Shutdown Interview: One-on-One with ESPN’S Chris Singleton

Bristol, CT - June 9, 2014 - Photo Studio: (L to R) Portrait of Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton.(Photo by Rich Arden / ESPN Images)

They’re not always the most heard voice on a broadcast. They’re not really ever considered “The Voice” of a team or broadcast. They don’t get the dramatic home run calls or hear their words on a historical call at a pivotal moment, but a Color Analyst’s job and place on a radio or TV broadcast leads to some of the most educational, insightful perspective that we as baseball fans can hear. In Texas, we get Matt Hicks, Jared Sandler, and Tom Grieve. On a national level, though, former Major League outfielder Chris Singleton provides analysis, usually alongside Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi, on ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night (sometimes Wednesday Night, or Saturday Afternoon) Baseball for Baseball Tonight. I caught up with Chris after his Saturday Afternoon call of the Subway Series to get some insight on how he got to be in the booth, his perspective on the state of the game, and questions about our Texas Rangers.

SDI: Thanks for speaking with me, Chris. I’ve just got a few questions about your experience on Baseball Tonight and about broadcasting in general that I think our readers will really like.

Chris Singleton: No problem, sure.

SDI: How did you get started in broadcasting after your playing career was finished up?

CS: At the end of ’05, I had a friend that was at ESPN, working production for ESPN Radio, and I had done guest appearances during seasons. I had a deal one season with Todd Wright, who had a sports show once a week and it basically kind of dominoed from there. When I was kind of close to being done, it was mentioned to me, ‘Hey you should do some stuff with us at ESPN…and I ended up doing a little bit of that in 2005. Towards the end of the season, I was contacted by the White Sox. They had heard me doing some of that ESPN radio work on Sunday afternoons, The Baseball Show.

They inquired about my interest in the White Sox broadcasting job for radio, and I really wasn’t interested. I didn’t know how much I wanted to get into it. I was kind of just dabbling and messing around with it. I wasn’t really thinking about entertaining a full time job doing it, but I just decided that I would at least take a look at it and see if it was something I was interested in. One thing led to another, the White Sox brought me up and interviewed me, had me do some stuff, and they offered me a nice contact to come in and work for them, so I figured I would just give it a shot. I didn’t know that I really wanted to do that right after playing. I thought maybe I would want to chill for a couple of years, but I realized that the window of opportunity sometimes closes and it might not open again for a while, so I figured I would go ahead and give it a shot and see if I liked it. I ended up liking it, one thing continued to lead to another and I ended up moving from the White Sox after a couple of years to ESPN and doing Baseball Tonight primarily for the first four years or so, and a little bit of radio, and more radio opportunities opened up. Now I have a little mix: majority radio, about 25% TV.

SDI: Do you prefer doing radio or TV more?

CS: It just depends. Radio doing games is great. You’re at the ballpark, you’re immersed in what is going on in a game. Studio sometimes can be a little long and the nights can get long, and you’re a little detached from it. But both have their positives and their neutralities, if you will. But I would say I like a mix of both. I wouldn’t want all of one, I wouldn’t want all radio and no TV and I wouldn’t want all TV and no radio.

SDI: I know you do the color analyst job for Baseball Tonight, but is Play by Play something you ever wanted to jump over to, for instance, if Boog [Sciambi] ever had to be out for any reason, would you ever want to slide over to the PBP chair?

CS: Well, based upon the way things are set up with ESPN, there are some really good play by play announcers on the roster, with Jon Sciambi, Dan Shulman, Dave Flemming, [and] Roxy Bernstein. There are guys that do a really good job. When I was with the White Sox, my first year, I did one inning of Play-By-Play a game, and then my second year I did three innings of Play-By-Play a game, so I got a decent amount of reps, when you consider you’re doing about 165-170 games a year. I have done one or two ESPN national broadcasts as Play by Play.

I mean, it would be something that in case of an emergency, I would do at this point, but they have built a roster up of good play by play voices. That’s what they do, they’re pros. But what I’m doing, I’ve hosted the Baseball Tonight show about a dozen times, which is a tremendous challenge, but I’m enjoying learning and making the adjustment. Probably more than anything, I would enjoy doing more hosting of the Baseball Tonight show than I think I would doing Play-by-Play games on the radio. When I’m out on the radio, it’s nice just to be the analyst and really break down what you’re seeing going on on the field and the strategy and the situation and everything else.

SDI: It does seem like something you truly enjoy. I really love how impartial you and Boog are. I think you guys are the best at being impartial from a National perspective. When you transferred from the White Sox to ESPN, how much did your preparation change from going from a White Sox-centric broadcast to going to the National perspective and having to keep everyone’s tastes in mind?

CS: Yeah, tremendous change. That was one of the things that I was a little mindful of, even though I was totally green and new to broadcasting. When I first got hired, I didn’t even really know the difference what was the Play-by-Play guy, what was the Color Analyst, I mean, I was really just learning that whole world and terminology. Being with the team, it’s one of those things where it was always in the back of my mind: as great as it is to be part of the team, and I’m new to it and don’t know anything different, you still want to appeal to everyone that’s listening. Especially at that time, when radio broadcasts can be picked up all over the world, whether it’s through the MLB app or the Sirius XM radio and all that. I didn’t want to be one of those guys that was such a homer that you start getting pigeon-holed as being a market or team broadcaster, or kind of a regional guy, whether it was your accent or whatever it was, so those things I always try to stay real neutral. Having grown up in California, I went to college in Nevada, I live in Georgia, so I’ve been around the country, living, and there are different things that you can pick up, different things you can try to lay down.

…going to ESPN was something that was liberating, because you can actually just be honest. You can be real with what you see, what you think, what’s going on and you didn’t have to temper your comments, your statements, or your analysis because you’re trying to protect a particular product.

I think the key was just trying to say, ‘How can I have the broadest appeal?’ That was in the back of my mind a little bit. I had no idea how my steps were going to be ordered, but going to ESPN was something that was liberating, because you can actually just be honest. You can be real with what you see, what you think, what’s going on and you didn’t have to temper your comments, your statements, or your analysis because you’re trying to protect a particular product. I think, with people that listen to their favorite teams, and the team announcer, there are times, and I think a good amount of time that the fans want to hear the truth. They don’t want you to candy coat or sugar coat what’s going on if it’s not good, but you have some responsibilities to the team you work for to not damage the product. You also don’t want to offend players because you’re always going to get a player’s wife, or uncle, or buddy or someone that hears part of something that you say and they share it with that player, then that player’s upset with you. There can be some misunderstanding, so you kind of have to really toe the line and be careful.

For me, going to ESPN was great, because now, all of a sudden, you just explain what you see, give your opinion, and you don’t have to worry about that. You’re free to just be an analyst. That was great! Sometimes when I think about whether I would go back and work for a team, one of the things that I do think about is that you would lose the ability, or opportunity, to be objective like you want to be. In order to fully analyze, you would have to put some certain things on the back burner and that’s not something I think I would want to do. [laughs] I can do it, but I really enjoy the freedom I have right now.

SDI: Speaking of the Sunday Night Broadcast, take me through the preparation: when do you start, when do you meet up with people to discuss things, certain story-lines you look at?

CS: Well, it never really stops. This career and what you have invested, it’s every day. I would imagine, and I would hope, that pretty much any team, if they called me and said, “Hey, we need you to go do a game tomorrow night,” that I would be able to do that game and at least make my way through it without doing any special preparation. Now, with that said, when you have things on the schedule, you obviously devote more time and energy, you go a little more micro than just macro. But the nature of this business and career is one where, if you’re going to be good, if you’re going to truly have substance with what you’re saying, you have to be in it everyday. You have to be studying, paying attention, processing things so that when you are “put on the spot” or you’re put into situations, you’re not just generalizing and giving an answer. You’re giving a why; why you believe this is going to happen.

Sometimes you’ll hear someone say, “This team’s too good, they’ll turn it around,” or “they’ve got veteran players,” but that’s just a generality, in my opinion. You can’t give something of substance. I always felt like, when I do a broadcast, or when I do Baseball Tonight, I want that guy or lady that’s watching to be able to pick something I said, and the next day at work, when they’re standing around the water cooler, make a point that makes them sound brilliant. Maybe it’s a point that I made or I brought to attention, but I don’t care about getting the credit. I want them to be more educated and have an angle or perspective that makes their peers say, “Oh wow, you know what you’re talking about!”

For Sunday Night, it really depends on what my week’s been like, as far as other activities, if I’ve had any other assignments, how much time I have, when, priority-wise, if I have Baseball Tonight shows or if I’ve got a Wednesday night game, when can I start prepping for Sunday. It kind of has to take it’s place in line. There’s not necessarily a set date. We start getting e-mails and information through the week from ESPN Research and Stats and you start looking over that in your free time, if you want. But I’m the type of person, I’m not [solely] reliant on the information we get from ESPN. We’ve got great researchers and great stats people and everything else, but I also developed my own system and pattern of study and preparation that I can always go to. With my personality, I like kind of controlling my own destiny in that regard, and having my hands all on what it is I need, what it is I want for my prep and anything else. If it’s good, I add it in. If I find something in the notes there, I use it. For me, it’s interesting, after you start doing it, you start to determine what’s the foundation and basis that I like to work from. What do I feel I can build on?

Now, I’ve developed my system, I’ve got my prep sheets, it’s a shell if you will, a form that I’ve created that I have for the starting pitchers for the teams that has all the relevant information that I have to fill in, the stats and some notes. I feel that gives me the real springboard to work off of in a game. I can deliver from just the numbers, and I don’t want to over-state numbers and just be analytical with it, because as a former player, as an analyst, you want to explain why and how things feel. But you also want to have some substance to support a claim you’re making. I like to be prepared in that way. Also, getting a feel for how your partner works, and where his mind and his analysis or his thoughts can be. Sometimes, Jon says something and I kind of have to follow up with it and I support it with a number, so that we make each other sound good. We’re a team, even though we don’t rehearse these things and — it’s like a marriage; the longer you’ve been together, you get a feel for each other and you start finishing each other’s sentences. Well, with that said, there are times where he’s putting a bow on something that I’ve stated with a good stat or a good number, or he may be talking and as he finishes, I may add to it and put a bow on it with a number or statistic that supports what he’s saying.

SDI: You were just mentioning the numbers. You said you’ve got your rubric or sheet or filled in form, but that’s had to change over the last few years. As popular as sabermetrics and the advanced stats have become, when did you start paying attention to that and how did that really change how you start bringing that into the broadcast.

CS: I would say that started to change about five years ago, when I first started doing the radio broadcast with Boog, with Boog being a pretty big sabermetrics type of guy, as far as his understanding and his emphasis on these analytics and how they perhaps define or predict performance. It was something that, as you grow in it, you start to realize that, yeah, there is value and significance to these numbers. As a former player, there were things that would take place on the field that you just didn’t have, at the time, a way of measuring or quantifying that. For instance, when I was with the White Sox and would play the Cleveland Indians and you’d have a pitcher like Charles Nagy or someone who wasn’t in the prime of his career anymore, but was maybe still pretty effective with the reason being that, let’s say he got ground balls and Omar Vizquel was playing shortstop and Roberto Alomar was playing second and Travis Fryman was playing first and you’re seeing great plays made. You hear one of your pitchers say, ‘Man, if I had those boys playing behind me, my ERA would be a little lower as well.’ So those are conversations you would have, but we didn’t have ‘What’s defensive WAR,’ ‘What’s Fielding Independent Pitching,’ ‘What’s a guy’s ground ball rate?’ So yeah, we talked about some of these metrics, but they just weren’t measurable or classified at the time to be able to have something to reference and compare in any way or different ways.

So about five years ago, with Boog, that world opened up to me. I started to read things and started to see the value and significance of looking at On-Base Percentage Plus Slugging. You know, for example, you have a guy like Joc Pederson, who has struggled after the All-Star Break, but ironically, his On-Base Percentage was significantly above league average. And when you consider defensively what he does…the old school way of thinking would say, ‘Oh man, the guy’s hitting .190 since the break, you can’t play him.’ But then all of a sudden, you say, ‘Well, his On-Base Average is .340.’ That’s above league average and that’s pretty good. Sometimes when I come across some of the broadcasters that are still kind of old-school in that way – they see Batting Average, Home Runs, and RBIs – you’re like, wow, there’s a whole new story in greater detail we can tell the fans and really give them a more accurate description of where this player is and what his value is to a team right now. I’m continuing to learn and evolve and see where to put those numbers and analysis with a feel. The cool thing about it is nothing is isolated or just straight up; you consider park factors and there are some intangibles that I know as a former player that you kind of have to factor into it and I think that’s where when you can take the metrics and the numbers but you can still put kind of a human side to it, I think that can be consumed the best by a listener and the people you’re talking to.

SDI: Right, that’s kind of a sore topic with a lot of our in-depth readers on the site: which numbers to pay attention to and which stats truly measure how valuable a player is to a team. Shifting gears a bit, and there’s been a ton of story lines this year, but which one has been the most surprising or unbelievable to you this year?

CS: I think the A-Rod storyline is pretty incredible, for an individual player. I think the Houston Astros and New York Mets are two teams that are definitely ahead of schedule. [With the Mets] The whole Matt Harvey recent controversy about innings is both the team’s fault and his fault; no one would ever admit or say this, but the Mets didn’t think they had a chance! So there was no need to pay attention to 160 innings because we’re just going to shut you down when we get to that point in August or early September, and you’re done! They didn’t expected to be first place in the National League East. And no one’s going to say that, “Oh we didn’t think we’d be this good,” because then you look really bad. Those three are the ones that really stand out to me.

If I had to pick one of the three…wow…I guess, you could say the Rangers coming on late, but to me, that’s a more recent [storyline], it’s within the last month that we’ve really started to talk more seriously about the Rangers, but I would say the Astros and Mets story lines have been longer running. Unless I’m missing another one…

SDI: What about the Cubs? Do you think they’re right about on schedule?

CS: They’re a little ahead of schedule. It’s interesting, because I think we did their opening night game against the Cardinals, and we said, “Wow this is exciting, they’ve got some talent, they’ve got Jon Lester…,” but you also thought, “I don’t know, defensively they don’t look very sound, and they’re going to have to grow and mature, and they’ve got talent individually, but they’re going to have to learn how to win.” They seem to have put that together pretty well, and Joe Maddon is without question a difference maker for them. You can’t really quantify a manager’s impact on a team, but I think in this situation, you definitely can. I believe that most other people that would have been available, or even if the Cubs had kept their manager [Rick Renteria], I just think it’s doubtful they would be in the position they’re in. I think they got the right guy, and I think that’s why they moved on it the way they did.

The big thing is the youth movement. There are so many budding, young stars. That’s what’s wild. There’s so many young stars, you kind of forget about Manny Machado, who’s only 23-years old. He’s got 30 home runs and having an incredible year and he’s only 23! Whether it’s the [Bryce] Harpers or Kris Bryants or Addison Russell – he’s not really performing at that level, but he’s still in the conversation – or Carlos Correa. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when you’ve had this many really good young players.

SDI: Yeah, it seems like that next, new generation is coming up all at once.

CS: Yeah, a wave.

SDI: Okay, getting to the Rangers questions. For Texas, what has been the biggest contributing factor to the Rangers’ success in the second half and them being in first place.

CS: A key I would definitely say, was Cole Hamels. His addition and his presence and the guy that goes out and you’re surprised if he pitches anything less than seven innings. He’s a guy where you expect him to be pitching into the seventh inning. I think that’s a sort of toughness and focus that other pitchers on the staff can glean from and develop that mentality when you have a guy like that. James Shields was a guy like that for some of the teams he’s been on whether it’s the Tampa Bay Rays or Kansas City Royals. I also think Derek Holland has been key. It’s been a roll of the dice [for Holland] the last couple of seasons, you just don’t know what’s going to happen; he could step out of his truck and hurt himself, it seems like so many freak little things. He’s pitching well. And obviously, the offense – you know, Prince Fielder has been tremendous there and he seems to be happier than he’s ever been. Go back to the beginning of the season, before the success was even there as a team, it just seemed like he was in a really good place and was having fun. I know the last couple of seasons for him have been a bit of a challenge, with health and off-the-field issues. Adrian Beltre being who he is, Elvis Andrus as well, kind of snapping out of that mediocrity and I think working his way back to trying to be an above average player and trying to perhaps be more of an elite player at his position. You can go on and on, I think about the team, whether it’s Rougned Odor…and to cap it all off, Jeff Banister is a good man. He is obviously the best man for that job, and I’ve had some conversations with him. He shared with me, internally, about the way these guys go about their work and how they really care about each other. It’s something pretty special that he doesn’t take credit for. He shared with me a couple of things that have taken place within the team that just kind of blew him away, of guys really coming together. A lot of great things working, and the crazy thing is – no Yu Darvish! I mean, you’re saying, “What if they had Yu Darvish? Where would they be?”

SDI: You almost forget he’s part of the team and then you look at next year.

CS: Yeah! Let’s be honest…they got it working, they’ve got a good thing going, and who knows? When you get into the playoffs, and Boog and I talked about this: it’s hard to say anybody has a better chance than really anyone else this postseason. You can look at [Clayton] Kershaw and [Zack] Greinke [of the Los Angeles Dodgers], wow man, there’s not a better one-two punch, but then you also look at it and say, “Wow that bullpen scares you before you get to Kenley Jansen.” Also, after you finish with your first two starters, who steps up? So you know, every team has a question mark or two. With that said, the Cubs could win the World Series, the Mets could win the World Series. The Cardinals, obviously…you name it. There’s not a clear cut favorite in my opinion.

SDI: When Banister was hired last year, did you think that was the right fit?

CS: I didn’t know anything about Jeff Banister, other than he was with Clint Hurdle in Pittsburgh. But through some of my other business dealings and relationships with speaking – I do team building and leadership training, communication skills and things like that – and one of my colleagues, Steve Shenbaum, who’s the founder of Game On Nation, they work directly with the Pirates, and they do a lot of training with their Major League team and the Minor League teams as well. So I was kind of a third person removed from Jeff Banister, but I had the idea that he was a solid guy and that he’s been with Clint. They were intentional about establishing a certain type of culture in Pittsburgh, and we can see where Pittsburgh was and where they are now over the last three season, four seasons; it’s pretty impressive. I didn’t know enough about Banister to make a judgement either way. I couldn’t say there was anyone else that I thought, ‘Oh, they should have hired this guy,’  or ‘they should have considered hiring anyone else.’ I didn’t know, to be honest, much about Banister, and I didn’t know or believe that there was someone else out there that they overlooked.

[Jeff Banister] is obviously the best man for that job, and I’ve had some conversations with him. He shared with me, internally, about the way these guys go about their work and how they really care about each other. It’s something pretty special that he doesn’t take credit for. He shared with me a couple of things that have taken place within the team that just kind of blew him away, of guys really coming together.

SDI: Does Prince Fielder surpass A-Rod as Comeback Player of the Year?

CS: In my opinion, yes. I’ll pick a guy who’s coming back from an injury over a guy who’s coming back from a PED suspension.

SDI: Right, I think that’s going to be a huge part that plays into it when it comes down.

CS: Yeah, I mean, a guy has neck surgery and he’s out. A guy who cheated and lied and is out and comes back. The thing about it is, A-Rod’s never tested positive for anything.

SDI: Yeah, he’s just admitted it.

CS: Yeah, he’s never tested positive. Therefore, take from this year, what he’s done this year, what you will from it. I mean, can I be on the bandwagon and say, “Oh, well because this guy served his suspension, he’s back and he’s clean?” I assume nothing. I don’t assume he’s clean, and I’m not going to assume he’s dirty. I don’t know. Whatever. It is what it is, and you kind of just have to work with it and function with it, but who knows?

SDI: Finally, in your eyes, is Adrian Beltre a Hall of Famer?

CS: Yes. You start looking at his numbers and how they stack up against other third baseman that are in the Hall of Fame and he’s right there with them.

SDI: Okay, I’ll wrap up with some Quick Hits. Just throw out the answer to these. Favorite ballpark food?

CS: Oh wow. Favorite ballpark food…well, it’s funny, because I’ve been on a plant-based, vegan diet for the entire baseball season, so I’m going to have to say…you know what? St. Louis, probably. They’ve got, right on the broadcast level, when you go out, you’re on the concourse with the VIP dining and suites, they’ve got this real great stir-fry chef. People say, “Nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers,” but for me, I’d say the St. Louis stir-fry station that they have.

SDI: St. Louis Stir-Fry, huh? Okay, favorite atmosphere to go broadcast in.

CS: San Francisco, and the Giants.

SDI: Favorite Park Layout?

CS: That would be San Francisco. That’s my favorite spot. San Francisco’s great.

SDI: Is that your favorite city to visit?

CS: No, not necessarily. The ballpark is, but my favorite city…Chicago’s always great. I mean, New York’s good, Boston’s good. Yeah, I’d have to say Chicago or New York.

SDI: Favorite position player and favorite pitcher to watch?

CS: Okay, my favorite position player is kind of funny, but I love Juan Uribe. I just love watching him play. I know you’re thinking, ‘Wait a minute, all these guys, [Carlos] Correa…’ I mean, yeah, those are kind of the givens I think most people would throw guys out like that. It’s easy to think about Mike Trout or Carlos Correa or Nolan Arenado from a top level performer, those guys. But one guy I just like watching play the game is Juan Uribe. Man, this guy, it’s just infectious, his love and joy for the game. His ability at his age, last night [Friday] he hit a pinch-hit two-run opposite field homer. He is beloved everywhere he goes. Every team he plays for, he is just loved. It’s also funny, too, because when he’s going bad, it’s hilarious. I mean, he’s swinging at pitches in the other batter’s box. [laughs] It’s fun to watch him, it really is.

SDI: Did you see when Marc Carig tweeted out the other day, he was in the clubhouse and football was on because it was the first day, and Uribe was like, “That’s crap, we need to put baseball on because it’s what we play”? [Editor’s note: it was actually Mike Puma of the NY Post that tweeted this out…but there are other Juan Uribe gems about football, like this one.]

CS: Ha, no, I didn’t see that.

SDI: Okay, favorite pitcher then?

CS: Favorite pitcher to watch? Let me see…you know, I like watching Michael Wacha work. He might be the guy that’s perhaps my favorite. I like watching him work.

SDI: Okay, and finally, your most memorable, or favorite, or strangest broadcasting moment?

CS: Let’s see. I would say the one thing I would never forget is, I was up in Bristol, and not on Baseball Tonight, but during the day, I had to go on SportsCenter. It was during the summer when the NBA Championships were going on, so they were asking who’s got the best “Game 7.” So they had a representative from each sport, Tedy Bruschi for football, me for baseball, maybe Jalen Rose for basketball, whatever. A lot of times, it can be controlled chaos at ESPN, there’s so many things going on. We were on the studio floor, they had us line up. We weren’t really told what we were doing yet, we were just kind of hanging out waiting. All of a sudden, it comes back from commercial break, and someone starts voicing, and the steady cam guy comes walking up and stops at each one of us; he stops at the first guy and the person’s talking, and we had no idea what we were supposed to say or what we’re doing! So we were put on live television and they forgot to tell us what we’re doing. Eventually, later that segment, we were going to be sitting down in chairs and were going to have this conversation. We had no idea that they were using us out of the commercial break, so the steady cam gets to me and the camera’s in my face and I just had to come up with something to say. And I had no idea!

It was the most compromising position ever, to be put on live television with a camera in your face and you have no idea what you’re supposed to say. Because there was no question, sometimes you have these bumps, where it’s either going to commercial break or coming out, maybe we were going to commercial break, I don’t remember what it was, but they rolled through a couple of different things, and it was just…really, someone just stepping right in your face with a camera and red light goes on and you have no idea what the topic matter is. So that, for me, is the one thing I’ll never forget and I tell that story sometimes, and I pulled it off, but your heart is racing! And all three of us are like, “What just happened?!” In the control room upstairs, they forgot to brief us like, “Hey, we’re going to do this little bump before we go to the break.” So yeah, that was one of those moments that it was either think fast or just look like you got stage fright.

Because people watching don’t know, they just figure if the camera goes on you, you’re supposed to talk, you’re supposed to know what you’re doing! You’re on TV, you’re supposed to always know. A lot of times, on TV, when you see someone maybe mess something up, or something doesn’t come out right, it’s not always because that person’s incompetent. There are many times where it hasn’t been communicated to them in their ear from the control room what’s going on, or sometimes there can be a microphone that’s left open because different people up there, they can open a mic and talk to you, well sometimes a person may leave the mic open and all you hear is this yelling because it’s like chaos up there. And you hear all this talking and you’re trying to talk at the same time. So there are different things that go on behind the scenes that people don’t realize and it can be easy to look and say, “Oh that person’s not very good.” And it may not be entirely that they’re not as good or polished, it may be that they’ve got a mediocre producer or crew that they’re working with that day that’s not leading them and keeping them out front.

SDI: That’s pretty intense, crazy. Is there anything you want our readers to know to go visit, something you’re working on?

CS: Nothing I can think of. Just continue the journey of looking at how these numbers and metrics tell stories and at least provide some type of prediction along with trying to consider what’s the missing element, the missing piece. Because you can have these numbers and information and not know, “Okay, this guy’s going through a divorce,” and that’s why there’s extreme regression. Or there’s a family issue that no one knows about, or there’s an injury that’s not disclosed. So take all the numbers, but also leave some space for what we might not know.

SDI: Thank you Chris, for everything and we’ll hear you on the call every Sunday night for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

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Matt Fisher
Matt Fisher is an Editor/Staff Writer for ShutdownInning. He is a baseball lifer, preferring to use the eye test and rely on the knowledge and analysis of baseball minds greater than his, while using relevant stats to encourage situational discussions. He is also co-host of The Most Valuable Podcast on the NextWave Radio Network, talking sports, entertainment, and sports entertainment.

While Matt's favorite team will always be his hometown Texas Rangers, he knows the ongoing story lines of every team in Major League Baseball. If you sit next to him at a game, be prepared to hear him try and do play-by-play. If you're famous and reading this, just know that he's not afraid to drop names.

Matt Fisher. ShutdownInning Editor/Staff Writer

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