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Episode 81: Strikes & Stretches

August 14, 2014

In Episode 81, Ben rejoins Brock after an extended hiatus & the guys have plenty to discuss.  After following the Numbers Game to the 1981 strike, the guys acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the 1994 strike & wonder about the future of labor peace given the controversy surrounding the election of Bud Selig’s successor as MLB commissioner.  Brock & Ben check in on the latest officiating controversy – catcher interference on plays at the plate – the most exciting recent call-up – Javier Baez – & the most disappointing (if far from unexpected) season-ending injury – Troy Tulowitzki’s hip.  The guys then turn their focus to the stretch picture in the American League, with surprising teams  making noise in the AL Central – Kansas City – the AL East – Baltimore – & the AL West/Wild Card – Seattle.  Brock & Ben pay particular attention to the AL Central, doing their best to determine just how legitimate Kansas City’s playoff chances are & in just how much trouble Detroit finds itself.

Episode 80: Holy Trade Deadline, Batman!

August 1, 2014

In Episode 80, Brock returns solo to cover an unexpectedly wild non-waiver trade deadline & catch up on some other news from baseball the past 2 weeks.  After reviewing & analyzing the majority of the major & moderate deadline transactions, Brock spends a little time on some other interesting recent topics.  Among the topics assessed: the Hall of Fame eligibility changes, the Houston Astros failure to sign #1 overall pick Brady Aiken (& 2 other high draft picks) & the obligatory injury update.  Finally, Brock closes the podcast with a roundup from Independent League baseball, including a review of The Battered Bastards of Baseball, a documentary about an independent team in the 1970s, the Atlantic League’s new rules to improve pace of play & check-ins on Dontrelle Willis & Tracy McGrady.

Episode 79: All-Star Special

July 16, 2014

Episode 79 is a special All-Star Week episode of The Baseball Diaspora Podcast.  Recorded minutes after the end of the 2014 All-Star Game, Brock & Ben dedicate the majority of the episode to recapping & discussing the All-Star festivities.  The guys break down the All-Star Game, the Home Run Derby & the Futures Game, then weigh in with ways to improve all three events & the All-Star Week as a whole.  Brock & Ben touch on MLB’s decision (at long last) to honor the late Glenn Burke, a gay baseball pioneer before turning their attention to the second half of the season.  The guys assess how injuries to Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips & Joey Votto may impact the very tight NL Central race, then take a look around the league to update their understanding of the baseball landscape entering the second half.

Episode 78: Injuries, Both Physical & Legal

July 10, 2014

In Episode 78, Brock & Ben survey the baseball landscape as the season approaches the All-Star break.  The guys analyze the early returns of trade season – the MLB-best A’s acquiring Jeff Samardzija & Jason Hammel from the Cubs & the Yankees picking up Brandon McCarthy from Arizona.  Brock & Ben then reluctantly revisit an all too familiar topic: injuries.  The guys discuss injuries to & updates on Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathia, Edwin Encarnacion, Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia, Yadier Molina, Joey Votto, Gerrit Cole, Bronson Arroyo & Josh Beckett.  Brock & Ben assess several legal storylines, including the latest in the A’s lease saga, the jury’s findings in the Bryan Stow case & the “sleeping fan” lawsuit, before closing out the podcast with an All-Star update.  The guys discuss the (nearly) complete Home Run Derby rosters & give their impressions of the All-Star rosters.

Episode 77: Freaks & Leaks

July 2, 2014

In Episode 77, Brock & Ben deliver a shorter, but no less action-packed podcast.  The guys start by discussing Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter, as well as other near no-nos over the past week (Jake Arrieta, Homer Bailey, Jake Arrieta again).  The conversation then turns to the latest twist in the Oakland stadium saga.  Brock & Ben check in on the status of All-Star voting as it enters its final week, then take the temperature of their favorite teams, both of whom are struggling & feeling the heat as division rivals (the Cincinnati Reds & Los Angeles Dodgers) are catching up to them.  The guys wrap up by discussing the leak of information from the Houston Astros’ front office & the insight it provides into how major league front offices deal.

Episode 76: You’ve Got To Pay Attention!

June 25, 2014

In Episode 76, Brock & Ben recap Clayton Kershaw’s dominant no-hitter, a no-hitter they could’ve discussed at the end of Episode 75 if only they’d bothered to check the evening’s action for a moment while recording!  The guys discuss a rule clarification on force plays at home plate & discuss other rules – or interpretations of the rules – that may need attention.  Brock & Ben then check in on All-Star news, taking a look at changes to the Home Run Derby format & providing their recommendations for who Derby team captains Jose Bautista & Troy Tulowitzki should choose to represent the American & National Leagues, respectively.  Indy League baseball makes an abbreviated return as Brock touches on the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball & the Can-Am League.  Finally, the guys revisit preseason expectations for teams in the National League & hand out their MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year & Best Free Agent Acquisition for the NL at the 1/3 (more like 1/2) season mark.

Episode 75: We Are Still Here

June 18, 2014

2 ZitosAfter an extended, unannounced hiatus, Brock & Ben return to both apologize &, more importantly, talk about everything that’s happened while they were away.  The guys kick things off with an email from Bob in Taiwan.  Bob provides an update from the CPBL, featuring former big leaguers Freddy Garcia & Hong-Chih Kuo, then asks the guys to weigh in on their thoughts on going to a baseball game alone.  Finally, Bob asks about teams whose fans should enjoy them while they can – like Bob’s Twins – as they may not maintain their current level of performance for much longer.  Bob’s final question dovetails nicely with the guys’ reevaluation of preseason expectations for various American League teams in light of their performance in the first 1/3+ of the season.  The guys take a look at teams that have surprised – in both good & bad ways – before giving their 1/3 season picks for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year & Best Free Agent Acquisition for the AL.  Other topics covered include Kendrys Morales’ signing with the Twins, notable prospect call-ups, the Jonathan Singleton contract & what it means going forward & a Manny Ramirez update…sort of.  The guys also take a moment to remember Don Zimmer, Bob Welch & Tony Gwynn.