Season 3 of the Ballpark Digest Podcast begins with a Broadcaster Chat, as Mick Gillispie, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Kevin Reichard discuss the 2021 postseason, why Buster Posey is a lock for the Hall of Fame, why the 2021 Winter Meetings are likely to be a disappointment to all, and a preview of 2022 rebrandings and name changes.
Some highlights of the discussion:
- The 2021 MLB season ended on a high note, with the Atlanta Braves winning the World Series after a season of adversity and a wonderfully unpredictable postseason. It was also memorable that it came in the midst of a year-long celebration of Braves great Hank Aaron. And, for those budding GMs at home, the Braves’ Alex Anthopoulos had a textbook season in player moves, with seemingly every move working. Will the Braves dynasty emerge? MLB does have a lot of parity when it comes to World Series winners over the last 20 years.
- Speaking of dynasties: What will become of the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays? They are both seeking new ballparks, and it helps to have a winning team in both markets. We still don’t know where the A’s will end up, but we may see some announcements shortly.
- Buster Posey deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
- We update folks on the 2021 Winter Meetings in Orlando. MLB types will be sequestered at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, and we’ll be seeing a scaled-down event for MiLB types at the Swan and Dolphin. The Winter Meetings don’t really seem to have a purpose, and MLB doesn’t seem too eager to provide one—yet another example of MLB not really understanding how MiLB works.
- We look back at how the 2021 MiLB season ended. Six-game homestands worked; two road trips or two homestands in a row did not. It’s great MLB is stepping up to pay for player housing, though the devil in the details. One trend noted by all three: burnout in the sport is prevalent.
- PETA blew it with their attack on bullpens. Arm barns is a great terms, but with PETA officials totally lacking a sense of humor or whimsy, the point was lost and the chance to make an impact diminished.
- We’re entering the time of year when teams announce rebrandings. Discussed: the transition from Cleveland Indians to Guardians, and the move from Green Bay Booyah to Green Bay Rockers. More are in the works; generally, we’re pro-Fish Stick.
Mick Gillispie is Voice of the Tennessee Smokies and a spring-training Voice of the Chicago Cubs, while often appearing on Marquee Network broadcasts and podcasts throughout the season. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler is Voice of the Lansing Lugnuts and author of The Baseball Thesaurus and the second edition of The Football Thesaurus, both from August Publications. Kevin Reichard is editor of Ballpark Digest and founder/publisher at August Publications.
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