H-Town Run Tourist

Bored from being home alone? Start your own podcast or blog today

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. Check out her new blog, HTown Run Tourist. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @HTownRunTourist. Facebook @jovanabernathy

There will be a comeback for blogs and podcasts through the pandemic. Because we have to practice social distancing, many of us are bored, very bored and we miss each other. We miss human connection and we miss the variety of being with different people. One way to overcome this challenge and the challenge of going out of your mind is to start your own podcast or blog. Before you object, I'm going to give you my reasons why its a great idea.

You get to share your passion with others.

Once you know what that passion is, you will never run out of things to say. In fact, you can't talk about it. Also, you will find out that many people feel the same way that you do.

While you are sharing your passion, you get to connect with yourself.

When you have to share your thoughts, you have to present them like a tasty meal. Before you do that, you have to know exactly what you know on the topic and how you feel. It is a confidence booster. Because you have time to prepare, you really come off looking like the expert that you are.

You will have fun brainstorming, networking, and creating.

This is an understatement. I personally feel that humans are meant to be creative. When a person is in the state of learning and creation, they are usually at their best and most beautiful. When you have been through this process, you have an appreciation for creativity everywhere and are least likely to be critical of others.

Analyzing your analytics is addictive.

It is so exhilarating to see your page views jump from 0 to 100 to 200 to 1000 to 10,000 and more. It shows you what topics really matter and what people really care about. I also love seeing how well my campaigns are working.

Those are only a few reasons to start your blog or podcast. But, how do you get started? It is much easier than you think. Because we live in 2020, we have so many resources to create a quality blog or podcast that looks professional.

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Squarespace

In the past, if you wanted to create a blog or website, you would have to get a web hosting account and create your website on Wordpress, and write your own code. That was back then. Now, we have Squarespace.

You can create an amazing website for selling products, for membership websites, or showcasing your talents. Squarespace makes it super simple. It is as easy as cutting and pasting. You can add music and video. You can also choose stock photos directly from the Squarespace website. These websites are so simple to set up, you can also take payment on your website. Because of COVID19, you now have all the time in the world to set up your website. I created both of my websites on Squarespace. I did Houston Tourism Gym during Hurricane Harvey and H-Town Run Tourist during COVID19.

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Anchor

Podcasting sounds like it would be really difficult and really expensive. That is until Anchor came along. Because, I do not have a podcast, I asked my friend, Taylor Schepps, who recently started a podcast called Tizz Talk. Think, business and current events in a panel discussion for potheads who day trade. Taylor produces hour long episodes from his living room. He does solo shows where it is just him talking to his audience or he invites his friends to talk about current events. The cool thing about podcasts is that your voice connects you with your audience on a deeper level. You can add video of your shows so they can tell what you look like as well.

Anchor makes all of this easy and cost effective. When you create your podcast on Anchor, you can put it on the different platforms like iTunes or spotify with a click of a button. They will also help you find sponsors to monetize your podcast.

So, if you are bored, write down some things that you are interested in and start creating. We can't wait to see your work.

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Here's what the data tells us about Bregman. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Alex Bregman had a rough season in 2020 by his standards. He slashed .242/.350/.451 in 42 regular season games. His regular season included a trip to the 10-day IL for a hamstring strain he suffered in mid-August. His surface-level struggles continued in the postseason, where he slashed .220/.316/.300 in 13 games. However, that postseason sample size does include a tough luck game against the Tampa Bay Rays where he went 0-for-5 with five hard hit balls.

All-in-all, 2020 felt like a lost season for Bregman. He never really got going. He got off to a slow start, but he's always been a slow starter. Once he started to pick it up, he strained his hamstring, and he played poorly after returning from the hamstring strain. Then, he started to turn his batted ball quality around in the playoffs, but he hit into a lot of tough luck outs.

Hard Hit % - 33.6%

Barrel % - 3.9%

K% - 14.4%

BB% - 13.3%

Chase % - 18.1%

Bregman comes from the Michael Brantley school of hitters. He has elite plate discipline and elite bat-to-ball skills. This makes Bregman a fairly consistent hitter. That may sound odd considering his 2020 "struggles" but even an extended period of poor performance for him resulted in a .801 OPS and a 122 wRC+. If his valleys are still 22% better than the league average hitter, then that's a pretty reliable producer.

There aren't any alarming trends in Bregman's statistics. Yes, his K% was slightly up, his BB% is slightly down, but it isn't a massive difference in either category. His Chase % was up, but again, 18.1% is elite discipline. The biggest drop was in his Hard Hit%, where he fell from 38% to 33.6%. Even so, his average exit velocity only dropped .4 MPH, so there's not really a catastrophic trend here.

His .254 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) was low, but he's never put up really high BABIP numbers. In fact, his BABIP has gotten worse every year of his career, from .317 to .311 to .289 to .281 to .254. While his BABIP will likely spike back up next year, it isn't enough to be the difference between the 2019 and 2020 versions of himself. His xBA and xSLG weren't out of whack either. His .256 xBA isn't much better than his .240 AVG, and his .400 xSLG is actually worse than his .451 SLG.

Bregman is as forthcoming with his hitting mechanics, approach, and mental cues as any big leaguer out there. Here is what he had to say about his swing this year. This was a Zoom press conference with the media following the Astros game on September 25th against the Rangers.

Bregman says he wants to hit balls in the air to the pull side and on a line to the opposite field, but in reality, he was hitting flares to the opposite field and hitting them on the ground to the pull side.

The data mostly backs up that claim. In 2019, on balls hit to the pull side, Bregman had an average exit velocity of 90.7 MPH at an average launch angle of 16°, a 40% Hard Hit %, and a 16% HR%. Since Bregman has elite bat-to-ball skills, most of those metrics didn't change. In 2020, his average exit velocity was 90.6, essentially the same as 2019. His Hard Hit % was 42%, a touch better than in 2019. However, his average launch angle dipped from 16° to 11°, which contributed to his HR% dropping all the way to 9%. Bregman hit 47% of his pull side swings on the ground. In 2019, that number was 40%. He absolutely had less production to the pull side in 2020.

The data gets a little hazier going the opposite way when comparing 2019 to 2020, as Bregman actually performed slightly better to the opposite field in 2020 than 2019, but he also only had 20 batted balls to the opposite field all season. Considering the small sample size, it isn't worth diving too deep into the data.

He's right that most of the balls he hit that way were flares. He had an average exit velocity of 83.4 MPH with an average launch angle of 32°, but that's about the same as what he did in 2019. A lot of the statistical drop off comes from balls that were backspun rockets to the pull side in 2019 becoming top spinners or roll overs in 2020.

Bregman also performed horribly against breaking balls in 2020. He batted .150 with a .250 SLG against them in 2020. He had an 84 MPH Average Exit Velocity against them and whiffed 26.5% of the time against them.

It was a far cry from 2019, when he hit .265 with a .588 SLG, 87 MPH average exit velo, and whiffed 18% of the time.

Those numbers lend credence to his statement on his mechanics. It's tough for a hitter to have adjustability against breaking balls if he's blowing out his front side and pulling off of the baseball.

Bregman will spend the offseason working on these mechanical fixes and getting back to the hitter he used to be. If he's consistently hitting the ball in the air to the pull side next year, and he's performing better against breaking balls, then he should be right back in the mix for AL MVP.

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