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Dan Le Batard: Rob Manfred Could Have Had Me Fired From ESPN

“ESPN defended us a hell of a lot better than MLB Network defended Ken Rosenthal.”

Ricky Keeler

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Earlier this week, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported that MLB Network decided to cut ties with Ken Rosenthal over comments that Rosenthal made in an article for The Athletic that criticized Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred. While Rosenthal is still with The Athletic and FOX Sports, it was news that surprised many in the industry. 

On Tuesday’s edition of The Dan Le Batard Show with StuGotzthe show dove into the surprising news story while also looking back at the interview Le Batard and StuGotz did with Manfred back in 2017. 

When looking back at the interview, Le Batard thinks it’s arguably the worst interview that a sports commissioner has ever given. Despite that interview, he thought ESPN was by his side more in that situation than MLB Network was for Rosenthal: 

“You can say that we’re terrible because we are terrible, but it was a terrible interview that he did,” Le Batard insisted. “He was defensive. We caught him saying some things that we could prove factually through documentation were not true. In doing that interview, what happened after that, ESPN defended us a hell of a lot better than MLB Network defended Ken Rosenthal.

“MLB Network is a propaganda arm. NFL Network is a propaganda arm. There are things that will not be discussed on those propaganda arms because they are not independent entities. If Rob Manfred could have gotten me fired at ESPN, he would have…It is a propaganda machine once you are eliminating the ability to criticize without punishment from your employers.”

While Le Batard thinks Manfred could have had him fired at ESPN, StuGotz disagreed.

“I knew it was dangerous. I remember thinking going into it, it doesn’t matter what happens here. We weren’t going to get fired for it…It would have taken a lot for them to fire us,” said Stugotz.

Stugotz noted that the big difference between them and Ken Rosenthal is that Rosenthal did have a paycheck tied directly to Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball. He argued that the reporter had to at least wonder what the fall out would be before he wrote about people questioning the league commissioner.

“At some level, Ken Rosenthal took a job at the MLB Network and should probably know better than to rip the commissioner on any platform.”

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SiriusXM Inks Extension For ‘Let’s Go!’ With Tom Brady

“I know we just went through an hour of telling everybody you’re not coming back, but we’re gonna be right here on Let’s Go! for the next two years on SiriusXM.”

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While Tom Brady won’t be sitting in the top FOX Sports analyst’s chair until 2024, he’ll continue his Let’s Go! show for SiriusXM.

Nearing the conclusion of his appearance on the latest episode, host Jim Gray revealed the show and SiriusXM have agreed to an extension to keep the seven-time Super Bowl winner with the platform.

“Hey Tommy, we have one last announcement as we wrap up the program,” said Gray. “You’re coming back. I know we just went through an hour of telling everybody you’re not coming back, but we’re gonna be right here on Let’s Go! for the next two years on SiriusXM. We look forward to convening and our co-host Larry Fitzgerald will stay with us as well.”

Brady, in conjunction with Gray and Fitzgerald, launched Let’s Go! in August of 2021.

“Thank you guys, we appreciate the support,” Brady said of SiriusXM President Scott Greenstein and Senior Vice President of Sports Programming Steve Cohen. “We appreciate our fans, and look forward to many more fun years ahead.”

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Mike Francesa: 2 Week Break Before Super Bowl Leads to Media Interviewing Each Other

“It’s one game and you’re spending two weeks analyzing one game, and it’s just too much.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Mike Francesa

Many in the sports media and general media world have converged in Phoenix this week for the Super Bowl, but Mike Francesa isn’t the biggest fan of the build-up to the game.

The Phoenix Convention Center is playing host to this year’s radio row, where many of the storylines leading into the big game are dissected six times over the course of a day.

On his BetRivers podcast, Francesa said he’s never been the biggest fan of Super Bowl week and even taking two weeks between the conference title games.

“I’ve never liked these two weeks up to the Super Bowl,” Francesa said on The Mike Francesa Podcast. “I’ve never liked this week with all the hype and nonsense.”

Francesa added that at this point, all the storylines for both teams competing have been played out.

“People don’t know what to say anymore. It’s like they’re interviewing each other,” he said. “Nobody has anything to say or knows what to say.”

Still, Francesa finished his point by saying there’s an overflow of coverage leading up to the Super Bowl.

“It’s one game and you’re spending two weeks analyzing one game, and it’s just too much,” he said. “But there’s no way around it. That’s the way it works.”

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More Media Credentials Issued For Super Bowl LVII Than Ever Before

More than 6,000 media members from over 24 countries have received credentials to cover Super Bowl LVII on Sunday.

Jordan Bondurant

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Almost three years removed from the COVID-19 pandemic completely shutting down the world, the Super Bowl host city is now bustling with media once again covering the NFL’s championship game.

According to Front Office Sports, more than 6,000 media members from over 24 countries have received credentials to cover Super Bowl LVII on Sunday. That figure is up 13% from last year. In 2021, during the peak of the pandemic, only 2,400 media members were allowed to cover the game in Tampa.

A number at or above 6,000 would mean a return of the number of media members covering the game back to pre-pandemic levels.

This year’s Super Bowl is airing on FOX.

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