Barstool Sports has added another former professional athlete. The site brought in former Indianapolis Colts’ punter Pat McAfee back in February, and now they’ve added former Oakland Athletics’ pitcher, ex-ESPN analyst and current A’s analyst Dallas Braden. Barstool founder David Portnoy announced the news on Twitter Wednesday:
Our New Baseball Podcast The Starting 9 Featuring Jared Caribass And Dallas Braden Launches Thursday https://t.co/KjJctjV4kQ
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) August 2, 2017
Here’s Portnoy’s post on it:
Do you like baseball? Do you like Barstool? Do you like world domination? Then click to subscribe so we can launch Starting 9 as the #1 podcast in America. It’s currently 36 and rising. I promised Dallas #1. Don’t make me a liar on our first day.
PS – I think Dallas will fit in just fine here. Fucking weirdo.
That last part is in relation to a tweet Braden sent earlier this week:
Wake up! It's deadline day! pic.twitter.com/OsG7AOzKc7
— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) July 31, 2017
Braden joined ESPN in 2014, and worked as both a studio analyst on Baseball Tonight and a game analyst. He was laid off in ESPN’s April cuts, along with a lot of other baseball staffers. He joined NBC Sports California as an A’s studio analyst in May, and has been there since (and is presumably still doing that in addition to this podcast). Braden has been impressive as an analyst, especially when it comes to breaking down pitching, and it will be interesting to see what he does on this new Barstool podcast.
Carrabis (yes, Portnoy spelled it wrong in both the tweet and the post) is an interesting figure as well. He started writing about the Red Sox on SoxSpace (a MySpace page about the Red Sox; yes, that was once a thing) back in high school, and wrote a book about his fandom in 2009 when he was 19, taking a semester off from college to do so. In that 2009 piece, he brags about wearing a Red Sox shirt every day since 2003. He launched another blog in 2009 and wrote there until joining Barstool part-time in 2014 and full-time in early 2016. His Twitter trolling of and eventual friendship with David Price also received some credit for Price coming to Boston. He also appeared on CSNNE from last February through last week, where he announced he was leaving for New York, and has been a weekly contributor to shows on Boston radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub. So, he’s certainly a pretty known figure as well, which should help this podcast gain some initial traction. We’ll see how he and Braden mesh.
It’s also worth watching on how this fits into Barstool’s overall plans. The site has significant financial investment, and they’ve already expanded into short-form documentaries; it’s notable that they’re doing more podcasts, especially given the success of Pardon My Take, and that they’re adding a well-known voice like Braden. As with The Athletic (a very different site in terms of content format, business model and readership, but one with some similarities as a new venture capital-funded outlet entering the sports content space), layoffs elsewhere could prove an opportunity for Barstool to sign more talent. We’ll see if other ex-athletes or other former prominent analysts wind up there as well.