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Ken Carman: Baseball Topics On Radio Turn Into ‘Fan on Fan Crime’

“Any time we talk Guardians, we are put in a bit of a rock and a hard place. If I talk about the Guardians and I say glowing things about them, well to some people I am a shill and I am a homer.”

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Ken Carman

On Monday morning, Ken Carman took a call from a listener named Tom on his show on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. On Tuesday, he was still thinking about what Tom had to say.

Tom was not happy that Guardians third baseman José Ramírez isn’t recognized as one of Major League Baseball’s superstars. According to Tom, that is at least partially the fault of Ken Carman and everyone else at 92.3 The Fan. Later in the day on Monday, Carman said he was fielding emails from listeners that agreed with Tom.

Carman explained that he tries to talk about the subjects the largest swath of his audience is interested in each morning. He has learned that it isn’t easy to talk about baseball in Cleveland.

“We’re at a real watershed moment. I don’t want to turn it into a fight, but I want to recognize this moment here,” he said Tuesday morning. “Any time we talk Guardians, we are put in a bit of a rock and a hard place. If I talk about the Guardians and I say glowing things about them, well to some people I am a shill and I am a homer.”

It isn’t fun to talk about baseball. Carman says that any time he brings up the team or has a player or writer on the show, the text line explodes with people demanding that he ask the guest about the team not spending enough on players or changing the nickname.

“Every time you talk baseball, it turns into a fan on fan crime, and I don’t want to do that.”

As for José Ramírez, Carman says the fans’ problems should be with Major League Baseball. The league is most concerned with talking about the parts of the sport that people hate, like debating if steroid users from 20 years ago belong in the Hall of Fame rather than the game.

He said that if Major League Baseball really wants to market itself and its players better, it should start by getting out of its own way. He pointed to the biggest NFL story in the market, saying that Rob Manfred should take note of how little information about the DeShaun Watson investigations is coming from the NFL.

“They (the NFL) will ignore an issue until the last possible moment when they are forced to deal with it.”

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Michael Kay: Jeff Passan ‘The Greatest Guest in the History of Sports Radio’

“How fortunate we are to be able to get an ask out there and then have what many consider the greatest guest in the history of sports radio to appear on the show?”

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Michael Kay
Courtesy: YES Network

Thursday was a joyous day for Michael Kay on several fronts. The New York Yankees completed a trade to bring one of the best young players in baseball — Juan Soto — to the club, which gave Kay content to talk about but also brightened his mood toward the 2024 season, as he serves as the team’s television voice.

While discussing the trade, The Michael Kay Show attempted to reach ESPN MLB reporter Jeff Passan for more details and for his opinion on the deal.

After getting through to Passan, Kay shared his admiration for the reporter.

“How fortunate we are to be able to get an ask out there and then have what many consider the greatest guest in the history of sports radio to appear on the show?,” said Kay. “How lucky we are for him. He can’t be luckier. You can’t be, and neither can our listeners. Because you know why? They get a chance now to listen to the great Jeff Passan.”

Then chastised Yankees fans who called into the 98.7 ESPN New York show who were worried about how much the team gave up to acquire Soto.

“You don’t know the Yankees fans that call into our show,” co-host Don La Greca joked.

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Mitch Holthus Returning to Kansas City Chiefs Radio Broadcast on Sunday

“A week ago at this time all heck was breaking loose, but yeah, we’re back in the saddle and ready to rock.”

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Mitch Holthus
Courtesy: The Speaker Exchange Agency

Kansas City Chiefs radio play-by-play announcer Mitch Holthus was absent from a game for the first time in 30 years after being diagnosed with COVID-19 last week. However, he’ll return on Sunday.

Mitch Holthus is set to make his return to the booth for the 4:25 PM ET kickoff. Holthus joined Bob Fescoe and Josh Klingler on 610 Sports Radio for his weekly segment on Fescoe in the Morning, which began with Fescoe asking how he was feeling.

“Oh yeah, 1 gazillion times better,” Holthus replied. “A week ago at this time all heck was breaking loose, but yeah, we’re back in the saddle and ready to rock.”

Holthus has been on the call for two Chiefs Super Bowl championships. He took over the role from Kevin Harlan upon his departure to work with the NFL on FOX in 1994. The longtime radio voice is in his 30th year with the team, a milestone achievement with one organization that will put Holthus in rarified air in NFL broadcasting history.

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Jon Jansen: Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal Know How to Make Great TV

“…every time you hear Charles, it’s just pure entertainment.”

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Jon Jansen
Courtesy: Mike Mulholland, MLive.com

The NBA is on the verge of completing its first In-Season Tournament. ESPN and TNT staged on-site sets for studio-based programs NBA Countdown and Inside the NBA, respectively. The two shows interacted with one another before the game with special segments that incorporated a split-screen view of both presentations. Banter between Stephen A. Smith and Charles Barkley seemed to take center stage, with various moments circulating around social media.

On Friday morning, Stoney and Jansen with Heather on 97.1 The Ticket played audio of Barkley declaring that he would give Smith his “first ass whooping” if he came to the TNT set, which led Jon Jansen to share his admiration for Barkley.

“Charles and Shaq together are terrific,” co-host Jon Jansen said, “but every time you hear Charles, it’s just pure entertainment.”

Charles Barkley is an 11-time NBA All-Star and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and has been a fixture on Inside the NBA since joining the program in 2000. Over the years, he has frequently received plaudits for being a venerated and entertaining analyst and travels to venues with the rest of the crew for special episodes during the year. Barkley also recently started hosting a weekly CNN show, King Charles, alongside Gayle King where he discusses matters beyond sports, including politics and lifestyle.

During his time on the show, Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal have had a congenial feud that has included several lighthearted moments. From races to the big board in the studio to pranks played on one another, the rapport between these former players has long been regarded as a hallmark of the program. O’Neal further displayed his personality by manning the SHAQ Cam for Bleacher Report, in which he walked around the venue and interacted with fans and celebrities, including Rich Paul, French Montana, and Julius Erving.

“The only problem with Shaq is ‘cause you can’t understand what he has to say sometimes because his voice is so low, but they did a thing last night where they gave him his own camera and he’s walking around the stands and talking to people and some celebrities,” co-host Mike Stone said. “It was hysterical. That’s the best sports programming there is besides the game; it’s not even close. Inside the NBA is just awesome.”

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, along with fellow analyst Kenny “The Jet” Smith and host Ernie Johnson, make their return to the TNT airwaves on Tuesday for an NBA doubleheader.

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