The Cespedes Family Barbecast

Welcome to Barbecast 77! We have two extremely different but equally special guests this week. First (at 25:30), we talked to Arthur Lenk. Who is Arthur Lenk, you may ask? Arthur is a Mets fan! Arthur is also the Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Mauritius! Naturally, we connected with him and invited him on the podcast for a fascinating discussion about...

  • the state of Israeli baseball
  • helping organize the Israel team for the World Baseball Classic
  • recruiting Jewish pro players to play for Team Israel
  • being a baseball fan in a country/occupation that doesn't have a lot of baseball'
  • following the Mets playoff run while living in South Africa and having to wake up and do important stuff the next day
  • ...and more!

After Ambassador Lenk, we brought on recently acquired Pirates minor league pitcher Trevor Williams (at 1:00:00) to talk about...

  • playing in the Arizona Fall League
  • getting traded while playing in the Arizona Fall League
  • the mindset difference between starting and relieving
  • not giving up any dingers
  • playing Magic the Gathering
  • the need for an enormous professional baseball Clash of Clans tournament 
  • ...and more!

We followed our two interviews with a relatively brief B-Ref Battle (at 1:38:45) before calling Lana (at 1:51:45) to talk about Peyton Manning for Tales from Logdog. We concluded (at 2:00:00) with some thoughts on the recent Hot Stove action/inaction, a brief Varsity Baseball Update, and a quick highlight from my trip to Prague. Thanks for listening <3

Music: 5,000 Candles In the Wind

Direct download: Pod_77.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 8:36am EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 76! Our special guest this week is Sam Miller (at 18:07), he of 1,000 Pitch Bullpen Barbecast fame, as well as the EIC at Baseball Prospectus. As the co-host of Effectively Wild, Sam is accustomed to drafting things on podcasts, so we invited him on to our podcast to draft the best moments of the 2015 season with us. Of course, Sam has been busy running a professional baseball team, so he shared two fantastic stories about that experience, as well as a couple favorite things from the 2015 MLB season. Sam also managed to derail the draft a number of times throughout to discuss things such as ethics in baseball journalism. We also drafted five things each, covering everything from Bautista's bat flip to Bryan Price's epic f-bomb tirade (remember that?). It was a fun conversation, excessive length be damned. After Sam (at 1:50:15), another one-name-each B-Ref Battle commenced featuring a kind gesture and a famous war figure. Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry (at 2:01:25) was messy as always. Sorry 'bout that. We concluded (at 2:07:55) with some thoughts on the World Series and the disappointing end to Yo's season, and look ahead to the Potentially Super Hot Hot Stove. Thanks for listening <3

Music: , Sound of

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Direct download: Pod_76.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 2:55pm EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 75, Yoenis Cespedes Is About To Play In The World Series Edition. Our special guest this week (at 15:00) is Boog "Jon" Sciambi, ESPN broadcaster and one of the 100 best broadcasters nicknamed Boog in the 21st century. We talked to Jon about...

  • his broadcasting experience at Boston College
  • how he got into primarily baseball broadcasting
  • being the voice of the Marlins at basically the only good time to be the voice of Marlins
  • how he incorporates sabermetrics into his broadcasts
  • the difference between broadcasting on radio vs. TV
  • the Mets and the Royals (those are the teams playing in the World Series)
  • ...and more!

After our conversation with Jon (at 1:03:40), we introduced a slight twist to our weekly B-Ref Battle -- fewer names! We still managed to blabber on for 15 minutes about our respective players, though. After B-Ref (at 1:20:49), Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry covered The Baby Hitler Question because it didn't make sense to talk about that during any other part of the podcast. Thanks Lana! We concluded (at 1:28:40) with an explanation for this week's music and an amusing few minutes from Jake's inebriated friend. Thanks for listening <3

Music: Why You Always Lying?

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Direct download: Pod_75_Rea.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 9:26am EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 74! This is our super-special playoff preview podcast in which 30% of this 2+ hour long marathon is anything resembling a playoff preview. We have two special guests this week. Our first special guest (at 15:00) is Jeff Passan, MLB columnist for Yahoo Sports and PLAYOFFS EXPERT. We pondered a bevy of playoff-related questions with Jeff, including:

  • Which playoff team is most surprisingly in the playoffs?
  • When does everyone start freaking out about the Cubs possibly winning the World Series?
  • How can the Cardinals lose?
  • How can the Blue Jays win?
  • Why did Jeff think it was a good idea to call us when he was in an Uber?
  • What is Jeff's book about?
  • Why is Todd Coffey the subject of Jeff's book?
  • Can Jake throw a 1,000 Pitch Bullpen?
  • ...and more!

Our second special guest (at 56:52) has been on the Barbecast before, but we decided to bring him back on to talk about some recent controversial happenings in the major baseball league. It's John Baker! Topics include:

  • Papelbon vs. Harper, and whether fights like they had actually happen all the time (hint: they don't)
  • The time Wes Helms (!!!) almost fought Hanley Ramirez
  • the idea of "protecting" players who have been hit
  • the amazing Jose Ramirez pimp job and its aftermath
  • a fantastic story about 19-year-old Prince Fielder pimping a home run against John's team in the 2003 Midwest League 
  • John's most egregious bat flip when he was playing at Cal (also a fantastic story)
  • being in Spring Training with Frank Thomas and Mike Piazza
  • ...and more!

After John (at 1:36:42), we participated in yet another B-Ref Battle for the ages, including a player who the tallest pitcher in baseball for over 60 years. For Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry (at 2:03:51), we called Lana immediately following her beloved Rangers' epic collapse against the Angels on the penultimate day of the season and invoked the memory of the great Carlos Garcia (Seriously, go listen to it). We conclude this audio voyage (at 2:13:45) with our own playoff picks (the Nationals are gonna win it all!!11!1) and a somewhat somber Varsity Baseball Update. Thanks for listening <3

Music: PLAYOFF HYPE SONGS

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Direct download: POD_74.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 2:50am EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 73! In the spirit of Yom Kippur, we're atoning for the sins of the previous 72 Barbecasts with two special guests and an inordinate amount of actual baseball talk. Our first special guest this week (at 19:55) is Cardinals minor league pitcher Kyle Grana. (It's Gran-uh, not Grahn-uh. alternatively: Kyle Grandma).We talked to Kyle about how he went from being an undrafted D-II starter to a shutdown reliever with two full seasons of an ERA under 1.00 in the minors. Our second special guest (at 58:10) is Andrew Stoeten, Blue Jays Ambassador to the United States of America. We talked to Andrew about his beloved Jays as they march towards the postseason for the first time in over 20 years. The Jays are awesome! After our special guests (at 1:33:04), another B-Ref Battle took place and included an instant classic in the Agamemnon Baca category and some prominent religious figures. Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry (at 1:56:30) reached an all-time high in the Ridiculous Recording Conditions category as the 8/9-hour time difference afforded us the ability to keep this god damn segment alive. We concluded with a brief draft of our favorite Yogi Berra quotes and some exciting general BBQ news. Thanks for listening <3

Music: First Place - Taylor Swift

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Direct download: POD_73.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 4:16pm EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 72! Our special guest this week (at 28:45) is Rangers prospect and Integalactic Defender of Unpopular Opinions, Mike Matuella. Mike was the Rangers' third round pick in the 2015 Draft out of Duke University just a couple months after getting Tommy John Surgery like all the other cool kids. We talked to Mike about a whole host of topics tangentially related to baseball, including:

  • growing up in the DC area and the kind of pitcher he was in high school
  • choosing Duke over Maryland
  • going from throwing 88 to throwing 98 in two years
  • pitching in the ACC
  • getting Tommy John before getting drafted
  • rehab getting him into the Best Shape of His Life
  • goals for the 2016 season
  • Mike's vehement defense of Nickelback as Not The Worst Band In the World
  • a strong argument against the cult-like nature of Chipotle
  • ...and even more controversial opinions on nonsensical crap that you rarely hear from professional baseball players 

Mike was great! Follow him on Twitter @mikematch30 for more scorching hot takes. After Mike (at 1:22:50), another B-Ref Battle commenced which included one of the more incomprehensible names we've ever heard as well as an incredible Honus Wagner story. Next (at 1:46:40), Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry asked HOW MANY FINGERS?!?! We concluded (at 1:53:57) with some thoughts on our inaugural baseball experiences here in Europe: Jake watching actual baseball in London, and my inexplicable sighting of a Billy Koch painting at a Copenahagen pub. Thanks for listening <3

Music: Nickelback (Blame Mike)

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Direct download: Pod_72.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 9:09am EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 71! Our special guest this week (at 24:55) is Ben Hill, minor league roadtrip aficianado and writer for MiLB.com. It's Ben's job to drive around America and document the ins and outs of minor league teams, from the on-field promotions to the weirdest ballpark food, and everything in between. It's basically the coolest job in the world (to people like us) so we asked him a bunch of fun experiences about what it's been like for the past five years gallivanting around the country watching minor league baseball. Ben's great! After Ben (at 1:05:15), yet another B-Ref Battle took place and included some guys from the 1850's LOL THAT IS SO RIDICULOUSLY LONG AGO. After B-Ref, we called Lana while she was at the Padres/Dodgers game and interrupted her pleasant afternoon. Tales from Logdog, everybody! We concluded with some updates our life in Europe (including Jake's internship with Manchester City FC), and a look at the week ahead. Thanks for listening <3

Music: Corey Feldman performing at a State College Spikes game?!?!?!

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Direct download: POD_71.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 6:30pm EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 70! You thought you'd get a break from this podcast with us being in Europe. You thought wrong. All the way from Manchester, England and Copenhagen, Denmark, it's a brand new Barbecast with two special guests and all the usual fun we squeeze into these longform audio ramblings. Our first special guest this week (at 16:20) is Carson Cistulli, fringe-prospect fanatic and rennaissance man over at FanGraphs and The New Enthusiast. Carson also has experience living in a European country during baseball season, so we asked him for advice on how to adjust to being surrounded by people that couldn't care less about the beisbol. We also talked about two of Carson's favorite fringe-prospects, Willians Astudillo and Blayne Weller, and even squeezed in some Danish soccer talk as well. Our second special guest this week (at 1:03:30) is a genuine real-life friend of the BBQ and Generally Awesome Person Kinza Baad! Kinza plays softball at the University of Virginia and spent this summer scouting the Cape Cod League for a major league baseball team. We asked about her experience as the incredibly rare female scout and her advice for girls that want to get into that part of the game. We also talked about softball because we also love softball now. After Kinza (at 1:26:25), we participated in yet another B-Ref Battle of baffling baseball names. Next (1:47:00), Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry covered Lana's somewhat timid excitement for football season (sorry for the shitty audio here -- Lana is so damn far away). We concluded (at 1:52:35) with some observations on our time in Europe thus far and what you can expect from us going forward this semester. Thanks for listening <3

Music: The Countries of the World (Europe edition)!

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Direct download: Pod_70.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 10:23am EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 69, the nicest Barbecast yet. We have THREE special guests this week in honor of the special occasion. Our first special guest this week (at 25:53) is Jared Diamond -- no, not THAT Jared Diamond -- the Jared Diamond who covers the Mets for the Wall Street Journal! Amidst one of the craziest weeks in franchise history, the Mets traded for our beloved hero and all that comes along with him, so we asked Jared about how Yo's stay in New York has been thus far. We also talked about the Wilmer Flores fiasco, the inexplicably awesome Jacob deGrom, and more! Our second special guest (at 1:00:40) is John Baker, former major league catcher and current major league critic. We last spoke to John when he was still with Triple-A Tacoma back in April. This week, John came on to talk about what he's been doing since becoming a free agent, how he watches baseball as a fan, and his ongoing transition into his post-playing career. Our third special guest (at 1:41:18) insisted that he be included on this special episode long ago: it's Jesse Spector of Sporting News, who came on to discuss his fascinating piece on the history of major league players wearing #69 and why those few players ended up with the number in the first place. After our special guests (at 1:48:30), another B-Ref Battle of extraordinary proportions took place. Tales from Logdog (at 2:10:01) with Lana Berry covered Lana's new podcast, which is weird because she's still on this podcast every god damn week. We concluded (at 2:17:41) with some updates on our respective study abroad programs and a look ahead at the challenges the Barbecast may face in coming weeks. Stay tuned! Thanks for listening <3

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Direct download: Pod_69.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 12:58pm EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 68! This week's show has two special guests: a minor league pitcher and a major league ballgirl. Our first guest (at 26:03) is Chase De Jong, a right-handed pitcher in the Dodgers organization who was recently traded from Toronto for international bonus money. We talked to Chase about that experience and much more, including...

  • having a cousin that played for the Jays
  • being a 2nd round pick 
  • playing in the Appalachian League
  • an hour-by-hour timeline of getting traded to the Dodgers
  • ...and more!

Next (at 1:00:35), we participated in yet another B-Ref Battle of extraordinary baseball names and laughed at them because they are funny. Our second special guest this week (at 1:25:16) is Celine Fowler, a softball player for Central Washington University and one of the many ballgirls for the Seattle Mariners. We talked to her about softball and how the hell she became a major league ballgirl. It was great! Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry (at 2:00:01) covered what Lana would trade in her life for something from our lives. It was a tremendously strange conversation. We concluded with a somber Barbecuers update on the tragic end to our season :( Thanks for listening!

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Direct download: Pod_68.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 8:27pm EDT