Piffcast: Season Two Begins

After a 3 month hiatus, The Piffcast is back!

During that time…

TJ got MARRIED, the Cubs won the pennant, The Walking Dead returned, and a whole lot more happened. We talk about TJ’s wedding reception playlist, why Cubs fans hate Joe Buck (and Mike doesn’t), what made TJ quit Walking Dead BEFORE the Season 7 premiere, where Luke Cage ranks among the Marvel Netflix shows, and the totally off-the-rails tangents you come to expect from us.

Join the conversation on Facebook or TwitterYou can subscribe to The Piffcast on iTunes too.

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Piffcast: The Comeback-cast

After a nice long break, the Piffcast is back! It’s been a month, so Mike and TJ had some catching up to do…

– Developing a Kris Bryant’s up-to-bat Alert App
– Comic-Con Trailer Roundup
– TJ’s movie homework (including some Mark Ruffalo recommendations)
– What we’re watching on TV (Stranger Things, The Night Of)
– The Pokemon around Mike’s house (don’t go looking)
– Coldplay at Soldier Field and K-Pop ‘farms’
– A special thank you to awesome people

…and much more!

Join the conversation on Facebook or TwitterYou can subscribe to The Piffcast on iTunes too.

Piffcast: The ‘Game of Thrones’ S6 Review Special

If you aren’t caught up on Game of Thrones, go do that and then listen to our show.

TJ and Michael go ALL OUT THRONES for the 20th Piffcast episode, recapping and reviewing the entire epic 6th season. We bounce region to region, House to House, giving our 2 cents on every storyline and where we think they are going. Listen in for our favorite (and least favorite) episodes from Season 6, favorite characters, and ALL THINGS THRONES. 

React as you listen on Facebook or Twitter!

You can subscribe to The Piffcast on iTunes too.

Piffcast: The Thirteenth – Jessica Kleinschmidt and The Winter Soldier

Making her return to The Piffcast is FanDuel sportswriter Jessica Kleinschmidt! With Chicago being the hottest town in baseball at the moment, we ask Jessica to settle a few Cubs/White Sox arguments for their respective fanbases that will likely come up before the Crosstown Cup series. We also cast our own version of the Space Jam sequel, but with Major League Baseball players. Find out if your favorites make the cut! (27:21 mark, if you’d like to jump ahead)

Now that Captain America: Civil War is finally here, TJ and I (WITHOUT ANY SPOILERS) discuss what the movie got right compared to Batman v. Superman. I also reveal where it ranks in my “Favorite Movies of 2016 so far” list.

Feel free to react as you listen on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe on iTunes here and listen to our past Piffcast episodes

MLB All-Star Game Voting Has Begun

Just 3 weeks into the regular season, polls are officially open for Major League Baseball’s All-Star game voting. You can vote early and often by clicking here to go directly to the ballot.

The 2016 All-Star Game takes place July 12th, at Petco Park in San Diego, CA, with some of the best craft beer selection you could ask for. Voting ends June 30th at 11:59 PM ET. Fans can vote up to 5 times in any 24-hour period.

This is what my first ballot looks like, considering the small sample size of work everyone has done so far.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 1.34.50 PM

As of Sunday, April 24th at 1:00 PM CT…

  • Cubs OF Dexter Fowler leads the league in Wins Above Replacement (1.8 WAR) and is tied for the most doubles hit (9).
  • White Sox OF Adam Eaton leads the league in Defensive WAR (0.8) and runs saved (7) while batting .309.
  • Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy leads the league in Batting Average (.411) *with the required number of at-bats*
  • Nationals OF Bryce Harper and Rockies SS Trevor Story lead the league in Home Runs (8), while Harper leads all in Runs Batted In (22).
  • Astros 2B Jose Altuve leads the league in Stolen Bases (7).
  • Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo and Orioles 1B Chris Davis lead those in their respective leagues at their position in Home Runs (6).
  • Orioles 3B Manny Machado leads the league in Hits (27), Total Bases (53 and, On-Base Plus Slugging (1.225 OPS), while batting .397.

You can make your votes and see the stats lined up from each player from the MLB website here.

Let us know who you are voting for on Facebook or Twitter. 

Your Annual Reminder It’s Opening Day

While the weather forecast may have called for overcast skies (a day after disheartening April blizzards in Chicago), there’s still a ray of sunshine breaking through any and all mundane mediocrity clouding your life. For one day, every cliche and sports movie monologue feels as inviting as the guy selling programs when you walk through your favorite stadium’s gate.

Only a handful of teams are playing today, the Cardinals, Pirates, Blue Jays, Rays, Mets and Royals. The whole league will be in action tomorrow and the hometown love will pour over each respective ball club, but it’s amazing how we can all be just as excited today. Is it because everyone is tied for first place at this very moment? Do we forget that there are 161 games to go and anything can happen from now till October? Or is it because we just can’t help but “get romantic about baseball”?

The romance is real. It hits you when you first climb the steps from the concourse toward your seats at Wrigley Field, much like walking up a ramp to your aisle at Fenway Park when the sun starts to set. If you’re lucky enough to share that with someone, don’t take it for granted. As a White Sox fan, I lose myself in their brand new pregame montage every year, with moving music and memories. I forget I’m 28 years old and involuntary noises erupt from my windpipes as the fireworks signal it’s time to begin. There are micro-versions of these instances throughout the long regular season, but nothing compares to the first.

I could go into a long thing about hope for every team, only for someone (maybe myself) to shoot it all down with projections, sabermetrics, and the pessimistic cold hard reality check that not everyone is meant for the playoffs. However, baseball is weird…quite possibly the weirdest of the major sports. While numbers, trends, and track records are real and incredibly valid, you can’t predict injuries, suspensions, personal issues, trades or the litany of fortune-bending occurrences that are bound to happen over the next 6 months.

Also alluring is the mystery of what kind of greatness and individual accomplishments this new season will hold. Who will be the closest to batting .400? How long will someone go in their hitting-streak, and will the challenge Joe DiMaggio? Who will throw the next perfect game? Can anyone emulate the 1998 home run race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire (and not be busted for steroids)? Where will longtime veterans finish on the all-time lists (Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols) and who can we get excited about to possibly surpass them someday (Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant)? Who will come out of nowhere?

Right now, more than any time the rest of regular season, you can comfortably be a fan. You can be excited. You can be optimistic. You can be a full grown…kid. For a few hours at a time, you can escape to a game you love and forget about the drama and stresses of life for a little bit. It’s Opening Day. Just have fun.

Share your experiences and thoughts with me this season on Facebook or Twitter

 

Piffcast: The Fifth One – March Madness

This month, college hoops takes center stage. What better way to get you prepared for March Madness than talk to a pro that knows everything going into the tourney? Scott Phillips from NBC Sports and I talk about the elite teams, stars who should shine, the bubble teams, potential Cinderellas and more. (Interview starts at the 30:35 mark if you want to jump ahead)

TJ and I also get into some TV talk, the Ballpark Foodie series, and tease next week’s “Selection Monday” show for our TV Character Madness Tournament. We also introduce the Piffcast Cork Board for those of you who have a project, event or cause you’d like to promote. Listen to find out more about it.

Join the conversation by interacting with us on Facebook or Twitter!