Major League Baseball is taking a bilingual approach with its latest podcast endeavor, which is its first player-to-player podcast. It has launched a series called The Bigs that features former pro player Xavier Scruggs interviewing current MLB players. Scruggs, who spent a dozen years in the majors playing for the Cardinals and the Marlins, will look to bring fan stories and discussions not typically talked about during postgame press conferences.
“One thing I know about baseball is every player has a different path, and that’s what this show is all about,” said Scruggs said in the show’s preview. “You’re used to hearing your favorite players talk in soundbites for a few seconds at a time – this show is different. We sit down for long conversations and talk about player’s biggest turning points – relationships in the clubhouse, what it is like to win a World Series, and balance all that with a family life.”
Scruggs already produces the On the Deck with X podcast and it faces an increasingly crowded field of similar shows. But he said The Bigs will stand out because it will not feature discussion of the game but the players’ backgrounds.
“Being able to celebrate differences was a big initiative for MLB and myself when going about this podcast. We didn’t want it to be another podcast where you just do interviews, because that’s what we get all day, a lot of bits and pieces of interviews,” said Scruggs in an interview with Awful Announcing. “For me, it was about being conversational, learning about people’s backgrounds, learning about experiences that they have been through that have affected them on and off the field and have brought them success on and off the field.”
The Bigs is scheduled to debut June 16.
MLB will also reach out to the Hispanic community with the Spanish-language podcast called Llamada al Bullpen. The series is being relaunched with journalists Daniel Alfonso and Amanda Rivera helming the podcast. They will interview Latino players, with content similarly focused on their personal stories.
In an episode that dropped Monday (June 7) the hosts speak with Venezuelan player Willians “La Tortuga” Astudillo.
Currently Major League Baseball publishes ten podcasts. See its full audio bullpen HERE.