With the Chargers staying in town another year, local sports radio is salivating at the prospect of another full year of ample stadium talk content. Scott Kaplan can continue pretending that he’s a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist as he brings on Steve Pearce for the thousandth time. Dan Sileo can pretend he has a grasp on the English language and talk to Bleacher Report weekly about local politics. If you thought Padres coverage was awful on local media before stadium talk happened, just wait until this year. And let’s not forget that the Padres have deemed DAN SILEO worthy of doing the pregame show on the radio. Tune in if you ever want to feel better about yourself!
Luckily, as I’ve noted for a year now, we are currently in the golden age for self produced Padres audio content. It’s such a golden age that even 1090 has gotten into the game with their own high quality entrant into the Golden Age of Padres Podcasts. I’ve been asked by a lot of people what podcasts are out there, and how to access them. Obviously I direct them to the Gwynntelligence Podcast so we can collect all of that primo advertising revenue so I can pay off the Bentley That Podcasts Paid For, but that would require us to produce more than one podcast every five months. So following is a recap of the current scene for the participants in the Golden Age of Padres Podcasts.
I’ll put this one first, you know, totally randomly. Marver and I produce these low fidelity podcasts as much as possible, which lately hasn’t been that often. I imagine the lethargic offseason and hateable front office have something to do with that. I’d also expect the pace to pick up now that Marver has successfully been excommunicated from San Diego and has finally settled into “beautiful Delaware”, your home for tax free shopping. We cover a wide range of topics, and I try to provide some levity to offset Marver’s rampant absolutism. In the last year, we’ve secured Congressman Scott Peters, Lee Hacksaw Hamilton, and Ben Higgins as guests, and were told in no uncertain terms by several Padres types that team personnel would never be on our podcast. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice. Our application for a press pass to a Spring Training weekend last year was denied with authority.
Podcast Tone: Varies, but I’d argue this is the realist’s podcast. We got swept up in the excitement last offseason, but we also are bringing Marver’s encyclopedic knowledge of media comments by the front office and my analysis of the player market, finances and budgetary outlooks to formulate how the team is doing.
The Kept Faith is the longest running Padres podcast out there. They go all the way back more than five years before they took a nice sabbatical. It features local celebrity and noted man about town Dallas McLaughlin, along with Nick and Travis. They deserve special note for being the only podcast to regularly produce content during this lackluster offseason, pretty consistently keeping to a weekly schedule. This is partially due to them discussing the Chargers also, but they have an actual producer. I’d also hazard to guess they have more podcast equipment than a pair of iPhone earbuds like over here at Jagoff Manor/Jagoff Studios. They have production value, drops, and professionalism. They’ve also had yours truly on as a guest, so they’ve got that going for them.
Podcast Tone: I’m going to say they are close to the middle of the spectrum, but lean towards supportive of management. They believe that just getting people talking about the team last season was a success. And like me personally, think AJ has the baseball ops side well taken care of. They are also much funnier than Marver and I, know how to produce a podcast, and I look forward to their episode every week. It should be noted that they are not only a competently produced podcast, they are a part of an actual podcast network, A Modern Profession. I’ve enjoyed other podcasts within the network, Life Moves Pretty Fast, and Dallas and Travis’ other podcast Everything’s Fine.
Padres and Pints is a stalwart in the Padres podcasting scene. Producing both high quality audio and video podcasts, Padres and Pints has done well in attracting some top notch guests, even Padres staffers like Josh Stein and Jesse Agler. They’re irreverent, enjoy third wave ska, and like craft beer. Like many of us podcasters, they’ve gone pretty silent over the long, boring offseason, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them come back with strong once the season starts. Let’s hope they produce another alcohol fueled Spring Training podcast episode to kick things off. If you are looking for Padres podcasts, Padres and Pints is the place to start.
Podcast Tone: They are middle of the road. Sac Bunt Chris is an analytics star, and takes a realist tone when examining a lot of the player personnel moves made. Rick is unmatched when it comes to commentary on Padres promotions and marketing. It’s an all around enjoyable and educational podcast that every Padres fan should listen to. Even though they’re in the pocket of BIG SUNGLASS (they have an actual sponsorship by Knockaround Sunglasses).
When I first heard about Pads Pod, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Their first episode involved a bit about one of them hiding in a laundry hamper in the Padres laundry room. As time went on, I started to really enjoy Pads Pod, but I’m going to say it’s an acquired taste. One major plus is they kept up a steady stream of weekly podcasts during the season last year. With Ryan, Manny, cult favorite Yoshi, and the now deposed Lil’ Mo, you aren’t going to get a lot of sabermetrics, but you are going to get a lot of profanity, and I’m all about listening to that profanity. No one covered the issues of James Shields being a big bully in the dugout better than these guys.
Podcast Tone: They have a neutral tone regarding the team. I think they called things fairly, calling out the team for being awful when they were awful, and not piling on AJ Preller after Grantland did. The bits were hit and miss, but hey, you’re getting weekly Padres content, so quit complaining. I have a feeling that Pads Pod is the most divisive of the Padres podcasts, but I’ve personally recommended it to a few people who probably hate me now.
Part of me feels like lauding the Make the Padres Great Again podcast is like going to the store and buying up a few cases of Bud Light instead of some local indie beers. After all, it’s produced and published by the local sports radio station. The very same radio station that devotes 90% of it’s air time to Chargers stadium talk, and had the audacity of sticking noted local buffoon and bigot Dan Sileo into the Padres pregame show. But the content is so good from Craig Elsten and John Gennaro that it must be noted. I also like complimenting the podcast because Marver has a weird grudge against Elsten and I think it grinds his gears when I say nice things about him. This podcast has attracted great guests, Jonah Keri and Rany Jazareyli come to mind. I think Gennaro and Elsten have a great rapport, and being taped in a radio station, the production is top notch.
Podcast Tone: Of late, I’d say they are coming strong into the realist side. Elsten has made it clear that he believes AJ’s moves have left the team in the “murky middle”. At the same time, I think they show a little optimism when they say the team has a roster potential for a “boom or bust” type season, which let’s be honest, would be a miracle (unless you think Jon Jay is an equivalent replacement to Justin Upton and Andy Green is a practicing Voodoo witch with magical motivational powers). Sometimes I get a tiny taste of what Marver describes as “Elsten changing opinions depending on the direction of the wind”, but I overall think Elsten and Gennaro are providing smart, well researched commentary on the state of the Padres. I look forward to this podcast every week.
I don’t have a lot of experience with the East Village Times podcast as I’ve only listened to one episode in full. Hosted by James Clark and Patrick Brewer, they have an impressive list of team personnel on their guests list, including Wayne Partello, Jesse Agler, Don Orsillo, and Kurt Bevacqua.
Podcast Tone: I was salivating at the prospect of an hour with Wayne Partello from a podcast. After all, he usually only appears on Scott and BR or Sileo where he can be lobbed up softballs about whatever giveaway item there is that weekend. Finally, someone that would ask him the tough questions on the ignoring of North County in marketing efforts, the numerous PR gaffes, Partello’s unprofessional and very public arguments with Jay Posner and Darren Smith on Twitter, the team’s decision to marginalize 21 game season ticket holders, and in general, discussing why the direction of marketing has changed so drastically from the fan friendly Garfinkel era (at least off the field). None of this happened, as the podcast lobbed softball question after softball question, with the only semi-attempt at getting Partello do anything but recite the normal talking points was a half hearted, joking attempt to get him to say who the new Social Hour host was going to be (before the Janela announcement). I do know Brewer does official MLB podcasts, which may be the connection that gets them the team employee guests, but would also explain the easy, non-confrontational questions to Partello. What I heard from the Orsillo podcast was interesting, but he’s as non-controversial as they come as far as guests. Regardless, EVT is doing a good job of putting out content, and it’s better than stadium talk on the radio.
It appears that the Friarhood podcast is no more, which is too bad. I always enjoyed Adler’s Padres podcasts, but the loss of the Friarhood podcast is not enough to take the shine off of The Golden Age of Padres Podcasts.