USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach previews Rio 2016 and Team USA Swimming; USA Men’s Basketball w/ Steve Carp; Astros w/ Jake Kaplan

Welcome to this very exciting 54th episode of The Weekly Brew podcast. We welcome in USA Today sportswriter Nicole Auerbach, Houston Chronicle Astros beat reporter Jake Kaplan (a two-time guest) and five-time Nevada Sportswriter of the Year, Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

First, Auerbach dives (HA!) into Team USA Swimming, which she will be covering at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She offers some insight into the preparation and mentality of Olympic veterans like Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin, as well as detailing why everyone will be talking about Katie Ledecky after the Games this summer. Auerbach also shares how she got into sportswriting, and how pioneers like Lisa Olson and Christine Brennan paved the way for women in sports media today.

Next, Jake Kaplan calls in to talk about the Astros. When last Kaplan and the BrewCast spoke, the Astros were struggling through a very tough April, but since his last call, the ‘Stros are one of the hottest teams in baseball (despite the rough weekend in Detroit). What sparked the turnaround, and can the Astros sustain the momentum into the playoffs? Kaplan encourages fans not to worry about Alex Bregman’s slow start in the majors and offers a timeline for when Yulieski Gurriel can be expected to contribute, after the Astros signed him to a five-year $47.5 million contract.

Finally, Steve Carp, who watched Team USA Basketball train and compete in their first exhibition in Las Vegas, calls in to talk about this year’s squad, including a look at why DeMarcus Cousins is so unstoppable in international play and why Kevin Durant was booed in his first 2016 international game. Carp also covers the NHL, and provides a look at what the NHL expansion into Las Vegas might mean for leagues like the NBA, MLB and NFL putting a team in Sin City.

No new reviews this week! It is immeasurably disappointing, to Kevin in particular, who has taken it pretty hard. It would be so easy to brighten his day. Just go to iTunes, click “Ratings and Review” and leave a nice, little 5-star review with a blurb and he will read it ON THE AIR to THOUSANDS, if not MILLIONS, of listeners. As Spike Lee said: do the right thing.

But thank you, as always, for listening, and be sure to share this with your friends. If you don’t have any, maybe you can make some by introducing them to this awesome show. We’re happy to help.

And remember: no matter who you are, where you go or what you do this week, always, ALWAYS, brew responsibly.

Astros, Texans with MaD Radio’s Mike Meltser and Seth Payne (Sports Radio 610); Chron’s Angel Verdejo

Welcome to Episode 47 of The Weekly Brew, without question the best 77 minutes of Houston sports talk you’ll hear this week. We are joined by Mike Meltser and Seth Payne, of Sports Radio 610’s MaD Radio, and Houston Chronicle Astros beat writer Angel Verdejo as we delve into some Texans, Astros and University of Houston discussion.

Mike and Seth host Houston’s most entertaining and successful (terrestrial) sports radio show, MaD Radio, and they give us a little insight into how they came to be teamed up and the process that goes into creating quality radio content. Mike and Seth help Kevin and Austin ponder what characteristics define the Houston sports fan (“long-suffering… beleaguered, per Seth) and whether we’re on the verge of a “Golden Age of Houston sports.”

Angel Verdejo then weighs in on the Astros, including some analysis of the recent injury to Carlos Correa and the team’s struggles against the division rival Texas Rangers. Angel also delves into the recent MLB Draft, breaking down the first few rounds – featuring picks like Forrest Whitley and Ronnie Dawson – and where they fit into the overall farm system with other up and coming guys like Alex Bregman. Angel also takes a look at University of Houston product Nick Hernandez and whether fans might one day see him suit up for the hometown major league team.

The BrewCast also weighs in on the most recent tragic mass-shooting, in an Orlando nightclub, as well as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s social media responses. Gary Johnson, of the Libertarian Party, gets a shoutout (one of the hosts might be starting to #FeelTheJohnson) and the crew analyzes the Cavs’ chances to beat the Warriors in the NBA Finals (slim).

As always, thanks for listening, and a special thanks to the FOUR listeners who left iTunes reviews this week – really, if you think about it, we ask very little of you people: listen to the show, share it with your friends on social media [Facebook/ Twitter] and leave us iTunes reviews! So four people did a very good job this week and, suffice it to say, Kevin is thrilled. Keep him that way by going to iTunes, clicking Ratings and Reviews and leaving a 5-star review with a short blurb about what you enjoy and what you’d like to hear on the show. You’ll get a shoutout on next week’s episode if you do…

And guys, remember this week: no matter who you are, where you go or what you do, always, ALWAYS brew responsibly.