Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson will make his first All-Star appearance this year as the seven-year veteran puts in a heck of a campaign in a contract year. The former No. 1 overall pick is slashing .294/.351/.477 with an .828 OPS, 14 homers, 19 doubles, a triple, and 50 RBIs all while playing elite defense at one of the most difficult positions on the diamond.
Swanson recently caught up with MLB legend Jake Arrieta and Barstool Carl of Barstool’s Starting 9 podcast to talk baseball, life, and more. The Braves shortstop displays his impressive baseball IQ at several points, mentioning how the shift is beneficial in some instances and not so much in others. He specifically cited playing against Bryce Harper (50-52:00 minute mark) as one hitter who thrives against the shift.
Swanson also tells the hosts about Pablo Lopez of the Marlins (56:00 minute Mark), who he says is one pitcher within the division that he really struggles hitting against because of Lopez’s ability to move the ball all around the strike zone.
Towards the end of the interview, Swanson gets more into the internal vibes of the Braves. He touches on how the club operates slow and steady, focusing on what they have to do instead of what other teams are doing. Swanson goes on to mention his favorite part of the game is after contests talking strategy with his teammates — what they saw vs. what he saw during the game (1:16:00 minute mark). One thing that stuck out to me is how Swanson says he’s addicted to winning, more specifically the process of winning.
Another cool quote from Dansby Swanson was “good teams hang out together” (1:19:00 minute mark) which has separated the Braves from other organizations because it appears they actually love each other. A full baseball season of 162-games is grueling, so if you don’t like the people you work with, it’ll be that much harder to succeed.
More on the Braves’ comradery, Dansby Swanson answers a question about team dinners that is just hilarious. Arrieta asks who grabs the wine lists at dinners, and Swanson says it’s Ian Anderson, who is described as an old soul, and Collin McHugh.
In one of the last parts of the interview (1:21:00 minute mark), Swanson tells the pair of hosts who is most likely to pick up the check at these team dinners, and the answer shouldn’t surprise anyone — Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Will Smith. “Chuck” is one of the team’s older players, so he’s definitely playing the dad role. It seems impossible, but Olson appears to be just as nice as Freddie Freeman — spending a short time with the club but still picking up the tab while setting records on the field. And Will Smith… probably just feels bad for stealing $13 million a year from the organization, so he gives back by picking up checks.
I recommend giving the full interview a listen because Swanson is a heck of a person and player, providing insights into how The Show works.
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