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Tom Hamilton: ‘Down Goes Anderson!’ Call was ‘Out of the Blue’

“That was a night I was fortunate that maybe I said the right thing.”

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Tom Hamilton

On Saturday night from Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, a dust-up ensued when Cleveland Guardians infielder José Ramírez dove head first into second base to secure a double. The slide nearly interfered with Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson’s attempt to tag him out, and seconds later, he confronted his opponent and ultimately ended up dropping the gloves. The two star players were able to land a few punches before being restrained by teammates, one of which was a right hook that knocked Anderson to the ground.

Cleveland Guardians fans listening to the melee on the radio heard play-by-play announcer Tom Hamilton describe the action, using imagery and evoking a clear picture of what was going on. In a call resembling legendary broadcaster Howard Cossell’s enduring account of “The Sunshine Showdown” between George Foreman and Joe Frazier, Hamilton exclaimed, “Down goes Anderson! Down goes Anderson!” During his postgame press conference, Guardians manager Terry Francona emphasized the severity of the altercation, but also made sure to mention Hamilton’s enthusiastic and hardly melodramatic verbal composition.

In a conversation with Sports Illustrated columnist Jimmy Traina, Hamilton explained how appreciative he was of the positive feedback on the call, which went viral on social media and is being lauded by many to be among his best work. The veteran radio broadcaster, who is in the midst of his 34th season calling Cleveland’s MLB games, immediately deflected attention away from the vociferation and instead towards Ramírez.

“It’s one of those things where it’s so unexpected because sometimes you can see a fight brewing because maybe there have been guys getting drilled by pitchers in a series or in a certain game and you feel like, ‘Uh oh. If somebody else gets hit, we’re going to have somebody charge the mound and look out,’” Hamilton articulated. “This was out of the blue; I don’t think any of us saw it coming.”

Especially since the skirmish abruptly began, Hamilton had to rely on his sterling eloquence and adept diction to find the words to duly encapsulate the moment. He asserted how there was no plan or forethought about what he would say if there were to be a bench-clearing brawl and simply had to sonically depict what was occurring on the field.

“There are a lot of times you walk out of that booth after a ballgame and you go, ‘Why did I say that?’ or, ‘Why didn’t I say this?,’” Hamilton said. “That was a night I was fortunate that maybe I said the right thing.”

Hamilton is a broadcaster synonymous with his team, representative of the sound of summer to generations of baseball fans in the locale. Through all of his years watching and calling baseball, he has been on hand for numerous brawls – but never one where two players evidently squared up with one another.

“It was almost like the second base umpire was like a boxing referee,” Hamilton recalled, “and he backed out of there and let them go.”

When Hamilton arrived at the ballpark for the Sunday game between the Guardians and White Sox, players on the team wanted him to do the call for them again. Hamilton, however, declined to do so, recognizing how it occurred in the moment and being careful not to say the wrong thing and being suspended or fired. Broadcasters need to be conscientious of the effects their actions could have on their employer and career, as demonstrated by Orioles play-by-play announcer Kevin Brown’s reported suspension. It came after a relatively banal remark about the team pertaining to their record against the Tampa Bay Rays in a recent broadcast open and strides in the right direction.

As for Hamilton, his 28-year-old son called him on the phone and told him that the call was blowing up on social media. Since Hamilton is not on any social media platforms, he did not know what he was referring to, nor did he realize it was plauditory rather than castigating in scope.

“Fortunately, this time, I didn’t do the wrong thing,” Hamilton said. “Again, I just don’t get caught up in it because if you do my job as a play-by-play guy – and I’ve done every sport and college basketball in the Big Ten for 25 years – if you get caught up in the people that say they like you and the people that say they hate your guts, you will never sleep at night.”

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Paul McCaffrey on a ‘Murph and Mac’ Reunion: ‘You Just Might Get That at Some Point’

“If you’re hoping for a Murph and Mac reunion down the road, just know that I’m hoping for that as well.”

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A photo of Paul McCaffrey and Brian Murphy
Courtesy: Paul McCaffrey X Account (L to R Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey)

Exactly six months after being let go by KNBR in San Francisco, Paul McCaffrey talked about his exit from the station and a bit about his future with SFGate Sports Editor Alex Simon. McCaffery was a part of the Murph and Mac show with Brian Murphy and had been since 2005.

The end came on November 29 last year and McCaffery told Simon he was asked to meet with management, separate from Murphy. McCaffrey was out, Murphy was still in. Others, including nighttime host and former MLB outfielder F.P. Santangelo were also let go in a round of layoffs.

McCaffrey said since that time he has been paying a lot of attention to former radio hosts such as Damon Bruce and Larry Krueger have done since leaving the medium. He told Simon YouTube is of particular interest to him and that he has visited Bruce’s studio.

“You don’t need the 50,000-watt station, not in 2024,” Simon quoted McCaffrey as saying.

Simon’s article says McCaffrey has something in the works he hopes to announce in a few months and that there would be familiar names involved. Asked specifically about Murphy, McCaffrey told Simon, “If you’re hoping for a Murph and Mac reunion down the road, just know that I’m hoping for that as well. And you just might get that at some point. I’ll just kind of leave it there.”

Simon spoke with Brian Murphy as well, who said he is enjoying working at KNBR with current partner Markus Boucher but that he “would never rule out — never rule out — being anywhere with Paulie Mac anytime.”

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New England Patriots, Beasley Media Group Agree to Multiyear Broadcast Extension

“We are honored to continue broadcasting the games to our fans for at least the next decade!”

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New England Patriots; 98.5 The Sports Hub
(Illustration) | 98.5 The Sports Hub Logo – Courtesy: Beasley Media Group New England Patriots Logo – Courtesy: National Football League | Gillette Stadium – Courtesy: David Sarnevitz, New England Patriots

The New England Patriots and Beasley Media Group have announced a multiyear broadcast extension that will retain 98.5 The Sports Hub as the official flagship station of the team. The Patriots will be broadcast on the outlet through the 2033 season, continuing the partnership between both entities since the launch of 98.5 The Sports Hub in 2009. Fans can also listen to games utilizing the 98.5 The Sports Hub website or app.

“Patriots fans throughout New England have come to rely on the sound quality, reach and overall coverage that 98.5 The Sports Hub has delivered since they launched 15 years ago,” Murray Kohl, vice president of corporate sponsorship sales for the New England Patriots, said in a statement. “Bob Socci and Scott Zolak are perfectly paired to deliver all the action to Patriots fans throughout the region. We are happy to extend this partnership for another 10 years and hope it will continue for decades to come.”

“The Patriots are a religion in New England,” Mary Menna, vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group Boston, said in a statement. “We are honored to continue broadcasting the games to our fans for at least the next decade! The Kraft family, the Patriots staff and the entire team are such amazing partners.”

Patriots gameday broadcasts will begin three hours prior to kickoff with Patriots Preview, primarily hosted by Jim Murray and also including Marc Bertrand during select weeks. Chris Gasper, Boston Globe columnist and co-host of Gasper & Murray on Saturdays, will also make a return for his 10th season as the pregame co-host. The Patriots postgame show will air for three hours following every game broadcast as well.

“The Patriots have been a cornerstone of our programming since we launched the Sports Hub,” Rick Radzik, program director of 98.5 The Sports Hub, said in a statement. “As the team enters this new era, I’m thrilled that 98.5 The Sports Hub will be the home of the game broadcasts for the next decade, while also continuing to provide an outlet for Pats fans to talk football year-round.”

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Mark Giannotto Leaving 92.9 ESPN and Memphis

“Mark has been terrific on 92.9 FM ESPN starting as a guest some 6 years ago and then joining us as a host for the Giannotto & Jeffrey Show 5 years ago.”

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Phto of Mark Giannotto and a graphic for Jeffrey Wright and Friends on 92.9 ESPN Memphis
Photo Credit: Memphis Commercial Appeal Graphic Credit: Audacy Memphis

Mark Giannotto, one half of Giannotto and Jeffrey on 92.9 ESPN in Memphis and lead columnist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal is leaving the area and moving closer to family in Chicago. Giannotto’s last day on the air will be this Friday, May 31.

In a staff email Barrett Sports Media obtained, Audacy Memphis Sports Brand Manager/Operations Brad Carson said, “While I’m super happy for Mark personally, obviously we’ll miss him here at 92.9 professionally. Mark has been terrific on 92.9 FM ESPN starting as a guest some 6 years ago and then joining us as a host for the “Giannotto & Jeffrey Show” 5 years ago. Immediately the daypart grew to that dayparts biggest numbers and Jeffrey and Mark demonstrated a new standard for mid-afternoon sports radio for us. Jeffrey and Mark both have been integral to our brand and I want to recognize them BOTH.”

As for what is next in the daypart, co-host Jeffrey Wright will continue on with a new show, Jeffrey Wright & Company, featuring Wright with various personalities.

“This gives us an opportunity to try some different things and reset using Jeffrey’s leadership,” Carson said in the email. “I want to personally thank Jeffrey for his unrelenting work ethic, can do attitude for our brand, and ease. Jeffrey gets it done in all aspects for us and has done so selflessly since he started here producing Geoff [Calkins’] show daily and running his own show 8 years ago.”

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