I’m reporting for duty today from the Florida Panhandle, with designs on driving to East Texas later tonight. ETA for L.A. is Saturday night, just in time for … sleep.
By now you know about Milton Bradley beserking on Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre over innocuous (and true) on-air comments the broadcaster made about him last night. What you don’t know about this story is what makes it wildly ironic.
(Lefebvre: Class act who has overcome his own personal demons)
I had the pleasure of working with Ryan as a Royals broadcaster during the 1999 season. Great guy and a true professional. Before I met him, Ryan had gone through some tough times with alcohol, and since escaped his own personal demons. Here’s a quote from him last month - from a piece about his charitable Footprints Foundation:
“Through some difficulties that I had in college and after college, I just found myself drawn to go to church; just to have the emptiness filled up with God and not with alcohol, or drugs, or women, or possessions. God just laid down a path for me that allowed me to be influenced by mentors and people who have given me a good example.”
Ryan’s comments about Bradley came from a different place than the typical MLB broadcaster. And if anyone has insight into what Bradley is obviously wrestling with, it’s Lefebvre. So Lefebvre is the last guy Bradley should be irate at.
The only thing now that’s going to help Bradley get himself straight is to get away from all the baseball-borne enablers. Perhaps the Rangers will be smart enough to do that. But with the year on the field that Bradley is having, I highly doubt it.
Yesterday I heard Michael Wilbon live on WAXY-AM in Miami address the the online pix posted of him - together with porn stars - at a L.A. party. Wilbon went on Dan Le Batard’s afternoon show and threw a wet blanket over the fun that his PTI fill-in wanted to have with the piccies (Wilbon also talked briefly about it on PTI - and was slightly more jocular).
Le Batard was initially giddy when asking Wilbon about the photos, but the minute the WaPo columnist made it clear that he didn’t want to discuss the pay-for-sex-staffed soiree in detail, Le Batard’s tone suddenly took on a more subdued (and boring) tenor.
Wilbon’s cell phone soon after crapped out, and Le Batard, instead of trying to get his ESPN colleague back on the line, said goodbye to him on-air, even though it was clear that Wilbon had been disconnected and couldn’t hear him.
I’m wondering, if Wilbon had been willing to have fun with the DEADSPIN-found photos, do you think Le Batard would’ve suddenly dumped the interview? And by the way, we completely agree with what Le Batard did. He had the entertainment quotient of the show in mind.
In case for some reason you don’t know, Wilbon famously despises all manner of blogs, which is why he had no interest in discussing the pictures in the first place.
Michael David Smith of PRO FOOTBALL TALK scares out this response from Kobe Bryant in the BOSTON GLOBE on the NBA officiating fiasco, “We don’t think about it too much. I’m sorry to be Belichicky, but we don’t think about it too much, to be honest with you.”
Subsequent to seeing that quote, I’ve heard three different sports radio shows today mention it - with no reference to the Globe or PFT. I’m guessing producers on each show spotted it in MDS’s “one-liners”, fed it to the host, and chose not to reference either source.
That’s why I always laugh when I hear some of those same sports radio hosts cry about people stealing their bits.
Golf analyst David Feherty on Dan Patrick’s radio show with this gem today: “When Tiger Woods hits it a lot harder, it looks like he tore his sack.”
Patrick: “Did you just say, ‘tore his sack’?
Feherty: “I believe I did.”
Speaking of Patrick, I heard a little of the show last night as well, on tape delay on “The Ticket” (KTCK-AM) in Dallas. The production sounds a lot better now since he, per someone’s suggestion, added an ensemble element. He now riffs off his production staff throughout the show - and sounds 1,000 times livelier.
He’s in a vacuous sports radio time slot, 6a-9a PT, that may allow him to get some significant syndicated, live clearance if he continues to punch up the quality of the show. The format is making progress, and of course Patrick can get plenty of A-List sports celebrity guests if he makes an effort.
Sports radio consultants and programmers (I used to be one) will tell you that local morning sports radio shows rarely work, because of the intense competition from the music stations. Those music outlets have infinitely more resources allocated for their morning shows, thus the sports shows get snowed-under in the ratings. Afternoon drive is almost always the flagship daypart for strong sports radio stations (yes, there are exceptions).
So for that reason, Patrick has a chance to make a dent in morning show syndication. Especially on the west coast. Mike & Mike have filled that void on all the ESPN Radio outlets, but there’s still plenty of other stations doing the local thing (see throwing money down a rathole).
How funny is it the Bill Curry’s fledgling Georgia State football squad is playing home games at the Georgia Dome? Almost as funny as the Falcons.
I’ve got a great ratings-booster for ESPN Classic: Air the now-infamous ‘02 Lakers-Kings Game Six, with Scot Pollard as a Mystery Science Theatre 3000-esque analyst.
As for David Stern, why aren’t more people talking about the real reason for the diarrhea of additional game-fixing charges from Tim Donaghy now raining down during the NBA Finals?
If Stern hadn’t pursued $1M in additional damages in the judgement against the disgraced ref, none of what you are seeing and hearing would be out there. Zero. So if you didn’t think Stern was insufferably arrogant, I’m assuming you do now.
USA TODAY has a fun piece today on what college football’s have-nots are now charging to be led to the slaughter:
Ohio State, for example, will pay $1.4 million for Navy to come to Columbus in the 2009 season. Wisconsin will pay “just under $1 million” for each of two home games against Northern Illinois, according to athletics director Barry Alvarez. Texas is paying $900,000 to Florida Atlantic this fall. Arkansas is paying Tulsa $850,000, and Georgia and Tennessee are paying more than $800,000 for a single home foe.
Paying upwards of $1M to throw bottom feeders like Northern Illinois down the stairs I can see. But $1.4M to Navy? That’s playing patsie roulette, as once every five years the Middies can submarine the BCS’ best.
Jerry Crowe of the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that “former NBA player Wayman Tisdale’s new album, “Rebound,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s contemporary jazz albums chart, selling 5,555 copies during its first week in stores.”
I’m guessing most of those sales are derived from promotional appearances that Tisdale has been doing on sports radio shows. I’ve heard him the past few weeks pumping the release several times in various locales.
Some teams these days are flooded with ticket requests. Others are, well …