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Jan 23, 2020

"Who was banging on the trash can?!"

With everything going on in Major League Baseball right now, the Moonlight Graham Show had to dig out the mics in-between seasons to put together an emergency podcast. And who better to be our Moonlighter than Des Moines Register’s baseball insider, Tommy Birch. This week, Tim and Tommy ignore the snowfall and focus on a heated issue; the Houston Astros cheating their way to the top of the MLB in 2017 and 2018.

Tommy Birch covers the Iowa Cubs and Major League Baseball for the Des Moines Register and brings his knowledge of the game and perspective into the studio to talk about the biggest baseball scandal in years. If you haven’t been following the news, we have all of the details. The Houston Astros were using a live in-game feed to communicate what pitch was coming to hitters. Big names like Jose Altuve, Carlos Beltran, AJ Hinch, and Alex Cora at the center of the story as well as unnamed sources and players receiving immunity to tell their story. The story has been coming out in pieces but this story really hit the national radar in November and the baseball commissioner’s report released on January 13th. It is hard to know how many players and teams could potentially be involved and where the story is going next.

"Baseball just has to embrace what it is, who it is, and how it is played"

As this scandal continues to unfold, Tim and Tommy look back on sports history and try to put this scandal in perspective. From the Black Sox to Lance Armstrong, the guys weigh in on where the Astros ranks all time. Baseball is no stranger to piquing the national interest (or ire) with scandal. The black eyes from Pete Rose betting on baseball and, later,  the strike in ‘94 were overshadowed by the steroid era. The use of technology presents a unique challenge to modern sports because of the unknown potential of what might happen next.

The bright side of the scandal is all of the attention being brought to baseball. As the baseball junkies, Tim and Tommy weigh in on a host of challenges facing the MLB today and what baseball has to do to recapture the attention of the casual fan.  

Enjoy this week’s emergency interview with our newest Moonlighter, Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register.