Lots to blog about, but I figured I start here and work my way backwards. So I’ve listened to two installments of the Poscast with Joe Posnanski. Both episodes were…ok. It worked as background noise for the bus ride to and from work, but I wouldn’t recommend it for any serious insight or discussion of the world of sport. In the two episodes that I’ve heard, it’s basically been Joe chatting with friends/idols; basically a couple of guys agreeing on pretty much everything and Joe decidedly star-struck, especially with Duane Kuiper. Admittedly, I would be a babbling idiot around Kuip, like Joe, I idolized him as a kid. The only possible rival in my adoration of 1970s-1980s era Cleveland Indians would be Andre Thornton, the lone power bat in a pretty poor line up. However, I wouldn’t subject you to 45 minutes of me saying, “Yeah, Duane (or Andre), you’re awesome, I love you,” which pretty much is what Joe did. Basically if you’re not in the Duane Kuiper fan club, it was a pretty long podcast. I enjoyed hearing about the bad old days of Cleveland Municipal Stadium, but I don’t think there is much of an appeal to the greater population.
Unfortunately, the Kuiper episode was the better of the two. The other was a conversation with Michael Shur. I love Shur’s stuff; The Office and Parks and Rec are fabulous, Fire Joe Morgan was a scream, but ultimately he is no more informed about sports than me. If my friend AJD and I were to be recorded, you’d get pretty much the same level of entertainment, with the possible exception of more sophomoric (and boorish) humor. What’s more Joe and he engaged in a mutual admiration society that bordered on slavish, at least as far as Joe was concerned. I don’t know what else to say except, Joe you’re cool, we like you. There is no need to keep plugging your cool Hollywood friend. I saw that there were more casts with Shur, but I’m not compelled to listen at all. I’ll just talk to my friends and be infinitely more entertained.
A few more things for Poz to work on: First, the audio set up needs to be cleaned up. Joe, you are possibly the premier sports columnist working today. You work for a major publication, Sports Illustrated. If you want the Poscast to have any lasting success, you need to make the sound better. A guy who literally was in his basement used to do a great podcast called Soccer Talk. He didn’t have any of the resources available to you, but his show was much, much clearer than your current product. Speaking of resources, looking at the list of guests you’ve had thus far Joe, it basically reads like your personal contact list; we know about your love of Kuiper, your friendship with Bill James and Michael Shur. The show really needs a more compelling guest list. Again, you’re big time Joe get some athletes on, current and former. You live in Kansas City so beat writers from all over the country come through have them on, especially in person. I can’t emphasize that enough IN PERSON. There is a reason radio shows around the world limit the time of phone interviews. Basically after 5 minutes, they just sound awful. I’ve also heard a few criticisms of Joe’s voice, but not much one can do about that. I’m accustomed to the Cleveland nasal twang, so I’ve been hearing that voice my entire life. Also compared to the Boston accent, Joe sounds like Peter Jennings.
I enjoy Joe Posnanski quite a bit. I relate to a lot of his experience, especially the Cleveland mentality. If you’re not from there it’s hard to explain and I think Joe does a better job than most in that regard. Like so many Clevelanders though, Joe seems unsure of his success, that deep down he isn’t worthy of the fans and praise that he receives. He needs to realize that he’s good, but more important, popular beyond his writing. After that his ventures into other forms of expression will flourish. Until then, the Poscast will remain mediocre at best, boring at worst.