The baseball offseason sucks. It sucks because obviously there is no baseball to watch, no diving catch highlights, homerun robberies, shutdown innings, fielding gems, or balls getting blasted into the bleachers. If you’re lucky, like me, and you can maintain your sanity by consuming another sport, like I do with hockey, then the offseason isn’t too bad.
I love sports podcasts. Barstool Sports has great podcasts that I listen to in Starting9, Section 10, and Spittin’ Chiclets. They keep me updated on the action when the games aren’t on and catch me up on the latest developments as I work nights and can’t spend all my day watching the MLB or NHL network. But when I want my baseball fix in the offseason and I don’t want to watch the previous season’s highlight reel (again), podcasts are the go-to but there’s one problem: I don’t give a rat’s ass about contracts, minor trades, and constant speculation on up-and-coming no-names that haven’t made it past double-A yet.
Yes, I want to be updated on the big developments. Will Kris Bryant be traded? I want to know. Will the Cubs actually sit down with Anthony Rizzo about his upcoming free agency? That question crosses my mind. Do I wonder if the Red Sox are doing anything to help their horrendous catcher situation? Yes. But once again, I don’t care about these little-to-no impact players who may not end up on the upcoming roster. I want highlights, I want big moves. I don’t want to get bogged down in every single trade or rumor that has surfaced across the internet for the sake of taking up an hour of airtime. I’d rather have a short podcast with a few interesting tidbits, quality updates, and an all-time fantasy draft or two rather than a forty-five-minute dialogue of unimportant rambling. Yes, I understand that aside from a few trades and contract negotiations, there isn’t much to be updated on in the offseason but hell, I don’t want every single update on every player around the league. The offseason podcasts are like the 24-hour news networks that run out of actual news so they do entire documentaries on healthy dog food and why you should keep your shoulders back.
Thank God for hockey. Without hockey, a love I found in high school, the baseball offseason would be ungodly boring. Hockey allows me to satiate my appetite for competition, aggressiveness, and nail-biting battles. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks aren’t doing so hot but around the league, there is no shortage of highlights. I can watch web gems on NHL Network and YouTube day in and day out. I can see great examples of athleticism, skill, and work ethic right in front of me. I can listen to the hockey podcasts during hockey season and the baseball podcasts during baseball season because listening to the offseason podcasts of either make my ears bleed. If you love contract negotiations, the stresses of possible arbitration, and constant updates on unsubstantiated rumors, maybe offseason reporting is for you but I’ll stick to taking my breaks from each sport by changing gears to the other.
One podcast I love is Redline Radio from Barstool Chicago because they have the ability to cover everything Chicago, from the Cubs and Sox to the Bears and Blackhawks, they have a lot of ground they can cover. The best part about the way they do their show is they cover the important things from each team and move on. They don’t get bogged down in the minor stuff just for the sake of talking about it. Granted, I understand they have more material to cover because they’re covering more teams and there’s always an active season, but they cover Chicago baseball quickly, effectively, and they’re updates that I, as a fan, actually care about. Hit each team and go.
What do you think of podcasts in the offseason of the sport they cover? Do you listen less or do you get all hot and bothered over contract negotiations? If you’d like to convince me of the latter, have at it.