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Alex Cora Says He Would’ve Returned to ESPN Had Red Sox Not Rehired HIm

“I think Bristol, Connecticut [is what I would’ve done]. That was actually my plan.”

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Alex Cora returned to the Boston Red Sox as field manager after serving a one-year suspension from Major League Baseball for his involvement in the Houston Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

Following a report released by MLB that said Cora played a key role in the system, calling the Astros’ video replay room to get the opposing team’s signs and relaying them to players. Later, he helped set up a monitor near the dugout that allowed players to see signs and infamously bang a trash can to inform the batter at the plate which pitch was coming.

Due to the suspension, the Red Sox dismissed Cora for the 2020 season, two years after winning the World Series, and Ron Roenicke managed the club. However, after a disappointing 24-36 season and fifth-place finish, and Cora having served his penalty, the team decided to bring him back as manager.

But what if Boston general manager Chaim Bloom had opted for a different direction and not rehired Cora. What would Cora have done? Steve Perrault asked him that very question on Audacy’s new Red Sox podcast, Inside the Monster.

“I think Bristol, Connecticut [is what I would’ve done]. That was actually my plan,” Cora told Perrault. “At the moment, going through the whole thing in 2020, talking to the family and planning ahead, it was go back to Bristol, people will see you, you talk about everything and then somebody will give you a chance in two or three years.”

Cora was previously with ESPN from 2013 through 2016 as an analyst for Baseball Tonight and ESPN Deportes. He left for the bench coach position with the Astros.

“But it just happened that this group, they believe in me, they gave me a chance to talk to Chaim and try to convince him or try to convince the organization that I was the right guy for the job,” he continued. “They gave me a chance, and I’m here because of that. It was going to be Bristol 100 percent. Go back to the Homewood Suites or whatever and stay there for a few days and do the playoffs and all of that, which it’s great, but I never thought it was going to happen this quickly to be honest with you.”

Bringing Cora back was obviously a good decision for the Red Sox. Boston rebounded with a 92-70 record, qualified for the American League playoffs as a Wild Card, defeated their rival New York Yankees in a one-game playoff, and upset the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Division Series.

Cora would surely rather be in a major-league dugout managing or coaching. And the Red Sox surely don’t want him going anywhere. But broadcasting is there to fall back on if he ever needs a break. And if ESPN doesn’t have an opening, there are arguably more opportunities now with MLB Network and baseball’s new streaming partners in Apple TV+ and Peacock.

Inside the Monster is available on Audacy.com and the Audacy app, in addition to your podcast app of choice.

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The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Moving To New Studio

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021.

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Dan Le Batard Show

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is leaving its home at the Clevelander hotel on South Beach in Miami and moving into a new studio next year, according to a report from The Big Lead.

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021. It has remained the home for the show since Le Batard and John Skipper formed Meadowlark Media.

After a $50 million distribution deal with DraftKings was secured, the Meadowlark podcast network has grown in both reach and talent, allowing for an expanded studio space.

No immediate details were given on where the new studio space would be located.

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NSMA Announces Finalists for Awards, Hall of Fame

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

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The National Sports Media Association revealed its finalists for its national sportscaster of the year and national sportswriter of the year, and there are plenty of heavy hitters in the industry up for consideration for the NSMA awards.

Among the nominees for National Sportscaster of the Year include Al Michaels, Ian Eagle, Jim Nantz, Joe Buck, Kevin Harlan, and Mike Tirico. The full list includes Adam Amin, Jason Benetti, Joe Davis, and Mina Kimes.

For National Sportswriter of the Year, Adrian Wojnarowski, Ken Rosenthal, Nicole Auerbach, Pete Thamel, Pat Forde and Tom Verducci are among the biggest names. Candace Buckner, Katie Strang, Marc Spears and Wright Thomson round out the list of nominees.

The NMSA also revealed its finalists for the sportscaster and sportswriter Hall of Fame. James Brown, Joe Buck, Lee Corso and Tim McCarver are part of the sportscaster list, while Bill Plaschke and Ray Didinger appear among the names for the sportswriter hall of fame.

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

Winners and Hall of Famers will be honored at the NSMA Awards Weekend & National Convention held in Winston-Salem, N.C. June 24-26.

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Pat McAfee: Mentioning Brett Favre Scandal Is A Must

“We have to make sure that it’s mentioned every time that man is mentioned because that is a big deal that it happened.”

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While things may have quieted down a little bit with Brett Favre and his scandal involving misuse of public funds in Mississippi, Pat McAfee is going to make sure people don’t forget what the hall of fame quarterback is accused of.

On his show on Wednesday, McAfee said he thought of a way to mention the situation during Aaron Rodgers’ weekly appearance the day before. Rodgers in conversation talked about learning under Favre in the first years of his NFL career in Green Bay.

“My brain was literally like we’re in the holiday season. Brett Favre – what did he do,” McAfee said. “He didn’t just steal from the poor. Oh, he is the actual Sticky Finger Bandits from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”

Pat added that whenever the name Brett Favre is brought up on his show, it is absolutely necessary to remind folks about the scandal.

“We have to make sure that it’s mentioned every time that man is mentioned because that is a big deal that it happened,” he said. “Now obviously Brett Favre Enterprises is alleging that this is all wrong. And I can’t wait to hear BFE to drop Brett Favre Enterprises’ side of the story. And we will judge it accordingly.”

“Even though as a football player, he was an incredibly tough football player, good football player, did a lot of things,” McAfee added. “Certainly in the middle of stealing from poor people in Mississippi right now. Have to chat about that.”

Favre is yet to be charged with any crimes, but the state is currently investigating the matter. Early in the fall, Favre’s weekly appearances on local and national radio shows were halted in light of the initial fallout from the story.

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