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Crowding the Plate Episode 55: The Justin Verlander Trade Market

The Dodgers got the bad news about Clayton Kershaw's back the other day. With their superstar pitcher out for the next six to eight weeks,are they looking to complete a Justin Verlander trade with the Tigers? Stephen Strasburg also hurt his forearm. Does this open up a possible Sonny Gray to the Nationals story? What about Yu Darvish? Why are the Rangers trading him? Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen discuss those possibilities.

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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 54: 2017 Trade Deadline Primer

With the 2017 Trade Deadline creeping ever closer, Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen try to decide which teams are selling which players for which prospects from which teams that should be buyers. Before that gets cleared up, Greg gives his review of the All-Star Game and Joe tries to decide if it was worth missing for the third season in a row.

The trade deadline discussion also devolves into a rant about how sports media are often very team friendly when assessing the quality of a contract. Sure, Victor Martinez has a terrible deal as far as the Tigers front office is concerned, but isn't it a great deal for Martinez himself? Anyway, it's a rant worth listening to.

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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 53: 2017 Home Run Derby and the Half Way Point

The MLB season has reached its actual half way mark, even if the official start of the second half isn't until after next week's All Star Game. With that in mind, Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen pick out their favorite moments from the first half of the season.

They also take on the Logan Morrison vs. Gary Sanchez home run derby beef and ask the question of whether or not it really matters who is in the derby? I mean, Ichiro says he can hit a bomb whenever he wants and he's never been part of the field. Plus, is there any reason not to pick Aaron Judge to win it?

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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 51: The Future of Baseball

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian wrote an article about how baseball may look in the year 2037 and Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen have something to say about it. Do they think the future of baseball looks bright and sunny? Or dark and dismal? 

There was also a home plate collision the other night as Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs steamrolled into Padres catcher Austin Hedges. Greg is outraged that this is against the rules. As usual, he takes his anger out on the Tigers, who are consistently disappointing him while Joe's team climbs to the top of its division.

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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 50: Judging Aaron Judge

The whole baseball world is judging Aaron Judge as the Yankee rookie has taken the league by storm. He leads the Majors with 22 homers on the season and has started a fun fan section at Yankee Stadium. But, is it right to put such lofty expectations on a rookie who hasn't even played 100 games yet? Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen discuss.

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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 49: 2017 MLB Predictions Revisited

Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen look back on their obviously short sighted and foolish 2017 MLB Predictions. How has the first two months of the season changed their preseason views?

Before that, it was a big couple days for the long ball throughout the league. Albert Pujols hit his 600th career homer and Scooter Gennett, of all people, bashed four in on game. Jerry Remy also said something silly about translators during Tuesday night's Red Sox-Yankees contest.

Finally, Greg has some fun involving team jerseys and one team mascot flips the bird to his fans.

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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 45: The Extra Innings Problem

Sunday night's Cubs-Yankees contest on ESPN turned into a marathon. The game finally ended in the 18th inning with the Yankees finally pushing across a run to end the impromptu double header. This pushed the discussion of extra innings to the forefront thanks to the national television audiences of two of the game's most popular teams tuning in for this cold slog through Wrigley Field. Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen join this conversation and ask if extra innings need to be fixed.

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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 44: Mets Injury Crisis and Beanball Wars

Joe Hojnacki begins by expressing his embarassment to be a Red Sox fan amidst the racist jeers aimed at Adam Jones from a small minority of the Fenway crowd. He and Greg Hessen eventually go over the worsening New York Mets injury crisis as they lose Noah Syndergaard for an extended period of time. How does this affect their playoff chances and does it mean the Nationals have a clear path to NL East supremacy?

Also, the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles have been beefing for over a week about Manny Machado's hard slide into Dusting Pedroia. He was thrown at again in Tuesday night's ballgame and he went off to the media after the game. Is Machado right? Are the Red Sox carrying this grudge for far too long? Or are the Sox right to be standing up for their second baseman?

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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 40: One Final 2017 MLB Predictions Show

The long winter is almost over. Spring is in the air (in some places) and the smell of hot dogs and freshly cut grass is on the horizon. That's right, Opening Day is only a few days away, folks. Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen are here to help you finish your final preparations. The pair give their final 2017 MLB predictions and go over their plans for the first day of the much anticipated season.

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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 39: USA Wins World Baseball Classic

USA! USA! America reigns supreme in the fourth edition of the World Baseball Classic. Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen relive the tournament and discuss ways it can get even better. Also, the MLS season preview episodes come to a close as Greg gets to answer some burning questions about his beloved Detroit Tigers.

Finally, with Opening Day nearly upon us, the crew decided to not take the final segment seriously at all and deliver their bold predictions for the 2017 season.

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