Kaplan sits down with the podcast to discuss the new journalistic platform that should excite Astros fans, breaks down the first few of the 2018 season, and why the pitching staff is locked and loaded with Verlander and Cole on the hill. Kaplan closes out the interview with a few nuggets featuring Spring Training with Hunter Atkins, and even makes a friendly NBA Playoffs wager.
The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, The General, has covered the NFL for more than 40 years and is no stranger to The Weekly Brew. However, in this episode, McClain joins the podcast to discuss the Golden Era of Houston sports with a heavy focus on the Astros and the Rockets.
McClain expresses his excitement for the Astros’ defense of the World Series crown, the exciting talent on the roster, and the changes of baseball in a data-driven era. The General then opines on James Harden and the Rockets, and why they’re the favorites to bring home their third NBA title.
The show opens as Jeremy and Austin reflect on the Astros 4-1 start behind a stellar starting rotation and a potent offense, some freezing cold takes from Jeremy, and rule changes that are certain to change the way that we watch the NFL. The show closes as the duo discuss privacy concerns on Facebook, and President Trump’s war against Amazon and the free market.
Eric Winston is a 12-year NFL veteran and was just elected to his third term as the president of the NFL Players Association earlier this month. Winston joins The Weekly Brew to discuss the state of the NFL, player safety, the CBA and guaranteed contracts, the NFLPA’s study on the potential use of marijuana as a pain management tool for players, and his plans for the 2018 season. Winston also discusses the cloud surrounding Texans owner Bob McNair and whether his questionable remarks could impact player personnel for the Texans in 2018 and beyond.
The show opens with Austin, Hunter and Jeremy discussing opening week in Major League Baseball, Jose Altuve’s giant contract extension, the Rockets pursuit of the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs, and the NCAA Final Four.
Hunter Atkins is back in Houston and joins Austin Staton to share his first-hand insights from covering the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach, Florida. What are the biggest areas of need for the defending champs, and is the club built for longterm success, or a year of complacency?
The show opens as Austin discusses Jose Altuve’s $151 million contract extension with the Astros, the Rockets push toward the postseason, and the Texans acquiring all-Pro safety, Tyrann Mathieu.
Hunter joins Austin to breakdown the Astros through week one of spring training in Florida. What can the club expect from a full season of Justin Verlander at the top of the rotation, and how will he mentor the younger pitchers on the staff? Also, Hunter discusses Gerrit Cole’s debut in an Astros uniform and why his cerebral approach on the mound might pay dividends for the organization in 2018.
Editor’s Note: Read the latest Astros coverage from Hunter Atkins as he covers spring training in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Is Johnny Cueto Houston-bound ahead of the MLB trade deadline?
by Austin Staton
Cueto, who is currently under contract with the Giants through 2022, has an opt-out option following the 2017 season. With the Giants currently sitting near the bottom of the NL West, and with Madison Bumgarner out indefinitely, Rathburn suggests that the Astros have the trade pieces to make a move for the veteran arm.
“If the Giants are completely out of [the playoff race], which it looks like they’re going to be — and Bumgarner is hurt, does a guy like Johnny Cueto get on the market? If so, I think Houston, without a doubt, is going to back up the truck and go get a guy like that who could win them a World Series.”
If a move is made, Cueto (4-2, 4.15 ERA) would immediately add depth to an Astros pitching staff that is anchored by Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers.
If Cueto is made available, should Jeff Luhnow consider a trade? Stay tuned.
Listen to Michael Rathburn’s full interview here.