Watching the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians while covering all the professional baseball action in the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York area.
The Wax Pack With Brad Balukjian
On a very special episode of Tri-State at the Plate, Andy speaks to Brad Balukjian, author of the LA Times Best selling book 'The Wax Pack'. Brad's book takes readers on an 11,000 mile trek across the country in an attempt to meet all of the players from a pack of 1986 Topps baseball cards. Brad talks about his life as a scientist, professor, and Duke alumni and how his life helped prepare him to write this book. At the 27:30 minute mark, he discusses specific elements of his book, so spoilers will be from that point on. From there he talks about Pittsburgh fan-favorites Lee Mazzilli and Richie Hebner, Steve Yeager's mindset, Jaime Cocanower's career trajectory and post-career plans, and Don Carman's mental approach to life and baseball. Brad wraps up the interview discussing his literary decision to include personal details in the story and their importance to telling The Wax Pack tale.
If you don't have a copy of 'The Wax Pack', you can pick up a copy at any of the sites below:
The Wax Pack website
Buy The Wax Pack on bookshop.org
Buy The Wax Pack at Nebraska Press
Buy The Wax Pack on Amazon
Follow Brad on Twitter @waxpackbook
Baseball in the Time of COVID
Could you have picked a better time to return to podcasting about baseball than right now? Probably. But the gang at Tri-State of Mind Baseball isn't going to let a lack of baseball stop them from podcasting about baseball. On this week's episode, Andy, Bob, and Jason talk about what baseball during a global pandemic might look like. Jason and Bob then recap the last three years of baseball in Cleveland and the complexity of the decisions that were made for a World Series contending team. Andy then analyzes the same time frame for the Pirates, which is an honest - and often heartbreaking - look at what front office decisions were made over the last few years. The team then finishes up the episode by discussing the current state of Minor League Baseball and how MLB's decisions are affecting their operations.
Edwin Encarnacion's Interesting Attendance Bonus
On this week's episode, Bob, Andy, and Jason are all back together and starting off the episode by talking about the 2017 Hall of Fame vote. In the least controversial hot take possible, the trio decide that they're mostly just okay with the Hall of Fame. After that, Bob and Jason dig into the newest Cleveland Indian contract, which is full of fun surprises and belongs to former Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion. Then they discuss some Rule 5 draft action in Cleveland, Terry Francona's status as manager, Carlos Santana's future with the club, and finish up with a panic-stricken discussion about Michael Brantley's shoulder. Andy then digs into the news in Pittsburgh, highlighted by the signing of Ivan Nova. He talks at length about the Pirates' farm system, first baseman Josh Bell reporting to winter workouts in the best shape of his life (already!), what could have been with Tyson Ross, and the departure of front office quantitative analyst Mike Fitzgerald and the potential impact on the club.
The Allan Huber Selig Hall of Fame Episode
Andy and Bob get together to talk about the Hall of Fame election of former Major League Baseball commissioner Allan Huber 'Bud' Selig. They discuss the legacy of the man who was in the commissioner's office during: the 1994 players strike that led to the cancellation of the World Series for only the second time in baseball history, the entirety of an era baseball that is now known as 'The Steroid Era', and an All-Star Game tie. He also was responsible for home field advantage during the World Series being awarded to the team that was in the league that won the All-Star Game, so there's that.
Once the duo finish digging through the highs (and mostly lows) of Selig's tenure, they dive right into the hot stove talk surrounding Andrew McCutchen, Jung Ho Kang's [third!] DUI in Korea, the end of the Jeff Locke era (and ERA) in Pittsburgh, and what the Pirates should be doing during the Winter Meetings. While the Indians' winter has been a quiet one so far, Bob waxes poetic about what could have been if Matt Holiday had signed with the Indians, wishes upon a star for Edwin Encarnacion to join the Tribe, and then finishes up with a discussion of what could have been with a healthy Michael Brantley in 2016.
Tinkering Tito and Twenty-Six Man Rosters
On this week's episode, Andy and Bob lament their long absence from the podcast recording universe before talking about Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement negotiations and the potential impact of a 26-man roster. Then they unwittingly create an advertisement for the Australian Baseball League and talk about how it can be viewed for free during the cold, winter months leading up to Spring Training. The duo then dig into the 2016 post season that was for the Cleveland Indians and talk about making trades using hindsight. Next, they look towards 2017 and beyond for the Pittsburgh Pirates as it pertains to Andrew McCutchen, the starting rotation, and first base. They talk about the incredibly thin free agent market and wrap up with a fun fact about former Erie SeaWolf and current American League Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer.
What'd Tim Tebow Ever Do To You?
On this week's podcast, Andy and Bob first discuss Tim Tebow's improbable comeback attempt at playing professional baseball after a ten year layoff. After some partially biased discussion on Andy's part, Bob reminds everyone that Tim, by all accounts, is a nice guy. The podcast gets back on track when Bob talks about the Indians' recent successes on the field without Michael Brantley, good attendance at the Jake lately, Josh Tomlin's struggles, and his thoughts on trading Clint Frazier for Andrew Miller. Andy then talks about the Pirates' struggles and the slim margin for error that teams with limited payrolls face, particularly as they pertain to Andrew McCutchen's struggles this season. He also talks about Josh Bell's debut at first base and David Freese's new contract extension. The duo then finish the episode talking about Erie SeaWolves baseball and Andy's son's first game.