On the nineteenth episode of the second season of The Sports-Casters, hosts Steve Bennett and Don Russ welcome John Smoltz (Atlanta Braves, TBS Sports), Tom Verducci (SI, SI.Com) and Chris Ballard (SI, SI.COM) to the podcast.
Kicking off the show with 3Things, Steve and Don talk about John Axford blowing a save and his wife going into labor after, a baseball team forfeiting a championship game because they don’t want to play against a girl, and a strange technical foul call on Blake Griffin and Reggie Evans. Also, a book club update of epic proportions, an in-depth look into the NBA and NHL playoffs, and Steve and Don close the show with Pick4.
John Smoltz makes his first appearance on the podcast to promote his new book, “Starting and Closing.” John shares his thoughts on pitching game seven of the World Series in 1991, where he was when Francisco Cabrera singled to score Sid Bream, and explains how he got into broadcasting after his career ended. Also, Smoltz shares his dream to play in the PGA Champions Tour, reviles who the best pitcher he has ever played with is, and explains why he never ended up pitching for Michigan State.
Tom Verducci makes his second appearance on the podcast to discuss the first six weeks of the baseball season. Verducci talks about Josh Hamilton’s incredible start and looks at the complicated negotiation looming this offseason for Hamilton and the Rangers. He also discusses the star power of Matt Kemp, the surprising Baltimore Orioles, and tries to explain what has gone wrong for Albert Pujols.
Chris Ballard makes his second appearance on the podcast to promote his new book, “One Shot at Forever: A Small Tow, An Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season.” Ballard reveals how this story that started as a magazine column turned into a 2.5 year book project. Also, Ballard talks about the reluctancy of one of the book’s main characters to be interviewed for the book, interest from Hollywood to turn the book into a movie, and why coach Lynn Sweet is the kind of character authors dream of writing about. Before leaving for his book tour, Ballard chats a bit about the NBA. Ballard calls Tim Duncan one of the most underrated basketball players of all-time and predicts and NBA Championship for the Oklahoma City Thunder.