The Ringer

Pablo's TB Lover

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Really sorry to see this. So, the Ringer now has about 5 NBA podcasts and nothing for baseball.

View: https://twitter.com/MichaelBaumann/status/1502075170365788165


Michael Baumann tweet: Bad news on that front, I'm afraid. We found out this afternoon that the Ringer Baseball feed, including the Ringer MLB Show, is being shut down.
That really sucks, I liked Baumann's sarcastic delivery even when he was doing so at the expense of the Sox. And to be fair, he definitely does not care for the Sox as a fan but was really giving them props this past season for their bounce-back. Kram is a guy in the Rob Neyer vein of seeking clarity through statistical breakdowns, which I enjoyed.

If this was at the expense of the long-running and/or narrative podcasts such as '60 Songs That Explain the '90s" I can't totally hate the decision, but I have a feeling this could also be due to the NYC & Chicago based podcasts and Simmons thinks myopically 'well, we have the Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox (with his own podcast) fans covered at least.'
 

kenneycb

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Given Spotify’s success is wholly dependent on its podcasting arm given the shitty economics of its music side where more user engagement = more expenses (i.e., no scale), I feel comfortable saying it does.

The sports cards one may be super niche but also mean it’s really good at targeting it’s listeners and its ads have a better conversion rate. I’m straining a bit to make that argument though.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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There is also a non-zero chance that the Ringer simply was counting on a long work stoppage with MLB and didn't have the bandwidth from a production standpoint to add in the MLB podcast at this time. Baumann and Kram are long-time Ringer employees who will remain employed and are still writing (from Baumann's tweet). Just speculating it may be easier to take existing staff out of the podcast game than prematurely terminate other podcast-only folks.
 

Leather

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Baseball fans lean older. Old people, on average, don't listen to podcasts.
I mean, I'm...sort of old? But I listen to podcasts. I just have little desire to listen to podcasts about baseball, for some reason.
 

Kliq

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The Ringer also isn't carrying the Baseball BBQ/Cespedes Family BBQ anymore. They still have the R2C2 pod with CC Sabathia, though.
 

johnmd20

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I mean, I'm...sort of old? But I listen to podcasts. I just have little desire to listen to podcasts about baseball, for some reason.
I occasionally listen to the Joe Pos and Michael Schur podcast and they talk a lot of baseball and it's pretty good. But that is the only baseball talk I hear in podcast form. Also, there really aren't a lot of options for baseball podcasts. Whereas, there are approximately 48 billion NFL podcasts. (I have not audited that figure)

With baseball, there is a game every day, it's a tough sport to try to podcast about. The NFL is perfect. A weekend of games and then you do the recaps early in the week and then the previews for the coming weekend later in the week. You can do that podcast on Thursday and anyone can listen in the next 4 days, including Sunday morning, and it's still extremely relevant.

In baseball, a pod drops on a Thursday and it's a history book by Sunday.
 

Leather

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I occasionally listen to the Joe Pos and Michael Schur podcast and they talk a lot of baseball and it's pretty good. But that is the only baseball talk I hear in podcast form. Also, there really aren't a lot of options for baseball podcasts. Whereas, there are approximately 48 billion NFL podcasts. (I have not audited that figure)

With baseball, there is a game every day, it's a tough sport to try to podcast about. The NFL is perfect. A weekend of games and then you do the recaps early in the week and then the previews for the coming weekend later in the week. You can do that podcast on Thursday and anyone can listen in the next 4 days, including Sunday morning, and it's still extremely relevant.

In baseball, a pod drops on a Thursday and it's a history book by Sunday.
Exactly. Not a lot of hype around baseball. Not as much time to build up narratives and story lines (playoffs aside). Also not as much strategy to discuss unless you want to get into all the hitter vs. pitcher matchups, but that's pretty dry and better explained through visualization, anyway.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Whereas advanced statistics have made me understand the game itself so much better, it has stolen the thunder from a lot of endless debate I used to be able to have. And baseball falls short on intrigue because it is more an inherently individual/one on one sport than the other major team sports. In basketball you can team up guys with great stats and get unexpected results, due to chemistry and compatibility of strengths, for instance. Tom Brady can just shut out a very good receiver due to not being on the same page with the playbook. Etc. There's a lot more team stuff to hash out in the other sports.

I just hope not having a baseball podcast will mean BS, Russillo and other non-specialized pods will be more likely to invite Baumann or Kram if a major baseball story hits. Because at least BS views the baseball world with the same myopic lens he used pre-2004.
 

ManicCompression

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Russillo discussed this with Evan Dreilich on his podcast a couple of weeks ago. To quickly sum it up, he said "I can see what happens to the audience whenever I talk baseball. With Van Pelt, with Kannell, on my own show... people start tuning out even if I have good guests on," and he specifically mentioned Buster O. I would think you could apply that universally. If the appetite isn't there from the audience, I don't know why we'd expect The Ringer to spend resources on it.
 

JCizzle

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Russillo discussed this with Evan Dreilich on his podcast a couple of weeks ago. To quickly sum it up, he said "I can see what happens to the audience whenever I talk baseball. With Van Pelt, with Kannell, on my own show... people start tuning out even if I have good guests on," and he specifically mentioned Buster O. I would think you could apply that universally. If the appetite isn't there from the audience, I don't know why we'd expect The Ringer to spend resources on it.
Yep, but as he pointed out the audience is much more localized. It probably works better for EEI and 98.5 than ESPN radio.
 

Cellar-Door

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Yep, but as he pointed out the audience is much more localized. It probably works better for EEI and 98.5 than ESPN radio.
yeah, there just really seems to be no "MLB" fans, who care about the whole league in the way say the NFL or NBA do. Even just pop-culture wise... when was the last time you saw a national advertising campaign with an MLB player?
 

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yeah, there just really seems to be no "MLB" fans, who care about the whole league in the way say the NFL or NBA do. Even just pop-culture wise... when was the last time you saw a national advertising campaign with an MLB player?
This is a huge MLB problem. For better or worse, they have decided that nostalgia and teams are the way to sell the game. It's absolutely dumb and is part of the reason why baseball is falling further and further behind the NFL and NBA. Right now MLB has a huge bounty of great young players that they could use to sell their game. But they'd rather talk about the Sox/Yanks, Cards/Cubs, Dodgers/Giants or Willie, Mickey and the Duke then really market their young stars.

Baseball is one of the only sports where on their own network they'll show a highlight of say, Fernando Tatis, and someone will bring up Ozzie Smith. Yes, history is important, but if you keep telling kids that their stars aren't as good as the ones that went before them, they're going to believe it. In the NFL, Tom Brady is "The best quarterback ever", in the NBA is "LeBron better than MJ" or is "Steph a better shooter than Larry"? You never hear things like that in baseball. Before he left, people were kind of getting on the JBJ is the best defensive outfielder that the Sox ever had. But there was always more than a few cranks who'd say, "What about Freddy Lynn?" or "Dom DiMaggio?" I once read someone who brought up Tris Speaker.

TRIS SPEAKER!

No one alive has ever seen him play. Hoops and football players have to battle against their opponents to see who's best. Baseball players have to battle against ghosts and hazy sepia-tinted childhood memories.
 

8slim

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This is a huge MLB problem. For better or worse, they have decided that nostalgia and teams are the way to sell the game. It's absolutely dumb and is part of the reason why baseball is falling further and further behind the NFL and NBA. Right now MLB has a huge bounty of great young players that they could use to sell their game. But they'd rather talk about the Sox/Yanks, Cards/Cubs, Dodgers/Giants or Willie, Mickey and the Duke then really market their young stars.

Baseball is one of the only sports where on their own network they'll show a highlight of say, Fernando Tatis, and someone will bring up Ozzie Smith. Yes, history is important, but if you keep telling kids that their stars aren't as good as the ones that went before them, they're going to believe it. In the NFL, Tom Brady is "The best quarterback ever", in the NBA is "LeBron better than MJ" or is "Steph a better shooter than Larry"? You never hear things like that in baseball. Before he left, people were kind of getting on the JBJ is the best defensive outfielder that the Sox ever had. But there was always more than a few cranks who'd say, "What about Freddy Lynn?" or "Dom DiMaggio?" I once read someone who brought up Tris Speaker.

TRIS SPEAKER!

No one alive has ever seen him play. Hoops and football players have to battle against their opponents to see who's best. Baseball players have to battle against ghosts and hazy sepia-tinted childhood memories.
Not to divert this thread too far off topic, but part of the challenge in marketing MLB's stars is that one doesn't see those stars play much in each game.

If I tune into the Lakers I'm going to see LeBron actively playing around 3/4ths of the minutes in the game. Maybe even more in the playoffs.

But if I tune into the Padres I'm going to see Tatis bat 4, maybe 5 times, and make a few plays in the field. We're talking 5-10 minutes out of a 3 hour game.

I think the only way MLB can possibly market its stars is to go all-in on making everything about highlights. Forget us oldsters watching games on cable TV. Orient the sport towards sharing gobs of short, spectacular content on Tik Tok, Insta, Snap and YouTube. And even that might work. But its the only thing I can think of.
 

allstonite

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You’ll never guess who Bill wanted to cast in Titanic. I did like the Ben Affleck as Cal idea although Zane is amazing.

Their Rose takes are pretty bad too. Great episode will listen again next week
 

Leather

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I mean...

Ben Affleck? Circa 1995/early 96 when they were casting? He was O'Bannon from "Dazed and Confused," the dick from "Mallrats" and not much else. There was 0 reason to believe he could be a decent dramatic actor yet. Just because someone existed at the time doesn't mean they were a plausible choice for a role.

Bill has subsumed everything about "Good Will Hunting" into being something self evident, when the whole buzz and wonder of that movie is that it came out of nowhere. "Who the fuck are these guys?" (including the idea of Williams in a serious role) was why it was as big as it was. It's like Bill has completely forgotten that.

It would be like saying everyone is foolish for not picking Tom Brady in their 2001 fantasy draft.
 
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ManicCompression

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You’ll never guess who Bill wanted to cast in Titanic.

I'll not listen to this one because I'm not really a Titanic guy, but did he seriously suggest casting a nearly 40 year old Michelle Pfeiffer in the Winslet role? I would think it's an ongoing joke for him if he had that level of self-awareness.
 

allstonite

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I'll not listen to this one because I'm not really a Titanic guy, but did he seriously suggest casting a nearly 40 year old Michelle Pfeiffer in the Winslet role? I would think it's an ongoing joke for him if he had that level of self-awareness.
No he wanted Matt Damon for Cal. Van suggested Affleck which isn’t nearly as bad. I don’t think that role requires great dramatic acting but it was clear he could play a good asshole. Paltrow for Rose was also brought up. I don’t think it would have worked as well as Winslet but that’s not a disaster either
 

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I didn't watch more than a scene or two of Titanic but know a lot of young women in my life at the time of the movie's release were in love with it. So for two dudes to do the Rewatchables for this is...something.

Unless they brushed aside all pretenses and rehashed Bill Burr's "The Titanic is a horror film" sketch, in which case I'm here for it.
 

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I want to enjoy The NBA Show, but Wos makes it really rough. All it takes is listening to him talking about the Celtics- and especially Brown's worth in relation to Tatum- to know he doesn't really know what he's talking about.

Also, his cadence is just too...Stephen A. Smithy for me.
 
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ManicCompression

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No he wanted Matt Damon for Cal. Van suggested Affleck which isn’t nearly as bad. I don’t think that role requires great dramatic acting but it was clear he could play a good asshole. Paltrow for Rose was also brought up. I don’t think it would have worked as well as Winslet but that’s not a disaster either
Phew, okay - I guessed the wrong crutch there. Not as bad as I assumed.
 

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Jackie MacMullan and Simmons announced on his recent podcast that she's releasing a podcast series called Icons starting on Friday. I have high hopes for this one. She mentioned it starts with Russell and Wilt and later episodes discuss how the torch was passed over generations.
 

ManicCompression

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I want to enjoy The NBA Show, but Wos makes it really rough. All it takes is listening to him talking about the Celtics- and especially Brown's worth in relation to Tatum- to know he doesn't really know what he's talking about.
I love Wos because he has no fear about being honest. I may not agree with all his opinions, but I never feel like he's carrying water for people. If anything, he's openly antagonistic to players and agents, which is so refreshing in comparison to most sports media that's trying to curry favor for access. I think he's a great host, too, and he gets a lot of interesting discussions going on Weekends with Wos.

Totally get that he's a bit abrasive and for some that's a turn off, I just find it appealing. I get the sense that Stephen A is playing a bit whereas Wos just seems like a guy being himself.
 

TheGazelle

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You’ll never guess who Bill wanted to cast in Titanic. I did like the Ben Affleck as Cal idea although Zane is amazing.

Their Rose takes are pretty bad too. Great episode will listen again next week
I know I'm late to this, but I listened to the pod this morning and was dying laughing at the Rose takes. Just phenomenal podcasting. Van screaming about Rose being an awful person made my morning.
 

m0ckduck

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Jackie MacMullan and Simmons announced on his recent podcast that she's releasing a podcast series called Icons starting on Friday. I have high hopes for this one. She mentioned it starts with Russell and Wilt and later episodes discuss how the torch was passed over generations.
I was really looking forward to this, but found the first episode on Russell and Wilt underwhelming (haven't listened yet to the second on Dr. J yet). Maybe it's that I'm relatively versed on Celtics 60s history, but it felt pretty noobish, lacking in new revelations or anything that challenged my existing understanding of their rivalry. I found it, for example, less compelling than the Simmons Book of Basketball podcasts 2.0 that do a better job taking a stance on players (was Rick Barry underrated because everyone hated him, how Shaq is the greatest player who underachieved, etc). Hopefully, she'll find her footing as the show goes along.

Her focus on Russell and Wilt's involvement in the civil rights movement was the best part for me. I was aware of the broad strokes of this, particularly Russell's part, but I'd always read it through the filter of old-school white guy journalism that tended to skitter over the topic and not dwell on it as deeply.
 

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I know I'm late to this, but I listened to the pod this morning and was dying laughing at the Rose takes. Just phenomenal podcasting. Van screaming about Rose being an awful person made my morning.
Craig Horlbeck coming in to defend Rose's honor at the end was just a perfect Coda to what was a wonderful podcast.
 

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I was really looking forward to this, but found the first episode on Russell and Wilt underwhelming (haven't listened yet to the second on Dr. J yet). Maybe it's that I'm relatively versed on Celtics 60s history, but it felt pretty noobish, lacking in new revelations or anything that challenged my existing understanding of their rivalry. I found it, for example, less compelling than the Simmons Book of Basketball podcasts 2.0 that do a better job taking a stance on players (was Rick Barry underrated because everyone hated him, how Shaq is the greatest player who underachieved, etc). Hopefully, she'll find her footing as the show goes along.

Her focus on Russell and Wilt's involvement in the civil rights movement was the best part for me. I was aware of the broad strokes of this, particularly Russell's part, but I'd always read it through the filter of old-school white guy journalism that tended to skitter over the topic and not dwell on it as deeply.
This was exactly my response as well. I love Jackie M., but all the episode did was go over old ground. No new stories, no nuanced takes. I was really disappointed.
 

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Craig Horlbeck coming in to defend Rose's honor at the end was just a perfect Coda to what was a wonderful podcast.
So Craig is essentially right (maybe not about throwing out the big stone rather than giving it to charity) and the Rose take down is kind of ridiculous because it's willfully ignores the conventions of the genre (it would be like if some chick flick podcast ripped on might ducks movies because there's no way the underdog would win....). But it totally doesn't matter because the podcast was the kind of glorious dumb fun that we all enjoy from Simmons.
 

JCizzle

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I was really looking forward to this, but found the first episode on Russell and Wilt underwhelming (haven't listened yet to the second on Dr. J yet). Maybe it's that I'm relatively versed on Celtics 60s history, but it felt pretty noobish, lacking in new revelations or anything that challenged my existing understanding of their rivalry. I found it, for example, less compelling than the Simmons Book of Basketball podcasts 2.0 that do a better job taking a stance on players (was Rick Barry underrated because everyone hated him, how Shaq is the greatest player who underachieved, etc). Hopefully, she'll find her footing as the show goes along.

Her focus on Russell and Wilt's involvement in the civil rights movement was the best part for me. I was aware of the broad strokes of this, particularly Russell's part, but I'd always read it through the filter of old-school white guy journalism that tended to skitter over the topic and not dwell on it as deeply.
This was exactly my response as well. I love Jackie M., but all the episode did was go over old ground. No new stories, no nuanced takes. I was really disappointed.
Fully agree with you both on the first episode. I'll give it a couple more episodes, but it didn't become 'must listen' like I expected it to be.
 

Kliq

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I've been listening to The Town, Matt Beloni's (former Hollywood Reporter editor) podcast on the business-side of entertainment. Quick, 20 minute episodes, looks like a couple of times a week; easy to listen too and I feel like I'm learning things.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I've been listening to The Town, Matt Beloni's (former Hollywood Reporter editor) podcast on the business-side of entertainment. Quick, 20 minute episodes, looks like a couple of times a week; easy to listen too and I feel like I'm learning things.
As a Disney employee, I’m very much enjoying his “I don’t want to pile on, but…” takes.
 

m0ckduck

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Fully agree with you both on the first episode. I'll give it a couple more episodes, but it didn't become 'must listen' like I expected it to be.
I just listened to half of Ep 2, and— sorry to say— I think I'm out. It has the same disappointingly vanilla delivery as the first episode.

I don't understand Jackie's approach to this. If you're the kind of fan who nerds out on NBA history, then you need clearly some some new material or new angle to keep your interest. She approaches the podcast as though it's for people who don't know the first thing about the NBA history before 1980— but it's hard to imagine many of these people suddenly developing an appetite for long podcasts about NBA players from 50-70 years ago anyway. So, I don't understand who she thinks her audience is.

It's also annoying how the connective tissue of the series is supposed to be NBA greats passing the torch by reaching out to a younger generation and giving them advice. It doesn't work because she mostly can't go into detail about what was discussed in these conversations, so it just turns into, "Wow, Bill Russell once called Dr. J to give him advice... and then Dr. J once called Charles Barkley to give him advice" and so on.

Edit: grammar
 

TheGazelle

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So Craig is essentially right (maybe not about throwing out the big stone rather than giving it to charity) and the Rose take down is kind of ridiculous because it's willfully ignores the conventions of the genre (it would be like if some chick flick podcast ripped on might ducks movies because there's no way the underdog would win....). But it totally doesn't matter because the podcast was the kind of glorious dumb fun that we all enjoy from Simmons.
Yeah, there are real pieces of the Rose takedown that are dumb -- the best point Van/BS have is WTF is Rose doing throwing a $500M stone in the water like Maverick did with Goose's dog tags at the end of Top Gun -- but the rest is just them hating how these movies work. That said you are completely right that it doesn't matter because Van yelling about what Rose's dead husband would do when Rose ran to Jack in Heaven was spectacularly stupid fun.
 

Leather

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I liked the Titanic (2) episode more than I thought I would but one thing Simmons kept harping on as a reason that Rose is an asshole is dread wrong: if she and Jack had taken turns on the board and in the water, they both would have died of hypothermia.
 

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I liked the Titanic (2) episode more than I thought I would but one thing Simmons kept harping on as a reason that Rose is an asshole is dread wrong: if she and Jack had taken turns on the board and in the water, they both would have died of hypothermia.
Yeah, that and calling her out for cheating on Cal were overkill. Those are the kinds of arguments that you usually scrap to preserve your overall point’s credibility, but they were also trying to provoke a reaction so I get it.

I enjoyed the episode as well, though I think they may have missed an opportunity by not having Fennessey on. I think he would have taken the bait and gone off the deep end earlier and more forcefully on the Rose takes. Producer Craig had to hold until the end.

Still, Van Lathan telling Producer Craig that he better immediately defend him if Van ever gets wrongfully cuffed while they’re hanging out socially was funny shit.
 

cromulence

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What do people think of the Shooter Rewatchables? I've never seen the movie, but I often enjoy episodes for movies I haven't seen. This one, though - it just sounds like it's a total piece of shit? There are a few moments where they seem to sincerely praise an aspect of the movie, but for the most part it sounds like they all know that it's terrible. I'm sure there are other Rewatchables episodes for trashy movies, but this one felt different to me, more like a hate watch instead of a rewatch.
 

Leather

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What do people think of the Shooter Rewatchables? I've never seen the movie, but I often enjoy episodes for movies I haven't seen. This one, though - it just sounds like it's a total piece of shit? There are a few moments where they seem to sincerely praise an aspect of the movie, but for the most part it sounds like they all know that it's terrible. I'm sure there are other Rewatchables episodes for trashy movies, but this one felt different to me, more like a hate watch instead of a rewatch.
Yeah, there are only a few Rewatchables that I will skip, and this is one of them. I have never seen Shooter, have no desire to see Shooter, and even conceding that the net of what is a "Rewatchable" is broader than my own limited definition, I just can't fathom why you'd pick a movie like this (47% on RT, some really scathing reviews, has no significant place in pop culture, plot seems kind of generic). I ask this sincerely: has anyone here decided to re-watch Shooter because they really liked it? Maybe I'm off in my limited-info assessment, but if Shooter is a Rewatchable, fucking ANYTHING could be.

There are literally hundreds of better, more well-known, movies that they could do but every once in awhile Simmons picks something entirely mediocre and boring (Focus is another one; it's just a generic hustle movie).
 

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Yeah, there are only a few Rewatchables that I will skip, and this is one of them. I have never seen Shooter, have no desire to see Shooter, and even conceding that the net of what is a "Rewatchable" is broader than my own limited definition, I just can't fathom why you'd pick a movie like this (47% on RT, some really scathing reviews, has no significant place in pop culture, plot seems kind of generic). I ask this sincerely: has anyone here decided to re-watch Shooter because they really liked it? Maybe I'm off in my limited-info assessment, but if Shooter is a Rewatchable, fucking ANYTHING could be.

There are literally hundreds of better, more well-known, movies that they could do but every once in awhile Simmons picks something entirely mediocre and boring (Focus is another one; it's just a generic hustle movie).
I suspect it made the cut because it has a fairly good cast of stars, it’s on cable constantly, and it spawned a TV series.
 

TheGazelle

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The movie is a garden-variety crappy-but-brainlessly-enjoyable action movie. I agree that it's a weird pick, but I'm guessing CR/Shea/BS can make it a fun listen. I'm guessing there will be something in here from BS about how this is "one for us" or that "if we want this feed to last for a while, we can't do Goodfellas" every week. Which, sure.
 

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I mean...

Ben Affleck? Circa 1995/early 96 when they were casting? He was O'Bannon from "Dazed and Confused," the dick from "Mallrats" and not much else. There was 0 reason to believe he could be a decent dramatic actor yet. Just because someone existed at the time doesn't mean they were a plausible choice for a role.

Bill has subsumed everything about "Good Will Hunting" into being something self evident, when the whole buzz and wonder of that movie is that it came out of nowhere. "Who the fuck are these guys?" (including the idea of Williams in a serious role) was why it was as big as it was. It's like Bill has completely forgotten that.

It would be like saying everyone is foolish for not picking Tom Brady in their 2001 fantasy draft.
It was seven years after Awakenings. Williams being serious should not have surprised anyone.