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Hughes Makes Cubs Sound Larger Than Life on Radio

Jason Barrett

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On the eve of Game 3, Pat Hughes did a little dreaming.

“Nobody has ever heard anyone say: ‘The Cubs are the world champions’ because radio had just been invented in 1908,” he said. “Games on the radio did not come along until the 1920s. And if there is a recording from 1945, when the Cubs last won the pennant, I’m not aware of it.”

Hughes, who has put in 20 years and called more than 1,700 defeats, deserves the chance to deliver the historic call. If only the Cubs would cooperate.

But as Hughes mentioned in the seventh inning Tuesday night, they have not led for a moment in the series. The Game 3 dagger came on a 3-2 pitch from closer Jeurys Familia.

“And the payoff pitch … strike three called,” Hughes said. “The ballgame is over and the New York Mets take a three-games-to-none lead in the National League Championship Series.”

Hughes’ broadcast far exceeded the quality of the home team. Working on WBBM-AM 780 with analyst Ron Coomer, Hughes painted a picture the way Jacob deGrom painted the bottom edge of the strike zone.

I always get a kick out of Hughes’ description of what everyone is wearing — including home-plate umpire Ted Barrett and his “black hat, black shoes.”

“There’s something about baseball on the radio that is still a marriage made in heaven,” Hughes told me Monday. “You would think in this age of video, baseball on radio would go by the wayside, but that’s not the case. As testimony, look at broadcast fees, sponsorship and salaries … though not necessarily mine.”

Hughes is not one to complain, but his pipes were rusty Monday, the result of insisting on an open-air booth in the Sunday night chill at Citi Field in New York — and not getting home to bed until 5 a.m.

Early Tuesday evening Hughes said, “Boy, it is nice to be back home, isn’t it?”

Analysts love working with Hughes because he sets them up like a veteran point guard.

After Dexter Fowler took a low called-third strike in the first, Hughes said: “Take a look, Ron.”

Coomer responded: “I agree with Dexter. (He’s) 6-foot-5 and this pitch is below the knees. DeGrom got a break.”

Both came to life when Kyle Schwarber lined one into the bleachers in the first.

Hughes’ call: “He hits a drive to left-center field … It’s got a chance … GONE!”

Coomer: “Can you say ‘Welcome back to Wrigley’!?”

Coomer was not the only other contributor to Tuesday’s broadcast. Television play-by-play man Len Kasper subbed for Hughes in the fifth inning.

Kasper told a story about deGrom having broken a finger on his left hand while helping a neighbor in Florida castrate a calf in 2013.

Hughes couldn’t resist a friendly jab, saying: “More of a television story than a radio story, Len.”

Kasper: “We’re trying to paint a picture here, Pat. I apologize for that … no more conversations about livestock the rest of the night, I promise.”

It turned out to be a pleasant diversion on a night in which the Cubs could relate to that calf.

To read the full article visit the Chicago Tribune where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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Sports Radio News

Howie Rose Plans to Travel for Mets Postseason Games

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose said.

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Howie Rose has cut back on his travel schedule as the radio voice of the New York Mets in 2022, but he says that no place is off limits during the playoffs.

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.”

Rose, 68, readies for what is likely to be a Wild Card series start to the playoffs and because of their Wild Card status, a win there could mean a trip to Los Angeles for the National League Divisional Series.

“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.”

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