December 30, 2016
In their penultimate show as co-hosts, Ben and Sam answer listener emails about baseball amnesia, iconic photos, Mike Trout hitting lefty, designing ballparks, and more before reminiscing about how they almost didn’t do email episodes.
Led Zeppelin, "Thank You"
Devin Davis, "Paratrooper with Amnesia"
- Ben and Sam discuss Deion Sanders' rap albums thanks to info provided by Meg Rowley, and revisit the mystery of Matt Kemp's albums.
- Andrew: "Philosophical question for the last week. Let's say baseball God will allow you to live out any career you like. You can plot your exact career and accolades as you like. The downside is that, upon finishing that career, you will be struck with a bout of amnesia and have no recollection of it. It will still have happened, and you'll have the videos and press to prove it, but you yourself can not recall any personal details of it, how it felt, and you never will. Do you take the deal? Is it worth anything to live an exciting life if you have no memory of it afterwards?"
- Tim Livingston: "Let's say Mike Trout did everything he normally does, but some unforeseen occurrence forces him to bat solely from the left side (injury, need for left handed hitting on the team, a dare from a teammate). How long would it take for him to be league average offensively, considering he still has the base running that makes him the all-around standout he is? From the non-numerical side, would he still make an All-Star team and would he get a Top 10 MVP vote?"
- Justin: "A little late to the Charlie Kershaw contract party, but since you are doing an email show, I have what might be a play index idea. It occurs to me that when I was coming of age, the most exciting AL player (Griffey), the most exciting NL player (Bonds), the iron man (Ripken), and my favourite player (Alou) were all sons of major leaguers. None of these players are the sons of pitchers. In fact, at this moment, the only son of a pitcher I can think of is Adam LaRoche, who ended up being a batter, as did his brother. I just looked up how many father/son pitcher combos there have been, and nobody really jumped out like some of the bats we can all name. If you are throwing contracts at newborn babies just based on who their fathers are, is the safe money on a future Mike Trout Jr. over little Charlie?"
- Darin: "I am revamping my office and I want to include three semi-large iconic photos that represent baseball history and how great the game is. What three photos would you use to represent baseball and how great a game it is?"
- John: "Suppose you were given free reign to design a baseball stadium for your team. Do you have an overall stadium philosophy? Would you make it pitching-friendly, hitting-friendly, or neutral? Would the outfield wall be symmetrical or would you have it goofy angles (that might add to home advantages as your players would be more familiar with bounces than visiting outfielders). Lots of foul territory or not much? Bullpens in play in foul territory or behind the outfield walls? What special considerations or amenities, if any, would you give to the fans?"
Sam: "I looked at the best teams' winning percentage and the worst teams' winning percentage over each five-year period going back to 1978." Inspired by the Orioles being the AL's winningest team over the previous five years (.549 winning percentage).
- Ben and Sam end the episode by reading their own emails in which they discussed their initial plans for the podcast and the listener email episode format. Sam says these are his favorite part of the podcast.
- One of Sam's answers to the question about iconic photos that represent baseball history interweaves elements of poetic meaning into a famous bench clearing brawl:
- I'm going Pedro throwing Don Zimmer. I think that the... the... the, I think baseball is mostly a story about aging. Like, mostly why we watch it is that it is, it is us measuring aging without acknowledging it. Uh, we watch players get old. We watch ourselves get older than players. And there is something, there is like there... a career is a unit of measurement that we are comfortable with. And so, Pedro and Don Zimmer, young and old. I think, uh, also there is so many different clashes there, there's... there's the Yankees, there's the Red Sox. There's American-Dominican. There's, you know, young and old. There's great and... and there's great versus baseball bureaucrat. It's like Pedro's the greatest of all time and Don Zimmer is like a short-order cook of baseball. And so, there's that. There's a lot of things going on in that picture (timestamp 39:26).