Episode 070: Send Big Papi Out on a High Note

Matthew and Toby catch up after a September hiatus to recap the end of the regular season and preview a drama-filled Monday in the National League. The boys go Three Up, Three Down on Toby catching a foul ball (!), the Red Sox Division Champions banner literally falling off a truck, whether it’s “fair” that the Yankees could win 100 games and be sent home after a one-game playoff, the beautiful ball thrown back by a fan that pegged Giancarlo Stanton on his home-run trot, Wahoo’s quiet end, and one final look at Bryce Harper’s selfishness index.

There’s a very (half-)heartfelt Half Hearted Attempt at Empathy, followed by some sure-to-be-immediately-and-gloriously-wrong predictions about the postseason.

Episode 068: Bad Words Bears

Matthew and Toby dive into a rousing Three Up, Three Down on what the Nats and Clevelands did at the trade deadline, a rash of players' old, awful tweets coming to light, advice for taking a 4-month old to the ballgame, the Astros’ meaningless “zero tolerance” policy, and the odd exhausting experience of watching a game exclusively available on Facebook.

Kate Stayman-London joins in to discuss the 1976 classic Bad News Bears in another edition of Battery Mates at the Movies.  

Episode 067: A Baseball Lord of the Flies

With just about a week to go before the trade deadline, Matthew and Toby catch up on what’s been going on—and throw the ball around the horn on Bryce Harper in the home run *darby*, the Clevelands having one of the best left sides of an infield in baseball history, Supreme Court nominee’s Brett Kavanaugh’s suspicious Nats tickets debt, and Larry Doby making it on to a U.S. coin. 

Matthew sits down (or, precisely, sat down last winter) with Democratic communications guru Stephanie Cutter about her lifelong Red Sox fanhood in the illustrious return of a Half-Hearted Attempt at Empathy. 

Episode 066: Donald Trump's Origin Story

Matthew and Toby go around the horn on the NL getting closer to adding the DH, Cleveland getting a Bieber, Bryce Harper putting up a historically selfish season, Staten Island's temporary rebrand, and the two teams in baseball who have never held a Pride Night.

Kate Stayman-London leads a sure-to-be-unpopular discussion of The Sandlot for the latest segment of Battery Mates at the Movies. And Matthew previews a hot new chant he penned for his trip to the Nats game.

Episode 065: There Was No Candy Crush

Matthew and Toby marvel over Bartolo Colon on his 45th birthday and go around the horn about Roy Gleason, the only MLB player to be wounded while serving in Vietnam; juiced balls vs. juiced players; Rizzo’s dirty slide in Pittsburgh; and the Sergio Romo experiment in Tampa. 

Kate Stayman-London joins for another edition of Battery Mates at the Movies to discuss the 2008 film Sugar. (Warning: This episode features spoilers and a brief mention of Ryan Gosling.)

Episode 064: Reaganism, Baseball Ghosts, and Dad Stuff

Matthew and Toby go around the horn on their middling teams, Toby's daughter's effect on Corey Kluber, Bryce Harper's selfishness, two stories about baseball weaving its way into ugly all-American controversy, and of course the most recent hubbub involving our ex, Trevor.

Kate Stayman-London joins for the latest installment of Battery Mates at the Movies to discuss Field of Dreams, the 1989 vehicle for Ray Liotta's eyes.

 

 

Episode 063: It's Early

Matthew and Toby catch up on all that’s transpired since the last recording: a new baby, 3+ weeks of baseball, and plenty of self-reassurances that it’s too early to panic. A solid Three Up, Three Down includes discussion of the difficulties of watching baseball from Britain, the incredible CLE-MIN series in Puerto Rico, the merits of small ball, an impending MLB-wide strikeout record, perhaps the funniest triple play in memory, and doing our best to appreciate actual greatness in the moment.

Benches clear, briefly, over shortening the MLB season. And the boys do a little internet stalking of their ex, Trevor.

Episode 061: MLB Dot MLB Dot Com Slash MLB Slash Pace-of-Play

Matthew and Toby get a little practice in by covering a whole bunch of spring-training topics, including: how Major League Baseball fought segregation by threatening to pull spring training out of Florida, Mike Moustakas’ lol of an offseason and suspicion of *collusion* in free agency, MLB’s response to the Parkland shooting, and Trevor Bauer’s latest antics. It also turns out that Matthew’s still upset about pace-of-play rule changes and Toby wants to call your attention to the fact that the Nats are practicing walk-off home run celebrations

It's also time for our 2018 Preseason Predictions Contest. It's easy to enter—here's all you need to do. Use "Voice Memo” or another way to record an audio file and answer these six questions:

1. Who are you?
2. Who's your team?
3. How many games will your team win in 2018?
4. How far will they go this season? Will they miss the playoffs? Wild Card? LCS? 
5. Which two teams will play in the World Series? 
6. Who will win the World Series?

Then, and this is the critical step: Send that audio file to thebatterymates@gmail.com before 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March 24th to make sure it's included in our Opening Day episode. 

Episode 060: His Tweets Are Always Very High Quality

Matthew and Toby talk a little shit about Mitt Romney’s return to politics and Tim Tebow’s return to the diamond… and then go around the horn (from across the pond!) on Sean Doolittle’s tweets, MLB’s official rule changes, the Tigers’ lip service to taking domestic violence seriously, and Chief Wahoo’s scheduled departure. 

Ross Morales Rocketto, whose team apparently won the World Series last season, joins for 2018's first Half-Hearted Attempt at Empathy and makes some bold predictions about the future.

Episode 059: No Gift Basket for Us

Matthew and Toby return for a brand-new episode to catch up on the offseason and preview spring training; pitchers and catchers report next week! Three Up, Three Down returns for discussions about Youppi and the Expos in purgatory, Curt Schilling NOT getting to be a Hall of Famer (and Jim Thome getting in), the impending pitch clock, what-the-eff Derek Jeter is doing in Miami, and the glut of free agents still on the market.

 

Episode 058: Welcome to MLB Offseason Presented by Chuck E. Cheese's

Matthew and Toby have a good chat about the World Series, including: brave new adventures in baseball advertising; how to experience the entire tournament entirely via twitter dot com; Sports Illustrated finally getting a prediction right; and the question of whether the Astros will go to the White House. 

In a new style of Half-Hearted Attempt at Empathy, the boys deliver a prepared written statement from Jeff Gabriel, who witnessed his Dodgers lose Game 7 of the World Series in person.

And the moment everyone has been waiting for: an announcement of the RESULTS, WINNERS, and PRIZES for the postseason and regular season Battery Mates Nation predictions contests!

Episode 057: I Will Not Be As Classy

Now that the 2017 season is behind us, Matthew and Toby look ahead at next year, dream about pitchers and catchers reporting, and discuss rumors of MLB expansion—before a reluctant, brief chat about their seasons in review.

And oh yeah, Jeff Gabriel and Ross Morales Rocketto join Toby for a preview of the World Series, for anyone who’s still interested. (You're not? Yeah, feel free to tune out after the sponsor read.)

Episode 056: It's October

The regular season ends today, and the postseason is upon us! It's simultaneously exciting and depressing.

In this episode, Matthew and Toby preview October baseball—first by making glass-half-full and glass-half-empty predictions about how the Nationals and Clevelands will fare, before digging into each of the Wild Card and Division Series match-ups. There’s also a review of your preseason predictions, many of which hold up surprisingly well.

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The Battery Mates Nation 2017 Postseason Prediction Contest is on. Make your picks before the AL Wild Card game starts at 8p ET on Tuesday, October 3rd, and you'll be eligible to win an exclusive Battery Mates prize. 

Episode 055: One Hundred Thousand Popups

Matthew and Toby are joined by special guest Jason Kander. The former Missouri secretary of state, president of Let America Vote, and devout Royals fan discusses everything from his weekly reliving of the 1985 championship, the superstition around his 1981 Ken Brett jersey, his unsolicited twitter beefs with Curt Schilling (link), why he's fighting for voting rights, and the one or two things on which he might agree with Donald Trump.

It’s a not-to-be-missed conversation with an upcoming Democratic leader and a truly impressive baseball fan.

Episode 054: Remember Where You Are So You Remember Where You Were

Matthew and Toby record “live” as the Nats clinch the NL East. The boys go three-up, three-down to discuss $1.7 million of free windows given away thanks to Cleveland’s historic win streak, the 2017 World Series Champion Dodgers’ surprising, Jeff-induced losing streak, the eight teams competing in a ridiculous AL Wild Card race, the strange users agreement of the player-centric social media platform "Infield Chatter," the Red Sox being accused of cheating, and (of course, once again) Matthew’s overwhelming love for Sean Doolittle. 

The coming weeks will include plenty of postseason content and previews, including a contest for Battery Mates Nation and—on the next episode—an interview with a very special guest.

Episode 053: Carnage at Comerica

Matthew and Toby return to Three Up, Three Down for some deeper baseball banter, starting with the brawl(s) between the Yankees and the Tigers. Other items discussed: Rich Hill’s remarkable oh-so-close-to-a-no-hitter performance; some tough words for the St. Louis Cardinals from Rally Cat’s legal team; Ian Kinsler being a jerk (paraphrasing Matthew here); a sort-of happy ending to an ugly homophobic incident in Oakland; and the ludicrous story of a Cleveland pitcher being struck by lightning on the field in 1919.

And for the first time, the boys open up the Listener Mailbox to take some questions from Battery Mates Nation.

Episode 052: Au Naturel

Matthew and Toby are back with an Around the Horn for the ages, covering Chad Bettis’ return from cancer, umpire Joe West's views after his 5,000th game, the saga of Derek Jeter buying the Marlins, and the pros and cons of players picking their own nicknames for Players Weekend. Sean "Doooooooo" Doolittle soldiifies his role as our new Trevor, and the Dodgers receive their 2017 World Series rings following a record-setting season.

Kate Stayman-London joins for another edition of Battery Mates at the Movies to discuss the 1984 film The Natural.

Episode 051: It Feels Very Miami

Matthew and Toby GO TO MIAMI for a very special live episode, recorded from Marlins Park on August 2nd. Listen in as the boys drink beer and take in a game for the first time at this ballpark. There's also a rundown of how Washington and Cleveland fared at the trade deadline, a ball gets tossed by a player, caught, and given to a kid, and a new friend is made in Roberta, a long-time Marlins season ticket holder and former high school hardball player. 

(Extra thanks to Will S. for the song he wrote for this episode.)