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

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

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

Each MLB Team’s Question this Season

Every team has questions going into a season.  Some teams are replacing departed players.  Other teams are figuring out who’s left on their roster.  Some are eyeing the World Series.  Others are looking to next year already.  No matter where your team is in the hierarchy, it has something that needs to be addressed.

The next six months are going to be spent searching for answers to these questions (arranged in 2018 draft order):

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Scott Boras Has a Point But It’s Not His To Make

Scott Boras is, in many ways, the archenemy of all Major League Baseball owners.  His job is to persuade them to spend their money by signing his clients.  He is very good at his job.  Let’s be clear; when Boras says MLB is being destroyed by the “rebuilding” approach, he says that with the goal of getting fans riled up so they put more pressure on the owners to go out and spend.

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Don’t Judge a Broadcaster by his Playing Career

I despised Alex Rodriguez toward the end of his playing career.  He was a Yankee.  He was busted for using performance-enhancing drugs.  I was young, still considered the New York Yankees the “Evil Empire,” and couldn’t understand why anyone would cheat the game of baseball by taking banned substances.  I don’t want to get into the whole PED discussion.  That’s not why I’m here.  I will say that I was one of the many people calling for then-commissioner Bud Selig to hand down the dreaded lifetime ban in 2013.  “A-Roid” was easy to hate.

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Ducks on the Pod 25 | National League Championship Series

It’s an NLCS rematch with the Cubs and Dodgers meeting again at this penultimate stage.  Chicago needed everything it had to get past the Washington Nationals.  L.A., on the other hand, didn’t struggle at all in brushing aside the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Host Mitch Gatzke details all the important stuff from the Division Series and gets us as prepared as we can be for what’s sure to be a clash for the ages. Continue reading