I have, from time to time, taken on the task of cataloging and describing the various blogs around the Internet that focus on the St. Louis Cardinals. I most recently did that last January and it already needs a severe reworking, which is pretty much the nature of blogging. They come and go, though lately it seems more have been going than coming.
However, while the blogging arena may be declining in numbers (though not in quality, I don’t believe), it seems like podcasts about the Cardinals are growing at a large rate. At one time it was basically just Redbirds of a Feather and UCB Radio. While the former may be gone (I miss Freddie at times), there have been a large number of them to take its place.
I don’t claim to have found all the podcasts that relate to the Cardinals, nor am I a regular connoisseur of them. I’ve tried to listen to at least part of a show of each of the below to give a general idea of what it’s like, but I don’t claim that it’s authoritative. It’s just a guide to help you know what might be out there.
What you’ll notice about almost every show is that it’s not a solo effort. I’ve done some UCB Radio episodes where I’ve had to talk for 30 minutes by my lonesome and that’s an exhausting premise. Plus the addition of a co-host helps keep people on task and diligent in their recordings, I imagine. My solo show, which features an interview but also has my own thoughts at the end, is sporadic in part because of that lack of accountability.
Also, every show on here would love to hear your feedback, whether positive or negative. (Well, if it’s negative, at least couch it as constructive criticism, will ya?) It’s a tough thing to broadcast to the winds of the Internet, so knowing someone is listening can make a huge difference. Plus, rating podcasts on iTunes can help them get exposure and found by other folks of a like mind. Consider writing a review and letting them (and those browsing) know what you like about it. Drop them a Tweet and let them know you’ve subscribed. Especially if you like the show, give occasional encouragement. It’ll never go amiss and it might be what keeps them doing the show or doing it more regularly.
That being said, let’s take a look at the shows. I’ll get mine, or at least ones that I’m tangentially related to, out of the way first.
The Best Dans In Baseball (iTunes link, Facebook page, Twitter): We’ll start with the newest one. Dan Buffa thought it’d be a fine idea if two guys named Dan (well, sorta) from Arkansas talked Cardinal baseball every week. Two shows in and I can’t say he was wrong. We usually record on Thursday nights and the show gets up sometime on Friday or Saturday. They aren’t brief–put the two of us together and we can talk until the cows come home, get a nap, and go back out again–but they’ve been well received so far, I believe. Usually about an hour to 1:15 in length.
Conversations With C70 (iTunes link): My personal baby, it’s the only place that I get to ramble without feeling like I’m putting my co-host to sleep. The focal point of most episodes is a talk with another blogger, usually getting into their history and background before we talk about current baseball events. Many times they are Cardinal bloggers, but sometimes they’ll be from another fan base, which makes for a little different perspective. I wrap the show monologuing about the Redbirds, so there’s always at least some St. Louis chatter. Typically the show runs a little over an hour, though it’s been known to go longer with the right guest. This one is pretty irregular, as I usually have to find time in my calendar to do it, but I wish I could do it more often. Bonus: its own, specially-commissioned theme song and my interview with Tyler Lyons.
Gateway To Baseball Heaven (iTunes link): Every Sunday night at 10 PM Central, two of the Best Fans In Baseball bring you all the news and analysis you need about the St. Louis Cardinals. This show is on the Seamheads Podcasting Network over at BlogTalkRadio. Bill Ivie and I started the show when SPN went live at the beginning of 2011 and my current co-host Tara Wellman took over late in the 2012 season and has been with me ever since. We’re limited to basically 30 minutes, but it’s always a highlight of my week to talk with Tara and go over what has happened in the last week for the Cardinals. It’s a lively and quick run through the week of #stlcards and we have a lot of fun doing it. (Note, if you subscribe to this link, you’ll get all the SPN shows, not just ours.)
UCB Radio (iTunes link): While I used to have more of a hand in this one, we’ve got so many great folks involved that I just have to pop in from time to time to make sure they don’t forget about me. Each week of the month has a different dedicated broadcast team. To wit, we have Buffa and Doug Voliet (Week 1), Chris Mallonee and A.J. Blankenship (Week 2), Tara and Matt Whitener (Week 3), and Jon Doble and Kevin Reynolds (Week 4). On those rare five-week months, I fill in with a guest host. UCB Radio has been around almost as long as the UCB itself, as I believe it started in December of 2008. Now, it’s a 30-minute show every Wednesday night at 10 PM Central as part of Ivie League Productions. Like Gateway, it’s a great way to recap a week of Cardinal baseball and with the various hosts you are likely to get a lot of different points of view throughout the month on the big topics of the day.
And now that we’ve acknowledged those, here’s a few of the others that I know about. I’m not saying this is the definitive work (unlike my blogging claim!) and if I miss anyone, I’d be more than happy to edit the post to add them. I’m adding the iTunes link because I’m on the IOS environment, but you can probably find them in Google Play or on the related websites without much trouble. I also contacted these and asked if they wanted to add a quote or blurb to their entry, so if they did, that info is in quotes below.
Baseball STL Podcast (iTunes link): J.J. Bailey from KMOV was doing this one solo (though interviewing folks) but now has been joined by Chris Hrabe from KMOX to fill out the podcasting team. It actually ties into the Baseball STL app (iTunes, Google) and has the production values you’d expect from a couple of guys who are in the media business. The shows runs 30-45 minutes and you can get a great look inside the organization from folks that are closer to the front lines than most of us are. It’s an organized show with some great Cardinal talk.
In their words: “The BaseballStL podcast is a weekly discussion of all things Cardinal baseball hosted by me and occasionally KMOX’s Chris Hrabe. The show features guests ranging from prospects to coaches to Cardinals beat writers and broadcasters. Episodes are about 30 minutes and offer in-depth looks at everything from the minor league system to Major League moves.”
The Best Podcast in Baseball (iTunes): One of the reasons this post came into being was to lament the passing of the podcast that Derrick Goold and Bernie Miklasz did last year. Now that Bernie has moved on to 101 ESPN, Derrick has revived the show (originally titled As So Often Happens before reverting to the original moniker) with Bernie’s successor, Benjamin Hochman, for a look at the local nine. The new show has a different dynamic than the original, as Derrick now is the one more often posing the questions than in the past, but the byplay between them is quite engaging.
Cubs Cards Cast (iTunes link, Facebook page, Twitter): Dan Curry and John Pearman are political consultants, but with a wonderful twist for this show. Dan’s a lifelong Cardinals fan who now finds himself in the Windy City, while John grew up with the Cubs but now calls under the Arch home. So, not unexpectedly, there’s a lot of good-natured ribbing and trash talk as they break down what happened for both teams during the week and how they stand in relation to each other. No doubt the weeks that see the Cards and Cubs get together are epic, though I haven’t gone back to listen to some of the old shows.
In their words: “Political consultants by day Dan Curry and John Pearman love baseball. Dan is a lifelong Cardinals’ fan living in the Chicago area and John is a lifelong Cubs’ living in St. Louis. They talk about baseball’s best rivalry every week in a new podcast.”
STL CardGals (iTunes link, Twitter): This is the one I’ve been listening to the most lately and one of the pods that inspired this post. Sisters Laura and Holly recap each series and the various other news of the day as it relates to both the Cardinals and to certain former Redbirds. That means they usually update the podcast twice a week and they run roughly 30 minutes or so. It’s a really fun listen that goes by very quickly.
In their words: “A fan-perspective St. Louis Cardinals baseball podcast hosted by two sisters: your source for totally biased baseball.”
St. Louis Cardinals Podcasts (iTunes link): If you want plugged in, this will get you there. It’s the closest thing to an “official” podcast, as it’s produced by MLB.com and features Dave Raymond as the host, usually talking with Jenifer Langosch, who has the Cardinals beat for MLB.com. (Yeah, I know, I probably don’t have to tell you who Jenifer is, but we’ll cover all the bases as it were.) These are pretty short little hits–around 10 minutes–and come out weekly, so you don’t get an in-depth dive but you do find out some of the issues of the day and Jenifer is always knowledgeable about what is going on with the club.
Talking About Birds (iTunes link, Twitter): Nate Heininger and Ben Simorka record their shows on Mondays and do a solid job going through the week that was and what may have arisen on and off the field. Nate and Ben interact well with each other and the shows run from 1:15 to 1:30, but the time goes by quickly and it’s intelligent baseball talk. I’ve only listened to one all the way through, but it’s definitely a show I’d recommend.
In their words: “We’re a couple of baseball nerds who started a podcast because we were tired of watered down mainstream media and, at the time, couldn’t find any good local podcasts. We focus on the St. Louis Cardinals because that’s our passion, but we genuinely love talking about baseball, so the conversations can vary. We release an episode every week (every Monday, sometimes Tuesday) and we try not to make fun of Al Hrabosky too much (impossible).”
Talking Redbirds (iTunes link, Twitter): This one hasn’t updated in a month or so, but it is still current enough that I wanted to add it in here, as the hosts may return to it at any time. Matt and Brock have a very convivial interaction, bantering back and forth on the Cardinals and sometimes quite unrelated tangents. Please note that this one does come with the “Explicit” tag on iTunes, pretty much for a healthy dose of language. While that may not deter many of you, it is worth knowing. (A similar situation was The Backup Catcher, hosted by Brian Vaughn of StanGraphs fame, when it was being updated.) If that doesn’t bother you, you likely will enjoy hanging out with two friends talking baseball.
Viva El Birdos (iTunes link): It’s not a surprise that the biggest Cardinal blog on the Internet started a podcast. What is surprising is that it took them so long! The VEB podcast started in August of last season and has regularly updated since then, recording on Sundays with a release usually on Mondays. Ben Humphrey is the constant here, with his low-key presence being augmented by a rotating cast of Viva writers, such as Heather Simon, Aaron Schafer, or our old friend Joe Schwarz. If you read VEB, you know what you are getting here–an analytical view of what has been happening and what might happen going forward for the Cardinals.
Before we leave the topic, I do want to note that UCB member Eugene Tierney has his own podcast, where he mixes in baseball as well as other things like comics and the like. If you like your podcast with a little more variety, you should check out The Nyrdcast.
There you have it. Whether you want a short dose of info or are willing to settle in for the long haul, whether you want a sabermetric approach or just off-the-cuff talking, there’s a podcast for you out there. So download some and start listening today!