The Bridge Ep. 63: Dan Szymborski, ESPN baseball analyst and ZiPS creator, joins the show to chat his baseball projection, covering baseball, topical stuff about the game and more

Dan Szymborski

The first round of the NBA playoffs is heating up, but no since in ranting about that until we have some winners. For know, we’re talking baseball and the world of ZiPS.

Before we get into Episode 63, as a reminder, The Bridge is broadcast as a one-hour radio show every Wednesday night at 7 ET on Sports Radio America. Once the dust settles from that live broadcast, the show is released as a podcast on iTunes and on this website on Friday nights. You can listen to the live show every Wednesday on Sports Radio America here or through the TuneIn app.

  • “Sports News Read Like Real News” told the tale of Carmelo Anthony’s “Shooters Shoot” mentality getting him into some trouble in the bedroom (2:11).
  • The Bridge Question of the Week is: Who will win the World Series and why? Call in or text in your answer to 929-BRIDGE7, that’s 929-274-3437, and you’ll make it on the next show.
  • This week’s guest was Dan Szymborski, a writer and baseball analyst for ESPN and the creator of the sZymborski Projection System or “ZiPS,” which is regarded as one of the best projections systems on the stats and sabermetrics side of baseball. We’ll chat about how he came up with that projection system and what goes into it, as well as what it’s like to cover baseball for a living and some topical baseball anecdotes as well.
  • You can follow him on Twitter @DSzymborski. The interview starts at the 8:06 mark.

– In the interview, we discuss:

When he first started getting involved in baseball stats and analysis (8:31), what the early online sabermetrics community was like (9:32), writing for Baseball Primer and Baseball Think Factory (10:33), what the Society for American Baseball Research is (11:40), what ZiPS is (12:59), if there’s a player or projection that best exemplifies ZiPS (14:58), why the name “ZiPS” (16:54), if anyone has ever recognized him for it (18:11), if he still has “pinch me” moments for getting to cover baseball (19:04), why ZiPS is regarded as one of the most accurate predictors in sabermetrics (20:04), how much easier sabermetrics have become since the original days (21:45), if he misses those days compared to now (23:39), how he manages social media arguments (25:29), what a trip to Cooperstown is like (27:49), how he watches baseball (29:00), where his status with the BBWAA is (30:15), how the future of the Hall of Fame voting might evolve (31:05), when the best time to use ZiPS is (33:42), working on a piece about park projections for SunTrust Park (35:17), if ZiPS says anything about Pace of Play or Making Baseball Fun Again (37:19), if the length of games is a problem (38:09), if Nate Silver’s Goose Eggs should replace saves (39:29), if there’s a reason why so many of last year’s playoff teams are off to a poor start (41:10), if ZiPS has the Cubs repeating as World Series champs (42:49), if ZiPS predicted the end of the 108-year-old curse (43:54), using projections for gambling purposes (45:03) and writing and penmanship and potentially molding the life of a future sabermatrician (45:43).

  • “Good Try, Good Effort” recognized one of the best rants of the year, courtesy of Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale (48:50).

Call in or text the show 24/7 at 929-BRIDGE7, that’s (929) 274-3437. Contact the show with your questions, comments, stories or hot takes and you might be featured in the next installment of The Bridge.

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You can listen to the show live on Wednesday nights at 7 ET via Sports Radio America or the TuneIn app.

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Show music: ‘Actionable’ and ‘Epic,’ courtesy of

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