Talking Baseball radio with Bruce Levine

Bruce Levine on the beat at Wrigley

Bruce Levine on the beat at Wrigley

ESPN AM1000 in Chicago has probably the best baseball radio show going: “Talkin’ Baseball” with Bruce Levine and now co-hosted by Dave Juday. Levine is in my view one of the most insightful and informed members of the Cubs media contingent. I think he sees and more importantly tells more than most baseball reporters. The show used to be co-hosted by Chet Coppock but I prefer Juday’s down to business style over Chet’s hit & miss, glib & flash style.

Key ingredients to the success of this show are certainly the hosts, but also the 3-hour Saturday morning time slot. Pretty much every other baseball show on Chicago radio is a mixed format where the 3-hour slot will mix and match all sports. But Talkin’ Baseball is three hours of intense baseball talk, dominated by the two Chicago MLB franchises. Bruce gets the very best guests to come on the show – today featured Steve Stone and Jim Hendry, but often they have players, scouts, coaches and frankly a lot of people that you don’t hear on the radio very often.

The analysis, opinion and guest questions are all top notch; insightful, probing, and often veer into areas that require some thought and discussion rather than replying with baseball cliche’s. My only criticism is the over-hyped ESPNchicago.com website hasn’t updated the podcast section for this show since April 6th.  Not sure what’s up with that.

Bruce recently began writing a blog as well. However this really reads more like a 15-second soundbite that you might hear as part of the sports headlines at the top of the hour. The info isn’t bad or irrelevant, but it is not at all what it could be.  I would like to see Bruce write more about the experience of his job, the little tidbits he sees everyday but is not really for a 15-second radio update report.  For example, something he sees at that day’s pre-game batting practice. Or maybe when an outfielder is taking ground balls at third base – a possible indication of a coming position change?  Or perhaps some other minor observations and commentary.  That is what blogging is for, isn’t it?   I’m sure there are plenty more interview quotes either written or in audio that are not breaking news but could be interesting blog fodder.  Baseball is a game of subtleties and blogs are the perfect medium to convey those little nuggets.

Bruce Levine relaxes pre-game in the Wrigley Press Box

Bruce Levine relaxes pre-game in the Wrigley Press Box

I have invited Bruce Levine to do a Q&A for CubHub.net on a few occasions this year.  Still waiting from his first response – how about it, Bruce?  In the meantime, nice work all around!

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    May 23, 2009  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: review, the media

    One Response

    1. administrator - May 23, 2009

      Here’s a note from the production staff of Talkin’ Baseball:

      Thanks for the kind words about Bruce and Dave, I’ve forwarded them the site. As far as updating podcasts, I do it every week, but the link you’re using is taking you to the wrong place. I’ve let our website coordinator know and she’ll fix that issue. But below is the correct link to get to the podcasts, enjoy!

      http://espn.go.com/chicago/radio/archive?id=3269205

      Sahadev Sharma

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