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Damon Bruce, A’s Team President Agree To Live Streamed Debate

“When you’re led by a guy like that, it’s no wonder that your fanbase has dwindled.”

Derek Futterman

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Oakland was once a three-sport city. Throughout each year, Oakland-based fans could catch Athletics baseball, Raiders football and Warriors basketball without having to drive across a bridge to San Francisco. That all changed in 2019 when the Warriors left Oracle Arena in Oakland and relocated to the glamorous new Chase Center in San Francisco. After the first metaphorical domino fell, the Raiders officially relocated to Las Vegas, Nev., and now play home games in the new $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium.

The Athletics are the lone professional team remaining in Oakland and play their home games at RingCentral Coliseum. Yet proposals within different cities, including Las Vegas and Portland have made it entirely plausible that the A’s may follow the Warriors and Raiders out of town.

The Athletics are in the midst of a two-game series against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park, a stadium that was entirely privately-funded and has consistently attracted many fans. After a photo of empty seats at the ballpark last night was shared online, Oakland Athletics Team President Dave Kaval tweeted an emoji and tagged a Twitter account that posts pictures of empty stadium seats – despite the total attendance figure of 32,000. The Athletics, through their first seven home games of the season, are averaging a crowd of just under 8,000 fans per matchup. Kaval questioned whether San Francisco-based media would comment on the lack of attendance after he had opined earlier in the day that Oakland does not receive “fair and balanced” media coverage.

Damon Bruce, the co-host of Damon & Ratto on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, replied to Kaval saying that the station’s parent company Audacy has not directed him to discuss a single subject, including fan attendance. Additionally, he claimed that Kaval and his team are tacitly engaging in “intentional fan suppression” because of the owner’s direction of the team.

This began a Twitter exchange between the two, which ended in an agreement to hold a live-streamed Twitter debate about the Athletics organization’s treatment of their fans.

Bruce has a $5,000 appearance fee which he will donate to the Alameda Food Bank, and Kaval said that he will match it by contributing another $5,000 of his own.

While Kaval originally thought the debate would be this Friday, Bruce has yet to agree to a date and has refused to partake in it live on his show.

“Because we’re not giving three hours to any single subject in the middle of the NBA playoff[s] and the day after the NFL draft,” said Bruce in a tweet as to why he prefers to have the debate off the air. “There are levels to this.”

On Wednesday, The Morning Roast on 95.7 The Game reacted to the Twitter exchange between Kaval and Bruce.

“When you’re led by a guy like that, it’s no wonder that your fanbase has dwindled,” co-host Joe Shasky said of Kaval, “and I don’t blame the fans at all. You’re being run into the ground and they’re trying to leave.”

Kaval appeared as a guest on The Morning Roast last year and, according to show co-host Bonta Hill, did not directly answer any of the questions they posed to him. While he is not an Oakland Athletics fan himself, Hill said he feels bad for those who root for an organization Kaval runs.

“You’re a team president,” stated Hill. “You shouldn’t be commenting on whether or not a stadium’s empty…. Everything about it was minor league…. He’s a carnival; He’s a circus act.”

Hill believes that Kaval’s Twitter exchange and forthcoming Twitter debate with Bruce is a plea for attention amid an inauspicious start to the 2022 regular season both on and off the field.

The sentiment around the Bay Area seems to be that the team will soon be headed elsewhere, leaving the city of Oakland with no professional sports teams of its own. He does not blame Athletics fans for being dismayed with the current state of the team and for neglecting to show up to games this year.

“It’s just tone deaf,” asserted Hill. “You can’t draw 5,000 people right now because you’ve lost all the faith in your fanbase.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

Jordan Bondurant

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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