) Plus: the advanced age of the 1982 California…
 
Back in the 1970s and early 80s, Red Sox centerfielder Fred Lynn was one of the greatest players in the Major Leagues. He won the MVP and Rookie of the Year in 1975 (and deserved to win the MVP again in 1979), he was an All Star nine years in a row and a starter six times, and he was the ALCS MVP in 1982 even though he was on the losing team (let t…
 
This week we're joined by Mike Suszek (@mikesuszek) and Jeff Solomon (@JERFsolo) for what was SUPPOSED to be a discussion about Best Practices for online Madden leagues, but instead turned into an off-the-rails episode that talks about the release of UEFA 2020 in PES 2020 (the soccer game, not the candy dispenser), before settling down to discuss t…
 
The Baseball Rabbi has been making lists of the five most memorable seasons for each position, but listing significant catcher seasons poses a unique challenge. What makes catcher different from every other position? How can we compare modern catchers with catchers from before 2008? (Answer: We can't.) Join Pesach and Scott for a deep dive into cat…
 
Pesach and Scott had similar lists of their favorite seasons by shortstops, first basemen, and second basemen, but their lists diverge when it comes to third base. Brett or Brooks? Eddie Mathews or Adrian Beltre? One Mike Schmidt season or two (or three or four or five)? It's all about the strange nature of third base, and how it has changed drasti…
 
This week we're joined by Madden NFL's creative director, Mike Young (@michaelyoungCD), the director of LONGSHOT and LONGSHOT: Homecoming in a VERY SPECIAL EPISODE of Sports Anomaly. While we take a second to discuss EA's latest deal with the NFL and the return of the NHL, this episode centers on the making of Madden NFL 18's playable movie, LONGSH…
 
How great was Jackie Robinson? So great that only Joe Morgan is better. And man, was Joe Morgan good - in choosing the greatest five seasons for a second baseman, you could choose five Morgan seasons and no one could really argue that you're wrong. Join Pesach and Scott for an examination of their favorite second base seasons of all time, which - b…
 
Curt Schilling offered us some of his insights into pitching (yes, that's a name drop), but do the numbers agree with his theories? Pesach, with an assist from Moshe Schorr, checks it out. And on the heels of our greatest shortstop seasons ever episode, Pesach and Scott discuss the greatest first base seasons of all time - and include a not insigni…
 
Pesach and Scott have argued that Curt Schilling is a nothing-to-discuss-no-question-about-it Hall of Famer - and on this episode of the podcast, they had the opportunity to tell him that directly. On this episode, Curt Schilling discusses his time on the Phillies, D-Backs, and Red Sox, his thoughts about the mechanics of pitching, how he utilized …
 
They started off by challenging each other to figure out the most significant individual shortstop seasons ever played, but the results were not necessarily what either Pesach or Scott expected. Join the Baseball Rabbi to hear some wild stats - some crazy, some significant, some truly insane - as they search for the greatest seasons ever played by …
 
So the Red Sox are basically innocent, right? Not so fast: die hard Sox fan Scott thinks that Manfred's punishment is a joke and that this is a BIG deal and a bit of a cover-up, whereas Pesach isn't so sure that the commissioner got it wrong. And as a sequel to last week's presentation of great teenage baseball players, the Baseball Rabbi offers th…
 
Al Kaline's bWAR was close to 93, making him one of the greatest right fielders in history. But when you look at his career stats, it's a little bit difficult to figure out how his WAR got that high. How can we explain his greatness? And in honor of Kaline's great play as a young Tiger (he won the batting title when he was 20), Pesach and Scott lis…
 
Which players had the greatest consecutive ten year stretches, using bWAR as a gauge? Join Pesach and Scott for a discussion about the results of this experiment, the greatness of Willie Mays and Walter Johnson, the relative merits of A-Rod and Pujols, Trout's place on the list, the missing catchers, and much more. (We'll be back next week with a b…
 
The Baseball Rabbi Podcast is constantly invoking WAR - wins above replacement - as the most telling of all advanced baseball stats. But how do we explain the instances where Fangraphs and Baseball Reference calculate drastically different WAR numbers for the same player? Using Tommy John as a test case, Pesach and Scott present the fundamental dif…
 
What teams are the most disappointing of all time? Which teams should have been more memorable, or won more rings, than they actually did? Pesach and Scott each provide a list of the top (or bottom) five non-dynasties of all time (with only one team making both lists). With baseball on indefinite hold, nothing is more appropriate than talking about…
 
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