SLUG REPORT > Two baseball bloggers stand out from crowd
+PLUS: Their predictions for the 2012 Giants season
Being a sports blogger might not be the most original thing to do, especially considering the dull roar of fanboy adulation that surrounds the San Francisco Giants. But Thomas Todd and Daniel Zarchy stand out from their black-and-orange compatriots with a well-produced podcast (“Two Guys, a Glove and a Coke Bottle”), a thriving website (GiantsPod.net) and a team dynamic matched only by their subject matter.
Both UC Santa Cruz alums, Todd and Zarchy, who graduated in 2009 and 2010, respectively, met when they both worked at student publications (Fishrap for Todd and City on a Hill Press for Zarchy). From there, everything just seemed to fall into place for the pair.
“The podcast came about when we spent the whole football season talking about baseball,” says Zarchy. “At some point, we decided that there might be other fans out there who want to talk Giants, so we decided to record it and see what happened.”
What happened was explosive growth.
“We tricked San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Henry Schulman into buying us coffee and coming on our show, and then we had a couple minor leaguers on our show,” says Zarchy. “We went to Spring Training and got press passes and clubhouse access, and got to meet and interview a bunch of players. [Giants pitcher] Ryan Vogelsong came on our show. Recently we started asking for press passes to games at AT&T Park, and somehow they’ve been saying yes. Now we’re 79 episodes in. It’s pretty amazing how everything has come together.”
A mix of banter, recap and speculation, the podcast is served well by the dynamic between Zarchy and Todd. But what makes the podcast stand out from the crowd?
“The Giants blogosphere is crowded,” says Todd. “After the 2010 World Series win, dozens of Giants blogs joined the cacophony of voices that were already spewing a wide range of analysis on the Internet. We were definitely filling [a] niche by starting the podcast, as nothing like that had existed. There have since been a few sprouting up, but I still feel like we have unique content. We are the best at getting players, members of the national media, and Giants bloggers on the show to bring their perspective.”
The focus on creative content that steers away from straight recaps adds to the appeal of the podcast, which often evokes a sort of buddy-comedy vibe.
“Our post-game wraps aren’t just play-by-play recaps of the game—there are plenty of people who do that already, and better than we would do it, so we try to find something else to talk about,” says Zarchy.
Among recent topics of conversation is Matt Cain, the name currently on the lips of most Giants fans following the pitcher’s perfect game on June 13.
“He’s the perfect ace of the staff, the perfect role model for young players,” says Zarchy. “He’s not flashy, he’s not a loudmouth, he’s not somebody that they talk about very often at the national level. He just goes out there and pitches, and usually does it incredibly well.”
In that way, Todd and Zarchy’s podcast and site may be a perfect analogue for Matt Cain. With their down-to-earth approach and extra-thorough coverage, these UCSC alumni bear listening to.
Thomas Todd’s Top Five Predictions for the 2012 Season:
1. The Giants will win the National League West by at least five or six games. I don’t
think the Dodgers can keep up their blistering pace and the Giants
just have too much talent.
2. Tim Lincecum will recover. His horrendous start to this season is
like nothing we have ever seen in his career. It can’t last forever.
3. Melky Cabrera will lead the league in hits this season and get a
large contract extension—far cry from being a bench player in Atlanta
4. Buster Posey wins a Gold Glove. He’s so money back there.
5. Brandon Belt fulfills his potential. With glimpses of power and a
great batting eye, Belt should be a fixture at first base on the
Giants for a long time.
Daniel Zarchy’s Top Five Predictions for the 2012 Season:
1. Matt Cain will win the Cy Young [Award].
2. Barry Zito will be an All-Star and Tim Lincecum won’t.
3. The Giants will make it to the playoffs.
4. Pablo Sandoval’s weight will continue to be an issue.
5. Freddy Sanchez will not play more than 30 games.