Category Archives: Episodes

Episode #195: Greed is not Good

bullpen

Framegrab from the KPIX helicopter flying over Oracle Park, showing the new bullpens nearing completion.

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Things are tough in the nation right now. From the pandemic to civil unrest, there are many more important things happening than a podcast about baseball and the Giants. Yet, Eric and I decided to go ahead with our recording, as we only do so every two weeks at this point. Perhaps our conversation can be a distraction from these troubling times.

There have been a few developments in the negotiations between the owners and players, but both sides seem to have their feet planted firmly. The owners want to pay the players much less than previously agreed to, with fewer games played, and the players want a prorated salary and more games. They are currently very far apart, and the chances of having a season seem to dwindle with every passing day. But, there is some hope that we’ll see baseball some time this year. We also chat about Vegas reopening, bullpen completion and new dimensions at Oracle Park and more!

Chad

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Episode #194: Baseball in San Francisco…in July?

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Oracle Park may not have fans in July, but could it have baseball? (AFP Photo/JUSTIN SULLIVAN)

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Do we think this is likely? Not really. But, that is the latest bit of news coming out of the baseball world. Last week, MLB owners sent the players association a proposal that would start an 82 game season in July. Some of the main points of how the season would work include the DH for the NL, an expanded 14-team playoff, games restricted to mainly geographic opponents to reduce travel, and a myriad of COVID-19 related guidelines for on-field play (no spitting, chewing tobacco, fist bumps, etc.). They also proposed a 50/50 revenue split with the players, but that would result in lower salaries than the players already agreed to on March 26, when they agreed to a pro-rated salary based on the number of games played. Additionally, California Governor Newsom indicated that pro sports may be able to return by June, without spectators.

All of these issues are massive hurdles, which makes the prospect of a season starting in July seem unlikely. However, baseball fans around the nation would be ecstatic to see their team playing on their home field (on TV) sometime this year.

We also talk about Blake Snell’s unwillingness to play for less, the Giants are paying their non-baseball staff through September, and the OOTP Baseball dream bracket #2 will send in the 1954 and 2012 Giants as part of the field of 64 historic teams.

@ chadk21, @ 2outhits, @torturecast

Show links:

MLB Owners Proposal Highlights: https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-2020-season-plan-owners-approve-proposal-for-july-start-talks-reportedly-begin-without-salary-discussion/

Blog by Craig Calcaterra: https://craigcalcaterra.com/blog/the-pandemic-diary-may-16/ 

Blake Snell: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29174318/rays-ace-blake-snell-says-refuses-play-reduced-salary

OOTP Dream Bracket #2: https://www.mlb.com/dream-bracket

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Episode #193: Could we Have Baseball in June?

fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday the only path for sports to return this summer includes no fans in attendance and players being kept in quarantine for the duration of their seasons. (Photo by Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

We’re back to talk about developments in a plan that may bring baseball back in some form by June. Currently, the plan is to essentially put all players and personnel in a bubble, test them for the virus every week, and make sure they only travel to and from the stadiums and hotel. However, the PPE and test kits required would put a huge strain on medical resources, and there are players with families that are unwilling to be away from their families for five months or longer. Adding families to the bubble would raise the costs and stakes far too much. This plan is questionable, at best, but may be our only route to a form of baseball.

Baseball Reference is simulating the 2020 season with the game, OOTP 21, and currently the Giants are in 4th place at 7-10. Hunter Pence is 1-3 in the players’ league, playing MLB The Show ’20, but he had an epic walk-off Buster Posey homerun in his last game. You can view his games on his Twitch channel.

Stay safe out there, and if you have a quarantine story to share with us, drop us a line at chad@torturecast.com!

@chadk21

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Episode #192: There are no Sports

oraclepark

Oracle Park may be empty for the entire 2020 season.

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

It’s April 8, 2020. Just six weeks ago, we thought we’d be talking about the first week of the regular season by now. Instead, we are without baseball, and without sports worldwide. I found myself watching old Giants games on YouTube as an exercise in remembering what it’s like.

Eric and I chat about how we’re doing during this crisis, but we dive into plans that are being floated that may, just may enable MLB to start the season in June with play across 10+ stadiums and adhering to a strict isolation and testing policy. We’re not so sure this is a feasible plan, but any baseball is better than no baseball! Eric also asked me and the general audience what are your top five Giants-related personalities you would like to be isolated with?

Tune in to find out what we thought! The corona virus has changed our world for now, and although sports and baseball aren’t of the utmost importance, it does bring balance and a little meaning to our lives. We miss it.

Oh, and STAY THE F&%( AT HOME!

Chad

@chadk21

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Episode #191: Corona Virus, Astros, and MLB Season Delayed: a Twitch Special

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The corona virus has upended the world, and this includes the sports world with the suspension of MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS as well as the cancelation of March Madness and all D1 winter championships.

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Check out the video stream on Twitch here! https://www.twitch.tv/videos/566341797

The founder of this podcast, Willie Gregory (@williedills) invited Eric and I to join himself and his friend and Astros fan Ty (@tyberius_asher) on a special Twitch streamed episode to talk about the Astros cheating scandal. However, in the days that passed, the corona virus had taken over the headlines and canceled or suspended sporting events around the world, including Major League Baseball.

In this special episode, we chat with Ty about how he has dealt with the Astros cheating scandal as an Astros fan, and then we dive in to discuss this brave new world that we are in. Covid-19 has forced the suspension of the NBA, NHL, MLS and MLB and canceled March Madness. Even Disneyland closed! My son’s school closed, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the list goes on. Even Tom Hanks and his wife have it.

Join us for a long, interesting, fun, and inebriated episode of the TortureCast!

Check out the video of our stream below!

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Episode #190: Spring has Sprung

masonsaunders

Photo of the winning team for calf roping at a rodeo in December. Yes, the man on the right is Madison Bumgarner. The story broke earlier this week, exposing MadBum, who competed under the alias “Mason Saunders.” This is so Madison Bumgarner. 🙂 (Photo from Rancho Rio’s Facebook page).

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

The crack of the bat, the smell of fresh cut grass, and the warm rays beating down on the fans. Baseball is officially back as spring training and the cactus league is a week into the 2020 season. Eric and I chat about our impressions of the first week of Giants’ baseball, and to be honest, although this team may not be that good, what if they surprise us. No, not playoff surprise, but maybe a 75 win season? Time will tell.

We also dive into “who is Mason Saunders?”, revisit the Houston Astros cheating scandal, Aubrey Huff, possible playoff expansion, and we even have our first music break, with a song sent in by a listener. Enjoy “Baseball always brings you home” by Shel Krakofsky and Dave Dresser.

Chad

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Episode #189: The Reverend is Back

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Hunter Pence was a hit at Giants FanFest, just a couple of days after signing back with San Francisco. Photo by SF Chronicle

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Pence is back, along with the Panda. Pretty soon we might see Barry Zito as the batboy. For all the analytical signings that Farhan zips out, he signed two fan favorites. We talk about all of the signings, FanFest, media day, Giants players adjusting to life without Bumgarner…and ALERT, PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT TOMORROW! What a sweet sentence that is.

Alas, we know there is some overlap with Giants and 49ers fans. However, if you don’t like the 49ers or don’t care about football, fast forward this episode about 20 minutes, as Eric and I get into the mess that was the Super Bowl. And…with new software we’re still trying to dial in the audio levels, thanks for your patience!

Also, Eric is writing all week. Be sure to check out his work right here at http://www.torturecast.com.

Chad

@chadk21

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Episode #188: Is this Real Life?

bumgarnerdbacks

Madison Bumgarner signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in December. The Giants lost their ace and may face him up to 5 times each the next 5 seasons.

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Happy New Year! Oh, and the 49ers are in the Super Bowl!!

We last recorded in November, and WOW, what a difference a holiday season can make. MadBum signed with Arizona, the cheating scandal saw three managers and a GM get fired, Farhan Zaidi is acquiring young talent faster than his hairline is receding. Eric and I talk about the off-season moves, the Hall of Fame vote, the mostly brand-new coaching staff, including the first MLB full-time female coach, Vegas doesn’t like the Giants, and much more in this episode of TortureCast!

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Episode #187: The Kapler Era Begins

Gabe Kapler

New Giants manager Gabe Kapler positing on the the field at Oracle Park on the day he was introduced to the press on November 13, 2019. Photo by Eric Risberg, The Associated Press. All rights reserved

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

We told you we would be back when the manager was hired. What we didn’t foresee is the hiring of a controversial manager, a new GM, the loss of two HUGE Giants, the 2019 season awards, and a cheating scandal that is rocking the baseball world ALL THIS WEEK! Boy, did we have a lot to talk about in this meaty episode!

We dive into the controversial hiring of Gabe Kapler, the hiring of Scott Harris as the GM, Will Smith signed a three year, $40 million deal with Atlanta, Bumgarner officially declined his qualifying offer from the Giants, all of the season awards, and the Astros sign-stealing scandal that is likely to alter the course of Astros history going forward.

You may disagree with some of our opinions about Kapler. Let us know your thoughts on this topic, we’d love to dissect them in the next show!

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Episode #186: Nats are the Champs

 

2019 World Series Game 7 - Washington Nationals v. Houston Astros

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 30: Members of the Washington Nationals celebrate becoming World Series champions. The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Much like the “Mattress King” did, we thought the Astros would win the World Series. Unlike the “Mattress King,” we did not bet 3 million bucks on it. Congratulations to the Washington Nationals for bringing home the coveted Tiffany trophy for the first time in the city’s history. It wasn’t the most exciting seven game series that we’ve seen, with only one game decided by one run and the rest by 3 or more, but it was seven games, nonetheless.

Eric and Chad review the World Series and then talk about the Giants who elected free agency, and the finalists for the Giants’ managerial position.

We’ll be back periodically throughout the offseason, even for short(ish) episodes when something big drops. Perhaps signing Cole? We kid.

Thank you for all of your support throughout the 2019 season. It was our most successful year after our inaugural season of 2011. We recorded 28 podcast episodes during the season, totaling over 30 hours of content, including a few interviews. We hope to bring as much or more audio content to you in 2020, and perhaps more video products. We want to hear what you want! Send us a line at chad at torturecast dot com.

Thanks, and we’ll see you soon!

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