Ducks on the Pod “Preseason” All-Sophomore Team

As you make your way through this list, you’re going to find some guys who are technically entering their third season as big leaguers (Benintendi, Judge, et al.).  Hell, Manny Piña has appeared in four different seasons, dating back to 2011.

I used only one requirement when compiling this list.  Each of these players has one thing in common.  They all exceeded Major League rookie limits (130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched OR 45 days on the active 25-man roster) during the 2017 season.

Here are the best players who fall into that category: Continue reading

HoriZone Roundtable 25 | Taking a New Path

Bob and Jimmy (and, briefly, Bob’s dog Harry) welcome Matthew Johns (@M_Johns12) and Sean McDonnell (@bigmacsnackwrap) from The Reserve News (@TheReserveMedia) and Jesse Kramer, the founder of the Catch and Shoot (@Catch_N_Shoot). The discussion focused first on the origins of the two sites, where The Reserve has grown into the premier venue for Cleveland State coverage, while the Catch and Shoot have focused on Chicago hoops, including UIC. Also in this episode, there was a talk about the evolution of who we look at transfers, as well as the emergence of the G-League and Lavar Ball’s Junior Basketball Association as pro options.

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Ducks on the Pod 28 | Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Try as she might, we refuse to let Mother Nature rain on our baseball-loving parade.  There have been numerous changes to the schedule, but the show must go on!  This week, host Mitch Gatzke has a lot on his mind.  First, he details his Friday night with the Yankees.  The starting pitching was good, but the bullpen is still trying to find its collective groove.  How long can the Bombers afford for that to continue?  Then, he dives into the first breakdown of contenders.  Where does your team find itself after three weeks of play?  Next, the “Preseason” All-Sophomore Team has been finalized.  Which of last year’s breakout rookies are poised to keep up the good work?  Cleaning up, the new rule that’s totally working and Mitch is absolutely loving.  Let’s talk new limits on mound visits and why it’s good for the game.
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Ducks on the Pod Contendership Tiers: April

Power rankings are played out.  MLB.com does them.  ESPN has its own.  CBS Sports is in on it.  You can throw Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, and Bleacher Report in there too.  My thinking is it doesn’t really matter who the “best” team is during the regular season.  What we should be focusing on is which teams look like they have a legitimate chance to win it all.

It’s pretty simple this early in the season, isn’t it?  I mean, you either look like you’ve got a shot or you don’t.  As the old adage goes, “You can’t win a pennant in April, but you can lose one.”  While that’s not foolproof logic, it’s good enough for me and for this exercise.  Here we go: Continue reading

HoriZone Roundtable 24 | The Vanguard Has Arrived!

Bob McDonald (@bobmcdonald) and Jimmy Lemke (@PantherU) welcome Jack Talley (@jack_talley21), one of the co-founders of the Valhalla Vanguard Twitter account (@NKUValhalla). The discussion includes how the Vanguard was started and how it has grown to include a new podcast. This leads to a bigger talk about the benefits of students building the fan base on their own. And Bob and Jimmy announce the creation of the HoriZone Roundtable – @HoriZoneRT.

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Ducks on the Pod 27 | 2018 Season Preview

Fresh off the 10-day disabled list (flu-like symptoms), host Mitch Gatzke is ready to break it all down.  Follow along as he goes division by division, laying out the fun parts, farewells, and new sheriffs in town, as well as the wild cards, winners, and top-to-bottom standings for each.  By the end of this show, you’ll know exactly what to keep your eye on this summer.  It’s a comprehensive season preview in just a half-hour-long show.  You can’t beat that! Continue reading

HoriZone Roundtable 23 | Fan Battle Battle Royale, Part 2

For the first time on the HoriZone Roundtable, fans from each Horizon League school (expect IUPUI, though not for lack of trying) are on hand to discuss the state of the conference. Also, there’s a pretty good chance there will be a bit of trash-talking going on. And since Jimmy is out, it’s all up to Bob (@bobmcdonald) to hold court. How well that’s gone is anyone’s guess.

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HoriZone Roundtable 22 | Fan Battle Royale, Part 1

For the first time on the HoriZone Roundtable, fans from each Horizon League school (expect IUPUI, though not for lack of trying) are on hand to discuss the state of the conference. Also, there’s a pretty good chance there will be a bit of trash-talking going on. And since Jimmy is out, it’s all up to Bob (@bobmcdonald) to hold court. How well that’s gone is anyone’s guess. Continue reading

Ducks on the Pod 26 | Opening Day 2018

It’s Opening Day and your favorite baseball podcast is back for 2018!  Host Mitch Gatzke is heading down to Comerica Park to watch his Tigers, hoping you too can make it out to the ballpark today.  Either way, we’ve got the perfect appetizer for you.  Scott Boras thinks we baseball fans are easily manipulated.  Much to his chagrin, the rebuilding process has become standard operating procedure in Major League Baseball.  We have an official fantasy league now.  Mitch provides details on that.  Everyone does power rankings.  Instead of blending in, the Ducks are going to compile monthly tiers to determine who’s what.  There are seven serious contenders in the sneak peek at April’s tiers.  Finally, we’ve got some programming notes to get you up to speed with everything we’re working on here.  Rejoice!  Baseball is back! Continue reading