The 2019-20 baseball offseason is already much more exciting and interesting than it was a year ago, when transactions and activity were virtually frozen until Bryce Harper and Manny Machado signed. And that didn’t happen until late February, when teams had already reported to spring training camps.
Meanwhile, the NFL and NBA make free agency an event which fans and media follow with excitement. MLB still isn’t there, but at least top free agents like Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are now signing in December as expected. Baseball’s winter meetings — essentially the sport’s signature offseason event — is meaningful again.
Cole’s nine-year, $324 million (!!) contract with the New York Yankees was the main topic for Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment with Pat Ryan:
So on Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment, Pat Ryan, Charlie Metcalf, and I look at which teams will be active in pursuing free agents, who really needs to make an impact signing, and some of the big names rumored to be traded this offseason.
If it’s true that you ain’t tryin’ if you ain’t cheatin’, the Houston Astros have apparently been trying very hard as they’ve become one of the best teams in baseball. According to former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, there was a whole lot of trying, in terms of stealing signs from the opposition, in 2017 when Houston won the World Series.
That’s just one of the topics Pat Ryan and I discussed on Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment. We also talk about the Manager of the Year award winners and look ahead to the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player announcements.
[Note: There was a glitch in the recording around the 13:10 mark, some kind of hiccup with my internet connection. Sorry about that.]
The WISE Guys were off on Monday, so Wednesday’s baseball segment was a bit longer than usual. That worked out just fine, since there’s already plenty to talk about with MLB’s offseason under way.
Among the topics Pat Ryan and I discussed on WISE Sports Radio were the New York Yankees apparently moving on from shortstop Didi Gregorius, the top free agents available this offseason, the Atlanta Braves bringing back outfielder Nick Markakis and buying out pitcher Julio Teheran, and the Modern Era Ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Detroit Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker is among the nine players selected and, yes, I had some thoughts on that.
The World Series is going to a Game 7. There have already been too many grandiose proclamations of “Game 7” being the two greatest words in sports, especially when Wednesday night will give us the World Series’ third Game 7 in the past four years (and four in the past six seasons).
A controversial running interference call in Game 6’s seventh inning, the possibility of MLB implementing electronic strike zones, and two women getting banned for flashing Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole in Game 5 are among several topics Pat Ryan and I discussed on WISE Sports Radio Wednesday:
More sports than expected on the latest Podcass with Canadian friends and cancellations creating more time to talk baseball in anticipation of the World Series beginning.
But we do break up the baseball talk with zombies, more specifically a review of Zombieland: Double Tap (11:31). I feel like I’ve often been a zombie during October staying up late to watch these games, then getting up early to work (and working out before that). As mentioned, we preview the World Series with Edmonton’s TSN 1260 (03:21) and Asheville’s WISE Sports Radio (18:58). Then we close out with a chat on Baseball America’s report of a proposal to eliminate 42 minor league teams (28:00).
The World Series begins Tuesday night, so my regular Monday appearance on Asheville’s WISE Sports Radio was a preview of the match-up between the Washington Nationals and heavily favored Houston Astros.
Last week, guest host Jordan DeVere (filling in for the vacationing Pat Ryan) asked me for an early prediction and I said the Astros would win in six games. Jordan gave me the opportunity to reconsider that pick. My rational mind says Astros, but my heart — my gut — says Nationals.