Rob Friedman, Pitching Ninja
Though Rob Friedman trained and practiced as a lawyer, his passion was coaching and playing baseball. In 2014, he dove into the world of content creation. His niche? Not just baseball, but pitching specifically. Pitching Ninja was born. Since starting Pitching Ninja, Friedman has amassed over 400,000 Twitter followers, 100,000 Instagram followers, and appears on TV networks like Fox Sports and Peacock as a Pitching Analyst.
Episode 38 – Rob Friedman, Pitching Ninja
[00:00:55] Sanjay Parekh: Rob Friedman trained to become a lawyer at Emory University. After practicing law for a few years, he co-found Digital Envoy, a media and information services company, in 1999. As Rob’s education and career developed over the years, his love of baseball was always there. In 2014, he dove into the world of content creation. His niche? Not just baseball but pitching specifically. Thus, Pitching Ninja was born. Since starting Pitching Ninja, Rob has amassed over 400,000 Twitter followers, 100,000 Instagram followers, and even has his own Pitching Ninja merch store.
Here to share the story of his career, his businesses, and Pitching Ninja is Rob Friedman. Rob, welcome to the show.
[00:01:55] Rob Friedman: What is happening, my man?
[00:01:57] Sanjay Parekh: So, you know, it's a funny thing. I'm going to be asking you questions about your background and all this stuff, and I know a lot of it because we've known each other now for over 20 years, with both of our starts, in kind of startups and entrepreneurship and kind of side hustling, really for the first part of that. But, before we get into all that, why don't you tell us a little bit about you and your background and kind of what got you to where you are now?
[00:02:21] Rob Friedman: Yeah, that's going to be a relatively long story because I started out as a lawyer, never intending to do any of this stuff. I worked at a large law firm, which is what lawyers do. Went to Emory Law School, finished first in my class there. Yes. Smart man. Not that smart. So, anyway, worked at a law firm for a little bit. Then, started being general counsel. I was like, I don't like practicing law all that much, especially when it's billable hours and all that stuff. So, I started as general counsel of Aris, which is where I met you! I met Sanjay Parekh there, and we used to come up with ideas and bounce ideas off each other. One of those ideas grew into Digital Envoy, which is company that we ended up starting, which was fantastic. And then from there, I have always liked baseball, but I've always liked photography too. I coach baseball, so, it's like a culmination, a combination of all this stuff, being a baseball coach, taking video and help editing it, showing why pitchers are successful, why they're not successful, all that stuff, and then being able to write well on Twitter in short sentences is really important. So, the legal background tied with the photography background, tied with the coaching background and love of baseball and technology all created itself into Pitching Ninja.
[00:03:40] Sanjay Parekh: So, why exactly, so, I get that you had this love, but why exactly, kind of what exactly compelled you to start posting and creating an account and posting about this stuff?
[00:03:53] Rob Friedman: So, I'd never really, I never really liked Twitter at first. Like, I was like, what? Like what am I going to say I'm doing on Twitter? I'm, you know, I baked a cake, I did whatever. I didn't know what to do, but I realized that I was coaching baseball and I, because I'm a lawyer, I ask a lot of questions and I never wanted to teach these kids what kind of, you know, having a kid playing baseball, people ask me to coach. Because I just like, I mean I like working with kids cause I'm a big kid and just like explaining things. But when I found myself explaining it, I was like, you know, I don't want to teach what I was taught because I kind of sucked.
It's not like I was a great baseball player growing up or anything like that. I was okay, but not like a really good, not like a major league baseball player at all. You've played softball with me. You know, but I love the sport and wanted to pass it down. So, I started learning a lot, asking a lot of questions. From there, I was like, I'm not going to coach my whole life. So, I want to be able to share this information with as many people as I can. I've learned from some of the best people who are kind enough to answer my questions, and I have the money to spend on a lot of stuff, a lot of gear, a lot of coaching, a lot of, a whole bunch of things regarding baseball, I know a lot of people didn't. So, I wanted to share that information with others. And I figured Twitter was a good way to do it, so, I just kept tweeting what I would learn and what I thought. And from there, like Major League baseball players started following me. I'm like, this is kind of sick. Like, they think what I have to say is interesting. So, it was just like a shock that that happened, and it just kept growing and growing and growing. There was never a plan to make it big. It wasn't like I wanted it. It wasn't a business idea. I don't even know if it's a business idea today. It kind of is, but it never really was at first, and it just grew on its own. And then from there I was like, I can't do both. I can't be at Digital Envoy and do this at the same time, I'm being torn two different ways. So, I might as well go with the thing that you know, that I'm known for. I'd rather be known as Pitching Ninja than as Mr. Geotargeting man. It just was what I wanted to be known for.
[00:06:01] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. So, what, why is it that you picked pitching of all things? Like, you could have done batting, you could have done, like base running, like you could have done so many things, right? Like there's, if you really think about it, there's a lot of different things that you could probably slice into with this interesting niche. What was it about pitching specifically?
[00:06:18] Rob Friedman: I've always been fascinated with pitching because number one, you're in a hundred percent of control of everything that happens because you have the baseball and you can make, you know, the hitter has to react to you. So, to me, if everything went right, you should be able to throw the ball where you want it to, move it the way you want it to, and dominate hitters. So, I figured it was number one. That was one reason that I've always been attracted to that. I think everybody's looking at the pitcher. Nothing happens until pitcher throws the ball. The game is, you know, half pitching, like half of the players on most college rosters or travel ball rosters are pitchers. So, to me it just seemed natural. And then my son ended up gravitating towards pitching. So, that had something to do with it, but it's always been an interest of mine. I always liked it because they're the center of attention. I figured that that was an easier thing to teach than hitting, which is reacting to the pitch that comes in.
[00:07:18] Sanjay Parekh: Right. So, how deep down the rabbit hole have you gone? Like, are you thinking about the physics of it? Have you, like, I can't imagine in law school you, you learned a lot of physics. So, is this, you know, have you had to figure out that stuff afterwards? Or are you recalling high school physics? Like, you know, how deep have you gotten into this?
[00:07:36] Rob Friedman: Oh, as deep as possible. So, I do a bunch of different things. One is, partly it's training, like partly looking at pitching mechanics, how to throw hard, how to do pitch grips, how to grip the ball different ways. But also, why the ball might move the way it does. And that is a lot of physics and aerodynamics. Like if you're talking about the seams of a baseball. The way the air goes over those seams is really what kind of makes the ball move differently. And some of the stuff we're discovering now, like this isn't, like you would think the game's been around for forever, right? There are theories about why baseballs move that have popped up within the last two years.
And it's from an aerodynamics professor, an aerospace engineering professor, who happened to go to Georgia Tech but now teaches out in Utah State. And I found him like, I found this guy. And I was like, He's saying interesting things. so, I started putting him up on Twitter and all my followers started finding him. And I was like, this guy's going to get a job somewhere soon. Because a team needs to know this stuff. He was basically, everything that you knew about why a pitch would move was wrong. And he kind of put it out there and a team actually did contract with him. So, it worked. Like, that's another thing I do is I actually help find people positions in baseball. Both players as well as some things like that, but a lot of players, I started FlatGround that grew out of my Pitching Ninja Twitter, which is aimed to help basically anybody to find a spot at college or pros. I've had several guys get signed by Major League teams because we just put them out there. You would think if you're good, everybody's going to find you. That's just not true. And I used my follower base, which every major league baseball team follows me. So, throwing it out there to them and they see this guy that's not signed, they jump on him and sign them, and it's happened I think at least 40 times. I've had players get signed by Major League teams.
[00:09:29] Sanjay Parekh: So, that's interesting because like all of these teams, and we know like all of the professional athletic teams have scouts. Clearly, they're not doing their job, right? Because you're finding these folks and they're relying on you to do their scouting. So, what does that say about that whole setup?
[00:09:49] Rob Friedman: Well, I think number one, it's very income based. So, you have people that go to showcases and stuff, but those guys tend to be, like knowing that, having Jack go through showcases. It's expensive. Like a travel team? Yeah, travel team may be a couple, like a good travel team could be two to five thousand dollars, let's say. But then you have the actual travel, hotels, being able to take off work, paying for a showcase, paying for tournaments, paying for lessons, paying for equipment, like $500 bats, $400 gloves, all this stuff adds up really, really quickly. And you have basically income being the limiting factor for some folks as well as geography. Like, not only within the U.S. you might have low population density places. Scouts just don't go to like middle of Kansas. I don't know. You know, there may be a great player there, but no one ever sees them. Other thing, like also internationally, you may have, like, there was a guy that was a pretty good baseball player in the Netherlands threw like 89, 6'4”.
Before I had FlatGround, he had no way, like coaches, schools don't have recruiting budgets to go to the Netherlands. But if they see a video of the guy like, hey, if you're ever over here, you may want to stop by. Because I have an open scholarship for you. And these things work, this guy got 20 something scholarship offers from a video that I tweeted out. So, yeah, it's kind of sick.
[00:11:09] Sanjay Parekh: So, let's talk about how you kind of started this. So, you decided to go in on pitching and do videos. What did you do? Like obviously you got your Twitter handle, but like what's step number one? You started just taking videos yourself or videos from other people or what did you do?
[00:11:28] Rob Friedman: I originally just started tweeting some of the stuff I learned and then breaking down actual major league videos. So, showing how pitchers moved to create velocity to how pitches came off pitcher's hands actually, how the ball moved, and then some for entertainment. It ended up evolving. There's also a huge entertainment factor. Where some people don't care about that. Like they're not baseball players, they just like seeing nasty pitches. And for those people I'm there too. Like I don't really care. I like all of that. I'm a fan as well as a coach, as well as a technology guy, which I like the technology behind, you know, just, I'm always curious. So, there's technology, physics, all that stuff involved, which is fun to unravel. And try to make simple to people so, they understand it. In a way that's, you know, digestible. So, I really started out just simple tweets, like throwing some videos up their pictures, ideas, challenging some people too. Like that was the big thing is there's some coaches or, or people selling products that thought that they had these great things. And again, as a lawyer, one of my things is, I'm going to poke holes. You know, it's the way we used to argue in the company. Like, you sit there and you're like, all right, yeah, you say that, but what about this?
What about, because you know, it's a way of sharpening ideas and also seeing who's full of crap. And, you know, a lot of these guys either didn't like being challenged or some of them did. And they maybe, either learned something about what they were saying or maybe I realized I was wrong on some things too, which is totally cool. I don't argue always because I think I'm right. I argue because I want to find out if I'm wrong.
[00:13:04] Sanjay Parekh: Right. So, you know, one thing that I kind of thought of as I've heard you doing this over time, is before every major league broadcast, there's this legal disclaimer, like, or at the end of it, you're not allowed to rebroadcast and everything. And I've always thought like, well, Rob's a lawyer and I think he's kind of rebroadcasting this, and obviously it's okay now because you've got a relationship with MLB, but were you ever worried about them putting the hammer on you or, or did they ever, or was there ever a discussion about that?
[00:13:34] Rob Friedman: Oh, it happened. So, this happened like, what, a few years ago? So, it was actually, it's a longer story than that. So, I always felt, and there's a fair use exception for anything, so, any copyright stuff that's fair use. I don't re-broadcast. Again, I'm not sitting there announcing, hey, this is what happened. What I'm trying to do is break things down from a coaching perspective, especially at first, from a coaching perspective to help educate folks. I was growing the game. That was literally my only intent. It was never to make money; it was never to do anything. I didn't make any money off that. Like I was just doing it with my own time to grow the game and help other people learn. But then at one point I tweeted something. And somebody, I don't know if you know Barstool Sports, but so, they're another thing and they have a bunch of loyal followers. They tend to be a little crazy at points, especially back then. So, I said something about somebody taking my content. The guy actually took something I tweeted, put it under his own name and it's like, hey, this is nasty. And I was like, wait a second. I did all the work on this. I found this, right, and he was like, Oh yeah, well it's MLB’s. And sent his followers after me who then reported me to both Twitter and MLB. And MLB did what you're supposed to do, like in this, they didn't do anything wrong. They just said, hey, we're going to issue a takedown notice. They did, Twitter, took it down and closed my account. Right. so, they locked my account.
[00:14:55] Sanjay Parekh: Oh, wow. And how many followers were you at this point?
[00:14:58] Rob Friedman: 80,000 maybe, something like that. So, maybe 50 to 80, something like that. I forgot the exact number. So, I wake up in the middle of the night and I, sometimes I just can't sleep, I mean, we all have that. And I looked at my phone, it was blowing up and I'm like why is my phone blowing up. And it was people going, what happened to your account? What happened? And I just, I just looked at it. I'm like, I'm going back to sleep because I can't do anything about it now. If Major League Baseball wants to keep me off Twitter, they can. That's perfectly fine. I think what I'm doing is right. But I'll worry about it in the morning and see what happens.
So there was a huge uproar, like the entire baseball community, both professional players, front office people as well as fans, just went crazy that my account got locked. and eventually MLB contacted me through a reporter at that point, I think it was for Yahoo Sports. And he said, you know, hey, they want to talk to you. And they talked to me, and they said, we love what you do. We actually just want it to be on the up and up. And I said, you know, honestly, I feel like I have a fair use exception, but I want to do this right too. So, they ended up, I'm an independent contractor for Major League Baseball out of it, and now can do anything I want, basically, other than like rebroadcast the game obviously and stuff. And that grew into, like, that freed me up to do a whole bunch of stuff. so, now, like, I'm an analyst for Fox Sports. I'm an analyst for, I did Peacock games on Peacock TV on Sundays. I do ESPN. I've done MLB network. I've done a lot.
[00:16:31] Sanjay Parekh: So really, those Barstool crazies. Probably one of your biggest helpers in developing this as a business.
[00:16:38] Rob Friedman: So, that is one of those things that I firmly believe is that you can either whine about stuff that happens to you, or you can say it's a blessing in disguise and figure out a way around it. Every time you're dealt a curve ball, you can turn...
[00:16:52] Sanjay Parekh: Using those baseball puns there.
[00:16:54] Rob Friedman: Yeah. But every time you're dealt that, you should like, to me, there's no sense in whining about it. Like you figure it out and you use it for the best. And if it didn't work, like I would've had more free time on my hands at that point. So, it wasn't going to kill me at that point, but instead it was the same thing of like, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And this made me extremely strong because it just freed me up. It made me feel better about what I was doing.
[00:17:18] Adam Walker: Support for this podcast comes from Hiscox. Committed to helping small businesses protect their dreams since 1901. Quotes and information on customized insurance for specific risks are available. At www.hiscox.com. Hiscox, the business insurance experts.
[00:17:39] Sanjay Parekh: So, okay, so, now you've got this relationship. What changes in your ability to do these things? Cause now you've got freedom to do more, right? Did this amplify your ability to do more at that point? And is that the thing that really helped you grow your following?
[00:17:56] Rob Friedman: It really did. So, to me, again, like the blessing in disguise type thing, it made me feel better about putting stuff out there. It made everything legit. So, I started doing more. I started actually, so, at first, I was really focusing mostly on the coaching aspects of it and stuff like that. You know, like I said, pitch grips, all that stuff. And then this made me think, baseball is so, not bad. Like they're not intentionally bad, they just, viral marketing is better than a company speaking to you, and marketing the way they want to. And since everybody liked, seemed to like what I was doing, I figured if I did it in the same style, I could help grow the sport and show why these things are so cool. So, I invented things like pitch overlays to show like, you know how everybody yells at a hitter? Why'd you swing at that? Well, I can show why you swing, number one, if you're yelling at a hitter, why’d they swung at that, you're sitting on your couch. These guys are getting paid millions of dollars to hit a baseball, so you would think they're better than you. Like they've seen something that you didn't see, that because the pitch is coming at them a certain way, looked like another pitch and ended up swinging at it. So, I started showing people.
[00:19:04] Sanjay Parekh: It's the angle that you see on TV is totally different than the batter's point of view there.
[00:19:09] Rob Friedman: Totally. And the other thing is, you can't take each pitch in a vacuum. You have to think, what did the hitter think that pitch was? So, why did he swing at this slider that was way out of the zone? Because he thought it was a fast ball that was coming down the middle because they look the same as they're coming at you. And then that slider disappears. So, those were things that I think really helped shape the way people watch games. I think now people are much more pitching oriented than when I started, and that is one area where I think I've had a lot of impact is, people not only wanting to pitch, but people understanding that this game is really hard and helping appreciate hitting and pitching.
[00:19:45] Sanjay Parekh: So, okay, so, you made this move now, you've left Digital Envoy full time, so, obviously you've grown Pitching Ninja to a point where it's generating revenue. How did you figure out how to make that move from, hey, I'm doing it for fun and now I'm making money. And how are you making money in all this?
[00:20:03] Rob Friedman: Great question. It is like I never, again, when I started this absolutely didn't even think that it was a possibility. I didn't think that, you know, this dude who's just coaching stuff could ever make money at this. but what ended up happening is, so, number one, MLB, I have a contractor relationship, then people started following me and I get a ton of followers. A guy at Roto Wear, so, there's a company that actually makes t-shirt designs and stuff. And he was a graphic designer as well, worked for an ad in, He just DM’ed me and said, hey, I got a great logo for you. And I'm like, really? Like, send it over. And he sent over the logo that's on my hat right now and I'm like, this is kind of cool. And I put it out there like, I just changed my Twitter icon to that. And people were like, I want that on a hat. Well, actually I want it on a shirt. So, he started making shirts. at first, I gave every penny of it, every penny I got from it. So, he'd make money, I'd make money, and I'd give my money to charity. All of it. And then it became too much to give all to charity. And I was like, you know, there's a point. I didn't feel comfortable at that point taking people's money because I've done pretty well at DE. Like I can't complain. I've done well my whole life and other people need their money more and I don't really feel like separating them from that. But then at some point it just kept growing and growing and growing and I'm like, this is a legit business, and it also helps me grow and add. I have a person now that works with me full time, and helps me manage the merch aspects of it and some of the content aspects of it. but then, sorry, there's a merch aspect, there's YouTube pays money. Instagram has, you know, money generating stuff and then networks that I work with. So, I get paid for working with Peacock and Fanduel. So, online gambling type stuff. And then, MLB network, if I make an appearance, pays me. NESN, Red Sox network, pays me too. So, like a lot of different avenues of making money.
[00:22:11] Sanjay Parekh: So that's helped you become more than just a single person thing. So, now you've got one employee. So, you know, that kind of helps move into the next kind of question. How do you balance all of this with family and, you know, friends and like all of that stuff? I'm sure it helps now having somebody with you. But how do you think about that and how do you kind of balance the stress of all of this stuff? Cause now you're not just watching baseball games for the fun of it. It's a job every single time a game comes on.
[00:22:41] Rob Friedman: Great, great point. And to me, I still have fun doing it. Like I thrive off other people liking my stuff. I put it out because I like it, but when other people like it too, I'm like, this is cool. I came up with something that other people like, and sometimes it's a lot of other people that like it, you know, millions and millions of people that like it, and that's insanely cool.
So, it's still always fun. I love the interaction part of it. but I am not great at balancing work life and personal life on this because it became like, you know, Patricia would tell me, you know, you work like 14-hour days on this stuff and I'm like, I don't think of it like work because I'm constantly thinking of it and constantly doing something, but I can always take a break when I want to, too. So, it's not like, no one's making me do it. Like no one says, you have to do this. I just do it. so, I'm not great at that.
[00:23:32] Sanjay Parekh: You're not exhausted at the end of the 14 hours. It's, it's been fun the whole 14 hours.
[00:23:36] Rob Friedman: It's been fun. But you do get exhausted, so, like, right now we're at the end of the season and I think I told you before we started, like, I'm tired, like staying up all night watching a no hitter and stuff. It gets tiring, no doubt. But it's also like, I can't whine about this. Like if you're whining about, I understand people whining about their jobs, whining about something that I started because it was fun and still having fun at it every day and watching a sport and having players come up to me and giving me big hugs and crap. Like I go to the All-Star game and they're like, oh my God, it's Pitching Ninja. I'm like, dude, you're the one getting paid all this money because you're a great baseball player. I'm just a dude with a computer who writes stuff. But it's like you become like this folk hero to folks, which is fun. Like it helps your ego. Like, I love when that happens and it's great to have that impact and stuff. But yeah, like I don't think there's any aspect of it that I don't like.
[00:24:32] Sanjay Parekh: And you do get a break, right? Like, so, once the World Series is over do you ramp back up when it's spring training or after that?
[00:24:41] Rob Friedman: Ramp up for spring training. I never really take a full break. Like I never am out of sight, out of mind. So, I'm always doing like something. It's this philosophy that I think players should do, people should do, people in anything should do, is get a little better every day at something. You do work at it a little bit every day. Put something out there every day. Twitter's great because I read my notifications all the time because I want to hear if somebody's complaining about something, if someone thinks I stink, if someone thinks something's particularly good. Because I don't agree with everything they say, but some parts are true, and you have to be able to differentiate that. So, I think getting better at anything, 1% every day it adds up, or, you know, a fraction of percent every day.
[00:25:24] Sanjay Parekh: Right. Right. Okay, so we've talked about kind of some technology. You're obviously a big Twitter user, Instagram user. are what other technology or apps or systems or services do you use? To help you manage all of this?
[00:25:38] Rob Friedman: Yeah, I use, I mean, I use a bunch of editing software, so, that's one of those things like working in technology. I'm not scared of any of that. I've always edited you know, photography and stuff.
[00:25:50] Sanjay Parekh: Did you learn all of that yourself or did you take a class or how did you learn?
[00:25:56] Rob Friedman: I don't like taking classes. I like learning. I like trying things. And when I run into a roadblock, I learn it myself rather than, you know, if I really needed something, I might ask somebody, but I don't remember the last time I did. You can go on YouTube and usually find the answer to something, editing wise, and I've created new things because what I do is I'll learn something and I'll be like, oh, but I can use this for that. And it may be something no one's thought of. because you're constantly trying to improve. I'm constantly trying to show what I see in my head better. And by doing that, like I'm constantly experimenting and stuff, which is another part of the fun stuff of this. I use all the Adobe products to do my editing and my voiceovers and stuff. I mean just like camera crap and lighting, and I mean, like it's hard to even list out all the stuff that I would use, but I'm fluid on everything. TikTok is tough.
[00:26:51] Sanjay Parekh: Is there one thing that you're like, If I didn't have this, everything would fall apart?
[00:26:55] Rob Friedman: Oh yeah. yeah. Like if I wasn't able to capture videos online, that would stink. So, a screen capture’s important. I mean, I think that's probably the biggest thing and editing software and stuff is huge.
[00:27:12] Sanjay Parekh: So, you know, a lot of folks that are listening to this, podcast are folks that either have a side hustle or a small business or are thinking about doing one of those things. What kind of advice would you give somebody like that about, you know, thinking about starting a side hustle or a small business and how to think about it and how to be successful?
[00:27:30] Rob Friedman: So, I get asked this a lot of times, especially with people like, I've had people on Twitter or Instagram say, I want to be like you, I want to start going into this, you know, doing this, be a content creator, like an influencer, like I'm an influencer, whatever the hell that means. And I was like, you can do that, but you have to work unbelievably hard. It's not a matter, especially when you're starting out without a big name. You have to be willing to outwork and outthink everybody else in order to be where you are. People don't put in that work, and they don't want to put in that work. Everybody wants the easy answer, like there's got to be a quick fix to this. Everybody wants a quick fix to being able to throw hard in baseball. They want a quick fix to starting a company or getting rich or whatever it is. There's no quick fix. Although, some people get lucky, but you make your own luck a lot of times and it's about working. You know, still working 14-hour days doing this. And if you don't want to do it, that's totally fine, but don't be upset when you don't end up with the results that you want to get. Because I will, I feel like, I don't know if I'm smarter or better, whatever, but I will outwork people through being dedicated to doing something every day that people won't do. So, that's really it.
[00:28:46] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. What's interesting to me is, you know, if you think back to Digital Envoy, we started in ‘99 and we exited in 2007, so that was eight years. You started this in 2014 and you've now left and gone full time into it, and it's been eight years of that as well. So, it was, a lot of people will look at the end result and be like, I want to be like you now, but don't look back or think about the time that it took you to get from where you started to where you are now.
[00:29:13] Rob Friedman: Absolutely. How hard did we work starting D.E. Like how many hour days did we do then?
[00:29:21] Sanjay Parekh: It was a lot. but it was fun.
[00:29:23] Rob Friedman: Right? I don't remember sleeping. I remember waking up in the middle night with that too, looking, checking my emails and I know how you checked your emails too. And we would constantly be, you know, just doing something to make do, because I didn't want to lose. I mean, and you didn't want to, either. You're wanting to always get better, and we were competing against better funded people who just didn't work as hard or as smart, and didn't have the right, like I think creating the right environment's important and having fun and being creative and working hard. Those are the keys to everything.
[00:29:56] Sanjay Parekh: Okay. I've got one last question for you now. This is going to go deep baseball and kind of make you look into the future a little bit. So, there's some changes coming in rules for MLB. There's a pitch clock that's coming and there's also larger bases coming. What do you think that's going to do, first of all, to the game, but also to your business? Because now, you know, maybe there's more pitches or, I don't know, something changes about the analysis that you're going to have to do.
[00:30:23] Rob Friedman: So, I love change. Like I am not, you know, change should never intimidate anybody. I think some of these changes are really good and it shows that baseball's experimenting to try to make the product more fan friendly.
The pitch clock is huge because I think people, there's a lot of people who think the game's too slow, boring, whatever. Moving it quicker so, that there's less time between pitches is important. And I think that's the big thing is growing the base, making it more interesting. There's other rules that are tough. They're reducing the amount of times you can throw over to a base, so, you can't pick off, you know, multiple times. They're eliminating the shift, which I think is important because, you know, growing up watching baseball, everybody, they didn't shift as much. so, you'd have two people on one side of the infield, two people on the other side of the infield. Now when you watch a game, there's always a player somewhere and somebody will hit the ball hard in an area that you've always thought is a base hit and it's not. And batting averages have gone down and pitching has gotten so good that there's less offense because of that. You have not only analytics entering the game to make it harder to get a hit, but you're also having pitchers being trained better and hitters are just reacting to this fast ball that they can't see. And then getting these ridiculous breaking balls, they also can't hit. So, it's tough. So, I think these changes are useful. I don't know how it'll affect what I do, but I think it'll affect the game somewhat, the bigger bases as well. Just injuries, like I hate it when a player gets injured and creating a bigger path to the base will mean less injuries and maybe more stolen bases, which I think the people that run baseball think that's more exciting.
[00:31:59] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, fans probably think that's more exciting too. Maybe it'll be good for the game. Well, Rob, this has been awesome. Where can our listeners find and connect with you if they already haven't of the 400,000 or so.
[00:32:12] Rob Friedman: Pretty much anywhere. So, I'm on Twitter @PitchingNinja. I'm on Instagram @PitchingNinja. TikTok @PitchingNinja. I don't dance. I'm terrible. And then YouTube at Pitching Ninja Videos. And then anywhere, like, I don't know if you watch me, like I'm on TV occasionally too, my big ugly mug on people's screens, which is scary. But I'm on NESN I had mentioned, I write for Fox, so, I have an article coming out today, too. Like I'm everywhere. I'm too many places. Sanjay. I don't even know, man. It's tough.
[00:32:44] Sanjay Parekh: So, just search around and you'll find me.
[00:32:46] Rob Friedman: Yeah, exactly. You'll find me. And probably want to just turn off your TV if you see my face.
[00:32:51] Sanjay Parekh: Awesome. Thanks for coming on, Rob.
[00:32:52] Rob Friedman: Hey, my pleasure, dude.
[00:32:55] Sanjay Parekh: Thank you for listening to this week's episode of the Side Hustle to Small Business Podcast, powered by Hiscox. To learn more about how Hiscox can help protect your small business through intelligent insurance solutions, visit hiscox.com. And if you have a story you want to hear on this podcast, please visit www.hiscox.com/shareyourstory. I'm your host Sanjay Parekh. You can find me on Twitter @sanjay or on my website at www.sanjayparekh.com.