Sean is back from his honeymoon and won’t stop talking about how surprising the Twins are. He also loses his temper many times. Baseball, what’s the deal with that?
Also, we are stoked about our Wiffle Ball Tournament on June 29th! Sign up!
Sean is back from his honeymoon and won’t stop talking about how surprising the Twins are. He also loses his temper many times. Baseball, what’s the deal with that?
Also, we are stoked about our Wiffle Ball Tournament on June 29th! Sign up!
Sean Power no S is off on his honeymoon, so Dave's wife Nicole joins Dave and Andrew to talk about all the things Sean gets wrong about baseball, Red Sox fans, and why people become fans. Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger Wiffle Ball Tournament in conjunction with Friends of Baseball sign ups are up!
We are finally ready to open sign ups for our Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger Baseball Podcast Wiffle Ball Tournament. All the proceeds for signing up go to Friends of Baseball. We are looking for 16 teams of 4 people each to come down to River Pig Saloon from 11am to 7pm where we will have NW 13th Avenue closed off to compete in a tournament to see who the best wiffle ball team is.
We will have beer, food, vendors, raffle and prizes, and a home run derby!
We will be hanging out with our friends from River Pig Saloon, Friends of Baseball, Portland Diamond Project, and Do Good Multnomah. Even if you aren’t playing in the tournament, come down and hang out.
The sign up button below will take you to the Friends of Baseball page so that you can join. All proceeds go to Friends of Baseball, who believe every child should have an opportunity and tools to swing for the fences on the field and in life.
If you would like to help by donating prizes, services, or want to help sponsor this event, please email us at email@example.com.
It is episode 33 and the boys are excited about their wiffle ball tournament coming up June 29th. They go over the home run hitters and how there are so many home runs now. We even ask ourselves, are there too many home runs? Is it ruining baseball? Is Christian Yellich and Cody Bellinger going to be chasing the Home Run record like Micky Mantle and Roger Maris did in 1961? We continue our in depth reporting on Ichiro selling PEDs to the Seattle Mariners.
Sean, Dave, and Chef Andrew are back at it after a week of MLB baseball. Sean's Orioles are winning, Chef Andrew's Giants are losing, and Dave's A's are doing both. They go over who is hot and who is not. They rate the big three money makers; Harper, Machado, Trout, and Chris Davis who is now 0 and 48. We love a good fight and breakdown the Reds and Pirates fight
We fantasize about baseball being in Portland. What would the team be named? Chef Andrew pretends to be in charge of the stadium food and talks about what he would do. Dave reminisces about Zenner dogs at Portland Beaver games.
We announce our inaugural Rabble Rabble Baseball Podcast Wiffle Ball Tournament and give some more details on that.
Baseball has started (in Tokyo anyhow) and the rest of baseball starts this Thursday! We go over the Seattle Oakland games in Tokyo, Ichiro, both as a player and as a person. Then we say, what's the deal with all those extensions!?! We don't remember seeing this many extensions signed, and what does that mean for baseball.
We finish the podcast with a huge announcement! You gotta listen to hear it and you don't want to miss it!
By David Everett Fisher
Up here in Portland, Oregon we had snow all last week and now it has been clear skies and 70 this weekend. We at Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger can’t help but to think about this upcoming MLB season. This week we will have the Oakland Athletics hosting the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo, Japan for the 2019 “soft” opening series, and the rest of the teams meet up the following weekend.
There is a lot of promise right now. Even teams that are slated to lose more than win have a lot of promise. We are at the point where we are just waiting to for the season to begin to see what will happen.
What are some of the things we are looking forward to this season?
Some of the things that I am always into is the Los Angeles Angels. Year after year, this team seems to add these superhero players to their roster and they keep getting beat out by the Astros, the Athletics, and sometimes even the Rangers, but seem to compete with the Mariners for the bottom of the AL West.
This year they added Jonathan Lucroy, Justin Bour, and Trevor Cahill. They still have Mike Trout, who some say is good, and Albert Pujos, a 75-year-old first baseman. Don’t forget Shohei Ohtani and Matt Harvey.
How will they perform? Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA puts them in second place in the AL West with 80 wins. PECOTA predicted that they would win 79 games and be in second in the AL WEST in 2018, and they did end up getting 80 wins, but both the Athletics and the Mariners won way more than PECOTA had predicted.
I am looking forward to the Angels to miss out on winning enough games to get them anywhere in the post season.
Keeping it on the west coast, you can’t really talk about the 2019 season without bringing up the San Diego Padres and their new guy, Manny Machado. Did San Diego get in the post season? Will they beat the Dodgers, the Rockies, and the D’Backs? Are the Giants good enough to upset any of these teams?
I have them going all the way to the World Series on the Podcast, but I kind of have this joke appreciation with the Swingin’ Friars. Manny Machado is pretty good, but is he the hero the Whale Vagina (movie reference) been waiting for since Tony Gwynn?
Baseball Prospectus has the Padres in fourth place, beating out the Giants, with a 79-83 record, but the exciting thing to look out for, and maybe this is a theme now, is Manny not producing enough to really make the Padres a serious contender.
It does make the NL West a much more exciting division than it already is, and also watching the Dodger’s make another run and see where they might fall short, and if it is in the Series again.
The opener. We have already seen this used last year, but more teams are going to try it, especially the teams that are under competitive. Last year it was employed by the Tampa Rays and the Oakland Athletics. The Milwaukee Brewers used it as well and was the most competitive team to use it.
Like a lot of baseball innovations, like the shift and using math to pick players, it was met with a lot of disapproval. My podcast mates are both adamantly against it. I, on the other hand, like to watch it become something. I am not putting all my hard earn free podcast money in on the opener pitcher, but I do like watching innovations, even if they fail.
More teams are looking at it for an option this year. The Twins, Yankees, and the San Francisco Giants are all considering it. Madison Bumgarner (drink!) is against the opener. Injuries and not as good rotations have teams looking at the opener as a way to compete.
The opener comes in the first inning like a starter, but only pitches that first inning – or less, and then a starter or long game reliever comes in and pitches. It allows a “closer” like pitcher to take care of the top three batters, which are usually the better hitters, and it lets the starter or relief pitcher pitch further into the game without seeing those batters a third or fourth time.
I am excited to see it used, and I’m excited to hear people grumble about it, which makes me want it to work more than anything else.
Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies will be so closely examined that if you are an NBA fan, you will be getting Harper fatigue just like you had LeBron fatigue. When Bryce hurt his foot, I got so many breaking news notifications that I thought Mueller arrested Trump.
Bryce Harper is such an interesting player. He has power, but other people have more. He is a very good fielder, but there are better outfielders. People who don’t like him or the team he’s on hate him. He is a villain, and the Philadelphia Phillies love being the Empire to Harper’s Darth Vader.
I am excited to see the Nationals battle it out with the Phillies. They have a point to make, and I think they have a really good team to do it. PECOTA has the two teams tied! Add the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves and you have the best division in baseball. I’m going to be trying to watch a lot of those games.
July 31st is the new trade deadline, and it is all the deadlines. One deadline to rule them all, and that will be an insane month leading up to that day, which is a Wednesday, so maybe call in sick that day. The teams will have a good understanding who is a contender and who is taking the fall off, and there is a lot of talent that could be changing uniforms.
What I’m not excited for is the impact that the owners and players relationship have on the trades and free agent signings this year. We are sniffing a labor dispute, and we will see some twenty-something dating mind games.
I also am not amused or entertained by teams (ahem Toronto) keeping their talent in the minors for some money hacks. I want to see Junior hack!
The current CBA expires in 2021, and some players are saying the S-word. Other players are signing the extensions instead of betting on the Free Agent market. Nolan Arenado decided to stay in Colorado after being offered a $260 million extension. This happened right after both Manny and Bryce signed to their contracts.
Just for Sean Power with no S’s eyes, I am excited which anonymous player or players on the Baltimore Orioles will make a big splash. Chris Davis is still on the team, and he will have to start producing something or he will become anonymous himself.
So much youth in the league this year, so I am excited to see the next generation of stars come in to their own. Atlanta will be fun to watch these young guys play, Washington have a couple in Robles and Soto, the Mets have Peter Alonso, and I hope he plays this year. I really want to see Eloy Jimenez and Danny Jansen play as well in the American League.
Lastly, I am excited to watch Madison Bumgarner (drink). Madison Bumgarner (drink again!) has continued to be the best Madison Bumgarner (shots!) Madison Bumgarner (might want to drink some water between shots) can be. Madison Bumgarner (DRINK!) is also a possible trade piece, but Madison Bumgarner (All of it!) may continue to pitch for San Francisco, but if Madison Bumgarner (chug-a-lug, chug-alug!) has to pitch after an opener, Madison Bumgarner (Oh, my God! You are using Fireball whiskey?!? You are going to black out soo…) will not like it and Madison Bumgarner (nvfidfguaehrgoaeirhg) will walk off, so Madison Bumgarner (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) will be more interesting to watch than Madison Bumgarner (If you puke you can play this game again!) was last year.
What are you guys looking forward to?
Oh, hello there. Welcome to the thirtieth episode of Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger where Sean, Andrew, and Dave talk about the time they fell in love with baseball. They go over some of their picks for the 2019 season, and Dave explains Sean’s energy drink choice. Basically we can’t wait for the season to begin!
By David Everett Fisher
If there is one thing that we at Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger would like to accomplish, is to make baseball fun again. The three of us met up for brunch to discuss a few things and while getting ready to leave we decided to get the small plastic bat and ball out of Dave’s car and hit a few.
It was sunny here in Portland, but it is still cold and we had a strong wind blowing freezing chill, but that didn’t stop us from taking some whacks at a ball. Dave pitched to Andrew a few, but then Nate was walking to yoga and complimented Sean on his Orioles hat, so we asked if he wanted to try and strike Andrew out. If he does, he gets a free bottle of NW Elixirs hot sauce, and if he can’t, then he will have to go to his yoga class in shame. Nate pitches him on the outside, which is Andrew’s weak spot, and Andrew goes down swinging. Nate is excited and walks off to yoga class chin up and a positive baseball experience.
We felt that the bat and ball that we were using wasn’t up to snuff, so we go to Safeway and find out that they have a full bushel of fresh whiffle ball sets. The people were a little suspect of us buying a handful of plastic yellow bats and balls, but we put on our best innocent smiles to put everybody at ease.
We find a non busy corner of the parking lot and start pitching each other change ups, curve balls, sliders, and even a few knuckle balls, or at least the whiffle ball moved a lot. Sean had some of the better hits, while Andrew got some grounders, but Dave just couldn’t get contact to save his life.
It was fun just swinging the bat around and talking innocent trash to each other. People who saw us smiled and I think all had that inkling about being a kid. Some people shouted encouragements and appreciations. Whiffle ball can be played anywhere. When you step up to the “plate”, you can become your favorite player by copying their batting stance. You can see if everyone can guess what player you are emulating. Then there is being the pitcher. You copy your favorite pitch wind ups, or you just do an exaggerated leg kick after looking at first base. You can either enjoy being in a cold Safeway parking lot or you can be the hero in the World Series.
I hit one on the ground that would have been easily fielded by a short stop, but that didn’t stop me from flipping my bat and trotting to first, which was a curb where my jacket way lying. With a whiffle ball bat, I am as good as any MLB player.
As we were heading back to our cars, a couple of guys asked us about our whiffle ball bats and we challenged one of them to strike Andrew out for a bottle of hot sauce. They were stoked and we headed over to a bank’s parking lot. We decided on a 1-1 count. First pitch was a Hit By Pitch, but we counted it as a ball. The second pitch was a foul behind the plate, and then the final pitch was hit up the third base line. Andrew gave him the hot sauce anyway for being a good sport.
He then wanted a few pitches to hit himself and he was able to get the best hit of the day with some great launch angle and exit velocity to land in the street behind the parking lot. Those guys went back to their brunch with a bottle of hot sauce and some fond baseball memories. I wonder if they talked about baseball for a bit?
What a fun day and exactly what Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger is all about.
Sometimes we get so worked up for baseball, that as we come out of the doldrums of winter we get overly excited for spring training. Sean is that person, he has done nothing but watch spring training baseball. He watches each game three times, taking notes, sketching, making collages of what he sees. We talk about the downfall of baseball and America in the post capitalism society. We bring up Manny Machado. Sean tries to bring up the Orioles in a positive way, which was weird. There was also late breaking news. Sean retreats to his room to watch more spring training games wearing diapers while Andrew and Dave go back to their lives.
By David Everett Fisher
Baseball, beyond all of its majesty and grace, is a business. Owners of baseball teams, and some of them love baseball, are trying to make money, and players are trying to get paid money. We have found ourselves in a duel between owner billionaires and player millionaires on how much a player is worth and for how long.
A baseball player on average is in the big show only for a few years. While they were in the minors they make less than a teacher. Some players got a nice signing bonus, but others struggle to make ends meet or quit baseball. Some players, mostly pitchers, stay up in the big leagues for 10 to 15 years, while others might never see a full season.
The big news is that spring training has started and there are many free agents left unsigned. The big headliners are Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. They want, and were led to believe, that they would get big bang buster contracts nearing 10 years and 300 million dollars, but yet here we are, and teams aren’t offering that kind of money from what other more professional journalists lead me to believe.
The problem with labor in baseball has started rumblings of a player strike or even an owner lockout if things don’t get resolved. Major League Baseball will not survive a strike. They had to inject their players with steroids and tarnish the great game with controversy to survive the last strike, and I know people who loved baseball that threw their arms up and will not enjoy a baseball game. I know I, who is writing a blog for a podcast website that is solely about baseball, would have a hard time wanting to support the MLB’s product.
Baseball is an interesting business model. Each team makes different amounts of money. The Yankees, Houston, Boston, New York, and Los Angeles make huge amounts of cash from being in these large market cities. Then you have teams like Oakland, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay which don’t make a lot of money but have to compete with teams that have gigantic payrolls. Baseball does the communist thing and redistributes the wealth from the rich teams and spread it around to the poorer teams. Before you get your libertarian panties in a bunch, this helps the rich teams make more money because then there is fairer competition.
Baseball teams have only a luxury tax after 206-million-dollar payroll this year. This means if you try and buy a bunch of great players for a lot of money and you exceed the payroll limit, you have to pay 20% tax on the extra money spent. The more you exceed the threshold, the more you pay in taxes. The Los Angeles Dodgers have done this a few years in a row to become second place.
Where does all these millions of dollars come from? Ticket prices, merchandise and licensing, and TV contracts. Just about 31% come from ticket prices and premium seating. Almost 40% comes from local and national TV and Radio contracts, and this might be changing with streaming services getting into the fun. Just short of 15% is in sponsorships and licensing, which is video games and using MLB’s likenesses in movies and other media. Companies like Bank of America, MasterCard, Apple, and Amazon Web Services have given close to 900 million dollars in 2017. The MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) arm of the MLB brought in another 900 million bucks with its MLB online services. And before you throw hot dogs at me, concessions bring in 1% of MLB’s income. The postseason will bring in more money as well.
Ticket prices are on the decline, but TV contracts are on the rise, and the MLBAM has added a lot of money to the league that just didn’t exist before. Baseball is making record breaking money. Before the more modern version of analytics, a free agent was guaranteed a huge pay day, but now that the math shows that that a player was more productive before free agency, so front offices aren’t willing to pay the top dollar. Think about all the record-breaking contracts that yielded little to nothing.
While it is hard to root for a millionaire standing up to a billionaire about getting paid, I do have to say that this is the exact same fight that is happening all over the US. The labor is not making more money and the management is making impossible money. Just like the traffic controllers who ended the government shutdown, the players will want to strike if they don’t see growth in their salaries, and the owners will want to lock out the players to make them mind their Ps and Qs.
I do have some solutions though. I have taken no business classes in college and my economic knowledge is pretty limited, but I have a good gut for fixing broken things. Here are a few of my ideas:
Major League Baseball: Employee Owned
The players become the owners of the teams and the leagues. They would have a lot more at stake when it comes to the business of baseball. As players they would get a salary, but as owners they would get stock incentives, so that the more money the MLB makes, the more money they make.
Players who retire would get a nice retirement package that would give them incentive to step away if they aren’t playing up to competitive level, and they would remain ambassadors of the game.
I believe that the competition level would be protected because the players would want to put out a good product for the consumers. Without people watching, they wouldn’t make money, so making sure that four to six teams don’t dominate the league would be important.
It would also take away the labor struggles of millionaires whining about billionaires. If baseball isn’t selling, then the players would have to figure out creative ways to change the game that suit the people.
Major League Baseball: Conference
We break up the league into conferences who only play each other. Then the teams are ranked 1 to 30 based on what is believed to be the best team to the worse team. If there are two teams in a conference that are ranked one and two, they play each other to see who plays the highest-ranking team of another conference.
If this sounds familiar, then yes, I am changing the MLB to college football. One of the reasons I believe college football makes so much money is how much time the pundits spend ranking teams and agreeing and disagreeing with the rankings.
Imagine last year if the Yankees were ranked first? Boston people would get so upset, and Houston fans would be screaming on Twitter, and Los Angeles Dodger fans would be calling Colin Cowherd and yelling, and then teams like Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Milwaukee would get all these acolytes of being the sleeper to take down the number ones.
This would also allow for more teams to join. You don’t have to protect the competitive population as much with a ranking system. The number ones would need weak teams to join the league to give them the appearance of strength of schedule, another great sports talk topic, “Yankees had to play Boston, Toronto, and Tampa Bay! Who is in the Pacific Conference that Los Angeles has to worry about?” See? Fun!
Each conference would have its own economy, so yes, some conferences will have bigger TV contracts. Some conferences will always seem like the underdogs.
Then we can talk about bowl games. While there is the championship game, or world series, we can also have big money makers meet in bowls all through September and October. Some of the teams could really suck, but if people spend money to see those two teams meet, then it will be a success.
Imagine if both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants were really bad, but every October they had the In n’ Out Burger Bowl where they brought in the most of this storied rivalry, then baseball would make so much money.
I’d also shorten the season to be from June to August for the regular season, September to October to be the conference playoffs, bowls, and championship bowl.
Major League Baseball: National Baseball League
This would be the opposite of the player owned league, and this would be the owner owned league. I’m sure the player union would kill me if anyone ever took me seriously – I mean they would have me assassinated by a hit man named Lorenzo. We take out all weekday games, no one fucking watches those. We only play Friday night, Saturday all day and night, and Sunday day. We place a hard cap on salary, and each team has to spend the exact same amount. We get rid of the DH, all fields must be exactly the same dimensions in the outfield, we have designated positions – so no shifts, assholes, and we take out interleague play.
Scheduling would be your division plus a few special games that people want to see, and then we meet up in conference championship games. All games are best of three except the super world series bowl where it is one game. None of this waiting a bunch of days to see who the winner is, just one game, like a man.
Major League Baseball: X League Baseball
This is kind of like the last one, but the offense and the defense can be different people. All of your batters are designated hitters, your base runners are all pinch runners, all your fielders never hit, and your pitchers can come in and out as you please, so your opener can also be your closer if you want. Cheerleaders, shit talking players, fireworks, crazy uniforms, and the stands are in play.
Also, Performance Enhancing Drugs are not just legal, but encouraged.
Major League Baseball: Las Vegas
Gambling. Do I really need to say more? MLB takes a cut, we have huge boards where people can gamble on what pitch is being thrown, if it’s a strike, ball, hit, or foul, if a team is winning by how many points, if Nolan Ryan falls asleep in the stands – there is so much a person can bet on.
MLB just takes a cut of all the gambling and the MLB would be rich. Fuck this fantasy sports in people’s “man caves”, let’s be in bars fanning twenty-dollar bills with drool on our mouths because it is a 3-1 pitch, 2 outs, bottom of the ninth and the score is tied. Yes, it is exciting enough, but imagine if your team strikes out but you won $9,000!?! You’d be fine!
Pitchers and Catchers are reporting! Sean pretends he is excited about the Orioles, but we all know that in early March he will be depressed and bummed. Dave and Andrew also go over what they are excited about this season. We go over the past spring training times that we were excited about. Dave admits he didn't care about the strike in 94. We also break the news of where Manny Machado and Bryce Harper signed. Give it a listen to get excited for Spring Training!
By David Everett Fisher
It has been one year since Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger recorded it’s first podcast, and what a sweet ride it’s been. We have documented the 2018 MLB season for the internet to enjoy. I got to keep my focus on the game I love with two great guys who also love it.
During the 2017 season, CEO Sean Power and this other guy wanted to start a podcast and knew that I had done a podcast before, and they knew I also loved baseball. It seemed perfect, but the other guy didn’t like Sean anymore. We decided to ask Chef Andrew to join us. Sean wanted to call it Triple Play. We got into my dining room on February 1st, 2018 and hit record.
The magic was there from the very start. We discussed how we fell in love with the game of baseball, our favorite play, and then made some predictions for the 2018 MLB season.
There were some ideas that the three of us totally agree on. We weren’t going to explain the game we love with stats. We were going to be excited about it like we were when we were young. There were plenty of other podcasts diving into a players numbers, and we certainly didn’t see the game that way. We weren’t going to talk fantasy. Fantasy was a game in itself, and it could be played without any love of baseball. We just wanted to talk pure love of the game baseball.
Between the first and second podcast, we found out that there was already a baseball podcast out there called Triple Play, so we decided to change ours to Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger to further hammer the point that we wanted to celebrate the fun in baseball. Sitting on an upside down bucket with a mitt on the head, spitting sunflower seeds and chattering to the players in the field, sometimes just yelling, “Rabble, rabble cheeseburger!”
It took us some time to find our voice. We broke down the AL and the NL team by team, with our fourth brother and hot prospect scout, John Rizzo Naimo guest starring on the NL breakdown when Andrew wasn’t able to be there.
The episode that really became our signature voice as Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger was episode 5 when I asked Sean to give me an example of a pitcher who is a “thrower” and not a “pitcher”, and Andrew and I razzed him to no end because he couldn’t come up with one. This was when we hit our stride.
A few of the episodes were much more special to me than the rest. Episode 8 was our food episode and it really focused on Andrew’s love for food, his central California roots, him being of service to our nation when he was in the army, and his current occupation in chef-ing. He made hot dogs, sausages, nachos, garlic fries, and a really shitty hot dog on a dry tasteless bun that he referred to as the Dodger Dog.
Episode 26 with Tommy Everidge was a really special episode as well. Talking to a guy currently coaching who had one time been in the big show on my favorite team! He really opened up and gave us great insight into the game we all love. My favorite part was him explaining the optimism of Spring Training.
All the episodes are great though. Andrew and I love getting Sean riled up. Sean and I would sometimes get Andrew’s goat, and if you listen very carefully Sean and Andrew get me pumped, especially when it comes to people moving to Portland who are against baseball.
I’m not going to just finish this as a puff piece where I pat the three of us on the back for a great podcast. I want to bring you the best baseball podcast possible. I want you to listen to our podcast and just be super stoked for the game of baseball.
Let us know in the comments below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to grow Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger into a better product, and we can’t do that without you. We have some idea of what we are going to do this year to be even more fun, and I can’t wait to have you guys join us.
Episode 27 is here and we go over the Hall of Fame winners, and we once again learn that Andrew doesn't like designated hitters. This gets us thinking about our dream baseball teams with our favorite players. While Sean is always angry and tells us what he hates, Andrew and Dave try their hands at negativity by going over their pet peeves. We go over possible rule changes which sparks us to think of some new rules for baseball to make it even better.
Also, Sean has a weird haircut.
By David Everett Fisher
Tomorrow night will be the announcements of the results in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. This is where members of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America’s votes choose the next generation of Hall of Fame inductees. What a magical and honorable tradition that marks the waining winter and begin the promise of spring training.
There are a lot of names on the list. Some are huge names and some are not. Some are on the list for the first time while others have been on the list for ten years. There are some that will get in with little to no problem at all and there are others that have too much controversy to just vote in.
Steroids. Some of these lads used them. Some deny ever use them but obviously used them. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling are all suspected dopers. They all are huge names in the game of baseball. Barry Bonds continues to be in and around baseball, Roger Clemens is fine appearing here and there, and Curt Schilling is losing his sanity on Twitter. Should they be let in?
For the same reason that some players who at the end of their career don’t have the astonishing stats. This is about the narrative of baseball. Last year, people bemoaned Harold Baines for not having the stats to really be allowed to be in the Hall, and he never got more than 10% on the ballot, but got in on the Today’s Game Era Ballot. He spent a lot of years injured. He only had a few productive years, but I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame because you can’t talk about late eighties and early nineties baseball without his name.
Same with Schilling, Clemens, and Bonds. You can’t talk about the San Francisco Giants without talking about Barry Bonds. Even the fact that people who don’t like the San Francisco Giants really hate Barry Bonds, and that is a great reason to nominate him.
I hate all three of those players. I really feel betrayed that they did performance enhancing drugs. I hate that they cheated, but they are the narrative of baseball. Baseball is a long historic saga, and we are hopefully still in the middle of, and these are the great heroes of this last era of baseball. You can’t talk about the Boston Red Sox winning their first World Series in 86 years without the game 6 in the ALCS against the New York Yankees without Curt Schilling’s bloody sock.
Some of these heroes don’t have the numbers for some writers to vote.
If you are working in the front office or a scout or a coach, you should be using statistics and saber-metrics to give you the edge on your competition. If you want to argue who is better by comparing something, numbers are the only true way to do that. If you are lonely and don’t have a lot going in your life so you play fantasy baseball, please by all means, use math to pick good players. If you are trying to tell the story of baseball, there are a lot of factors that go beyond the slash lines.
Our podcast is all about this line in the sand. I can’t explain my love for a player with WAR. I can’t really do justice to explain the rush of a clutch hit or an impossible catch. The stat will never explain the edge of your seat battle between a hitter and a pitcher when the hitter has two strikes but keeps fouling it. All you will see on paper is either a hit or a strike. When that happens in a clutch situation, and it is the player with the worse stats, then how can you really explain that when it counted, it counted?
Edger Martinez is a designated hitter for for the Seattle Mariners. All he has is hitting stats. Some people really don’t like the idea of a DH getting to go to the HOF. I get the argument about why DHs are dumb and pitchers hitting is real baseball, but I really don’t think you can talk about the Mariners or even have a full conversation about Ken Griffey Jr. without mentioning and honoring Edgar Martinez.
Don’t let that last paragraph make you hate Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger Baseball Podcast because my podcast mates don’t agree with me. Andrew is a National League fan, and is fiercely opposed to the Designated Hitter.
So, my point is that if you played pretty good baseball, were a contributing factor in the historical narrative of baseball, good or bad; then you should be voted for.
Yes, Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.
And yes the comments are on.
The boys get to talk to special guest star, Tommy Everidge about his moving up from high school and college into the minor leagues and then finally to the big show with the Oakland A’s. We learn what J.D. Drew thought of Tommy's first at bat, what Derek Jeter is like, and what Big Papi David Ortiz smells like. We get into Tommy's experience coaching, what he thinks of sabermetrics and the shift, and Sean goes fan boy on what Tommy's thoughts on Baltimore Orioles’ Rule 5 Draft prospect Richie Martin. A lot of great insight on what happens in the players and coaches heads in the great game of baseball. Thanks a lot, Tommy!
Happy New Year! The boys of summer try to get through winter by recalling their days playing in their youth. Dave read a book and talks about it; including some rules Mark Twain came up with in 1887. Sean, Chef Andrew, and Dave make some 2019 predictions. Plus, Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger makes some New Year resolutions and ask you to do the same. Tell us what you want more of, less of, or something different this year!
The Devil’s Snake Curve: A Fan’s Notes from Left Field by Josh Ostergaard
By David Everett Fisher
If you heard any of our podcasts, then you will know that Sean hates the shift. In one episode, I asked him if he was a coach and wanted to win, would he use the shift on someone that hits the ball somewhere most of the time? He said yes, but through gritted teeth and then he let out that big lungful of air that you also hear all the time on our podcast. Sean hates the shift, and his coaching advice is to have batters hit the other way or bunt.
On December 5th news came out that MLB was thinking about getting rid of the shift. They thought about having a number of fielders for the outfield and infield or to have an invisible circles that the fielders have to start in. The news came out and the baseball world exploded. The stat guys cried that the shift is baseball and to accept it. If you don’t like it, work around it. This is a game of numbers and statistics, so stop living in the past.
Others blame the shift for the corroding fun of professional baseball. The shift is killing the pace and the vibe of the greatest game on earth, they say. They think that if hitters can get more grounder hits, baseball will ignite with excitement again. Hitters like Ryan Howard could have had longer more successful careers.
Which way is the right way? On one hand, the shift is within the current rules of baseball, so hitters would have to figure out ways to work around that. On the other hand, the shift seems like an extreme way to stop a hitter from reaching base.
I have to say, when a hitter beats the shift, the feeling of satisfaction from that hit is so much greater than if the fielders were in their classic positions. I think that the shift should have baseball players revisit the etiquette of bunting, even from lead off hitters.
The amount of hits being lost to the shift is an interesting argument. Statistically speaking, while there are less singles, there are more homers and extra base hits. The shift decreases the use of the fastball and creates more walks. The shift is easier to police and blame than other more abstract reasons baseball has become too slow for the average person.
When I saw a shift for the first time against David Ortiz, and I mean the first time I really noticed it, I was a little annoyed and felt like it wasn’t right. I felt like a player should play in the stereotypical position like how the pitcher waits for the batter to be ready to swing before delivering. Why wasn’t the shift against some unwritten baseball rule? Why wasn’t it bad etiquette?
I was so young and full of hope then. I thought that justice would be served to everything that was unjust. I’m now old and bitter. The world is a dark, dark place. The shift just is. It’s not illegal, so why should a team worry about ethics?
The NFL makes rules every year. They are the most progressive and communist of all the professional sports leagues. Everything has to be fair and competitive. Baseball isn’t as progressive, it’s more like American capitalism. It hangs its hat on a long history. This is just the way it is done. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that after a while a coach or player decided that the lack of rule meant they could.
Suddenly fans aren’t as excited by baseball. The kids think it’s too slow. Hitters were hitting home runs with their launch angles, but were striking out more. And the shift was robbing hitters, mostly left handed hitters from getting ground ball hit singles. Kill the shift before the shift kills baseball, but maybe it’s not the shift. Maybe the hitters need to change their swing. Maybe scouts need to be looking for hitters who can pepper the ball.
The anti-shift people think the shift is unfair and the shift people think that it's totally fine. One wants a certain game that might have happened in the past and the other wants it to evolve, even if it sacrifices fun.
I’m not offering a solution, but I do have faith in baseball as a game to naturally evolve to fix itself. I have watched it before. Pitchers start dominating the game, but then the hitters catch up and they have always gone back and forth. Small ball beats the long ballers and then the long ballers beat the small ballers. Hitters will learn away to beat the shift. They will want to if they want to win. Baseball will be fine. I don’t need to shift to enjoy the shift.
Philadelphia Phillies. They are a baseball team. Why are there Philadelphia Philly fans? Or is it phans? We bring in Nick Thornton who is from Philadelphia to tell us all about his love for the Phillies. He also tells us where the best Philadelphia Cheesesteak is in Philadelphia. Is Mike Schmidt the best Philly ever? What are the chances of Philadelphia getting Bryce Harper and or Manny Machado? A fan’s view of the Philadelphia Phillies.
By David Everett Fisher
After the champs parade down their main street, after the pitchers get their Cy Young awards, after the sluggers get their Silver Slugger awards, and after the MVPs get their hardware; players start ending up where they weren’t.
The between seasons is a lot like a long cliffhanger at the end of a TV show. Suddenly Patrick Corbin is joining one of the best pitching staffs in the National League. Paul Goldschmidt is now a Cardinal. Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz head over to the New York Mets for a lot of prospects and cash. How does this all play out next season?
We are still waiting for the big guys, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to pick their new homes. People are online at this very moment guessing where they are going. There are people who are excited by the possibilities, and there are those who decry the very over-ratedness of these two super stars.
A week before Patrick Corbin officially became a Washington National, twitter exploded with delight and horror after Corbin’s younger brother put on a New York Yankee hat during his best man speech at Patrick’s wedding. It added so much drama to the possibilities. He then signed with not the Yankees.
Even players who choose to stay with their teams add to the story of baseball. Nathan Eovaldi resigned to the Boston Red Sox on the vapors of one of the best pitching performances in baseball history in the World Series. Boston fans were elated.
New York Met fans were not so happy after learning they would take on an aging overrated second baseman and some of his huge contract. Did they get the better end of the deal, or is Cano gonna be an overpaid pinch hitter and Edwin Diaz gonna be on DL for all of 2019? These are questions that the internet citizens pose.
Trades will happen all the way through next year, and we will be waiting with bated breath as the trade deadline in the downslope of summer approaches, but here in the winter we wait for the best Free Agents to find their new homes.
Sometimes these signings work. Nolan Ryan got that one million dollars when he signed with Houston, Greg Maddux turned down a bigger paycheck to sign with Atlanta in 1993, and Dave Henderson signing on in 1986 for the Oakland Athletics ended up helping the A’s win a World Series in 1989. These were all huge names in baseball and them getting picked up by teams that became so much better because of them.
You can’t write about the best free agent signing without mentioning the busts. Andruw Jones becoming a Dodger, Chone Figgins heading north to Seattle, Carl Crawford getting paid by the Boston Red Sox, and my personal favorite flop, Jason Bay getting 4 years for $66 million by the New York Mets. On paper, all these guys were great ideas, but when they showed up, they didn’t show up.
Sometimes a player expectations are so much higher than on player can possibly accomplish. Ever since Albert Pujos signed with the Los Angeles Angels, they have been on the side of baseball mediocrity. He never performed the way he did in St. Louis. He is still a Hall of Fame player, but it won’t really be because of any of his time in California.
Bryce Harper has the most to prove of all the remaining free agents. He had a less than stellar year, but the expectations are through the roof with his future seasons. He could bring a team to win the World Series, but if he doesn’t, even if it’s losing the series and therefore being the “second best” team in the MLB, he will have failed. If his team ends in not playing in the fall, he will be a bust.
We’ve seen Manny Machado. We have a lot to say about him in his short time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. They say he has no hustle, that he is a diva and dirty. Does any of that cost him a cool few million dollars? He could be the better addition than old Brycie-poo, but the critics are now alerted to his problems and will keep their eagle eyes on him for his whole season.
This is why baseball does not end with the World Series, it is just the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new chapter. We will have so many stories to tell by the time Pitchers and Catchers report. Trades and Aquisitions; these are the things that keep us warm in the winter.
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