The ALOST Podcast, XVIII: Major League Baseball Preview 2015

To address the woes at the DH position last season - as well as to give Robinson Cano (l.) protection in the batting order - the Seattle Mariners went out and acquired Nelson Cruz. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
To address the woes at the DH position last season – as well as to give Robinson Canó (l.) protection in the batting order – the Seattle Mariners went out and acquired a proven bat in Nelson Cruz (r.). (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Wasn’t it just yesterday that the San Francisco Giants wrapped up their third World Series title in five seasons in Kansas City? Don’t look now, but baseball season has arrived yet again.

With that in mind, our latest episode of The A Lot of Sports Talk Podcast is all about previewing the 2015 Major League Baseball season, which starts on Sunday night before the traditional Opening Day on Monday. All three guests on the program follow teams that are projected to do big things in the 2015 season. Our first guest is F.P. Santangelo, former Major League Baseball player and current color commentator for the Washington Nationals on MASN. After the Nationals’ disappointing end in the playoffs after a 96-win regular season in 2014, Santangelo talks about whether there are any lingering effects of the playoff loss to the Giants, how surprised he was that the team signed ace pitcher Max Scherzer in free agency and the biggest issues that could keep the Nationals from repeating as N.L. East Champions. We also extend our sincerest thanks to our college wrestling expert and Nationals diehard fan, Angela Halsted, for providing a few questions for us to ask F.P., including one which allowed him to explain why he uses a certain catchphrase on the air after the Nationals’ record their first hit of a baseball game.

We then head to the Great Northwest, where the Seattle Mariners are thinking championship in the A.L. West after an 87-win season last season and coming up just one game short of making the playoffs. Shannon Drayer, Seattle Mariners reporter on KIRO Radio in Seattle, joins us to explain, among other things, how Lloyd McClendon played catchup brilliantly in his first season as manager to help Seattle exceed projections last season, along with what he might do with the “good” problem he has with setting his starting rotation, led by ace Félix Hernández.

Lastly, Joel Radwanski, founder of the website City on the Take, talks about both the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, two teams that made big splashes in the offseason to drastically improve their ball clubs. We ask Radwanski which of the two Windy City clubs is more likely to make the playoffs this season, as well as his opinion on the much-discussed sending down of Kris Bryant to the minor leagues by the Cubs front office despite his scorching performance in spring training.

Please enjoy the podcast, and leave us any and all comments that you have. Click here to go to the A Lot of Sports Talk podcast page on iTunes, and from there, you can download this show as well as subscribe to our podcast page and receive new episodes on your device the second it is posted. You can also open iTunes, and in the Podcasts section, type in “A Lot of Sports Talk” in the search box to find our shows.

Interview Order: Intro (0:00 – 3:25); F.P. Santangelo (3:28 – 17:26); Shannon Drayer (17:33 – 39:23); Joel Radwanski (39:29 – 1:02:17); Wrap-up (1:02:16 – 1:03:41)

[Cover photo (Joe Maddon) courtesy of Rich Pilling/Getty Images]

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