April 10, 2017: Sam Miller's guide to enjoying baseball

One of our favorite writers at A Foot In The Box is ESPN's Sam Miller. Last Friday, he wrote an excellent piece entitled "Hot to enjoy baseball" that I got around to earlier today. Make sure to give it a read yourself, but I'll list a few tips that Miller offers up for baseball novices looking to enjoy baseball:

  • How to watch baseball: don't watch baseball
    • Don't feel like you have to watch all 500 hours of baseball this year. Start small, listen on the radio, and catch a game or two in person.
  • What to watch when you do watch: the catcher's mitt
    • Don't be intimated by the number of players and rules. Stick to the catcher's mitt at first and delight or despair in a pitcher's ability to hit a target with a tiny ball thrown amazingly fast.
  • Whom to watch: the relievers
    • "Learn their names. Learn their dimensions. Learn what they throw. Learn their failures; they're almost all failed low-round picks or washed-out starters who have found some degree of fame, wealth and usefulness in the bullpen, baseball's loser's bracket."

After week one of the 2017 MLB season, the Twins, Orioles, and D-Backs are flying high with only one loss each. Obviously a good start is better than a bad one, but beware of jumping to any conclusions. Last year, the Reds were 5-1 and atop the NL Central after the first week of the season...that didn't turn out so well for them.

This week's podcast is an instant classic. We sat down with a couple great guests to talk Cubs and White Sox. And Peter talked with a few random Royals fans while he vacationed in Kansas City. If you haven't listened already, be sure check it out. 

April 7, 2017: MLBfarm.com, Puig's hot start, and next week's podcast

With so many teams rebuilding again in 2017, having handy sources of information for tracking your team's minor league prospects is vital. My recommendation: MLBfarm.com. The site, run by Daren Willman but not formally affiliated with MLB, is amazing. It's a one-stop shop for stats of of every minor league player. In just a couple minutes, you can get a sense for how each of your favorite prospects did the night before. For example, over lunch today I checked in on the White Sox top prospects and learned that Yoan Moncada went 3/6 last night with three singles and two strikeouts, Reynaldo Lopez gave up 2 ER and 3 BB in 3 IP, and Zack Collins went 3/4 with two doubles. Go check it out!

Yasiel Puig has started his season off on the right foot. In 16 plate appearances against the Padres, Puig collected five hits, four walks, and three home runs. Zachary Rymer of Bleacher Report writes about Puig's start and the changes he's made to his swing.

Next week's podcast will feature interviews with Cubs and White Sox experts. Paul sat down with The Athletic's James Fegan and Peter talked to BP Wrigleyville's Daniel Hodgman. Make sure to give it a listen on Monday morning!