We thought this was an excellent title for a post, but we have yet to figure out what the post should be about. So we are turning to you to fill in the content for this post. The Price is Wright. What does this mean? Fill in the blanks here..
Can someone please buy Francesa a fact? Again, he continued his campaign against David Wright:
"There is no comparison between Wright and Longoria. The comparison is that Longoria has hit 6 postseason homeruns and Wright's never hit one."
Mike. Please do me a favor. Go get your big baseball encyclopedia out and look up David Wright's 2006 postseason. You might be surprised that he has actually hit a postseason homer. Eddie Erickson, what the hell do you do? This should be your job to provide Mike facts when he makes false statements. Is anybody ALIVE OUT THERE!!!?
One of the more bizarre phone calls EVER with Francesa and Mike from Montclair just went down:
Mike from Montclair: Before you give the little wave, which is your way of getting rid of us...
Francesa: No it's not. That's not...
Mike from Montclair: I see the little wave...
Francesa: Wait a second now...now how many people do you think see, of my audience, how many people do you think see the TV?
Mike from Montclair: I would say less than 10%.
Francesa: ok. And they're the only ones that see the wave. And the wave is better than this - it's better than me saying "thanks for the call" or something like that on every different....
Mike from Montclair: But why do people call you up and thank YOU for taking their call? That's what YOU do. Why do people feel like they have to thank you?
Francesa: Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed...I mean I know it's raining out but boy.
Mike from Montlcair: I'm surprised I'm allowed back on your station after the tongue lashing you gave me a few weeks ago about having the audacity to comment on the other talk show hosts...
Francesa: Here's why. You know why. Dont you feel...
Mike from Montclair: Kim said Johan Santana had 19 wins!!!!!
Francesa: now wait a second. wait a second. You brought it up. I didn't. You are....let me just speak...you are A, a very good calller...B, a frustrated talk show host, but don't you feel as a very opinionated caller that you are, that you were hurtful to those people when you call up and say such nasty things about them?
Mike from Montclair: First of all, I wasn't saying anything personal against those guys. But I simply said and I stand by it, if I wanted to listen to Joe Benigno, I would turn the radio on at 10AM in the morning...if I wanted to listen to Kim Jones, I would put the radio on at 5 in the morning...
Francesa: And I'm sure you do.
Mike from Montclair: No I don't.
Francesa: And listen, you have to admit if you're gonna be truthful, you have to admit that you're a frustrated talk show host.
Mike from Montclair: No I'm not! I'm really not...
Francesa: Wait a second....I actually called you doing that ham and egg radio show and you were up at night doing that ham and egg radio show because you're a frustrated talk show host.
Mike from Montclair: It's fun! Who wouldn't want it...
Francesa: There you go...Now I got it...
Mike from Montclair: Okay,can I make my point. This isnt about me...
Francesa: Wait a second. You've made about 8 points but you can make one more...
Mike from Montclair: I just wanna make 2 more...first of all, it's nice to see the next Brooks Robinson get a hit last night...
Francesa: He'll be a better hitter than Brooks Robinson.
Mike from Montclair: ....and lastly...that home plate umpire should have been ashamed of himself...
Francesa: I already did that and you should have listened to the first 10 minutes. Shame on you. (Smiling) And I just handwaved you. That's it. So you can go back on YES and see that.
So I found myself getting into the Tampa/Philly game last night. I mean, hey, the World Series was very well about to end and while I am big Mets fan rooting against the Phillies, I am still a baseball fan. So even if it meant watching Rollins and Utley jump up and down, I was going to subject myself to that agony. But something else happened. I found myself getting increasingly annoyed at Joe Buck of Fox. In tbe words of one Chris Russo, that was a TERRIBLE JOB by Buck last night. There were four different points that Joe Buck made last night that I thought were all ridiculous and over the top. Here they are:
BUCK UP #1: This was the least of the crimes. But Buck and Tim McCarver went on for a couple minutes about how Joe Maddon was the nicest, most forthcoming, honest, open, manager they have ever dealt with. That's great. Terrific. Makes me feel all mushy inside. But here's a question: Who cares? Who gives a shit? What does that have to do with whether or not Tampa is going to stage a miraculous comeback against the Phillies? It doesn't matter. That sort of analysis should be left to others, not national broadcasters who are supposed to be impartial.
BUCK UP #2: This was when I started to realize that Buck was in the tank for the Rays. Early and often, Joe Buck made mention of several questionable pitches that were called balls for Scott Kazmir. The point was clear. Buck didn't think those pitches were balls and when Hamels got close strike calls, he kept going back to Kazmir not getting close calls. Listen, as I stated above, I was rooting for Tampa, but this was starting to annoy me. Your national broadcasters should not be taking sides. Buck did that all night long.
BUCK UP #3: This was the biggest head scratcher for me. After the 5th inning, Joe Buck repeated about a hundred times that this was "now an official game." Now, you might be thinking "what's so bad about that?" The point is that by making that statement over and over again, Buck was implying that the World Series may very well be decided by a rain-shortened and stopped game. That is completely and utterly insane. Do you really think that Bud Selig and Major League Baseball were going to allow a World Series (not just a game, but the ACTUAL SERIES) to be decided by a rain-shortened game? No way. No how. No chance. MLB would have come up with some revised plan to finish the game the next day or something. But Buck kept going on and on about how this was "now an official game." As Gman pointed out to me today, did they even get a statement from Major League Baseball? If so, they never mentioned it. They also made a HUGE deal after the game was stopped about the run that Tampa scored to tie it. Honestly, did they really believe if that run didn't score that that was it - that's Tampa's season was going to be cut short right then and there? There was no way the World Series was going to be decided by rain, but Buck kept implying that was very well at stake.
BUCK UP #4: In the final inning that was played last night, BJ Upton was on first base with 2 outs. Joe Buck carried on that this game NEEDED to be stopped. Why did the game need to be stopped? Simple. It was taking the Tampa Bay Rays' biggest asset - their speed - away from them. Therefore, and NOT because the field was affecting BOTH teams, the game needed to be stopped. Buck went on to say how it was practically impossible for Upton to steal a base in these conditions. There was no chance. Forget the fact that Cole Hamels seemed a bit concerned, as he threw over to first repeatedly. But according to Buck, you couldn't possibly steal a base. The field was a disaster. It was stripping the Rays of their speed. And then what happens? Upton EASILY steals second and scores on a single. What did Buck say? Nothing. Now, don't get me wrong. The game DID need to be stopped and the field WAS awful, but the announcers should be pointing this out for BOTH sides, not implying that the field is ONLY hurting Tampa. Last time I checked, the Phillies had some speed as well.
In lieu of a long post bashing Mike Francesa, I'll let another blog do the work for us. Awful Announcing does a great job of covering bad broadcasting. And occasionally, Mike Francesa falls into that category.
Mike just revisited his timeless "David Wright sucks and is the reason for everything that is wrong in America" argument. Here was Mike just a short while ago:
"But again, Longoria has had a terrible World Series, but he did hit 6 home runs in the first 2 playoff series. Six. That's an extraordinary number of homeruns. Now he has had an o-fer World Series, but can we wait until Wright hits A post season homerun.!?"
Uhh, Mike. Hate to break the news. But Wright hit a homer against the Cards in the NLCS two years ago. But let's not let facts get in the way of things. Carry on.
A commenter on this very blog has called us out for essentially losing our fastball. He claims, in this post Mike and the Mad Dog world, that we have become unfunny. We have basically become a one trick pony. And we agree. It has suddenly occurred to myself, Lt. Weinberg and Gman, that we have quite possibly hit rock bottom. When we started out, we were devoted to writing a blog about the Mike and the Mad Dog Show (hence the name of the blog), but then they broke up and we were thrown for a loop. Kevin Costner from JFK sort of captures the effect of the MMD split, “We're through the looking glass, people. White is black. And black is white." And ever since the departure of Chris Russo, Mike’s performance and his show have suffered immeasurably. We have harped on this for way too long. And while Mike’d Up Francesa on the Fan is certainly down in the dumps, we too, have fallen quite a bit. We recognize that we are in the midst of some dark days. We are no longer the fun-loving, sharp, witty blog that we once were. We have deteriorated into something far worse and are facing demons we never anticipated. We have become a shadow of what we once were. We have become a heroin addict reaching for his needle. We have become addicted to a dependence on criticizing Mike Francesa on an hourly basis. We find ourselves facing a personal crisis. The bottom line is simple. We need an Intervention. And we are turning to you, our loyal readers, to help bring us out of this dark period. You are to us what Jeff VanVonderen and Candy Finnigan are to A&E's Intervention. We are asking you to write comments encouraging us to turn things around. Each comment should start with the following line “You’re addiction to being down in the dumps with Francesa has affected me in the following ways...” And then list the ways that it has affected you. Tell us what we were like before this awful change. Tell us what you liked about us. We are determined to see the light. We are seeking help and a route to redemption...
We have learned that Mike tuned in to the Today Show this morning and saw it was 28 degrees. We have learned that he turned the show off when he saw what was going to happen to the Stock Market today. We have learned that Ron Darling, his guest co-host today, had a big meal this morning. We have learned they are doing the show from Mohegan Sun. We have learned that only Derek Jeter and Bernie ever ran hard 100% of the time. We have learned that Mike Piazza ran hard on groundouts, but sometimes not so on fly balls. We have learned that it's not cool to run balls out anymore. We have learned all about the maturation of Cole Hamels. We have learned that it is a Football Friday so we will spend several segments on the Breeders Cup. We have learned that Mike got a call from Willie Randolph. We have learned that Willie told Mike he had a great interview with the Brewers about becoming their manager. We have learned that since Mike is publicly reporting this on the radio, the Brewers will likely get pissed and look elsewhere. We have learned that Mike has made Ron "Omar" for the day and asked what he would to do the Mets. We have learned that Ron would eat Castillo's contract. We have learned that Mike had no problem with that notion, yet nearly ripped a callers head off yesterday who suggested the same thing, to which Francesa replied the "mets will never eat $18 million!!!!" We have learned that Ron won't go after Manny. We have learned Ron considers Delgado part of the core. We have learned that Ron is not willing to give Murphy an everyday job, but would live with Tatis and Murphy as an everyday leftfield platoon. We have learned that Ron would not pay K-Rod, but wouldn't mind Fuentes. We have learned that Ron would go and sign Derrek Lowe. We have learned that Ron thinks Maine could become a closer. We have learned that Mike asked Ron to be the Met GM for the day, but keeps throwing trades and signings at Ron without letting Darling have an original thought of his own. And what we have not learned yet, is why Mike hasn't demanded to Ron that the Mets break up the core and trade Wright.
If Joe Benigno lands the gig as Mike Francesa's WFAN sidekick, they ought to put up a historic marker to commemorate the occasion in the station's third-floor men's room.It is there, Benigno informed the world on Oct. 10, that he spends an hour or more before dawn most days, reading newspapers, seeking solitude and, um, getting his game face on."We've learned too much new," Francesa said, speaking for all of us as Benigno described his morning routine in their first segment together - and everyone in the studio vowed never again to borrow a tabloid from him.Gross, yes, but also good radio, and reminiscent of another quirky character who used to sit across from Francesa in Astoria. Will that sort of thing be enough to land him in Chris Russo's old seat? Quite possibly, yes.Until I can get Francesa or Mark Chernoff to confirm it, it doesn't count, but the buzz around the station is that Benigno is the favorite in a sweepstakes that likely will conclude within a week or so.No further guest co-hosts are scheduled after Ron Darling today, and barring a late entrant from outside the station, the choice will come from those who already have been paired with Mike.There are shortcomings in each candidacy, but Kim Jones left Francesa and Chernoff with an interesting contrast to ponder after her session with Francesa on Wednesday worked better than the crowded sessions with Chris Carlin two weeks ago.Jones brings a non-male, non-fan, non-native New Yorker sensibility that tends to elevate the level of discussion - assuming that's allowed on sports talk radio.Most importantly, Francesa seems comfortable with her, as in an amusing exchange as the show ended Wednesday:"You can never be too rich, too thin or have too much pitching; that's all you have to know about life," Francesa said."Amen," Jones said. "I wish I knew the first two. I don't care about pitching."Let's just say that line wouldn't have worked as well from Benigno. (Much as the third-floor bathroom story would not have come out quite the same if Jones had told it.)And that hints at the only real negative of going with Joe.It would be a widely popular pick, preserve some of the "Mike and the Mad Dog" vibe and allow for a seamless transition in the afternoon from midday, where Carlin would be a logical pick to replace Benigno opposite Evan Roberts. But it also would represent a missed opportunity.Francesa originally hoped for a creative solution, such as finding someone younger to broaden the show and to develop a potential successor. He explored several possibilities, none of which worked out before he began his guest host parade three weeks ago.So, here we are. Benigno is older than Francesa and is at his best ranting about the Jets and Mets, which often is entertaining but can wear thin over 5 1/2 hours.And a new lineup with Benigno in the afternoon and Carlin in midday would have the following effect on the diversity of the hosts on the three most prominent shows post-Russo:It would evolve from six white guys (four who grew up on Long Island, one in New Jersey and one in Westchester) to six white guys (three from the Island, two from Jersey and one from Westchester).Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that. Benigno would be a safe pick for our risky times, and there is something to be said for that.
Listening to Mike interview Jim Haslett, he asked Jim about “the quarterback.” It occurred to me that much in the same way that Mike uses Vegas odds as a measuring stick for what will happen in life, he also will only refer to athletes or management by the title of their position. It’s always:
“the running back” “the shortstop” “the centerfielder” “the owner” “the closer” “the kid” (short for rookie) “the coach” “the point guard”
That got me wondering to why Mike does this. I feel there must be a deeper psychological reason behind this. That somehow when Francesa does this, he is making himself superior to the person. By not using their real names, they are in fact just pieces in Mike’s chess board of life. “If the kid doesn’t get the job done, then the coach has got to move the centerfielder to his spot..” It’s all a game with moving pieces. I really think there is a condescending nature to the way Mike addresses these people when he uses these simple titles. It’s almost as if by doing so, he separates himself from them on a personal level and can then carry out any verbal attack he so pleases. But by using their names more often, it creates a tougher bond to break. “The closer doesn’t know when to shut his mouth” comes off a lot less personal than “Billy Wagner doesn’t know when to shut his mouth.” What do you think? The blogger wants to know...
We've been away the first couple hours. So fill us in. What have we learned? Are the Phillies the new Yankees? Are cell phones still the death of our nation? Do we have a jingle yet? What have we missed?
You thought it was the economy that was killing our country? Or perhaps fears of another terrorist attack? Health care? Try again. Francesa just nailed down the real problem in our nation:
"He (Joba) can't go anywhere. He can't...that camera phone is the biggest pain the neck in America for anybody anywhere because..listen, I'm not putting myself on the level with any of these guys (uhh yeah you are), but I can tell you that I have sat out at dinner and seen someone at the next table taking a picture of me with the phone, with my wife. And seen them trying to act like they're on the phone and they're snapping pictures...people know me a little bit. I'm not Joba Chamberlain...my point is those guys see that in their face everywhere they go and those phones are the most annoying things in history."
Well here we are. 55 minutes into the show and it's all Brett Favre. Funny. For a radio station and a host that often bashes the media for talking about Brett Favre too much, one Mike Francesa has jumped right on the bandwagon. Kim Jones rides shotgun today. The duo is dressed in their Wednesday Blacks. Kim going with the underhead Francesa-style headphones. Mike has gotten down to the bottom of this lastest controversy surrounding number 4 by asserting that someone has lied. Wow. That is shocking. Kim thinks Favre is just like us because "he wears Wranglers." Ummm, I don't wear Wranglers. Do you? And even if you did, would an NFL quarterback of Brett's stature really be "just like us." Uhh. No. But Mike and Kim are all over this story. Mike says Favre should have just come clean and admitted he lied. Mike, have you come clean about David Wright? Have you come clean about your utter disrespect for the Rays? Have you come clean about your incorrect statement that the Rays "stood no chance" in Game 7? But anyway, Kim is very worried about how this Favre situation might distract the Jets. That's cute. Mike has nicely segued into the "whole idea of" Brett struggling with the playbook. Mike thinks Brett just wants to "bing bing, run the routes, do this, let's play. He wants the French pastry taken out of this offense." I wonder if Doggie was here, if they would have spent this much time on the Favre thing today...Mike, it's about 3rd and 25 right now...I hope you have some sick play left in your book...
The words BORING, TERRIBLE, BORING, AWFUL, BORING, LAME, BORING, have all been used to to describe the post Mike and the Mad Dog radio show run by Mike Francesa. Those words are all accurate. They are deserved descriptions of what has been a collection of many bad radio shows over the past few months. These are the facts. We all know this. The question is WHAT NOW?
We all like to sit here and criticize the show, criticize Mike, probably Mike more than the show but maybe both equally, but it's time for us to get productive. We at Mike and the Mad Blog need to fix this thing.
Here's the deal, we are asking you to provide your suggestions on what would make a more compelling show, from a co-host, to a jingle, to segments, whatever it is, you have an idea share it. Then we will submit the collection of ideas to Mark Chernoff.
It's an election year, let's have our voices heard. Mike clearly cannot fix this on his own.
Mike opened up today with Chris Carlin at his side(btw, aren't sidekicks supposed to be complimentary? With these two, it's like Costello and Costello or Hardy and Hardy). Mike has continued on with his failure to address the Rays and their small market success. Even though he said that Rays owner Stuart Sternberg was coming on later, he tried to diminish their success by mentioning that he has been on before and basically, Mike'd Up has 'been a good luck charm for the Rays'.
So they're talking about the Jets and arguing points that don't really have a point. I know it's a slow sports day but this is boring. Couldn't they talk about the Elite XC folding and Kimbo Slice's future prospects?
The good news is that Mike announced that 'the Mets owner will be on later today'. He didn't even say his name. Regardless, this is must listen or watch TV or radio. Let's see how Mike approaches the non-existent David Wright controversy. Will he talk about the Met cohuuh? Will Wilpon even use the word core, and if he does, will it sound like regular English?
What else can we anticipate with the Wilpon conversation? (update: Mike just said 'Jeff' as in Jeff Wilpon. I was under the impression that he was going to speak with Fred. This definitely changes the dynamic.)
I am still watching the show on mute. It's been great so far. I have not heard a word out of Mike's mouth all day, but i looked up at the television at 3:11 and saw highlights of the Rays beating the Red Sox and therefore made the assumption that Mike is talking about the Rays beating the Red Sox.
What's great about watching the show on mute is that you can make assumptions at what Mike is saying just by the movement of his head. It's kind of fun. You know that he is still not giving the Rays credit, you know that he is possibly talking negatively about Varitek, etc
It's Mike solo again. The Jets lost, Mike is fired up. Will he talk about the Rays? Or do we have to wait till next August? I am also curious about how Mike will view the Rays next year.
Does Joba's DUI prove that he should be a reliever? What did Mike think of Sarah Palin on SNL, you know he is going to talk about this today. He has to, we need to know what he thought. We need to know.
I am currently watching Mike on YES on mute. He is moving his hands a bit, not like the whirling dervish that is Christopher Russo, but he seems quite excitable.
Also, and we have not talked about this much, Mike's hair is pretty amazing. It is always perfectly styled. Do you think he goes with the foam moose or a more nourishing gel?
First Time Long Time is still in the AZ. GMAN AND I have our fantasy basketball draft tomorrow. Please feel free to offer us sleepers. We will not share the winnings with you.
Even with Mike on mute i can tell that he has yet to talk about the Rays.
Mike and the Mad Blog readers. So committed to you am I, First Time, Long Time, that out on a vacation with my wife, I have slipped away to listen to Captain Train Wreck for a few...And the first comments I heard from Mike were along the lines of "we used to remember watching a team like that...we used to remember seeing a Stadium go crazy like that." Mike added that the Red Sox have now become THE franchise. I actually agree with Mike...but here's the thing...two days ago, Evan Roberts made the same point to Mike and Francesa belittled the newbie and told him very sternly that the "Red Sox are not the Yankees." Now, two days later, Mike has essentially just said that the Sox have become who the Yankees were. That's a pretty nice about-face by Francesa. I have to add that when I read that Francesa said yesterday that the Rays winning the World Series would be bad for them, I nearly jumped off a Canyon. So here's the thing (and apologies to Bud for being harsh on Mikey), but Mike, let me quote what Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead once told the audience at Cornell back in '77, "take a step back. And take another step back." Mike, you need to step back from your throne for a minute and re-evaluate the person you have become since the divorce. You need get out of Astoria and do whatever it is you do when you're not belittling callers and guest hosts. Hug Roe. Reads the kids a bedtime story. Just clear your head. You have attacked the "prime real estate" all wrong since Chris packed up his headphones and left you. You have contradicted yourself on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, you have always contradicted yourself, but it was never this frequent. Your whole tone has been awful. Just take a step back. You once talked about Pedro Martinez losing his fastball, but being able to figure out how to pitch with other stuff. You lost the hard stuff in Russo. So now you need to figure out what else is in the repertoire because right now you look like Josh Beckett the past two starts.
Earlier this year, I wrote a post comparing Willie Randolph's impending dismissal with Capt. Willard's mission to terminate Col. Kurtz's command. Now I know that our readers are more Pulp Fiction than Apocalypse Now. More Old School than Caddyshack. More Something's Gotta Give than When Harry Met Sally. But let's be honest. John Milius took Joseph Conrad's novel and made it into a never ending referendum on life. So with that in mind, I will take you through the downward spiral of Michael Patrick Francesa. The following is a back and forth with Francesa of the last 2 months and the various players of Apocalypse Now:
FRANCESA "Something is wrong with this team. You have to break up the core." KURTZ "We must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig, cow after cow, village after village, army after army. And they call me an assassin. What do you call it when the assassins accuse the assassin?"
FRANCESA "I think it will hurt the Rays if they win the World Series."
CORMAN "Sometimes the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature. Every man has got a breaking point. You and I have. Walter Kurtz has reached his. And very obviously, he has gone insane."
FRANCESA "My source told me that Ryan Church is very unhappy in New York."
WILLARD " They told me that you had gone totally insane and that your methods were unsound." KURTZ " Are my methods unsound?" WILLARD " I don't see any method at all, sir."
FRANCESA "There's a David Wright on every team."
LUCAS "Your mission is to proceed up to Nung river in a Navy patrol boat. Pick up colonel Kurtz' path at Nu Mung Ba, follow it, learn what you can along the way. When you find colonel infiltrate his team by whatever means available and terminate the colonel's command." WILLARD "Terminate ? The colonel ?" CORMAN "He's out there operating without any decent restraint. Totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct. And he is still in the field commanding his troops." CIVILIAN "Terminate with extreme prejudice."
Today, Chris Russo stated that the Phillies were an example of a team that succeeded by keeping their core together through tough times. He went through several seasons and what happened to the team and then showed how the team kept the manager and just adjusted role players till they got it right.
This is the F' UP of the Breakup... what we could have right now is Chris stating these thoughts about the Phils, Mike saying his nonsense on the Mets and then they would get into a heated arguement that would include somehow the state of the bathrooms at both Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium and the Carnegie Deli. They would go back and it would get heated and Russo would repeat the same information over and over again and Mike would say that Reyes is not even close to Rollins and that Wright isn't even close to either Rollins, Utley or Howard. And then Russo would be shouting "THEY STUCK WITH THEIR TEAM, MIKE." And they would yell and scream and afterwards have to go and talk to Chernoff for couples therapy.
Instead we have Russo solo trying to talk to the four listeners in Nebraska and Mike just filling the seat across him with any body that is still pumping blood. And why? Egos and money. Egos and money.
I know this was the question on many of your minds. Perhaps the next question was, "was Kim Jones not available?" (by the way, why does Minko not get a shot on the Mike Merry Go Round? Does he simply have no aspirations of anything higher than reciting the same information every 20 minutes? What does Minko dream about? The advent of the 40/40 flash? Or maybe the 10/10 flash? Someone find out, please.)
The answer to "who the F is Frank Isola," can be answered with two pieces of information. One simply a bio and the second a link to an article about how he became persona non grata around the Dolan Mafia known as the New York Knicks. The stuff with the Knicks is fairly insane and make Isola seem pretty cool. But while some people have a face for radio, it seems like Isola has a personality for print.
Here's the bio info Frank Isola has been the Knicks beat writer for the News since 1996. He is also a regular analyst on NBA TV and is the co-host of the NBA Radio show "Tip Off" which can be heard daily on Sirius.
Here is the link to the article from the New York Observer title Life In Knicks Hell (i wonder what Isola would title an article about today)
I tuned it at 1:11 and my first thought was: "Who is this guy in the split screen starring at Mike?"
I kept watching at 1:13 and my second thought was: "Who is this guy in the split screen starring at Mike and is he going to speak?"
I kept watching at 1:15 and my third thought was (after looking it up): "Why the F is Frank Isola the co-host today and is he actually a mute?"
I continued to watch at 1:16 and my fourth thought was: "Who the F is the Yankee that died that Mike is rambling about?" (answer Tom Tresh which means calls from old people today)
I was still watching, somehow at 1:18 and my fifth thought was: "Thank God, FRANK ISOLA SPEAKS! But it seems he is only allowed to interview Mike."
I was still watching at 1:19 and my sixth thought was: "Has Mike finally found the perfect co-host. Someone who just will sit there, say nothing, maybe ask Mike a question or two, offer no opinions and be happy to be there.?"
Honestly friends of Mike and the Mad Blog, I think we are hitting bottom with Miked Up Francesa on the Fan, Mike and Whichever WFAN Personality Is Forced to Co-Host or Mike and the Random Sports Journalist SHOW... The show has no rhythm, Mike has clearly lost his footing without Dog, he has no idea how to manage this show and he worst of all HAS NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT.
Frank Isola looks like a nice guy. He was spied on by Jim Dolan's crew while covering the Knicks, so that's a plus for him. But he has the look of another unfortunate recent participant of the co-host Merry Go Round, Agreeable Eddie C. This is not good.
1. Phillies clinching and Joe Torre and Manny are out 2. Joe the Plumber: (i am betting a lot of money on this and by a lot of money i mean pretend Monopoly money because I got lots of hotels on Park Place) 3. Trading David Wright 4. Why there is no new show? 5. The Sirius stock price 6. Rutgers football 7. Playing clips of Mike from Montclair's podcasts and criticizing all of them 8. His favorite posts from Mike and the Mad Blog. 9. Himself 10. The insane night of love making he had
What are you going with?
(by the way, I know at times readers dislike our strong opinions about Mike but everyone needs to know that if he did a good radio show, we promise to write that as well. We actually don't want the show to suck. We spend a lot of time listening and writing about the show. It would nice for it to be entertaining. But Mike has made promises. He has not kept them. He spoke of a new show, a new partner, a new jingle, a new soft drink (green tea). None of these things have happened. And as you can tell by the calls, we are not the only one noticing.)
Evan Roberts. Roberts took Francesa to school today. Exposed Mike left and right with legitimate arguments and facts. Mike countered throughout the day with emotional outbursts and his usual dismissive tone. For whatever reason (likely the Delgado curtain call issue with Wright), Mike has made it his mission to get number five shipped out of New York. He tried to say he has suggested either Wright or Reyes and blamed the fans for turning this into a Wright thing when for weeks Mike has made it all about Wright with statements like "almost every team has a David Wright." But to his credit, Evan fought back all day. Sometimes his points weren't great, but for the most part, he challenged Mike and the big man yelled like a baby. Lt. Weinberg pointed out today that the cracks are showing even more so than ever before with Mike now that he is Russo-less. All of a sudden, callers are now getting bold with him. Instead of a simple handwave ending a call, Mike rants on and on trying to diminish the caller once he has stripped them of their voice. That's like throwing punches in an empty ring. Be a man Mike and at least let your opponent stick around while you throws jabs left and right. But Mike has got to be on a ratings crusade. He was slightly insane today. I thought yesterday was bad when he tried to make the subtle point that George Bush might one day be considered a great President. But today takes the cake. The cracks are indeed showing...And it's hard to call them cracks anymore...seems to me that there's a giant hole in Mike'd Up and that jingle can't come fast enough to save this ship..
Yesterday, I compared Mike Francesa to the late Senator Joe McCarthy. Well today, our Joseph Welch showed up. There have already been good comments on what mike from Montclair said to Mike, so I won't rehash them. But Mike From Montclair came on and basically said, 'Have you no decency, sir.' I'm not saying this is the turning point which will lead to Mike's downfall. That probably happened with his screed against the critics a few weeks ago. But this is a sign that support for Mike is eroding. Mike from Montclair, who is usually a yes man who calls in to hear his voice up against Mike and Chris, threw down against the big man. It was inspired stuff. And it totally affected Mike. After the call, Mike went into condescending attack mode and disparaged Mike from Montclair as being 'frustrated'. Here's a bit of the call:
Mike from Montclair: my brother and sister are buying me a one year subscription to SIRIUS satellite for my 50th...that’s not meant as a threat Mike...
Francesa: I’m not worried about your threat Mike. And if you don’t want to call or listen anymore, that’s your prerogative. And if you have a problem with the show, that’s also your prerogative. And if you want to listen to satellite, that’s your prerogative too...Okay, maybe you can get the stock over 40 cents a share too...
And then he kept up the bitter theme when in the middle of 100 compliments of Tom Seaver as a player, threw in the 'I don't like him personally, he's um...well you know.'
I must admit this is great theater. Or great cinema. He reminds me of Eric Bogosian in the movie Talk Radio. The second half of the movie, Bogosian playing real-life shock talk host Alan Berg, descends into madness. Eventually, he is put out of his misery when he is shot in the parking lot. Of course, I don't wish that on Mike, but the symbolism of it is relevant. And to honor Mike from Montclair, I'll borrow from another movie, MMD favorite A Few Good Men:
RUSSO Did I ever tell you that I heard you on an internet podcast once?
MIKE FROM MONTCLAIR Yeah?
RUSSO It was one of the best podcasts ever on the 1993 Mets.
MIKE FROM MONTCLAIR Yes it was.
RUSSO And if I were any listener and I had a choice between you or Francesa to listen to, I'd take you any day of the week and twice on Sunday. You should have seen yourself thunder away at Mike.
MIKE FROM MONTCLAIR Should I call in again?
MIKE FROM MONTCLAIR You think Jerome would've?
RUSSO With the ratings Mike is getting? Not in a million years. But here's the thing-and there's really no way of getting around this--neither Jerome nor Ira is the man who took down Francesa. So there's only one question what would you do?
Evan asked Mike to give him 2 trades that would be realistic for David Wright. Roberts pointed out that the Cards ain't trading Pujols for Wright and he challenged the big man to give him two realistic deals, to which Mike could not provide even one. The following exchange then ensued:
Mike: Almost every team has a David Wright
Evan: That's ridiculous.
Mike: Who do you think David Wright is?
Evan: He's a special player.
Mike: Special in what way?
Evan: The guy hits 30 homeruns, drives in 100 runs. He's a constant..
Mike: The guy looked like a deer in the headlights in the last week...the idea that he's the leader of the team went out the window. I don't he think he's the leader of anything..why does everybody take David Wright and throw him to the forefront, because he's white?
Mike..just please admit that you have a personal vendetta against Wright. You are so transparent with this stuff...
"Good afternoon folks. Beautiful Wednesday afternooon. This is Mike'd Up, Francesa on the Fan. Evan Roberts joining me again today. We'll let Evan get a word in later in the hour. But folks. I told you this day was coming. Everyone laughed at me. Called the guy a cancer. Boston won't even acknowledge him. But here it is today: The Red Sox now rue the day they traded Manny. I told ya this would happen folks. You can't replace a Manny Ramirez. You can't replace what a guy like that means in a big spot. I told you that they would rue the day they traded him and the past two games, Boston has missed Manny. Jason Bay's a nice player, but he's not Manny. And that's the point folks - no one is Manny. You just can't replace that production and what that bat means to a lineup. You think David Ortiz isn't missing Manny? Go ask him. Theo couldn't get rid of him fast enough and now that decision is going to haunt them. Manny's presence means everything to a team. And now you're seeing a Red Sox team coming up tight in a big spot. I tell ya what. This is going to define Theo's legacy. Just like Belichick never won a thing without Brady, now we are going to see if the great Theo can ever win without Manny. I'll say it again - listen real closely up in Boston: The Red Sox now rue the day that they traded Manny."
In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy produced a piece of paper that he claimed contained a list of known Communists working for the US State Department. The list was never shown, but instead used as a loaded weapon to wield political power and foment anti-communist hysteria, better known as McCarthyism.
The last 6 weeks has seen Francesa use the same tactic. In the first week of his solo show, he told us about 'numerous calls from industry people interested in this show.' His boast made it sound like Bryant Gumbel and Bob Costas were jockeying for Dog's spot. So after listening to auditions from existing hosts like Chris Carlin and Joe Benigno, I'm assuming those were all internal WFAN calls.
Francesa also made a big deal about a much anticipated jingle. We're still waiting for the jingle company to come back from vacation, because nothing has materialized. And as far as naming names, Mike's done an awful job. Some days, he's Francesa on the Fan. Others it's Mike'd Up Francesa on the Fan.
Today, Mike told us about the huge number of listeners who had in one way or other expressed their desire to be Mike's host. He said there were 'literally hundreds of people' who have expressed an interest in working with Mike and marveled at 'some of the things that they have done'. McCarthy also would throw out numbers of communists working in the government, but there was never any proof.
Now we don't know exactly what Senator McCarthy's motivations were but the end result was public fear of a red menace embedded in our society. The end result of Mike's mysterious proclamations has obviously been less dramatic. But his motives are all too apparent. Francesa needs a balm for his wounded ego after botching the Mad Dog exit strategy. The knives have been out for him and the bully has retreated to his corner. So now, he's tried to pump up his self-importance by exaggerating his likability and market value. Mike, why not spend your energy for actually working to improve the show, instead of making hollow statements?
Senator McCarthy was another bully. And like most bullies they get punched in the mouth and retreat. Joseph Welch supplied his fist to McCarthy's face when he famously asked, 'Have you no sense of decency, sir?' McCarthy was censured and drank himself to death.
What will Mike's fate be? He obviously has taken a fall from grace. Not the McCarthy kind, but in the New York radio world, he is no longer king shit of fuck mountain. Hopefully he can rally for a happy ending. But right now, he hasn't shown much sense and at best has been decent.
Mike and Evan have digressed into a 45 minute political conversation and Mike just revealed this "If you look at Vegas, he (Obama) is now a 1-5 favorite. Now that is astronomical." It suddenly occurred to me that Vegas is the stick by which Mike Francesa measures EVERYTHING in the world. Think about it. Horse races, football games, basketball games, playoff matchups and now the Presidential Race. If you have listened to Mike enough over the years, he will always use "Vegas" as a way to analyze an event in the world. "If you look at Vegas, they've got the Giants getting three.." So to hear him now speculate on the upcoming election and refer to Vegas as a source for predicting the future, it really is no surprise. I mean, why look at things like the candidates, the state of the economy, national security, the country's debt, when you can just look at Vegas? Shit, why didn't I figure out that all of life's issues can be determined by taking a glance in the direction of Sin City...
Here's what Mike said yesterday about Falcons QB Matt Ryan:
"(he) plays like he's been in this league for 10 years. I mean he looks wonderful as a player...Ryan has got a little something special. Listen they went through hell last year as a franchise and now they've come out the other side. They paid dearly but they came away with a special player. They made the right call. There were a lot of knuckleheads who didn't want them to pick this quarterback on draft day..."
Here's what Mike said today about Falcons QB Matt Ryan:
"Don't canonize him too fast...there are some bad days coming for this quarterback."
Congrats go out to Mike Francesa for nailing the Trifecta yesterday. Mikey predicted the following:
1. A tight Tampa Bay team that would be overwhelmed by playing in Boston 2. A strong start from Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester because he was dominant at home 3. A 2-3 touchdown victory margin for the Giants over the Browns. The Giants "juggernaut" Mike suggested, would be far too much for Cleveland to handle.
So Mike. Nice work nailing this Trifecta. No one makes predictions like you...
There was a request awhile back from one of our loyal readers(or commenters. I can't verify that any of you actually read this stuff.), asking for us Mad Bloggers to shed our cloak of anonymity and enlighten you all about ourselves. I don't go anywhere without my cloak, but I'll try to shed some detail on gman26. To do this, I've answered some random questions sent in by you guys:
What's your sign? Aquarius. But isn't that sort of obvious?
Where do you live? I used to live in the NY area, but not anymore. I live in a state that is red now, but might turn blue in November, if that gives you a hint. How old are you? Older than most of you, but not by much. What's your favorite James Spader movie? You had to put me on the spot, didn't you? Either Wolf or Less than Zero, but it's really hard to make that call. The man has had a great career. If you could be an animal, what animal would you be? An otter. They're so playful and genuinely seem to enjoy life.
Why is the economy so bad? Simple. The Fed let Mike and the Mad Dog break up. Notice the timing of their split and how the economy has gone to hell in a hand basket? Coincidence, I think not. Let's throw some taxpayer money at them to get them back together.
A short while ago, Mike commented that in his opinion, the Rays were showing cracks, that they admittedly played "tight" in Game 1 and that definitely did not bode well for them heading into Beantown...essentially, he thought being in Boston would scare them. How did that transfer over to the world of reality? Well, the Rays just jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the 3rd inning...
Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up. Here's what Mike said earlier today about Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan:
"(he) plays like he's been in this league for 10 years. I mean he looks wonderful as a player...Ryan has got a little something special. Listen they went through hell last year as a franchise and now they've come out the other side. They paid dearly but they came away with a special player. They made the right call. There were a lot of knuckleheads who didn't want them to pick this quarterback on draft day..."
Then just a few hours later, a caller informed Mike he was wrong about Bears QB Kyle Orton and that Orton was indeed a legitimate NFL quarterback. Here was Mike's response regarding Kyle Orton:
"I don't make decisions on quarterbacks immediately. You have to show me a lot more with the quarterback than just a couple of games."
Hmmmmm. Mike, exactly how many games has Matt Ryan played in the NFL? Which is it Mikey?
So I am watching the open of Francesa and Benigno, and Mikey is just GIDDY about one of the "great regular season weeks" ever in the NFL. He is having a ball walking us through the Dallas/Arizona game. Best regular season game in 5 years in the big man's eyes. Joe B is doing a nice job. I'm really getting into their rhythm and then at the bottom of the screen, on the YES ticker I see the following "Talk about the rumored Robinson Cano for Carlos Beltran deal at YESNetwork.com" And there goes my experience. How the hell is that even a rumor? Why in the WORLD would the Mets EVER trade Beltran for the lackadaisical Cano? Why on earth is that a rumor? And why the hell do I want to go to YESNetwork.com to discuss that absurd trade? Why? Why? Why? And the fact that I even had to start obsessing about that nonsensical rumor ruined my opening segment experience. Thanks a lot YES. Thanks for nothing.
We have learned that various people at WFAN do good impersonations of Mike Francesa. We have learned that Joe Benigno is not a big fan of the Sweater, Russ Salzburg. We have also learned that Benigno is neurotic. We have learned that he also spends approximately an hour in the 3rd floor bathroom before this show. We have learned that Mike still wants to break up the Met core. We have learned Mike has not seen Joseph Abboud in a while. We have learned that "the Jets aren't about wrinkles right now." We have learned that Russo loves We Are Marshall but has issues with The Express. We have learned that "Ron Darling has become a star." We have learned Benigno considers himself "fortunate and normal". We have learned that Mike Francesa, who despite not having a soul, goes to church on Sundays. We have learned that Mike's daughter is a Met fan and his older son is a Yankee fan.
The carousel of potential hosts for Mike Francesa gives us Joe Benigno today. My money is on Joe to win the job. He's goofy like Russo, yet he has a way of sticking to his point. I am little worried about today's audition though. They're making Joe do his morning show and continue on with Mike. I hope he has taken some fish fertilizer, HGH or at least downed a couple of Red Bulls. Because he is going into the ring today with the ultimate bull.
Mike just played one of those "John from Westchester" calls - the mock John Sterling/Waldman conversations and Mike almost falls over in laughter listening to it. Am I the only one that doesn't think these are as hilarious as Mikey? Do you folks out there think this is humorous? Watching on YES, you can see Carlin and Jones trying to force laughter. Jesus Christ, end this already.
Too bad for Kim Jones and Chris Carlin if they actually thought they were part of the Mike'd Up/Francesa on the Fan show the past few days. Mike has kept them around to humor him over the past 72 hours. But when it's time for a guest spot - in this case, Tim McCarver, Jones and Carlin are tossed to the curb faster than Mike downing a diet coke. They are not in studio and present for Mike's interview with Tim McCarver right now. And that says one thing to me: Mike doesn't take them seriously enough to have them participate in these sorts of interviews. This is Mike's show. You're not going to take away valuable questions from him. Move out of the way. This is his time to ask and answer his own questions. It's all about Mike. He'll let you back in the studio when "Timmy" is off the line. It's nice to have the real Mike Francesa back.
So kind readers of this blog...I have really been trying to wrap my head around the past few days of Mike'd Up, Francesa on the FAN. Besides the fact that I am still not sure which of those titles is actually the name of the show, I find myself trying to analyze the whole Kim Jones scenario. There has been this weird vibe that I have been unable to put my finger on in relation to having Kim on the show. Mike has certainly reduced his level of arrogance around her. He has tried to come off more human. Don't get me wrong - he still makes it known that this is HIS show...he leads off every segment, he jokingly scolded Kim and Chris for walking in late after a break (yes, the hypocritical nature of that is insane) and he certainly guides the conversations. But there has been something more in the dynamic of Mike and Kim particularly that has had me trying to dissect it.
For two days, I have had the feeling that somehow I have seen this act before...Older authoritative male figure in a position of power recruits a somewhat unproven female to be his sidekick...They come under great scrutiny...People are enamored with the female in the relationship...She seems to provide a much needed boost for the male authority figure...Almost makes you feel like a father/daughter relationship...but she can be feisty...and he becomes enamored with her...Let's face it...he's tough to look at...she's not...he looks like he might keel over at any moment...she is spry and has quite a following....
Well, have you figured it out yet? Because I just did. This whole Mike Francesa/Kim Jones things reminds me very much of John McCain/Sarah Palin...And I've got to say, that somewhere deep down, Mike thinks about this too. He models himself after McCain...a strong figure. And he finds Palin charming as could be. So perhaps he thinks that Kim Jones is his Sarah Palin.
Chris Carlin, talking about the MLB playoff schedule asked Mike the following question:
"Do you think they purposely avoided Sunday because of the NFL?"
HERE'S WHAT MIKE SAID:
Mike: I don't they think care about playing against the NFL. They do well against the NFL. That's not a problem for them.
HERE'S THE REALITY:
Funny thing here. Richard Sandomir of the NY Times wrote an entire story today about how the NFL is killing MLB head-to-head ratings wise. Perhaps Mike wants to read this article:
Baseball Ratings Don’t Trump Football By RICHARD SANDOMIR Published: October 7, 2008
What attracts more local viewers — baseball playoff games or N.F.L. regular-season games?
Conventional thinking would suggest that a division series game starring one team in a market might get a higher rating than a Week 5 football game starring a second local team. But that supposition would be wrong. The N.F.L. is that potent.
On Sunday, just after 1 p.m., Game 4 of the Phillies-Brewers series in Milwaukee competed directly with the Packers’ kickoff against the Falcons at Green Bay.
In the Milwaukee market, baseball’s 12.7 rating was less than half of football’s 28.7.
Back east in Philadelphia, the same Phillies-Brewers game was shown against the Redskins-Eagles broadcast. And the 13.2 local rating for the division series game fell considerably below the 22.7 for football.
In two other markets where baseball and football were shown hours apart Sunday, the results were the same. When the Tampa Bay Rays played the White Sox in Game 3 of their series in late afternoon, the Chicago market posted a 9.6 rating. But fans rewarded the Bears with a 21.9 rating for their earlier game against the Lions.
For Game 3 of Angels-Red Sox series, which started after 7 p.m. but lasted 5 hours 19 minutes, Boston-area viewers generated a 24.7 rating — six rating points below what the market produced for the late-afternoon broadcast of the Patriots-49ers game.
The results suggest that there are distinct followings for each sport, and even when rooting interests in the two sports intersected, football won. The football games have an additional edge because they are on broadcast networks, which are more widely available than the division series games on a broadly distributed cable network like TBS.
Lee Berke, an industry consultant, said the once-a-week frequency of N.F.L. games was a major and continuing advantage.
“In a best-of-five playoff series, you can have five games,” he said. “So if you’re a fan of the Eagles and Phillies, you might say, the Eagles are only once a week, so I’ll watch the Eagles, then flip, or tune in later to the Phillies.”
In New York, fans motivated by Brett Favre’s move to the Jets are watching the team far more than last season, despite the Jets’ 2-2 record.
Through four games and a bye week, the Jets’ 12.3 local rating is up 39 percent from a five-game average last year. The Jets opened with 12.6 and 15.5 ratings against Miami and New England, then dipped to a 10.1 against San Diego and a 10.8 against Arizona. Last year, the first four games rated between a 5.9 and an 8.4, but spiked to a 13.3 for the Week 5 loss to the Giants.
“No doubt bringing Favre on board has had a pretty significant impact, but there’s a general energy about the team that we’re seeing in merchandising and sponsor activity,” said Matthew Higgins, the Jets’ executive vice president for business operations. He added that unique visitors to the Jets’ Web site were up 30 percent over 2007.
The Jets’ leap in local ratings is the biggest in the league, followed by a 24 percent hike for the Falcons and a 14 percent bump for the Dolphins. Coming off their Super Bowl victory, the Giants’ five-game average rating in the New York market is down 5 percent this year, but by this time last year, the Giants had played highly rated games with Dallas and Philadelphia; this year, they have played weak opponents like the Rams and the Bengals.
In other riveting news about what we watch, the league-championship-bound Rays had local ratings for their games on FSN Florida leap by 99 percent, the most in the majors.
The Mets’ ratings on SNY slipped less than 1 percent, and the Yankees’ ratings on YES fell 10 percent over last year. The Mariners’ rating, once a major-league-high 14.9 in 2001 on FSN Northwest, sank to 4.2 this year.
Mike played a clip of Torre talking to the media and then Mike summarized the following about Joe and his new success with the Dodgers:
"He felt he wasn't appreciated here. Two things are very obvious. A: you do anything for a long time successfully, you start to think people don't appreciate it. That's number one. And number two, you can tell how much this means to him because hey, you always wonder if you're going to be able to do it when the game changes. That's all there is to it. It's logical because people are gonna question.."
Hmmmm. Mike, that sounds an awful lot like feelings you might be having about the position that YOU are in...Am I on to something Mikey?
Sometimes you listen to Mike Francesa and you just have to say WOW. His arrogance is off the charts. He just dropped this nugget while talking about the Jets bringing in Brett Favre..Be sure to look for this exchange in a Phil Mushnick column real soon...
Mike: Now I'm telling you when Mr. T (Mike Tannenbaum) was debating this, I spoke to him and had a chat with him. And he asked me what I thought. I said "Go get him. I wouldn't even think twice."
Kim Jones: If you said "don't" do you think the Jets would have still pursued him?
Mike: I don't think they would have made the decision by me but what I said was they asked me and I said "Go get him. I don't think there's any question, go get him." I said "it makes you better the day you get him."
Wow. Mike, that's priceless. You think the Jets would have gone ahead with the move if you didn't give your blessing. I mean, are you sure that you really believe that? I mean, you did tell them to "get get 'em" after all. By the way, do you think "Mr. T" likes having these conversations revealed on air?
Mike and Kim Jones went at it pretty good last segment over how the Packers handled the Brett Favre situation. At times, Mike got somewhat heated. Kim did not back down either. You could see that this was one of the first times that Mike really had to argue with someone since the Dog left the pound. Some people listening might have said this was very good radio. But here's the thing: towards the end of the argument, Mike let up a bit and joked with Kim. Mike did not go for the jugular as he would have with Russo. When the segment ended on YES, you could see Mike was smiling. If it was Dog on the other side, both men wouldn't have even glanced at each other and would have gone to their separate corners during the break. But not the case here and I found myself asking "why?" My best answer is that Mike is intimidated by the "somewhat" attractive Kim Jones and doesn't want to come off as a complete and utter bully. He wants to show her that he can be a good guy. That she can like him. That's why after the break, Mike told the audience that Roe called in and informed him that Kim Jones destroyed Mike in that argument. Do you think that call would have EVER happened back when Dog was here? So that brings me to my point. This Brett Favre debate was certainly heated, animated, contentious..BUT it was a Fake Debate in my mind. We did not see the REAL Mike Francesa. The guy that would never let up in an argument. The guy that would never end the exchange with a joke. The guy that would never admit he might have been wrong about something. We saw Mike Francesa Light...Same Taste. Less Filling.
The trio just brought up Tim McCarver's comments about Manny Ramirez. McCarver called some of Manny Ramirez's actions in Boston 'despicable'. Mike didn't disagree with the sentiment but thought that 'McCarver needed to tell that to Manny's face.' He then said, "it's easy to say it..." but then was cut off. Am I the only one who sees the absurdity of this? Mike, you've made a living at criticizing various people over the years and never having to say it to their faces. Why does Tim McCarver have to say it to his face? If you had to live up to that standard, you'd be busier than Jason Lee from My Name is Earl.
Mike opened the show with a bit of Rutgers, ignored his boy McCain's performance last night and then quickly moved ahead to jumping on the NY papers for comparing Eli Manning to Peyton:
"Here's what the problem is. If you have a slow day in October, this is what you come up with. You came up with "Is Eli better than Peyton.." there's somebody with too much time on their hands...I mean now we want to take Eli and in his short body of work, we want to put him ahead of his brother, who is already a first ballot Hall of Famer...(laughing) Is Eli better than Peyton already? (laughing)...I mean, that's where we're going?...Let me put this on the table: Eli is the what best quarterback in the NFL? I used to defend Eli, but now this is getting comical....But I now have to hear that Eli has now reached Peyton status?...You would rank Eli where?"
Uhh, Mike you just accused the writer who wrote this story as "somebody with too much time on their hands" and that you know it's a slow sports day when stories like this are being thrown around...But you end your rant by opening up what will most likely become an entire day long debate about Eli Manning...So in essence, you owe the writer of that article a big THANK YOU for providing content for you all day..
It's time for everyone's favorite fun game, WWMOW: What Will Mike Open With? Here are the contenders:
- Last night's Presidential Debate ("I mean, the idea that nobody brings up the fact that we haven't been attacked since 9/11, I just don't understand it. You saw McCain throwing some punches last night. He's a good man and that Sarah Palin is charming, but remember folks, I'm an independent.")
- Rutgers Football ("I'm not even sure that Schiano is a good college coach. What has he ever done?")
- MLB Playoffs ("Manny changes everything. He is God. He is bigger than God. And Joe Torre is bigger than that.")
- New York Giants ("I've got some sources that are telling me that the Giants are the best team in the NFL. All I'm going to say is that my source, who is VERY close to the team, called me last night and told me that he thought the Giants were the best team in the league.")
Mike = McCain Supporter = Finds Palin Charming = Would like to Meet Palin = Pat Buchanon Fan = Leans Republican = Doesn't Mind Social Issues = Okay with Tax Raise = Doesn't know if Obama is an Honest Guy = Thinks Obama is Smart = Knows McCain is a Good Man = Feels Patriotic about paying Taxes = We're in a Mess Now = We Allowed the Credit Market to Run Amuck = Wants to Hear Some Answers Tonight
One of the best segments since the departure of the Dog just featured Francesa and Carlin going at it over Rutgers football. As usual, Mike dismissed the program as an utter joke and once again displayed his contempt for coach Greg Schiano. Carlin, the Rutgers apologist that he is, tried his best to defend the program. Kim Jones apparently took a breather. But it was a very good few minutes. But here's the question that needs to be answered: What did Greg Schiano do to Mike? We learned last week that the reason Mike tried to deal David Wright out of town was because of a personal issue he had with Wright. Mike loves to kill Schiano. There is obviously something else at play here...Something happened. So I turn to you, readers of this blog, to find out what happened between the two. First one that gets to the bottom of this wins.
So here we are a couple of hours into the Mike Francesa/Kim Jones/Chris Carlin threesome and the question is: what do we make of it? There is really only one good way to look at a threesome:
There is a feeling out period. Each of the parties treads lightly at first, waiting for their opening. While they know they are about to embark on something tantalizingly new, there is an element of fear. There is that element of the unknown - what comes next? What if I make the wrong move? What if I say something to offend one of the other people? What if I don't really know how to do this? I've been doing this with one person most of life, but I'm not sure how I will perform with two others bodies at the same time. There is anxiousness. Nervousness. A bit of excitement. There's the thought that if all goes well, this could open up some new doors. There are logistical concerns for sure. Who goes where? Who's on top (the splitscreen of course)? Does one person lead and the others follow? There's a lot on the line. What if I don't like this? What if it doesn't feel as good as it is supposed to? What if one of the other parties is better than me? What if it all goes wrong? But what if it all goes right?
Well folks...time to chime in..How has this threesome gone so far in your minds?
Mike opened the show (with sidekicks Kim Jones and Chris Carlin) by heaping all the praise in the world on the Red Sox. He gushed about them having become THE model franchise in the sport, somewhat similar to the Yanks of '96-2000. But in the midst of this Boston love-fest, this statement came out:
"Whatever they do, they do right and they are the Pats without Dr. Evil and Giselle, so they are basically a more likeable team than the Pats because the Pats are not a likeable team, except Brady is...but the coaching staff and the ownership are not overally likeable. But the Red Sox are likeable. Their manager is likeable. Their ownership is likeable. All right, Theo gets too much credit. But that's fine. That doesn't even matter."
Mike, if that DOESN'T matter, then why would you say it? And more to the point, why does Theo get too much credit? To quote wikipedia "In 2004, he engineered the first World Series championship by the Red Sox in 86 years and a second in the 2007 season." 2 Championships in the last 4 years and another trip back to the ALCS. So Mike, why does Theo get too much credit? He should get all the credit in the world. But in your mind, because Theo tried to get rid of Manny in the past (but never did so), he must be forever punished. He must not reap the rewards of guiding a team that hadn't won in nearly a century to two titles in this century..Mike, if you want to praise a team and a rival team, then go ahead. It actually gives you some credibility. But don't try to bury a dig in there...a dig at Theo, who you seem to loathe, perhaps because of his age...It's just hard to buy the fact that Theo gets "too much credit" when he is the man behind both titles...
If you have been reading this blog and well, why wouldn't you? It's a blog dedicated to a talk show host where one egomaniac talks sports for five and a half hours a day. If you take all that into account we should be maybe just one reader behind Deadspin. Come on new reader, put us over the hump.
Sorry, let me begin again. If you have been reading this blog or perhaps just my posts, you will know that one of my big hangups with Mr Francesa, the Diet Coke Diva, is that he refuses to buck the odds, to go against the trend. He believes in tradition more than the people in Fiddler on the Roof. In the end, my opinion is that he lacks vision, he refuses to take risks and thus it makes him uninteresting.
Luckily for Mike the ALCS has presented him with a scenario to change this. Here he has the Red Sox, the defending champion going against the upstart Tampa Bay Rays, a team Mike refused to acknowledge as legit until the 8th month of the year. If I were a betting man, and i would be if i could bet on things like this, I would bet everything on Mike picking the Red Sox. He will tell us that he cannot bet against the champion and that the Rays have not proven themselves on this stage, etc.
If you ask me, Mike should do just the opposite. He should pick the Rays. Why? First, because they are going to win. Second, because it would make me happy and make him less predictable and therefore potentially more interesting although we have to remember that his next co-host this week is Kim Jones, which means interesting packed it's bags and is already flying the red eye back to a place called "far far away from francesa."
Mike you have a choice. Surprise us. Do something shocking. We are still waiting for a jingle for god sakes and we have sat through two days of Eddie "I Agree" Coleman. Give us something. The world is begging us to no longer listen. Pick the Rays. Please.
Eddie C. I love ya. You're a great guy. You do a nice job with the Mets reporting. Your pregame shows are solid. You provide a good amount of info. Your manager reports are well done. Your starting lineups take backseat to no one elses. But for crying out loud, can you PLEASE find something to disagree with Mike about? Something. Anything. It doesn't even have to be sports related. Tell Mike his navy polo shirt just isn't doing it for you. Let him know that his Diet Coke craze has got to stop. Inform the big man that you hate Saratoga Springs. Please. Just find something to disagree with him about. This chuckle-fest has got to STOP. This is an insult to the institution that was known as the Mike and the Mad Dog program. I mean, could ya PLEASE!! Eddie C, surely you don't agree with EVERYTHING that comes out of Mike's mouth. Find your voice...
I am halfway thru the second segment of Mike and Eddie C and I already have counted at least 5 times where Eddie Coleman has uttered the words "I agree." So kind readers of this blog, we are going to officially start counting the number of times Eddie C. says those words today. I might miss a few, so keep us honest here and let us know if we miss a "I would agree." Right now at 1:33PM, the count stands at 5....
You’re Mike Francesa. Roe is away for the night. You get to invite over a guest list of celebrities to eat, drink and talk about life and swap stories about projects past and present. What four people are you inviting to join you at the dinner table?
Here’s my list that Mike is assembling:
1. Manny Ramirez 2. JFK 3. Tim Duncan 4. Secretariat
If Secretariat was running a bit behind, Bronson Arroyo would be the last minute invitee...Give me your version of MIke's list...
According to Anonymous sources, and by that i mean a poster on this site named Anonymous, Mike Francesa on Friday owned up to a personal beef between him and David Wright due to Wright's refusal to appear on Mike's show, which was due to Mike and Chris claiming that Wright was behind Carlos Delgado not taking a curtain call for the Mets earlier in the year. Yes, as ridiculous as that last sentence is (in terms of both grammar and sentence structure) the scenario it's detailing is worse. We are, I believe almost two weeks deep into Mike Francesa's crusade to get the Mets to trade David Wright. After several days of this many of us began to wonder why Mike was so adamant about this issue. It appeared that David Wright not only ran over Mike's dog, but also took said dog and shipped it piece by piece to Mike inside liter bottles of Diet Coke, thus destroying the low calorie soda for Mike forever. As Mike's ranting against David Wright went on and on and on and on and on.. (add about 20 more "on's" and you are close to the real time of it all) it became crystal clear that this was not about David Wright the player but rather David Wright THE PERSON. Suddenly ON FRIDAY.. FRIDAY, about 7 days too late Mike reveals to Ed Coleman that there was a PERSONAL beef between him and David Wright. That there was lingering tension because of the Delgado curtain call issue (it's amazing when you write this down and look at it that we are talking about adult human beings here. An extended argument over whether or not David Wright told Carlos Delgado to take a curtain call or not. Is that not insane? Couldn't they get on the phone and squash it? Or if the phone is not an option, maybe some sort of Morse code? This is an issue that causes a long term rift between two people? A curtain call?).
When I was first going to write this post, I was simply going to write how incredibly pissed off this made me, but then I realized that there is a bigger question at stake here. A question about what Mike does and does not owe his audience with regard to this kind of issue. It's a question about journalism. We have all read articles by the Time Warner owned CNN.com or SI or Entertainment Weekly where they always reveal in stories, where there could be assumed conflict, that they are a part of the TW corporation. We have all seen the stories that destroy journalists who don't acknowledge conflicting relationships or bias in their reporting. These are proper standards of journalism and foundations of the practice and the way we interpret the information we read in newspapers, on websites or watch on television. It's simply telling the truth.
This leads to the question that is the title of this post, "is Mike Francesa a journalist?" The answer to this question dictates a bit how to react to the David Wright fiasco. If Mike is to be considered a journalist, if his show should be considered some form of journalism or news information, then what follows is that Mike should be held to the journalistic standards of integrity and honesty in situations like what has occured with David Wright.
I personally am not sure of the answer. I would bet that if you asked Mike he would say that he is not a journalist, he is a personality and therefore could say whatever he wants, however he wants to say it. I know that our pal Colonel Nathan Jessup "does not give a damn what we are entitled to" but I would say that we as listeners or viewers of his show are entitled in this scenario to know FROM THE VERY BEGINNING that there is a personal negative relationship at work here. In my opinion, Mike was being not only completely dishonest but he was misleading all of us by attempting to make this sound like a baseball opinion, when it was really a personal attack due to a childish grudge.
In the end, I probably don't believe that Mike Francesa is a journalist but I will strongly argue that he needs to hold himself to some form of journalistic integrity and that he wrongly served all of us, the members of his audience, who like and dislike him, by not revealing the truth and the personal bias he holds against David Wright.
This is not about whether his opinion on this issue of to trade or not to trade is correct or incorrect, it's about his ethics and integrity. With regard to those two moral staples, Mike Francesa has certainly not been Wright.
Again, as i asked last night, why am i listening to the two of them talk about this topic? Why is this on a sports radio station? Once again, when i listen to WFAN i ask for sports. When i watch CNN, i want politics and news. I don't go to CNN for sports and I don't go to WFAN for politics.
There has to be a way that we can make this stop. Someone please suggest something
Quick note on Eddie C: he has at 2:13 pm failed his audition. The man just agrees too much. He simply suffers from being nice. He's a nice guy and he just agrees with Mike, which equals boring radio.
Mike, you want to know what you can learn from the debates, you can watch and see how two people who don't agree with one another the whole can be at times compelling. Get someone in the booth that actually has some muscle.
I went to espn.com today partly because it's my home page and partly because it's my home page and i saw this huge E TICKET story on Manny Ramirez written by Bill Simmons. I don't know how i feel about Bill Simmons, i think i used to like him and now i am probably tired of him the way that you get tired of a tv show in it's 8th season when they no longer really have funny jokes or good storylines but you watch because it's just part of the habit. You are still Tivoing the show but not really ever watching it. Then a moment arrives when you make a decision and you break up with that show and delete the season pass. I did that recently and probably 6 seasons too late with ER. I guess what i am saying is that essentially is that I currently treat Bill Simmons like an episode of ER on my Tivo. A quick glance out of habit and then fast forward and hit delete. I decided since i could not avoid this massive expose on Manny to take a look. The article is supposedly telling the story of the real villian behind the Manny leaving Boston saga. I think the point is that Simmons is revealing something here that we didn't know. I'm not sure. Like I said, I did treat it like an ER episode, read some, got annoyed and stopped reading and now i am writing this..
Simmons main points are that the media didn't like Manny and were bias against him because he wasn't old school. Is that news? Second and probably first, Scott Boras manipulated Manny. Scott Boras manipulated someone? Really? Come on stop hating. SB? The Borman? Big Scott? No way. Manipulate? That's like Playa hate and Scott Boras.. we all know, Scott Boras Playa Love. Simmons examines this story like Oliver Stone looking at clips of the Zepruder film. It's ridiculous really. He even has footnotes. Was my term paper due to ESPN.com and i never turned it in?
Maybe this is a little pot calling the kettle it's proper color, since we spend all day blogging about some large man in a radio studio and get angry about it, but we have about .0000001 of the readers ESPN.com has. I know that Simmons is a big Red Sox guy, but my central question here is why does this story deserve so much space? What is he revealing that is of interest? I think what bothers me the most is this attempt to try to throw it off on us as some high value journalism which it is not. They even put it not only under the E Ticket banner but Outside the Lines, like it was a bit of news. Where is the news? What exactly is the story?
Ok, i am now going to go to sleep. I will wake up and only write about things that Mike Francesa does that bother me. Thank you for reading. Please if you are not sleeping, do so.
I have not blogged today because i have been doing that thing we like to call.. work. I finally got home, turned on the tv, saw that the Phillies vs Cubs game had not started yet, so I turned to YES to catch the final minutes of Francesa on the Fan, Mike'd Up, Big Ego Small Room, you name it. I turn it on thinking i wonder what Mike is talking about. What is he talking about as my tv lands on YES and he and Sal having special time together? POLITICS.
This got me enraged. I probably need to do some work in therapy that Mike Francesa brings forth this reaction. Maybe a few of us can go together. A support group of sorts. Or maybe just a therapist can work on the blog. We will figure out.. Back to my rage.
WHY IS THIS DUDE TALKING POLITICS? Mike, your show is on WFAN not CNN. If i wanted to listen to someone talk politics then I would change the channel. Mike, when you watch the debate tonight and the post game analysis do you think that they are going to talk about the baseball playoffs? THEY WON'T. I don't care if you are the smartest political mind since someone who had a smart political mind, I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR YOU TALKING POLITICS. Isn't your show divisive enough with your Wright and Reyes nonsense? Do you really have to add politics into it? You are clearly a Republican and that is fine. I don't care. I actually would be glad to not even know that. Your political views don't matter to me. Here's the deal Mike, I will listen to you talk sports, the minute you say something political I'm out.
NEXT.. After Mike's political discussion, which from what I hear has been going on all day, Mike says this about David Wright after a caller accuses Mike of doing Omar's bidding and trying to sway public opinion. "Omar will never trade David Wright." SO THEN WHY THE F have we been going through this nonsense for days upon days upon days? Yes, i know that he wants to create controversy and push buttons, but why not say that he knows that Omar is not going to trade him?
ANOTHER ONE: Funny thing that Mike said during this time. AMAZING how 10 minutes can piss me off so much. He said that the Brewers bullpen was every bit as bad as the Mets bullpen. And then he said.. "You can look it up." WELL MIKE, FUNNY THAT YOU SAID THAT BECAUSE THE OTHER DAY I ACTUALLY DID LOOK IT UP (i am lying, a friend who works at a baseball stats company looked it up).
STAT #1: Blown Saves Mets: 29 Brewers: 26
STAT #2: Most losses with a blown lead: Mets: 44 Brewers: 35 I'm not great with numbers but i believe that stat shows that the Brewers bullpen was not as bad as the Mets.
Mike don't let numbers or facts get in the way of the bombasity. I understand that there is no room for facts in that studio that holds you, the 7 kegs of Diet Coke, your ego, 156 handwaves, and the Racing Forum.
I have no idea what would have happened to me if i listened to the entire show. I might have imploded.
"If they choose to belittle the people that work here, that's their business, if they think that's funny - it isn't. There's a meanness that Carton seems to bring to the program and wants to belittle these people that have worked here a long time...Not me. Don't worry about me. If I want to take care of him, I can do it in 5 minutes. It won't even take me 5 minutes. He walks around here and can't kiss up to me enough when he's around here, so if he wants a war, bring it on. It won't be a long one."
So a caller just called in and suggested the Mets trade Beltran to the Yanks for Cano and Nady. Mike didn't think it was such a crazy idea. Let's review for a second. Mike has told us all that the problem with the Mets is that they don't have game-UHs...that they don't have players with heart who leave it all on the line...so who better to bring to the Mets than Robinson Cano, a guy known for dogging it...a guy known for playing without focus...a guy who makes boneheaded plays far too often...yep, that should help propel the Mets to the next level. Worst trade ever.
So I'm listening to Mad Dog in Chicago. All sorts of audio problems. His voice is fluctuating and we heard his producer talking to him "Speak through your headset. Can you hear me?" Embarrassing. Is WFAN the gold standard for remotes?
Today, Mike Francesa serves as Colonel Nathan Jessep and addresses Met Fans about David Wright:
Son, we live in a world that has Game-UHs. And those Game-UHs have to be men with clutchness. Who's gonna do it? You First Time, Long Time? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for David Wright and you curse me. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That Wright’s inability to hit in a big spot, while tragic, probably saves this franchise if they trade him. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves Mets fans.
You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on the FAN. You need me there. (boasting) I use words like Core, Game-uh, Big Spot ...I use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a fan base who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the bullshit that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I'd prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a phone and call me. Either way, I’ll give you the handwave that you're entitled to.
We've all known this truth to be self-evident: Mike Francesa says a lot of inaccurate statements. This whole Ryan Church thing is getting to me. Mike has declared that Ryan Church is 'very unhappy in New York'. Someone told him this in the Mets dugout this summer. Yesterday, a couple of callers contradicted Mike on this assertion(FYI - this blog is reaching out to Church to get a statement). But he wasn't having it. It's ok when Mike has a strong opinion about the quality of a player and his bearing on a team. But when he starts making claims about a person's state of mind that he either won't substantiate or corroborate, this is when we get into a tricky spot.
Just this week, Mike without any hesitation declared Ichiro 'a very selfish player'. This was based on an article about a "un-named Mariner" who supposedly wanted to punch Ichiro because of this aforementioned selfishness. Did Mike bother to say that a teammate of Ichiro and his manager came out against this anonymous player on the record? No. Mike apparently has his finger on the pulse of Seattle sports. He speaks as if he's stood on first base when Ichiro has swung through the bunt sign and into a double play. This ain't basketball, Mike. A 'selfish' baseball player usually helps the team. I think Ichiro's 1800 hits have helped the team along the way.
And now Mike has Ryan Church to play Baseball Insider with. To use the show's terminology, 'Be careful, Mike'. Your words have an impact on this player. For some reason, people take your word as bond. Although your statements won't affect whether or not the Mets bring Church back, they will affect some fans' perception of Church. If he comes back, Church might be treated like Mike Hampton in some circles. But if there is anything we've learned about Mike is that he doesn't care. He makes statements without impunity. The only way to punish Mike for his inaccuracies is through ratings. As long as his show rates, he will not change his tune. What are the chances he gets on today and says, "I called my source last night on the Ryan Church thing. And he's confirmed it." Or even more improbable, "I asked Sal Licata to get Ryan Church on the show today so we can talk to him." Don't hold your breath. Instead, cover your ears.
Mike Francesa hasn't yet named the members of his new supporting cast on WFAN, but soon listeners at least will be able to hear some of the possibilities for themselves. Three people familiar with the station's plans said Francesa will welcome prospective cast members to join him this month, including the tag team of Chris Carlin and Kimberly Jones next week. Francesa also likely will be joined by other guest voices, not all of whom necessarily are interested in or qualified for permanent gigs at WFAN. Originally, Francesa set Sept. 5 as his goal to unveil a new look for his show, but after waiting for a couple of candidates who turned out to be unavailable, he said more recently he would opt for patience in naming a successor or successors to Chris Russo.
We know you all have opinions on who will win, who will lose and we know you want to share it with us because we are your friends, a brotherhood in fake names, except if you are named anonymous. Sharing brings us together. It bonds us. Remember show and tell and how great that felt? This is like that. Or not.
Here's the setup. We will take your picks but we will also stay true to the world of this blog. When making your picks you either have to do it in the voice of Mike or Chris, or using the phrases of Mike or Chris. I want to see "let's be fair" and "Omah told me" and "hold on now" and "tough spot" and "tricky spot" and "stinks" and "wonderful playa (a new Mike favorite)."
All picks should be amount of games as well as World Series MVP. Is there a prize, you might ask? But then you might think, why do i need a prize, the prize is the fun and feeling of companionship i get just writing on this blog. Even if i won a prize i would give it back because this site just makes me feel good. Go with that. Or with "there is no prize." But i think the first option feels better..
Doesn't this issue feel a little bit similar to the whole Joba fist pump nonsense. Do you remember the name of the person who was banging the drum on that issue? The Wright issue has turned into sports politics with people falling on one side or the other and very little in between and no one really listening.
Today there are stories in a few papers about the Wright issue, both for and against.
The Post says trading the third baseman would be a mistake. This makes First Time Long Time very happy. Mike Vaccaro of the Post calls the decision to break up the core "foolish, and short-sighted." Add that to the list that people are calling Mike. Here is a snippet from the Post that goes back in history to the Brooklyn Dodgers. He also uses a more recent example of the Phillies keeping their core together. For those who want Wright on the Mets, this is a good read.
John Harper of the Daily News says that Omar has to at least think about trading Reyes or Wright. But is more in the camp of those who say Delgado gotta go.
If you are Minaya, then, you have to conclude that all of these failures in the clutch are no coincidence, and to win a championship you have to be willing to take a chance and make a move that goes beyond finding some new arms for the bullpen. With that in mind, I think Minaya has to at least keep an open mind about trading either David Wright or Jose Reyes if a blockbuster deal is out there to be made. It's probably not realistic to think he'll pull the trigger there, however, and it's still too soon to give up on either of them as chokers. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/columnists/harper/index.html
THE NY POST It is worth remembering that the MetsNew York Mets ' spiritual antecedents, the Brooklyn Dodgers, endured back-to-back Septembers that were even more apocalyptic than what these Mets endured. They lost in 1950 when the Phillies' Dick Sisler hit a homer in the top of the 10th inning of game 154. They lost in 1951 when Bobby Thomson hit a homer in the bottom of the ninth of game 157. In this very newspaper, the great Jimmy Cannon posed this question: "The Dodgers make you wonder if there is something wrong with them that can't be found in a boxscore. Can they keep going back to the drawing board with the same pieces of chalk?" The answer was an unequivocal "yes." They kept coming back, year after year, with the same core. Of the nine men who started the final playoff game against the GiantsNew York Giants in 1951, six of them - Carl Furillo, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Don Newcombe, Jackie Robinson - started Game 1 of the 1955 World Series four years - and three additional heartbreaks - later. And a seventh, Roy Campanella, would have been in both lineups if he hadn't been hurt in '51. The good people of Brooklyn prayed for Gil Hodges, who as a young player struggled every bit as much in the clutch as David Wright; it was Hodges who hit the go-ahead home run in Game 7 of the '55 Series. It would serve the good people of Flushing well to remember that.
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)