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Baseball Central

Jeff Blair and ex-MLBer Kevin Barker discuss all the news and stories on-and-off the major league and minor league diamonds.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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July 27: Another Bullpen Loss, Burks, & Merloni

Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker discuss the Blue Jays latest loss after the Red Sox rallied from behind to earn a 5-4 win at Fenway Park. Ellis Burks, former Red Sox outfielder and current MLB analyst, discusses the Red Sox season to date, Bo Bichette’s approach at the plate, and the pressure that comes with being acquired by a winning team at the deadline (24:47). Former MLB infielder and current radio host Lou Merloni chimes-in with more on the Red Sox-Blue Jays series and talks about what Alex Cora’s intangibles as manager (48:35). The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliate.

27 Jul 2021

Rank #1

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July 26: Barker’s Birthday and the Bo Sox

Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker recap the Blue Jays series to the New York Mets, notably yesterday’s  one-run 5-4 loss. Tampa Bay Rays reporter Marc Topkin discusses how Nelson Cruz is fitting in with the Rays after their deal with the Minnesota Twins and what else the team might be shopping for at the deadline as they battle the Boston Red Sox atop the AL East (25:36). Speaking of Boston, former AL MVP and NESN analyst Mo Vaughn joins the show to preview this week’s Blue Jays-Red Sox series (47:44). The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliate.

1hr 33mins

26 Jul 2021

Rank #2

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July 23: Reunited with Gibby!

Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker examine the latest news around Major League Baseball: notably the Tampa Bay Rays trading for Nelson Cruz and Cleveland changing their name to the Guardians. Former Blue Jays manager John Gibbons discusses his experiences in the week before the trade deadline and shares his opinion on Toronto’s current squad (17:50) The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

47mins

23 Jul 2021

Rank #3

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July 22: No more Buffalo for the Blue Jays

Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker recap Toronto’s loss to the Boston Red Sox and key in on Robbie Ray’s outing, Danny Jansen’s injury opening up the door for Alejandro Kirk, and Jordan Romano being used in the 8th inning. New York Mets Bench Coach (and home run derby pitcher extraordinaire!)  Dave Jauss previews the upcoming series between Toronto and New York and discusses Jacob deGrom’s dominance on the mound this season. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

47mins

22 Jul 2021

Rank #4

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July 21: Ross Atkins Speaks & Walk Off Wednesday!

Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker react to Ross Atkins’ comments suggesting that the team is concentrating on run prevention at the deadline and that Nate Pearson is an option for the team’s bullpen going forward. Then it’s time for Walk Off Wednesday: Jeff and Kevin take calls and texts on what the Blue Jays could do at the deadline, Pearson in the bullpen, Giancarlo Stanton’s struggles in NY, and Nelson Cruz as a trade candidate. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

47mins

21 Jul 2021

Rank #5

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July 20: A Loss to Forget vs. Boston

Jeff & Kevin recap the Blue Jays’ 13-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox and discuss Ross Stripling’s post-game comments that summed up his thoughts regarding moving around between different homes this season. The duo look ahead to tonight’s game: What the Blue Jays can expect from Garrett Richards and Thomas Hatch being thrust into a start after Alek Manoah’s injury. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

47mins

20 Jul 2021

Rank #6

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July 19: Sweeping Away the Rangers

Jeff & Kevin recap the Toronto Blue Jays’ series sweep over the Texas Rangers that saw impressive performances from both the pitching staff and hitters. The pair also look ahead to the Jays’ return to Rogers Centre and have an announcement about their show! WEEI’s Rob Bradford discusses the Red Sox as they get ready to face Toronto in an AL East series at Sahlen Field. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

46mins

19 Jul 2021

Rank #7

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July 16: Blue Jays-Rangers with CJ Nitkowski

Jeff & Kevin discuss the latest news around the game: The Yankees COVID-19 situation, the Atlanta Braves trading for Joc Pederson, and wonder if the Blue Jays would be able to trade for an unvaccinated player. MLB Network Radio & Texas Rangers analyst CJ Nitkowski gives the scouting report on Texas ahead of the Blue Jays series and talks about returning from the All-Star break as a player. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

47mins

16 Jul 2021

Rank #8

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July 15: Stepping into The Mayor’s Office

Jeff & Kevin open up with the latest on the Blue Jays’ status on a return to Toronto, and discuss the team’s starting rotation against the Texas Rangers. MLB Network analyst “The Mayor” Sean Casey looks ahead to MLB’s second half, and shares his thoughts on the Blue Jays, Joey Gallo, and if players are being over-coached at a young age. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

47mins

15 Jul 2021

Rank #9

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July 14: Vladimir Guerrero Jr: All-Star Game MVP

Jeff & Kevin react to the the 2021 MLB All-Star Game where Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won the MVP award – becoming the first Toronto Blue Jays player to do so. Then it’s time for Walk Off Wednesday! The duo ask Jays fans for their second half wishes. Only time will tell if they come true . . . The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

46mins

14 Jul 2021

Rank #10