Death, taxes and Michael Jordan’s competitive nature. The first time Jordan retired from the NBA to try his hand at baseball, no one thought he made the move because of diminished basketball skills. But that didn’t stop some of his baseball teammates from testing him.
As the former hitting coach for the Double-A Birmingham Barons, under then-manager Terry Francona, Mike Barnett was able to witness it up close. Thursday morning, Barnett joined The Mac Attack show with Chris ‘Mac’ McClain and Travis ‘T-Bone’ Hancock on Charlotte’s WFNZ to discuss.
“We had two Division III All-American basketball players on our team — Kevin Coughlin and Scott Tedder,” Barnett recalled. “And we’re coming back from Huntsville, and they’re in the back kind popping off, going ‘MJ, why don’t you get your team together, get your old guys up there, and we’ll get our guys, and we’ll play a game.’
They organized a four-on-four pickup game, which Jordan’s team naturally won.
“After we got done with that game, there was a kid there that was about 6’7”,” Barnett continued. “I mean, same size as Michael, athletic-looking. So we played another pickup game, five-on-five this time. So this kid’s playing. And Michael’s just playing flat-footed, and this kid scored a couple baskets over him. Michael’s just trying to basically make him feel good.
“So we’re coming down the floor and he goes, ‘Man you’re not that good. You’re my idol.'”
“And Michael goes, ‘Excuse me?'”
The kid repeated himself, again saying “you’re not that good,” according to Barnett.
“You’re mine now,” Jordan answered.
For some reason, Francona thought Jordan needed his help and attempted to set a pick, but Michael waved him off and let his competitiveness take over.
“It was the classic logo picture that you see of him,” Barnett remembered. “He jams on the kid, the ball comes down, hits him on the head and he says, ‘that’ll teach you to talk trash about someone you don’t really know.’”
Of course, not long after that pickup game, Jordan would compete against more formidable basketball talent than past D-III players, as he returned to the NBA to win three more titles.
Jaime Jarrín Retiring After 64 Years As Dodgers’ Spanish Voice
“Jarrín and Dodger baseball have gone hand in hand since first joining the team in 1959.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers bid farewell to their legendary English radio voice, Vin Scully, in 2016, and now they are sending off Spanish-language voice Jaime Jarrín in a similar fashion.
Jarrín and the organization announced that 2022 is the 85-year old’s final season as the Spanish-language voice of the Dodgers.
“I’m grateful to the Dodgers — the best organization in baseball — for giving me the opportunity to do what I love most for 64 years,” Jarrín said in a team statement. “As much as I’ll miss my baseball family at Dodger Stadium and across the country, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my sons Jorge and Mauricio and my grandchildren and nurturing my love of travel.”
Jarrín and Dodger baseball have gone hand in hand since first joining the team in 1959. Jarrín has been with them ever since that second year playing in Los Angeles and is a fan-favorite in the Latino community.
Scully wished his longtime co-worker well as he embarks on a well-deserved farewell tour.
“Los Angeles has been so lucky to have enjoyed the talents of Jaime Jarrín for over six decades,” Scully, 93, Tweeted on Tuesday. “I’m thrilled my dear pal will get to spend precious time with his family in retirement. All the best to you Jaime.”
Jarrín had been calling games with his son, Jorge, who retired from the broadcast in February. Next up is Jamie, who has called three Perfect Games throughout his career. He has also been a part of 30 World Series and 30 All-Star Games, all while being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.
The broadcaster’s talents extended beyond the baseball diamond. Jarrín was the Spanish-language broadcaster for the 1984 Summer Olympics and the “Thrilla in Manilla.”
The Dodgers plan to honor during the 2022 season at an unannounced date.
Lance Zierlein: Manningcast Is What People Have Wanted For Years
“Zierlein showered the alternate broadcast with praise for not only the guests but the football lingo as well.”
Most of the country seems to be catching Manning Fever, and Lance Zierlein of ESPN Houston is no different. The sports talk host discussed the third edition of the “ManningCast” with his co-host John Granato on Tuesday’s episode of The Bench.
The Mannings rolled out another star-studded guestlist on Monday night that included, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, NBA superstar Lebron James, Alabama Football head coach Nick Saban, and retired NFL defensive end Chris Long.
Zierlein showered the alternate broadcast with praise for not only the guests but the football lingo as well.
“I called my dad up,” Lance Zierlein began talking about the broadcast, “I’ve been telling my dad for years that the fans want more advanced football stuff… I was telling him this eight years ago, I said, ‘getting more advanced X’s and O’s stuff out there is a big deal because more and more people want that,’ well that’s what this is.”
If anyone can take the pulse of sports fans at large and NFL fans, in particular, it’s Zierlein. The host also helps lead NFL.com’s NFL prospect coverage during draft season. Zierlein is responsible for 500-plus player evaluations leading up to the big day every April.
“No they ask questions of each other that obviously, they are going to know the answers because they are setting it up for them to tell fans,” Zierlein continued. “Listening to them talk about safety play and certain looks and protections and stuff. Golly! From a football standpoint, it’s awesome.”
His co-host agreed and sees this type of broadcast as the way of the future.
“I’m telling you,” Granato said. “I think this is the future… this couldn’t be a better idea, because those guys are entertaining and informative.”
Lance Zierlien could see ESPN employing the model in coverage of other sports in the future. He suggested former Rockets and Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy to lead the NBA version of a conversational, X-and-O heavy broadcast.
ESPN went all in on this idea for that exact combination of traits, and fans now have to wait through a three-week hiatus before the Manning brothers return in Week 7.
Scott Hanson Shouts Out ESPN’s Greg McElroy On NFL RedZone
“Scott Hanson used a rough day for Justin Fields to remind those that had forgotten about McElroy’s pro career that he is technically in the NFL record books.”
Media members are often friends with their colleagues that work at competing outlets. They are often fans of people that may be their direct competitors regardless of whether or not they have ever actually met. Sometimes, it is nice just to acknowledge that. Surely that was Scott Hanson’s thinking when he shouted out Greg McElroy on NFL RedZone on Sunday.
McElroy was a seventh round selection of the New York Jets in 2011 after winning a national championship as a quarterback at the University of Alabama. He played two seasons in the NFL, including one start during the 2012 season. Now he calls college games for ESPN and ABC on Saturdays.
Scott Hanson used a rough day for Justin Fields to remind those that had forgotten about McElroy’s pro career that he is technically in the NFL record books.
“Shout out Greg McElroy, if you’re watching. Love your work on television. Loved you in college as well,” said Hanson before lowering the boom with a stat McElroy would probably prefer history forget. “But Greg McElroy, in his rookie NFL debut, got sacked 11 times. That’s the all-time NFL quote unquote record.”
The Bears worked hard to get that record for their rookie quarterback but came up short. Chicago gave up 8 sacks to the Browns in Justin Fields’ debut as an NFL starter.
There is nothing quite like a good radio partner. That is where Cole Cubelic comes in. He co-hosts McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning on WJOX in Birmingham and caught the shoutout and wanted to make sure his audience did too.
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