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July 13, 2020 @ 5:09 pm

The Wax Pack With Brad Balukjian

On a very special episode of Tri-State at the Plate, Andy speaks to Brad Balukjian, author of the LA Times Best selling book 'The Wax Pack'. Brad's book takes readers on an 11,000 mile trek across the country in an attempt to meet all of the players from a pack of 1986 Topps baseball cards. Brad talks about his life as a scientist, professor, and Duke alumni and how his life helped prepare him to write this book. At the 27:30 minute mark, he discusses specific elements of his book, so spoilers will be from that point on. From there he talks about Pittsburgh fan-favorites Lee Mazzilli and Richie Hebner, Steve Yeager's mindset, Jaime Cocanower's career trajectory and post-career plans, and Don Carman's mental approach to life and baseball. Brad wraps up the interview discussing his literary decision to include personal details in the story and their importance to telling The Wax Pack tale.

If you don't have a copy of 'The Wax Pack', you can pick up a copy at any of the sites below:

The Wax Pack website

Buy The Wax Pack on

Buy The Wax Pack at Nebraska Press

Buy The Wax Pack on Amazon

Follow Brad on Twitter @waxpackbook

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May 10, 2020 @ 6:57 am

Baseball in the Time of COVID

Could you have picked a better time to return to podcasting about baseball than right now? Probably. But the gang at Tri-State of Mind Baseball isn't going to let a lack of baseball stop them from podcasting about baseball. On this week's episode, Andy, Bob, and Jason talk about what baseball during a global pandemic might look like. Jason and Bob then recap the last three years of baseball in Cleveland and the complexity of the decisions that were made for a World Series contending team. Andy then analyzes the same time frame for the Pirates, which is an honest - and often heartbreaking - look at what front office decisions were made over the last few years. The team then finishes up the episode by discussing the current state of Minor League Baseball and how MLB's decisions are affecting their operations.

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January 23, 2017 @ 8:21 pm

Edwin Encarnacion’s Interesting Attendance Bonus

On this week's episode, Bob, Andy, and Jason are all back together and starting off the episode by talking about the 2017 Hall of Fame vote. In the least controversial hot take possible, the trio decide that they're mostly just okay with the Hall of Fame. After that, Bob and Jason dig into the newest Cleveland Indian contract, which is full of fun surprises and belongs to former Toronto slugger Edwin Encarnacion. Then they discuss some Rule 5 draft action in Cleveland, Terry Francona's status as manager, Carlos Santana's future with the club, and finish up with a panic-stricken discussion about Michael Brantley's shoulder. Andy then digs into the news in Pittsburgh, highlighted by the signing of Ivan Nova. He talks at length about the Pirates' farm system, first baseman Josh Bell reporting to winter workouts in the best shape of his life (already!), what could have been with Tyson Ross, and the departure of front office quantitative analyst Mike Fitzgerald and the potential impact on the club. 

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December 6, 2016 @ 5:05 pm

The Allan Huber Selig Hall of Fame Episode

Andy and Bob get together to talk about the Hall of Fame election of former Major League Baseball commissioner Allan Huber 'Bud' Selig. They discuss the legacy of the man who was in the commissioner's office during: the 1994 players strike that led to the cancellation of the World Series for only the second time in baseball history, the entirety of an era baseball that is now known as 'The Steroid Era', and an All-Star Game tie. He also was responsible for home field advantage during the World Series being awarded to the team that was in the league that won the All-Star Game, so there's that.

Once the duo finish digging through the highs (and mostly lows) of Selig's tenure, they dive right into the hot stove talk surrounding Andrew McCutchen, Jung Ho Kang's [third!] DUI in Korea, the end of the Jeff Locke era (and ERA) in Pittsburgh, and what the Pirates should be doing during the Winter Meetings. While the Indians' winter has been a quiet one so far, Bob waxes poetic about what could have been if Matt Holiday had signed with the Indians, wishes upon a star for Edwin Encarnacion to join the Tribe, and then finishes up with a discussion of what could have been with a healthy Michael Brantley in 2016.

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November 19, 2016 @ 1:29 pm

Tinkering Tito and Twenty-Six Man Rosters

On this week's episode, Andy and Bob lament their long absence from the podcast recording universe before talking about Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement negotiations and the potential impact of a 26-man roster. Then they unwittingly create an advertisement for the Australian Baseball League and talk about how it can be viewed for free during the cold, winter months leading up to Spring Training. The duo then dig into the 2016 post season that was for the Cleveland Indians and talk about making trades using hindsight. Next, they look towards 2017 and beyond for the Pittsburgh Pirates as it pertains to Andrew McCutchen, the starting rotation, and first base. They talk about the incredibly thin free agent market and wrap up with a fun fact about former Erie SeaWolf and current American League Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer.

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August 23, 2016 @ 8:40 pm

What’d Tim Tebow Ever Do To You?

On this week's podcast, Andy and Bob first discuss Tim Tebow's improbable comeback attempt at playing professional baseball after a ten year layoff. After some partially biased discussion on Andy's part, Bob reminds everyone that Tim, by all accounts, is a nice guy. The podcast gets back on track when Bob talks about the Indians' recent successes on the field without Michael Brantley, good attendance at the Jake lately, Josh Tomlin's struggles, and his thoughts on trading Clint Frazier for Andrew Miller. Andy then talks about the Pirates' struggles and the slim margin for error that teams with limited payrolls face, particularly as they pertain to Andrew McCutchen's struggles this season. He also talks about Josh Bell's debut at first base and David Freese's new contract extension. The duo then finish the episode talking about Erie SeaWolves baseball and Andy's son's first game.

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August 2, 2016 @ 12:01 am

Tri-State 2016 Trade Deadline Spectacular, Pt. 2

In a continuation of the trade deadline that was, Andy, Bob, and Jason dig into the four moves by the Pittsburgh Pirates this trade deadline: 1). The trading of relief pitcher Mark Melancon to the Washington Nationals 2). The trading of Jon Niese back to the New York Mets for reliever Antonio Bastardo 3). The trading of two players to be named later for the services of Yankees' starter Ivan Nova for two months and 4). The confusing trade of Francisco Liriano and his $17 million contract, outfield prospect Harold Ramirez, and catching prospect Reese McGuire to the Blue Jay for starter Drew Hutchison. It's a trippy episode that elicits some raw emotions from Andy's childhood, back when the Pirates were mired in the midst of a twenty year losing streak.

This is an episode you won't want to miss. 
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August 1, 2016 @ 11:41 pm

Tri-State 2016 Trade Deadline Spectacular, Pt. 1

This week's episode is actually a two-for-one deal as there was so much trade deadline discussion, it had to be broken up into two episodes! In part one, Andy, Bob, and Jason talk about the feud between Billy Butler and Chris Gimenez before they dive right into the trade deadline that was for the Cleveland Indians' front office... to mostly positive reviews! The trio dissect the trading of super prospect Clint Frazier for Andrew Miller and how the trade affects the Indians' franchise. They then discuss the less-than-sexy, but statistically important trade for Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brandon Guyer, before they talk at length about the trade that never was for former Milwaukee catcher (current Texas Ranger) Jonathan Lucroy. Make sure you tune into part two, in which they trio take a lot at the Pittsburgh Pirates' trade deadline moves.

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July 26, 2016 @ 9:29 am

Cut It Out, Chris Sale!

On this week's podcast, Bob returns from his spiritual journey to the northeast to talk some baseball with Andy. The duo start the show talking about Chris Sale's Britney Spears-like meltdown in Chicago and what it says about him and the franchise. Andy then talks about Tyler Glasnow's shoulder and the state of pitching in Pittsburgh, Jonathon Niese's horrid season, and all of the trade rumors swirling around the Bucs. Bob dives into the current state of affairs in Cleveland and talks about the trade rumors surrounding the Tribe, as well as internal promotions of Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer. The pair then finish the show with a Pop Up Culture segment, in which they discuss Jeff Passan's new book, The Arm.  

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July 13, 2016 @ 7:02 am

Francisco Lindor: The Cuyahoga Crown Jewel

Jason Ruggiero joins Andy Burdick this week as Bob and his wife head to the mighty northeast on a journey of self discovery. In his stead, the two catch up on all things baseball just in time for the All-Star Game. The duo open the podcast discussing their likes and dislikes of the All-Star festivities. Andy then digs into the Pirates recent stretch of play and learns that being mediocre sometimes is good enough. He talks about Pittsburgh's buying/selling options at the deadline, the success that farmhands Adam Frazier, Josh Bell, Jameson Taillon, Chad Kuhl, and Tyler Glasnow have had in limited time on the Major League roster, and he finishes chatting with Jason about Pittsburgh's options with Andrew McCutchen and how Austin Meadows affects the franchise. Jason then digs deep into the Tribe's options for a Game 1 starter of a playoff series, the success of Danny Salazar, the outstanding play of Francisco Lindor, and the 2016 success of Jose Ramirez. The two then finish up the podcast by discussing the Double-A All-Star Game and its Tri-State participants.

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