If those words scream “BASEBALL” to you as much as, say, “pitchers and catchers report” or “strike three” or, of course, “Ball Four!” then you will LOVE the fifth episode of our podcast BASEBALL HONEYMOON …
We have three terrific guests this week, but the star of the show is the legendary Jim Bouton … also along for the “baseball book”-themed ride is MLBlogs superstar Jane Heller talking about her new book “Confessions of a She-Fan” as well as the amazing Howard Bryant, whose book “Shutout: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston” won the 2002 Casey Award for the best baseball book of the year …
But don’t take my word for it … read all about it here at Wayne’s blog entry … and then please go check out the podcast itself!
Snuggle up next to a nice lamp, pour yourself some cocoa and try not to fall asleep two paragraphs in, because Baseball Honeymoon is all about reading….baseball books! For our 5th show, we talk about the best in baseball lit, and we got 3 great authors to interview for you. Get ready to expand your summer reading list, kids!
As always, we kick things off with Bagels and Boxscores. Lisa has printed out the rosters for the contending teams of the World Baseball Classic, and intimates that some pitching staffs might be a little thin thanks to their MLB teams protecting pitchers from the tournament. Wayne lets all know that his knuckler is ready for the call, if needed.
Our 1st interview of the show (at 16:00) is a highlight for both hosts; a major figure from their youth consented to be on the show (thankfully our reputation did not precede us). Ex-pitcher, sports anchor, actor and, of course, author Jim Bouton (of “Ball Four” fame) gives us about 15 minutes of fascinating talk. Lisa stifles the desire to blurt out “You’re my biggest fan!!!”. Jim talks about the incentive to write the book, the initial very negative reaction he got, and the ensuing accolades. He also talks about his process, and some of the other projects he has been involved with. He gets Wayne’s vote for best guest yet!
At 30:50 we apologize for our destruction of “The Sandlot”, and award a BH mug to one of the many contest entrants. Then Wayne presents the new contest. Good luck, and no cheating!
Author Jane Heller discusses her newest book “Confessions of a She-Fan” at 33:21. It’s a very funny, very personal account of a season following her beloved Yankees around the country, husband in tow. Jane chats about her frustrations getting access to the Yanks, and about how a personal venting session morphed into a hugely entertaining work of non-fiction.
44:36- Music; “Black to Blue”, Jamieson Tobey.
The guests keep coming, as Lisa interviews author Howard Bryant at 46:40. Howard wrote about the history of racism within the Red Sox organization in his book “Shut Out; A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston”. Howard describes what it was like to grow up as a black man in Boston and how in his community, the Red Sox were ignored, while in others they were revered. He also gives us a preview of his forthcoming biography of Henry Aaron.
59:05- Music; “Everybody Feels The Same”, Jamieson Tobey.
At 59:45 we start our top 5 lists of baseball books. Lisa admits that she was stretching to find top 5 movies and songs, but had the opposite problem with books. She’s a writer, and we must give her some slack. Most of the crossover is on each of the hosts’ honorable mention lists, but you KNOW a book discussed on this show would be in the top 2 for both. By the way, all 3 guests also chime in on their favorite baseball books, so have a pen and paper handy for some great recommendations.
We had to hold off on Curly W segment due to the length of this episode, but Bill will return on the next show with more pith and vinegar.
1:11:50- Music; “Smoke”, Jamieson Tobey.
As parents of a college freshman, Got MiLB and Mr. Got MiLB have been hearing the following question quite a bit over the last several months: “So how are you dealing with the empty nest?”
And here, in all its glory, is our answer: by taking a Baseball Honeymoon.
We have launched (think bombs bursting in air, here) a podcast!
If you follow this link in the Baseball Honeymoon site you can find the link to the podcast at the Switchpod site, or one to the iTunes download (where you can also subscribe for FREEEEEEEEEE since this is an empty-nest-filler, not a money-maker).
Nutshell: about an hour long. I know, I know, that sounds really long, but the fact is the podcasts that we LOVE … such as Dan Levy’s sportscast “On The DL,” the amazing “Filmspotting” which is the BEST movie-centric podcast, and Ira Glass’ brilliant “This American Life,” just for starters, are all in the one-hour range. Plus you can put on your headphones and listen while you work out.
Content: Commentary. Opinions (lots of opinions … you think Got MiLB has opinions? She ain’t nothing compared to MR. Got MiLB). Interviews (majors, minors, field staff, front office, mascots, you name it, pretty much every walk of baseball life). Top 5 lists. Interactivity. Contests. Music (by Mr. Got MiLB aka Wayne Wilentz, a noted Washngton D.C. jazz musician and our daughter, Dana Jasmine, a singer-songwriter who left that nest empty to head to Berklee College of Music in Boston.). All the things we think make podcasts awesome to listen to, whether it’s while you’re driving on the highway, working out at the gym, sitting at your computer doing other work. You name it.
So, what makes us different from every other great baseball podcast out there?
Glad you asked. There are some GREAT baseball podcasts. Lots of them. There is no shortage of people with knowledge, time, technical ability and opinions. Most of them offer the following: Analysis. Statistical breakdowns. History. Fantasy baseball advice.
All of which are valuable. And frankly none of which we really touch on that much …
So, you may ask, who are you and what makes you different?
Who we are and what makes us different: We are a husband-and-wife team that will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this spring. Our first date was at a New York Yankees-Toronto Blue Jays game in the summer of 1983. The day after our spring 1984 wedding (two months before we took our REAL honeymoon) we both cut work to attend the Mets home opener. Baseball was the initial glue that bonded us but obviously a happy marriage for a quarter-century is based on more than mutual fandom.
That said, we’ve spent more than a few hours every morning over boxscores, coffee, fighting for the sports section, discussing and bemoaning how our mutual fantasy league teams had done (but no more, Got MiLB has gone cold turkey on fantasy baseball this year!).
You know who I am, I guess, if you’re reading my blog but if not, here’s the scoop: I’ve covered baseball for more than 20 years. I currently cover Minor League Baseball for MLB.com, as writer, reporter, columnist and multimedia correspondent, as well as maintaining a presence in the “blogosphere” with “Got MiLB?” on the MLBlogs site. Before coming to MLB, I was the Minor League editor at USA Today/Baseball Weekly-Sports Weekly for more than a decade. I’ve been a dugout reporter for the All-Star Futures Game (below, that’s me with Elvis Andrus at the 2008 Futures Game in New York) and Triple-A All-Star Game, a frequent guest on radio and TV sports talk shows around the country, and was the original host of the Fox News Channel’s live sports talk show, Fox on Sports Sunday. Oh, and I’m also a member of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. AND a graduate of MLSB Scout School!!!
But here is why my better half is so well-qualified, if not BETTER-qualified, to do this with me: WAYNE WILENTZ is a professional musician (with a gold record to prove it) who has been a baseball fanatic since he was 7, despite the fact that his family forced him to watch football all the time. His main qualifications for this gig are a BS (seriously) in Radio, TV and Film from Northwestern, the technical know-how to understand this podcast stuff, and a lot of opinions.
So yeah … every other week we will be posting a new episode of Baseball Honeymoon, and hopefully each episode will get better and funnier and smoother and have fewer “ums” and “uhs” and “um hums.”
And hopefully you, our readers, will continue to download the episodes, or even better SUBSCRIBE to the podcast on iTunes, and even even better, will give us the kind of feedback you’ve been giving Got MiLB, either via the blogspot, or the e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or here on Got MiLB.
The show will always kick off with our “Bagels and Boxscores” segment as we just “talk baseball” about whatever is timely or floats our boat, before we move on to our interview with that episode’s special guest (or first special guest … we’ll usually have two!).
We’ve got some extremely cool themed episodes coming up … just a hint, we’ll be talking about favorite baseball books, movies and songs, favorite players when we were kids, most prized memorabilia, most bizarre or unusual moments experienced at baseball games, which prospects we’d pick first in our minor league fantasy drafts, favorite places to go during spring training and various other “lists,” with some VERY cool relevant guests to give THEIR lists as well. (Teaser: among the upcoming guests for the next two months we hope to have a few of MLBlogs’ MOST POPULAR author/bloggers).
Well, I don’t want to give TOO MUCH away here. But I hope you will check out our inaugural episode (a little rough around the edges but we are nothing if not quick learners). And that you will keep listening to future episodes.
If we don’t kill each other first.
But here, courtesy of Mr. Got MiLB, is a synopsis of the first episode … please note the trivia contest at 35:45 and REMEMBER … the deadline for the FIRST Baseball Honeymoon trivia contest is MONDAY, JAN. 19 to have your answers (or answer, if you only know one) by e-mail to win!
The next new show will be up on Monday, Jan. 26, and I’ll be sure to throw in a (much shorter) reminder about it!
I hope you will listen and share your thoughts, opinions, and ideas for future episodes, themes or lists and if you like it, or know people you think will like it, I hope you’ll share the love and pass the link along to baseballcentric friends!
Needless to say, the podcast is our hobby and empty nest filler and will certainly not be taking the place (or the time invested) in my writing or my blog. But baseball is a busman’s holiday for me so what better way to spend what spare time we have?
Coming tomorrow to Got MiLB … a further introduction to Dana and her newly-updated music site … and Friday, the next in our series of Beyond the Boxscore: Getting to Know ... well, you’ll have to come back to find out! (Hint: He’s got game).