Shelby Miller is an Atlanta Brave. This has been a turbulent roller coaster of a half-year for Cardinal fans ever so used to the same young nucleus guiding the team to postseason play each and every year, as a number of key members find themselves elsewhere. It’s almost too much to take, and in one case it just is too much to take. Now it’s Shelby Miller, Shelby Miller with the Big Fastball, who finds himself on another roster months in advance of the 2015 season. Continue reading
So much Billy! After a particularly dreadful 2014, designated hitter and pancake-downer extraordinaire Billy Butler found himself without a real extension offer from his lifelong team, the now-fancy Kansas City Royals. Butler wound up testing the open market, and the result is Butler taking a three-year, $30 million deal from Billy Beane‘s Oakland A’s. As a result of moving to a more regular contender, Butler has asked the media to change his official nickname from “Country Breakfast” to the more stately “Ante-meridian Consumption Period.” Catchy, no?! Continue reading
It’s been well-documented in the hours following his contract signing, but Russell Martin wasn’t a guy anyone felt good about going to a fifth year on. Toronto’s front office, I imagine, looked around at one another, shrugged, and pulled the trigger on a half-decade of Mr. Martin for $82 million. The contract seems inflated based on the incarnation of Martin we’d all become used to seeing, but his new approach emphasizes contact and selectivity (.290/.402/.430 in ’14), which for this player is absolutely a good thing. Hiis receiving skills have also only improved over time, so kiddos like Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez should reap the benefits in the coming years.. Martin turns 32 just prior to the 2015 season, so the last couple of agreed-upon years represent legitimate question marks, but the deal seems a reasonable one so long as it was made by a team with serious motivations, and the Blue Jays seem to have them now. Continue reading
After days of rumors that the Marlins would lock up super-slugger Giancarlo Stanton for all eternity by paying him all the money there is, we officially have a contract. Not only is this a contract, this is the contract, a 13-year pact that will give the monstrous Stanton a record $325 million. This is the largest contract in major American sports history by sheer dollar amount, and it will just about ensure that Stanton remains a Marlin for the duration of his remarkable career. Stanton will also be able to veto any trade and potentially opt out around the time he turns 30 and suddenly goes into an existential crisis about what it means to have lost another decade to Father Time’s clutches. Continue reading
You can already picture Jason Heyward in Cardinal red. You know that lithe six-foot-five frame is bursting with athleticism, and you know he’s capable of doing just about everything in a baseball uniform. You know he was a former first-round pick, a prospect that once caused scouts to hyperventilate when they imagined his future, and now you’re certain he’s set to put it all together in his age-25 season. He’s going to play that same otherworldly defense in right, he’s going to fly around the bases, and he’s going to hit like he never has before. He’s going to cement himself into the Cardinal legacy with an unreal 2015 season, and then he’s going to sign a massive contract and stay with the organization through the rest of his electrifying career. Fast forward 25 years, and you can already see him in a red jacket.
Cutting and splicing ensues in this edition of the Backup Catcher Podcast! Regular host Brian Vaughan is on hiatus due to his pending court case against the Koch brothers, the LGBT association, and Fisher-Price company (sorry, we aren’t allowed to discuss details), so Van brings you some MLB news all by his lonesome. Then you get to hear some prerecorded stuff about the boys’ selections for the top awards, a few games like Which is More and Triple Slash, and the boys enter their selections for the top 25 free agent destinations (hint: they were both wrong so far).
Kevin Agee joins for some action packed segments that are sure to keep your baseball-hungry nether regions satisfied!
Do you like baseball? You better. Because baseball is here for you! Van and Brian bring you baseball like no one else can simply because they have a secret weapon. And the secret weapon’s name is Kevin Agee. A true Royals fan through and through, this special guest superstar brings his insight into the amazing run by the blue-blooded Royals, helps Van and Brian talk about the Hall of Fame (or yell about in Van’s case), Brad Radke again, and even play a new game called Fat or Fiction!
We ask the greatest minds in baseball about hot topics from around the league.
“I came up for the idea when doing improve back at The Actor’s Studio at Pace University. People just loved it immediately, so I ran with it.”
-Buford Huntington, on his beloved ‘baseball player’ character Hunter Pence
The departure of Mike Aldrete (now former Cardinals bench coach) for greener pastures leaves the Cardinals with a position to fill. Jose Oquendo, Blaise Isley, and Chris Maloney stand out as some of the obvious in-house options, although moving one of them would still leave the Cardinals with a vacancy. Whether they promote from within or bring in someone new, some questions will be asked during the process. Will a minority candidate get a legitimate shot? If so, will that candidate be playing on a level playing field? If not, then why not?
If you only listen to one episode of the Backup Catcher Podcast, make it this one. Brian and Van offer their thoughts on the World Series (they nag on the Royals some more), discuss various topics like Joe Maddon joining the Cubs, Pablo Sandoval and Chase Headley as free agents, Doug Mientkiewicz as possible Twins manager, play a rousing round of Triple Slash, and give a heartfelt rendition of the season’s final Shelly V’s Stud of the Week of the Ever.
In addition to the above, Van and Brian argue about Brett Lawrie’s value (hint: it isn’t good), and partake in the single greatest America the Amazing this podcast, nay, America has ever seen. Listen!