Tri-State at the Plate Episode #97: Edwin Encarnacion’s Interesting Attendance Bonus

On this week’s episode, Bob, Andy, and Jason are all back together and starting off the episode by talking about the 2017 Hall of Fame vote. In the least controversial hot take possible, the trio decide that they’re mostly just okay with the Hall of Fame. After that, Bob and Jason dig into the newest Cleveland Indian contract, which is full of fun surprises and belongs to former Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion. Then they discuss some Rule 5 draft action in Cleveland, Terry Francona‘s status as manager, Carlos Santana‘s future with the club, and finish up with a panic-stricken discussion about Michael Brantley‘s shoulder. Andy then digs into the news in Pittsburgh, highlighted by the signing of Ivan Nova. He talks at length about the Pirates’ farm system, first baseman Josh Bell reporting to winter workouts in the best shape of his life (already!), what could have been with Tyson Ross, and the departure of front office quantitative analyst Mike Fitzgerald and the potential impact on the club.

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #96: The Allan Huber Selig Hall of Fame Episode

Andy and Bob get together to talk about the Hall of Fame election of former Major League Baseball commissioner Allan Huber ‘Bud’ Selig. They discuss the legacy of the man who was in the commissioner’s office during: the 1994 players strike that led to the cancellation of the World Series for only the second time in baseball history, the entirety of an era baseball that is now known as ‘The Steroid Era’, and an All-Star Game tie. He also was responsible for home field advantage during the World Series being awarded to the team that was in the league that won the All-Star Game, so there’s that.

Once the duo finish digging through the highs (and mostly lows) of Selig’s tenure, they dive right into the hot stove talk surrounding Andrew McCutchen, Jung Ho Kang‘s [third!] DUI in Korea, the end of the Jeff Locke era (and ERA) in Pittsburgh, and what the Pirates should be doing during the Winter Meetings. While the Indians’ winter has been a quiet one so far, Bob waxes poetic about what could have been if Matt Holiday had signed with the Indians, wishes upon a star for Edwin Encarnacion to join the Tribe, and then finishes up with a discussion of what could have been with a healthy Michael Brantley in 2016.

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #93: Tri-State 2016 Trade Deadline Spectacular, Pt. 2

In a continuation of the trade deadline that was, Andy, Bob, and Jason dig into the four moves by the Pittsburgh Pirates this trade deadline: 1). The trading of relief pitcher Mark Melancon to the Washington Nationals 2). The trading of Jon Niese back to the New York Mets for reliever Antonio Bastardo 3). The trading of two players to be named later for the services of Yankees’ starter Ivan Nova for two months and 4). The confusing trade of Francisco Liriano and his $17 million contract, outfield prospect Harold Ramirez, and catching prospect Reese McGuire to the Blue Jay for starter Drew Hutchison. It’s a trippy episode that elicits some raw emotions from Andy’s childhood, back when the Pirates were mired in the midst of a twenty year losing streak.

This is an episode you won’t want to miss.

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #90: Francisco Lindor: The Cuyahoga Crown Jewel

Jason Ruggiero joins Andy Burdick this week as Bob and his wife head to the mighty northeast on a journey of self discovery. In his stead, the two catch up on all things baseball just in time for the All-Star Game. The duo open the podcast discussing their likes and dislikes of the All-Star festivities. Andy then digs into the Pirates recent stretch of play and learns that being mediocre sometimes is good enough. He talks about Pittsburgh’s buying/selling options at the deadline, the success that farmhands Adam Frazier, Josh Bell, Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl, and Tyler Glasnow have had in limited time on the Major League roster, and he finishes chatting with Jason about Pittsburgh’s options with Andrew McCutchen and how Austin Meadows affects the franchise. Jason then digs deep into the Tribe’s options for a Game 1 starter of a playoff series, the success of Danny Salazar, the outstanding play of Francisco Lindor, and the 2016 success of Jose Ramirez. The two then finish up the podcast by discussing the Double-A All-Star Game and its Tri-State participants.

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #81: No Trevor Story Puns This Episdoe

Even with Colorado Rockies’ short stop Trevor Story off to an hi-Story-ic start, we refuse to jump on the bandwagon of Trevor Story puns.

Instead, on this week’s episode, Andy, Bob, and Jason get back together for the first time in ages to talk baseball. The open this week’s show by discussing the new slide rule and the potential psychological ramifications of it being referred to as ‘The Chase Utley Rule’. Andy then talks about Gregory Polanco‘s new deal, a new sabermetric Bucs lineup, all the other pitchers giving up because Juan Nicasio is going to win the Cy Young Award, and finishes his portion of the podcast by talking about Ray Searage‘s contract in Pittsburgh. Bob and Jason then dive into the Indians with talk of, but not limited to: Opening Day being cold, Jose Ramirez‘s defense, Carlos Santana‘s walk rate, and former top prospect Jeremy Sowers now as a front office employee with an MBA from the University of North Carolina. The gang finishes with a SeaWolves shout out that features their enjoyment of watching former Erie SeaWolf Steven Moya hitting baseballs.
There might be an awkward pause at the beginning as the three podcasters learn to work together again, but the trio pulls it together for one of the best episodes of the year.

Some Thoughts on Opening Day

By Chris Bradley

With the Pirates on pace to go 162-0, I’d like to take this time to discuss some of my unsolicited thoughts on Opening Day 2016.

I’ll admit it, I am extremely skeptical of what Neal Huntington and Co. are attempting to do with John Jaso and David Freese getting every day starting jobs at key positions, but before I get into that, let’s sit back and enjoy Francisco Liriano carving up some Cardinals. Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #75: Chilly Spring Training Talk

It’s freezing in Northwestern Pennsylvania, but things are starting to heat up in Bradenton, Florida and Goodyear, Arizona… because pitchers and catchers have reported and we’re a few days away from Spring Training starting! On this week’s podcast, Andy and Bob discuss the New York Yankees’ new ticket policy, their capitalist agenda, and Lonn Trost’s horrible comments towards Yankee fans. Andy then discusses Andrew McCutchen‘s contract extension talk at length and discusses his role as the Pirates’ Derek Jeter. He also talks about Jung-ho Kang and Major League Baseball’s new slide rule and Monday’s Black and Gold game. Bob then digs into the Tribe’s spring by looking at the recent signing of Craig Stammen and singing the praises of Juan Uribe. He looks at the ever-evolving outfield situation with Abraham Almonte‘s recent steroid suspension and how this affects Tyler Naquin and finishes up with some talk about Indians’ pitching prospect Brady Aiken.

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #74: Neal Huntington Goes to Confession

“Forgive me father, for Jason Bay is my one sin.”

On this week’s episode, Andy and Jason discuss tanking in Major League Baseball and how neither of them think it really matters… unless you’re Scott Boras and you suggest outrageous things like an “Elite Draft.” Then Andy talks about Jesse Biddle joining the Pirates, Neal Huntington baring his soul to Adam Berry about trading Jason Bay (and he goes down the regrettable rabbit hole of players in that trade), and finally he talks about the top five Pirates prospects according to MLB Pipeline. Jason then fills us in on the Indians’ prospect rankings as they pertain to Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier before suggesting you should become a host-family for a Minor League Baseball player. Finally he suggests checking out the Cleveland Plain Dealer for some interesting articles.

Tri-State at the Plate #70: The 2015 Trade Deadline That Was

The 2015 trade deadline has come and gone so you get an hour and twenty minutes of podcast goodness today, but before Jason and Andy discuss things with the Tribe, they first discuss an appropriate age to bring your child to a baseball game. Once they finish with that discussion at the 12:45 mark, they then dive into the Cleveland Indians. Jason gives his thoughts on the Brandon Moss trade, the Carlos Carassco trade that never was, Jason Kipnis and leadership in the Indians’ clubhouse, and Andy waxes poetic about Francisco Lindor‘s recent production at the plate.  Then around the 44:00 minute mark, Andy and Chris Bradley dig into the Pirates’ trade deadline: they first hit on the Aramis Ramirez homecoming, Joe Blanton and the least sexy trade ever and the rest of the Pirates trades before finishing up talking about A.J. Burnett‘s elbow (or what’s left of it) and Jung Ho Kang’s hot streak the last month. Andy then finishes with a quick SeaWolves shout out and talks about going to meet former Pirates manager Jim Leyland this week!

Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Deadline Target: Tyson Ross 2.0

By Andy Burdick

Armchair General Manager

“Heavy is the head that wears the crown.”

The trade deadline is quickly approaching on Friday, July 31, and everyone’s favorite hobby of armchair GM-ing is in full swing.  We’re no different here at TSM Baseball. What Pirates’ fan wouldn’t want to spend a day nearing the trade deadline in Neal Huntington’s shiny, patent leather shoes? While those shoes are probably never comfortable and leave you feeling more paranoid about your professional standing than a ‘Game of Thrones’ character, when there are no stakes to be had as an internet writer, the exercise becomes a lot more fun!

In this article I will have a seat in the hypothetical general manager’s chair and target Tyson Ross, a player that I have become obsessed with over the last three years.  I will also look at some of the pieces that I might be willing to part with that will send the Yinzer fans in Pittsburgh into a blind rage as they line up and down Federal Street, throwing IC Light cans and yelling expletives in protest.

Full Disclosure: My sexy trade deadline move for the Pirates that would have surely melted the internet would have been a move in which the Pirates traded super-prospect Tyler Glasnow in a package deal to the Rockies for short stop Troy Tulowitzki. I had been working out the players in my head that might fit on both sides, but with the recent trade of Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays, this exercise is now over.

Rest easy, internet.

Full Disclosure 2: While I mostly agree with the general fan sentiment that Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow are untouchable, no players are totally untouchable for the right price. While Ross isn’t that piece, there are players out there that would be worth dealing either of those two for. Continue reading