Astros Spring Training update; NFL Network’s Taylor Bisciotti

Houston Chronicle enterprise sports reporter Hunter Atkins joins The Weekly Brew from West Palm Beach, Florida, where he has spent a ‘grueling, awful’ week covering the Astros at Spring Training. Hunter and Austin debate the merits of the Astros’ pitching staff (Lance McCullers is “excellent, nasty, peak McCullers” per Atkins) and break down Yulieski Gurriel’s move to first base (where Jeff Bagwell is trying to “Rosetta Stone” first-base play to him, according to Atkins). Atkins sees some auspicious signs in the spring games, and he breaks it down.

Next, Taylor Bisciotti of the NFL Network joins us in the wake of the massive sea change that was the Osweiler to Cleveland trade. Basically a salary dump in exchange for draft picks, the Browns brought Moneyball to the No Fun League, and Bisciotti and the guys discuss whether those types of trades might become more common in years to come, as well as the likelihood of Tony Romo in a Texans jersey next year, and Bisciotti covered the NFL Scouting Combine and reports back on players who improved their stock and some interesting human-interest tidbits that threatened to fall through the cracks.

Also: Kevin and Austin discuss the shadowy futures of Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III – is the era of the dual-threat NFL quarterback officially over? The guys also touch on Rachel Maddow’s perplexing handling of the Trump tax returns, former UT quarterback David Ash’s return to competitive football (Kevin can so not fathom the idea of Ash playing professionally that he assumes Ash’s eligibility was reinstated by the NCAA – nope, he’s trying to play pro ball, after quitting football two years ago due to numerous concussions), Boa Esporte’s new goalkeeper, a convicted murderer who cut up his ex girlfriend’s body after he killed her and fed her to his dogs. None of that is fake news. Also, humpback whales are up to something. Kevin has a theory.

Enjoy! And rate/review on iTunes!

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.