Episode 076: A T-Ball Team from Westchester

Matthew and Toby go around the horn for the first time since the season started. After checking in on the Nats and Clevelands, Matthew fills Battery Mates Nation in on why he’s getting emotional about sports these days. The boys chit-chat about the new rules MLB announced for this season before a Half-Hearted Attempt at Empathy with Rob Flaherty, a fan of the reigning champion (and currently 4th place) Boston Red Sox. Among other things, Rob dishes about what it’s like to go to a Norwich City football game with Matthew.

PSA: How to enter the 2019 Preseason Predictions Contest

It’s a week out from Opening Day 2019, which means it’s also time for our annual Battery Mates Nation Preseason Predictions Contest. It's almost too easy to enter—all you need to do is use your "Voice Memo” (or other sound recording device) to answer these six questions:

1. Who are you?

2. Who's your team?

3. How many games will your team win in 2019?

4. Will they make the playoffs?

5. Which two teams will play in the World Series?

6. Which of those two teams will win the World Series?

Then, and this is the critical step:

Send that audio file to thebatterymates@gmail.com by end of the day on Monday, March 25th, to make sure your entry is included in the Opening Day episode. That’s it. And it’s worth noting that the contest winners get a pretty neat prize*, too.

So go get your predictions together and enter! And good luck to all in the upcoming baseball season.

* Just don’t expect it to arrive punctually.

Episode 073: Bonkers Baseball

Matthew and Toby decide it’s time to record an episode, now that players who actually have contracts have shown up for spring training. The boys go around the horn on: the sudden Britton name change; the Cubs' TV deal with the devil/Sinclair Broadcast Group; ex-bae Trevor having a lot to say about his most recent arbitration hearing; and a whole host of potential rule changes being considered by players and owners. And Toby falls for several Bryce Harper rumors. 

Episode 072: The Ooffseason

Matthew and Toby return for the first episode since the World Series to discuss what’s transpired, announce who won the 2018 preseason predictions contest, and debate whether this is indeed the fourth season of the show.

Justin Barasky, campaign manager for Sen. Sherrod Brown’s successful 2018 campaign and soon-to-be new father, joins for a Half-Hearted Attempt at Empathy to talk about the Cleveland baseball club’s eventful offseason and give a little insight into how his boss is going about making a big decision.

Episode 071: Why Would Anyone Listen to This?

Matthew and Toby reluctantly record a show about a postseason that has passed them by. A few highlights from the various series make the show barely palatable, and a mixed, Very Half-Hearted Attempt at Empathy invites a few Dodgers fans to comment on the state of the World Series. And Toby updates Battery Mates Nation on a lot of things that have happened in the life of their ex Trevor.

(Editor’s note: This episode was recorded while there were still double-digits of innings left to play in Game 3.)

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!