This weekend, I'm writing from Kansas City on my annual road trip with my friend Matt. For longtime listeners, you may remember Matt from Episodes 12 (live from a Cubs-Indians game) and 57 (White Sox game on July 4th).
By his own admission, Matt is not a die-hard baseball fan. But, the Cubs postseason run last year piqued his curiosity and is perhaps more open to the game than ever before. This morning, I sat down with Matt at a hipster coffee shop in downtown KC to gage his current interest in baseball and his ideas for improving the sport.
Peter: Are you enjoying Kansas City so far?
Matt: Yes, it's a fun city with some great food and atmosphere.
Peter: Well said, Matt. This seems to be a baseball city, which surprised me. Would you agree?
Matt: Yeah, the Royals hat is pretty iconic. So even non-baseball fans wear them more than the Chiefs or Sporting KC.
Peter: While we're talking about baseball, how would you describe your current interest int the sport?
Matt: Low to none. Although I think the sport is boring, I think I've grown more to see the traditions and cultural impact of baseball. I like how close-knit the fans are. It also has some cool stats, but it's still boring.
Peter: Is there anything baseball executives could do to make baseball more interesting?
Matt: I think my biggest problem with baseball is the length of the season. For example, the Royals started 0-3 but it doesn't matter. I think I would be more inclined if it could be contained in a 30 minute time slot. So, like a four inning game. It wouldn't bode well for fans going to games, so maybe teams could share stadiums and play more doubleheaders. And I think there should be another game for the outfield. Like throwing an egg without breaking...
Peter: During the game?
Matt: Yeah, I feel like they would get so bored.
Peter: Certainly some things to consider there. In 20 years, what will the American sports landscape look like?
Matt: Are we counting ultimate frisbee?
Matt: I think football will decrease a lot.
Peter: Will Mike Glennon be in the Halll of Fame?
Matt: No, I don't think he'll last through this season. I think basketball will be the biggest, if it isn't already. I think people will be more into baseball, and it might get a little more popular. Football will be third. No one knows the stars of American soccer, so that will hold it back.
Peter: Who's your favorite baseball player?
Matt: Besides Brett Lawrie? The players I know the most are on the Cubs, so probably Rizzo.
Peter: Is there any baseball destination you'd like to visit on a future friendcation?
Matt: I've never been to Wrigley, so that would be cool. And Fenway. I've heard there's a monster that lives there. Also, isn't it weird that there are two MVPs? Who's better, Mike Trout or Kris Bryant?
Peter: Mike Trout. Have you heard of him?
Matt: Yeah. I think there should only be one MVP.
Peter: Alright, last question. Who wins the 2017 World Series?
Matt: Cubs over the White Sox.
Peter: That would be something. Well thanks for your time, Matt. Let's go eat some more grilled meats.