For the first time in 26 years, labor peace was disrupted between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association with the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Prior to Wednesday, Major League Baseball had not seen a stoppage in normal business since the 1994-95 strike, which lasted 232 days and resulted in the cancelation of the remainder of that season, including the Postseason and the World Series. The last lockout occurred in 1990, and was resolved in a month’s time, avoiding the league having to cancel any regular season games.
Fast forward to December 2021. Baseball fans would certainly be justified in calling this past month a valid depiction of the state of the game. From the surface, it may seem oxymoronic that over $2.2 billion was spent in contract extensions and free agent signings over that time period, perhaps a verisimilitude for the league’s recovery after lost revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some baseball fans, even those extremely passionate about the game, yearn for everything to be figured out, and the words “Play ball!” to be shouted at the ballpark again as scheduled this spring. Despite this work stoppage, “People will most definitely come [back]” to patronize America’s pastime, says John Kincade, the eponymous host of The John Kincade Show on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. And if anyone says otherwise, he’ll be there to call them out on what he says is “The biggest lie ever told in sports radio.”
“Five times on this radio station [yesterday], I heard the biggest lie that’s ever told in sports radio,” said Kincade. “‘I’m done with this sport. I’m never watching again. I’m finished. This is the last straw.’ This is such the biggest load of crap, and it’s documented [and] proven over and over again… You’re lying. You know it. I know it. But nobody will call you on it. I will. You’re a fraud. You know you’re coming back. You talk a big game, but you always cave.”
A seasoned radio veteran who has hosted local and national shows around the country, Kincade has a wealth of experience talking about sports on the air. By virtue of that experience, he has also heard and responded to opinions from callers and other hosts that he knows are mendacious, not always by intent, and/or an overreaction. Therefore, he came prepared with facts to back up his claim, and prove why the fans will come back no matter how grotesque these negotiations might be portrayed by those with knowledge of the proceedings.
“Baseball has set ten new attendance records since [the strike in 1994],” said Kincade. “Baseball teams have tripled in revenues. Baseball teams’ values have quadrupled.”
Some baseball fans are already preparing for a disappointing summer without the game, including co-host Bob Cooney. If the lockout stretches into the regular season, he admits that baseball will undoubtedly lose part of his fandom.
“I’m watching golf now because I really want to get into it, [and] because I’m anticipating baseball’s going to screw me come April, May, June, whatever,” expressed Cooney. “I don’t speak in… absolutes, but I’m sitting there saying: ‘If they’re going to do this, I’m really going to look for another form of entertainment in the summer.’ I really am.”
Jamie Lynch, who has been a staple of morning programming on 97.5 The Fanatic since 2015, was discontented with the 1994-95 strike since it happened in the midst of an ongoing season. He fears a similar outcome could befall young people this time around, especially if it drags on for an extended period of time.
“The [1994-95 strike] damaged me,” explained Lynch. “It changed me as a fan of the sport… I honestly couldn’t comprehend why grown men were saying ‘no’ to playing a game. There’s probably kids out there now that are going: ‘Wait. Why aren’t they playing?’”
Kincade hopes more on-air hosts, when they hear ‘the biggest lie in sports radio,’ will call the disseminators of that message out for the falsity inherent in that statement.
“I want to hear a host go, ‘You know you’re coming back. You’re full of it. You’re coming back…,’” said Kincade. “Over and over again, the proof is there that people come back, and they come back in bigger numbers than they ever had before – and they spend more money, by the way.”
“I’ve heard hosts do that,” said Pat Egan, co-host of the morning drive program in the “City of Brotherly Love,” “but it’s a very reactionary statement… When the games restart, and they always restart, eventually, you’re back. You’re watching – every time – because you’re a sports fan.”
Greg Hill to Jeff Van Gundy: ‘You Sounded Like You Were on the Bucks’ Payroll’
“After a pregnant pause, Van Gundy answered through laughter, throwing a zinger right back at Hill and crew.”
They are nothing if not blunt in Boston. That was the case Tuesday morning when The Greg Hill Show welcomed ABC/ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy to the program to preview the Eastern Conference Finals.
Overall, it was a cordial visit. Questions mostly focused on the headlines related to officiating throughout the playoffs and what the Celtics would have to do to make it to the NBA Finals, which Van Gundy thinks will happen.
“I think Boston’s been the best team in the league,” he said. “I think they’re gonna win it all this year.”
Greg Hill said after the conference semi-finals matchup with Milwaukee, he was surprised to hear Jeff Van Gundy felt that way.
“Jeez, I’m glad to hear you say that,” Hill told Van Gundy. “It almost sounded like you were on the Bucks’ payroll at times during that last series.”
After a pregnant pause, Van Gundy answered through laughter, throwing a zinger right back at Hill and crew.
“You know what? I get used to that and then the Bucks people say I want Boston to win. Not that you guys would be homers or anything.”
Jeff Van Gundy will join Mike Breen and Mark Jackson at the broadcast table for the Eastern Conference Finals on ABC and ESPN. Game 1 between the Celtics and Heat is scheduled for Tuesday night at 8:30 in Miami.
99.7 The Fox Becomes New Carolina Panthers Flagship
“The new deal represents a return to The Fox for the Panthers. The station was the team’s flagship from 2000 through 2004.”
The Carolina Panthers are on the move in Charlotte. The team is leaving WBT. Their new radio home will be 99.7 The Fox, iHeartMedia’s classic rock station.
The station will carry all Panthers game broadcasts, the Panthers pregame and postgame shows as well the team’s weekly coach’s show. There will also be an on-site presence for every home game at Bank of America Stadium.
“We are thrilled to increase iHeartSports NFL partnerships with the addition of the Carolina Panthers. The passion between a sports team and its fan base is one-of-a-kind, and we’re thrilled to expand the Carolina Panthers’ reach to their passionate supporters with our new multi-media deal,” Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartMedia Sports, said in a press release. “iHeart’s reach in Charlotte is unprecedented, meaning more fans will hear their favorite team than ever before. The partnership will include broadcast, streaming, podcast, events, marketing and promotional elements which will drive results for the Panthers!”
“The team at 99.7 The Fox is delighted to once again be the broadcast home of the Carolina Panthers, bringing best-in-class content from the team to its dedicated and passionate fans,” Dave Carwile, President of iHeartMedia Multi-Platform Group – Charlotte, added. “We know how special the relationship and connection between the city of Charlotte, the Panthers and the fan base is, and we’re thrilled to enhance that bond with an expanded coverage area reaching more fans on 99.7 The Fox. We can’t wait to get started.”
The new deal represents a return to The Fox for the Panthers. The station was the team’s flagship from 2000 through 2004. Every other year of the franchise’s existence, their games have been heard on WBT.
“The Panthers are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Radio One, and the role that WBT has played in sharing some of the greatest moments in franchise history for 22 seasons, including each of the past 17,” Jake Burns, Chief Commercial Officer for the Carolina Panthers, said.
Indiana Sports Talk Station Set To Flip Formats
“The promos say that station owner Woof Boom Broadcasting is “building a new radio station for Muncie and Delaware County”.
Sports fans in Muncie, Indiana may soon lose their favorite sports station. Listeners to Muncie Sports 92.5 have heard promos teasing a new station coming to the frequency.
The promos say that station owner Woof Boom Broadcasting is “building a new radio station for Muncie and Delaware County”. The station has also changed its call letters. What was WXFN is now WMUN.
Muncie Sports 92.5 airs on two signals. 1340 AM is a 1000 watt station. 92.5 FM is a translator signal.
The station airs an hour-long local show hosted by Mark Foerster on weekdays at 4 pm. It carries syndicated programming from FOX Sports Radio and is the local affiliate for the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Cincinnati Reds, IndyCar Series, Ball State University football and women’s basketball, and three local high schools.
ESPN 680 is still available from nearby Marion,IN. Two Indianapolis sports talk stations are strong enough to be heard in the town as well according to Radio Locator.