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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“No game is as verbal as baseball; baseball spreads 20 minutes of action across three hours a day.” – Roger Khan

One glance at the New York Mets No. 1 draft selections reveals a history of good, bad and ugly decision-making.

The Mets first-ever draft pick was pitcher Les Rohr, the second overall pick in the 1965 draft. Rohr’s major league career was short-lived. He made his MLB debut on September 19, 1967against the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching six innings, allowing three runs and recording his first win. Rohr made six appearances over three years before he retired after the 1969 season due to injuries. He was just 24 years old.

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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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