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Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 66: DIvision Series Review

Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen on the Division Series action that was and the Championship Series action that will be. Also, they mull over the increasing length of time it takes to finish one nine inning playoff game.

Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 64: The 2017 MLB Playoffs Pre-Preview

The regular season is almost over and Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen can't wait. There has been little drama this month as most of the playoff races are all sewn up. The playoffs need to get here and provide some, fast.

The two also discuss the increased strikeout rate throughout the league, baseball on Mars, and Andrew Romine playing all nine positions in one game.

Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 61: The Invincible Indians Winning Streak

It seems the Cleveland Indians just can't lose. They've tied the American League record of 20 games in a row, held by the 2002 Oakland A's. Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen go through the Indians winning streak and assess what it may or may not mean for their playoff future.

On the flip side of that, the once invincible Los Angeles Dodgers can't seem to win anymore. They went from looking like one of the best regular season teams in baseball history to losing 16 out of 18 games. By some miracle, they still have the best record in the bigs, though. How will this affect them come October?

Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 61: Red Sox Sign Stealing

Ah yes, we have a Boston Red Sox sign stealing scandal. The Red Sox were busted using video and Apple watches to steal the Yankees' signs over the weekend, which means Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen must talk about it. Sign stealing is as old as the game itself, so is it a big deal that Boston decided to modernize the process a bit? Are other teams getting in on the action? Are the Yankees themselves guilty of such heinous crimes?

Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 59: A Tigers-Yankees Brawl

After Joe Hojnacki spends perhaps too much time gushing over his total solar eclipse experience, him and Greg Hessen go over the warmup to this weekend's McGregor-Mayweather fight that happened in Detroit as Miguel Cabrera threw hands with Yankees catcher Austin Romine. It was a proper baseball fight, to be sure.

They also discuss the frustrating Wednesday night of Rich Hill and the strange protest organized by Major League umpires.

Crowding the Plate Podcast Episode 58: Derek Jeter Buys the Marlins

Goodbye Jeffrey Loria, hello Jeets! That's right Derek Jeter jas bought the Marlins to end that long, dragged out team sale. Well, him and a dozen or so other deep pocketed folks looking to get in on sports team ownership. This pushes out one of the worst owners in pro sports and replaces him with a baseball legend... and many other investors.

Unfortunately for this podcast, Bryce Harper went down with an ugly looking knee injury thanks to slipping on a damp first base. Joe Hojnacki and Greg Hessen take the time to mourn the loss of the podcast's favorite player and assess the comments of Scott Boras, who wants... less slippery bases.

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.

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.

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?

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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