Ned Yost Manages a Resilient Bunch

In the podcasts we recorded in the first half of this season, I harped upon KC’s poor performance in pivotal moments. When the Royals played division rivals in early season series, they fell flat, feeding the perception that they weren’t a real contender. Admittedly, much of this perception came from prior seasons and our own bias about who was more talented.¬†But, when KC was swept in the 4th series of the year by Minnesota, or by Detroit in the first week of May, or dropped back-to-back 7-6¬†heartbreakers against Chicago two weeks later, the conclusion was made. The 2014 Kansas City Royals are talented, but they won’t make a run because they’ll fold in big moments.

…Funny story about that…

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Episode 43: The Showdownsode

It’s all come down to this. The Tigers have a half game lead over the Royals, and they’ll play 3 this weekend to settle this division once and for all (for this year anyway). Special guest Ed Carroll (@EdTheRevelator) of wahoosonfirst.com joined Joe and Nick for a comprehensive review of the series: advantages and disadvantages, strategies and keys. Also, sit ‘em or bench ‘em!

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Episode 42: The Crowsode

The good old ALC has a case of Royals Fever! Have Dayton Moore and his friends finally earned the respect of the Inverted W Podcast? Nick, Joe, and Aaron give their impressions of just how competitive this stretch run will be. In the second half, Carlos Carrasco has definitely earned some respect with a terrific bullpen run that he’s transitioned back into a strong starting performance. Has he emerged enough to keep Cleveland from bringing up free agent rotation help for 2015? All this and more on the Inverted W Podcast!

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Episode 41: The Going-for-itsode

For this week’s episode, A’s fan and Royals fan-by-proxy Dave Spencer (@oakfaninva) pays his respects to the departed ham melt, then comes on to talk all things ALC trade deadline. The first half is dedicated to the big David Price move, while segment two breaks down how Kansas City and Cleveland can stay in the wild card hunt.

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The Twins Got Tired of Being Boring

In the handful of podcasts we’ve recorded this year, the Twins have generated very little discussion. This is not because we forgot about them, and it’s only partially because the other Nick stopped showing up to record. Believe it or not, we do attempt to brainstorm Minnesota topics before shows. It usually goes like this:

ME: What can we say about the Twins?

JOE: Umm…..How’s Joe Mauer playing?

ME: Mediocre.

AARON: Do they still have Terry Mulholland?

It wasn’t always this way. Good or bad, there was more than enough Twins chatter to fill a segment. So let’s look at the other teams and figure out what was making them so much more interesting than Gardy’s squad.

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Episode 40: Out of The Parkisode!

On this episode, we welcomed Brad Cook to the show to talk about the fine baseball sim Out of the Park Baseball, which has been released for another great season of gameplay. Segment one gives you all the reasons why you need to play it, and we also talked a little bit about just who is playing it these days. In segment two, Joe and Nick gauge the appropriate level of concern for Justin Verlander and the Tigers, and we also discuss whether the morale in this division has shifted.

And, if that’s not enough for you, Brad was nice enough to give us a little extra something for the listeners. Recently, we added a new drop to serve as the transitional music between segments, and it was used in this episode. The first person to email me and tell me what that song is will receive a free copy of OOTP 15! Send that in to me at invertedwpodcast@gmail.com to win!

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Episode 39: The Intentsode!

This might be the best podcast you hear all season. We welcomed Kyle Boddy of Driveline Baseball (@drivelinebases) to discuss the nitty-gritty mechanics of Cleveland starters Justin Masterson, Danny Salazar, and Trevor Bauer for segment one. During segment two, Nick and Joe covered an extensive recap of the recent Tigers-Royals series and what it does and doesn’t tell us about those teams as a whole. Download it here, or catch it on iTunes!

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Abreu, Ventura, and the Year of the AL Central Rookie

ROY? It could be his year.

Modern MLB is prospect crazy. Teams horde them, push them, and lock them up within weeks of their debuts. Fans pay weirdos to watch prospects and write about their minor league progress. Front offices like them in particular because, when the team is bad, you can sell all the poor performance as a fun learning experience for all! Enjoy watching Andres Torres seven years before he becomes a good starter and build your hipster cred! And so on.

I love prospects even more than most people. When I came to realize that every AL Central team would have at least one impact rookie in their lineup, I was ecstatic. Friends, those rookies have not disappointed. So today, I’d like to compare this year’s rookie class with divisional classes through the ages. Is this year the best ever? Let’s find out!

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Episode 38: The Farmersode!

Enjoy our first recording of the season! Joe, Nick, and Aaron take a comprehensive look at the Cleveland rotation, elite offense out of Chicago and Minnesota, and White Sox radio commentator Ed Farmer gets some love.

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Episode 37: The Spartysode

We welcomed Kevin Pajor (@3GamesToLove), Larry Von Kurtze (@LarryVonKurtze), and Tom Flynn (@mighty_flynn) to the pod for a White Sox roundtable. It’s the perfect way to get ready for an exciting 2014 season!

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