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Kentucky Hoops Broadcaster Seeks Help Paying For Cancer Treatment

“On Twitter, Leach linked to a fundraising page and explained that the money will be used for travel and other expenses not covered by insurance.”

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Tom Leach, the play-by-play voice of the University of Kentucky, is asking for some help for his longtime partner Mike Pratt. The color commentator on Wildcats basketball games is fighting cancer and needs some help paying for his treatments.

On Twitter, Leach linked to a fundraising page and explained that the money will be used for travel and other expenses not covered by insurance.

Mike Pratt has been dealing with cancer for “a few years” according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. It has spread from his colon to his liver. He plans to seek treatment in California in mid-June.

Leach told the paper that rounds of chemotherapy have been hard on Pratt, leaving him with a painful nerve condition called neuropathy.

The fundraiser is being hosted by the site GiveSendGo.com.

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari is chipping in. He tweeted that he and his wife will match the first $50,000 donated to help Pratt.

“If you know Mike Pratt, you know what a special man he is. He’s a dear friend to many and a gentleman to all. And Mike needs our help,” the coach said.

Mike Pratt has been part of Kentucky’s radio broadcast since the 2001-2002 season. He turns 74 later this summer.

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Chris LoPresti: Brendan Burke Ranks First in Yankees Radio Announcer Rotation

“For me to critique anyone – the last play-by-play I did was women’s hockey at Quinnipiac like 15 to 18 – no, got to be almost 20 years ago now – so what do I know?”

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Chris LoPresti

As the New York Yankees continue the 2024 season, game broadcasts on WFAN are utilizing a rotation of play-by-play announcers. This came after the retirement of John Sterling in April following 36 years calling games for the organization. Within the rotation over the last few seasons when Sterling was unable to make a game are Justin Shackil, Rickie Ricardo, Brendan Burke and Emmanuel Berbari. A successor for the position has not yet been named, nor is it known when such a move could happen; however, there has been discussion pertaining to the broadcasts themselves on Boomer & Gio in morning drive on WFAN.

Last week, co-host Gregg Giannotti offered Berbari constructive criticism towards his home run call and stated that there was room for improvement. He ultimately wanted him to find a middle ground between his “Gone, goodbye” home run call and the signature call Sterling delivered for Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. After playing another clip of Berbari announcing a home run this week, Giannotti asked anchor Chris LoPresti to rank the four Yankees play-by-play announcers in the rotation.

“I’ve got to go Brendan Burke first,” LoPresti replied. “I’ll be honest – I have a lot of respect for Rickie [Ricardo]; he’s been doing it a long time. I haven’t heard enough of him because I don’t generally listen to the Spanish broadcast obviously and he hasn’t done that many games regularly on the Fan.”

Giannotti then asked LoPresti if he was taking Ricardo out of consideration for the list, to which he replied that it was not the case. Conversely, LoPresti felt that he was not able to provide an informed opinion on the matter, but followed up by articulating that Ricardo could rank at the top of the list if it was based on the energy they bring to the broadcast. Co-host Boomer Esiason explained that LoPresti had just said he didn’t listen to him, leading Giannotti to ask again how he would rank the rest of them.

“I’ll go [Justin] Shackil, Rickie [Ricardo], Emmanuel [Berbari],” LoPresti said, “and I love Emmanuel…. Again, he’s relatively new to doing the Yankee broadcasts – obviously he has minor league experience. For me to critique anyone – the last play-by-play I did was women’s hockey at Quinnipiac like 15 to 18 – no, got to be almost 20 years ago now – so what do I know?”

Giannotti and Esiason both emphasized that LoPresti is a consumer of the broadcasts and a baseball fan, hence why he is offering his opinion on the matter. LoPresti previously worked with Shackil at SiriusXM and has known him longer than Berbari; however, he has worked with Berbari more in recent years.

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Kirk Minihane: The Rich Shertenlieb Show on WZLX ‘Is a Disaster’

“It would be like me going somewhere and doing a radio show about foreign languages or about religion. It doesn’t make any sense.”

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Screengrabs of Kirk Minihane and Rich Shertenlieb
Screengrabs from Barstool Sports and CBS Boston

As one could most likely guess, former WEEI Boston sports radio talker Kirk Minihane is no fan of former 98.5 The Sports Hub host Rich Shertenlieb’s new morning show on classic rock station 100.7 WZLX.

Minihane explained the situation to his audience which led to Shertenlieb starting a new show on a music station, thus being the third sports morning show in the market. Minihane had said back in March his sources were telling him Shertenlieb would be doing the afternoon show on WEEI. That, obviously, did not turn out to be the case.

“Rich Shertenlieb is a radio producer, he shouldn’t be on the air, he’s a bits guy,” said Minihane.

The show played audio of the very beginning of Shertenlieb’s debut show which had some technical problems where music was playing over a sports report.

“This sounds like a college radio station,” Minihane said. “What the fu** is this? This is the beginning of Rich Shertenlieb saying ‘Hey, I’m going to war with you Fred Toucher? I’m getting paid to do a morning show in Boston. What is this?”

Minihane was even more harsh on some of the cast members Shertenlieb and the station have assembled, calling one of them “a moron” and saying another is “an awful person, terrible on the air.” “Everybody turned him down,” Minihane said before he declared, “That show is dead. That show has no chance. It is a disaster…It would be like me going somewhere and doing a radio show about foreign languages or about religion. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Minihane would later add, “They’re going to listen to that for a day and say ‘Oh this is like when Fred wasn’t here, and Rich had his own little planet.”

Another audio clip was played of Fred Toucher taking a shot at Shertenlieb on his morning show. To show he is an equal opportunity critic, Minihane offered about the clip from 98.5 The Sports Hub, “Hardy doesn’t work on that show. He feels uncomfortable. You can tell he doesn’t feel comfortable. What a feeling it’s gotta be if you’re Fred and you know that’s the show [you’re going up against].”

After discussing what he would do if he were to be hosting the third sports morning show in the market and how he would win the timeslot, Minihane said, “I would honestly rather blow my fu**ing brains out than sit with Ted Johnson and Charlotte Wilder and pretend to care about playing the Timberwolves or the Mavericks.”

Minihane later added his prediction for the show. “A year from now, the Rich Shertenlieb morning show will be 6th or 7th or 8th in the ratings. That’s a disaster.”

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Anthony Lima: Stephen A. Smith’s ‘Clown Show’ Brought More Interest to Watching Knicks-Pacers

“Do you think that’s maybe how ESPN could sleep at night, knowing that they might be building up interest in the game?”

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Photos of Anthony Lima and Stephen A. Smith

Social media was running wild over this past weekend about the way ESPN provided lopsided coverage of the Knicks-Pacers Game 7 in their second round. Earlier this week, Dan Patrick addressed the subject on The Dan Patrick Show, clips of which were played by Ken Carman and Anthony Lima on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.

Patrick said he was “embarrassed for ESPN” about the slanted coverage. He added, “I don’t need a Stephen A. Smith arrival video, I don’t need a pep talk with him and Spike Lee. He doesn’t work for the Knicks; he works for ESPN. I was really surprised, and I didn’t care who won but after that I was rooting for the Pacers.”

Adding to what Patrick said Lima commented, “I saw Stephen A. Smith arriving like he was a wing for the New York Knicks. I mean that’s the only way I can say it. To me it was typical Stephen A. Smith stuff. I’m entertained by Stephen A. Smith”

As it related to the unbalanced coverage between the larger market Knicks and the smaller market Pacers, Lima said, “I think they’ve gone too far with the Knicks thing.”

He then wondered if the coverage was actually something ESPN might have wanted, trying to generate more interest in keeping people around to watch the game. “I do wonder though…Dan Patrick said, ‘I didn’t have any rooting interest until I saw that and then I was rooting for the Pacers,’ Lima said. “…Do you think that’s maybe how ESPN could sleep at night, knowing that they might be building up interest in the game? … Now, after seeing Stephen A. and that song and dance and him do the clown show and him play this character, that it made people more interested in watching the game and having that kind of buy in? … Now all of a sudden you have Pacers fans that weren’t Pacers fans before the broadcast. That is what the networks want to do, they do want to generate some emotional tie in.”

Lima continued, “Showing Stephen A. before the game, I thought was hilarious. But then, on the set, it was halftime, the Knicks were getting steamrolled…they go to the halftime show and Stephen A. is apoplectic, and then Michael Wilbon…it almost sounded like he was rooting for the Knicks. You just can’t have everybody rooting for the Knicks on your show.”

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