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“DuckSnort” is a baseball podcast, obviously

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About a month ago, a guy I know, a friend in Facebook status only really, put a post up asking people to leave reviews on iTunes for his baseball podcast, DuckSnort. I knew enough about Greg Nix to know that it was probably going to be good – we had both lived in Philadelphia and had worked in the theater there – Greg was consistently very funny as a performer and a writer and soon thereafter moved to Los Angeles to throw his hat into the Hollywood ring… as did I.

Two Philly theater guys, turned Hollywood dreamers, and both love baseball, and both decided to make a podcast around the same time. Whadda are the chances?

Which is all to say… Greg, I hate you. (Not really, go to his website, he’s super fun and interesting.) But seriously… I hate you. Not only is your podcast basically what Jeremy Kopp and I tried to do with the one we started around the same time, but, um, you actually managed to figure out how to commit to it every week for over a year and then you gained multiple websites that wanted to host it! How the hell did you do that?!?

And NOW I’M FEATURING YOU ON OUR BLOG! WHAT AM I DOING!

Annnnnnnyyyyywayyyyyy… I’m not jealous. Well I AM jealous, but Greg and his partner Wayland McQueen and their producer Joe Weber (They have a producer?!? That’s SO COOL!! I want a producer!!!) are obviously doing something that I think is worth listening to, as it’s basically what Jeremy and I were trying to do before we decided to pivot and make this way awesomer (than our own podcast, not than DuckSnort) website.

So rather than just leave a boring, and probably way more useful to Greg and Wayland, review on iTunes, I’m giving Greg and his colleagues the royal treatment here with a long winded, self indulgent piece of writing. As my only other baseball podcast review so far (cornering a niche market, if there ever was one), is for the uber-popular Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney, this is a really high honor for this up-and-coming entry into major league journalism.

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Mentioning MLB journalism gives me an excuse to put a picture of the amazing Jessica Mendoza in here, with LA Dodger Cody Bellinger as a shout-out to LA based baseball blogs and podcasts!

Right. So the review. This is a polished effort on a low budget, and it really does feel produced, unlike so many small podcasts (ahem.) The intro and outro music they use sounds great, and they even use it for “commercial breaks”, and you truly do believe that those will eventually be replaced by ads from eager sponsors. Good for them for structuring show in anticipation of that – again, it showcases a nice polish. Greg and Wayland are funny, genuine, and bring a nice balance in their own baseball knowledge. Greg is the uber-fan and stat geek, almost always able to give accurate, up-to-the-minute details about salaries, in-game MLB details, and trends (I relate to this role.) Wayland is more of a homer (he gave the Royals wayyyyy too much appreciation in his predictions for the season, to great comic effect) and is knowledgable about the game of baseball in general, watching a lot and giving feedback more to what is in front of his eyes at the moment (just saying, that could have described Jeremy Kopp on our podcast…. just saying.)

Together, they balance effectively a “what’s in the baseball world worth talking about this week” generalist approach with a personal take that reveals their unabashed left-coast liberalism, making us laugh by trying to connect their unique views and interests to MLB (RuPaul Drag Race updates as competitive balance metaphor, acknowledging that their imploring others to participate in a local baseball league, such as they do in LA, might be why they have a hard time relating to rain-soaked fans this past April.) My favorite segment so far, albeit one that will only have a six-week-run, is to invent slogans for each MLB team (a different division covered each episode), that are sarcastic, dry, and witty, and elevated by their genuine laughter and appreciation for each other’s sense of humor.

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RuPaul with a… baseball bat…

Most of the episodes I listened to didn’t feature Weber, for whatever reason, but (and this is meant as high praise, trust me), he reminded me of Josh Macri from Baseball Tonight when he was there, as the hosts had to acknowledge his off-the-top-of-his-head ideas for team slogans were at times even better than theirs.

Their entertainment industry focused guests are a little hit and miss – I thought they had a missed opportunity with Sandeep Parikh to dive deeper in a fascinating conversation about how baseball both draws in and isolates first-generation Americans – but they are clearly trying to keep the show on the lighter end, and that’s been consistently achieved with their always-funny interviews. I will be interested to see how their relationship with their new website partner, Off The Bench Baseball, develops, as co-founder Sean Morash, while clearly an interesting and very knowledgable guy with an interesting take, was their only not-very-humorous interaction I listened to.

And, of course, the Off The Bench Baseball co-founders are Vassar College graduates. As am I. But like Greg, they are about a decade younger than me and prolific young entrepreneurs.

Not jealous.

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The Vassar College Library… yeah…

And finally, the moment you have all been waiting for… WHAT THE F IS A DUCK SNORT?! Wikipedia tells us: “A softly hit ball that goes over the infielders and lands in the outfield for a hit. Originally called a ‘duck fart’, the term was popularized by White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson to make it more family friendly.”

OK. That makes a lot of sense. Not the least of which is that Nix is an unabashed White Sox fan (I picked them to make the playoffs Greg, whoops, no take backs, at least I can also tell you I had the Mets in the NLCS?) But also, like the podcast that bears its name, a Duck Snort, even without the might of a superstar slugger, always finds its spot.

You can use that as my quote on iTunes, Greg.

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