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Hughes Makes Cubs Sound Larger Than Life on Radio

Jason Barrett

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On the eve of Game 3, Pat Hughes did a little dreaming.

“Nobody has ever heard anyone say: ‘The Cubs are the world champions’ because radio had just been invented in 1908,” he said. “Games on the radio did not come along until the 1920s. And if there is a recording from 1945, when the Cubs last won the pennant, I’m not aware of it.”

Hughes, who has put in 20 years and called more than 1,700 defeats, deserves the chance to deliver the historic call. If only the Cubs would cooperate.

But as Hughes mentioned in the seventh inning Tuesday night, they have not led for a moment in the series. The Game 3 dagger came on a 3-2 pitch from closer Jeurys Familia.

“And the payoff pitch … strike three called,” Hughes said. “The ballgame is over and the New York Mets take a three-games-to-none lead in the National League Championship Series.”

Hughes’ broadcast far exceeded the quality of the home team. Working on WBBM-AM 780 with analyst Ron Coomer, Hughes painted a picture the way Jacob deGrom painted the bottom edge of the strike zone.

I always get a kick out of Hughes’ description of what everyone is wearing — including home-plate umpire Ted Barrett and his “black hat, black shoes.”

“There’s something about baseball on the radio that is still a marriage made in heaven,” Hughes told me Monday. “You would think in this age of video, baseball on radio would go by the wayside, but that’s not the case. As testimony, look at broadcast fees, sponsorship and salaries … though not necessarily mine.”

Hughes is not one to complain, but his pipes were rusty Monday, the result of insisting on an open-air booth in the Sunday night chill at Citi Field in New York — and not getting home to bed until 5 a.m.

Early Tuesday evening Hughes said, “Boy, it is nice to be back home, isn’t it?”

Analysts love working with Hughes because he sets them up like a veteran point guard.

After Dexter Fowler took a low called-third strike in the first, Hughes said: “Take a look, Ron.”

Coomer responded: “I agree with Dexter. (He’s) 6-foot-5 and this pitch is below the knees. DeGrom got a break.”

Both came to life when Kyle Schwarber lined one into the bleachers in the first.

Hughes’ call: “He hits a drive to left-center field … It’s got a chance … GONE!”

Coomer: “Can you say ‘Welcome back to Wrigley’!?”

Coomer was not the only other contributor to Tuesday’s broadcast. Television play-by-play man Len Kasper subbed for Hughes in the fifth inning.

Kasper told a story about deGrom having broken a finger on his left hand while helping a neighbor in Florida castrate a calf in 2013.

Hughes couldn’t resist a friendly jab, saying: “More of a television story than a radio story, Len.”

Kasper: “We’re trying to paint a picture here, Pat. I apologize for that … no more conversations about livestock the rest of the night, I promise.”

It turned out to be a pleasant diversion on a night in which the Cubs could relate to that calf.

To read the full article visit the Chicago Tribune where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti: Biggest Issue With Craig Carton, Jon Jastremski Feud Is “Mole” At WFAN

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems.”

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Gregg Giannotti

A feud has sprung up between WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton and former WFAN host John Jastremski. Boomer & Gio discussed the spat on Friday morning’s show, with Gregg Giannotti being troubled by a revelation.

During his New York New York podcast, a voicemail left for Jastremski asked about Carton’s comments, but the caller said a WFAN employee sent him the clip of Carton’s criticism.

“So that means we have a mole,” Boomer Esiason said.

“That right there is a problem,” Gregg Giannotti added. “‘We both have a mutual friend that still works over there’ and that person shared a link of Craig talking about JJ (Jastremski). So, clearly, that person is on JJ’s side and they’re still working here. That’s a mole! That’s someone going against the team! And I think know who that is!”

Esiason then asked if he knew the person, to which Giannotti said he did. He then asked if he would be upset by who it was, which Giannotti affirmed as well.

The show then played the final portion of Jastremski’s rant, which included him saying to Carton “I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike.”

“Jesus!” Esiason exclaimed. “Good for JJ, though. Standing up for himself.”

“I like both of these guys. I do. I got respect for both of them,” said Giannotti. “Everybody doesn’t have to go to the jail, crook thing with Craig every single time. Do they? It’s low-hanging fruit. Everybody goes there. There’s no way he can defend himself in that way because everybody saying ‘You went to jail’ didn’t go to jail, and it’s not apples and oranges. But the business stuff is apples-to-apples.

“So when I hear that, I’m just like ‘Ok, you went there. Be a little more creative than that’. As far as I listen to legend things, please, nobody has given me worse advice in my life than Mike Francesa did. Nobody. I would still be out in the newsroom cutting Islander highlights if I listened to that guy. And the only reason why Mike liked JJ was because he didn’t feel he was a threat. The only people Mike likes is the people he feels non-threatened by. And that’s where that comes from.”

After concluding Jastremski’s rant was a “little over the top”, Giannotti then turned his attention to the “mole” inside the station.

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems. That — to me — is an issue. The guy on the voicemail said ‘We may or may not have a mutual friend that still works at the radio station’ and this guy just slammed the radio station. And he’s friends with the guy who slammed the radio station and then slammed Craig and this guy’s on their side?! And this guy that works here is on their side?! That to me is a major, major problem.”

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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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Sports Radio News

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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