Episode 34.5: An Interview With Former MLB Pitcher Brian Bannister

Welcome to Barbecast 34.5! Jake and I are both very busy with final papers, exams, and other fun academic stuff, so we can’t give you a full barbecast this week. What we do have is a spectacular interview with former major league pitcher Brian Bannister. We talked to Brian for over an hour about a plethora of baseball-related things, including…

  • His rookie year
  • Being on the same team as Pedro Martinez (29:15)
  • Playing towards the end of the PED era
  • Why Barry Bonds was the best (42:10)
  • Who Brian owned in the big leagues and who owned him
  • Brian’s disastrously hilarious experience against Team Cuba
  • His unique retirement story
  • His current favorite teams

…and more. It was great, and we really appreciate Brian taking the time to chat with us. You can and should follow him on Twitter @RealBanny.

We honestly don’t know when the next full Barbecast will be, but we hope this is enough in the meantime. Thanks for listening <3

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2014 CFBBQ Season Previews: Milwaukee Brewers

Click here for all previous previews. 

 Brewer Eyes


Off-season Haiku:

Weird place for Garza.

They got Will Smith, movie star!

Oh. Not that one. Damn.

Best Names in the Farm System:

  • OF Hainley Statia
  • C Robinzon Diaz
  • RHP Santo Manzanillo
  • 3B Shea Vucinich
  • OF Brock Kjeldgaard
  • OF Chadwin Stang
  • RHP Damien Magnifico
  • OF T.J. Mittelstaedt
  • OF D’Vontrey Richardson
  • OF Max Walla
  • RHP Axel Cordero
  • RHP Yosmer Leal
  • LHP Boanerges Nova
  • 2B Roosevert Chal
  • 3B Raphachel Colatosti
  • 3B Sthervin Matos
  • 2B Jorge Quiterio
  • OF Yerald Martinez
  • OF Yunior Santana
  • RHP Estevenson Encarnacion
  • OF Dionis Hinojosa
  • RHP Nattino Diplan
  • C Johel Atencio
  • 1B Nicol Valderrey
  • OF Joantgel Segovia
  • RHP Gian Rizzo

Backyard Baseball Pitcher Rankings and .gifs

Last month, I wrote a whole lot of words ranking the 30 original Backyard Baseball kids as major league free agents. You can read that gargantuan post by clicking here. However, these rankings ignored the kids’ pitching ratings. So here we are! These rankings are based on the usual HOW MANY BASEBALLS rating system. Players whose ratings were tied were ranked according to my experience pitching with or batting against them.

(a huge thanks to Bailey Bowers, who made these .gifs, along with the original .gifs of all the Backyard kids’ swings, which you can see by clicking here)

1. Angela Delvecchio – 10/10 baseballs
Repertoire: Heat, Slowball, Left Hook, Right Hook, Intentional Walk

Notes: She’s the best, and it’s not close. Her long hair helps to hide the ball when she brings it behind her head before whipping it towards the plate at blinding speeds and with insane movement. Batters have no chance. She’s probably the only NUMBER ONE STARTER among the Backyard kids, and justifiably so. Along with the immense talent, Delvecchio brings the Italian spunk that you just can’t find in Anthony Rizzo or Alex Liddi.

2.  Luanne Lui – 9/10 baseballs
Repertoire: Heat, Slowball, Left Hook, Right Hook, Intentional Walk

Notes: Luanne has easily the most deceptive delivery among all Backyard pitchers. Her ability to juggle her beloved teddy bear and throw strikes is unparalleled in the baseball universe. Her pink teddy definitely hinders her ability to field, but she’s striking out so many batters that it doesn’t usually matter. Unless she’s got Dmitri backing her up at second base, like in this .gif, in which case, she might be running some crazy high BABIPs. Stuff wise, she’s one of the premier arms. The ball just explodes out of her hand and she knows when to use her secondary stuff. Luanne fails to really ever leave the mound, as her right foot finishes tilted on its side on top of the mound, but hopefully she can learn to use her whole body and drive towards the plate in the future.

3. Amir Khan – 9/10 baseballs
Repertoire: Heat, Slowball, Left Hook, Right Hook, Intentional Walk

Notes: Widely regarded as one of the most dominant closers in the game, Amir brings power and confidence to the mound to back up his impressive array of pitches. The fastball can sit anywhere between 97-100 with sink and run and cut and tilt and shape and other words for pitch movement. With such a ridiculous heater, Amir barely throws any off-speed stuff because he is so confident that he can blow hitters away with ease. While this has worked for him so far against elementary schoolers, it will be interesting to see how he adjusts when facing major league hitters who can square up velocity. For now, Amir will just keep throwing gas. Mechanics wise, Amir is pretty clean but doesn’t appear to have the biggest stride towards the plate. Sure, you can blame it on his tiny legs because is a small child, but you also might question his lack of desire to maximize his potential. Definite question marks.

4. Kenny Kawaguchi – 7/10 baseballs
Repertoire: Heat, Slowball, Left Hook, Right Hook, Intentional Walk

Notes: Far and away the most controversial Backyard pitcher/player in the game, Kenny combines paraplegia with an obnoxious sense of self-importance whenever he takes the field. Don’t even get me started on all the balks this kid is probably getting away with, but more importantly, does he have to spin? It appears that he is throwing the ball so hard using only his upper body that it propels him and his superchair to do a complete 360 before the ball even reaches home plate. It’s safe to say that no one has ever seen this delivery before. Kenny has a distinct advantage on the mound in that every batter facing him for the first time allows him to strike them out because they feel bad for him. This has skyrocketed his K/9 rates in his brief career thus far, and is probably not the best indicator for performance going forward. Don’t get me wrong; Kenny is a great pitcher, with one of the better slowballs in the game and a devastating right hook at times. But don’t underestimate the risk with this pitcher.

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2014 CFBBQ Season Previews: Miami Marlins

Click here for all previous previews. 

Marlin Eyes


Off-season Haiku:

I don’t know. I guess

Miami got Saltier.

Other than that, blah.

Best Names in the Farm System:

  • RHP Anthony DeSclafani
  • C Sharif Othman
  • 2B Terrence Dayleg
  • RHP Jheyson Manzueta
  • RHP Dane Stone
  • 1B Viosergy Rosa
  • OF Jesus Solorzano
  • 3B J.T. Riddle
  • OF Wildert Pujols
  • RHP Yeims Mendoza
  • RHP Yonqueli Perez
  • OF Galvi Moscat
  • RHP Jorgan Cavanerio
  • RHP Esmerling De La Rosa
  • 2B Iramis Olivencia
  • C Yobanis Pinto
  • SS Garvis Lara
  • 3B Geuris Santana
  • SS Geral Silva
  • OF Galvi Moscat
  • OF Isael Soto
  • OF Alinson Peguero
  • OF Coco Johnson

Episode 34: Sabermetric Mac & Cheese

Welcome to Barbecast 34! We took a week off, but we’re back with big one. Our guest this week is Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley, Hardball Talk, and Being-A-Cool-Person-On-Twitter fame. We talked to Bill about the state of his beloved Phillies, Ben Revere not hitting any dingers, Barry Bonds doing Barry Bonds things, and his HOT TAKE on the recent bombardment of hatred pointed towards Rays reliever Josh Lueke. Bill was great. We like Bill! Our next special guest is the OFFICIAL MINOR LEAGUER OF CESPEDES FAMILY BARBECUE, Indians right-hander Kieran Lovegrove. We talked to Kieran about life in extended spring training, his Rick Ankiel-like struggles, and what he thinks he would hit in the big leagues RIGHT NOW. Kieran is the best. In addition to our weekly b-ref battle of ridiculous names, we played a little guessing game where I had to guess the 15 active players with at least 300 career home runs. Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry covered one of the more interesting hashtags we’ve seen on Twitter in a while. Oh, and people sent some pretty awesome e-mails. Because we love the whole world, our musical guest this week is a collection of national anthems. Thanks for listening <3

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2014 CFBBQ Season Previews: Philadelphia Phillies

Click here for all previous previews. 

Phillie Eyes


Off-season Haiku:

Marlon Byrd, baby!

Somehow got AJ Burnett.

Fausto Carmona.

Best Names in the Farm System:

  • C Bob Stumpo
  • 1B Art Charles
  • OF Jiandido Tromp
  • LHP Ervis Manzanillo
  • RHP Ulises Joaquin
  • RHP Yacksel Rios
  • SS Malquin Canelo
  • SS Willerker Isava
  • RHP Seranthony Dominguez
  • RHP Franklyn Kilome
  • OF Freddy Zorrilla
  • LHP Denton Keys
  • OF Venn Biter
  • RHP Steiner Carmona
  • LHP Francibel Alejo
  • RHP Gregorix Mateo
  • RHP Yonathan Trinidad
  • 2B Olvy Marte
  • OF Julsan Kamara
  • 3B Jesus Posso
  • LHP Elniery Garcia
  • RHP Feliberto Sachez
  • RHP Miguelangel Bastidas
  • LHP Oberdan Diaz
  • RHP Edubray Ramos
  • LHP Ranger Suarez
  • SS Grenny Cumana

2014 CFBBQ Season Previews: Oakland Athletics

Click here for all previous previews. 

Athletic Eyes (including injured Jarrod Parker)


Off-season Haiku:

A bunch of weird trades.

Kazmir and Punto. GET PUMPED.

We love Yoenis.

Best Names in the Farm System:

  • 1B Max Muncy
  • OF D’Arby Myers
  • OF Conner Crumbliss
  • 3B Miles Head
  • 3B B.A. Vollmuth
  • C Nick Rickles
  • RHP Kayvon Bahramzadeh
  • LHP Jerad Grundy
  • OF Herschel Powell
  • OF Jonesy Zarraga
  • LHP Jhenderson Hurtado
  • 1B Sandber Pimentel
  • RHP Wilfredo Magallenes
  • RHP Emerson Nelo
  • C Jesus Monserratt
  • RHP Travis Pitcher
  • OF Vicmal De La Cruz


  • After a slew of pitching injuries, the A’s re-sign Vida Blue who then posts a 3.41 ERA in 130 innings as a 64 year old.
  • Sean Doolittle will do more doing.
  • To save money on concessions, the A’s will repurpose the overflowing sewage from the dugouts as “Oakland Chili” to be sold on hot dogs throughout the stadium
  • Billy Beane will hang ’em up after the season and the A’s will replace him with the actual Brad Pitt.
  • Yoenis Cespedes will win the Home Run Derby, the Silver Slugger, the MVP, the World Series, Mr. Universe, Ms. Universe, the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, the 2014 congressional seat for Alameda County, 14 episodes of Jeopardy in a row, and the hearts, minds, and souls of the American people.