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The Jonah Keri Podcast, Episode 1

4 October 2010

The first guest for the inaugural episode of The Jonah Keri Podcast is Rany Jazayerli. A suburban Chicago dermatologist, you probably know him best for his work writing for Baseball Prospectus, with other contributions for, the Chicago Tribune, the Kansas City Star and numerous other publications. Rany invented “Pitcher Abuse Points”, a metric that monitors a starting pitcher’s workload and flags starts that could lead to future injuries or drops in performance. Many improvements have been made on pitcher-monitoring in the 12 years since PAP was invented, both in the sabermetric community and among major league teams. But Rany was one of the first baseball analysts to tackle the subject; he’s thrilled to see teams now steer clear of the 150-pitch death marches that broke many young pitchers’ careers (though he and I agree that we can and should do a lot more than merely count pitches if teams want to get the best results from their pitchers).

Here’s a rundown of Episode 1’s major topics:

  • 1:40-9:07: How Rany launched my sportswriting career.
  • 9:08-17:40: Rooting for lousy baseball teams builds character.
  • 17:56-23:34: You can blame it all on Bill James.
  • 24:00-36:00: Sabermetrics – Where are we at, where are we going, and where should we be going?
  • 36:01-45:43: Rany and I discuss Islam, then bring religious harmony to America. (In less than 10 minutes! Nobel Peace Prize, please).
    Rany’s amazing post on Abd el-Kader, and his post-9/11 opus, “A Plea for Tolerance”.
  • 45:58-50:49: Food Pick of the Week
    For my choice, see here, here, and here.
    For Rany’s choice, head here.

Finally, big thanks to the following people for helping me get started:

Dan Levy of On The DL Podcast.
Josh Zerkle of House of Punte Podcast.
Kevin Goldstein of The BP Podcast.
Dave Dameshek of the Daves of Thunder Podcast.
The lovely and talented Dr. Fauchier.

And big, big, thanks to Rich Banks, a talented musician with lots of better things to do than help some Canadian blab about baseball and bagel joints, who was still kind enough to compose the music for the show. Make sure to listen to the clip at the end, cracks me up every time. You can check out Rich’s work at his Website or follow him on Twitter @RichBanksMusic.

Finally, feedback is welcomed and encouraged. Guests you want to hear (I’ve got a long wish list already compiled, including media types, sports execs, and delightful randoms), topics you want covered, you name it.

Player embedded below. To download, right click here.

Edited to add: Now you can subscribe on iTunes!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. zvsanders permalink
    4 October 2010 3:57 pm

    You should have Dameshek as a guest.

    • Jonah permalink*
      4 October 2010 6:16 pm

      He will be on in the near future, mos def.

  2. ejb514416905 permalink
    4 October 2010 6:37 pm

    It is really nice to hear the accent of a Montrealer :-) albeit of a VSL lol

    I had no idea you played Strat Jonah.

    I have replayed the 1975, 89, 92, 94 and now 2006 cards and dice.
    I play against a friend of mine the 2003 post season when we have time.

    • Jonah permalink*
      4 October 2010 6:42 pm

      Big time Strat guy. Running my Strat team (we play in a perpetual league, contracts, arb, free agency, the works – might be what I do best, sadly.

  3. ejb514416905 permalink
    4 October 2010 6:49 pm

    Incidentially: Did you do your BA at Concordia Jonah? I went there (BA 1993) and my brother has a BA in Journalism from Con U?

    • Jonah permalink*
      4 October 2010 6:55 pm

      Yup. Journalism, Class of ’97.

      • ejb514416905 permalink
        4 October 2010 7:11 pm

        Nothing wrong about being good with Strat. I will sit in my living room and watch baseball at my coffee table on a bench (I have a broken disk in my back and it hurts to sit there) and play for hours. Theraputic after a hard day of commuting in the worlds worst traffic while trying to sell music in CD form(like banging your head against the wall)

        I enjoyed your pod cast and intend to listen in and lastly my boss was in Montreal on the weekend and bought bagels from Real Bagel.
        The SOB only brought in sesame seed bagels and I am allergic to them. Suffice to say, the Tim Hortons wannabe bagel sucks in comparison.
        Now I am hungry and I would KILL for a Scwartzs smoked meat sandwhich!

  4. 4 October 2010 10:18 pm

    I look forward to listening, Jonah. Big fan from your days on Dameshek on Demand. Welcome to the world of podcasting. I’ve been doing it for about a year and a half. It’s fun!

  5. Joe Tetreault permalink
    5 October 2010 1:24 pm

    Hi Jonah,
    Good podcast, especially breaking out of the baseball-only mold. I’m looking forward to future editions. The one minor adjustment I would recommend is balancing the audio levels between you and your guest. I’m guessing Rany was talking to you via phone or skype. And he sounded clear, but softer than you throughout. That’s okay, but it can cause trouble if your guest is soft spoken and your listeners pump up the volume to hear him/her better. When you begin talking again it will be significantly louder.

    There are ways to do such things live to tape and in post-production. Though it is considerably easier to balance the levels at the get go and record. If you’d look to do it in post production, it’s easier to record on two tracks, one for you and one for your guest. I have no idea how easy that is to do live to tape using mostly PC based interfaces. Mix boards made things much easier for my past experience in such things.

    Feel free to give a holler if I can be of assistance.

    • Jonah permalink*
      5 October 2010 1:31 pm

      Thanks Joe.

      I’m using Skype and recording to PC, so yeah, no such luxury with boards. Will do my best to balance for future episodes, as I try to master Callgraphs et al.

  6. georgekeri permalink
    5 October 2010 6:51 pm

    A number of comments. I believe that the first copy of Baseball Abstract that you read was either photocopied or mimeographed. I think that the first few came that way and you may only have been six or seven at the time. It was a duplicitous effort to get you to read.
    Some of the comments about pitching and pitch counts may not be relevant in a few years. I believe that there has been research which suggests that the twisting motion in delivering sliders, curves and screwballs is the main cause of damaged arms. The day will come when “moving” fastballs, change ups and of course knuckle balls thrown by a talented pitcher (to the exclusion of any kind of twisting motion) will move pitching in another direction (until batters catch up).
    Intelligent and knowledgable guest. Will look for the next podcast.

  7. bohica99 permalink
    10 October 2010 8:06 pm

    Welcome to the wonderful world of podcasting, Jonah! Let me know if you’d ever like to do a feature on Craft Beer, I know you have an appreciation for artisinal beverages…

  8. jhcbcri permalink
    14 October 2010 3:18 pm

    Awesome podcast.

    – maybe it’s just the recording equipment, but to me it’s almost eerie how much you two sound like each other.

    – I love the ten minute over-the-top coda at the end of the podcast including the extra minute or two or three of cheesey music. I kept listening thinking maybe there was a Ferris-Buehler-esque “You’re still here? Go home!” waiting for me.

    • Jonah permalink*
      14 October 2010 6:43 pm

      First of all, thanks! Appreciate you giving a listen.

      As for my voice vs. Rany’s, yes, we do sound very similar. He and I are basically exactly alike in every way except for the religion part, and him being a brilliant dermatologist and me being a hack writer.

      As for the last few minutes being over the top…I am over the top in every endeavor, so podcast wasn’t going to be any different.

      But how dare you call the great Knight Rider outro by the great Rich Banks cheesy! It is gold. Gold!


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