“It’s the same people that support them when they stink…those same people come out. Whereas at Yankee Stadium those people who come when the Yankees are winning are like these people who you never see the rest of the year…” “..The Mets are more of a hometown team. Yankees are more of, I don’t know what they are, some kind of monolithic.” Wayne Wilentz- Baseball Honeymoon.
You had me at hello Wayne. Being a Mets fans since I’ve grown up (until the Rockies came to Colorado) and having all my family from New York, anytime I was asked why Mets instead of Yankees I always said what my pop said, “The Mets are the workin mans team.” My father, a self-proclaimed Park-Slope Brooklynite, was my dictionary on baseball and what he said went.
Sixteen minutes into the brand new podcast Baseball Honeymoon I was hooked because I knew it was real baseball fans (dictionaries) behind the mic. Wayne Wilentz and wife Lisa Winston launched their brand new creation on January 12.
Fellow bloggers may recognize the name Lisa Winston because she is the author of GotMiLB and writer of all things Minor League for MLB.com. Husband, Wilentz is an established musician with a gold record to his credit.
Turning on the podcast it wasn’t hard to figure out where the Latin style smooth jazz was coming from in the opening seconds. The Wayne Wilentz trio created the theme song “Utopia Freeway.”
With a voice you could listen to on any sports station, Wayne welcomed listeners to the new program. Not to be outdone, Lisa in a sexy but perfect radio voice bounced off her husband the intricacies of writing, their history together, being a pregnant beat writer and the appreciation each had for the others’ career during their 25-year marriage.
It was easy to pick up on that fact these two had chemistry and were not just people in a radio booth talking sports.
Unlike many sports podcasts Wayne and Lisa don’t want to be just box scores and between the line analysis. Both advertised taking listeners outside the box score and looking at the people behind the game. Talking baseball and what makes people tick from the players to the managers to the mascots.
The duo didn’t waste time getting into the newest and greatest in baseball after letting listeners know about contests every episode. Fans of the program can win S.W.A.G by correctly answering trivia questions and emailing them in. If you didn’t know what S.W.A.G stands for, listen to the podcast and Wayne actually breaks down what the acronym is. I have to admit, I’ve heard it before but I will be sure to use that bit of knowledge at the earliest available time.
“Bagels and Boxscores” (what they term their updates section of the program) led into the first discussion of whether or not the Yankees spent ridiculous amount of money and would it determine an, “Embarrassment of riches.”
Back and forth the couple went making points on who would be gunning for the Yankees and would the money drive up the pressure this season for the team to win.
It was nice to sit back and listen while two people could have an informed discussion on current events and easily, without the feeling of prompted scripts or unprofessional “uh, uh,” dead space; dead space that leaves you with an unwanted not gonna listen again feeling. There was none of this and the show rolled on.
I can say I did not agree with everything they said, but I did not at any point want to turn the program off.
I did laugh and want to “call in” to this pre-recorded podcast when Wayne made the point that pitchers flourish outside of Colorado after they leave. He was trying to make the argument Brian Fuentes was a good acquisition for the Angels and the money spent would be a good return.
I don’t dislike Fuentes, but since the inception of the humidor at Coors Field that keeps the balls at a constant humidity, pitchers have less of an excuse of why they fail. Fuentes just let it get to him when he left his sinker up and got dinged.
It is true Coors grows the grass a little longer to keep infield balls from rolling like rockets, and elevation does play a roll but I’m not sure Fuentes sinker will necessarily be any more effective in Anaheim. It may have more drop, but I did disagree. I wanted to chime in and tell Wayne to look up the numbers of Josh Fogg with the Rockies and since he’s been gone in Cincinnati. No flourishing there.
The program quickly became a family affair as in between segments the
dynamic duo’s daughter, Dana Jasmine’s music was played. As I write this I’m listening to an accoustic song titled Anyone But You on Jasmine’s myspace. With a raw and young sultry voice this girl is breaking hearts all over the east coast.
It was great to hear Lisa’s experience come through in her later segment talk of the Tampa Bay Rays,
“With the rays, where you have less experience and more youth. And I know from having been there, their clubhouse chemistry and Maddon from the top down and Hickey and all those guys, I believe part of the reason they did as well as they did was that tremendous, tremendous chemistry they had,” Lisa relayed.
Wayne didn’t waste time expanding on her thought,
“Yeah it was so evident in the postseason I mean even when they were losing they just seemed to have it together…It was just one of things where they were overmatched.”
A nice addition to the program was a fellow musician and Wayne proclaimed baseball guru, Bill Heid. In a smoky barroom like voice, Bill gave a great diatribe on modern day baseball and remembering his days watching games at Forbes Field. Remembering the day when the only artificial sound you heard in the ballpark was the announcer’s voice with a pitching change. Now you hear blaring guitars and rock music between every batter and soon you could hear,
“That foul tip was brought to you by Papa John’s Pizza.”
Papa John’s gets a free plug there because it keeps with what the man said and I like Papa John’s. So if you, Papa, read this and want to sponsor my Taurus in Baseball Across America let me know and I’ll slap a big’ol logo on that puppy.
The episodes interview came around the halfway point when Lisa talked about meeting with Florida Marlins Senior V.P. of Player Personnel, Dan Jennings.
The first moment of this interview was the only thing I did not like in this entire program because Lisa’s introduction sounded like she wanted to sell me a car or I had just won some sweepstakes. Can’t all be winners I suppose.
Otherwise the interview was great and Jennings provided a good look into Rule 5 drafts. It was informative because I understand little about the Rule 5, but Lisa was able to probe into how the Marlins were able to bring All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla into the organization. Lisa is a self-proclaimed expert on Rule 5, so we’ll see how many future episodes it can take to “school” an unknowing like me in exactly how it works.
As the show rolled on more music interludes from Dana Jasmine and along came the last segment- top fives for both.
Wayne started with his first and next came Lisa in a one by one account of their top five things each would like to see different in baseball. Each week they will have a different top five subject.
Wayne‘s consisted of:
5) Promote the game with younger stars like other sports do.
4) Don’t make the pitcher throw four pitches for an intentional walk.
3) When a ground out scores a run it should be considered a productive at-bat much like a pop-fly.
2) More day games during the week and especially the World Series as an entire generation is missing out because of ad-revenue.
1) Games take too long.
Lisa’s consisted of:
5) The HOF needs a wing for scouts and it is way overdue.
4) Overall realignment in the Minors to allow teams to be closer geographically to the Major’s ballclub to build more geographic unity.
3) Big name, big salary players get together and bring back any rank and file employees of their respective ballclubs who may have been laid off because of the economy. (I like to think I planted this seed in Lisa’s head with my Christmas miracle post I did on Teixeira but I could be wrong).
2) Minor League salaries need to be raised.
1) Any player who plays for an affiliated team in an affiliated league for 10 years must be given a September call up automatically. (Wayne wanted to name it the Crash Davis rule but Wayne may have forgotten Crash had been to the show.)
And there it went an hour of my time I was glad to spend with this couple. It’s easy to download on Itunes if you have it and it’s FREE. With the driving I will be doing this summer I am looking forward to listening to this duo but I will have to delete much of the space on my ipod to make room. That’s unless Wayne and Lisa want to pitch in on a 4G nano ipod (purple) and I can put a little CR on it! We all gotta have dreams. I would be happy to also put a Basbeball Honeymoon decal of some sort on, what may shape up to be a rolling billboard! Gotta think outside the box here folks.
You can catch their latest episode on Monday, January 26. They say it will only get better and I will be listening to find out how.