As the baseball season goes into its second full week, the presence of COVID-19 continues to make itself known. The Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies will return to the field this week after a week off of games (Phillies had 2 false positive tests). However, the St. Louis Cardinals have not played since Wednesday due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in their own organization.
With several teams having to put their schedule on hold due to the pandemic, it has led people to believe the chances of a season being completed are falling. On Monday morning, ESPN baseball insider Tim Kurkjian was on The Jake Asman Show on SportsMap Radio and he mentioned he is not confident the season will be completed.
“The game is in turmoil and it should be given what it is up against, a pandemic like we have never seen before,” the ESPN writer said. “My guess is if we have another outbreak, that might be enough to say the schedule is too messed up, the integrity of the game is in question, but most important, the health and safety of all people around the game is in question. The commissioner does not want to make the decision, but he might not have a choice.”
On Friday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with ESPN’s Karl Ravech about what has gone in the game and Ravech got this response from Manfred:
Some might be quick to solely blame players for their actions in causing games to not be played. However, Kurkjian said it is not fair to do that.
“We don’t know that much about this disease to say here’s what happened there. I think the bottom line is when this started, we were asking a bunch of young guys in their early 20’s to show discipline and restraint that maybe they have never shown in their whole life. That was a challenge to begin with and obviously some mistakes have been made, but to blame the players for this entirely, I’m just not sure that’s fair either.”
Over the weekend, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain and New Cain made a statement on Saturday while Cespedes did not show up to the ballpark and his agent reportedly did not tell the team until the middle of Sunday’s game.
“I think more and more players will get fearful of where this is going, but I don’t see a mass exodus,” Kurkjian told Asman.
Like many in the industry, Kurkjian, who has been covering baseball for 41 years, has had to adjust to calling games remotely while not being at the ballpark due to the pandemic. He mentioned it has been a weird season but adjustments have to be made in an unprecedented time.
“I have done games with Karl Ravech (in Connecticut), Eduardo Perez (in Florida), and I am in Maryland. It is so weird trying to call and analyze a Major League game when you are not at a Major League game. We are all flexible. We all understand this is how it works. These are extraordinary circumstances and everyone has to make an adjustment.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at [email protected].
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.