Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Mick Gillispie and Kevin Reichard discuss MiLB, Arizona Fall League and spring training developments, how summer-collegiate ball could change in 2021, and how piano movers and plumbers clog the bases, on this week’s Ballpark Digest Broadcaster Chat.
In this week’s chat:
- Musical preferences for the past week from Mick (yacht rock) and Kevin (XTC and Elvis Costello)
- Kevin discusses upcoming dates in the baseball calendar, with no action expected regarding the future of Minor League Baseball any time soon; the expected cancelation of the Arizona Fall League, and the expectation there will be spring training in 2021, though what it looks like will be anyone’s guess as of now—though you can expect touchless ticketing and concessions
- Mick is enjoying his time watching Major League Baseball game with the MiLB season shut down, especially the Chicago Cubs; it gives him a greater appreciation of how much work and skill goes into an MLB game broadcast
- Kevin discusses how this summer has been different for him: no travel, as no MiLB and MLB opened with play shut down
- Jesse discusses broadcasting games in the 2020 Lemonade League, a wood-bat league set up by the Lansing Lugnuts at Cooley Law School Stadium
- Will efforts like the Lemonade League roll into 2021? It would be tempting for MiLB teams to continue their wood-bat efforts to fill off-days in the 2021 schedule
- Mick discusses the potential future of the Rookie-level Appalachian League and how it could end up being a summer-collegiate league closely affiliated with Major League Baseball
- As it ends up, there was a lot of baseball being played this summer, between other summer-collegiate leagues operating under the radar and town ball being played in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Minnesota town ball is a big deal, with players like Swede Risberg playing in several cities across the state and ringers like Eugene McCarthy and Bud Grant playing under assumed names in their youth.
- Another notable summer endeavor: the Constellation League, with four teams competing at Sugar Land’s Constellation Field and players like Roger and Kody Clemens taking the field
- Today’s Baseball Thesaurus term: piano mover, an exceptionally slow player on the bases. Mick then relates playing with a slow-moving player nicknamed Billy Joel, as he was the piano man on the team. Piano movers tend to be catchers; they’d hit the ball to the base of the wall and end up with a single. Along the same lines: plumbers, as they clog the bases. Examples past and present: Dan Vogelbach and Ernie Lombardi
- What will be see at the trade deadline? Maybe very little; starting pitching is at a premium, and no one seems to have any to spare
Jesse Goldberg-Strassler is the Voice of the Lansing Lugnuts and the author of The Baseball Thesaurus and The Football Thesaurus from August Publications. Mick Gillispie is the Voice of the Tennessee Smokies and a spring-training Voice of the Chicago Cubs. Kevin Reichard is publisher at August Publications and Ballpark Digest.