Looking at the comments for the petition post, it's cool to see some people against signing a petition because they don't want the duo to survive or as one put it, 'I could care less what happens to Mike'. Someone on mikefrancesa.com, wrote 'I can't sign that, I am in love with the idea of Mike and Sid being teamed up starting this September.' But let's be fair. We are all gathered here because we enjoy the spectacle that is Mike and the Mad Dog. We relish making fun of them, picking apart the stupid things they say, getting offended by their latent racism and overt arrogance. So although I respect the whole idea of not caring about their impending breakup and the whole bit, I don't buy it for one second. We want them on that dial. We need them on that dial. They are part of our DNA. As Hyman Roth said in GII, "this is the business we've chosen".
Neil Best is again reporting that the end may be near for the Mike and the Mad Dog show:
From Best's Blog: "I've heard from three people in the industry this Tuesday that the end of the Mike Francesa/Chris Russo saga appears to be drawing close."
With that said, I am going to start the first official petition to keep the Mike and the Mad Dog show alive. I will send it to WFAN's Mark Chernoff. Incorporating a bit of what I wrote a couple weeks ago, here is my petition:
TO: Mark Chernoff FROM: Mikeandthemadblog SUBJECT: Future of Mike and the Mad Dog Show
The loyal fans of the Mike and the Mad Dog show are very concerned about the rumors of the show's possible demise. As you obviously know, today on the FAN in the 1-6:30 slot are Benigno and Roberts. Tomorrow it's Carlin and Kim Jones. These two days are very well what the future of WFAN could look like if the Mike and the Mad Dog show becomes history. This could be the post Mike and the Mad Dog world. And I for one, cannot stand it. I can't take Carlin's non-take take on things. I can't take Kim Jones telling a caller not to get on her case in the first hour of the show. I can't take Carlin cracking jokes at his weight. I can't take them talking sports for 2 straight segments because you know there are zero calls on hold. I can't take their voices. I can't take their opinions. I can't take their clearly choreographed show. I can't take 3 1/2 more hours of this. I can't take Benigno's "the world is going to end because the Mets lost a game in July" whining. I can't take Evan Roberts trying to sound older than he is. I can't take Benigno and Roberts everyday anointing Jerry Manuel the savior of the Met franchise. I can't take three more days of this. And there is NO WAY I can take 20 more years of this. And before you say "Now hold on a minute there Mikeandthemadblog- there are plenty of better host options than Carlin, Kim Jones, Benigno and Roberts that would fill the slot.." I don't want anyone else. I don't want handshakes. I don't want humble. I don't want respectful. I don't want well-prepared. I want hand waves. I want arrogance. I want condescending. I want ill-informed. I want my Mike and the Mad Dog. I want them back today. I don't want to wait until next week. And I don't want to wait till never again. And I don't want one of them solo (can you say daily tennis and horse racing spots). Please do everything in your power to keep the Mike and the Mad Dog show alive. This letter is serving as a petition to keep the show going. Give in to whatever their contract demands are. New tennis courts in the WFAN basement? Sounds great. A Diet Pepsi machine in the studio adjacent to Mike's chair? Wonderful. Whatever they want, please give them.
Below are signatures from loyal fans who want nothing more than Francesa and Russo paired uncomfortably together everyday for 20 more years.
If you want the show to remain, just sign your name in the comments section, and we will add them as signatures to the petition before we send it...
During Russo's 10 minute talk with 20/20 man Bob Heussler, did anyone else notice that Chris and Bob are wearing the EXACT same tan polo shirt today? YES had them on the customary split screen the whole time - Russo on the left, Heussler on the right - and all I can focus on is the fact that these two grown men are wearing the same exact outfit. They even each have the same number of buttons done on the shirt. It is really striking. And before Johnny tells me he's down on me today for my nitpicking, I am just making an observation..
Jon Heyman just talked about the possibilities of a big trade involving Manny Ramirez. Heyman reported this potential blockbuster that is out there:
Heyman: I have heard that the Dodgers are interested...(Boston) would send Manny to LA for some of their good young players, and send those young players to Atlanta for Texeira. Now Texeira is not Manny, that is agreed. But he is gonna give you professional at bats..
Russo: So who's gonna go play left field? Youkillis?
Heyman: Yeah Youkillis. Youkillis is not only a great player, he's apparently pretty versatile.
Mikeandthemadblog: Jon, this is VERY fascinating. Did you hear this from sources with Los Angeles? Perhaps an exec in Boston? A nameless member of the Braves organization? This is HUGE. Where did this deal originate from?
Heyman: This is mostly in my head to this point.
Awesome. Usually Heyman just reports what anyone else with a computer already knows. But today, he took it to new heights. He created a trade "in his head" and then reported it as if it was a real possibility. Someone needs to pull the plug on these weekly spots.
I was driving today and WFAN wasn't coming in, so I did the unthinkable - switched to ESPN Radio. After about 30 seconds of listening I heard Mike Tirico say the following of the Twins chances: "Be careful of Minnesota." What is Tirico doing? Doesn't he know that Mike and Chris have patented this phrase? What else are they stealing - terrible job, I'm not a big believer in, I'm down on, tricky spot, etc. What's next - Golic and Greenberg talking ratings?
A little while ago while talking to Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe about the Manny situation, Russo said:
"How about his teammates most importantly. I mean we all know Ortiz goes out of his way to throw the white towel around him and hug him every time he crosses the plate, but I wonder about Youkillis and Pedroia and Lowell and Drew, you know, sort of the soul of the club, you know Varitek, those 5 or 6, are they all fed up with Manny..how bout the team now, the fabric of the ballclub in that clubhouse?"
WHAT RUSSO REALLY MEANT:
"How in the world do the white guys tolerate Manny? I mean, we know the Latin players, like Ortiz love him, but how in the heck can white guys stand him. The white guys are the players that people like, so how can they put up with Manny?"
Be careful Dog. Be careful. You are walking that racism plank...One false step and well you know what happens...Just ask your buddy Imus.
Who of you out there has played Dance Dance Revolution? Well, for the smattering that have, you know that when you are not active in the game, the DDR voice gets a little antsy and yells 'Boring!' In the first half hour of the show today, I have already yelled that at Russo. He is not very active or interesting for that matter. Russo talks about the 'bad loss' out of the Mets last night. Fine. But he never really defines why this is such a big deal. Boring. Then he throws out some anecdote about a tennis partner who through nepotism, he got tickets to the Yankee game. Sure enough, the game was last night, so he can have a little chuckle at his Yankee fan friend who got to see a Yankee drubbing. Boring. Then somehow he moves to the Cubs/Brewers game, which apparently every listener of the show is waiting to hear about. And what does he talk about? How Gagne(Gag-nay) and Torres can't exist together in the Brewers bullpen. Boring. As of 1:30, Russo has only advanced to rehashing the Yankees getting Marte. Boring. Today is a glaring example of what we will all miss if Mike and Dog split up. Boring.
Mike and Chris are a funny pair. Do they amuse us? Yes. Are they like clowns? Not quite. But their vernacular can sometimes trump their avoidance of the truth, their arrogance, their ignorance, their intransigence, and a host of other 'ance' words. So forget about 'tough, tricky and big spot' and let's focus on the use of 'the whole bit' by Dog today.
I looked up the idiom 'the whole bit' on freedictionary.com and here is how they define it. They even include a sample sentence using the idiom - 'the whole of something, including everything that is connected with it. And what a night it was - moonlight, wine, good food, soft music - the whole bit.' So Chris started using this phrase when he started attacking the enshrinement former MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn into the Hall of Fame. He doesn't think Bowie can shine Kennesaw Mountain Landis' shoes basically. The brilliance of Chris(and to an extent Mike) is his ability to condense a complex human being or issue into a phrase or a word. So Chris, while not happy with Landis 'and the whole civil rights thing', allows that he should be in the Hall of Fame because of "The Black Sox, the whole bit". He then went onto say that "Selig will get in. Steroids, the whole bit." Unlike the example from freedictionary.com, where they bothered to list 'wine, good food, soft music', Russo just went with 'Steroids' and threw in the whole bit. No mention of Selig and Collusion or Selig moving his own team to the NL or that really long All-Star game. Russo was on a roll, so a little while later, he was talking about Chad Pennington - "Arm strength, the whole bit." He couldn't bother to add 'played with Randy Moss at Marshall, broken collarbone, that playoff game against the Raiders, etc.' Thanks, Chris for simplifying things for us. I think he uses this terms so he doesn't have to detail other parts of 'the whole bit'. It's sort of like Cliff Notes. Here is my Russion take on things. World War II? The Nazis, the whole bit. I grew up in the 80's, so The Preppy Handbook and the whole bit. Let's not go too crazy with these Mets. Remember their history, ie. Doug Sisk, the bleach and the whole bit. I can't stand Tom Cruise with the 'Matt, Matt, Matt. You're so glib' and the whole bit. Enough with John Adams pouting about Benjamin Franklin and the whole bit. I'm down on Iraq, WMD, the whole bit. I liked that song by Billy Ray Cyrus, Achy Breaky Heart, his daughter Miley and the whole bit. 2008 so far in sports? Memphis can't make a free throw, Eli got lucky, Willie shouldn't fly to the west coast and the whole bit.
Within 5 minutes of his spot with Chris Russo, Rich Cimini showed that he is no Jon Heyman. First off, he blew up Russo's idea of the cap being an obstacle for the Jets getting Brett Favre. Russo earlier in the show said that there wasn't a way for the Jets to afford Favre because of their cap space. Chris even admitted that he didn't understand the cap. Cimini threw a spotlight on Russo's ignorance when he told Chris, 'It's a soft cap. There are ways of moving money around. They can make it happen.' Then Russo tried to lead Cimini to agree with him that bringing in Favre would be a mistake(They don't have to lead Jon Heyman to anything. He understands that he must not overtly contradict Mike or Chris, lest they yank his bi-weekly spot away from him). But Cimini obviously had not been prepped on this point when he said, "I don't see any downside to bringing Favre in." Russo then went on the attack with Cimini, giving him all sorts of reasons why the Jets should stay away from Favre. Cimini started to agree with Russo a little, but it was too late. Thanks for the audition, Rich. We won't be needing your services anymore.
After a caller mentioned the great run Carlos Delgado is on, Russo chimed in that the problem he has with Delgado was that a few years ago when Carlos was still a Blue Jay, Toronto tried to trade him to a team that was in the postseason hunt and he decided not to go, and Toronto's season was dead. And for a guy that had never "sniffed September in a big spot" when he passed on that deal, "that was a bad sign" to Chris. Russo always holds these types of grudges with players. If you cross him and his imaginary list of player protocol, you can never recover in Dog's eyes. Delgado is officially on Russo's Grudge Report.
Dog fired away at the Pirates in his open today for making the awful trade they did with the Yankees where they dealt Marte. "And the Pirates are worried about paying arbitration money next year? I mean cease to exist as a franchise if you can't afford $6 million for the best lefty set-up guy in the GAME!!! Let's trade him and get 4 NOBODY'S from the Yankees!!!"
I remember a couple years ago Russo saying the same thing about the Tampa Rays...that they should cease to exist as a franchise. I wonder how many teams would have been eliminated from the sport over the years if Doggie got his way...
As a big time Mets fan, I have to give props to Joba Chamberlain on a phenomenal outing last night. But the bigger question is - at what point will Mike Francesa acknowledge that he was wrong about "Jobahhh"? 7 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits, while striking out 9 versus the Red Sox in Fenway just might be the game that makes Mikey eat his words. But here's the thing, Mike totally downplayed this series yesterday. So because he did that, in Mike Francesa-land, if the series wasn't a big deal, than how can Joba's start be a big deal (Please note this is not how I feel, but moreso the thinking of one Mike Francesa). You see, Mike will NEVER admit he was wrong. He will just alter facts to make it seem like he never said something. When Mike hits the air again, you are more likely to hear "okay listen I wasn't totally sure about Joba as a startuh, I thought he might be okay, and he's been good. Not great. Not lights out. Was he un-hittable as a reliever? Yes. Has he been that way as a startuh. Not totally."
What will it take for Mike to admit he was wrong? Couple no-hittuhs, 3-4 rocking-chair games? Going head to head with and beating Doc Halladay? What will it take?
Today Mike professed his love for Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth. Now don't get me wrong, McLouth is actually having a very good year, but as a commenter suggested, this is the first season he has shown anything. Mike has this habit of becoming infatuated with players for apparently little reason. It's as if Mike goes to one game that the player is a key part in, whether he hits a big homer, pitches a big game, etc...and then from that point on Mike "likes him a lot" and the player in question "can play on my team any time." Now the problem with most of these guys is that their numbers often contradict Mike's feelings about them. I like to call this "Mike Francesa's Can't Miss (Even Though They Do Miss) Team"
Here are a couple of such players:
Bronson Arroyo: We all know of Mike's obsession with Bronson. But after further review, he has only had one season (I'm not counting his 17 IP in 2003) where he had a sub 4.00 ERA.
Brandon Inge: Mike often sings the praises of Mr. Inge. But taking a look at his stats, he has had ONE good season in the majors, where he hit 27 HR and drove in over 80 RBI (he only hit .253 that year). And that was two years ago. But that's about it. His 162 game seasonal average is: .239BA, 16 HR, 67 RBI, 62 Runs, with a .304 OBP.
Nate McLouth: Now Nate is having a very big year, but before this season, his best year was: .258 BA, 13 HR, 38 RBI...Not exactly build your franchise around him numbers. If that was any other player having the season he is having this year and Mike wasn't obsessed with him, he would say "Can I see this for a year or two first before I get excited?"
Again, we open the phone lines here for other members of this team...
We have learned that Lenny Dykstra says that Davey Johnson was only a good manager because he had good players. We have learned that he claims he never did steroids. We have learned that he is most definitely on some sort of drug during this interview. We have learned that Mike Francesa is incapable of letting another person finish a thought without cutting them off. We have learned that Dykstra's friends and family ripped him off. We have learned he was invested in real estate while still playing baseball (for some reason that was interesting to Mike). We have learned that Dykstra was always ahead of the curve. We have learned that Dykstra turned a $1 million investment house into $20 million. We have learned that Nails always surrounds himself with an army of attorneys. We have learned that Dykstra's attorney bills are $200,000 per month. We have learned that Mike's coach talk ("they played Cover 2, use a 3 or 4 and pick and roll") applies to business too ("so you subdivide this, put some retail on there.."). We have learned that Lenny is a big liver. We have learned that Dykstra is flipping Gretzky's house. We have learned the property taxes on The Great One's house are $300,000. We have learned again that Lenny is a stock-picking maven. What we have not learned is why, with a big Red Sox/Yanks series on tap starting tonight, is Lenny Dykstra your first guest interview of the day?
Mike revealed in today's open that he met with the Jets hierarchy last week and talked about Brett Favre to the Jets. Is there a more arrogant person out there than Francesa? He met with Jets hierarcy...jeez. He constantly refers to his conversations with Omahh. Yesterday, he mentioned how he was talking to a GM about the difficult trade market. He loves to act as if he is a true insider. But anyway, Mike is carrying on about how the Jet beat reporters were talking about "how outlandish" it was for Favre to become a Jet and how Mike couldn't understand that idea. Yet last week a caller asked Mike about the chance of Favre going to the Jets and Mike dismissed it saying there was no chance. But after his "meeting with Jets hierarchy" he all of a sudden has changed his tune. He just always has to act as if he is involved in every management inner circle discussion. I mean, would it really shock anyone to tune in one day and hear Francesa declare "So I talked to some sources in the Greek government and there's a real feeling there that the Parthenon needs some updating..."
It was about 6:28 on the air today, or more accurately, past Mike Francesa's bedtime, when after a couple of absurd trade calls Mike said, 'That's what happens when you let teenagers use the phone.' In his post 6:20 delirium, Mike accurately struck a chord that resonated through what LBJ called 'The Great Society'. As he usually does, Mike showed that he has a finger on this country's pulse(along with thoroughbred handicapping, Springstein set lists, Yankee batting orders and Roe's favorite sexual positions that don't hurt his back). The Youth are bringing us down. With their ridiculous trade proposals, their youtube, their Halo, their tight sweaters, their LSD, their Hannah Montana, their Alpha Dog, their tattoos, their 'death game', their Menudo, their 'wilding', their American girl doll, their interest-only-loans, their crystal meth, their tipping of Starbucks employees, their failure to lay down a sacrifice bunt, and so on.
Francesa's hero, JFK, asked the youth of his era 'ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.' And here are the teenagers of today asking for 'Heilman and two b prospects for Jose Guillen'. Mike can only stand so much. He not only lived through the late 60's and early 70's Yankees team, he suffered through the Stump Merrill era(ibid). Hell, he withstood the Dinkins administration. He thought that Guiliani had gotten rid of all these 'teenagers'. Yet, here they are calling in at 6:28, well past his time of coherence, asking him ludicrous questions. Have they no decency?
Mike just said that he didn't like how CC Sabathia pitched in a big spot last year in the playoffs. That got me thinking about the guys that Mike does actually trust in a big spot. Here's what I have right now. Who else:
Question for Mr. Francesa: Does Carlos Delgado's July count? He's hitting over .400, driven in over 15 runs, hit 5 home runs. I know MIkey said his 9 RBI vs the Yanks didn't count, but what about the entire month of July?
Mike opened the show talking about what a bad loss last night was for the Mets. But I have to be honest, I expected more fireworks. He said that you can't blame Manuel and you can't blame Santana. He did mention that he and Roe talked about how they wanted Santana to start the 9th. But I just expected a more explosive beginning to the show. And that brings me to my point. I feel that lately, the Mike and the Mad Dog show has dropped the ball when it comes to dealing with big stories. Take the Willie firing for example. If you listened to the open of that show, sure they carried on a little bit, but Mike and Chris were a bit soft that day. Take Mike's debut show after all the rumors of their break-up. He brushed it off like it was a non-issue, talking instead at length about the suntan lotion he applies to his children - then finally, in the last segment of the show, issued his monologue on the subject. Take the day Mike and Chris reunited at All-Star fest. Again, a few light jokes about it, but they just blew past the topic. Now, on the other hand, a topic such as the Giants PSL's will cause Mike to go on and on aimlessly for hours about. That is a topic, while deserving air time, only affects a small percentage of New Yorkers. We pondered earlier in our existence if Chris Russo was over the hill (http://mikeandthemadblog.blogspot.com/2008/05/russo-over-hill.html). But is the Mike and the Mad Dog show over the hill? Do they still attack major stories with the intensity that they used to? I'm not so sure...
WFAN sources have confirmed that host Mike Francesa is on a strict call count today. It has been reported that Francesa will be pulled after 105 callers. The source added "If you look back at his history, there have been very few times he's been over 100 calls. And I think, for the most part, we have used up that allotment already this week. So that's not something that he's familiar with. If he's not accustomed to it, I don't think we should run the risk of that." WFAN has not revealed who will come in to finish out the show when Francesa is removed.
Jon Heyman was just on with Mike. Not sure if riveting is the proper word. Here's a snippet of what Heyman had to offer today:
On Johan's start tonight: "He should be better than 8-7. This is a big start for him."
On Mets outfield needs (after prompting from Mike that they need a corner outfielder): "You're absolutely right. Endy’s a great 4th outfielder, but he’s not a starting outfielder...you can’t count on Church at this point...Pittsburgh is asking for a lot for Nady."
On rumors of Mets pursuing Houston Street: "I have not been able to get that information. I saw that on the internet somewhere."
On Yankees needs (after prompting from Mike that they need a starter and a left fielder): "You're absolutely right...On the outfield front, I think they are in competition with the Mets on a lot of these guys. Blake is a possibility..."
On whether or not Jason Bay is available: "Bay is available. Bay and Nady are both available."
On AJ Burnett's availability: "...He's a very talented pitcher, but there are a lot of negatives that come with him as well...He's been hurt often."
On Sabathia's great start with Brewers and what that means for him after this season: "Most people in baseball that I talk to still think he will go for the better deal, wherever it is. Money talks."
On which team has the better chance to land a corner outfielder between the Yanks and Mets: "I think they both have to do it..I'm pretty sure the Mets will get somebody and I think the Yankees will too."
On whether the feeling throughout baseball was if they hit a home run with the all-star game: "Yeah they lucked out. It was a home run."
Mike just turned the show over to Jets fans and asked them if they wanted Brett Favre as their QB. He asked them to call in with their opinions. I feel like all of a sudden, I am listening to ESPN Radio. Mike Francesa is not supposed to ask fans what their opinions are. That's something that Mike Greenberg or Mike Golic would do. Francesa is not supposed to end a segment by asking the audience "do you want Brett Favre to be your quaterback in 2008 - get aboard right after this." Again, something to be expected out of the other two Mikes (that is, if they actually took phone calls from those that were not on the ESPN payroll). But this is very alarming. This is not the Mike Francesa I have known to grow and loathe. I do not like this development one bit. Is he perhaps practicing for a move to ESPN Radio? Is it just an absurdly slow sports day? Is he just tired of one segment declaring Johan Santana's season a dud, while in the very next segment, declaring that Johan should be 12-3? Has he reached his quota on how many times he can say the name Bronson Arroyo in one month? What is going on here? I am very concerned.
Today's show opened with Mike pontificating about how big a start tonight is for Johan Santana. How we have seen many athletes struggle with New York when they first got here. But now “it’s time” for a big Johan Start. Francesa said "You are going to hand the ball tonight to the guy that you think is going to take you to the postseason. So you can forget everything else that happened before tonight. Time now for Santana to step up front and center. The time is now. This is why you brought him here.”
While I don’t disagree with these sentiments, I have one question (okay maybe a series of questions): What if he pitches a bad game? Do we forfeit the season? Do we trade him to the Bronx? Do we place him on waivers? Do we option him to Triple-A New Orleans?
I mean this whole idea that the Met season hinges on a huge performance out of Santana tonight is somewhat laugh-able. I mean, personally, I am down on Santana. I don’t quite think he stinks, but I am down on him. He’s definitely in a tough spot though tonight. He hasn’t given us many rocking-chair games. He hasn't done a terrible job, but he has been spotty at times. But this idea that the Mets pack up their bags and head back to Port St. Lucie if Santana pitches a dud tonight is a bit much for me to take.
Jeremy Shockey isn't retiring, but now that he is leaving the New York scene, it is time for Mike and the Mad Dog to assess his time in the Meadowlands:
Dog: I can't go too crazy about the Giants losing Shockey. His best years are behind him.
Mike: With the injuries and the mouth, he wasn't worth it. There's a new Boss in town now.
Dog: Kevin Boss has only 118 receiving yards for his career. Before we anoint him the next Mark Bavaro, could we see him play a full season? One injury and the Giants will have to rip the microphone out of Howard Cross' hands and suit him up. Be fair, Mike. 4 Pro Bowls, 27 TDs in 83 games here for Shockey.
Mike: His time in New York will be defined by the drop against the Niners and when he failed to show up for his weekly spot with us, his rookie year.
Dog: What about the leaping catch over Brian Dawkins?
Mike: I could have caught that. And could you celebrate a touchdown without all the yapping? I'm through with him. Give me the Boss man.
We here at the blog have been away for the day. So what did we miss with Francesa flying solo today? How many Arroyo mentions? How many mentions that the Yanks need a "righty" bat? Tell us what we missed...
Jon Heyman brings his dated inside information to the SNY Mets pregame show.
Just heard this quote on Adam Dunn "He's going to go somewhere."
Great insight Jon. He's going to go somewhere, wow. I can just hear all the network execs who are watching this now saying, "that Heyman he knows his stuff, he knows that Adam Dunn is going somewhere. GET HIM ON NOW."
Not sure how everyone got on the Jon Heyman (i believe Mike and Chris began drinking the Kool Aid around all the steroids insanity) information train, but GET THE F OFF. This dude reads the same papers we all do and if you spend a little bit of time on the internet, you can get yourself all the inside scoop that Heyman has.
In a segment on SNY Heyman provided a list of 10 guys that might be on the move. The list is so intriguing and the information so uncertain that SNY is breaking it up into two parts. Kind of like a cliff hanger, except without the part that makes you want to come back and watch the next day.
The names from Jonny No News: Brian Fuentes (really teams are interested in the Colorado reliever? Really? That is new information from I believe April.). Guess what the Mets might be interested in Xavier Nady, no chance you have read his name in the paper in the months of June and July as a possible option for the Mets. The aforementioned Adam Dunn comes next, followed by Jason Bay and the Pirates, according to Jonny want a lot for him. Finally #6 on the list is Ken Griffey. Yup it's the original Ken Griffey. Jon is reporting that teams are inquiring if KG Sr will come out of retirement and play some outfield. Yes, Heyman has KG Jr wrapping up the list which could've concluded this segment if it was taped in March.
STAY TUNED TOMORROW WHEN JON HEYMAN RETURNS FOR THE FINAL FIVE NAMES. Possibilities include: Cy Young, Floyd Youmans, Pete Falcone, Oil Can Boyd and Amos Otis. Other names sure to shock you will be Matt Holiday, Texeria, Bedard, etc.
Here's a hint, if all your INSIDER can say about a particular player is "he's going somewhere," that means he doesn't know anything.
Mike and Chris have throughout the year looked into their crystal ball and made some predictions. But which do you think will come true or be outstandingly false?
One thing we can predict for certain, Mike will either gloat if he got it right or forget it if he got it wrong.
PREDICTION 1: Tampa Bay will not play over .500 the rest of the way (just a reminder we are just a few weeks away from being able to "talk to Mike in August" about the Rays)
PREDICTION 2: The Yankees will make the playoffs.
PREDICTION 3: There are a lot of hits in Robinson Cano's bat (it must be fun to be Mike and watch games and simply know that a player like Cano just has hits in a savings account somewhere just waiting to use it for the proper occassion.)
PREDICTION 4: The Mets and Red Sox will go to the World Series (It didn't take Mike long to get on the Mets bandwagon. Willie got shoved off that wagon in the middle of the night while the vehicle was still in motion, Mike he just grabbed a case of Diet Cokes, made Mr Met sit bitch and settled in with his seat in full recline.)
PREDICTION 5: Mike and Mad Dog radio show still happening after World Series: I am leaning towards believing that it will be the Chris Russo Marathon as we head into football season, but that's just me.
Any predictions we forgot, let us know. Toss your take and away we go.
While MMD is off reading books about James Garfield and seeing Sex and the City for the second time, I thought it would be a perfect time to expand our horizons and provide some reading material not related to the 20th President of the United States.
This is from Desipio, a website that i have not checked but will be doing more so now. I found this link by way of Awful Announcing. It is a letter written to the editor of ESPN THE MAGAZINE. Yes, the really large magazine that tries to say that because we are large and uncomfortable we are thus edgy and creative as opposed to simply we are large, our layout is a mess and 9 out 10 things in it are unreadable, especially our weekly athletes/sports/something on the wrong side of the tracks. BUT, let me shut up because the letter is great... Put down that Garfield book and read away...
Fr: email@example.comTo: firstname.lastname@example.org Re: My ESPN The Magazine Subscription Dear ESPN The Magazine Overlord,
I am currently a subscriber to your magazine, even though I never actually subscribed to your magazine. I pay the monthly fee to be an ESPN Insider, mainly so I can read Buster Olney’s baseball blog, and to check and see just how irrelevant Peter Gammons’ columns continue to become.
As a “benefit” you send me issues of your bi-monthly magazine. However, it’s obvious that you use a rather optimistic definition of the word “benefit.” I am requesting that you stop sending me the magazine. It was brought to my attention by my wife that when the magazine comes to our house it never leaves the kitchen. It just kind of sits there, waiting to be thrown away…unopened. I currently subscribe to two magazines, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly which I actually read, though I will admit that if a 300 pound Best Buy checker hadn’t offered me the opportunity to get free issues of both magazines, and if she hadn’t looked as though she was going to bludgeon me to death with the price scanner, I probably wouldn’t subscribe to either of them. However, there’s a big distinction between those magazines and yours. I actually like them. I take them to my reading room where they sit in a basket right next to my special reading chair, or throne if you will, or toilet if you want to be specific. As I defecate, I read well-written tales of athletes and sporting events, and movies and TV shows. I enjoy it. As for your magazine? I don’t even like it enough to read it while I’m crapping.
I’m not asking for you to cancel my Insider subscription to your Web site, though really, it’s a complete ripoff. Though if Buster doesn’t stop wearing his Brewers knee pads pretty soon, I might have to rethink that. Buster, they’re not going to pass the Cubs during the regular season, and they’re not going to beat them in the playoffs. The sooner you come to terms with that (and the sooner you come to terms with the fact that no grown man should be called Buster) we’ll both be better off. No, I still want the Insider subscription. I just don’t want your strangely sized, poorly written, overly designed magazine. I mean, really, have you ever taken a good look at it? It sucks. Let’s take a look, shall we?
1. First off, your magazine is a weird size. It’s not magazine size. I know you think it’s an edgy size, because everything you do is edgy, but really, it’s just annoying. One thing it is good for, though? If a fly gets in your house you can really go to town whacking at it with that thing. Maybe that would be a good secondary market for it? To exterminators?
2. What’s with the paper? It’s chintzy 70 pound text weight. At least real magazines use gloss on their cover.
3. What’s with all of the shirtless athletes? It’s like you can’t decide if you want to be a sports magazine, or a men’s magazine, or a gay men’s magazine. This is kind of creepy… But this is just plain gay. Honestly, that Carl Edwards cover didn’t even make it to the house. I just tore the address label off of it and set it on fire right at the mailbox then threw it into traffic. Holy crap. What were you thinking? Your audience is not women. What man is going to see that at a bookstore or grocery store and actually carry it up to the checkout? You might as well have given out a free “I LIKE DUDES” t-shirt with this one.
4. The design of your magazine is not cutting edge, unless the goal is to make your readers want to cut themselves with the edge of a razor blade. You can’t just throw nine fonts on a page and call it design. Also, find a few colors that work and stick to those. If my dog ate a box of Crayolas and threw up on the floor she’d be more consistent than the room full of monkeys you have working on this thing.
5. Your writers are either not good at all, or ill-suited to the format. Like Bill Simmons, he’s at his best when he’s writing long-form. His magazine columns always suck. I mean they’re not bad they’re horrendous. He made a big deal out of how you gave him more room last year and you know what? He just sucks for two pages instead of one. Stephen A. Smith is also bad. I have no idea what he was writing about in your last issue. It was either about Kobe isn’t MJ (really?) or how Kobe should have punched one of his teammates, or how Kobe’s not Muhammad Ali. I’m not even exaggerating, I have no idea what he was writing about. Then, we get to Stu Scott’s steaming pile of feces where you used to pretend he traded text messages with people, and now you pretend he’s chatting online with people. Stu’s an assclown on the air, and he’s even less suited for print. It’s gibberish. I mean, literal gibberish. Whoever his editor is should be beaten with a rolled up collection of these horrendously bad “columns.”
6. You call it “Page 2″ I suppose to try to tie it in with the lamest part of your Web site, but it’s really just pages 26-41. Or really, short features that aren’t good enough to be full features and frankly, that we should have just left out of the magazine altogether. You’ve got your mailbag in there which is impossible to screw up, and yet, you try your damndest.
Then, do Mike and Mike really need a freaking page in your magazine? Is the world not tired of their “he’s fat and he’s a sissy” schtick? Oh, and they always discuss such pertinent things. In this last week’s issue we learned that Golic doesn’t think Batman’s a real superhero, that Tiger apparently won a tournament with a bad knee and they wrote about the Tour de France. The Tour de France? Tremendous. Way to know your audience, again.
Oh, and come on, are you still doing that “Right Name, Wrong Number” thing? It was lame 10 years ago and you’ve done it twice a month since then. “Hey, let’s see if there’s somebody else named Aaron Rogers and we’ll call him and pretend that we think it’s the guy from the Packers! It’ll be a hoot!” It’s not a hoot. So, not a hoot. Nobody is hooting. Stop it.
7. Your features are always late, lame or both. For instance in this last issue little Busty spends five days with Brandon Webb of the Diamondbacks…starting May 15. For the July 14 issue. Holy crap, how is he filing his articles…by carrier pigeon? Yeah, the D’backs were good in May, they’ve been terrible since. How about a feature on what happened? Nah, it’s about how Brandon flies toy helicopters at Bank One Ballpark. That is outstanding. I love it. So much better than actual information. Thanks. You did a feature on a Spanish basketball player named Ricky Rubio. That’s great. I’m sure all two Spanish basketball fans are thrilled.
Then, several pages on NASCAR memorabilia auctions, which was basically just your way of pointing out that you think “Dumbass hicks will buy anything with a NASCAR logo on it!” I’m not saying you’re not right, but come on…really? Thanks for the two page spread on the World Series of Poker, an event that about nine people cared about when you were trying to force us to think it was important (just like you try with the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament every year.)
Easily the most pointless article of the issue was the feature on Braylon Edwards of the Cleveland Browns trying to get on a TV show. I thought that by the end of the article that he’d have secured a bit part on a TV show which is why you were doing the feature.But no. He’s not. He just wants to. Great. I’d like to meet Jessica Biel. Why don’t you spend four pages on that and have it end with me not meeting her?
Then we get some pap about Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez and how he’s going to turn around the football program because it’s been so lousy for the 30 years, oh and he likes to swear, and lie to his players.
Hey, here’s an actually interesting idea for a story, about James Felton, a dope who declared for the NBA draft a dozen years ago out of high school and nobody ever heard from him again. It was a good idea, not so well executed, but not terrible. In this magazine, it’s the gold standard. I’m so glad you were able to find 20 pages to devote to the ESPYs. I think it’s so cute how you think people actually care about that show, and how you pretend people watch it.
Then we get a story about cycling, because the kids love cycling. Once again, you prove you have no idea who your audience is, and even if you did, you’d have no idea how to reach them. Then, the notes pages, this issue it’s the NBA, the NFL, college basketball, soccer and motorsports. These aren’t bad, but honestly, they ought to just be on the Web site, because by the time you publish the magazine, they’re all old news.
You have Kenny Mayne still doing the old Dan Patrick interview thing, which isn’t terrible, but would it kill you to have a new idea, even once? The 0:01 where you fake a photo and it’s supposed to be funny…never is.
And we finish with Rick Reilly. Just about the time he started to phone it in at SI, you brought him over to work for you. That’s just so perfect.
So, to sum up, your magazine sucks, and even though I’m not directly paying for it, I don’t want it sent to my house. It’s just one more thing I have to throw away without opening every month. You know, like my bills. Thanks for your prompt attention to this matter. Sincerely, Andy
Today and the rest of this week, we are getting a glimpse of a Mike and the Mad Dog Free world. If you tuned in and heard the catchy "They're talking sports going at it as hard as they can, it's Mike and the Mad Dog on the FAN.." and then you were greeted by the voices of Carlin and Kim Jones, you knew you were in a for a long day. By the way, is there nothing worse than that day when you are all geared up for Mike and Chris - perhaps something happened the night before - and you want to hear their take on it, or maybe they predicted something that did not come true, and you wanted to tune in to see them not admit they were wrong - but then you put your radio on, and it's a vacation day for Mike and Chris. Such a buzzkill. But I digress. Back to my main point. Today on the FAN is what it could very well look like in a post Mike and the Mad Dog world. And I for one, cannot stand it. I can't take Carlin's non-take take on things. I can't take Kim Jones telling a caller not to get on her case in the first hour of the show. I can't take Carlin cracking jokes at his weight. I can't take them talking sports for 2 straight segments because you know there are zero calls on hold. I can't take their voices. I can't take their opinions. I can't take their clearly choreographed show. I can't take 3 1/2 more hours of this. And there is NO WAY I can take 20 more years of this. And before you say "Now hold on a minute there First Time, Long Time - there are plenty of better host options than Carlin and Kim Jones that would fill the slot.." I don't want anyone else. I don't want humble. I don't want respectful. I don't want well-prepared. I want arrogance. I want condescending. I want ill-informed. I want my Mike and the Mad Dog. I want it back today. I don't want to wait until next week. And I don't want to wait till never again.
Could today's show and the ones to follow be an awful glimpse into the future of the hours of 1-6pm on WFAN?
I asked Neil Best on his live chat today whether he would bet that Mike and Chris would be together at this time next year and he said "no." Some of that was because he wanted to continue to stand behind his article, but it appears that Mr Best (love him or hate or find him simply middle of the road on this whole thing) still believes that Mike and Chris are not at home spooning.
I will admit I have not listened to one second of WFAN today and it's doubtful if I will tune in at all. No Mike and Chris, no Lt Weinberg. Without them, I have no responsibilities whatsoever (that's a few good men line, a movie we are, if you have noticed slightly fond of).
If today and the days to follow are a brief but perhaps realistic glimpse into the future what will you do? Will you listen? Is there any real combination that you could honestly get into, that would become a part of your routine the way Mike and Chris are for many people? I can't really think of any.
A new feature here on Mike and the Mad Blog on who or what subject will get the first "terrible job" mention of the show.
Here is my prediction for Wednesday's Mike and the Mad Dog radio program
TERRIBLE JOB to the NO SHOW ALL STARS: I am betting that Mike and Chris are going to go crazy on guys like Joe Morgan, Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax (although they may say Sandy never goes to anything), Tom Seaver (come on Tom, what else you have going on?), Johnny Bench. Carlton Fisk, Yaz, the list goes on and on. TERRIBLE JOB.
Now I will go slightly further out on a limb with my back up call for TERRIBLE JOB #2
TERRIBLE JOB to the fans for the lack of ovation for THE BOSS: maybe it was my TV but it seemed to me that there was not the huge ovation or emotional MOMENT that everyone was hoping for when George was brought into the stadium. He did not look good, yet was clearly emotional. I was expecting more out of the fans. TERRIBLE JOB
Those are my two predictions. Now Russo may think that Lincecum's immune system also did a terrible job not protecting him from the flu, but that would be later on in the show.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Tim Lincecum was hospitalized Tuesday with flulike symptoms, preventing the young San Francisco Giants star from attending his first All-Star game. Lincecum was taken from his hotel to New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling ill early in the day, said Katy Feeney, senior vice president in the commissioner's office.
The right-hander was released later in the afternoon after getting treatment for flulike symptoms and dehydration, the Giants said in a statement issued about 45 minutes before the start of the game. "He's resting comfortably," WFAN radio host and Giants fan, Chris Russo said. Lincecum was released from the hospital into Russo's care.
Lincecum's locker at Yankee Stadium between National League starter Ben Sheets and Edinson Volquez was untouched before the game. His jersey and a Giants hat hung on a hook on the wall as his NL teammates milled around.
"I think it was just one of those things that just hit him this morning," said Russo, who rode with Lincecum back to the pitcher's New York hotel. Russo added that despite the trip to the hospital, Mets righty Mike Pelfrey still was "not a patch on Lincecum's fanny."
Will someone please tell me what the point has been to have Mike and Chris at Yankee Stadium today?
I am a little bit behind, watching on Tivo, thus skipping the commercials for the men's hair products, but we are moving through the second hour of the show and there have been maybe a total of 7 calls, including Dan from Albany who talked for about an hour about the time he snuck into Yankee Stadium in 1965. (Chris said that sneaking into stadiums is a no no, an awful heinous crime that one should never admit to). They have also not had a single guest outside of Ack with the 20/20 updates.
How about someone actually preparing for these shows? How about someone saying, hey, we're going to out at Yankee Stadium for the All Star game, let's book some guests. The point of being on a remote like this is to be at the event and to get interviews with the people on site. They are doing none of that.
Now, maybe that shows that Mike and the Mad Dog just don't have the pull, don't have the relevance they once did, who knows. I just think that they look like fools sitting there with little to talk about and no one to talk to.
Hey Mike, no worries, you make the bold statements, we here at Mike and the Mad Blog will make the corrections. We got your back Big Guy, no worries. Definitely don't worry about being factually correct. Who cares about facts when you can simply say things with certainty and have no clue whether they are right or wrong. It makes life a hell of lot easier. There were all those people who thought the Earth was flat and they sure were certain, who cares about this Columbus dude..
Oh, where is this coming from... right here.. Mike after a caller mentions some awful stat about the Knicks poor drafting habits and since Patrick Ewing, only drafting one guy that then averaged over 10 points per game in their career. This was Mike's response
"Jackson definitely averaged 10 points for his career." "He definitely averaged 10 points for his career. He definitely averaged OVER 10."
I did a little thing called research and whadya know, Mark Jackson average 9.6 points per game, which is UNDER 10 points a game.
But don't worry Mike, we got your back. Keep proclaiming, don't let the facts get in the way of that ego. We got you covered.
"I've heard the two teams...I hear from guys I talked to this morning, Washington and Carolina are the two teams...Washington and Carolina is what I got from two sources. Washington are Carolina are the two teams."
Can we get some Vegas style odds on whether Francesa's "source" comes thru?
Mike Francesca has made his pick for AL All Star MVP and it's... DEREK JETER.
Wow Mike, that is amazing. You really reached for that one. You, Mr Yankee think that Derek Jeter is going to win the AL MVP. Wow, you really surprise me Mike on that one. I thought for sure you were going to go with Dioner Navarro. Mike are you sure you don't want to pick Mickey Mantle? Elston Howard? What about maybe Alvaro Espinoza? Oh, is he not a true Yankee, what about maybe Hensley Mulens?
Here is what Mike is seeing for the Yankee Captain...
"I could just see him going 3 for 3 a couple of doubles..."
Chris by the way thought this was an incredibly good pick.
After saying yesterday that they would not watch the home run derby, Mike and Chris break it down today:
CR: I did see thank God the Hamilton explosion.
MF: Yeah I saw it. I actually got home when he was stepping into the box. I had taken Roe out to dinner (any guesses where?)...I did see it. It was an amazing performance and then he didn't win.
CR: That's hard to believe.
MF: Hey, he ran out of gas
CR: The guy hits 32 homers and 8 outs and then he doesn;t win the darn thing.
MF: The amazing thing was not even the number, but he hit so many long home runs..I mean, I can't believe he hit the ball that far. I mean he hit the ball so far so consistently. It really was a remarkable performance over 20 minutes or so. It actually was exciting and then it got boring (Russo interrupts "You're exactly right). The fans almost got to the point where they didn't care anymore. The first 10 or 15, they were going wild and then after that...they didn't seem to care. And then players were like interrupting him, players were like fooling around with him. Ortiz walked off the field (a big MMD no-no). I mean it seemed like nobody cared anymore. He was up there too long. It was almost like he stayed in the batters box too long..the nonsense with the wiping him off (another MMD no-no), the Milton Bradley, it was just too much. But he did hit some incredibly long home runs.
CR: I mean, again he was the highlight of the night. Again, I didn't have any problem with him. I coulda watched that but after that I couldn't watch it. I mean after that I didn't watch the Final. I didn't take the Final that seriously. I know Mourneau beat him 7-5. (Actually really 5-3, but who's keeping score at home?)
MF: I watched the Final. It was a dud. Nobody hit any home runs...Plus, the big thing was he didn't hit the charity ball in the seats...so that kind of ruined everything. He needed to hit the charity ball 500 feet. He didn't hit the charity ball anywhere, so I thought that took a little luster off the performance.
So you think the Mike and Mad Dog radio feud is bad? Well, those guys were only arguing over Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis and the bathrooms at Yankee Stadium, these guys in Dallas had some real issues. And if you read below, the Coke of preference was not Diet.
There was a sudden two-day absence later in July when Rhyner says Williams answered his inquest with, "Well, if you must know, I had a stroke." And on August 23—The Ticket's "Fight Night" at the Village Country Club—suspicions earned substance when, according to Rhyner, Davidson walked into the bathroom and found Williams kneeling over a line of blow on the toilet seat. "I don't remember that exactly," Williams says, "but I'm certainly not denying it happened." He then put on his headphones and re-joined the on-air round table while under the influence, a career-ending violation under most codes of conduct. "Including mine," says Williams.
I'm in a trivia kind of mood today. The following are several statements that Mike Francesa either did or did not make today. Each statement is either "Francesa" or "Fiction." It's up to you to decide...
- “It’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle” (talking about the all-star gave having lost its luster)
- “You know, Dog, the Yankees are only 7 back in the loss column of the Angels. For as bad as this team has played, the injuries, not having the “A” lineup out there, Cano’s awful start – they are only 7 back in the loss behind the Angels, who are the best team in the league” (on the state of the Yankees)
- “The Yankees are in excellent shape. Pettitte pitched great yesterday.” (More on the state of the Yankees)
- “Abreu is not a bad outfielder” (On Bobby Abreu)
- “The Yankees need to go out there and get a Roy Oswalt. They need to go get a Bedard.” (on the Yankees pitching staff)
- “I have no problem with the way Pelfrey is pitching. I have no problem with that.” (on Mets starter Mike Pelfrey)
- “I’ll take Fuentes. I’d like Marte” (On pitchers Mike would like to see on the Yankees)
- “It belongs here” (talking about the all-star game at Yankee Stadium)
- “I can go either way, so I’m not one of these guys who has to have it one way” (on his sexuality)
Our apologies, we at Mike and the Mad Blog were away from our posting duties this morning and did not set the Tivo to record the show.. so we have missed the first hour or so and are now relying on you, our loyal readers to update us. Give us the lowdown on the first segment and how the married couple are doing...
Some brief news..
1. Saw Jon Heyman this morning and despite his reports on WFAN with Mike and Chris he does talk to insiders. We viewed him talking with super agent Scott Boras. We cannot confirm or deny that he was questioning Boras on whether Arod was going to resign with the Yankees.
2. Neil Best has come out of his hole and reported that he is not certain if the Friday love in means anything about the contract negotiations for Mike and Chris. It is disappointing that it took Best this long to resurface and also he has yet to have a significant scoop since his first reporting of the story.
In today's blog he writes: "As I indicated at the time, their relationship is only one factor. Probably a bigger one is that neither has a long-term contract, and both are believed to have lucrative offers from other media entities."
Well, Neil how about some information on those other media entities besides your speculation about MSG? I am a little disappointed because since Best broke the story he has written nothing that has advanced it. Has his source gone into hiding? Neil, give us more, don't just drop the bomb and then run away.
Mike and Chris were very enthralled with talking to the NL starter for the All-Star game. They are both reading the newspapers, flipping pages, checking out their favorite stories. Actually, Ben Sheets sounds like he is in Afghanistan. This interview is awful. Interview lasted about 3 minutes maybe.
With AROD getting a divorce and Christie Brinkley finalizing hers, it sure brings a smile to my heart to see Mike and Chris back together again, laughing, making bad proclimations they will never own up to, and of course, hanging up on callers. Reunited and it feels so good..
We have covered the reunion as much as possible so you know our take, but here are some views by other around the web and press:
It took two people in Newsday and surprisingly neither of them were Neil Best to capture Russo and Francesca renewing their vows. Neil Best i believe is on a much needed vacation from the blogsphere after his poor speculation of Francesca going to MSG. Barbara Barker (who?) and Rodrick Boone (uh, who?). The story is pretty a boring recap. http://www.newsday.com/sports/ny-spwfan0712,0,3791552.story Now poor MSG story aside, (which forced Neil to take a blogging time out: http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/watchdog/blog/2008/07/watchdog_heads_to_kennel_to_po.html)Neil Best has to be writing about this story. It's essentially the equivalent of leaving a no hitter with two outs in the ninth. Neil you broke the story, you followed it along and yes, the MSG thing was ridiculous but come on, write something, another bad rumor, or how about your take on the whole thing, how about keeping the fire going and saying that you still believe the show is over. You gotta give us more than just crickets.
The Big Lead basically transcribed the portion where Mike and Chris talked about the rumors. I will go out on a limb and say we did it better. http://thebiglead.com/?p=6622
Phillyburbs.com also transcribed the section of Mike and Chris talking about their return. The best part of this post though is the photo of Mike and Chris sitting together on the couch. Our body language expert would have a field day with this photo. The Chris odd leg cross, Mike weird arm over arm pose as if to keep himself as far from touching Russo as possible.. http://blogs.phillyburbs.com/blog.php?p=32198&cat=203
So there was some coverage of it, some good, some bad, some ordinary and some oddly silent.. we here at Mike and the Mad Blog are not fully convinced that the show is on steady ground, they are once again a part for some time after Monday i believe..
After listening to the show the last two days, a casual observer might surmise that Mike and the Mad Dog are back in a groove. Belittling callers, sucking up to guests, making uninformed comments, displaying their unique mix of hysterical cluelessness and unsubstantiated arrogance. You know, business as usual. Be Careful. This whole idea that they're back doing shows together and all of a sudden the tension is gone, is absurd. The die might already be cast. Maybe Mike has already signed his deal with the NFL Network and starts as soon as that first pigskin flies through the air. Maybe Chernoff has promised Russo the morning slot along with his new host, Max Kellerman. I can't go too crazy after a couple of shows. Talk to me in August.
A special Saturday morning edition of Mike and the Mad Dog today. Dog just asked Mike, "Did Philadelphia win that game last night?" We here at the blog have often covered the unprepared nature of our favorite hosts. How in the world do you come on the air today and not know if the NL East leader, who the Mets are right behind, won last night in extra innings? How do you not check the box scores? ESPNNews? The 20/20 update? Anything. Geez, can you please just once, come prepared?
It didn't stop there. Next Mike said to Chris "we don't have confirmation on who is going to pitch for the Mets Sunday" - if it would be Santana or Pelfrey. Funny because if you would have opened up TODAY'S Daily News, you would have read this:
"WON'T MESS WITH JOHAN: Johan Santana, who tossed only 78 pitches on Wednesday before a rain delay forced him to leave, won't be used in any capacity Sunday, the final day before the All-Star break, according to Manuel. There had been speculation Santana could be used in relief of Mike Pelfrey in the first-half finale."
CAN YOU PLEASE COME PREPARED!!! I know it's a Saturday morning and you had to get out of bed early, but give me a break...
Mike likes the Red Sox and the Mets in the World Series
Joba and Kazmir try to strike out everyone.
Joba shakes off the catcher too much.
It is very important to get Mike's take on everything that has happened the past few weeks. Mike is convinced that Reyes was pissed at Delgado when he threw his glove on the ground.
There is another McEnroe out there and his name is Mark McEnroe. Is there another Sheen brother or Bridges or Canseco brother hiding somewhere that will soon be revealed? Can we get Cold Case on this?
Mike was on the field at the Mets game and all the ushers, who have worked at MSG and they all know Mike because, well, Mike is enormously famous, good looking and a tremendous lover. And these ushers all said that Lincecum was a great guy but a bit of a hippy.
Chris Carlin has too many jobs and will according to Mike have to dump one because he has too many.
Mike and Chris take great pleasures in the ice cream escapades of John Sterling. There is one thing that Mike and Chris, even in their darkest moments can come together on and yes, it's John "I CAN PUT MY FINGER IN THE ICE CREAM IF I WANT TO BECAUSE WHEN I CALL A HOME RUN IT IS NOT JUST A HOME RUN, IT'S AN A BOMB FROM AROD OR WHADYA KNOW ROBBY CANO" STERLING.
Mike and Chris find it very funny that Baron Davis is hanging out playing for the Clippers while Brand went to the 76ers.
Phil Hughes according to Mike, who knows the ownership, (i believe him and Hank Steinbrenner went horse back riding this week in Saratoga while laughing and listening to Neil Sedaka tunes on their ipods) is not tradeable.
Mike still has difficulty returning to the show on time as Chris begins at 2:44 without any sighting of Francesca.
Most importantly we have learned through almost two hours of the radio program that Mike and Chris not only love each other again but also are no longer taking calls because we have not heard from one.
Mike and Chris begin the third segment getting a little dare i say "cheeky" about the whole split thing.
Mike starts segment three with: "Hey we're together. What do you know. Cherny it us,whadya think? Same day, same dias, same thing, whadya think. They said that they would never us again. They said that we would never appear together on the same stage (A KNOCK AT MR NEIL BEST) or at the same studio.
Chris: They did say that. Mike: I have heard that. Chris: They did say that. Mike (to Chris): Want to tlak about it. What do you got? What's new? What's going on. You got anything to tell me, tell me now. (laughing) Chris: You know what, they did say that in the middle of June Mike: I have heard that. Chris: My goodness gracious that somehow Mike and the Mad Dog has finished their 19 year run Mike: Not seeing year twenty. Chris: I will say something this theory that somehow that you and I would depart because we hate each other. I don't quite understand. We have had our bad moments, you and I both know that more than anybody, but we were good the last half of the spring. Mike: We had a bad fight this year. Chris: Oh, bad. But by May 11th we were ok. Mike: We didn't talk for a long time. Chris: Six weeks Mike: About six weeks Chris: From that point on, we were fine. (Chris is now having difficult figuring out which direction to point the microphone on the table) Mike: We were ok. You know, I know that I am tough to get along with, but I am not that bad. Chris: I am a pain in the (about to say ass) neck Mike: neck Chris: (laughing) Mike: Ah, you know, listen, Chris: Even my father was asking "have you talked to Mike, is he coming back Mike: you got anything you want to tell me? Chris: I got nothing to tell you. Anything you want to tell me? I think you're in good shape. Right? Mike: I don't know. I don't know. Cherny you want to tell us anything? Anything? Anything we can share with the audience. Chris: I think Chernoff is still trying to find out if Dimaggio's streak was stopped by the White Sox or the Indians. Mike: What was that Cherny, how many tickets do we have to give out, 42 because the guys in the morning are totally clueless. They don't have any idea. Here is the first thing about contest questions, when you ask a contest question, know what the answer is.. that's a good idea.
Well, there ya have it. Mike and Chris address the elephant in the room and they seem in very good spirits. Who knows what lies behind the smiles, and shrieking tones of Russo's laugh, but they seem very happy.. very happy that is until someone brings up either the Yankee stadium bathrooms or whether Manny or Youkulis runs the Red Sox.
But at least for one day, the rumors are put to rest.
More to report on this breaking news of Mike and Chris talking to each other on their day off. It was not, I repeat, not, a phone call. Earlier reports of a phone call happening are bogus and the musings of an insane blogger.
Mike and Chris saw each other at Shea Stadium, where they both were attending the Mets Giants ballgame. How do you think this went down.. a few options...
1. Mike and Chris are at the urinals in the Shea bathrooms. Mike tending to his business, Chris tending to his. Mike and Chris look up at the same time. Chris says "hey." Mike says "the press bathrooms were closed." They walk out and don't speak again till today.
2. Chris is standing on line for some food, a hot dog, maybe a pretzel and from the front of the line he hears in a booming voice with a familiar accent "YES I WANT A KEG FILLED WITH DIET COKE AND BROUGHT TO MY SEAT." Chris smiles, utters the words "asshole" to himself and then as Mike walks up the line and back to his seat with some poor usher now carrying a keg filled with Diet Coke on his back, Chris says "hey Mikey, how ya doing pal?" Mike says "This is why the Mets will always be second class. This is why we need a new Yankee stadium." And walks away.
3. Chris and Mike sit next to each other throughout the game. They share a Diet Coke sipping it at the same time with two straws. They both go after a foul pop hit by Carlos Beltran, Mike catches it and hands it to Chris, their hands linger on each other for an uncomfortable moment. They pull away and then in unison say "Beltran never should've bunted in the first inning." The laugh, hug, hug some more and then Chris wipes a tear away.
This show has been as anticipated as the final Sopranos. And early on, it's just as vexing. Despite mention of people taking pictures of them and Mike saying, "It was only 50/50 this was going to happen again" there was no overt mention their situation. They are the masters at avoiding things they don't like to discuss(see Russo yesterday on the Giants) and putting their heads in the sand. This whole camera thing did strike a chord though. I heard in Mike's voice sincere surprise and maybe some sentimentality. But since he has no soul, that is an impossibility.
Also, for any enterprising caller. Russo did say, "we spoke about Mariano yesterday". Who will ask MMD about that call? Andy, from Hoboken?
In case you don't care about their impending break up, then this is what you learned from the first segment. The Yankees are delusional if they don't think they need a starting pitcher. Molina can't hit. Tampa Bay will come back to the field. Someone hit a 'peee to Gee-tuh' last Friday.
Some quick takes from the first segment of Mike and Chris back together again
We are live from the MLB ALL STAR FAN FEST
Chris and Mike open the show barely looking at each other. Mike looking around doing the "i know you because i know PEOPLE." Russo pumped with live audience. They are sitting very close together. I think that being away from the studio in close quarters could be a good sign. No barriers, although their last live event at the Belmont produced some of the divorce friction. Can they handle being so close to each other? Something to watch for...
Mike wonders why the fans all have cameras and shouts out to the fans that they can take a picture of him and Chris together. They stop and pose and then Mike makes the first remarks about the rumors saying that it's only 50/50 that you were not going to ever see them together again. An off handed joke... and that's it. They are moving on and talking Yankees baseball.
Mike talks Yankees hitting and has yet to blame the weather and he says that he can't blame the pitching. He blames a lot on ARod. WAY TO GO OUT ON A LIMB MIKEY! We are getting a new mantra from Mike which it looks like we are going to hear a lot.. "the Yankees have put a lot of bad line ups on the field."
Chris told Mike he had an excellent point. (Love rekindled?).
In talking about Posada and the catching issue, Chris says that the Yankees are in a tough spot and Mike then agrees "it is a tough spot." (Code for: Yea, i know we've been fighting, but I love you.?")
HIDDEN NEWS FLASH... Russo just said in talking about the Yankees and Rivera "WE TALKED yesterday YOU AND I by Mariano the other day..." MIKE AND CHRIS TALKED TO EACH OTHER AND THEY WERE NOT WORKING TOGETHER. THIS IS HUGE. According to Chris, they don't even talk on Christmas. But THEY TALKED YESTERDAY. Chris remembered Mikes number, he dialed it on his rotary phone. THEY TALKED!!!
Third mention of "weak lineup on the field" by Mike within about 8 minutes. As i type this "weak lineup" mentioned again by Mike. It has officially joined the canon of Russo and Francesca phrases.
Mike does by the way (while they talk about Yankee games that happened two weeks ago) look very tan or sunburned.. one or the other.
I am very excited because Mike is THIS close to saying the name "Bronson Arroyo..." STILL WAITING... I CAN FEEL IT IN THE AIR...
Chris asks the question about where do we stand now with Tampa and Mike does not use the phrase "talk to me in August." He is doubting the 10 wins of Andy Sonnestein, although somehow Mike Mussina's 10 wins are legit. He does not believe that Tampa can play above .500 the rest of the way.
Quick note, we have Diet Coke for Mike in a cup, not the big glass. That means some intern is going to have a big day refilling that cup all day.
Ok, along with the weak hitting mantra from Mike he came back from vacation and also brought "they are fooling themselves if they don't get another pitcher," to the show with him. Yup, as i type we hear it again "they cannot delude themselves and not pick up a pitcher."
OH WE ARE GETTING CLOSE... YES YES YES.. HERE IT IS....
ENORMOUS BREAKING NEWS: MIKE FRANCESCA NO LONGER REPRESENTING BRONSON ARROYO...
Chris Russo: He's been terrible, how about Arroyo, you off him now?" Mike: He's pitched so badly.. I can't even in fairness reccomend him after his last four starts."
QUICK ANALYSIS OF THE BREAKING NEWS: We at Mike and the Mad Blog believe that Bronson Arroyo was the other woman in the Mike and the Mad Dog breakup and that Mike's announcement that he can no longer reccomend Arroyo means that the romance with Arroyo has ended and that Mike and Chris can resume relations."
The first segment of the Mike and the Mad Dog reunion show ends with the fourth or maybe tenth collection of these words from the mouth of Mike Francesca
"But i think that they have to get someone.. They have to get someone."
1:17 and we are back after this.... WELCOME BACK BOYS
A few suggestions if you decide to call in to the reunion show today...
1. You must ask Mike and Chris a reunion related question like "What's it like to be back together again?" "Did you say hello to one another when you first saw each other today?" "Who do you think is the better solo host between the two of you?" "In the divorce, who gets Heyman?" "Admit it, you love one another, it's just that the romance is gone and you want it back." "Guys, we called the Yankees, you can both use the press box bathrooms, will you stay together now? "Mike if we started every phone call today with Mike, Bronson Arroyo is the greatest pitcher of all time and Chris, we want to hear more and more about the presidency of James Garfield, will you stay together?"
2. To Mike: Hi, Mike, first time long time, you said that the Yankees couldn't hit because of the weather, does that mean any weather, like the kind that is on Earth?
3. To Mike: Hi, great to see the two of you back together, this is a question for Mike, although Chris I thought your shows by yourself were terrific, keep it up when Mike leaves for the NFL Network. Uh, Mike, quick question, while you were away Chris had the announcer for the Reds on the show and he said that Bronson Arroyo was terrible, Chris agreed. And Bronson had that game were he gave up ten runs in one inning. Mike, Arroyo is the perfect pitcher for the Yanks, right?
4. To Chris: Love the show, god, it feels good to be calling in to the both of you. Chris, if Mike left the room during a commercial break and never returned, would it make you smile?
5. To both: Guys, i was away on vacation for a while, but just wanted to talk to you about this thing, don't know if you have talked about it at all, but what is with Joba and the fist pumps...
In the 19 years that Mike and Chris have been together, never have the words "First time, long time" been more fitting. Francesa and Russo reunite today for the first time since Neil Best broke the story of their possible demise. Will they be like long lost lovers searching for that inner fire that has kept them going? Will they hug on air? Or will they be bitter to the end? The possibilities are endless. First time, long time. The countdown is on...
With Russo killing Fernando Tatis' home run dance today (which by the way, didn't really appear to be a dance), that got me thinking about this question: What are players actually still allowed to do in the minds of Mike and Chris?
- Breathe (just not too loudly when looking at an opponent. You don't want to be showing up the other team with loud breaths) - Smile (only when your team is winning) - Hi-Five (only if it happens in the tunnel leading to the clubhouse, AWAY from all cameras) - Swing the bat (only during the right count) - Catch the ball (with two hands of course) - Make routine plays (errors are not allowed in the mike and the mad dog world) - Run (but it must be a full out sprint, not to be confused with a jog) - Pat teammate on butt (not to be confused with a full out celebratory dance) - Show emotion (only if you have been in the league a minimum of 10 years and have won at least 3 titles) - Bunt (But never if your name is Carlos Beltran)
Okay. I know I am jinxing all Met fans right now. But really. You see this Giants offense scoring 4 runs in the 9th inning? Dog wiggled his way out of talking about the Giants yesterday. Not so today. This has the makings of a big time Doggie rant. Let's go behind the rant and see how we got here:
- Tim Lincecum implodes vs the Mets - The Giants score 0 runs in the first 2 games - Johan only pitches 5 innings, and yet the Giants couldn't score a run off the Mets home run happy bullpen the rest of the game - Barry Zito walks the ballpark - So does John Maine - In fact, Maine doesn't even get out of the 5th inning, yet the Giants still can't do anything - A man who has spent the last 43 years out of baseball has killed the Giants pitching for 4 RBI today - The Giants couldn't even muster enough offense to force Billy Wagner into a game to blow it - Things got so bad for the Giants that they have had to turn the ball over to Osiris Matos
There is no way all of the above will not set Dog off today. No chance. This one is going to be fun.
Mike Francesa returns to the air tomorrow and joins Chris Russo for what should be an extremely interesting show. Will they address the breakup rumors? Will they joke it off? Avoid it? Tackle it in the first segment? All pressing questions. But the bigger one I have is the timing of Francesa's return to the air tomorrow. Why, you ask? Well, simple. Bronson Arroyo pitches today with a chance to reach the .500 mark. Anyone else find it to be more than just a mere coincidence that Mike would return from vacation with Arroyo possibly at .500? If Bronson reaches that mark, no doubt Mike will once again demand that the Yankees trade for him. He will try to dazzle us with fancy terms like "misses bats" and "pitches in a bandbox." Surely he will suggest that if Arroyo is at .500 on a bad team, just imagine what he would do for the Yanks. So I find it very interesting that this is the day Mikey has selected to come out of hiding. Did he coordinate this with the Reds GM ahead of time? It wouldn't be the first time Mike reached out to a National League General Manager to determine his work schedule (see several Sundays ago when Mike called Omar to see if he was going to fire Willie, forcing Mike to go into work that night and do Mic'd Up). Coincidence or conspiracy? You make the call...
Dog's lowly Giants have now lost 2 in a row to the Mets and have not scored a run in 18, yes, 18 innings. Their offense is a joke. More importantly, their team is a joke. So with a few hours to go before Russo hits the air today, we would like to invite our readers to write Chris Russo's inevitable Giants tirade today (much in the same way that I tried to write some of his material yesterday: http://mikeandthemadblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/not-pimple-not-pimple_09.html). You know it's coming. It won't be as legendary as the "Just One Time" rant, but we should get something good. So we want you to take a stab at writing his rant. We will post our favorite one before show time. Email your entries to us at: email@example.com
We have a new sports talk controversy for the Mike and the Mad Dog show. First it was over-the-top homerun celebrations. Then it was the fist pump. Now, after today's Yankees walk-off win, Robinson Cano doused Bobby Abreu with Gatorade, spurring a flurry (ok maybe just a few) of calls about whether or not a team that is 6 games out of first, can dump Gatorade on a player after a win. Some have argued that the Mets would be killed if they did this. Some have defended it. What's your take? To Gatorade or not to Gatorade, that is the Question...
To quote our pal Captain Ross from A Few Good Men, "Is there a question anywhere in our future?" This applies to Russo interviewing David Wright a little earlier. Here was his attempt at a question:
Did you take offense to Santana saying after that Seattle loss when Rodriguez hit that grand slam, did you take any offense, when Hernandez hit the grand slam, did you take any offense, you made the error there off Bloomquist right before that and Santana after the game said ‘you know we have to make the routine plays.’ A lot of media jumped on that cause you made the error there and then he gave up the home run. Did you take any offense to that at all or not?
One of my pet peeves is when Mike or Chris spend half of their interviews on trying to spit out a question. Keep it simple Dog. Keep it simple.
We have learned that Chris shot a 93 today.We have learned that Eddie Erickson is mad at Eric Spitz. We have learned that David Wright is angry at Mike and Chris. We have learned that Chris is done with Giants reliever Kevin Correia. We have learned that Chris is questioning whether there were 48,000 in the ball park last night. We have learned that Howie Rose has a little more umphh in his voice when the Mets win. We have learned that Gary Cohen needs to take it easy with saying a steroids user such as Bonds will never play at Shea. We have learned that whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. We have learned that Chris is sick of the Giants. We have learned that Eddie C is taking the whole weekend off. We have learned that Barry Zito is throwing 90 miles per hour. What we have not learned yet, as of 1:18PM, is what Chris thinks of Tim Lincecum’s performance last night.
A prize (well not really, but a lot of positive comments on the blog) for the person to come up with their own version of a Sterling home run call that would work with this article from Page Six below... You know that Chris would want to play this one...
July 9, 2008 -- YANKEES radio announcer John Sterling is being called out for foul behavior in the stadium's press dining room. "Sterling has made a habit of walking over to the dessert table and dipping his finger into the ice cream barrel," one stadium worker told us, adding that the play-by-play vet has also used the same tablespoon to repeatedly take samples. During the Boston series, "He wandered over to the cake and pie section, broke off a piece of a cake slice, ate it and wiped his grimy hands on the linen tablecloth, leaving the remainder of the slice for someone else to eat - which indeed happened," our spy continued. A rep for WCBS Radio declined to comment, and a team spokesman said the Yankees "know nothing about it."
Friday's Mike and the Mad Dog show has to be one of the most anticipated listens (or watches for those on YES) in recent years. It will place Mike and Chris in the studio together for the first time since the Neil Best story of their potential divorce. Reunions happen all the time in sports and pop culture. Sometimes they work out, other times.. not so much.
With a shout out to a long since deceased program that a few of us from the blog have a soft spot in our heart for, ESPN's CLASSIC NOW, we bring you... THE NEXT. A chance to analyze the present by looking at the past. We seek out famous reunions as a guide to show us what will happen with Mike and Chris
Will the Mike and the Mad Dog reunion be THE NEXT...
1. Simon/Garfunkel.. the two get together for one big show, millions listen and watch. They spend an uncomfortable amount of time together on stage doing their classics, barely looking at one another and secretely still hating each other while knowing that it will never be the same again and after the show part and go their seperate ways... OR
2. The Police: They get back together, tour the country for one final hurrah promising to never reunite again and yet one member still has a huge solo career that he can return to. (in this scenario Mike would be Sting without any of the cool parts.. is Sting cool?)
3. Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson: they come back together after a long time apart, having tried out a variety of options but finally realizing that they are each others perfect fit and that it's what their children want. They reconcile and once again share the same roof and to celebrate, make a second sex tape that somehow gets leaked all over the internet.
Which pop culture or sports reunion do you think we should look to in order to predict the future for Mike and the Mad Dog?
With the shocking development in Flushing last night where The Freak was badly exposed by the Mets, let's help out Dog with writing some lines for his open today:
- "I mean C'MON SI, Did you HAVE to put him on the cover right BEFORE the Mets series?! Geez, that is a BAD job out of SI and Verducci. I mean now I gotta deal with this SI Jinx. Gee Whiz."
- "I'm sorry but I just can't go too crazy about that Beltran homerun. That's a fly ball in San Francisco. Plus, he plays WAY too deep in centerfield. He's overrated."
- "You know, I had to spend the first 4 innings putting the kids to sleep, chasing Timmy and that stupid hamster around. I missed the first 4 innings so I didn't see a lot of it" (translation: since I didn't see Lincecum get knocked around, it didn't really happen).
- "Is he allowed one so-so start? is he? Could ya please? How's Pedro pitched this year? How many times has Santana gone into the 7th or 8th inning? Maine hasn't been great. And they totally mishandled this Ryan Church thing."
- "And another thing. Gary, Keith, Ron. This idea that Pelfrey is the second coming of Cy Young. I mean, can I see 10-15 more starts first? Can I? Pipe down."
- "Ahh listen. You wanna go crazy about one bad start for Lincecum. Okay. You can do that. But let's be fair, Pelfrey is still not a pimple on Lincecum's fanny. Not a PIMPLE!!."
On a side note, reached on vacation in Saratoga Springs and asked if Delgado's homerun off Lincecum counted, Mike Francesa replied "No. Lincecum was close to 100 pitches. Anyone can hit a homerun off Lincecum when he throws that many pitches. I could have hit a homer off him in that spot. That RBI doesn't count."
Neil Best is working awfully hard on vacation. He has another post this morning from his Watchdog blog speculating about Mike Francesca potentially going to MSG. Best states that this is basically speculation built on more speculation built on some assumptions built on top of some maybe kind of facts, but we will go with it any way. I could see the pitch from MSG...
"Hey, Mike want to host this great show we have called MSGNY." "Uh..." "It's a great show Mike, we are the only show where we do a story on the Knicks 8 game losing streak followed by a two segment interview with Dashboard Confessional (which we would love for you to do, Mike) and then followed by a piece on how Sean Avery is doing at his Vogue internship. It's great. Perfect for you. "Does anyone watch this show?" SILENCE "One person?" "Uh, besides the people in master control, um, yes, and actually this is great news, we did find out just yesterday that one person watches MSGNY. He lives in Hackensack. Stan, I believe his name is. He loves the show." "What about Jim Dolan?" "Great guy, terrific guy, love him. He's really a special man." "Right. I mean, i need to be able to say what i want to say, I have to give my opinions. If i want to say that the Knicks are a travesty and that the owner is a farce and he has destroyed one of the premiere franchises in sports, can i say that?" "Uh, Mike sure, you can say something to that effect like Wow, the Knicks didn't play terrific tonight and this franchise sure needs some sunny skies. But I know that Jim Dolan will do his best to make this team better. Of course you can say that."
Now, MSG could go with the sales pitch that bad sports teams use like the LA Clippers when trying to get free agents. "You are going to be the centerpiece of our franchise, we are going to build everything around you, etc." But that one didn't work so well on Elton Brand, did it? But maybe the big sell to Mike's ego could work, but I think the Dolan and not being allowed to be critical would be a HUGE problem for Mike. Neil Best is missing a major point by not mentioning that in his post.
We will see how this goes. Where do you think Francesca ends up?
July 8, 2008 Could Mike Francesa land at MSG? We'll see . . . Before I begin, let's be clear on one thing: The information in this post did not come from a single person directly in a position to know, on or off the record, and thus must be considered informed speculation. On the other hand, I would not be sharing it if I did not believe there was something to it, based on a rapidly growing pile of circumstantial evidence. Here goes: If Mike Francesa does leave WFAN this summer (see post below), don't be surprised if MSG becomes a landing place. What role would he play, exactly? Don't know. But the network could use a big-name boost in its battle to remain relevant in a market featuring two high-profile, baseball-oriented channels in YES and SNY. Of course, Mike could end up staying at WFAN and Chris could leave, perhaps for satellite radio. But I still believe one of them will go. If Francesa does end up at MSG, remember you read it here first. If not, forget it, it's just a blog! (Full disclosure: Cablevision has an agreement to buy Newsday from Tribune, which would put MSG and WatchDog under the same corporate umbrella. But that has nothing to do with this post, because like I said, no one directly involved has told me anything. If they do, I'll write a newspaper article about it. Except that I'm on vacation . . . ) Posted by Neil Best on July 8, 2008 9:47 PM PermalinkComments (3) -->
Here is the latest news from Neil Best who broke the Mike and the Mad Dog divorce story. As you will read, he is not backing off his claims that this duo is not staying together for long and that they both are attempting to find other broadcasting options.
July 8, 2008 Mike Francesa, Chris Russo set to reunite Friday Well, friends, it's been more than two weeks since I dropped my bombshell about Mike Francesa and Chris Russo apparently heading for Splitsville this summer after 19 years together, and nothing I've heard since has led me to believe it isn't still true. I keep hearing about both hosts playing contract footsie with non-WFAN entities, but vacation has gotten in the way of me officially advancing the story further - for now! A major milestone in the saga is looming Friday, when the boys work together for the first time since June 18. Each addressed the story individually - Chris on June 23 and Mike on June 27 - but this will be their first chance to do it together. Maybe Chris will take a cue from John McEnroe's post-match interview of Roger Federer and offer an on-air hug.
There’s been a decent amount of talk today regarding the news that Brett Favre reportedly texted the Packers GM about playing again this season. Not surprisingly, Dog is killing Favre. Also, not surprisingly, several callers are arguing with Chris and offering their support for Number 4. Me, I just want this Brett Favre talk to stop. It's one of those debates that once started, can rage on for hours upon hours and pop up again at any time. And with the Mike and the Mad Dog show perhaps soon history, Brett Favre will be one of several sports stories I will be glad to never hear about on their show again. Here’s my mini list of the worst sports talk topics that can hijack a Mike and the Mad Dog show at any given time:
- Anything to do with Brett Favre - Steroids & Baseball talk - Fist pumps & Homerun celebrations - Whether or not Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame
Listening to Russo’s open, after giving the Mets a smidge of credit for taking 3 of 4 from Philadelphia, Dog quickly turned his attention to the state of the Phillies pitching:
“The phillies need a starting pitcher in the worst way. Their starting pitching stinks. I mean Kyle Kendrick and Adam Eaton..Jamie Moyer, I mean they have one pitcher...Adam Eaton I hate, he’s no good. Moyer’s an old man...he’s 50...”
But that got me to wondering about Russo’s All-Time Stinks Team – all the players he has declared that stink over the years. Today’s it’s the entire Phillies rotation, minus Hamels. A couple weeks ago, we learned Oliver Perez stinks. Yesterday, Russo noted that Kevin Gregg of the Marlins stinks..
But who else makes up Dog's Official Stinks List? Send any thoughts our way...and feel free to speculate on players before the Mike and the Mad Dog era that would have made the team...
(NOTE: THIS IS INDEED A REAL POST, NOT ONE OF OUR MOCK POSTS)
We here at the Mikeandthemadblog are very concerned about the future of the Mike and the Mad Dog show. So with the end possibly upon us, we have had a hard time believing that this 20 year marriage could soon be over due to the likes of arguments over the new Yankee Stadium, Don Nelson, Yunel Escobar, etc. We wanted to completely understand the psyche of Francesa and Russo. We wanted to know how to fully read their on-air arguments. We wanted answers. So we reached out to Body Language Expert Patti Wood (www.pattiwood.net), who is a renowned expert in the field of studying Body Language. She has been on hundreds of TV shows, and quoted in over 1,000 publications. Her work has been featured in US Magazine, The New York Times and the Washington Post had this to say about her:
"Patti Wood is the Babe Ruth of body language experts, the gold standard of body language experts, the capo di tutti capi of body language experts."
So who better to analyze Mike and Chris than the person who gets called upon by US Magazine to decipher the body language of Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo?
We sent Patti two video segments of recent Mike and the Mad Dog shows to study. One clip is the heated exchange between Mike and Chris over the new Yankee Stadium and the other clip is the awkward moment where Mike walks out of studio while Russo's appearance on Letterman is being played on the show. We asked Patti for her expertise to tell us what she can make of the body language between Chris and Mike in both of these clips and what that might mean for their future together.
Here are the two videos we sent her, with her expert insights below:
ARGUMENT OVER NEW YANKEE STADIUM
LISTENING TO RUSSO ON LETTERMAN
After watching both videos, we asked Patti a series of questions about the clips and what she was able to deduct from both Mike and Chris' body language:
1. What do you see from the way both men gesture with one another in both of these videos?
PATTI WOOD: As they first talk about the Fenway and Camden stadiums, Mike begins a symbolic sword play with his gestures. He strikes the first blow with a dismissive hand flip that indicates him so superior to Russo that he can flick him away like a little pesky fly and says do you like Fenway better than Camden? The dismissive backward hand flip is a slap in the face to Mad Dog - indicating nonverbally that 'I disrespect your opinion' and you are going to look stupid in your response to that question. Mike follows that with several outward sweeping sword moves to Mad Dog. The sword fight then begins in earnest with Mad Dog first putting up a very brief peace symbol, then a pointed finger to call, “time out wait a minute” symbolically, then an ok sign trying to be peaceful in responding to Mike's attacks - but then Russo’s voice gets very angry (that is nonverbal paralanguage), you can hear it get louder and rougher like a mad little kid as his emotions are pushed to the limit. Interestingly Mike's voice doesn’t escalate nearly as much...his paralanguage indicates he is haughtily superior over Russo... Mad Dog continues to get Mike's sword thrusts and sword sweeps to his body and Mad Dog continues to respond defensively putting up the ok sign and the protective palm and then near the end, he is banging both his hands and puts them into a fist symbolically pluming Mike, and Mike slaps his palm to slap Mad Dog as if Russo was a smart aleck child and Mike was the parent.
2. They are arguing with one another in the clip about Yankee Stadium, yet it seems like they don't make a lot of eye contact. What do you make of that?
PATTI WOOD: The lack of eye contact is just radio eye contact. They are focused on speaking to the audience and the mics. The rest of their bodies are interacting with each other. If they made eye contact they would have escalated to a real fist fight. Eye contact is the first move towards a fight!
3. In the link about David Letterman, Mike gets up and walks out of the segment early. What is your take on that?
PATTI WOOD: First notice how excited Mad Dog gets when he knows what is being played - his hand flies in the air and he pushes his chair back across the booth as he yells "yes" in huge excitement.. If you watched Mike's face very carefully, he stays very still and you will see he realizes he is about to be set up and embarrassed on the show and he says something and looks down in disgust. He stays and takes a sip of water ( your mouth gets dry when you are nervous or under stress) and he swings the mic when he hears the dig and and very slowly takes his earpiece off and leaves. The listeners who didn’t see him leave would not know just how mad he is. The leaving was about being set up publicly and humiliated by the producer. It was a slam on him.
4. Many people mentioned this Letterman episode, where Chris does not defend Mike, as a sign of the demise. What can you read from Mike's body language as they listened to the Letterman clip on air?
PATTI WOOD: I know Mike is mad at him as he makes that comment we can‘t hear to him before he makes the other comments and gets up and leaves. His anger was directed specifically towards Russo. Russo was actually trying to say he didn’t hear the Mike dig when he was on the show. But what Russo doesn’t do is defend mike then and there and say 'Hey I have a great partner and you listeners know that I love him'... You can see that Mike waits for that and doesn’t get it, then he leaves.
5. Based on everything that you have seen from these 2 videos, what does the body language of these two men tell you about their possible future together?
PATTI WOOD: I think Mike is over it (the show). His ego is too big. And Russo is just clueless to how much it affects Mike.
A special thanks to Patti Wood for offering us her expert analysis. For more information about Patti Wood, please visit www.pattiwood.net
Be careful: Mike and Chris' way of telling sports fans not to fall in love with a player or team ("Be Careful about falling in love with Pagan")
Let's be fair here: Russo's counter-argument to callers that attack someone ("Let's be fair here. If you are going to knock Rick Peterson, you gotta give him credit for John Maine")
This whole notion: When Francesa or Russo declares something to be fact when in actuality, they are making it up themselves ("This whole notion that Mike D'Antoni is going to make the Knicks a playoff team is a joke")
Pipe Down: Russo's way of telling a player to shut up ("Pipe down there Figueroa")
Tough Spot: This is usually a negative. 'Tough spot. Aaron Heilman. Can't trust him.' They rarely say, "I really like Chauncey Billups in a tough spot." Even though Mike and Dog don't trust a lot of athletes in a tough spot, you can earn your way out of this label. For example, they couldn't trust Eli Manning in a tough spot until the Super Bowl. Now he can basically retire and still be a legend. He proved he can perform in a tough spot. This phrase is used by both Mike and Dog.
Tricky Spot: This really means an awkward position. For example, Ian Eagle running into Marv Albert at the Garden. Or I'm sure that the Giants last game of the 2007 was a tricky spot. "Coughlin wants to get ready for the postseason but you have to try to end the Patriots' undefeated season. Tricky spot, Mike." And for clarification. This phrase is used primarily by Russo.
Timmy: Russo's son. ("I mean, let's be fair here Mike, Timmy can throw harder than Igawa")
Say Something Funny Mike (When Russo can't control himself and breaks out into laughter and tries to egg Francesa on to keep it going. Picture Russo hysterically laughing followed by "Say Something Funny Mike")
First time, long time (this term is announced by a fan calling to the show, who has been a long time listener of the show, but is making his first ever call in - hence, first time (caller), long time (listener)
I can't go too crazy - This is a Mad Dog special. Dog uses this phrase to throw cold water on enthusiastic callers("I can't go too crazy about the D-Rays in May. Talk to me in September.") or admit that he doesn't have strong feelings about a subject("I can't go too crazy about the Olympic torch protesters.").
A-Game - This is Mike's new terminology that he applies to a Yankees win in which the starter goes 7 innings, Joba pitches a perfect 8th and Mariano closes it out. "The Yanks need an A Game tonight."
Bad Job: This is Mad Dog's way of criticizing something. It can be applied to players, coaches, general managers, fans - even networks, as in "That's a bad job out of NBC on the Derby Broadcast."
I'm not a big believer in: This is mainly a Mike comment. It means he doesn't have much confidence in something. And just like other comments, this is mainly used in negative, eg. 'I'm not a big believer in starting someone on 3 days rest.'
The whole bit - Russo's phrase when he is alone and wants to keep the conversation moving along. Without Mike there to add any details, Russo will use 'the whole bit' to sum up a person or issue. 'Selig will make it into the Hall of Fame. Steroids, the whole bit.'
Mike and the Mad Dog Photos
One of the more uncomfortable shots you will ever see of them
Mike and the Mad Dog Photos
On Location (yes, the show does sometimes travel forcing the duo to sit awkwardly next to each other)
Russo going off on Pacman Jones, one of the classic rants in show history (see Video section for link)
Mike and the Dog Photos
Posed (notice Francesa has to be slightly more upfront and center)
Mike and the Dog Photos
At work (the traditional YES split screen - Dog on the left, Francesa on the right)