Baseline

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Choosing a Team
Episode 3 • Published Feb 28, 2019

Andrew and Kyle reveal the MLB teams they will be following during the 2019 season and Andrew explains how he made the decision to become a fan of the team.

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Links and Show Notes

On this episode of Baseline, Andrew and Kyle reveal the MLB teams they will be following during the 2019 season and Andrew explains how he made the decision to become a fan of the team.

Follow Up

We’re still coming up with a name for the movie segment (spoiler: we have decided on a name at press time).

Kyle has set up a Letterboxd list of movies. Send any movie suggestions to movies@baseline.show.

Kyle was watching “baseball” movies in his hotel, if you know what I mean…

Watching Baseball on TV

We consider the use of MLB At Bat/MLB.TV to be able to watch baseball games. Tune in next week to see where we ended up.

Our Teams

We reveal our teams!

Kyle’s team: San Franscisco Giants

Andrew’s team: Cincinnati Reds

How did Andrew pick his team? Well, he’s from Cincinnati. So, you know. Andrew believes that if you grew up in a hometown, you should root for that team (unless your parents raised you to root for another team.) This may be controversial. Fair play to the folks who grew up in places where there isn’t or wasn’t an MLB team.

Kyle grew up in a two-team market (the Bay Area), so he had a very important choice to make. We observe that in two-team markets, the teams can have very different characters and appeal to different socioeconomic groups (cf. Yankees and Mets).

Andrew’s Random Opinion: The Oakland Athletics have a tautologically bad team name. But, it’s Philadelphia’s fault since they started there originally.

Kyle mentions how the Giants had a wider reach than the A’s because of the radio stations they were on, which reminds Andrew that he mostly came to know the Reds through their own radio broadcasts on 700 WLW (The Big One).

So Andrew came to know the Reds through listening to games on the radio, and from field trips to Reds games as a kid. And this means that, even though Andrew lives elsewhere now, he feels dishonest rooting for any team besides the Reds.

Kyle then observes that baseball is less prone to dynastys and winning streaks that other sports—every season is up or down. Andrew recalls the brief dominance of the St. Louis Cardinals under Mark McGwire.

Rooting for the Away Team

Kyle asks Andrew if he’s considered participating in the local baseball franchise as a fan of the Reds, i.e., seeing the Tigers play the Reds. Andrew is uncertain, to say the least.

Then we talk about bandwagon teams and people who choose their teams just to be contrarian.

Memories of the Reds

What else, besides radio, pulls Andrew to the Reds? Andrew is a bit disconnected, to be honest. He hasn’t really paid attention in about a decade.

Kyle talks about listening to other teams’ radio broadcasts and how different they can be. This provides us the opportunity to briefly complain about the Yankees.

Andrew recalls that the last time he listened to the Reds, it was Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall, a broadcasting pair that doesn’t exist anymore, but can remember a lot about how the broadcasts sounded.

Kyle observes that baseball has lots of “muscle memory” (or “rituals”) around it: you can expect a lot of consistency in all aspects of the game, from how the announcers annouce, to how someone pitches, etc.

Kyle is a little worried that the olde crewe he used to listen to is gone now, so there’s an adjustment period.

Where do we go from here?

We spend some time figuring out a plan about how to start following a team (in this case, the Reds). Andrew doesn’t have a big plan, but plans to do his own Spring Training, as it were. Kyle suggests starting out by watching a spring training game.

Sidenote: It’s the 150th Anniversary of the Cincinnati Reds this year.

Andrew recounts how he subscribed to some Reds blogs before the podcast started, but found them to just be uninteresting because of how in-depth they were, full of mostly posts about trades.

Andrew has thought about seeing a Reds game, but hasn’t made any concrete plans yet.

Upcoming Milestone

We make plans to listen to the spring training game between the Giants and Reds on February 26th. We’ll be talking about it next week.

Kyle talks about the time he hacked a baseball broadcast to make it sound like a podcast. Not recommended.

The Closer

If you’re looking for a team, we recommend that you just choose one, because it’s less complicated than trying to sample a bunch all at once. And you can always change your mind later. No need to overthink it. And no spreadsheets.

Andrew realizes that there was a deeper meaning to The Hot Stove League, because the Reds always called it The Reds Hot Stove League. (Geddit?) Who knew it was a league-wide thing? Truly.

As always, send topics and feedback to topics@baseline.show.

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Thanks for listening!