Ducks on the Pod 31 | In Defense of the Derby

We’ve still got some catching up to do.  The Ducks on the Pod Fantasy League standings are tight at the top.  Host Mitch Gatzke’s other fantasy team is in rebuild mode. Mitch is done with softball for the summer.  The Home Run Derby is still cool.  The All-Star Game (and the Derby, to a lesser degree) remains the national showcase event for Major League Baseball.  More trivia on a shortened edition of DotP. Continue reading

Ducks on the Pod 30 | Let’s Catch Up

We’re back.  We’ve got some catching up to do.  In this episode, we talk about some things that should’ve been discussed over the past two-plus months.  Host Mitch Gatzke details his trip to Milwaukee and Miller Park.  He spent the night before that in the Wrigley Field bleachers, checking out the upgrades, meeting first-time visitors, and learning new games from the locals.  We have to have a serious talk about when it’s acceptable to leave a game early.  Many say it never is.  Mitch swears he can justify his decision.  Shohei Ohtani more than lives up to the hype.  Hear all about his outing in Detroit and make plans to go see him live yourself.  Finally, the answer to last episode’s trivia question and a brand new question with a chance for you to win a Ducks on the Pod Season 2 t-shirt. Continue reading

Ducks on the Pod 29 | No Such Thing as a No-No Jinx

Host Mitch Gatzke starts episode 29 by showing love to some listeners who help make it all worth while.  A sincere thank you goes out to all of you who listen and help spread the word.  Mitch wraps up the retractable roof stadium pros and cons list he began in episode 28.  He’s officially started down the path to being an old-timer by joining a softball team.  He has some notes on the major differences between hardball and slow-pitch.  Then, we get into the meat of this episode: No-Hitters.  Mitch has some theories as to why we’ve seen so many serious bids already this season.  He also discusses some of the fun that surrounds these feats.  When do you notice that a no-hitter is developing?  Do you root for your team to break up a no-no?  And most importantly, do you believe in the jinx?  Safe to say, our host does not.  To wrap things up, we have a trivia question that can earn you a Ducks on the Pod Season 2 t-shirt, absolutely free of charge! Continue reading

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

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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