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Let's Talk Tribe Podcast Ep. 24: My cousin Gene Larkin (w/ special guest Dan Szymborski)

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In this week's episode of Let's Talk Tribe, ESPN.com writer Dan Szymborski joins Jason and I to discuss projection systems, the Indians, Ghostbusters, and Star Wars. We also answer your questions from Twitter and compare Mike Napoli to Pedro Alvarez.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

We are excited to welcome our first guest onto the show, ESPN.com writer and ZiPS creator Dan Szymborski! Naturally, we talk a lot about projections and how they relate the Indians, and (also naturally) we got a bit sidetracked by more important things -- Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and how to convince people you are related to major leaguers like Gene Larkin.

With spring training well underway, Jason and I also take a moment to be thankful for the fact that there are no injuries so far for the Indians, even if the Detroit Tigers have not been so lucky (although Justin Upton appears to be fine). To us, the luster of spring training games has already worn off a bit, but the light at the end of the tunnel is there, Opening Day is just weeks away.

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This week's episode clocks in at just over an hour. Thanks for listening!

Topics
  • [02:56] -- Were the Indians better off not signing Austin Jackson and Pedro Alvarez (hint: yes).
  • [06:44] -- Additional thoughts from spring training.
  • [07:50] -- Interview with Dan Szymborski.
  • [09:09] -- How did ZiPS come about?
  • [13:58] -- ECTO COOLER HYYYYYPPPPPEEEE.
  • [15:23] -- The sweat equity of ZiPS.
  • [16:39] -- How is ZiPS tweaked year-to-year?
  • [18:45] -- What are the odds Francisco Lindor gets 3,000 career hits?
  • [25:32] -- Dan loves hate mail.
  • [28:07] -- Is Dan ever surprised by ZiPS projections?
  • [29:27] -- Bartolo Colon could be the longest-lasting member of the Montreal Expos.
  • [33:00] -- Tips for convincing players you are related to MLB players.
  • [41:32] -- ZiPS is trolling Minnesota Twins fans.
  • [42:35] -- Dan: "Are you into Star Wars?" Jason: *cackles*.
  • [45:45] -- How does ZiPS see the AL Central shaking out?
  • [52:56] -- Will any minor league contracts turn into Scott Kazmir?
  • [55:04] -- Will Tyler Naquin start in center field? Will Almonte get his spot back when he returns?
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Special thanks
  • Intro and outro music: I'm A Machine by Glass Lux
  • Questions from @XCWarrior1 and @Bud58831769 on Twitter
  • And of course Dan for joining us on the show.