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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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Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State

“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”

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Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.

He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”

He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”

It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.

The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.

Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.

The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.

Others used the feud to create comedy.

Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.

The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.

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Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM

“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”

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A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.

“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”

The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.

The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports. 

“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts.  “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team.  They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.” 

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Dave Portnoy Offers Pat Beverley ‘Blank Check’ To Join Barstool

“Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

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Minnesota Timberwolves player Pat Beverley turned heads with his comments about Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.

Beverley told Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith on Monday that he thinks Paul is a “traffic cone,” due to his poor defense and that on nights he knows he’s playing Paul he’ll have a nice steak dinner and wine the night before. He said he’s in bed by 8 p.m. and doesn’t want to hear from his mom or girlfriend if he’s playing Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Pat’s comments got the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said Monday he liked Beverley so much that he would hire him to do a podcast for Barstool.

“If Pat Beverley is a Barstool fan and he’s watching this, he has a blank check. You name your price for a podcast, and we will hire you — no questions asked,” Portnoy said. “Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

Portnoy made the push to sign Beverley to a podcast deal as the company seeks to scale back the number of podcasts it produces. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini announced the decision to cut shows last week.

No word if Beverley has responded to Portnoy’s offer.

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