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Pat McAfee: Baseball Would Be Awesome If It Let Players Be Themselves

“Great coaches and managers adjust to their talent to get the most out of them. He joked that maybe La Russa thinks burying his own guys is the best way to do that and the average person just can’t see the strategy involved.”

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The Pat McAfee Show, like so many other sports radio shows across the country, touched on Tony La Russa throwing one of his own Chicago White Sox players under the bus on Thursday. While the debate seems to be about old school vs. new school mentality in the sport, McAfee says it is about La Russa’s legacy within the game.

La Russa has come under fire for first apologizing for a home run Yermin Mercedes hit on a 3-0 pitch, while the White Sox were up by 11 on the Minnesota Twins. The manager doubled down on his assertion that Mercedes needed to face consequences for breaking one of baseball’s unwritten rules on Wednesday night, when he said that he had no problem with the Twins’ Tyler Duffey throwing a ball behind Mercedes in his first at bat of the night. That was a very different reaction than Major League Baseball had. The league office suspended Duffy the following day for three games.

“Listen Tony, you’re a great coach. You’ll just always be remembered as one who can’t adapt and evolve with his players,” Pat McAfee said. “You know who could do it? Bill Belichick. You know who could do it? Andy Reid. You know who could do it? Pete Carroll. You know who could do it? Nick Saban.”

Co-host AJ Hawk recounted a story about a friend, now in his fifties, that used to pitch in Major League Baseball. Hawk says the friend is very adamant that everything about the locker room is different in 2021 from what it was in the 1980s.

McAfee reiterated that the sport doesn’t matter. Great coaches and managers adjust to their talent to get the most out of them. He joked that maybe La Russa thinks burying his own guys is the best way to do that and the average person just can’t see the strategy involved.

The deference paid to rules that are not even real isn’t just a generational problem within the sport. McAfee says it is a problem for viewers too, because so few fans are actually offended by the sort of flamboyance that La Russa has such a problem with. He thinks letting players show some personality can only be good for baseball in the long run.

“That would be awesome if it was real competition,” McAfee said, alluding to the visual effect the unwritten rules have on baseball. “Real competitive people allowing themselves to be themselves.”

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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