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Alright, here's the first episode of the new podcast by two-thirds of the Logocast, one-quarter of Basically a Sports Show, half of Off The Top Rope, whichever way you kind of want to look at it. It's nothing but baseball talk. In the first episode, we discuss who's a pretender and who's a contender, talk about the moves of the offseason and which have paid off the best so far, and even a little bit of fantasy baseball talk. We hope everybody digs this.

http://mikegregbaseball.tumblr.com/post/49454479641/its-the-first-episode-of-mike-and-greg-talk

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As I go along:

-Boston was underrated coming into the season, there's no doubt about that, because part of what happened last season was the bottom absolutely falling out, post-trade and with a lame duck manager. David Ortiz was also injured and, thus, not in the lineup. Look at some of the schmucks they had in their daily lineup, for 'cripes sakes. It was ugly. With expected regression and the off-season moves they made, they really should've been expected to have a better season than most (including yours truly) expected them to have. I think I had them around 77 wins, but I wouldn't have been shocked if they finished around 85. I don't think they are this good, and I expect them to tail off at some point and finish around that 85 win mark, or thereabouts, but they deserve credit for the strong start they've had thus far. It's given them reason to think they are capable of making a division run again, and that will help bring the usual enthusiasm back to Fenway.

-dead on about the bad April's can be killers. Anaheim was 81-59 after they called up Mike Trout, but they never managed to get past Texas in the West. The closest they got was 1.5 back in early August before that comeback died. Obviously, Oakland surged past everyone by Game 162. Anaheim is 10-17, dismal as ever on the road, and Josh Hamilton has been an incredible dumpster fire of ineptitude since, really, the end of his absurd hot streak last May (Fangraphs had a post on this just the other day; he is swinging at everything and has been the equivalent of an average MLB player over the past 162 per fWAR. Nowhere near the money he's getting paid). They are probably missing Torii Hunter more than we thought (they aren't missing Vernon Wells; he strikes me as a classic change-of-scenery player). I expect them to play much better as we go on, but with Texas once again racing out to a fast start, I really wouldn't be surprised if they once again find themselves unable to ever lift themselves past Texas inside the division. On a related note, Albert Pujols' plantar fasciitis issues are absolutely destroying his ability to play up to his capabilities. He can't play the field, he can't run at all, and his triple slash (as of now) is .245/.333/.406/.739. He and Hamilton were signed to be the cornerstones of that lineup, as the deadliest 3/4 in the American League, perhaps even more-so than Miggy and Prince. And, as scary as it sounds, Pujols OPS total is nearly 200 points higher than Hamilton (.214/.260/.304/.564). Studs turned into duds if I've ever seen it.

-Agree with Oakland. They were 39-42 through the first 81 of 2012 and went 55-26 over the last 81. I do believe in their starting pitching, especially Jarrod Parker, and I expect him to get it going soon enough after the slow start he has had. But they were blasting home runs out of the Coliseum at an insane rate down the stretch last season, and they had 15 walk-off victories. There was something spooky at play there in Oakland, and after their early nine-game winning streak that seemed to confirm that more of the same was in the beckons, they had settled down to a fairly respectable 16-13 record, but nothing earth-shattering. Oakland will always be held back by their finances and thus have to plug holes through market inefficiencies, but that is such an easier said than done approach. I figured them around 86 wins at seasons beginning, and I have seen nothing to change my mind. I do agree that Yoenis Cespedes is an outstanding player, and [fantasy plug alert] I am still amused to think back to last season when some schmuck gave me Konerko and Cespedes for Harper. What a steal. [/fantasy plug alert]

-Bautista's BABIP, while ridiculously low for this season, will always be a tad bit low. He's a flyball/home run hitter. HR's don't count as balls in play, and fly balls in general are the lowest percentage type of batted ball to result in hits. I'm certain you know this, Mike, but it probably should've been explained in greater depth, not only for Greg but for other unaware listeners. Someone like Bautista will never hit around .300 BABIP, and, as another note, BABIP is not nearly as static pertaining to hitters as it is with pitchers. A pitcher, over a standard course of innings, will be expected to be around the .280-.300 BABIP marker. An elite line drive hitter like Ryan Braun, will clown a flyball hitter like Jose Bautista in BABIP any season.

-I also think the Orioles weren't getting their fair shake coming into the season, but it's important to remember just how historically odd their seasonw as last year. They were 29-9 in one-run ballgames. That was the highest win percentage in such games in the history of the Modern Era of baseball, for 'cripes sakes! Now, they do have a very solid middle of the lineup with Davis and Jones that will drive in a ton of runs. Matt Weiters is probably the 2nd best offensive catcher in the American League. They finally have the construct of a winning ballclub, and they should definitely have been expected to compete in 2013, and to this point, they have. My only objections personally to them were people who picked them to win the division "because of their bullpen success of 2012", something that had a less than 0% chance of repeating itself. To give one example of thousands about how outstanding bullpens have an overrated effect - the 2011 Yankees had David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, and Mo Rivera as their 7-8-9 death trio. Their win percentage in one run ballgames? You guessed it - below .500. So there you go.

-The Yankees are getting by as a bit of a fluke right now, but, much like Texas will have starting pitching coming back at various points throughout the season (though Matt Harrison's back woes scare the hell out of me), the Yankees still expect to get Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, and (perhaps) ARod back before seasons end. Now, I'm not sure where Jeter will play on the field when he comes back, because having a 40 year old coming off major ankle surgery is a huge red flag to put at a demanding position like SS. Furthermore, while Eduardo Nunez has not hit for much so far, the dude has flashed an outstanding glove and reduced throwing errors from the past. I love the glovework I've seen from him. Would Jeter go to 3b? That might take Kevin Youkilis (when he ever comes back) out of the lineup, but he's not exactly raking himself. Put him at DH? Now you're taking the 2nd best bat in the lineup out. Pronk is much more likely to continue hitting well than Vernon Wells. Gotta keep him in there if he can stay healthy. But my main point in all of this is - the Yankees are getting by right now because of outstanding starting pitching. And while the rotation is pretty solid, they aren't going to continue being this excellent (especially Kuroda; my g-d, what a stud). Hopefully, with some re-inforcements coming soon on offense, they'll be able to weather the storm of pitching regression. They are 5-0 in one-run games and 10-1 in two-run games. I'm just thrilled they've weathered this monsoon of injuries to have a 17-10 record at this juncture. Outstanding.

-Rays should have called up Wil Myers, already. I know about the Super Two status concerns, but we all remember when the Rays called up Longoria in 2008. They decided he was so good, and so worth it, that they signed him to a nine year contract after nine games. And he was an absolute bargain on the deal he got. I don't want to quite compare Myers to Longoria, but this is another top prospect, another guy who projects to be an outstanding middle of the lineup hitter for years to come, and if the Rays want to make a run at the division title, they are going to need Myers to do it. They are 12-15, which is obviously a salvageable record, but it already has then seven losses in the back of Boston and their road mark is abysmal right now. They'll start to improve once David Price's numbers begin to correct themself. They are 1-5 in games started by Price this year, which is incomprehensible.

I might edit this for the NL. I might not. I'm an American League guy, so it's much easier to want to talk about it.

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Not only do you get Mike and I talking baseball, apparently Kramerica is going to provide the podcasting version of director's commentary. Geez, dude, I have no idea if I agree with what you wrote or not. I didn't have an hour to kill reading it. But thanks for listening.

Anyway, there were some issues with the files so there are some edits in this first episode that were a little clunky. If it sounds like we just switched topics mid-conversation, that's why. The next one will be smoother.

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Some of the topics we're looking at for episode #2 of Mike & Greg Talk Baseball...

Clay Buccholz and the spitball accusation & why the "right kind" of cheating is OK in baseball - or is it?

Hawk Harrelson vs. Brian Kenny & the great SABR debate.

Rockies signing Roy Oswalt. A move of a desperate team or a great pick up?

As well as our weekly features - "Who won the week?", Fantasy Baseball Talk, and whatever else finds it's way into the conversation.

http://mikegregbaseball.tumblr.com/

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I'd just like to say how much I have enjoyed the first two episodes.

Similar to with BASS, being a fan of US sports in England with none of my friends really into them, it's not often I get to hear an everyday discussion or the average opinion on various current events.

That, coupled with the fact that this is really well put together, it makes for a great listen. I look forward to more.

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I'd just like to say how much I have enjoyed the first two episodes.

Similar to with BASS, being a fan of US sports in England with none of my friends really into them, it's not often I get to hear an everyday discussion or the average opinion on various current events.

That, coupled with the fact that this is really well put together, it makes for a great listen. I look forward to more.

Thanks! It's most appreciated. The new episode should be ready to go tomorrow.

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As I go along:

-Boston was underrated coming into the season, there's no doubt about that, because part of what happened last season was the bottom absolutely falling out, post-trade and with a lame duck manager. David Ortiz was also injured and, thus, not in the lineup. Look at some of the schmucks they had in their daily lineup, for 'cripes sakes. It was ugly. With expected regression and the off-season moves they made, they really should've been expected to have a better season than most (including yours truly) expected them to have. I think I had them around 77 wins, but I wouldn't have been shocked if they finished around 85. I don't think they are this good, and I expect them to tail off at some point and finish around that 85 win mark, or thereabouts, but they deserve credit for the strong start they've had thus far. It's given them reason to think they are capable of making a division run again, and that will help bring the usual enthusiasm back to Fenway.

-dead on about the bad April's can be killers. Anaheim was 81-59 after they called up Mike Trout, but they never managed to get past Texas in the West. The closest they got was 1.5 back in early August before that comeback died. Obviously, Oakland surged past everyone by Game 162. Anaheim is 10-17, dismal as ever on the road, and Josh Hamilton has been an incredible dumpster fire of ineptitude since, really, the end of his absurd hot streak last May (Fangraphs had a post on this just the other day; he is swinging at everything and has been the equivalent of an average MLB player over the past 162 per fWAR. Nowhere near the money he's getting paid). They are probably missing Torii Hunter more than we thought (they aren't missing Vernon Wells; he strikes me as a classic change-of-scenery player). I expect them to play much better as we go on, but with Texas once again racing out to a fast start, I really wouldn't be surprised if they once again find themselves unable to ever lift themselves past Texas inside the division. On a related note, Albert Pujols' plantar fasciitis issues are absolutely destroying his ability to play up to his capabilities. He can't play the field, he can't run at all, and his triple slash (as of now) is .245/.333/.406/.739. He and Hamilton were signed to be the cornerstones of that lineup, as the deadliest 3/4 in the American League, perhaps even more-so than Miggy and Prince. And, as scary as it sounds, Pujols OPS total is nearly 200 points higher than Hamilton (.214/.260/.304/.564). Studs turned into duds if I've ever seen it.

-Agree with Oakland. They were 39-42 through the first 81 of 2012 and went 55-26 over the last 81. I do believe in their starting pitching, especially Jarrod Parker, and I expect him to get it going soon enough after the slow start he has had. But they were blasting home runs out of the Coliseum at an insane rate down the stretch last season, and they had 15 walk-off victories. There was something spooky at play there in Oakland, and after their early nine-game winning streak that seemed to confirm that more of the same was in the beckons, they had settled down to a fairly respectable 16-13 record, but nothing earth-shattering. Oakland will always be held back by their finances and thus have to plug holes through market inefficiencies, but that is such an easier said than done approach. I figured them around 86 wins at seasons beginning, and I have seen nothing to change my mind. I do agree that Yoenis Cespedes is an outstanding player, and [fantasy plug alert] I am still amused to think back to last season when some schmuck gave me Konerko and Cespedes for Harper. What a steal. [/fantasy plug alert]

-Bautista's BABIP, while ridiculously low for this season, will always be a tad bit low. He's a flyball/home run hitter. HR's don't count as balls in play, and fly balls in general are the lowest percentage type of batted ball to result in hits. I'm certain you know this, Mike, but it probably should've been explained in greater depth, not only for Greg but for other unaware listeners. Someone like Bautista will never hit around .300 BABIP, and, as another note, BABIP is not nearly as static pertaining to hitters as it is with pitchers. A pitcher, over a standard course of innings, will be expected to be around the .280-.300 BABIP marker. An elite line drive hitter like Ryan Braun, will clown a flyball hitter like Jose Bautista in BABIP any season.

-I also think the Orioles weren't getting their fair shake coming into the season, but it's important to remember just how historically odd their seasonw as last year. They were 29-9 in one-run ballgames. That was the highest win percentage in such games in the history of the Modern Era of baseball, for 'cripes sakes! Now, they do have a very solid middle of the lineup with Davis and Jones that will drive in a ton of runs. Matt Weiters is probably the 2nd best offensive catcher in the American League. They finally have the construct of a winning ballclub, and they should definitely have been expected to compete in 2013, and to this point, they have. My only objections personally to them were people who picked them to win the division "because of their bullpen success of 2012", something that had a less than 0% chance of repeating itself. To give one example of thousands about how outstanding bullpens have an overrated effect - the 2011 Yankees had David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, and Mo Rivera as their 7-8-9 death trio. Their win percentage in one run ballgames? You guessed it - below .500. So there you go.

-The Yankees are getting by as a bit of a fluke right now, but, much like Texas will have starting pitching coming back at various points throughout the season (though Matt Harrison's back woes scare the hell out of me), the Yankees still expect to get Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, and (perhaps) ARod back before seasons end. Now, I'm not sure where Jeter will play on the field when he comes back, because having a 40 year old coming off major ankle surgery is a huge red flag to put at a demanding position like SS. Furthermore, while Eduardo Nunez has not hit for much so far, the dude has flashed an outstanding glove and reduced throwing errors from the past. I love the glovework I've seen from him. Would Jeter go to 3b? That might take Kevin Youkilis (when he ever comes back) out of the lineup, but he's not exactly raking himself. Put him at DH? Now you're taking the 2nd best bat in the lineup out. Pronk is much more likely to continue hitting well than Vernon Wells. Gotta keep him in there if he can stay healthy. But my main point in all of this is - the Yankees are getting by right now because of outstanding starting pitching. And while the rotation is pretty solid, they aren't going to continue being this excellent (especially Kuroda; my g-d, what a stud). Hopefully, with some re-inforcements coming soon on offense, they'll be able to weather the storm of pitching regression. They are 5-0 in one-run games and 10-1 in two-run games. I'm just thrilled they've weathered this monsoon of injuries to have a 17-10 record at this juncture. Outstanding.

-Rays should have called up Wil Myers, already. I know about the Super Two status concerns, but we all remember when the Rays called up Longoria in 2008. They decided he was so good, and so worth it, that they signed him to a nine year contract after nine games. And he was an absolute bargain on the deal he got. I don't want to quite compare Myers to Longoria, but this is another top prospect, another guy who projects to be an outstanding middle of the lineup hitter for years to come, and if the Rays want to make a run at the division title, they are going to need Myers to do it. They are 12-15, which is obviously a salvageable record, but it already has then seven losses in the back of Boston and their road mark is abysmal right now. They'll start to improve once David Price's numbers begin to correct themself. They are 1-5 in games started by Price this year, which is incomprehensible.

I might edit this for the NL. I might not. I'm an American League guy, so it's much easier to want to talk about it.

LONGESTPOSTAWARD_zps0631c553.png

Congrats!

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We should be back in the (virtual) studio tomorrow, talking the DH and AL/NL rules.

Anything from these last couple of weeks that you'd like to see us take on as well?

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

When I followed the link to watch the first BAFS I noticed you have episode 9 up on your personal tumblr Greg, however it is not on the M&G tumblr yet. Is this a mistake?

I usually post MGTB on my Tumblr. No idea why it's not on the main site. Anyway... We're on a short sabbatical while I get BAFS up and running.

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