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Michael Kay: ‘My Skin Is So Thin, It Is Translucent’

“There are parts of me that when someone say something nasty about me in the newspaper that I think is unfair, my first inclination is to strike back at them.”

Ricky Keeler

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EH Wallop/YES Network

On Tuesday, Michael Kay added another new job to his many list of jobs. Not only is he the voice of the New York Yankees on YES and a host of The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN Radio in New York City, he is now an author. His book, CenterStage: My Most Fascinating Interviews – From A-Rod to Jay-Z was this week released recapping all the memorable interviews he’s done on YES Network’s CenterStage since it first aired in 2002. 

Kay was recently a guest on the Sports Media with Richard Deitsch podcast to talk about the book among other topics. Being a host in a large sports market comes with a fair share of criticism and for Kay, it is not easy for him to handle it and at times, he wants to fight back, but knows he can’t.

“I am so incredibly thin-skinned. There are parts of me that when someone say something nasty about me in the newspaper that I think is unfair, my first inclination is to strike back at them. But, my bosses at both places go ‘that doesn’t help you. It’s not productive.’ I think it is.

“People that criticize people do not like to be criticized. My skin is so thin, it is translucent. If I mess up a call and you say wow, Michael messed up a call. Bring it, I deserve it. When you say stuff just the way I do stuff or something that rubs you the wrong way, it bothers me. I don’t understand the meanness of it.”

Kay went into detail with Deitsch about going off on the radio show five years ago about New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick for a criticism Mushnick had about him.

“I went off on the radio like a lunatic. About 21 minutes of lunacy by me. I go to a break and my phone rings and it’s [Mike] Lupica. He goes, you’re happy? I go, yeah. He goes, ok, he’s not going to let you up for 5 years. He goes, what you just did made you feel good for 20 minutes and now you are in his crosshairs for 5 years, so be ready.” 

Whenever Kay does play-by-play for a Yankees game or hosts the radio show, the key for him is honesty with the viewer or listener. He doesn’t think there is anybody more critical of the team they broadcast than he is and he credits the Yankees for allowing him to do that.

“The reason I can do it is that the Yankees never say a word because they realize the value of honesty. If you are going to tell people the food stinks, then they are going to believe you when they tell you the food is great. There are so many people around the country that are blowing smoke constantly and I guess that’s what the fanbase wants. I don’t think that would play in New York. I think honesty plays in New York.”

Kay also addressed his competition in afternoon drive. He said that he thought WFAN’s Carton and Roberts, who have overtaken the Michael Kay Show in the ratings have a bit of an advantage because of the content they can do that he cannot.

“I work for two Tiffany brands. I can’t really go low on ESPN. I can’t go low and be connected to the Yankees. Now, Michael Kay the person, if I wasn’t connected, I can go as low as anybody, believe me. But I’ve kind of got handcuffs on, and Craig and Evan, they don’t. … The early ratings would indicate (beating Carton and Roberts is) going to be very difficult to do. That’s a destination station, FAN. People think of sports talk, they think of FAN in New York.”

Sports Radio News

670 The Score Hosts Congratulate Mike Mulligan on Award From Loyola Chicago

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

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670 The Score morning host Mike Mulligan is being awarded the Father Finnegan Memorial Award from Loyola University Chicago this weekend, and some of his colleagues congratulated him on the air Friday morning.

The award is given “in recognition of outstanding humanitarianism and service to youth through athletics”. Mulligan — a 1984 graduate of Loyola University Chicago — will receive the award Saturday during the Loyola Athletics Hall of Fame ceremony during a game against George Mason.

“Tremendous award,” co-host David Haugh said. “Proud moment for the show. Proud moment for you family.”

“They’re giving me an award for correctly picking the Super Bowl on September 8th,” Mulligan joked.

“That is fantastic,” Laurence Holmes said, while his co-host, Dan Bernstein, continued to say “wow”. “Congratulations. You shouldn’t be embarrassed. You should be proud.”

“I’m being celebrated for being old,” Mully joked.

“That’s not what that award says,” countered Holmes. “It says something completely different.”

The Mully & Haugh host eventually admitted he was appreciative of the award bestowed upon him by his alma mater.

“It’s a good thing. I’m very moved by it. Sister Jean will be there,” Mully said. “She has a book coming out with — I think — Seth Davis.”

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Sports Radio News

Colin Cowherd: Tony Romo Regressing Because He Loves Golf

“I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

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The performance of CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony Romo has been a hot-button topic in sports media circles, especially after a widely-regarded lackluster performance during the AFC Championship Game. Colin Cowherd believes he knows why Romo has regressed.

During an episode of The Colin Cowherd Podcast, the sports radio host claimed golf is the reason behind Romo’s regression.

“Romo wants to be on the Tour. He literally wants to be on the Tour,” Cowherd said. “And what’s the first thing Aaron Rodgers does in the off-season? He goes and golfs, he loves it. Both, by the way, great golfers, especially Romo. But I’ve always felt like Tony Romo is one of those guys — and we all have somebody in our social circle like this — he got the golf bug. He’s had it for 15 years.

“Tony wants to be on the PGA Tour — but he likes the paycheck from CBS.”

Cowherd also added he hasn’t hired potential employees in the past if they told him they loved golf during the interview process, saying he has a theory that as men age they “get addicted to golf”.

“They’re on PGATour.com, they’re putting in the backyard, they’re thinking about it at work, they’re scheduling a trip to Scotland and they lose sight of their other job,” Cowherd said.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio Adds Lakers Games As LeBron James Nears Scoring Record

“As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.”

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The NBA’s all-time scoring record has stood for a long time. Kareem Abdul-Jabar, the current record holder, retired in 1989. LeBron James is on the verge of overtaking him though, and ESPN Radio wants to make sure it is part of history when it happens.

ESPN Radio has added two upcoming Lakers games to its schedule. The network will carry the national feeds of games on February 7 and 9. The first game is against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The second is against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Both games will be played in Los Angeles with a 9:30 PM Eastern tip. Marc Kestecher and Vince Carter will be on the call for both games.

As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.

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