In Episode 35, Brock & Ben debut the new, more sectionalized format of the podcast, beginning with observations on Brandon Belt’s improvement and the impressive…
In Episode 27, Brock & Ben are joined by international Citizen of the Diaspora Glen Tsurudome to talk Japanese baseball. The guys discuss the latest World Baseball Classic action before turning their attention to Japan. Glen illuminates the Japanese perspective on baseball, the World Baseball Classic and the relationship between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball. The guys then identify Japanese players to watch, both in the 2013 WBC Championship Round and as potential cross-overs to MLB. The conversation closes with Glen discussing the identity conflict the WBC raises for a Japanese American, particularly when Japan and the USA meet head-to-head.
In a very special episode, Dan returns to The Baseball Diaspora Podcast to break down the American League West with Brock & Ben. The guys discuss the latest developments from the World Baseball Classic, including Team USA’s outlook, the Canada-Mexico brawl and Samurai Japan’s offensive awakening. The discussion then turns to the AL West, where the guys ask & answer:
- Will the Oakland A’s build upon their 2012 success & return to the playoffs?
- How does Bob Melvin find handle the positional surplus the A’s project at catcher, in the outfield and at 2B, 3B & SS?
- Will the Houston Astros be an historically bad team in 2013?
- Is the Astros’ complete rebuilding a positive or negative for the young players on the team?
- How do the Texas Rangers replace the production they lose with the departure of Josh Hamilton?
- Where does Jurickson Profar fit on the Rangers this year and how will they get him into the lineup?
- Have the Seattle Mariners’ modest upgrades moved them into contention in the AL West?
- Did the Mariners make the right decision in extending Felix Hernandez with a record-setting contract?
- Have the Los Angeles Angels misstepped in handling Mike Trout’s salary and position this offseason?
- How will Josh Hamilton fit with the Angels and will he prove the missing piece that gets the Angels to the playoffs after falling short last season?
- Is it possible that 3 AL West teams make the playoffs this year?
In Episode 22, Brock bids a heartfelt farewell to Dan’s regular involvement with the podcast and welcomes new co-host Ben Stein. After establishing Ben’s diaspora credentials, the guys turn their attention to the concluding offseason, focusing specifically on issues of baseball economics, injuries and medical advances and the impending World Baseball Classic. Topics include:
- How the big pitching deals of the offseason stack up both against past long-term, high-dollar pitching contracts and the mega-contracts given to hitters in recent years in terms of advisability and value
- Whether the rising cost of quality pitching will result in teams locking up their young aces (or potential aces) long-term early in their careers (a la Evan Longoria, Troy Tulowitzki and a slew of other young position players)
- If the rising cost of pitching is responsible for a recent willingness to deal top prospects (Wil Myers, Travis D’Arnaud) to net quality starters on team-friendly contracts (James Shields, R.A. Dickey)
- What the Myers, D’Arnaud and Trevor Bauer trades mean for the recent standard practice of holding onto top prospects and whether we will see more major league-ready prospects traded in the near future
- What role personality plays in organizational thinking with respect to its players and prospects and whether Arizona mishandled its unloading of Bauer, Justin Upton and Chris Young
- The advance of medical technology and how it is impacting baseball contracts, making the “pending physical” much more than a mere formality
- Whether the use of enhanced medical capabilities to not only spot current injuries but to project future risk may present a future labor problem as more players have the experience shared by Mike Napoli and Francisco Liriano and lose guaranteed money and guaranteed years as a result of more heightened medical scrutiny
- Injuries and the World Baseball Classic and whether it’s time for MLB to step in to remove some of the barriers to the participation of some of the game’s top talents
- What it will take for the WBC to rise to the level of prestige and participation of the World Cup
- Who is missing from Team USA that would most enhance the team in terms of both quality on the field and star quality?
In Episode 21, things are curious and unnatural on The Baseball Diaspora. Due to the lingering effects of the sinister confluence of Halloween and a San Francisco Giants World Series Parade, Brock is joined not by Dan, the ardent anti-Giant, but bizarro Dan – Dan Lerner – a lifelong diaspora Giants fan. San Fran Dan takes Brock through the 2012 Postseason experience before the two look ahead to the Giants’ offseason and the NL MVP race. Topics include:
- Which component of the Giants’ winning formula was most indispensable to the team’s success in the postseason.
- The Giants player most deserving of the MVP award for the entire postseason.
- What play or moment stood out as the most memorable for Giants fans from an October full of remarkable games?
- Dan’s road warrior experience in the 2010 and 2012 playoffs, following the Giants to Atlanta, Texas and St. Louis, and favorite memories from those trips.
- How the 2012 World Series compared to 2010 for Giants fans and, from a more general perspective, can you ever top the first World Series your team wins in your lifetime?
- The 2012 Giants team compared to the 2010 team and which will be remembered more fondly.
- What the future holds for the Giants: continued playoff success or a drop-off due to stiffer competition within the division?
- The Giants’ fan’s wishlist for the offseason: does the team build upon its success by keeping the team largely intact? Add outside talent through free agency or trade? Both? Neither?
The guys close out the podcast by discussing the NL MVP race between Buster Posey and Yadier Molina, whether the race is closer than most people think and how to adequately factor defense and base running into the MVP calculus.
While the focus is on the 2012 World Champs, Brock is able to work the St. Louis Cardinals into the conversation at regular intervals.
This episode goes out to Dan (the original), his wife Rachel and the certain A’s fan daughter who they should be welcoming very soon!
The Bill James book Brock completely blanked on the name of is The Politics of Glory: How Baseball’s Hall of Fame Really Works
The ESPN article Brock & Dan discuss during the brief discussion of the AL MVP race is this one by Peter Keating (sorry, it’s an Insider piece)…
…and here is an evisceration of Keating’s argument that I found when searching for the original article
In Episode 20, Brock & Dan look back at the memorable 2012 Division Series, then turn their attention to the League Championship Series currently in progress. In typical TBD fashion, the topics of discussion hew closely to the teams closest to the guys’ hearts. Topics include: - The impressive showing by the Oakland crowd in…
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…
- Will the Texas Rangers be able to bounce back for the shock and deflation of being overtaken in the AL West on the final day of the season?
- Does the Baltimore Orioles offense, MIA as of late, show up for Friday’s Wild Card game?
- Whose advantage trumps: the Rangers offense and starter Yu Darvish or Baltimore’s bullpen and Buck Showalter?
- Can the St. Louis Cardinals end the Atlanta Braves record win-streak of 23 in games started by Kris Medlen?
- Can the Cardinals bullpen control the Braves’ lefthanded power bats?
- Which of the two teams (the San Francisco Giants & Cincinnati Reds) who put up gaudy records in weak divisions by way of solid starting pitching, reliable bullpens and offenses able to make up for the loss of marquee names (Melky Cabrera, Joey Votto) will prevail?
- Which Tim Lincecum and which Mat Latos will we see in the playoffs?
- Will the Detroit Tigers’ poor defense catch up with them in this round?
- Which Justin Verlander will we see this October, the Cy Young-caliber pitcher of the 2011 & 2012 regular season, or the more erratic model from the 2011 postseason?
- Will the A’s bullpen be rested and ready to go for Saturday?
- Will Brett Anderson return in time to contribute to a postseason run?
- Will either Wild Card be able to beat the New York Yankees or the Washington Nationals?
The guys conclude by making their playoff predictions for each series, all the way through to a world champion. Listen and then go place your bets!