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Ballpark Digest Broadcaster Chat for September 22, 2020

Ballpark Digest squareJesse Goldberg-StrasslerMick Gillispie and Kevin Reichard discuss hurricanes and natural disasters at the ballpark, the late scout Gary Hughes, the future of scouting and the term pickle on this week’s Ballpark Digest Broadcaster Chat.

In this week’s chat:

  • Mick details his experiences surviving Hurricane Sally in Fairhope, Alabama
  • Natural disasters became the topic; Mick and Jesse shared stories of being at the ballpark when heavy storms hit, and Kevin shared his time at the Metrodome when the roof briefly collapsed during a Twins matinee due to heavy rains, but the roof then reinflated and after a brief delay the game resumed
  • Mick shares his memories of Gary Hughes, the longtime baseball scout who passed away Saturday after battling cancer. Hughes was well-known and well-loved in the baseball world, both for his scouting/player-eval talents as well as his friendly nature. Mick got to know Hughes during his stint as an assistant to the Cubs’ Jim Hendry. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale called Hughes the Babe Ruth of the scouting world. Mick shares some Gary Hughes anecdotes from their interactions throughout the years.
  • This leads to a general discussing of scouting and how it will fit in a rapidly changing game. MLB teams have been laying off scouts, both to cut back on expenses during COVID 19 times and also because there’s a shift to video scouting. A side issue: the sometimes-interesting relationship between broadcasters and scouts.
  • Today’s Baseball Thesaurus term: pickle, a player caught in a rundown. It’s not historically a baseball term, but rather dates back to Shakespeare as a reference to someone in trouble or in a jam.
  • With the end of the MLB season in sight, there’s the chance to see a two- or three-way tie for the last wild-game spot in the NL playoffs—and this year we will see tiebreakers determine the final eight-game slate. For those NL teams, every game is a playoff game through the end of the night. Should expanded playoffs last beyond this year? The panel can’t decide.

Jesse Goldberg-Strassler is the Voice of the Lansing Lugnuts and the author of The Baseball Thesaurus and The Football Thesaurus from August PublicationsMick 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.

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