This past Friday, MLB Network insider Jon Morosi made headlines when he confirmed suspicions that two-way baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani was indeed on a private jet from Anaheim to Toronto to potentially sign a free-agent contract with the Blue Jays. Upon Shark Tank investor and entrepreneur Robert Herjavec stepping out of the aircraft instead, the baseball world was disappointed and directed vitriol in the direction of Morosi for his inaccurate reporting.
Shortly after the fact, Morosi issued an apology to X after affirming that Ohtani’s decision was imminent earlier in the day. In the end, he regrets not adhering to the journalistic standards he learned while reporting for newspapers earlier in his career and vowed to be better going forward.
Morosi made an appearance on 670 The Score with the Parkins & Spiegel Tuesday and re-emphasized his apology, affirming that he had been told by multiple sources that Ohtani was on the plane. The decision for Morosi to go forward and promulgate what he had been told was his own, and it is something that he says he will remain accountable for throughout the rest of his career.
“I’m really grateful that the (MLB) Network has been so supportive,” Morosi said. “They knew I was trying the best I could on a very intense day to do the best reporting that I could and I obviously fell short, and I had a really, really bad day at the worst possible time is where it all fell for me, I think, on Friday.”
Morosi has been back on the air as usual on MLB Network with an understanding that it is his job to be better. Since the incident occurred, he has reviewed his fundamentals and practices to ensure that he is disseminating accurate reports. Reflecting on this process, he knows that there were parts that he can refine from what went wrong last week.
“I think that when you get a shock to your system like that, it’s not fun but it also makes you think a lot about the gratitude you have to be in a wonderful position like I am and the support of some great teammates who reached out – some privately; some publicly – and I had major-league managers calling me and players,” Jon Morosi said. “It’s been a pretty emotional few days, but it’s really underscored honestly how blessed I am to do what I do and it’s probably made me refocus and hopefully get even better in the future.”
There were other reports after Morosi’s blunder that stated that the purported information caused the Los Angeles Dodgers to become fearful and up their offer to Ohtani. The team ultimately landed him on a 10-year, $700 million deal with a reported $680 million deferred after the conclusion of the deal. With this amount of the contract being pushed afterwards, the Dodgers will have more flexibility to improve parts of their roster in accordance with the league’s competitive balance tax.
USA TODAY reporter and columnist Bob Nightengale opined after the fact that reporters are being used and do not seem to mind it, even embracing it at times. He also revealed that many of the stories are leaked by agents, which can be used to cultivate leverage for their clients. Morosi expressed his opinion on the assertion, explaining how the rules of the collective bargaining agreement prevent executives from discussing free-agent players to the media, even off the record, until they are signed by another team.
“As a result, hard, reliable, trustworthy [and] solid information, especially as it relates to free agency, is difficult,” Jon Morosi said. “It’s difficult to get. That’s not any excuse – that is no excuse for us to be inaccurate, but it’s just the reality of the playing field that we deal with.”
The occurrence underscores just how much the reporting impacts fans, and Morosi feels terrible about the inaccuracies he communicated on Friday. Morosi admitted that it was one of the hardest answers for him to give as an insider, but it would have benefited him in this circumstance.
“I was confident that what I had was correct and that’s why I put it out there,” Jon Morosi said, “but obviously it was a reminder that in the age of Twitter especially, there’s no such thing as being too careful.”
KFC on WFAN: What Makes Barstool Sports Successful is the “Reality TV Aspect”
“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly.”
Kevin Clancy, better known as ‘KFC’ from Barstool Sports, filled in for Boomer Esiason on WFAN this morning with Gregg Giannatti. The two hosts discussed the feuding going on between members of the 1990’s Chicago Bulls as some players, most notably Scottie Pippen, are disputing some of what was said in The Last Dance back in 2020.
They compared the situation to some of what they face at their offices, noting they spend a lot of time with their co-workers, who aren’t members of their family or in most cases their best friends and drama can sometimes ensue. “Barstool has taken that office drama to a level that no one else has achieved,” Giannotti said to KFC. “When we do stuff like that here [at WFAN], it’s very rarely serious. The drama that you guys have, it’s real and it’s out there and that’s got to be a really difficult thing to deal with if you’re not prepared for it.”
“We usually refer to it as “being in the mud,” Clancy responded. “And there’s only certain people that can really live in the mud…It’s part of what made Barstool successful, is that reality TV aspect of it in that it is kind of like a team, and there is internal drama like clubhouse drama, locker room drama and the way we usually handle that is let’s do it out there and on the air.”
KFC talked about being a fan of WFAN and seeing it from the outside looking in. He said as a listener you could sense who was not a fan of certain people. He used the example of the feuds which would take place between Mike Francesa and Craig Carton and then the subsequent feuds Giannotti found himself in with “The Pope” when he took over for Carton.
“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly,” KFC said about Barstool Sports. “We will probably fight each other more than anything, but then when there’s an outside problem, we close ranks and we are like, let’s handle business.”
Gow Media Parts Ways With Sports Map Radio Program Director Craig Larson
“With Larson exiting, Gow Media will make another change, tapping into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations.”
It’s been a tough week in Houston for Gow Media. First, the company made cuts to ESPN 97.5, parting ways with the midday team of Joshua Beard, Michael Connor and Andrew Carlson. Then yesterday, the company informed longtime network program director Craig Larson that he too was unfortunately a budget cut casualty.
Larson had been with Gow Media since the company acquired the Sporting News Radio network in 2010. He started with Sporting News Radio as a producer in Illinois, moving next to Los Angeles to take on programming duties for the network before relocating to Houston to lead the outlet following David Gow’s acquisition of the brand.
During the fourteen years that Larson managed the network, it’s gone through a few changes. Gow elected to change the identity from Sporting News Radio to Yahoo Sports Radio in 2011. That was followed by rebrands to SB Nation Radio and its current name, Sports Map Radio.
With Larson exiting, Gow Media will tap into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations. The two groups have already been working together. This just gives the sports betting network an even bigger push. It also helps Gow stand out better in a crowded national sports radio marketplace.
As for Larson, this is his first trip to free agency in nearly a quarter century. When reached by BSM, he acknowledged that his time with the company had come to an end. He added, ‘It was an amazing 14 years in Houston. I’m proud of the work we put in, and there’s no better person in the world to work for than David Gow.’
Those interested in chatting with Larson about future possibilities can reach him at [email protected].
Eli Gold Out as Voice of Alabama Football; Ends 35-Year Run
“I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”
The Tuscaloosa News has reported longtime University of Alabama radio play-by-play voice Eli Gold will not be returning next season. Gold, who has been in the position for 35 years, told Birmingham FOX 6 Reporter Jonathan Hardison, “I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”
The report says Chris Stewart, who has been calling Alabama basketball for the Crimson Tide Sports Network, will take over the football broadcasts.
“Eli has been an invaluable member of our broadcast team,” Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of the Crimson Tide Sports Network said in a statement. “We are grateful for his years of service and wish him all the best in this next chapter. CTSN is fortunate to have someone as part of our existing broadcast team in Chris to step up and seamlessly transition into this role.”
Gold missed the 2022 season for health reasons, otherwise he has been calling Crimson Tide games each season since 1988. Gold, 70, had been diagnosed with cancer just over one year ago but called home games in 2023. Stewart filled in for Gold both in 2022 and 2023.