Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. has been under scrutiny regarding how he and the league have handled the Oakland Athletics attempt to move to Las Vegas, Nevada. The Oakland Coliseum was recently flooded with 27,759 attendees for a “reverse boycott,” organized by Oakland Athletics fans to demonstrate to the league and team owner John Fisher that if the community of Oakland gives them something worth showing up for, they will come. Contrarily, the Athletics are the second-worst team in the American League and have the lowest payroll in the sport, along with a deteriorating facility that falls short of meeting major league standards.
Over the ensuing days, sports media personalities and fans have recapped the reverse boycott, which was filled with chants of, “Sell the team” and somewhat cathartic to all who have watched this situation unfold. Many have called Manfred out for how he recently addressed the situation to media members at a press conference following owners meetings. One thing he said pertaining to the demonstration was that it was nice to see the ballpark filled at close to an average major league attendance, ostensibly criticizing the fans for the circumstances under which they attended the contest.
“You’re the commissioner of baseball,” Dan Patrick said on his radio show. “I don’t think you’re supposed to have this kind of attitude towards the Oakland A’s where they did try something.”
The Nevada State Legislature approved $380 million in public funding for a $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium off the Las Vegas Strip on the site of the Tropicana Hotel. Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo promptly followed by signing the team’s stadium bill into law, leaving the final step to be Major League Baseball owners approving the decision. Once construction commences at the site, it is all but certain that the Athletics will be out of town, and perhaps sooner rather than later. The team has reportedly explored the idea of playing at a minor league ballpark in the area while it waits for its 30,000-seat stadium to be completed.
“What the Oakland A’s asked for from their own town was not something that the city of Las Vegas was even in the ballpark for, no pun intended,” Giddings said. “So that’s what people are trying to figure out and really have an understanding of and are wrestling with; is that you feel like they did not want to be here in the first place.”
Evan Giddings, a producer and board operator at 95.7 The Game in nearby San Francisco, Calif. joined Patrick on the program to discuss the situation surrounding the team and the public perception being pushed out by the team and the league. He took the air yesterday afternoon filling in for Matt Steinmetz on the midday program Steiny & Guru and told Daryle “The Guru” Johnson what he saw at the ballpark and relayed it to Patrick.
“It’s been tough because a lot of Oakland A’s fans both in the greater Bay Area along with around the country do that I know around the world feel like they’ve been spit on, kicked dirt on and that ‘See ya’ on the way out the door… was uncalled for,” Giddings said. “….To hear the commissioner of Major League Baseball essentially give you a swift kick in the rear on the way out didn’t exactly feel great.”
As it pertains to the comments Manfred made, which also included a falsity about the city of Oakland never giving the team an offer to stay, Giddings was disgusted and further irritated as a fan of the team. The sentiment a preponderance of fans feel is that the team wants to leave Oakland and Alameda County to join the migration of professional sports to Las Vegas, a destination that attracted nearly 39 million visitors last year. Furthermore, the league is prepared to waive the $300 million relocation fee for the team, with Manfred having said that it is “not a realistic possibility.” Las Vegas has had two professional sports championships in the last two years – the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces (2022) and the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights (2023). The fans feel they are being blamed, hence why the “reverse boycott” was staged at the ballpark this week, and the media is subsequently broadcasting that message.
“They have been trying the entire time to essentially scapegoat the Oakland A’s fans into not being the ones that supported and into not being the ones that showed up. In reality, it all comes down to what we all knew what this was about, Dan, and that was the color green.”
‘The Dan Patrick Show’ Criticizes Sound on ‘Thursday Night Football’
“You pay all this money for that game [and] you can’t hear that it sounds like crap.”
Thursday night’s matchup between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers ended up being a compelling game to watch throughout the first several quarters and was enhanced by the stellar images and presentation from Amazon Prime Video. The Thursday Night Football property recently garnered record-setting streaming numbers from its season premiere, according to a custom integrated streaming report by Nielsen Media Research.
Even so, there was critical feedback from many fans watching regarding the sonic experience of watching the game. Viewers complained that there was an inherent lack of crowd noise and field-level sound, making it more difficult to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere.
“You pay all this money for that game [and] you can’t hear that it sounds like crap,” Patrick “Seton” O’Connor, an executive producer of The Dan Patrick Show, said on Friday. “There’s no atmosphere – you’ve got no crowd sound; the mics are all over the place. It’s terrible.”
Show host Dan Patrick concurred with this point, relaying that his wife walked by the television and thought something was amiss with the sound. When she asked Patrick what was happening, he replied that it was due to the presentation from Prime Video. Although most viewers ended up watching the game anyway, the inadequate soundscape detracted from the aura of the contest and dampened the viewing experience.
“I love [Kirk] Herbstreit [and] I love Al Michaels, but when I have the game on, do you ever have your stereo in your car and you have the bass and the treble set and somehow it gets reset – and everything’s reset to medium?,” Paul Pabst, an executive producer of The Dan Patrick Show, said. “You’re like, ‘Where’s the highs? Where’s the lows? It has that feeling.’”
The lack of dynamic contrast and aggregate timbre caused some viewers to connote that the broadcast sounds flat despite the stellar, highly-experienced commentary team. Improving on the sound and other customer feedback will be critical in incentivizing non-ardent fans to return to the property or try it altogether.
“We’ve created the atmosphere that is so good that you don’t even have to go to a game,” Patrick said. “With the sound of it, the TVs, [and] the quality… it’s almost a better experience sometimes when you’re sitting at home.”
In addition to watching the National Football League, Pabst frequently consumes college football on Saturdays, including the prime-time presentations. When he is viewing those games, he can feel the noise of the crowd permeating through the speakers and be part of the crowd.
“It’s thunderous,” Pabst said. “The crowd noise almost overwhelms [Chris] Fowler, sometimes in a good way, and it’s hard to tell what’s going on there.”
Finding games on Amazon Prime Video has been a difficult proposition for some users, evidenced by O’Connor describing how it took him 10 minutes to begin watching the Giants-49ers game last night. The game was broadcast regionally on FOX for those in the New York metropolitan area, but for O’Connor, he noticed that the network had the baseball contest between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies on instead.
“I look and I’m like, ‘I swear there was a game tonight,’ and I see it’s in the first quarter.’ What the hell is going on?,” thought O’Connor. “Oh, that’s right. I forgot Amazon was a thing; it’s just not a TV destination all the time for me.”
Gregg Giannotti on Taylor Rooks: ‘Send in a 10’ to Get Players Talking
“I also thought, ‘Why don’t we use more attractive women in interrogation scenarios?'”
This week’s Thursday Night Football matchup between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers came off a record-setting week for Prime Video, according to an integrated streaming report by Nielsen Media Research. There were questions surrounding the impending contest off the field pertaining to injuries, and the TNF Tonight pregame show did its best to address pertinent information.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley headlined the team’s injury report after suffering an ankle injury last week, something the team publicly called a sprain. New information was divulged on Thursday night from Barkley himself after features reporter Taylor Rooks asked him about his injury. He then proceeded to reveal that he was dealing with a mild high ankle sprain, an impediment more serious than originally thought.
WFAN host Gregg Giannotti watched the entire pregame show and watched the desk discuss the state of New York football, including New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson. The report from Rooks, a reputable source of information who formerly worked for SportsNet New York (SNY) occurred shortly thereafter. While she has a network of contacts and insider information about the league, Giannotti believes there was another reason she got the exclusive story.
“It’s funny because all we heard was, ‘It’s a regular ankle sprain; not a high ankle sprain,’” Giannotti explained Friday morning on WFAN. “Then Taylor Rooks gets over there and finds out it’s a high ankle sprain. I was thinking, ‘You know what? I’d tell her anything too. Whatever you need to know, Taylor, about me, I will tell you.’”
Giannotti watched the Giants lose the contest 30-12 and fall to a 1-2 overall record, but he also began to ponder over the manner in which Rooks was able to effectively do her job. It led him to make a proposition on the air that challenges the effectiveness of the team’s beat writers because of their collective age and appearance.
“I also thought, ‘Why don’t we use more attractive women in interrogation scenarios?,’” Giannotti said. “This is what I was thinking about after I saw this last night. Art Stapleton couldn’t get that out of Saquon Barkley – I love Art Stapleton, but there’s no way. Taylor Rooks got it out of him right away, so why don’t we send in some of these interrogation scenarios where people are just totally zipped up – send in a ‘10’ in there, [and the] next thing you know, ‘Yeah, it was him. He did it, and I did it. We did it together!’”
Giannotti’s co-host Boomer Esiason was surprised to hear Rooks get that information from Barkley, and has not seen anyone in the media react to the occurrence. The injury update changes the way in which people consider his timeline for a return and was a part of the Prime Video broadcast that Giannotti valued.
“Yeah, of course, great reporting,” Giannotti said. “I’m just thinking about all the Giants beat writers sitting around – old guys who look like me just stewing and trying to hide farts in the locker room.”
Arizona Sports Extends Deal With Coyotes
“We look forward to an exciting season delivering Coyotes coverage on-air, online and on the Arizona Sports app.”
Arizona Coyotes fans can keep their presets the same. The team has extended its relationship with Bonneville in Phoenix.
The new deal is a one-year extension to keep the Coyotes on the company’s two Phoenix-area radio stations, 98.7 Arizona Sports and ESPN 620 AM and on the statiations’ website and app.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with the Arizona Coyotes and the Meruelo Group,” Bonneville Phoenix senior vice president and market manager Ryan Hatch said in a statement. “We look forward to an exciting season delivering Coyotes coverage on-air, online and on the Arizona Sports app.”
As part of the extension, Burns & Gambo will welcome Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez and general manager Bill Armstrong for weekly segments. Wolfe & Luke will be joined weekly by head coach André Tourigny.
“We are very pleased to extend our partnership with Bonneville Phoenix and are thrilled to have Arizona Sports 98.7 and ESPN 620 broadcast all Coyotes games this season,” Gutierrez added. “There is a tremendous amount of excitement about our team, and we look forward to Arizona Sports 98.7, the Valley’s sports leader, providing our fans with outstanding Coyotes coverage all season long.”
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