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How Ben Lindbergh & Sam Miller Got to Run a Pro Baseball Team



Welcome to Episode 37 of Products of the Mind. On this episode, I speak with baseball writers, podcasters, and temporary professional baseball team overlords Ben Lindbergh & Sam Miller.

Ben and Sam are the authors of The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team. Their book tells the story of how two Internet-based baseball writers ended up running the Sonoma Stompers, an independent league professional baseball team.

It turns out that their book is about a lot more than baseball. In this interview, Ben and Sam tell us some of what they learned about management, team building, and how to convince a room full of skeptical people to try out some unorthodox ideas.

They also talk about how one of their games made national news and ended up being memorialized in the Baseball Hall of Fame after a pitcher they’d signed, Sean Conroy, became the first active pro ballplayer to come out as gay.

Plus: life in the politically incorrect environment of a baseball clubhouse, how much of the 2009 Yankees’ World Championship Ben attributes to his efforts as an intern for the team (spoiler: not much), and were they afraid their book was going to suck?

Links and notable mentions from today’s episode:

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The Credits

Products of the Mind is produced by Mana Monzavi.

The illustration accompanying these show notes is by Whit Harris.

The theme music for this episode was provided by Le Chateau. The track name is “Bury You.” Go buy it on Soundcloud!

This episode and these show notes © 2016 David Lizerbram

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