If you are the kind of person who would read something at this here bloghole, then you are probably the kind of person who still enjoys watching this Reds team at this point in yet another losing season. And if those two things are true, then I’d wager you’d like listening to C. Trent Rosecrans’ podcast series, Great American Dream. My guess is that some of you have listened to it already, but if you haven’t, you need to put it on your to-do list. The final episode of the series dropped this week.
The podcast is remarkable in a number of ways. Trent follows the season of Reds’ prospect Shed Long, who split the season between A+ Daytona and AA Pensacola. He has proven himself to be a decent prospect, but not a big-time Baseball America darling. His experiences are not uncommon (missing his parents, bonding with teammates, dealing with injuries) and so he serves as a really good summation of the general minor-league experience. He is also one charming SOB.
But the podcast doesn’t focus solely on Long and his season in the minor leagues. Long is just the protagonist through whose experience Trent explores the broader story of minor-league baseball. Trent checked in with Long as the season went on, but he also talked with the likes of Joey Votto, Jesse Winker, Eric Davis, Bryan Price, and Ken Griffey Jr, among many others.
It is the kind of deep-dive journalism that is getting harder and harder to pull off. As impressive as Trent’s efforts are here, I’m honestly more impressed by the amount of support the Cincinnati Enquirer provided in order to pull it off. As newspapers, and particularly local sports coverage, have been stressed by the technological revolution in media the last few decades, budgets have been cut and with them, writers and editors and projects. Organizations like the Enquirer just don’t do stuff like this anymore, and it really has nothing to do with desire. This makes the mere existence of this podcast the most remarkable thing about it.
There is a lot to like about this series. The total running time is about seven hours or so over 12 episodes, so if you have a long car trip coming up, you could binge through it in a day. I’ll probably listen to it all over again sometime this winter to try to keep my baseball-shaped heart warm through the cold months.
Check it out.