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Ben ReiterSports Illustrated isn’t about to say, “I told ya’ so!” so I will …

Sports Illustrated told us so.

On June 30, 2014, SI published a cover story on the Houston Astros featuring the headline, “Your 2017 World Series Champs.”

At the time, the Astros were 36-48 in last place in the American League Western division. One year earlier, in 2013, the team finished 51-111. Considering the context, most baseball people thought the prediction was more than just bold, it was down right wacky.

So, what did Ben Reiter know that we didn’t? I sit down with Reiter to reflect on his 2014 Sports Illustrated cover story, that headline and how the Astros have evolved over the past three seasons.

Disclaimer: I had a couple hiccups with my recording equipment this week. You will hear that in Ben’s first two replies, but it quickly clears up. My apologies for the inconvenience. I hope you enjoy the podcast and I’d love your feedback. Thanks for listening!

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Baseball brawls make me laugh. One, because I am reminded of something Patrick Hruby wroteThing is, baseball fights aren’t actually fights … they’re more like the aggression displays you see from angry monkeys on Animal Planet. 

But it’s Sarah Kurchak’s description of the baseball brawl that turns a giggle into a series of snorts and, ultimately, tears of laughter. She wrote: They appear to represent the very breakdown of civilization on the field … a bit like watching Benedict Cumberbatch’s flailing slap fight scene in Starter For 10.

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