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DiPietro Enjoys His New Career But Misses His Old One

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Former Islanders goalie turned ESPN New York radio (98.7 FM) host Rick DiPietro, got a bump in his media career recently when it was revealed that highlights of his show with Alan Hahn would be aired nightly on MSG starting next month. But that excitement is tinged with some regret over a once-promising hockey career derailed by injuries as he watches his former team try to win a postseason series for the first time since 1993.

“I definitely miss it more. I still haven’t gotten over the fact that I am not playing,” said DiPietro, who has not played since 2013, but notes that he is not officially retired. “The reason I signed that long-term contract [for 15 years in 2006] is because I could see where the team was headed.”

As DiPietro’s athletic life ended, his radio life began with a text to Hahn, who was on air, suggesting the Newsday columnist and friend bring up a certain hockey point during his show. Hahn suggested DiPietro try getting behind the microphone, but the goalie was hesitant given the way his career ended in New York, and the reaction fans could have to him.

DiPietro took the chance and it started with him, Hahn and SNY’s Brian Custer filling in for Dave Rothenberg overnights.

“I still don’t think we realize it,” DiPietro said. “I just knew we were having fun doing it and we were going to keep doing it until they told us we couldn’t do it anymore. We’re friends, and I think people can tell that. We wanted it to sound like two friends sitting home, watching the game together.”

This is DiPietro’s time of year. He’s free to talk hockey more on the show with the Islanders and Rangers both in the playoffs. But he grew up a fan of the Mets, Jets and Knicks, so he knows all about the emotions of being connected to those teams.

To read more visit the NY Post where this article was originally published

Sports Radio News

Chris Russo Debates Barry Bonds With Stephen A. Smith to Delight of Many

The positive response may have been due to Russo understanding the assignment. Mad Dog will yell back! He called Stephen A. “Stevie”!

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ESPN

If ESPN’s First Take and Stephen A. Smith wanted a heated discussion about the Baseball Hall of Fame 2022 election results, bringing on Chris Russo as a guest was probably the best choice for Wednesday’s show.

Sure, someone like Jeff Passan, Tim Kurkjian, Eduardo Perez, or Doug Glanville could’ve joined Stephen A. and Molly Qerim at the desk for a reasoned, informative discussion. But the volume wouldn’t have been high enough to match Stephen A.

Someone needed to shout back! And there might be no one on TV or radio who can get as loud, as outraged, as indignant as “Mad Dog” Russo. On one side, Stephen A. argues that Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame. Counterpoint from Mad Dog (a San Francisco Giants fan): Bonds should not.

As could’ve been expected, the debate got loud. Those watching at work may have needed to use headphones.

But rather than denounce all the noise, all the yelling, social media and sports media observers appeared to enjoy Stephen A. vs. Mad Dog.

Maybe because the debate only lasted for one six-minute segment, rather than the entirety of the show. But the positive response may also have been due to Russo understanding the assignment. Mad Dog will yell back! He called Stephen A. “Stevie”!

Here’s a sampling of reactions:

Marchand’s view of Russo’s appearance is particularly interesting and not just because he covers sports media for a living. In the new version of First Take with rotating combatants to face Stephen A. at the table, isn’t Russo a capable opponent? No one wants to see a wrestling superstar face a jobber, right? Edge vs. Seth Rollins is a marquee matchup!

Judging by the response from fans on social media, Russo is someone First Take should bring back on a regular basis. Maybe even, as Marchand suggests, one day per week. But maybe not for a whole show, for the sake of our ears and temples.

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Sports Radio News

KNBR’s ‘Murph and Mac’ Talk Barry Bonds’ Baseball Hall of Fame Exclusion

The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly joined the show to explain Hall of Fame balloting in baseball’s steroid era.

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KNBR

Amid the current team owners’ lockout, now the longest in Major League Baseball history, the sport is still generating publicity. But the headlines have nothing to do with the labor dispute between the owners and players.

Generating debate is the controversial omission of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens from being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in their final year of eligibility.

This year, 394 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) voted in the election, with former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz being the only player on the ballot to surprass the required 75 percent threshold. Ortiz received 77.9 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility.

Bonds and Clemens both allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs during their careers, significantly impacting their candidacies for baseball immortality. There was outrage in many corners of the baseball world Tuesday night following the announcement, and widespread disappointment from fans of the game who feel that an apparent “blemish” on baseball history is trying to be forcibly erased rather than remembered.

On Wednesday morning, Murph & Mac on San Francisco’s KNBR welcomed The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly to their program to discuss the exclusion of Bonds from Cooperstown and the negative perception the voting process is receiving by members of the media and fans alike.

“In 2014, the Hall of Fame sort of unilaterally changed its rules and reduced the time you can be on the writers’ ballot from 15 years to 10,” Baggarly explained. “There’s no doubt that was intentional to clear the way for steroid-era players that would otherwise linger on the ballot forever.”

Bonds is widely regarded as one of the best hitters to ever take the field, and is baseball’s current record holder for both the most career home runs (762) and the most single-season home runs (73). He also won the National League Most Valuable Player award a record seven times, also receiving 14 All-Star Game selections and 12 Silver Slugger awards.

“When I hear guys like Chris Russo tsk-tsk… Bonds for using steroids, [I say] ‘What, are you kidding me?’” said Brian Murphy, co-host of the Bay Area morning drive program. “How widespread it was in the game, how owners and GMs and team presidents never told players that they would be facing penalties and kept giving them money, and everyone collectively participated? Now, [it’s] ‘No, Mr. Bonds, you can’t do that.’”

For those who are not members of the BBWAA, the perception of the Hall of Fame announcement has generated negative publicity for Major League Baseball during an already-contentious negotiation towards a new collective bargaining agreement. Baseball’s all-time home run leader in Bonds and a seven-time Cy Young Award winner are barred from Cooperstown – for now.

There is another way in, but it is sure to cause even more public controversy, according to Baggarly.

 “Now [Bonds] goes to the committees,” outlined Baggarly. “All of [these] committees meet twice every five-year period. It just so happens that the Today’s Game Committee will meet at the Winter Meetings in December… and they can consider as many as 10 individuals [for the Hall of Fame]… Can you imagine if the panel who elected Commissioner Bud Selig will be the same people who don’t elect Bonds? If you think the writers are getting blasted, just wait.”

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Sports Radio News

Parker Hillis Upped To APD At 104.3 The Fan

“Hillis has been at The Fan since April of 2019.”

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All on-air talent at 104.3 the Fan in Denver now reports to Parker Hillis. He has been promoted to become the assistant program director of that station and ESPN Denver 1600.

“Parker has been critical to the success of our Bonneville Denver sports properties,” 104.3 The Fan and ESPN Denver 1600 Program Director Raj Sharan said in a press release. “He’s absolutely earned this opportunity to take on increased responsibilities managing our sports stations on a daily basis.” 

Hillis has been at The Fan since April of 2019. He came from Dallas, where he worked for Audacy’s 105.3 The Fan.

With the promotion, the station is now looking for a new executive producer. Parker Hillis will oversee that search.

“I’m excited to work with our hosts in a greater capacity on a day-to-day basis,” Hillis said. “The opportunity to lead collaborative efforts among our amazingly talented team is truly an honor.” 

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