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Episode 92: A Belated New Year

January 15, 2015

After nearly a month away, Brock is back in the saddle & ready for 2015 in Episode 92.  Due to the extended holiday break, there is a lot to catch up on & Brock does his best to get to all the major happenings & a few more minor ones beside.  There’s the obligatory check in on the Hall of Fame voting results, an acknowledgement of the December shift in US-Cuban relations & the potential baseball significance the return of diplomacy may bring & a brief note on the Red Sox exploring new frontiers of information, analysis & instruction.  Then it’s on to the heart of the offseason – transactions!  The conversation begins with the busy Oakland A’s & how their trades with Tampa Bay & Washington bring their offseason into clearer focus.  After a digression to discuss how A’s fans (and similarly positioned fans of budget conscious, small market teams) can rethink the revolving door of players, it’s on to other teams.  Brock acknowledges the signs that the Rays & Braves are more clearly rebuilding, then nearly pulls a muscle trying simply to recount the sheer volume of the moves the Padres have made since mid-December.  The two World Series teams – the Giants & Royals for those just emerging from an extended coma – get a check-in, as does the Yankees busy, but un-Yankees-like month.  The episode finishes out with quickfire coverage of the Marlins, Pirates, Reds & White Sox, as well as a few pitchers trying to make a comeback this season, notably TBD favorite Johan Santana.

Episode 91: 2 Heads Are Better Than 1

December 16, 2014

Christmas comes early for Brock in Episode 91.  Ben’s classes are finished for the semester, so it’s back to the real work: baseball!  The guys pick up where Brock left off in Episode 90.  Brock & Ben start in the NL West, parsing the Matt Kemp trade from both the Dodgers & Padres perspectives, Ben gives his thoughts on the Dodgers’ busy offseason & the Giants’…what’s the opposite of busy?  The guys then jump to the AL East, looking at the Red Sox pitching acquisitions & the Yankees’ Chase Headley signing.  Buster Olney’s “best division in baseball” is up next as the guys spend some time with the AL Central, touching on recent moves by the Tigers, Royals, Twins & White Sox.  The episode closes out with Brock & Ben discussing the new-look Marlins’ offseason.

Episode 90: How a Stream Becomes a River

December 11, 2014

In Episode 90, the Hot Stove has caught on fire & it’s starting to get a little out of control.  After an uncommon early concentration of transactions, the baseball offseason proved there is an 11 on the knob, as things kicked into overdrive at the Winter Meetings.  Brock does the best he can to assess as many moves – big & small – as possible.  Brock hits on the Yankees, White Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, Pirates & Astros’ activity since last Friday, discussing the moves individually, but also in the context of how they shape & position the teams for 2015 & beyond.  Brock also assesses the A’s new moves while also stepping back to contextualize their offseason as a whole.  The episode ends with a brief discussion of a couple news items regarding the Hall of Fame.  Of course, Brock awoke Thursday morning to find a whole new spate of signings & trades.  Matt Kemp, the Boston Red Sox & the Cincinnati Reds (among others) will have to wait…’til the next episode.

Episode 89: No Holiday

December 4, 2014

In Episode 89, the activity churns on in baseball’s offseason & Brock is there to break it down.  The Numbers Game effectively gets replaced by an acknowledgement of umpire Dale Scott’s big news.  Then, trying to cover as much as possible from the past week, Brock checks in specifically on baseball’s busiest 6 teams: the A’s, Blue Jays, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Braves & Royals.  On the trade front, that covers the Josh Donaldson & Michael Saunders trades.  In free agency, that’s Nelson Cruz, Yasmany Tomas, Nick Markakis, Jim Johnson, Jason Frasor & Luke Hochevar.  Brock also checks in on the Orioles & how the loss of both Cruz & Markakis impacts them going into next season.  The Miami Marlins get a look, too, in light of their recent efforts to extend other young members of their core after locking down Giancarlo Stanton.  The episode closes with an analysis of some of the more interesting non-tender decisions & how those players impact the free agent market.

Episode 88: This Stove is Hot!

November 26, 2014

In Episode 88, Brock & Ben (via email) return to assess another busy week of offseason baseball.  After taking an early detour into switching uniforms & alcohol & MLB, the guys settle in to revisit all the activity of the week since the last episode.  Coverage focuses primarily on the most significant transactions, in particular the Red Sox’ dual signings of Pablo Sandoval & Hanley Ramirez.  There’s more than enough time to touch on the less marquee signings, as well, though.  The guys touch on Kyle Seager’s extension with the Mariners, the White Sox’ recent signings – Adam LaRoche & Zach Duke, the A’s recent signings – Billy Butler & Ike Davis – & the Dodgers’ recent acquisitions – Joel Peralta & Juan Nicasio.  The Giancarlo Stanton extension also finds its way back onto the podcast as the guys reassess the contract in light of the significant backloading it features.  The podcast closes with a brief assessment of the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot.

Episode 87: Big Monday

November 18, 2014

In Episode 87, Brock returns to the podwaves alone, his hand forced by the confluence of momentous announcements from the baseball world.  With Giancarlo Stanton’s record-setting extension with the Miami Marlins, Russell Martin signing with the Toronto Blue Jays & the St. Louis Cardinals & Atlanta Braves pulling off a significant trade – Jason Heyward & Jordan Walden for Shelby Miller & Tyrell Jenkins – Monday was one of the busiest single non-meeting (GM or Winter) days in recent offseason history.  Brock breaks it all down, along with Victor Martinez resigning with the Detroit Tigers, A.J. Burnett returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates & the various minor trades that have dotted the MLB landscape the past week.  While Ben is unable to join for recording, he is present via previously relayed thoughts on all the major transactions.  Bob from Taiwan also makes a return, weighing in on the Twins’ managerial change.

Episode 86: The Even Empire & the Hot Stove

November 7, 2014

In Episode 86, Brock & Ben cover the momentous, the intriguing, the tragic & the face palming events of the past week in baseball.  Before digging into more comparatively trivial topics, the guys take a moment to remember Oscar Taveras & Edilia Arvelo & pay their respects.  Brock & Ben then recap the World Series, trying to contextualize Madison Bumgarner’s impressive performance, joining the conversation surrounding the penultimate play of Game 7 & looking ahead for both the Royals & the Giants.  After a herculean effort by Brock to keep Ben from turning the episode into a 7-hour Giants podcast, the guys turn their attention to the offseason.  The focus falls primarily on the intriguing front office & managerial moves that have characterized the first week of the offseason – Joe Maddon to the Cubs, Paul Molitor to the Twins & Farhan Zaidi & Josh Byrnes to the Dodgers.  The guys then turn their attention to player movement, discussing the few small trades, the qualifying offer class & an option or two, closing the episode with a few words on the Gold Gloves.