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Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney
ESPN, Buster Olney
ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney leads the baseball discussion alongside other top analysts.
11 hours ago
The Legend of Alejandro Kirk
David Schoenfield joins Buster to discuss, Alejandro Kirk’s spectacular debut for the Blue Jays, why Justin Verlander’s injury may mark the beginning of the end of the Astros’ window and if the Rockies will try to dump Nolan Arenado’s salary in the offseason (7:12). Later, Hembo drops by to talk about why Jacob deGrom should be the NL Cy Young winner, a troubling trend for Gerrit Cole and what the loss of Matt Chapman means for the A’s.
1 day ago
Forget This Ever Happened
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss why he can’t take his eyes off the Marlins, why the Reds are the Indians of the NL, the NL Cy Young Race, anemic hitting across the league, night games at Wrigley, Josh Donaldson going off on umpires, Ron Gardenhire’s abrupt retirement and Justin Verlander undergoing Tommy John surgery. Later, Sarah Langs stops by to play The Numbers Game with notes on the Padres’ postseason drought, Luke Voit leading the league in homers and Garret Crochet’s debut.
4 days ago
Pit Stop in Kansas City
Jesse Rogers joins Buster to discuss his pitching strategy for the first round of the playoffs, Josh Donaldson’s ejection after hitting a home run and kicking dirt on home plate, the White Sox clinching a playoff spot, Javier Baez rounding into form, the end of Jon Lester’s time with the Cubs, and another possible Yankees-Twins matchup in the postseason. Later, Todd Radom joins the show to talk about Kauffman Stadium and to administer the weekly quiz.
5 days ago
Eduardo Peréz joins Buster to discuss the jersey collection he’s amassed while calling games at home, Fernando Tatis Jr.’s poor September, why the Marlins are dangerous coming down the home stretch, and the pitching-catching combination of Gerrit Cole and Kyle Higashioka. Later, Jason Benetti drops by to talk about why the Yankees look like the biggest postseason threat to the White Sox and Tim Anderson’s development into an MVP candidate.
6 days ago
I Collect Art
Karl Ravech joins Buster to discuss his idea of Steve Cohen reaching out Brian Cashman for the Mets GM job, Kenley Jansen getting the save against San Diego, the rivalry between the Dodgers and Padres, the playoff bubble and new postseason strategies with teams playing every day, and Derek Jeter’s Tampa Bay house hitting the market for $29 million (8:36). Later, Sarah Langs stops by to play The Numbers Game with notes on the Yankees scoring 20, the Brewers’ offense and Jacob deGrom (28:42).
Sep 15, 2020
David Schoenfield joins Buster to discuss the Padres-Dodgers series, Trent Grisham’s home run off Clayton Kershaw, the White Sox increasing its division lead over the Twins, if seeding matters in the AL without a home field advantage, Yankees-Blue Jays and Steve Cohen set to purchase the Mets (9:31). Later, Hembo drops by to talk about his mixed feelings on Grisham “showing up” Kershaw, Cody Bellinger’s struggles at the plate, Cleveland’s historic pitching and historically bad outfield, and why Nelson Cruz is still at the peak of his powers (28:38).
Sep 14, 2020
Growth Spurt and Gym Membership
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss Alec Mills' unlikely no-hitter, Matt Chapman's injury, the Rays being the best team in the AL despite hitting a snag, the Dodgers' eternal bitterness about losing the World Series to the Astros, why Ian Anderson is the most important rookie in the NL and Nelson Cruz leading the league in home runs (9:47). Then, Alden Gonzalez stops by to talk about Albert Pujols and the how the Angels should handle its aging superstar, and the huge Dodgers-Padres series starting tonight (25:18).
Sep 11, 2020
Matt Vasgersian joins Buster to talk about the Dodgers being a little too cute sticking Mookie Betts at second base, if we’ll see any ugliness between the Dodgers and Astros this weekend, if Zack Greinke is a Hall of Famer, why he’d take Juan Soto over Ronald Acuña Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr., micing up players, and an interesting baseball memorabilia anniversary (8:25). Next, Todd Radom stops by to talk about Comerica Park and to administer the weekly quiz (30:24). Later, the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome calls in from the West Coast to hit on Dusty Baker navigating this strange season, the Astros’ lineup struggling to hit for power and Justin Verlander’s return (39:12).
Sep 10, 2020
You Seem Very Clean
Karl Ravech joins Buster to discuss Atlanta’s 29-run night, the remarkable feat of completing a season during a pandemic, what changes implemented this year are here to stay, Trevor Bauer chirping, why he thinks the White Sox are the best team in the AL and Justin Timberlake leading the charge for a team in Nashville (8:29). Later, Michael Kay drops by to talk about Gleyber Torres’ poor play, Gary Sanchez’s inability to hit a middle-middle pitch, the Yankees resting players as they are spiraling, why he thinks the team will still make the playoffs and how Steve Cohen buying the Mets will affect business in the Bronx (26:40).
Sep 9, 2020
Dave Schoenfield joins Buster to remember Roberto Clemente as he’s set to be honored by MLB (5:08). Then they get into Sixto Sanchez’s torrid start, the battle in the NL East, Dave’s thoughts on the playoff system, the Yankees playing everyone into contention, Gary Sanchez’s horrific season and the stars aligning for J.T. Realmuto in free agency. Later, Hembo stops by to discuss Sanchez’s stuff, how bitter he’ll be if Realmuto doesn’t re-sign with the Phillies, the versatility of the Rays and Clemente’s right arm (22:19).
Sep 8, 2020
We Don’t Smile Enough
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss the passing of Lou Brock, the time he chatted up Tim and his son Jeff, his base stealing arrogance and why a player like him wouldn’t exist in today’s game. Then they get into MLB honoring Roberto Clemente, the Yankees’ tailspin, Mike Rizzo being tossed from a private box and his thoughts on the AL Central (5:18). Later, Sarah Langs stops by to play The Numbers Games with notes on Kyle Hendricks, the Blue Jays’ 10-run inning and how Fernando Tatis Jr. could be the young MVP ever (23:18).
Sep 4, 2020
Jesse Rogers joins Buster Olney to discuss the evolution of Yu Darvish since arriving in Chicago, how he’s come out of his shell and concerns for the Cubs as October looms (4:55). Plus, the guys get into the Yankees’ pitching woes, the Phillies honoring Dick Allen, Bert Blyleven exiting the Twins TV booth and why they feel the baseball has been bad this season. Later, Todd Radom talks about Angel Stadium of Anaheim and administers the weekly quiz (30:54).
Sep 3, 2020
Greatest Met of All Time
Boog Sciambi joins Buster to discuss Tom Seaver’s passing, his larger than life presence, throwing a complete game for his 300th win and his connection with Mets fans (7:35). Plus, the guys get into how they felt about the suspensions handed down for the Yankees and Rays, and Boog’s work fighting ALS. Plus, Hembo on Seaver being traded in his prime, Jon Lester earning his contract, Alec Bohm’s outstanding contact and Bryce Harper mic’d up (24:39).
Sep 2, 2020
From Sapling to Booming Maple
Karl Ravech joins Sarah Langs to discuss psychological edge the Rays have on the Yankees and the postgame bench-clearing on Tuesday night, the Phillies pulling it together and making a run at the NL East crown, and the NL MVP race between Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto (6:17). Later, MLB.com’s Mandy Bell hops on to talk about Cleveland’s return for Mike Clevinger and how organization is always striving to keep the farm system stocked, the team’s offensive struggles, the tight race in the AL Central, and if Shane Bieber has any challengers for the Cy Young (30:14).
Sep 1, 2020
Teams on the Bubble
David Schoenfield and Sarah Langs join Buster after the trade deadline for a roundtable discussion. The gangs talks about how the Padres have emerged as a very strong No. 2 team in the NL, what Mike Clevinger brings to San Diego, the Reds trading for Archie Bradley and signaling it's still in the hunt, which Mike Minor the A's will see, why the Yankees were right to stand pat, Cleveland decreasing its World Series chances, the Braves not bolstering its starting pitching, the Rangers hanging onto Lance Lynn and their post-trade deadline World Series picks.
Aug 31, 2020
Deals That Are Already Done
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to talk about Steven Cohen reportedly buying the Mets and possibly making a splash in free agency, the Padres being aggressive at the deadline, the A’s trading for Tommy LaStella, Aaron Boone’s emotional press conference, and how Bryce Harper saved the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast (9:40).
Aug 28, 2020
Please Dear Leader, Do Not Hurt Us
Jeff Passan joins Buster to discuss baseball’s evolving response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, the lack of a collective conversation in MLB that’s seen in the NBA, the Players Alliance, the need for collaborative conversation league-wide, how the disparate responses tie into the CBA, Brodie Van Wagenen’s hot mic moment and the Mets’ capitulating response, and the enormous frustration with Rob Manfred across baseball (9:46). Later, Todd Radom joins the pod to talk about Progressive Field and administer the weekly quiz (29:38).
Aug 27, 2020
Gas Pumps Shut Off East of the Highway
Marly Rivera joins Buster to talk about pivotal day in U.S. professional sports as MLB teams protested over the shooting of Jacob Blake (8:03). They get into how Black and African American players in baseball are often afraid to speak out, how Mookie Betts and the Dodgers are shaping the player protests, and Aaron Judge’s calf tweak. Then, Jesse Rogers drops by to discuss his eerie drive to Milwaukee after the Brewers announced they wouldn’t be playing, Anthony Rizzo hitting politicians in his postgame presser, and his interest in teams that might sell at the deadline and still be in the playoff hunt (18:42). Later, Jason Benetti shares what it was like to call Lucas Giolito’s no-hitter and this year’s exciting White Sox team (32:21).
Aug 26, 2020
Padres of the American League
Karl Ravech joins Buster to discuss the Giants making it tough on their front office as the team contends for the playoffs, Lucas Giolito’s no-hitter, Mike Clevinger’s return to Cleveland’s rotation, his report card grade for the season so far, and his top managers in the AL and NL about 30 games deep (9:58). Plus, Hembo on unusual conditions for Giolito’s no-hitter, Shane Bieber’s hot start, the most improved player in baseball and context for the Dodgers’ dominant first half (29:22). Here's the video of a laser-guided cow milking machine mention during the Bleacher Tweets.
Aug 25, 2020
Every Dollar Counts
Dave Shoenfield joins Buster to talk about how Shane Bieber is must-watch TV, why he thinks the Dodgers could’ve challenged for 116 wins in a normal season, Seattle being the only declared seller ahead of the trade deadline and which potential moves to keep an eye on (3:48). Later, MLB.com’s Mandy Bell drops by to give an update on Terry Francona, what Cleveland could do at the deadline and what Bieber’s improved upon the most this season (22:09).
Aug 24, 2020
Run Like the Wind
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss the joy of Freddie Freeman with a microphone, Cleveland possibly trading Mike Clevinger, Triston McKenzie’s debut, the A’s being the best team in the AL, and the Padres and White Sox being Tim’s most watchable teams (5:23). Later, Sarah Langs plays The Numbers Game with notes on Slam Diego, José Abreu’s home runs against the Cubs, and Mookie Betts’ absurd in-zone contact rate and slugging percentage (23:03).
Aug 21, 2020
Atlanta's Dansby Swanson on Playing Without Fans, Freddie Freeman and His Socially Distant Celebration
Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson joins Buster to talk about playing during a pandemic, when he started re-preparing for the season, Freddie Freeman, why this year feels like a college season, the team’s talent level and his socially distant home run celebration (22:03). Matt Vasgersian also stops by to discuss missing the roar of a home crowd in a ballpark, the NL East race, MLB viewing each team as its own fiefdom with COVID-19 and Joe Maddon calling out Shaun Anderson’s command after throwing near Mike Trout’s head (5:36). Later, Matt sticks around to wax poetic about the Oakland Coliseum with Todd Radom and pinch hit for Buster in the weekly quiz (31:11).
Aug 20, 2020
Not Afraid of Gerrit Cole
Karl Ravech joins Buster to discuss Casey Mize’s debut, Thom Brennaman using an anti-LGBTQ slur during the Reds broadcast, Trevor Bauer trying to wear cleats supporting Joe Kelly and the Rays having the Yankees’ number (7:27).
Aug 19, 2020
An Old Feud
Boog Sciambi joins Buster to talk about the baseball world's array of opinions on Fernando Tatis Jr.’s “violation” of the unwritten rules, Kenta Maeda’s near no-hitter, if the clock is already ticking on Boston GM Chaim Bloom and their old lineup protection feud (5:33). Later, Hembo stops by to discuss how offenses around the league have rounded into form and the Chicago Cubs’ stellar infield defense (27:42).
Aug 18, 2020
The Brothers Seager and Cousin Buster
David Schoenfield joins Buster to discuss the Seager brothers homering in the same game, how Fernando Tatis Jr.’s grand slam and Juan Soto briefly admiring his home run violated the unwritten rules of baseball, injuries piling up across the league, José Altuve looking terrible, and his read on the NL East (6:30). Later, The Athletic’s Dan Connolly hops on to talk about the Orioles thrusting themselves into the playoff conversation (25:04).
Aug 17, 2020
Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Buster returns from vacation and talks to Tim Kurkjian about which team is the best bet to win its division, the Nationals possibly missing the playoffs with Stephen Strasburg’s injury, the Yankees losing DJ LeMahieu and being extremely cautious with Aaron Judge, and Zach Plesac’s misguided anger toward the media (5:48). Later, Sarah Langs plays The Numbers Game with notes on the White Sox’s four-straight homers, the A’s grand slams and Franmil Reyes (26:22).
Aug 14, 2020
Tim Kurkjian fills in for Buster to talk with Karl Ravech about another magical night for Mookie Betts, a disastrous one for his former team, bad bullpens and the crazy schedule ahead of the Cardinals. Plus, Todd Radom tells Tim and Troy about Houston's ballparks before giving the weekly quiz (23:40).
Aug 13, 2020
Watch Out For The Bears
Marly Rivera joins Dave Schoenfield to talk about Joe Kelly’s anger over the Astros and his suspension, players punishing each other without fans at the games, more concern for the Yankees with Aaron Judge’s injury, and if the Marlins, Tigers and Orioles will make the playoffs (7:04). Plus, Kiley McDaniel on Nate Pearson’s struggles, the Braves’ rotation and how their prospects fit into it, how teams are evaluating minor leaguers for trades, and why he doesn’t think any consequential trades will be made this season (23:53).
Aug 12, 2020
A Real Host
Boog Sciambi joins Tim Kurkjian to discuss the suspensions for Ramon Laureano and Alex Cintron, the lack of trust in the Cleveland locker room, what losing Giancarlo Stanton for a month means for the Yankees , and the challenges of calling games remotely (4:59). Later, Hembo gets into what stands out about Fernando Tatis Jr.’s start, Charlie Blackmon’s impressive batting average splits, the durability of Warren Spahn and Sarah Langs’ MLB debut in the booth as a win for researchers everywhere (26:53). Plus, Getting To Know Tim (37:51).
Aug 11, 2020
Accounting for the Federal League
David Schoenfield fills in for a vacationing Buster, talking to Joon Lee about MLB considering a playoff bubble, Mike Clevinger hanging out with Zach Plesac and what the Red Sox might do at the trade deadline as they languish at the bottom of the AL East (4:41). Later, Brad Doolittle stops by to discuss the Blue Jays playing in Buffalo, the history of baseball in Buffalo and San Diego’s offensive potential (18:41). Plus, who would Joon and Brad rather have for the next seven years: Mike Trout or Fernando Tatis Jr.?
Aug 10, 2020
Holding a Live Fish
Tim Kurkjian fills in for a vacationing Buster on today’s episode. First, he talks to Jeff Passan about how many games will Alex Cintrón and Ramón Laureano be suspended after inciting a brawl between the A’s and Astros, the Indians sending Zach Plesac home to quarantine after a night out, what MLB should do with the Cardinals, Oakland’s hot start, Fernando Tatis Jr. tearing it up, and Madison Bumgarner’s troublesome beginnings in Arizona (5:37). Later, Sarah Langs drops by to play the Numbers Game with notes on Tatis, Austin Slate and Óliver Pérez (28:30).
Aug 7, 2020
Being Famous and Not Being Famous
SNY’s Steve Gelbs joins Buster to talk about Pete Alonso, his slow start, how the anger he harbors from being bullied drives him and what a genuine person he truly is (6:09). Next, Yahoo! Sports’ Hannah Keyser stops by to discuss profiling the Philly Phanatic, getting autographs from your heroes, the latest MLB’s health and safety protocol and the idea of a playoff bubble (19:54). Plus, Todd Radom administers the weekly quiz and talks ballparks in Texas (39:01).
Aug 6, 2020
Rake Every Time
Marly Rivera joins Buster to discuss the Marlins’ 5-1 start, the pulse of players as they live under MLB’s strict health and safety protocol, and Aaron Judge not thinking about his injuries (6:41). Later, Jesse Rogers stops by to talk about lax protocol causing coronavirus outbreaks among the Cardinals and Marlins, the new rules put in place by the league, players utilizing pent up energy on the field, the Cubs’ great start and where the Cubs stand with their stars set to be free agents in 2021 (19:04).
Aug 5, 2020
Reds general manager Nick Krall joins Buster to discuss meeting Eddie Murray as a bat boy with the A’s, the process of signing Nicholas Castellanos as a free agent, a day in the life of a Major League Baseball GM, how he’s evaluating trades given the current circumstances and his assessment of the team at this early point in the season (20:40). Dave Schoenfield also hops on to “talk about the Rockies,” ponder whether closers are as necessary as we think, marvel at the excellence of Dustin May and declare the predictability of Mike Trout hitting a home run after returning from paternity leave (7:53). Later, Hembo stops by to give his review of the extra-innings rule and the three-batter minimum for pitchers (34:20).
Aug 4, 2020
A Hard Day
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss crushing injuries to Mike Soroka and Shohei Ohtani, San Diego's impressive start, Boston's "indescribably bad" pitching and Rob Manfred's handling of recent events (7:44). Plus, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the Cardinals' COVID-19 outbreak (25:04) and Derek Jeter explains how the virus infiltrated Miami's clubhouse (39:05).
Aug 3, 2020
You Will Get Burned
Karl Ravech joins Buster to talk about Aaron Judge looking like an absolute beast, Shohei Ohtani’s future as pitcher, the Cubs and Twins’ hot starts, and where things stand in MLB with positive coronavirus tests popping up (8:26). Later, Sarah Langs drops by to play the Numbers game and to discuss where Yoenis Céspedes’ disappearing act ranks among moments of Mets dysfunction (32:22).
Jul 31, 2020
(Not) Trade Deadline Day
Jessica Mendoza joins Buster to discuss tonight's postponed Brewers-Cardinals game, 7-inning doubleheaders, and where Shane Bieber ranks among the top pitchers in baseball (7:05). Plus, Dr. Anthony Fauci assesses MLB's coronavirus strategy (20:25) and Todd Radom joins Buster and Troy to give the weekly quiz and provide some fun facts about Seattle (23:12).
Jul 30, 2020
An eight-game suspension for Joe Kelly has the baseball world fuming. Buster and Dave Schoenfield discuss that, as well as new coronavirus safety protocol, anger toward the Marlins, Nate Pearson's strong debut and more (7:08). Plus, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe dives into the Red Sox's tailspin (20:40).
Jul 29, 2020
After a day of fireworks across the league, Karl Ravech joins Buster to break down what happened last night between the Dodgers and Astros (9:51). The guys also discuss more positive coronavirus tests in Miami, how players are now taking control of their health and safety, the early swath of pitching injuries and Patrick Mahomes' new stake in the Royals. Plus, a tribute to Orioles super fan Mo Gaba (35:38) and Hembo brings some fun stats on Fernando Tatis Jr. and the Padres (27:48).
Jul 28, 2020
Missing the Little Things
Jesse Rogers joins Buster to discuss broadcasting from an empty Wrigley Field, MLB’s willingness to replace a whole team with a taxi squad, the untold story of how the Miami outbreak happened, Tony Clark and Rob Manfred leaving Don Mattingly flapping in the wind, David Price’s tweet and the potential for conflict in the Dodgers-Astros series (5:28). Later, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber stops by to talk about the level of concern within the Phillies after playing the Marlins during the weekend, cleaning the clubhouse and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner taking a shot at the Dodgers over the Mookie Betts deal (24:44).
Jul 27, 2020
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss the outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests among the Marlins, the strange balance of talking about baseball and talking about coronavirus, Justin Verlander’s injury, Daniel Bard coming back from the yips, Shohei Otani’s inability to throw strikes, Shane Bieber, and players missing the fans (7:46). Plus, Sarah Langs stops by to play the Numbers Game and to chat about the season’s sloppy start (29:06).
Jul 24, 2020
It Was Just Weird
Karl Ravech joins Buster to discuss Juan Soto testing positive for COVID-19, the weirdness of playing in an empty ballpark, Giancarlo Stanton looking spry, the Dodgers popping off and defeating the Giants, players displaying unity in pregame ceremonies, the newly expanded 16-team playoff, and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s first pitch (8:56). Later, Todd Radom stops by to talk about his alternate Blue Jays logos, Camden Yards, and to administer the weekly quiz (35:58).
Jul 23, 2020
Opening Day 2020
Jeff Passan joins Buster on Opening Day 2020 to discuss the surprise news of Mookie Betts’ $365 million contract with the Dodgers, the big names that will soon be free agents, the possibility of the Blue Jays playing without a home base, expanding the playoff to 16 teams, Marcus Stroman’s injury and players feeling better about health and safety as the season begins (6:14). Later, Marly Rivera drops by to talk about players finding motivation without crowds, Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer’s similarities, Cole’s debut for the Yankees being 13 years in the making, and the Homeless Blue Jays (27:43).
Jul 22, 2020
Toronto’s Joe Panik on the Blue Jays Searching for a Home, Being Careful with On-Field Conversations, Young Players Helping the Team Mindset
Toronto second baseman Joe Panik joins Buster to discuss Canada's decision to not allow the Blue Jays to play in the country, how the younger players are helping bring a calmness to the locker room, being careful delivering signals in quiet ballparks, breaking habits to adhere to health and safety protocol, and his outlook on this year's squad (5:21). Later, Hembo talks about his AL and NL MVP picks, Christian Yelich vs. Mike Trout, the outlook for Carter Kieboom, and the lineups for the Cubs and Brewers (17:02). Finally, Boog Sciambi drops by to get into extra innings strategy, why the manipulation of service time is wrong, and the challenges of teams traveling during a pandemic (25:58).
Jul 21, 2020
See You at The Ballpark
David Schoenfield joins Buster to discuss how great the Yankees have looked in Summer Camp, the theme song for this season's Blue Jays, how players wearing masks will impact the American public, and his division winner picks (6:51). Plus, The Athletic's Britt Ghiroli on covering games while confined to the press box, why extra rest and a shorter season could benefit the Nationals, how Max Scherzer has looked in Summer Camp, who’s going to protect Juan Soto in the lineup, and Washington being front and center in speaking out about MLB’s health and safety protocols (23:51).
Jul 20, 2020
Looking For A New Home
Buster chats with Toronto Star columnist Gregor Chisholm about the Blue Jays’ request to play home games in Toronto being denied and where they might play their games this year. Then, ESPN’s Karl Ravech joins the show to discuss what it was like to call a MLB game and what it will be like going forward and the credit the players deserve for how they’ve handled returning to the field (13:20). Finally, Sarah Langs talks about the yips, Cody Bellinger’s new swing and how impressive the Yankees look (29:33)
Jul 17, 2020
Baseball Is Almost Back; History of Fenway
Tim Kurkjian and Buster discuss their issues with technology trying to get everything up and running in their houses. Plus, the two discuss the comments made by Alex Rodriguez and a potential salary cap, will the Blue Jays play games at home, umpires wearing masks and more. Then, Todd Radam joins the podcast to discuss the history of Fenway and there’s breaking news during the interview as the Nationals will open the season at Nationals Park (27:50)
Jul 16, 2020
Anthony Rizzo’s Back; Players Possibly Leaving Midseason; Eduardo Pérez Pinch Hits
Eduardo Pérez pitch hits and joins Buster to discuss Tim Kurkjian’s tech woes, why he’s excited to watch the Angles, the distractions in Houston, San Diego being sneaky good, if Tyler Beede can handle the pressure as the San Francisco’s closer and the Atlanta Hammers (4:56). Later, Jesse Rogers hops on to talk about Anthony Rizzo’s back situation, players on non-contending teams possibly going home midseason, and whether Kyle Hendricks and Yu Darvish will start on Opening Day (22:24).
Jul 15, 2020
Houston’s Wild Start to Summer Camp; Hembo’s World Series Picks
The Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome joins Buster to discuss the delayed tests, possible exposure and precautionary holdouts that have marred the Astros’ summer camp, the frustration within the team, George Springer trying to hold it all together, and who’s going to be the fourth starter (5:00). Later, Hembo drops by to share his World Series matchup and winner, and to talk about Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole (14:40).
Jul 14, 2020
Pitching Hangover for the Nats?; Jordan Hicks Opts Out; Cleveland’s Rotation Health
Sarah Langs joins Buster to discuss the Mets’ best Plan B option if Robinson Cano can’t go, a potential pitching hangover for the Nationals and the idea of an extended free agency (7:06). Next, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold hops on to talk about Jordan Hicks’ decision to opt out of the season and Walker Bueller emerging as a leader among MLB players (21:48). Finally, MLB.com’s Mandy Bell gets into the Franmil Reyes situation and Cleveland’s rotation health being the key to its season (31:59).
Jul 13, 2020
Toronto’s an Afterthought; Chapman Tests Positive; Tampa’s Roster Permutations
The Toronto Star’s Gregor Chisholm joins Buster to discuss where things stand with where the Blue Jays will play, Travis Shaw walking back his self-isolation comments and teams visiting Toronto being overlooked (5:46). Then, Marly Rivera joins the pod to talk about Aroldis Chapman’s positive COVID-19 test, how he’s feeling and what it means for the Yankees’ relief corps (18:06). Later, the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin hops on to get into how he’s covering the Rays during the coronavirus spike in Florida, who hasn’t been seen on the field in the last week and how the front office handles the possibility of missing so many key players to start the season (28:03).
Jul 10, 2020
3 a.m. is Offensive; The Agenda of Science; Yankee Stadium
Boog Sciambi joins Buster to discuss, how he’s adjusted to getting up at 3 a.m. calling KBO games, why he loves watching Lee Jung-hoo, the Mets fanbase, pumping music or crowd noise into a stadium during games and ignoring medical professionals (5:59). Plus, Todd Radom on Yankee Stadium and the weekly quiz (29:35).
Jul 9, 2020
MLB Intake Process Complete; Yankees Having Fun; KBO Observations
Marly Rivera joins Buster to discuss the completion of MLB’s intake process that yielded a 98.2% negative test rate for coronavirus, player comfort and accountability as summer camp is underway, and the Yankees looking like they’re having a good time playing baseball (3:48). Plus, Karl Ravech stops by to talk about Steve Cohen emerging as the favorite to buy the Mets, why he thinks baseball will be played, Kris Bryant’s trepidation about returning and his observations covering KBO as MLB’s return is on the horizon (15:16).
Jul 8, 2020
Refreshing Pranks; Scheduling Games; Juan Soto
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss how refreshing it is to see Terry Francona and Francisco Lindor pulling pranks, the challenge of keeping players focused and the need to hear from Rob Manfred as issues with the restart arise (4:20). Later, ESPN’s senior manager of MLB programming Rick Mace talks about what it’s been like scheduling games for TV (16:19). Plus, Hembo on which teams have scheduling advantages and why he’d take Juan Soto on a 10-year contract (26:00).
Jul 7, 2020
Deep Dive on The Cleveland Name Change
MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince joins Buster to discuss the Cleveland name change, the history of the name “Indians” for the team, why he favors the Spiders for the new name, the inspiration for his book “A Fan’s Guide to Baseball Analytics” and what he thinks happens with Francisco Lindor this season (5:33). Plus, Todd Radom stops by to talk about the work involved with a team changing its name and creating a new logo (21:46).
Jul 6, 2020
Forest City Spiders; Players Express Skepticism
David Schoenfield joins Buster to discuss Cleveland’s decision to review its name, possible names to replace the Indians, Freddie Freeman getting sick, Mike Trout, Sean Doolittle and Buster Posey’s skepticism about playing, and what the tipping point could be to shut the season down (7:16). Later, Sarah Langs drops by to talk about her aversion to spiders and what losing David Price means to the Dodgers (26:02).
Jul 2, 2020
Hermetically Sealed Baseballs
Matt Vasgersian joins Buster to discuss the possibility of calling Sunday Night Baseball at home, Sean Doolittle’s apprehension of playing, continued mistrust between the players and MLB, what seems unrealistic under the health and safety protocols, and field mics (4:01). Plus, Todd Radom drops by to mourn the loss of the minor league season, talk Tropicana Field and administer the weekly quiz (27:36).
Jul 1, 2020
Minor League Season Canceled, Front Office Diversity, Differences Between KBO and MLB
Buster is joined by Hembo to discuss the Minor League Baseball season's cancellation, the existential threat to the minors and why taking Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ name off the MVP trophy is a no-brainer (2:20). Then, Karl Ravech drops by to talk about the differences between covering MLB and the KBO, and keeping an eye on the COVID-19 positive test rate as players report to camp. Finally, Joon Lee joins the show to get into the lack of diversity in front offices, treating players as financial assets and how it all contributes to labor tensions (31:49).
Jun 30, 2020
Presidential Name-Drops, Ian Desmond Opts out
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to name-drop his meetings with presidents and trips to the White House (7:07). Then the guys discuss the players who have opted out of the season, the need for complete transparency with testing results, Ian Desmond's decision not to play and his thoughts on race in baseball, and changes that need to be made to make baseball more accessible.
Jun 29, 2020
Candidates to Hit .400, Already a Lost Season for Many
Sarah Langs joins Buster to discuss which players might be able to finish the shortened baseball season batting .400 (2:36). Later, Alden Gonzalez hops on to talk about his series examining how baseball has already been lost for the season for so many across the country, bracing for positive tests across baseball as players begin reporting, and what it would take for the commissioner to shut down the season (14:08).
Jun 26, 2020
A's Reliever Jake Diekman on Playing While Being High-Risk for COVID-19
A's reliever Jake Diekman joins Buster to discuss his decision to play despite being high-risk for coronavirus. Diekman discusses why he didn't consider opting out, players policing their bubble and pitching relief with no crowd (2:20). Then, Eireann Dolan, wife of Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle, hops on to talk about her concerns living under the baseball umbrella after growing up with respiratory issues, and MLB making players decide between salary and service time and family members who are high risk (13:12). Plus, Todd Radom on the Rogers Centre and the weekly quiz (27:02).
Jun 25, 2020
Fantasy and Reality
Marly Rivera and USA Today's Bob Nightengale join Buster to talk about the fantasy of baseball getting started smoothly and the reality of playing during a pandemic. Rivera talks about why youth may prevail in a short season and shares players' concerns about spikes in coronavirus across the country (3:04). Nightengale says he thinks every game will be treated like the postseason when it comes to pitching decisions and shares his advice for the next time the players and owners get into the negotiating room (16:02).
Jun 24, 2020
Hardcore Baseball Talk
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to talk actual baseball (2:38), including the biggest baseball challenge for all teams getting started, why they're high on the Rays in a short season, pitchers and hitters to watch, and which teams may surprise the league. Plus, they share reactions they've heard around baseball to MLB's plan to start the season, and give their reactions to the new rules and health protocols.
Jun 23, 2020
A Theoretical 60-Game Season
MLB is implementing a 60-game season. Buster and David Schoenfield react (4:33) to the news and discuss what the lack of an agreement between the two sides means going forward, sub-negotiations for things like universal DH and an expanded playoff, and the dynamics within teams during a shortened season. Later, Hembo stops by to talk about which players may sit out, Trevor Bauer's tweets and the folly of the players pursuing a grievance (20:55).
Jun 22, 2020
Hall of Fame Distractions, COVID-19 Closes Training Camps
Buster goes full distraction by asking Sarah Langs (6:12) and Karl Ravech (15:54) about the Hall of Fame candidacies of Yadier Molina, Justin Verlander, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Plus, Ravy gives his thoughts on the latest financial and health negotiations between players and owners.
Jun 19, 2020
Tyler Glasnow on Getting His News, Being Ready to Throw Five, the Rays in a Short Season
Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow joins Buster to discuss getting the latest labor negotiation news from his mom, why he's not on social media, having free time in June for the first time since 7th grade, throwing live innings, why he thinks Tampa Bay would be dangerous in a shortened season and his his personal level of concern with the coronavirus (8:34). Plus, Jesse Rogers on the latest between MLB and the players (4:37). And Todd Radom on Wrigley Field and the weekly quiz (26:16).
Jun 18, 2020
Hannah Keyser on Rank-and-File MLB Staffers; Roger Ehrenberg on How He'd Advise Players and Owners
Yahoo! Sports' Hannah Keyser joins Buster to talk about Rob Manfred and Tony Clark's face-to-face meeting and her story on the feelings of rank-and-file staffers around MLB as negotiations drag on (3:18). Later, venture capitalist Roger Ehrenberg gives his read on the situation, and shares how he'd advise both the players and owners (19:20).
Jun 17, 2020
Clinton Yates on The Pandemic as a Bargaining Chip for the Owners
Clinton Yates joins Buster to talk about spending time with LaTroy Hawkins, average baseball fans realizing the sport is in a bad place, the owners using the pandemic as a bargaining chip, why it seems like the owners don't actually like baseball and the players being over the drama (3:20). Plus, Hembo compares Rob Manfred to Adam Silver and Roger Goodell, and which players have the most to lose from missing a season (17:41).
Jun 16, 2020
Burn It All Down
The podcast leads off with Mike Greenberg's full interview with Rob Manfred, who says there's a real risk of no baseball being played in 2020. Then, Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to discuss what he's hearing from players and why they're feeling emboldened in these negotiations, the likelihood of the owners digging in and waiting for the union to collapse, this possibly being the start of a three-year labor war, and scenarios for what happens next (9:24).
Jun 15, 2020
Karl Ravech on "Long Gone Summer," Impasse Between Players and Owners
Karl Ravech joins Buster to discuss ESPN's "Long Gone Summer" and their memories of the summer of 1998, other factors that revitalized baseball after the 1994 strike, and the latest impasse between players and owners in restarting baseball (8:17). Later, Sarah Langs on Buster Posey's Hall of Fame candidacy (34:26). Plus, SVP's conversation with Sammy Sosa (2:44).
Jun 12, 2020
ESPN's Tim Keown on Covering Mark McGwire in 1998
ESPN's Tim Keown joins Buster to reflect on covering the home run chase of 1998 (14:46). The guys get into the weariness of Mark McGwire and how he never really embraced the moment, the crowds that showed up every game for batting practice, Keown's mental image of a cross-armed Barry Bonds that summer, trying to rundown the steroids story, and Keown's thoughts on baseball's restart negotiations. Plus, Todd Radom on Busch Stadium and the weekly quiz (3:22).
Jun 11, 2020
Kiley McDaniel on Round 1 of the Draft; Mark McGwire on the '98 Home Run Chase
Kiley McDaniel joins Buster to review the first round of the MLB Draft, discussing what the Orioles did at No. 2, Austin Martin sliding to No. 5, the biggest head scratching pick, the best player still left on the board, and the latest battleground between the players and owners (3:42). Later, in a never-before-heard interview from 2016, Dari Nowkhah and Mel Kiper Jr. talk to Mark McGwire about the 1998 home run chase, including the serendipitous moments of that season, the pressure he felt chasing the record and what he remembers about breaking it (18:22).
Jun 10, 2020
Former MLB Pitcher Andy Benes on Giving Up HRs to McGwire and Sosa in '98
Longtime MLB pitcher Andy Benes joins Buster to discuss giving up home runs to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in the summer of 1998 (16:00). Benes talks about his scouting reports on McGwire and Sosa, fans and teammates watching McGwire's batting practice, the daily pressure on McGwire on and off the field, and why he's made peace with players who used PEDs. Plus, Hembo on Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. claiming baseball isn't that profitable and which teams lead the league in WAR with draft picks (5:29).
Jun 9, 2020
Bleacher Tweeters on Baseball Restart Talks, Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin
An All-Star lineup of Bleacher Tweeters join Buster to discuss how they feel about the stalled restart talks between players and owners, and how it impacts their feelings as consumers of Major League Baseball (3:16). Plus, Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin talks about Austin Martin, the five-round draft, the $20k cap on undrafted players and the virtual baseball cards he's created honoring medical professionals (25:27).
Jun 8, 2020
Kiley McDaniel Previews the MLB Draft
Kiley McDaniel joins Buster to talk about how his preparation for the draft is different with the pandemic, how teams are gathering information on players, drafting strategy with only five rounds, teams possibly avoiding paying for draft picks and the scouting report on potential No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson (5:47). Plus, Sarah Langs on which colleges and high schools produce the most major league talent, and how her mom is feeling about getting a baseball season this year (30:36).
Jun 5, 2020
Tim Kurkjian on His Daily Baseball Fix, Bad Blood Between Players and MLB
Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to talk about the process behind his Daily Baseball Fix (2:23). Then the guys express disbelief and embarrassment at the state restart negotiations between players and the league, and discuss how the disagreements between the two sides date back to the 2016 CBA. Later, Todd Radom joins to talk about the Great American Ball Park and to administer the weekly quiz (21:42).
Jun 4, 2020
Clinton Yates on Baseball Cards, The Lerners, Players Who Might Sit Out
Clinton Yates talks to Buster about what baseball cards mean to him and his shrine to the "average black player," why it would be worse for baseball to start and not finish rather than not playing at all, and the Lerner family reverse course on docking minor leaguers' pay (3:08). Plus, Hembo on players that could potentially sit out a shortened season, and why Bryce Harper could benefit from a shortened season while Alex Bregman might be on the other end of the spectrum (26:32).
Jun 3, 2020
Jesse Rogers on His Interview with Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts
Jesse Rogers talks to Buster about his interview with Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, including why Rogers believes Ricketts doesn't have a lot cash of on-hand, the near future for the team with big contract decisions looming, the 18-month problem for baseball, and why owners and players should keep their mouths shut (2:03).
Jun 2, 2020
Eduardo Pérez on The Lack of Trust Between Players and Owners
Eduardo Pérez talks to Buster about his early mornings calling KBO games, including how many times he hits snooze before waking up. Then the guys get into MLB's idea of a 50-game season, the owners' "lump of cash" strategy and the lack of trust between players and owners (2:22). Plus, John Shea on his new book "24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid" and the 100+ hours he spend with Willie Mays (24:13).
Jun 1, 2020
Jeff Passan on MLBPA's Return-To-Play Proposal
Jeff Passan joins Buster to dive into the weeds on the MLBPA's return-to-play proposal sent to the owners (4:09). The guys discuss what the reaction will be from the owners, deferrals as a fig leaf from the players, at-risk players sitting out and still getting paid, doomsday scenarios for baseball, and the key figures that could lead the sides to a middle ground. Plus, Sarah Langs home run chase of '98 and the 17 pitchers that allowed home runs to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa (32:00).
May 29, 2020
"The Roy Halladay Story" Producers Brian Rivera and Mike Farrell on Halladay's Wife, His Anxiety and Pitchers Using Painkillers
The producers of the E:60 special "Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story" Brian Rivera and Mike Farrell join Buster to talk about the program, including why Brandi Halladay chose to participate in the story, Halladay's fear of failure, his sense of humor, what was left on the cutting room floor they wish made it into the special, and shining a light on pitchers using painkillers (2:45). Plus, Todd Radom on PNC Park and the weekly quiz (29:35).
May 28, 2020
Mark Teixeira on Restart Talks, The Owners' Picasso, Free Agents Not Playing
Mark Teixeira talks to Buster about the effectiveness of owners trying to drive a wedge between younger and older players, why this situation is akin to the owners having a Picasso in the basement, his thoughts on the public conversation between the two sides, and if free agents on bad teams might not play a shortened season (5:24). Plus, longtime Mets media relations director Jay Horwitz on his new book "Mr. Met: How a Sports-Mad Kid from Jersey Became Like Family to Generations of Big Leaguers." (23:51)
May 27, 2020
Yankees 3B Coach Phil Nevin on Aaron Boone's Impressions, Fighting A GM
Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin talks to Buster about Aaron Boone's impressions, the most intense managers he's worked with, why Paul Goldschmidt is the best baserunner in baseball right now, doing nothing for the first three weeks of his Major League career and an altercation with GM Kevin Towers (15:53). Plus, Hembo on MLB's opening salvo in restart talks, Goldschmidt and his review of "War of The Roses." (3:39)
May 26, 2020
Matt Vasgersian on a Big Week for Baseball Restart Talks, His Favorite HR Calls
Matt Vasgersian joins Buster to talk about a big week ahead for talks between players and MLB, some players hiding their financial concerns behind safety rhetoric and his five favorite home run calls (4:22). Plus, Sarah Langs on the factors that will come into play during shortened season and players who've turned in historic performances playing 82 games or less (28:43).
May 22, 2020
Orioles P Coach Doug Brocail on Embracing Analytics, His On-Field Near-Death Experience
Orioles pitching coach Doug Brocail joins Buster to talk about his journey to embracing analytics as a coach, what he could've done differently while playing if he had today's information, Trevor Hoffman's change-up, Tony Gwynn calling his own shots, playing with Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, and his near-death experience on the field (11:01). Plus, Todd Radom on Miller Park and the weekly quiz (2:04).
May 21, 2020
Padres 3B Coach Wayne Kirby on Having Fun, Albert Belle, Manny Machado
Padres third base coach Wayne Kirby talks to Buster about the different ways to break in a glove, watching his brother play in the NFL, giving Adam Jones a hard time, the true importance of having fun, Albert Belle smashing plates after an 0-4 game and the lessons he's imparted on Manny Machado after going to San Diego (15:09). Plus, Marly Rivera on Alex Bregman firing his agent, and players' concerns about MLB's proposed health and safety protocols (2:50).
May 20, 2020
Ron Washington on Working with Josh Hamilton, The Pain of Losing Two World Series
Braves third base coach Ron Washington talks to Buster about missing out on the manager job in San Diego and his desire to manage again, what it was like seeing himself playing in "Money Ball," his work with Marcus Semien, the energy of Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies, motivating Josh Hamilton, and coming so close to winning a World Series with the Rangers (17:47). Plus, Hembo on the latest drama between the union and MLB, and why Josh Hamilton is the most gifted baseball player he's ever watched (4:08).
May 19, 2020
Dodgers 3B Coach Dino Ebel on Challenging Mike Trout, Albert Pujols as the Best Slow Baserunner
Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel joins Buster to talk about how Mike Trout challenged him, what he's seen from Cody Bellinger after working with him for a season, the most difficult judgements to make as a third coach coach and why Albert Pujols is the best slow baserunner in the game (23:56). Plus, Anika Orrock on her new book "The Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League." (4:04)
May 18, 2020
Mariners Play-By-Play Announcer Dave Sims on Perfect Games and No-Hitters, Home Run Calls, Griffey
Mariners play-by-play announcer Dave Sims talks to Buster about openly discussing ongoing no-hitters and perfect games, his interactions with Ken Griffey, Jr., watching the artistry of Felix Hernandez, the origins of his memorable home run calls, and being up-close and personal for a brawl between Dee Gordon and Jean Segura (10:27). Plus, Sarah Langs on some of the best individualized home run calls (3:12).
May 15, 2020
Mets Play-By-Play Man Gary Cohen on Colón's HR, Flores Weeping, Alonso's Emergence
Mets play-by-play announcer Gary Cohen joined Buster to talk about his Bartolo Colón home run call and Colón's clubhouse presence, Wilmer Flores weeping on the field, Johan Santana's no-hitter, Pete Alonso's emergence and Matt Harvey (20:31). Plus, Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper joins the pod to talk about a basebrawl with him and his brother, Candlestick Park and Oracle Park, and take the weekly quiz with Todd Radom (5:08).
May 14, 2020
Charles Barkley on Being Starstruck, Calling Trout to Share His COVID-19 Test, Scherzer
Charles Barkley talks to Buster about calling Mike Trout after getting his COVID-19 test, being starstruck by Wille Mays and Hank Aaron, and his love for Max Scherzer.
May 13, 2020
Mike Greenberg on Getting Tossed From a Clubhouse, A Shuttle Ride with Bo Jackson
Charles Barkley joins Buster to talk about why hitting a pitch is the most difficult thing to do in sports, being starstruck by Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, calling Mike Trout and Patrick Ewing after he got his coronavirus test results, Tim Kurkjian's basketball skills, going to Auburn the same time as Bo Jackson, people not understanding how hard it is to win, and his love for Max Scherzer (16:56). Plus, Kiley McDaniel on Blake Snell's comments, who he projects to be the top three picks in the draft and the prospect of scouts being laid off after the draft (5:11).
May 12, 2020
Dan Shulman on Calling Bartman, Freese, Bautista Bat Flip
Dan Shulman talks to Buster about calling play-by-play for big baseball moments. The guys discuss the air being sucked out of Wrigley in the Bartman game, calling Sunday Night Baseball when Osama Bin Laden was killed, David Freese's heroic World Series game six, the good and the bad of the Jose Bautista bat flip game, and being stuck in an elevator when Joe Carter won the World Series (17:57). Plus, ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers on the players' reaction the MLB's proposed plan to play, and the current animosity between players and owners as this is sorted out (2:20).
May 11, 2020
Chris Antonetti on "Stalking" Brian Cashman, Game 7 of the '16 World Series, Tito Wagering on Scrabble
Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti talks to Buster about how CC Sabathia nearly landed with the Dodgers, trading for Andrew Miller, how the 9th inning of game seven in 2016 World Series was nearly postponed to the next night and the first time he saw Francisco Lindor (10:04). Plus, Sarah Langs on that game seven and the Cubs' shifting win probability throughout (4:31).
May 8, 2020
Terry Francona on Michael Jordan's Time with the Birmingham Barons
Terry Francona talks to Buster about his days as manager of the Birmingham Barons with Michael Jordan on the squad. Francona dishes stories on the first time he met Jordan, the first time he saw his swing, what Jordan's goals were playing baseball, the famous team bus and setting a screen for Jordan while playing pickup basketball (13:58). Plus, Todd Radom on Chase Field and the weekly quiz (4:01).
May 7, 2020
Jim Leyland on Miguel Cabrera, Barry Bonds and Justin Verlander
Former big league manager Jim Leyland looks back on his memories of a young Miguel Cabrera, what it was like meeting the likes of Barry Bonds and Justin Verlander for the first time, and his long-standing relationship with the late Al Kaline (8:55). Plus, ESPN's Marly Rivera on the latest in negotiations between the MLBPA and the owners. Tim Kurkjian also gives his Daily Baseball Fix (33:04).
May 6, 2020
Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos on His Big Toronto Trades, Creating Baseball Fans and His "Coronacut"
Current Braves and former Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos joins Buster to talk about getting the baseball bug because of the '92 Expos, having to leave a Raptors game when he traded for Josh Donaldson, pacing around Cherry Beach waiting for the Troy Tulowitzki and David Price trade to be completed, and the Jose Bautista bat flip (11:11). Plus, Hembo on the '15 and '16 Blue Jays, and Kerry Woods' 20-strikeout game (5:08).
May 5, 2020
A's SS Marcus Semien on Playing for His Hometown Team
A's shortstop Marcus Semien joins Buster to talk about helping his community in the East Bay, Ricky Henderson's not-that-helpful advice on how to steal a base, working with Ron Washington to get out of a fielding slump, his family's legacy at Cal, playing against Gerrit Cole in college and what it's like playing for his hometown team (15:57). Plus, ESPN senior programming manager Rick Mace on landing the KBO broadcasting deal (2:41).
May 4, 2020
Former Baseball HOF President Jeff Idelson on Rubbing Elbows with Baseball Legends
Former Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson joins Buster to talk about his experiences with Hall of Famers, including golfing with Johnny Bench, sipping coffee with Yogi Berra, Ichiro Suzuki's secret rookie of the year phone call, Eddie Murray not telling his wife he made it into the Hall and how Derek Jeter made him "cool" in the eyes of his daughter (13:51). Plus, Sarah Langs on the Nationals waiting to celebrate the World Series with their fans, which Jeter game she would pick to run on TV and building the ultimate five-tool player (2:58).
May 1, 2020
Janet Marie Smith on Designing Camden Yards
The designer of Camden Yards Janet Marie Smith joins Buster to talk about the current renovations to Dodger Stadium, her friendship with Frank Robinson, constructing a "fair" ballpark, the joy of the first Opening Day at Camden Yards and executing the vision for Eutaw Street (10:56). Plus, Todd Radom on why Smith should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Dodger Stadium and the weekly quiz (2:26).
Apr 30, 2020
Bill James on Starting the Modern Analytics Movement
The godfather of modern day analytics Bill James joins Buster to talk about putting his early analytics into practice working on arbitration cases, which teams were ahead of the curve utilizing numbers to run their teams, why he never finished reading "Money Ball" and the problems with objectively analyzing defense (2:42). Later, Kiley McDaniel drops by (29:53) to discuss his new book "Future Value: The Battle for Baseball's Soul and How Teams Will Find the Next Superstar."
Apr 29, 2020
Red Sox Groundskeeper David Mellor on Fish in Fenway and Helicopter Field Drying
Red Sox Senior Director of Grounds David Mellor joins Buster to talk about his battle with PTSD, using a helicopter to dry a field, finding fish in Fenway after a rainstorm and why he loves dandelions (11:46). Plus, Hembo on the fragility of the plans to restart baseball, Camden Yards and why former Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson should be inducted into the hall (3:44).
Apr 29, 2020
The Mystery of Baseball Star Don Mattingly's Birthday
Collecting baseball cards is a cherished pastime. ESPN baseball writer Sam Miller first got hooked on the game by studying the backs of cards growing up. And when he learned about a Don Mattingly card with a curious factoid on Mattingly's alleged birth year, Miller began a quest to uncover the truth. When was the former Yankees star first baseman born? And did this one baseball card have the inside scoop, or a crucial error? Miller tells us how he solved the mystery of Mattingly's real birth date.
Apr 28, 2020
Umpire Joe West on President George H. W. Bush, the A-Rod Slap, His "Feud" with Buster
Umpire Joe West joins Buster to discuss their "feud," Ted Turner threatening to turn the lights off at Fulton County Stadium, nearing the all-time games umpired record, giving President George H. W. Bush a hat and umpiring the Alex Rodriguez slap game (3:17). Plus, Hembo on Bill James' impact on baseball, fans returning to baseball and if we'll see baseball around mid-June (29:22).
Apr 27, 2020
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick on Josh Gibson, Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick joins Buster to talk about why he thinks Josh Gibson is the best player of all time, being star struck by Hank Aaron and one of his favorite Satchel Paige stories (9:04). Plus, Sarah Langs on the top-five best Negro Leagues players (4:04).
Apr 24, 2020
Former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti on Manny, Kershaw and Puig
Former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti joins Buster to talk about his own attempts to trade for CC Sabathia in 2008, trading for Manny Ramirez and how he galvanized the clubhouse, when he found out Ramirez tested positive for a banned substance, the first time he saw Clayton Kershaw, and introducing Yasiel Puig to Kobe Bryant (12:15). Plus, Todd Radom on Coors Field and the weekly quiz (1:45).
Apr 23, 2020
Former GM Doug Melvin on Engineering Sabathia to Milwaukee and Pursuing A-Rod
Former Rangers and Brewers GM Doug Melvin joins Buster to discuss his attempts to trade for Roger Clemens before he went to the Yankees, engineering the CC Sabathia trade to Milwaukee, Sabathia's unselfish play in the Brewers' push to the playoff and pursuing Alex Rodriguez (20:03). Plus, Kiley McDaniel on how he came up with the concept for his book new book "Future Value," MLB's punishment for Alex Cora and the Red Sox, and the lay of the land on the future of the minor league teams (1:54).
Apr 22, 2020
J.P. Ricciardi on Roy Halladay, Deals in the Dirt of Fenway and Paul DePodesta
Former Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi talks to Buster about trying to trade Roy Halladay a year before it happened, the deal he worked out in the dirt of Fenway Park, his memories of Halladay, when he realized he had something with Jacob deGrom and Pete Alonso, scouting reports on other GMs, and introducing Billy Beane to Paul DePodesta (10:34). Plus, Hembo on A-Rod making a play for the Mets, teams paying employees through May 31, and numbers on Ichiro and Halladay (1:38).
Apr 21, 2020
Sandy Alderson on Rickey Henderson, Moneyball and Michael Jordan
Longtime baseball executive and current A's senior advisor Sandy Alderson joins Buster to talk about why he's described trading Rickey Henderson has his only hobby, acquiring Dennis Eckersley and moving him to the bullpen, the earthquake during the 1989 World Series, Moneyball leading a top-down revolution of the game, and a deal for Michael Jordan in Oakland that never materialized (4:42).
Apr 20, 2020
Pat Gillick on Ichiro and the Blockbuster Roberto Alomar Trade
Longtime executive Pat Gillick leads off for General Managers Week, talking to Buster about the early scouting reports on Ichiro Suzuki, the blockbuster trade he engineered for Roberto Alomar with the Blue Jays and personal scouting reports on his fellow GMs (13:48). Plus, Sarah Langs on other all-time blockbuster trades (5:01).
Apr 17, 2020
Randy Johnson on Fear and The Bird
Randy Johnson joins Buster to talk about why batters were fearful of facing him, accidentally throwing at John Kruk's head in the '93 All-Star, how people always ask him about hitting a bird with a pitch and his legendary performance in the '01 World Series (3:07). Later, Todd Radom joins the pod to talk about Pepco Park and deliver the weekly quiz (49:09).
Apr 16, 2020
George Brett on Chasing .400
Hall of Famer George Brett joins Buster to discuss the thought process - or lack there of - involved with hitting, chasing down a .400 batting average and how he still gets goosebumps listening to his three-run homer off Goose Gossage in the 1980 ALCS (13:58). Plus, Marly Rivera talks about which players are currently out on MLB's proposal to play in Arizona, her story on Venezuelan players stuck in the States after spring training shut down and her friend Anthony Causi (4:06).
Apr 15, 2020
Jim Palmer on Sandy Koufax, Mickey Mantle and Hitting Batters
Hall of Famer, Orioles legend and broadcaster Jim Palmer joins Buster to discuss how he just wanted to avoid embarrassment when facing Sandy Koufax, Earl Weaver discouraging him from hitting batters, pitching to Mickey Mantle after watching him while growing up, the lesson he learned from Al Kaline early in his career and his parents making the suggestion he play in Baltimore (5:13). Plus, Hembo's thoughts on the Palmer interview and Jackie Robinson (41:23).
Apr 15, 2020
The Day Baseball Stood Still for Clayton Kershaw
ESPN's Wright Thompson was set to profile Clayton Kershaw ahead of the 2020 season, with a focus on Kershaw and the Dodgers recovering from their 2019 postseason collapse. They spent the day together just as spring training got shut down, and Thompson witnessed firsthand as Kershaw reacted to the news that MLB would delay its season. Thompson tells the story of Kershaw's fate in baseball through the lens of what this stalled time means for his life and legacy.
Apr 14, 2020
Mike Mussina on the Jeter "Flip Play," Urban Legend of the Camden Yards Outfield
Mike Mussina talks to Buster about throwing a new pitch in a World Series, the Derek Jeter "flip play," his three scoreless innings in game 7 of the '03 ALCS, the urban legend of how big the outfield in Camden Yards actually is and a prominent baseball fight he regrets starting (3:54).
Apr 13, 2020
Johnny Bench on The Big Red Machine
Johnny Bench talks to Buster about his advice to fellow Oklahoman J.T. Realmuto on understanding pitchers, his thoughts on electronic strike zones, Joe Morgan being the best player he's ever seen, where the '76 Cincinnati Reds stand among the best teams ever, his first memory of Ken Griffey, Jr. and the Reds trading for Tom Seaver (8:46). Plus, Sarah Langs on some of the other greatest teams of all time and her favorite Jim Palmer stat (2:49).
Apr 10, 2020
Dave Martinez on the Nationals' 2019 World Series Title
Dave Martinez joins Buster to talk about the Nationals' run to the 2019 World Series title (2:18). They get into how he learned carpentry, how the team getting healthy turned the season around, GM Mike Rizzo's bolstering of the relief corps, not seeing Trent Grisham's error on Juan Soto's hit in the wild card game, hearing from Bryce Harper throughout the postseason, the Game 5 rally in the NLDS and his quest to get a piece of Minute Maid Park's right field foul pole. Plus, Todd Radom highlights Truist Park and administers the weekly quiz (33:23).
Apr 9, 2020
Buck Showalter on Deion Sanders, Don Mattingly and Randy Johnson
Long-time MLB manager Buck Showalter joins Buster to look back on when he called up Deion Sanders, thinking the dugout would collapse after Don Mattingly's home run in the '95 ALDS, seeing Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera for the first time, and the Alex Rodriguez-trade saga in Texas (13:23). Plus, Joon Lee hops on to talk about baseball players keeping in touch through video games (2:58).
Apr 8, 2020
Bruce Bochy on Pete Rose, Tony Gwynn and Madison Bumgarner
Bruce Bochy joins Buster to talk about what he remembers about being the catcher when Pete Rose broke the all-time hit record, how Tony Gwynn helped him establish credibility as a manager after the strike, why he can't tell his favorite off-field Madison Bumgarner story, his thoughts the first time he saw Tim Lincecum, and watching Buster Posey break his leg (14:17). Plus, Hembo's thoughts on MLB's plan to resume in May, reflections on Al Kaline and his favorite Bochy numbers (4:28).
Apr 7, 2020
Ben McDonald on Cal Ripken, Jr.'s Consecutive Game Streak
Ben McDonald chats with Buster about playing with Cal Ripken, Jr. when he broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive game streak (3:25). The guys discuss how the streak was relatable to the average fan, if Cal had special healing powers, wrestling in the locker room, how Cal signed an absurd amount of autographs that season and his commitment to playing hard even without any stakes. Later, Sarah Langs tallies up how many current consecutive game streaks would need to be added together to match Cal's (29:19). Plus, MLB eyes a May return and Buster shares a story about the late-Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline.
Apr 7, 2020
MLB Has Plan to Play in May & Lessons from Korean Baseball
Sources tell ESPN Senior MLB Insider Jeff Passan that Major League Baseball has a plan to resume in May, gathering all teams and isolating them in Arizona to minimize coronavirus risk. Hear the story of how that might work, and who's on board. Then, a firsthand look at how baseball has returned to South Korea. Scrimmages there are leading up to preseason games slated for later this month. Jeff Passan talks to pitcher Dan Straily, formerly of MLB, now of the Korean Baseball Organization's Lotte Giants, to detail the precautions his team is taking to keep their season on track amidst the pandemic.
Apr 6, 2020
Joe Maddon on the Cubs '16 World Series, Last Day of the '11 Season
Joe Maddon talks to Buster about his relationship with Mike Trout, what sticks out the most about the last day of the 2011 season, the unique passion of Cubs fans, when he plans on rewatching game 7 of the World Series and talking to his mom after winning a championship (1:58).
Apr 3, 2020
Craig Biggio on His Hall of Fame Career
Craig Biggio joins Buster to talk about being welcomed into the Baseball Hall of Fame fraternity, the Astros passing over Derek Jeter in the draft, watching his son Cavan hit his first big league home run, why he wasn't scared catching for Nolan Ryan as a young player and being the hit-by-pitch record holder (10:34). Plus, Todd Radom hops on to discuss Justin Turner's extra-innings home run derby idea and Marlins Park, and to administer the weekly quiz (2:15).
Apr 2, 2020
Jameson Taillon on Rehabbing During Coronavirus
Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon joins Buster to discuss rehabbing while social distancing, staying connected with teammates, playing Fortnite, why there are no bad ideas in figuring out how to play games this season and growing up an Astros fan (2:08). Later, Tim Kurkjian hops on to talk about how the suspensions for Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch will end later this year, regardless of whether any games are played, and his his daily baseball fix videos (22:39).
Apr 1, 2020
Jim Kaat on Playing Across Four Decades
Buster talks to former pitcher and current broadcaster Jim Kaat about playing across four decades with legends like Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax (2:13). Plus, his thoughts on what sets Gerrit Cole, Clayton Kershaw and Jacob deGrom apart from other pitchers. Then, Hembo reacts to the Kaat interview shines some light on Koufax's dominant stretch of play (32:04). Plus, Tim Kurkjian's Baseball Fix (38:24).
Mar 31, 2020
Darryl Strawberry on the '86 Mets vs. the '98 Yankees
Darryl Strawberry joins Buster to discuss what he would tell his 18-year-old self now, what he remembers about the 16-inning game 6 of the '86 NLCS, why they came out flat against the Red Sox in the World Series, and the differences between that Mets team and the '98 Yankees (2:47).
Mar 30, 2020
New Changes to the MLB Draft
Kyle Peterson joins Buster to discuss the major changes to the MLB Draft including the hard decisions college baseball players and coaches have to make in this time of uncertainty, the $20,000 cap on signing bonuses for undrafted players, teams that might look to save money by dumping players and what Kyle would do to help increase interest in baseball (1:40). Later, Sarah Langs hops on to talk about which players might've never made the big leagues under the new draft format and how players on short-term deals are likely to be hurt the most by teams looking to cut payroll (28:20).
Mar 30, 2020
What Trevor Bauer Really Thinks About MLB
We should be in the first week of baseball season, but...try not to think about that. Instead, ponder the future with Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer and ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan. On the heels of MLB's hiatus deal with players around pay, service time and other issues, hear how it sets up the 2021 collective bargaining agreement. Plus, Bauer gets into the issues with training during all this uncertainty, whether baseball is too slow, and the sport's need for a media makeover.
Mar 27, 2020
"A Story That Needs to Be Told"
Jason Grimsley pulled off a Mission Impossible-style heist for teammate Albert Bell. He recounts the tale with Buster and the two reveal the previously unknown role played by commissioner Bud Selig (2:28). Plus, Todd Radom on Citizens Bank Park and this week's quiz (23:33).
Mar 26, 2020
Aaron Boone on His Playing Day with the Yankees
Aaron Boone talks to Buster about his playing days with the Yankees, playing along Derek Jeter, dropping into the middle of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, his walk-off home run against the Boston in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS and if he thinks he'd have the job managing the Yankees if he didn't hit that home run (2:03).
Mar 25, 2020
Shane Victorino on the '08 Phillies
Shane Victorino joins Buster to talk about how scouts spotted him in Hawaii, learning to switch-hit when he was 20, why Chase Utley was the toughest guy he ever played with, how Charlie Manuel hides behind his West Virginia accent and his grand slam off CC Sabathia in the 2008 NLDS. Later, Hembo hops on to discuss Noah Syndergaard's injury and to debrief on the Victorino interview as a Phillies fan (31:26).
Mar 24, 2020
Bill Ripken on Blood Blisters and Power Drills
Bill Ripken joins Buster to talk about his new book "State Of Play: The Old School Guide To New School Baseball." Bill talks about his plan to avoid robot umpires, why the term launch angle drives him nuts, Cal Ripken Jr.'s "special healing powers" and power drills as a medical device in the Ripken household (3:41).
Mar 23, 2020
Dave Roberts on the '04 Red Sox
Dave Roberts stole second base in game four of the 2004 ALCS, sparking an 0-3 comeback by the Red Sox. Buster talks to Roberts about being traded to Boston midseason, the stolen base that turned the series around, why David Ortiz was so clutch and what Derek Jeter told him about the play years later (2:11). Plus, Sarah Langs on the biggest stolen bases in baseball history and Buster reads a text from Theo Epstein about the trade for Roberts (39:38).
Mar 20, 2020
David Wells on the '98 Yankees
David Wells joins Buster to talk about the 1998 Yankees team that won 125 games (4:28). They discuss when Wells knew the team was special, butting heads with Joe Torre, pitching a perfect game hung over after a night of partying with Jimmy Fallon, the loudest punch he's ever heard, El Duque's big game against Cleveland in the ALCS and getting hit by toilet paper during the championship parade.
Mar 20, 2020
The Italian Scout: Baseball and the Center of the Pandemic
Major League Baseball's season went on indefinite hiatus last week in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In parts of the world beyond the US, that chaos had already brought life and work to a halt. ESPN's Jeff Passan brings us the story of René Saggiadi, a Red Sox scout based in the Italian city of Bari. As his country deals with increasing contagion, we hear what happens when life and baseball pause, and how he's staying connected to the sport he loves.
Mar 19, 2020
The Sandlot Isn't on the List
Boog Sciambi dissects Buster's lists of top baseball movies and books to consume in self-isolation, and the guys discuss which classic games you should check out on YouTube (1:55).
Mar 18, 2020
David Freese on Game 6 of the 2011 World Series
Buster talks to David Freese about one of the greatest games ever played, game 6 of the 2011 World Series (4:31).
Mar 17, 2020
NL Central Preview
It's NL Central preview day! Buster talks Reds with radio analyst Jeff Piecoro (3:31), Cubs with ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers (8:15), Brewers with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Todd Rosiak (15:21), Pirates with The Athletic's Rob Biertempfel (21:52 and Cardinals with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold (29:10).
Mar 16, 2020
AL West Preview
It's AL West preview day! Buster talks Astros with radio analyst Steve Sparks (4:17), Angels with ESPN's Alden Gonzalez (9:51), Athletics with the San Fransisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser (16:39), Mariners with The Seattle Times' Ryan Divish (23:43) and Rangers with the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant (30:04).
Mar 13, 2020
MLB suspends the start of the season. Buster and Karl Ravech talk about a historic day in baseball (3:02). Later, Hembo drops by to lighten the mood as the guys talk biggest home runs, golf-foursomes and what they're most looking forward to when the season starts (19:08).
Mar 12, 2020
NL East Preview
It's NL East preview day! Buster talks Braves with MLB.com's Mark Bowman (3:26), Marlins with the Miami Herald's Jordan McPherson (11:31), Mets with SNY's Steve Gelbs (15:36), Phillies with The Philadelphia Inquirer Scott Lauber (23:47) and Nationals with The Athletic's Britt Ghiroli (33:23).
Mar 11, 2020
No Naming Rights
The Braves are taking a flyer on Felix Hernandez, while Gerrit Cole is looking like Gerrit Cole. Buster talks to David Schoenfield about all of that (3:29), plus, the Rays' experimenting with a four-man outfield, Blake Snell returning, the impact of coronavirus on baseball coverage and Barry Bonds' comments on MLB giving him a "death sentence." Later, Todd Radom hops on to discuss Nationals Park for to deliver the weekly quiz (25:26).
Mar 10, 2020
AL Central Preview
It's AL Central preview day! Buster talks White Sox with play-by-play voice Jason Benetti (5:17), Indians with MLB.com's Mandy Bell (9:44), Tigers with MLB.com's Jason Beck (16:39), Royals with the Kansas City Star's Lynn Worthy (21:43) and Twins with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Patrick Reusse (27:40).
Mar 9, 2020
Greatest Trip Around the Bases
Buster and Tim Kurkjian make the case that MLB needs to mic up players during the regular season (2:05). Plus, the guys talk about Trey Mancini undergoing a non-baseball medical procedure, Aaron Judge's cracked rib and Justin Verlander's sore tricep. Later, Sarah Langs joins the pod to discuss the Braves starting pitching vs. Mets bullpen, how Chris Sale's injury affects the Red Sox's win total and the Blue Jays' Nate Pearson as a rookie of the year candidate (18:22).
Mar 6, 2020
Catcher for the Expos
Kiley McDaniel's top 100 prospects for 2020 is out. He and Buster dive into the list (1:54), discussing how analytics has factored into generating the rankings, when Wander Franco might manifest in the big leagues, why he's bullish on Julio Rodriguez and if the Padres' young talent will manifest fast enough to satisfy ownership. Later, Hembo hops on to talk about Yoan Moncada and the White Sox's rebuild, Christian Yelich's team-friendly extension, and why Brian Cashman deserves more credit for finding value to fill out the roster (21:53).
Mar 5, 2020
NL West Preview
It's NL West preview day! Buster talks Arizona Diamondbacks with the Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro (6:00), Colorado Rockies with the Denver Post's Patrick Saunders (12:18), Los Angeles Dodgers with Spectrum SportsNet LA's Alanna Rizzo (16:46), San Diego Padres with Padres TV and radio analyst Tony Gwynn, Jr. (24:42), and San Francisco Giants with Giants play-by-play voice Duane Kuiper (29:21).
Mar 4, 2020
Fishing in Khakis
A-Rod shares his thoughts on the Astros, Chris Sale is trending toward Tommy John surgery, and Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton won't be ready to start the season. Buster and Tim Kurkjian hit on all of that (5:16), plus, Christian Yelich is working toward an extension with the Brewers and baseball has started to buzz about coronavirus. Later, Todd Radom joins the pod to talk about Citi Field and for a quiz (18:07).
Mar 3, 2020
AL East Preview
It's AL East preview day! Buster talks Baltimore Orioles with MASN's Roch Kubatko (6:43), Boston Red Sox with the Boston Globe's Alex Speier (13:43), New York Yankees with WFAN's Sweeny Murti (19:41), Tampa Bay Rays with the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin (25:44) and Toronto Blue Jays with the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley (32:58).
Mar 2, 2020
Buster and David Schoenfield explore the strategies around the three-batter minimum for pitchers (2:51). Plus, why predicting the World Series champ is harder than you think, who might be this year's Washington Nationals and what's the latest on Aaron Judge. Later, Sarah Langs joins the show to discuss Mike Trout checking in as the highest-paid player in baseball and Miguel Cabrera's outlook for the season (25:41).
Feb 28, 2020
Big League Spring Debut
Karl Ravech says there's no margin for error with the Angels in the AL West and the news of Griffin Canning undergoing an MRI on his elbow raises a yellow flag for the team (1:17). Plus, he and Buster discuss Madison Bumgarner dodging rodeo questions and what's going on with the Red Sox investigation. Later, Pedro Gomez joins the pod to talk about his son Rio Gomez's first spring training outing and managers in new places (25:26).
Feb 27, 2020
Live Free or Die
Who loves the Dodgers? Tim Kurkjian loves the Dodgers (4:26). He also loves the Indians' depth, while he and Buster are concerned about Edwin Diaz, Giancarlo Stanton. Plus, is the league really going to crack down on pine tar? Probably not.
Feb 26, 2020
How much of a bodyblow is losing Luis Severino for the Yankees? Jeff Passan (1:51) and Hembo (28:13) share their thoughts with Buster. Plus, Passan on spending 15 fascinating days in Astros camp and Hembo on two youngsters to keep an eye on.
Feb 25, 2020
Step away from social media, Astros players! That's David Schoenfield's advice as Houston continues to take heat. He and Buster also hit on the energy Gerrit Cole is bringing to Yankees camp, the status of James Paxton and Luis Severino, and how the Red Sox's rotation is shaping up (3:54). Later, Sarah Langs hops on to discuss the Braves attempting to replace Josh Donaldson's production, the White Sox taking a jump in win total and her thoughts on the Cubs' lineup construction (19:47).
Feb 24, 2020
Big Boy Pants
Madison Bumgarner is rodeo guy. Who knew? Definitely not the Diamondbacks. Buster talks to Bleacher Report's Scott Miller about "Mason Saunders" and how Arizona is likely to take this news. Plus, the guys talk about Yoenis Céspedes announcing his return, the Vanderbilt baseball factory, how Red Sox ownership is handling fan reaction to the Mookie Betts trade and Astros players receiving death threats.
Feb 21, 2020
White Sox Fan From Nepal
Luis Severino's status is unclear, David Ortiz takes a shot at Mike Fiers and Mike Trout is finding his voice. Alden Gonzalez calls into to talk about all of this, plus his piece on Francisco Lindor possibly being trading, the excitement at Dodgers camp and the anxiety at Angels camp, and his thoughts on why the White Sox could be a lot of fun to watch this season.
Feb 20, 2020
The Struggle Is Real and Great
Karl Ravech stops by to discuss Kris Bryant leading off for the Cubs, lineup configurations for the Angels, when the NL will have a DH, yellow flags around Aaron Judge, a deep Rays team and his thoughts on Rob Manfred handling the Astros scandal.
Feb 19, 2020
Censure the Astros
Tim Kurkjian demands to talk baseball, so he and Buster hit on Miles Mikolas missing the start of the season, the continuing drama with Nolan Arenado and the Rockies, and the Reds and the Diamondbacks at the NL's most improved teams. Later, Hembo drops by to discuss Buster's proposal to censure the Astros' World Series.
Feb 18, 2020
A Rabbit Chasing Its Tail
Rob Manfred roiled baseball with his comments about the Astros, Justin Turner responded and Mike Trout has something to say about all of this. Buster gets David Schoenfield's take on the continuing war of words across baseball and they run through the best players at each position in the league. Later, Sarah Langs joins the show to talk about where the Dodgers, Yankees and Angels stand after their big offseason acquisitions.
Feb 13, 2020
Astros owner Jim Crane gave doozy of a press conference. Marly Rivera was on the ground and talks to Buster about how it went down and what Astros players had to say about the sign-stealing scandal in the locker room.
Feb 12, 2020
The Red Sox name Ron Roenicke as interim manager, the league floats out a controversial new playoff format and the fallout from the Astros sign-stealing scandal continues. Buster and Tim Kurkjian break it all down and much more in the final podcast of the offseason.
Feb 5, 2020
Betts On It
It's official: Mookie Betts and David Price are off to Los Angeles. Buster Olney gives his thoughts on the trade with the help of Tim Kurkjian (6:23), along with conversation on the move from the perspective of the Twins and Angels, the Mets sale, if the Astros understand how they'll be treated on the road, and why Tim thinks Pete Rose's latest attempt to be reinstated won't go anywhere. Later, Paul Hembekides stops by to sort through season win totals (25:12) and the guys close with #BleacherTweets (35:01).
Jan 22, 2020
Derek Jeter: Number Two
With Derek Jeter and Larry Walker making up the 2020 Hall of Fame class, Buster and Tim Kurkjian discuss Jeter's legacy, Walker's emotional reaction, the need for transparency from the voters, if Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will ever make the cut, Nolan Arenado's standing with the Rockies and more (8:05). Plus, a laundry list of Bleacher Tweets on the HOF elections and the sign-stealing scandal (29:40).
Jan 16, 2020
Buster Olney talks to ESPN national baseball writer Marly Rivera in the wake of the Mets parting ways with Carlos Beltrán. They discuss how the Mets got to this point, what Beltrán should do to move past this (7:03), why the timing worked out for the Mets, A.J. Hinch being available in 2021 (15:46), Alex Cora being labeled a cheater and what the reaction will be around baseball when the season starts (20:42).
Jan 16, 2020
The Rise and Fall of Baseball's Hottest Young Manager
Red Sox manager Alex Cora is out on sign-stealing allegations from the MLB. The charges date back to 2017, when he was the bench coach for the Houston Astros. It's a stunning downfall for a man considered one of the most talented young managers in the game. ESPN baseball insider Buster Olney joins Mina Kimes to explore Cora's career, and his role in this huge baseball scandal.
Jan 13, 2020
In an emergency podcast, Dave Schoenfield fills in for Buster and speaks with ESPN's Jeff Passan about Rob Manfred's ruling on the Astros, why the sign-stealing scandal evokes memories of the PED craze and more. Plus, Tim Kurkjian discusses the historical significance of these "unprecedented" punishments, the role of technology in the game and if the 2017 championship is tainted (11:56).
Jan 7, 2020
Before analyzing the changing nature of the catcher position with Padres front office assistant AJ Ellis (16:10), Buster and Tim Kurkjian discuss sneaky Nationals signings, the Josh Donaldson market and how the White Sox's moves will affect the 2020 AL Central race. Plus, ESPN's Eduardo Perez explains how Juan Soto can get even better (29:44) before Buster asks Hembo a very tough question (41:46).
Dec 19, 2019
Christmas in New York
In what will likely be the final podcast of the decade, Buster welcomes Tyler Kepner of The New York Times to talk about the Yankees' potential for next season, the latest research on the baseball and MLB's investigation into the Astros. Then, The Boston Globe's Alex Speier discusses how the Gerrit Cole signing impacts Boston's rebuilding process (30:26). Plus, Hembo evaluates the NL East (30:26) and Rena Banena makes her return (38:45).
Dec 17, 2019
Best in the West?
With Troy's Rangers finally making moves, Buster and Dave Schoenfield analyze the Corey Kluber trade and its impact on the AL West (32:29). But before that, Tim Kurkjian discusses Madison Bumgarner's deal with the Diamondbacks, the league's decision to alter drug testing and Anthony Rendon's comments about the Dodgers. Plus, Sarah Langs on remaining free agents and why her mom is angry (32:29).
Dec 11, 2019
Winter Meetings: Day 3
Nine years. $324 million. Karl Ravech reacts to Gerrit Cole's record deal with the Yankees, its impact on the AL East and how the signing makes the Yankees the biggest World Series favorite in years. Then, New York Post's Joel Sherman on what Cole's decision ultimately came down to (19:15) and ESPN's Marly Rivera with a story on the moment she found out about the signing (37:23). And, SNY's Steve Gelbs with the latest on the Mets and how MLB's investigation into the Astros will impact new manager Carlos Beltran (37:23).
Dec 10, 2019
Winter Meetings: Day 2
Buster and Hembo analyze Stephen Strasburg's 7-year/$245M deal and how it impacts the free agency of Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole. Then, ESPN's Clinton Yates (and Nationals homer) offers his own reaction to the signing before discussing the trade market for Kris Bryant and why it's important for baseball's sake that Madison Bumgarner remain with the Giants (12:55). Plus, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold on the Cardinals' offseason plans (22:37) and...does Scott Boras deserve a spot in Cooperstown?
Dec 9, 2019
Winter Meetings: Day 1
With the MLB winter meetings underway in San Diego, Buster welcomes ESPN's Alden Gonzalez (20:51) and Jesse Rogers (31:51) to discuss the latest in the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes, landing spots for Anthony Rendon, the trade markets for Kris Bryant and Wilson Contreras and more. Plus, Tim Kurkjian on last night's Hall of Fame inductions and Sarah Langs with her take on the changes coming to Mets ownership (11:02).
Dec 4, 2019
Around the Horn
With the MLB Hot Stove already cookin', Buster and Bob Nightengale discuss possible landing spots for the biggest names left in free agency. Plus, a special offseason "Hembo Knows" (22:13) and some Bleacher Tweets with a Texas twist (33:21).
Nov 20, 2019
Stealing the Signs: How Allegations Against the Astros Could Change Baseball
Major League Baseball has promised a thorough investigation into the Astros' stealing of pitching signs during their 2017 championship run, using a live video feed and...trash cans. At the owners meetings, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said there is no reason to expand the case to other teams at this time. But the scandal has raised big questions, and could change the game itself. ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan explores tough decisions for the league going forward.
Nov 19, 2019
Hall of Infamy
Just weeks after losing the World Series, the Astros find themselves in trouble again. Mark Teixeira tells Buster how he thinks Rob Manfred should handle the situation and if he was surprised when this story first surfaced last week (28:10). But before that, Tim Kurkjian and Buster talk about Derek Jeter and if his career warrants a unanimous Hall of Fame selection (5:53). Plus, will this be the year that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens get in?
Nov 5, 2019
Buster, Tim Kurkjian and Keith Law look ahead to 2020 by tackling the biggest questions swirling around some of the sport's biggest names this offseason. In a roundtable discussion, the guys talk about the Mets' hiring of Carlos Beltran, JD Martinez's contract and what it means for Boston, if Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon will return to the Nationals and more (5:27). Plus, Rena Banena's final "Bleacher Tweets" (29:39) and some final words from former Commissioner Bart Giamatti (41:21).
Oct 31, 2019
No Place Like...The Road
Following the completion of one of the most improbable runs in postseason history, Buster and Jessica Mendoza discuss another Nationals comeback, Max Scherzer's ability to get out of sticky situations, Gerrit Cole's eerie postgame comments and more (38:32). But before that, Sarah Langs with some ridiculous numbers on the Nats (33:50) and Karl Ravech on Stephen Strasburg's evolution and AJ Hinch's questionable bullpen management (16:54).
Oct 30, 2019
A Game 7 will happen tonight thanks to the Nationals winning one of the most unforgettable, action-packed baseball games you'll ever see. Buster and Jessica Mendoza try to make sense of what happened by discussing Stephen Strasburg's amazing performance, Alex Bregman's troll jobs, the interference call that sent Dave Martinez into a frenzy and how Anthony Rendon saved the MLB from another controversy (20:14). Plus, they speculate about how much Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole can give their respective teams tonight. And, "Hembo Knows" (42:04) and Rob Manfred's latest comments on the possibility of automated strike zones (41:10).
Oct 29, 2019
Do or Die
Justin Verlander has never won a World Series start, and Tim Kurkjian joins Buster to give his thoughts on how Verlander will fare tonight, if he expects to see Max Scherzer in Game 6 or in a potential Game 7, the need for an electronic strike zone and much more (7:45). Plus, "The Numbers Game" with Sarah Langs (24:43) and ESPN Radio's Chris Singleton previews tonight's game (30:57).
Oct 28, 2019
Because of what ESPN Radio's Dan Shulman labels the Astros' "unwavering" belief in themselves, Houston now holds a 3-2 lead in the World Series. Buster and Shulman discuss how the Astros are living up to their pedigree, how disappointing it was to see Max Scherzer miss his Game 5 start and more (13:38). Plus, "Hembo Knows" (33:28) and the season's final "Cap Talk" with Todd Radom (42:55).
Oct 25, 2019
Friday Night Fight
With Zack Greinke on the hill fighting to save Houston's championship hopes tonight, ESPN Radio's Chris Singleton talks with Buster about the pitching matchup, why Houston's offense has struggled, how the Astros can steal Game 3 and more (12:57). Plus, Karl Ravech on the biggest challenge facing David Ross and the Cubs and if Joe Girardi will be able to connect with his players in Philadelphia (35:28). And, Sarah Langs and "The Numbers Game" (30:02).
Oct 24, 2019
With the Astros collapsing both on and off the field, Buster and Keith Law discuss Houston's underwhelming performance so far and the organization's lack-luster response to the incident involving assistant GM Brandon Taubman (39:59). But before that, "The Numbers Game" with Sarah Langs (25:00) and Jessica Mendoza on the World Series and some new manager hires (11:10). Plus, Buster's interviews with Max Scherzer (30:45) and George Springer (56:40) and an excerpt from today's ESPN Daily podcast on the Astros' front office situation (35:45).
1 hr 3 min
Oct 23, 2019
Fountain of Youth
After the Nats steal Game 1 from the Astros and Gerrit Cole, Buster and Tim Kurkjian discuss Juan Soto's big performance, Ryan Zimmerman's special moment and more (13:52). Plus, a pregame interview with Zimmerman (32:57), "Hembo Knows" (37:02) and the latest on Houston's troubling front office situation (25:56).
Oct 22, 2019
Team of Destiny?
How prepared will the Nationals be for tonight's Game 1 of the World Series? The Athletic's Brittany Ghiroli tells Buster whether the seven days off have helped or harmed this "team of destiny" (31:10). ESPN Radio's Dan Shulman also discusses the overwhelming amount of talent playing in this series, each team's readiness for baseball's biggest stage and his sense of Max Scherzer's demeanor ahead of tonight's start (7:48). Plus, Sarah Langs and "The Numbers Game" (25:06).
Oct 21, 2019
The Little Engine That Could
Calling it "one of the craziest ninth innings" he's ever seen, USA Today's Bob Nightengale talks with Buster about ALCS Game 6, Jose Altuve's ability to stay calm in big moments, if Aaron Judge is right to label the Yankees season a "failure" and more (11:25). Plus, "Hembo Knows" featuring a shocking proclamation (30:31) and "Cap Talk" with Todd Radom, the man behind the design of the Nationals logo (37:05).
Oct 18, 2019
Never Say Never
With the Yankees now facing elimination, ESPN Radio's Dan Shulman talks about New York's string of missed opportunities at the plate and what must happen for the Yankees to get back in this series (14:09). Karl Ravech also discusses Aaron Boone's bullpen management and the legacy of CC Sabathia, who likely threw his final MLB pitch after leaving with an injury last night (31:29). Plus, an emotional Joe Girardi sends a special message to Sabathia (30:31).
Oct 17, 2019
The Yankees need Masahiro Tanaka to be a "silent assassin" in tonight's Game 4 against Houston, says ESPN Radio's Chris Singleton, who also discusses New York's inability to drive in runs, how poor weather conditions will impact tonight's game, Joe Maddon's fit with the Angels and more (6:39). Sarah Langs also plays "The Numbers Game" (21:34) and Keith Law talks about some of the game's top prospects and how they'll affect the futures of teams like the Rays, Twins, Rangers and Mariners (29:41).
Oct 16, 2019
The Nationals advance to the franchise's first World Series and Jon Sciambi joins Buster to discuss how Washington overcame a sub-par bullpen to "obliterate" the Cardinals and if they'll match up better with the Yankees or Astros (10:12). Plus, "Hembo Knows" (28:05), Josh Reddick calls out Yankees fans (33:04) and ESPN's Marly Rivera on New York's bullpen issues and struggles against Gerrit Cole last night (34:34).
Oct 15, 2019
With the Nationals one win away from advancing to the franchise's first World Series, Buster and Dave Schoenfield discuss Stephen Strasburg's postseason dominance, how Bryce Harper looms over this team, if the media has underrated the Nationals and more (12:10). KBME's Steve Sparks also explains why Gerrit Cole is so good and if a canceled Game 3 (weather) would benefit the Astros or Yankees more (32:20). Plus, Sarah Langs and "The Numbers Game" (27:48).
Oct 14, 2019
The Astros and Yankees split the weekend and the Cardinals already find themselves in must-win mode. Sarah Langs fills in for Buster, who joins Sarah from the road to discuss Carlos Correa's big moment, Aaron Boone's managing of New York's bullpen and each team's path to winning the ALCS (17:16). Tim Kurkjian also preview's tonight's NLCS Game 3 matchup between Stephen Strasburg and Jack Flaherty (33:47). Plus, Todd Radom and "Cap Talk" (43:36).
Oct 11, 2019
Another dominant Gerrit Cole playoffs performance has Buster and Karl Ravech comparing the Houston ace to another all-time great (14:32). The guys also discuss Tyler Glasnow's pitch-tipping, X-factors in each championship series, the firing of Gabe Kapler and more. Plus, Rena Banena's "Bleacher Tweets" and some jovial conversations about underage drinking and baseball sitcoms (31:33).
Oct 10, 2019
Down Goes LA!
After the Dodgers fall short in October once again, Buster and Keith Law talk about Dave Roberts' handling of the bullpen and how Clayton Kershaw's poor performance affects his career narrative (20:43). Plus, they discuss Stephen Strasburg's resilience and the Cardinals' thrashing of the Braves. Sarah Langs also plays "The Numbers Game" (38:47) and The Athletic's Jake Kaplan previews tonight's ALDS Game 5 between the Astros and Rays (45:22).
Oct 9, 2019
...Get More Popcorn
With three winner-take-all Game 5's now set, Buster and Jon Sciambi break down Tampa's win last night, the Walker Buehler/Stephen Strasburg pitching matchup, Freddie Freeman's struggles and more (11:32). Plus, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch discusses the compelling Braves/Cardinals series, the making of Jack Flaherty and the X-factors for tonight's game (28:38). And, "Hembo Knows" (36:02).
Oct 8, 2019
Grab Your Popcorn
Max Scherzer wills himself and the Nationals to a Wednesday Game 5 showdown against the Dodgers, who Buster and Dave Schoenfield say face more pressure to win than any other playoff team (16:34). They also discuss Houston's decision to start Justin Verlander today, Yadier Molina's clutch gene and why they're happy Stephen Strasburg will get the ball tomorrow against Walker Buehler. Plus, Sarah Langs and "The Numbers Game" (38:45).
Oct 7, 2019
Born for October
The Braves pull off a stunning comeback and the Dodgers shell Patrick Corbin. Buster and Tim Kurkjian recap a wild divisional series weekend by discussing Atlanta's clutch gene, the Yankees' plate discipline, if the Rays can salvage a game against the confident Astros and more (14:22). Plus, ESPN's Alden Gonzalez previews tonight's Dodgers/Nationals Game 4 (34:04) and Todd Radom joins for a playoff-themed "Cap Talk" (42:56).
Oct 4, 2019
Just Not Enough
Buster and Karl Ravech discuss a series-altering blunder by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Walker Buehler's dominance (13:33). Plus, Joel Sherman of The New York Post talks about the Mets' future following the firing of Mickey Callaway and also names some potential managerial replacements (31:52).
Oct 3, 2019
Sting Like a Ray
Can the Rays go to Houston and take down the Astros? Buster and Keith Law discuss that after reacting to the triumphant return of Yandy Diaz, Charlie Morton's strong start and Oakland's stumble in another winner-take-all game (14:57). Plus, Sarah Langs and "The Numbers Game" (41:13).
Oct 2, 2019
AL Wild Card Preview
A top reliever melts down, a young star emerges and one team moves on. With that, Buster welcomes Dave Schoenfield to break down the wild NL Wild Card game that was (11:05). Then, ESPN's Matt Vasgersian talks about the crazy atmosphere expected for tonight's AL Wild Card (27:11) and Susan Sussman of the San Fransisco Chronicle (34:53) and Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times (39:20) preview tonight's A's/Rays showdown. Plus, "Hembo Knows" (43:50).
Oct 1, 2019
NL Wild Card Preview
With the Brewers and Nationals set to face off in tonight's winner-take-all NL Wild Card game, Buster speaks to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Todd Rosiak about Milwauke's swath of injuries (27:43) and MASN's Mark Zuckerman about Washington's pitching approach (34:01). But before that, Buster and Jon Sciambi discuss what kind of deal Anthony Rendon will command in the offseason, the firing of Brad Ausmus and more (3:37). Plus, Sarah Langs and a NL Wild Card-centric "Numbers Game" (22:50).
Sep 30, 2019
So Long, Farewell
Buster and Tim Kurkjian relive the top 10 moments from an emotional weekend in baseball (5:48). They also discuss Joe Maddon's firing, the future of Brad Ausmus in Anaheim and some other names linked to managerial vacancies. Plus, Todd Radom rejoins Buster and Troy for "Cap Talk" (29:28) and an American figure says goodbye to a great American ballpark (36:19).
Sep 27, 2019
After a night in which two larger-than-life baseball figures said goodbye, Buster speaks to Karl Ravech (13:53) and Jon Sciambi (32:38) about an emotional night for Felix Hernandez and if his career resume is enough to get him in to the Hall of Fame. Plus, a new addition to baseball's unwritten rules, more stories from Bruce Bochy (28:41) and a heartfelt tribute to Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman (52:30).
Sep 26, 2019
Down to the Wire
Buster and Keith Law discuss the Brewers' hot streak and how the organization's recent success stems from the top-down (12:49). Plus, Keith defends Gabe Kapler's managing style and also speculates on the future of the Phillies and Indians. Nationals OF Adam Eaton also explains what's so special about his team (32:45) before Sarah Langs plays "The Numbers Game" (36:36) and before MLB.com's Mandy Bell explains why tonight is a must-win for the Indians (40:58).