Tampa Bay Rays fans missed out on Opening Day last year, but the organization made sure they get a chance at the experience in 2021.
The Rays are hosting Drive to Opening Day, a new drive-thru event in the Tropicana Field parking lots. This is serving as a replacement for the annual Fan Fest on Thursday, March 18 at 10 a.m. WDAE’s Zac Blobner and Nick Wize will broadcast live from 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at the event.
The franchise morphed the event into a drive-thru concept with giveaways, experiences, and photo opportunities from fans’ cars. Other entertainment includes fan hosts and DJs. Team mascots Raymond and DJ Kitty will be on hand to entertain the carloads of people. Fans can reserve their tickets for free or make a $10 donation to the Rays Baseball Foundation and Rowdies Soccer Fund when they arrive in their cars on March 18.
“Fan Fest is a fan favorite at Tropicana Field,” said Rays’ Vice President of Marketing and Creative Services Eric Weisberg. “The event is evolving to make sure that fans can still celebrate the excitement of the upcoming season—and the success of 2020—in an engaging and safe way.”
Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at Heltmandm@yahoo.com.
Mike Missanelli On Potential Radio Return: ‘My Ears Are Always Open’
“You know, I’m not ready for the grave. I think I would listen to any opportunity if it was palatable.”
Philadelphia sports radio listeners have been in a bit of a nostalgic mood all year as the farewell tour for Angelo Cataldi continues on WIP. On Thursday morning, it was a double dose of “the good ol’ days” as Cataldi welcomed Mike Missanelli to the show.
Cataldi introduced Missanelli, one of the original WIP sports radio hosts, as a “former star of WIP and other stations that I won’t mention here”.
The two visited for 15 minutes and covered a number of topics. Mike Missanelli was candid about his feelings on his past partnership with Howard Eskin, admitting that he never wanted to stop working with Steve Fredricks and saying that he “literally wanted to kill [Eskin] every day.”
“Eskin came back to radio from doing TV and they thought that putting us together would be a good show, but they kind of threw Steve out the door,” Missanelli says of the beginning of the duo’s partnership. “They gave him night hours or whatever. So, I wasn’t in favor of it and I didn’t think it would work because to me, our chemistry wasn’t good. Howard is what he is, but what he isn’t is a team guy.”
Cataldi asked Missanelli what he missed most about being on the radio.
“I’ll tell you where I missed it during that Phillies run was the everyday reaction from fans,” Missanelli answered. “So I’m doing podcasts now where you don’t get that immediate reaction. So like, that bias play was always good about what we did in sports talk radio.”
Mike Missanelli has been off the air since being let go from 97.5 The Fanatic earlier this year. Cataldi noted that it was the first time Missanelli’s voice had been heard on 94 WIP since 2006 and that it would have happened sooner if Missanelli didn’t have to wait three months for his non-compete clause to end.
Will it be the last time we hear Mike Missanelli on the radio? He told Cataldi that he isn’t opposed to doing a live show again.
“My ears are always open,” he said. “Like when this ended at the other station, I didn’t expect that I was going to do anything. Then all of the sudden, I started getting a couple of calls to do some things. You know, I’m not ready for the grave. I think I would listen to any opportunity if it was palatable.”
Scott Hastings Details How Inside The NBA Video Came Together
“They got three people, two camera guys, a sound guy, and a producer. And she’s got the whole thing storyboarded out. I added some of my own flairs to it.”
Inside The NBA analyst Charles Barkley and Denver Nuggets analyst Scott Hastings have an interesting relationship. During a game in 1990, Hastings took a swing at Barkley during a mele between the Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers. Earlier this year, Hastings admitted he “sucker punched” Barkley during the altercation, with the two jokingly setting a date of May 19, 2023 for a boxing match.
During a recent Nuggets visit to Atlanta, Hastings stopped by the Inside The NBA studios to film a segment to provoke Barkley.
During Polumbus, Hastings, and Dover on Altitude Sports Radio Wednesday, Hastings detailed how the segment came to be.
“I said ‘We should do something and show up at the studios’ because of the Charles and I thing,” Hastings said. “We get there and one guy lets us in and waits for us at the loading dock. They got three people, two camera guys, a sound guy, and a producer. And she’s got the whole thing storyboarded out. I added some of my own flairs to it. There’s probably another 10 minutes of footage — maybe five to seven minutes. We got to the hotel at about 5:15 PM and asked if we could be there by 6:00 PM.”
Hastings said the Inside The NBA studios are located directly beside where the Nuggets were slated to practice, so he could both attend practice and go to the studio, which he called “cool”.
“You could play a two-on-two game. It’s that big. It’s probably not ‘NBA three’ wide, but we’ve all played on narrower courts. Honest to gosh, you’d have enough room — if you put a hoop at the big screen where they run to — you could play a game. It’s like an old catholic school court with the carpet up to the side.”
Evan Roberts: MLB Network Dropped The Ball During Aaron Judge News
“B.S. network. Not a real network. Tell your friends. They are not a real network if they can’t get breaking news when the biggest free agent signs a contract.”
After a whirlwind 24 hours, Aaron Judge signed a contract to remain with the New York Yankees earlier this week. The news happened early in the morning, and WFAN afternoon co-host Evan Roberts said that was no excuse for how poor the coverage was from MLB Network.
“They didn’t go live with it,” co-host Craig Carton said. “He reported it on social media, and they didn’t put him on TV for more than an hour after he had broken the story.”
When told that MLB Network simply put a scroll along the bottom of the screen alerting viewers to the news, Roberts was flabbergasted.
“Are you kidding me?,” Roberts asked. “It’s bad enough that SNY bad-mouthed Jacob DeGrom at the end and then decided to play a…tribute video right before our show. I don’t like the badmouthing of Jake, but at least they gave you live coverage. SNY gave you something. You’re telling me MLB Network didn’t give you any coverage?”
When Chris McMonigle mentioned the news dropped at 5:15 AM PT, Roberts didn’t care.
“Wake someone up,” he countered. “You’re not a real network. If you are — and you can tell your friends at MLB Network — if you wanna be a real network — and see now I gotta throw bouquets at SNY. As much as I didn’t like their coverage, they gave you breaking news coverage. Great job, SNY.”
When told that the DeGrom news happened at 7:00 PM ET, Roberts shouted “it doesn’t matter!”, saying MLB Network should have been on top of the Judge news.
“What were they playing? Major League? A League of Their Own? B.S. network. Not a real network. Tell your friends,” continued Roberts. “They are not a real network if they can’t get breaking news when the biggest free agent signs a contract.”
Carton said the network put a scroll on the screen with the news of Judge’s signing, which Roberts concluded was not enough.
“Tell MLB Network to call our friends at SNY and they’ll give ’em a lesson on how you just break into whatever coverage you have, and you give live coverage. Even if the coverage is bad, at least they’re giving it to you.”