It's Minor League opening day, so we celebrate by talking prospects. First we go through the mailbag, of course, but then Jason and I talk about debuts and breakouts to watch, while I wrap up my weekend in Kansas City for the Royals Futures Game. Our special guest is just that, as Oakland Athletics farm director Keith Lieppman joins us to talk about the ins and outs of the job, including choosing assignments, developing pitchers and dealing with grease fires. Then it's the goofy stuff including a pair of must-watch documentaries available on Netflix instant streaming. As always, we hope you enjoy.

Note: We do alert you to the presence of the occasional adult language and subject matter. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Up And In Episode 44: "The Best Smelling Gas Station"

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Table Of Contents

0:00 Let's go over today's agenda

4:21 Housekeeping: Email us, do the Twitter thing, and some updates on past guest

9:16 Emails!

  • Ranking recently signed international free agents
  • Drafting toolsy guys vs. drafting sure things
  • Getting a stats job in the industry
  • TV announcers and pitch location
  • Let's cook rabbit!
  • Our favorite average players
  • Stopwatch lessons for the masses

37:58 Major League baseball has started and nothing means nothing yet

39:12 Adventures in Kansas City: The Royals Futures Game

53:59 Minor League Preview: debuts to watch

1:00:45 Minor League Preview: Picking breakout players

1:16:09 Minor League Preview: Plans for the year

1:20:35 Special Guest: Oakland Athletics farm director Keith Lieppman

  • A primer on extended spring training
  • Helping players survive the grind
  • Deciding which players go to which level
  • Filling out rosters
  • Developing pitchers: starting, reliever, and managing workloads
  • Cutting players isn't easy
  • The challenges of developing international player

1:47:11 Musical Guest: Shellac

1:49:27 What Are You Drinking?

1:50:39 Pop Culture Moment: The Parking Lot Movie and Exit Through The Gift Shop

2:03:06 Cooking With The Professor: Oklahoma Joe's

2:07:28 The week ahead and wrapping things up

Music is by Shellac from the album, Excellent Italian Greyhound, Copyright 2007.

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Quite a coup to land that little band from Chicago.
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