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670 The Score Hosts Blast ARod, Praise Statcast On ESPN2

“It was like getting out of baseball ‘stupid’ prison”

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‘The Rivalry’ took center stage in the 2021 American League Wild Card Game last night as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox squared off at Fenway Park in Boston. the playoff game was broadcast on multiple ESPN platforms. While the game itself lived up to the hype, with the Red Sox defeating the Yankees 6-2, viewers found themselves switching away from the primary broadcast. Many took to social media to say it was the color-commentary of former New York Yankees third baseman and current Major League Baseball analyst on ESPN, Alex Rodriguez, that made them change channels.

On Wednesday morning, two of 670 The Score’s shows shared a discussion of the night on television. Bernstein and Rahimi were joined by Mully and Haugh. The quartet spoke about the appeal of the Statcast, which aired on ESPN2, and how it made watching the game more enjoyable for fans who were unable to bear the Sunday Night Baseball pairing of play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian and the aforementioned Rodriguez for another high-stakes game.

“I turn on the game and it’s A-Rod and Vasgersian… wait! [Jason] Bennetti, Eduardo Perez and Mike Petriello were on [ESPN2],” said Dave Bernstein, midday host and senior columnist at 670 The Score. “It was like getting out of baseball ‘stupid’ prison, and [there was a large] number of people who came on [Twitter] and thanked me [for telling them]… apparently, it was not as well known as I thought.”

After Mike Mulligan made a remark that Bernstein’s “ears must have been burning” watching the primary ESPN broadcast of the game, the Chicago sports radio host expressed his gratitude for the second broadcast, and how it made the viewing experience of the first game of the postseason more bearable.”

“The disparity between those broadcasts… Oh my gosh!,” said Bernstein. “You’re not bleeding out of your ears. A-Rod always has a rough night… he sucks!”

ESPN introduced the Statcast alternate broadcast during the 2018 season during the Major League Baseball playoffs and added it to Sunday Night Baseball in 2020. The broadcast, featuring Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Bennetti, former Major League Baseball player Eduardo Perez and MLB.com Statcast Insider Mike Petriello, has received much acclaim and has served as a welcome change from the traditional style of live game broadcasting.

Leila Rahimi, co-host of “Bernstein and Rahimi” on 670 The Score, says the lack of intelligence on the primary broadcast is a considerable difference between it and the Statcast. She read a tweet while on the air that put Rodriguez’s analysis into perspective posted by Marc Carig, a baseball writer and deputy managing editor at The Athletic.

“He was really good at hitting and infield — I promise,” quipped Rahimi after reading Carig’s tweet. “There was a time when he was really good at both.”

In response, Bernstein simply said: “Turn [Rodriguez’s] mic off.”

ESPN recently introduced an alternate viewing experience for 10 of its Monday Night Football broadcasts, with brothers and former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning breaking down the action as it happens and interviewing celebrity guests from the worlds of sports and entertainment. The broadcast, known informally as the “ManningCast,” has seen its ratings rise up over the first three weeks of action, with just over 10% of viewers, on average, choosing the alternate experience over the traditional crew, which includes play-by-play announcer Steve Levy, and former NFL players Brian Griese and Louis Riddick providing color commentary.

“The broadcast separated from the equation — that was a fun game,” said Haugh.

ESPN will not telecast any of the remaining Major League Baseball postseason games on television or its streaming platforms; however, ESPN Radio will have exclusive coverage of all postseason contests on-the-air, continuing with tonight’s National League Wild Card game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals. Jon Sciambi and Kyle Peterson are on the call for the single-game elimination contest with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST/6:30 p.m. CST.

Sports Radio News

Kraig Riley Named Brand Manager Of 93.7 The Fan

“He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010.”

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There’s a new leader in Pittsburgh and Audacy did not have to look too far to find him. Kraig Riley has been promoted to brand manager of 93.7 The Fan.

Riley is a familiar face in the building and voice on the air. He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010. He has served as producer of the station’s afternoon show The PM Team with Poni & Mueller. He also was the host of the station’s pre and postgame coverage of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The opening was created earlier this year when Jim Graci exited The Fan and sister station KDKA New Radio. Audacy hired industry veteran Dave LaBrozzi, who most recently served as Vice President of Programming for WABC Radio in New York City, to lead the news talk station.

“As both KDKA and The Fan continue to evolve into full multi-platform operations serving our listeners in new ways every day it is clear that both stations need focused leadership,” Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy Pittsburgh, said in a press release. “The addition of Dave and promotion of Kraig will help us continue that evolution. There is an expectation of excellence at both stations from the city of Pittsburgh that I have no doubt Dave and Kraig will continue to build on every day.”

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Sports Radio News

Fred Faour, Fred Davis To Launch ‘Fred Nation’ on SportsMap Radio

“The program, ‘Fred Nation’ will debut on Monday November 29th at 1pm ET.”

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SportsMap Radio is ready to introduce the country to Fred Nation! The network has announced plans to launch a new weekday show featuring familiar Houston sports voices Fred Faour and Fred Davis. The program Fred Nation will debut on Monday November 29th at 1pm ET.

“I’m excited to bring our unique style to SportsMap Radio,” said Faour. “It will be a combination of great sports talk with a big gambling slant. Our irreverent approach will create something very special for the network.”

“The show will be fun, informative, and fast-paced,” added Davis. “And what’s better than one
Fred? Two Freds.”

Faour and Davis will slide into the timeslot previously occupied by Matt Perrault. Faour was a co-host on The Blitz, on ESPN Houston, until August of 2021. The Blitz enjoyed more than a decade of success on Houston’s sports radio airwaves before ending after former host AJ Hoffman left for an opportunity in Las Vegas. In addition to his time on ESPN Houston, Faour has also served as the former editor of SportsMap Houston.

Davis meanwhile previously co-hosted the top rated Fred and Ted on Sports Radio 610 in Houston. He has also made regular on-air contributions on ESPN Houston.

“These two have amazing chemistry,” shared GowMedia CEO, David Gow. “Locally, they each
have a huge following and I expect similar success all throughout the Fred Nation.”

Fred Nation will air weekdays from 1pm-4pm ET.

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Sports Radio News

Evan Roberts Invited Steve Somers To Thanksgiving In 1995

“Steve Somers did not go to the Roberts house that year. He did tell Evan not to worry about him though.”

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Last week, Sal Licata shared a personal memento from Steve Somers. The new WFAN overnight host took to Twitter to show off the handwritten monologue from his final night working as Somers’s producer. Somers even signed it to Licata with a note of thanks for his work on the show.

On Monday, as Steve Somers bid farewell to WFAN, another host on the station had a personal memory from the past to share. Carton and Roberts dug up archived audio from the Schmooze’s show from Thanksgiving Day in 1995 when he read a letter from a 12-year-old named Evan Roberts.

That’s right. The same Evan Roberts that now serves as Craig Carton’s co-host is wrote Somers in 1995 to ask if Somers would like to join his family for Thanksgiving dinner. Evan and his dad got the idea after Somers had mentioned on air that he would be alone for Thanksgiving that year.

“My mom’s cooking is great and you can watch football with my dad,” Evan promised in his letter.

Steve Somers did not go to the Roberts house that year. He did tell Evan not to worry about him though.

“Evan, I am not going to be alone tonight. I was just making a funny and a joke, but you’re in my heart.”

The Schmooze then offered some smack talk about the New York Islanders (or “Icelanders” as he used to call them). Evan mentioned in the letter that he was a fan of the team. Somers said he hoped some time in the future, the Icelanders played a competitive game against the Rangers.

“Evan, I really thank you and your dad and your family for inviting me over for Thanksgiving. I won’t ever forget Evan Roberts!” Somers concludes.

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