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670 The Score Hosts Blast ARod, Praise Statcast On ESPN2

“It was like getting out of baseball ‘stupid’ prison”

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‘The Rivalry’ took center stage in the 2021 American League Wild Card Game last night as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox squared off at Fenway Park in Boston. the playoff game was broadcast on multiple ESPN platforms. While the game itself lived up to the hype, with the Red Sox defeating the Yankees 6-2, viewers found themselves switching away from the primary broadcast. Many took to social media to say it was the color-commentary of former New York Yankees third baseman and current Major League Baseball analyst on ESPN, Alex Rodriguez, that made them change channels.

On Wednesday morning, two of 670 The Score’s shows shared a discussion of the night on television. Bernstein and Rahimi were joined by Mully and Haugh. The quartet spoke about the appeal of the Statcast, which aired on ESPN2, and how it made watching the game more enjoyable for fans who were unable to bear the Sunday Night Baseball pairing of play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian and the aforementioned Rodriguez for another high-stakes game.

“I turn on the game and it’s A-Rod and Vasgersian… wait! [Jason] Bennetti, Eduardo Perez and Mike Petriello were on [ESPN2],” said Dave Bernstein, midday host and senior columnist at 670 The Score. “It was like getting out of baseball ‘stupid’ prison, and [there was a large] number of people who came on [Twitter] and thanked me [for telling them]… apparently, it was not as well known as I thought.”

After Mike Mulligan made a remark that Bernstein’s “ears must have been burning” watching the primary ESPN broadcast of the game, the Chicago sports radio host expressed his gratitude for the second broadcast, and how it made the viewing experience of the first game of the postseason more bearable.”

“The disparity between those broadcasts… Oh my gosh!,” said Bernstein. “You’re not bleeding out of your ears. A-Rod always has a rough night… he sucks!”

ESPN introduced the Statcast alternate broadcast during the 2018 season during the Major League Baseball playoffs and added it to Sunday Night Baseball in 2020. The broadcast, featuring Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Bennetti, former Major League Baseball player Eduardo Perez and MLB.com Statcast Insider Mike Petriello, has received much acclaim and has served as a welcome change from the traditional style of live game broadcasting.

Leila Rahimi, co-host of “Bernstein and Rahimi” on 670 The Score, says the lack of intelligence on the primary broadcast is a considerable difference between it and the Statcast. She read a tweet while on the air that put Rodriguez’s analysis into perspective posted by Marc Carig, a baseball writer and deputy managing editor at The Athletic.

“He was really good at hitting and infield — I promise,” quipped Rahimi after reading Carig’s tweet. “There was a time when he was really good at both.”

In response, Bernstein simply said: “Turn [Rodriguez’s] mic off.”

ESPN recently introduced an alternate viewing experience for 10 of its Monday Night Football broadcasts, with brothers and former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning breaking down the action as it happens and interviewing celebrity guests from the worlds of sports and entertainment. The broadcast, known informally as the “ManningCast,” has seen its ratings rise up over the first three weeks of action, with just over 10% of viewers, on average, choosing the alternate experience over the traditional crew, which includes play-by-play announcer Steve Levy, and former NFL players Brian Griese and Louis Riddick providing color commentary.

“The broadcast separated from the equation — that was a fun game,” said Haugh.

ESPN will not telecast any of the remaining Major League Baseball postseason games on television or its streaming platforms; however, ESPN Radio will have exclusive coverage of all postseason contests on-the-air, continuing with tonight’s National League Wild Card game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals. Jon Sciambi and Kyle Peterson are on the call for the single-game elimination contest with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST/6:30 p.m. CST.

Sports Radio News

Kentucky and Missouri Stations Switch Formats, Add FOX Sports Radio

Withers switched the two stations to sports talk from oldies and classic country.

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports radio listeners in western Kentucky and southeast Missouri can rejoice, thanks to a recent decision by Withers Broadcasting to switch formats.

Folks in the Paducah area of Kentucky can now find FOX Sports Radio on 95.9 FM, while listeners in Cape Girardeau, Missouri can find FSR on 97.3.

Withers switched the two stations to sports talk from oldies and classic country.

Among the lineup of hosts that can be heard on the stations include Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, Jason Smith, Ben Maller and Outkick 360 hosted by Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky.

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Sports Radio News

Kevin McNamara to Host Two-Hour Show on 790 The Score in Rhode Island

“I think, because it’s new, I’d encourage people to give it a shot,” McNamara said. “It will be very different from the Boston-based sports radio that we’ve become used to.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Kevin McNamara

Two months after announcing its triumphant return to the Rhode Island airwaves, Sports Radio 790 The Score is set to go live next week.

And in addition to the station’s lineup of national hosts and sports betting shows, former Providence Journal writer Kevin McNamara will be hosting the station’s only local show.

McNamara will host his show from 5-7 pm, sandwiched between You Better You Bet and Bet MGM Tonight.

McNamara, who hosted a one-hour show on WPRO, saw his time extended an hour. He said this is a great opportunity to get listeners involved early.

“In one hour I tried to be as newsy as I could,” McNamara told Bill Koch of The Providence Journal. “It’s basically a three-segment show — we’d try to have three different subjects. Now we’ll try to hit those three different subjects, but we’ll have a real avenue for calls.” 

The second hour of McNamara’s show will be simulcasted on WPRO.

The Score, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, will carry Providence men’s basketball, Brown men’s basketball and football, the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics and the New York Yankees.

The station hopes to eat at some of the market share in Rhode Island currently held by both Boston sports stations, WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

“I think, because it’s new, I’d encourage people to give it a shot,” McNamara said. “It will be very different from the Boston-based sports radio that we’ve become used to.”

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Sports Radio News

Joel Utley, College Basketball’s Record Holder for Most Games Called, Retires

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record.

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Joel Utley

Joel Utley has announced he is retiring from broadcasting and as the voice of the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers.

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record. He broadcast 1,933 Kentucky Wesleyan games during that span, also a record for total games called. He began his career on December 2, 1961 when KWC defeated California State University – Northridge, 100-64. 

Utley also is the only broadcaster in the nation to call 12 NCAA Basketball Championship games (all levels) including eight Division II titles.

Joel Utley interviewing Rupp

“It was a tough decision to make, but the timing is right to step down,” Utley said. “What I have done as a broadcaster reflects my love for KWC. My career has been beyond any dreams I ever had.”

He is a member of the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame and in September, Utley will be inducted into the Kentucky Broadcaster Association Hall of Fame.

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