Posts Tagged ‘ Jake Westbrook ’

Episode 48: Patron Bobbles & Nagekomi

August 22, 2013
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Episode 48 Image

In Episode 48, Brock & Ben perform their own variation on the Japanese baseball philosophy of nagekomi, talking baseball to the brink of exhaustion and beyond.  The guys are joined by Glen Tsurudome, reprising his role as Japanese baseball expert for the episode’s Education segment.  The Numbers Game gets a little personal, as a the career WAR leader among players to wear #48 leads Brock to learn more about his uncle’s minor league career in the 1970′s.  The guys also add a companion segment to the Numbers Game, in the form of the Patron Bobble.  Each episode will feature a patron from among Brock or Ben’s bobblehead collection that somehow ties into the episode.  Current Events finds the guys briefly acknowledging Charlie Manuel’s departure from the Phillies & sinking their teeth into the expanded replay proposal announced earlier this week.  In the Education segment, Glen joins Brock & Ben to discuss replay in Japan, Ichiro Suzuki’s 4000th career professional hit, Japan’s Koshien high school baseball tournament & its epic pitch counts, & Japanese phenom Tomohiro Anraku and whether he will be the first Japanese player to begin his professional career in MLB.  Brock & Ben then turn their attention to discussing the evolving playoff races in both leagues.  To closeout the episode, the guys push through the fatigue to help Bob in Taiwan with a difficult baseball conundrum.

The excellent Scott Jones ESPN article on Anraku & nagekomi can be found here.  The accompanying video is here.

A selection of Glen’s photos from Summer Koshien can be found here.

Episode 46: PEDs with a Latin Beat

August 8, 2013
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In Episode 46, Brock & Ben bring a show absolutely chock full of baseball!  Touring current events, the guys briefly alight on the topics of Chase Utley’s contract extension, Dontrelle Willis’ return to organized baseball, the end of Bartolo Colon’s quality start streak & Shelby Miller’s early exit from his Wednesday start.  The guys then pay homage to a serious Diaspora fan, Gary Cypres & his impressive collection of baseball memorabilia.  In the educational segment, the guys discuss Edward Achorn’s latest book on early baseball The Summer of Beer & Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America’s Game and the peculiarities of the 19th century game.  Finally, Brock & Ben close the book on Biogenesis (for now), discussing the suspensions, Alex Rodriguez’s appeal, the impact on the pennant races & the changing attitudes of players toward PED use.  The guys also look at Biogenesis & PEDs generally from an angle it seems no one is discussing: the fact that the vast majority of players punished under MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement are from Latin America.  Brock & Ben wonder if greater MLB involvement in baseball in Latin America could serve the dual purpose of providing additional support to players & advancing MLB’s goal of combating PEDs from a preventative standpoint.

Episode 42: Baseball’s Best Division

July 10, 2013
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In Episode 42, Ben rejoins Brock to discuss the All-Star rosters and assess the success of the National League Central.  The guys begin by commenting on the latest Biogenesis unpleasantness, but quickly lighten the mood by breaking down the All-Star and Home Run Derby rosters and discussing their general philosophies on All-Star selections.  The guys then turn their attention to baseball’s best division, the NL Central – discussing the success of the St. Louis Cardinals & Pittsburgh Pirates before examining the Chicago Cubs’ rebuilding process.  To wrap up, Brock & Ben take a look at the recent trend of teams trading international signing bonus slots and whether it portends a future of tradeable draft picks.

One Last Strike

October 13, 2012
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AP Photo/Nick Wass

One last strike.  That’s the refrain that kept running through my head last night as the St. Louis Cardinals stepped to the brink of elimination.  Twice.  Again.  I may even have spoken the words out loud once or twice, an idle prayer for reprise to fill the tense seconds. “And a foul ball out of…

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Episode 16: Looking Forward, Looking Back

July 14, 2012
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In Episode 16, baseball is back and so is The Baseball Diaspora!  Brock & Dan look back at the first half of the 2012 season and look forward to the July 31st trade deadline, focusing specifically on the A’s and the Cardinals.  Topics of discussion include:

- How the A’s have defied predictions to finish above .500 in the first half and just 1.5 games out of the AL Wild Cards

- Revisiting the A’s offseason in light of the production the team has received from Josh Reddick, Jarrod Parker, Tom Milone, Ryan Cook and Derek Norris

- The manner in which the Cardinals have overcome the losses of Albert Pujols, Tony La Russa, Dave Duncan and Chris Carpenter to contend in 2012

- How injuries have impacted the Cardinals, but not in the ways everyone expected

- Assigning 1st half MVP, Cy Young, Rookie and “Thanks for Nothing” honors for both the A’s and the Cardinals

- What direction each of the two teams will go at the trade deadline, buyer or seller

- Whether the playoffs are in reach for either the A’s or the Cards and where each team figures to end up at season’s end

- Which of baseball’s major potential trade pieces – Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, Justin Upton – will move before the deadline and where

 

Episode 15: April in Review

May 3, 2012
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In Episode 15, the Diaspora returns.  Brock and Dan apologize for their extended absence, then turn their attention to the first month of the season, including:

- Albert Pujols’ struggles and whether they are cause for concern

- The Los Angeles Angels’ slow start and whether they remain in the AL playoff picture

- The view from St. Louis on Pujols’ slow start and whether Cardinals fans feel like they dodged a bullet by not signing him

- The difficult Aprils of Adam Wainwright, Tim Lincecum and Josh Johnson and the level of concern associated with each pitcher’s struggles

The guys  then discuss their impressions of ballparks they have recently visited, including Marlins Park, Tropicana Field, Nationals Park and Camden Yards before wrapping the podcast with an update on the Oakland A’s stadium situation