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Stephen A. Smith Sends Jeff Passan Into Hysterics With Derek Jeter Outburst

“He is a Yankee! El Capitan! The champion extraordinaire! The leader! He is… he is Derek Jeter! What is this?”

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Stephen A. Smith would really like to see Derek Jeter return to the New York Yankees. Let him be clear: He’d really like to see the Yankees’ Hall of Fame shortstop, No. 2, back with the team. (That may not be the company line if ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro wants to hire Jeter.)

And not just “in some capacity,” like a special advisor, assistant to the general manager, or assistant to the assistant to the general manager. Jeter was the CEO and a shareholder with the Miami Marlins before stepping down on Monday, and Stephen A. believes that he should have a similar position at Yankee Stadium.

If the position doesn’t exist in the Yankees organization, create one. Move Brian Cashman up to president of baseball operations and make Jeter the GM. Or vice versa. Jeter can be president of baseball ops while Cashman remains GM. The Yankees have 13 senior vice presidents. Make it 14 with Jeter. Nine vice presidents? Make it an even 10 with The Captain.

The point, as Stephen A. sees it, is that Jeter should have a position that matters, a position of authority, with the team for which he became a legend. And when ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan was a guest on Tuesday’s First Take and wasn’t embracing that assertion as enthusiastically, Stephen A. couldn’t handle it.

“Jeff… ! Jeff Passan! I have to say, I don’t like the way you sound right now,” said Smith as he tried to maintain his composure. “‘Derek Jeter has to be involved in some capacity’… What do you mean, ‘some capacity’? We know where he belongs!”

“He is a Yankee!” Smith yelled, as he slapped the desk and Passan grew increasingly amused at the comedic outrage. “El Capitan! The champion extraordinaire! The leader! He is… he is Derek Jeter! What is this?”

Smith’s use of the “El Capitan” nickname sent Passan into a belly laugh not often seen on TV while personalities are trying to keep their cool. He leaned back in his chair laughing and clapped, providing a viewers that should be material for GIFs and memes for days, weeks, and months to come. (Even Stephen A. was laughing at himself, possibly in response to Passan leaning back.)

It was a hilarious moment that we screen-capped it for the featured image on this post. You can see it at the 0:16 mark of the video embedded above. This was Stephen A. going meta, making fun of his own rants for a subject that surely didn’t warrant the indignation.

Then, for punctuation, Passan simply responded, “I don’t tell a man where to work.” Mic drop.

It was the ideal follow-up to Passan’s tweet late Monday night/early Tuesday morning as the negotiations between Major League Baseball team owners and the players union wrapped up, hopefully closer to an agreement that means the 2022 season will happen.

Passan had been quiet on Twitter while colleagues Jon Heyman and Bob Nightengale were providing play-by-play on what could have been performative behavior by the owners and MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem.

The MLB lockout has been tiresome. But Passan has provided some levity, some entertainment to a situation that’s been anything but entertaining. He deserves some applause. And maybe he’ll get to tweet some good news in the next day or two.

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Pedro Martinez: ‘Never Imagined’ TV Career

“And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.”

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As the Major League Baseball season comes to a close and preparations for the playoffs begin, MLB Network and TNT analyst Pedro Martinez joined The Press Box podcast to discuss his time as a television analyst.

When asked what he liked about working in television, Martinez didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“I think it’s a platform and the opportunity I have to bring to the audience what I know, what I think, what I understand and broadcasting gives me the opportunity to continue to have that communication with the people, the young athletes and fans. At the same time, I’m able to continue to learn and transmit some of the things that I would love to show everybody by playing but my body doesn’t allow me, but my mind does.

“This is a great way to bring the right information to the people, but I take advantage of the platform to communicate with my fanbase, the player’s fanbase, and the voice behind the players and the situations that come up, I can actually teach the audience some of the things that I understand from my point of view.”

A media career was never in the cards for Martinez. At least that’s what he thought during his playing career.

“I swear to god, it’s the only thing I never imagined. I never thought I would like being in front of a camera,” Martinez said. “And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.

“You learn so much just by having access to information, having access to so many other different things. A lot of people would be surprised how much you can dig into and I think for everybody else, if they knew the kind of information we have access to, they’d be intrigued to come do what we do.”

He then said one of the things he would have never picked up on was how many pitchers tip their pitches, but due to all of the information, video, and relationships broadcasters have make that information readily available. He added his work in television has enabled more relationships with baseball players from his home country, the Dominican Republic.

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Stephen A. Smith and Malika Andrews Get Heated Over Ime Udoka Coverage

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Malika Andrews

On Friday’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith continued his stance regarding the public leaking of information surrounding Celtics’ Head Coach Ime Udoka relationship with a team staffer. He also went further by sharing his dismay that Udoka was seemingly the only person punished for the violation of company policy.

“Only he is in violation of the company policy?” Smith asked. “The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation?” 

Before the end of the show, ESPN NBA Today host Malika Andrews called in the program and wanted to address Smith’s comments.

“Stephen A., with all do respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop,” Andrews said. “The fact that we are sitting here debating whether somebody else should have been suspended or not, we are not here, Stephen A., to further blame women.”

Smith would replay saying that his intention was not blame anyone outside of the Celtics coach.

“First of all, let me be very clear, I don’t appreciate where you’re going with that, I’m not blaming anybody but Ime Udoka,” Smith stated. “The fact of the matter is, he deserves to be fired if they were going to fire him. If you’re not going to fire him, then don’t fire him. My issue is all of this being publicized.”

Andrews tried to jump back in for further commentary but Smith stopped that and noted he didn’t appreciate being interrupted on “my show”.

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

Andrews did thank Smith for clarifying his stance at the end of the segment. ESPN has removed access to the video from its YouTube channel by making it private.

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Rich Eisen on Tom Brady Joining FOX: ‘I Gotta See It to Believe It’

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow.”

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Is 2023 the year we see Tom Brady in the broadcast booth for FOX? Rich Eisen isn’t so sure.

“I still gotta see it to believe it, I’ll be honest with you, man. I know it’s a great chunk of change and it’s a lot of money. I don’t know,” the NFL Network icon said on the most recent edition of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.

Tom Brady has taken his foot off the gas in 2022 in a more public way than fans are used to. He voluntarily missed eleven days of training camp and has announced that he will not be available to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesdays during the season.

Eisen says if Brady is looking for a less demanding career, broadcasting isn’t the best option.

“It is a lot of work. And I’m not saying Brady’s not up for it, but if he’s been grinding for 23, 24 years, it’s still a grind in its own way.”

FOX signed Brady to a ten-year deal reportedly worth $375 million to start after he retires. He will be in the network’s top broadcast booth and also serve as an ambassador for the network’s coverage of the NFL.

Eisen says there is a much better model for Brady’s media career in his old rival Peyton Manning.

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow,” Eisen said. “Peyton Manning could be making that much money in the booth himself, right? Instead, he’s got his own production company and he’s doing the games, but not all of them, only 10 of them. And he’s doing them from his basement and he’s got the rights to the games!”

He added that Tom Brady “write his own ticket like that” if he chose to do something similar to what Manning has done with Omaha Productions.

Brady has not had much to say about his deal with FOX since the news became public. In June, he told Dan Patrick that he knows his first season in the booth will come with a lot of growing pains.

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