The Cespedes Family Barbecast

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

Welcome to Barbecast 67! Our special guest this week (at 21:30) is the author of "The Best Team Money Can Buy", Molly Knight. TBTMCB is Baseball Twitter's favorite thing at the moment and we also enjoy it quite a bit, so we had Molly on to talk about some of the highlights of the book, including...

  • PUIG. Duh. 
  • The evolution of Zack Greinke as a Dodger
  • what the hell Ned Colleti is up to
  • how writing the book has affected Molly's Dodger fanhood
  • ...and more!

After Molly, we participated in yet another B-Ref Battle chock full of absurd sounds that are actually names and a fair share of World War II jokes. Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry covered how her roommate Molly's book has positively and affected HER life since she moved in...and how much she likes the book, of course. We concluded with an exciting Barbecuers update and an update on our remaining summer plans. Thanks for listening <3

Buy Molly's book! 

Music: DJ YRS JERZY

Direct download: Pod_67.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 7:51pm EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 66! After last episode's 1,000 pitch festivities, we've returned this week with a fairly regular Barbecast -- at least, as regular as Barbecasts go. Our special guest this week (at 15:47) is Luke Ramirez, one of the most notorious players in Little League World Series history and a huge part of the 2009 LLWS Champion Chula Vista team. We talked to Luke about all the ridiculousness surrounding the Little League World Series, including:

After we talked to Luke (at 59:05), we participated in yet another B-Ref Battle of extraordinary baseball names. After B-Ref (at 1:18:08), Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry covered Lana's #FinalVote candidacy and why she doesn't even really wanna get voted into the All-Star Game. We conclude with a brief discussion on our recent trip to North Carolina and look ahead to the rest of the summer. Thanks for listening <3

Music: Phineas and Ferb

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Direct download: Pod_66.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 11:21pm EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 65! This is not a normal Barbecast. There will be no e-mails or B-Ref Battle. This is a Barbecast about the possibility of Jake throwing a 1,000-pitch bullpen. Inspired by the one and only Wes Yee, we brought on 10 special guests (including Wes himself) to discuss this absurd proposition. As a result, this podcast is longer than usual. A list of all our guests (with timestamps, for your convenience):

1. Wes Yee, creator of the 1,000-Pitch Bullpen (Intro), on how this idea came about and his vision for how it will go down

2. Sam Miller, EIC of Baseball Prospectus (15:23), on the rules and regulations of the bullpen

3. Kyle Boddy, founder of Driveline Baseball (31:36), on what Jake can do to physically and mentally prepare for the bullpen

4. Doug Thorburn, pitching mechanics guru (47:00), on how Jake's mechanics (click here for video) will help/hurt his pursuit for 1,000 pitches

5. Lucas Giolito, Pretty Good Pitching Prospect (1:03:10), on his concerns for who in the world is going to catch this bullpen

6. Matt Ball, Not As Good Pitching Prospect (1:15:42), on why Jake is crazy

7. Lance McCullers, 1,000-Pitch Bullpen Pessimist (1:22:05), on why a 1,000-pitch bullpen is utterly impossible

8. Kazuto Yamazaki, Tokyo resident and Japanese baseball expert (1:34:35), on whether anything like this has been attempted in Japan

9. Lana Berry, That Lana Girl On Twitter (1:41:53), on her unexpected concerns for Jake's well-being

10. Jake's parents, parents of Jake (1:48:30), on their completely expected concerns for Jake's well-being

We conclude (at 2:04:40) with some final thoughts and share what we've learned by talking to all of these sane people about this preposterous idea. We had fun. We hope you enjoy it as well. Thanks for listening <3

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Direct download: Pod_65.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT

Welcome to Barbecast 64! After over a month hiatus during which we did a whole bunch of awesome stuff, this god damn podcast is finally back. Our special guest this week (at 23:40) is Kiley McDaniel, the Lead Prospect Analyst over at FanGraphs dot com. We talked to Kiley for lot longer than you'll actually get to hear, mostly because our conversation was completely derailed in the middle by the Jake-Mintz-Hasn't-Podcasted-In-A-Long-Time Experience, resulting in a whole lot of garbage that needed to be edited out. Luckily, we got back on track and talked to Kiley about a whole bunch of fun stuff, -- mostly Draft related -- including:

  • teams' particular strategies when it comes to drafting "unsignable" players
  • Plane Tinder
  • the Josh Naylor surprise and the advantages of playing for the Canadian National Team
  • enormous 1B/DH type prospects that have no position but can mash
  • how D-III players can get drafted
  • how Jake can get drafted
  • ...and more!

After Kiley (at 1:25:52), we participated in our 50th (!!!) B-Ref Battle of extraordinary old baseball names. Our database of all past B-Ref names will be up on the site within the next week. (It's incredible that we're still doing that segment but we love doing it every week and don't plan on stopping anytime soon). Next (at 1:48:13), we brought on that Lana Berry person for her customary Tales From Logdog, in which we discussed the Cardinals hacking fiesta, and what we should do with our Mariners Macklemore bobblehead. We concluded (at 1:57:00) with some general updates on our last month, our trip, Jake's college baseball team, and our plans for the rest of the summer. It's good to be back. Thanks for listening <3

Music: In honor of Kiley's affinity for airhorns, it's a whole bunch of airhorn remixes. Enjoy!

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Direct download: Pod_64.mp3
Category:Cespedes Family Barbecast -- posted at: 10:26pm EDT