We had a great discussion for Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment. Former NFL and college football coach John Shoop (who now lives in the Asheville area) co-hosted with Pat Ryan and the three of us got into ESPN’s report of MLB considering a quarantined season in Arizona.
Under this proposal, all 30 MLB teams would play in spring training ballparks and the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field with players and team personnel sequestered together for four to five months. While the idea sounds feasible, is it really possible under current circumstances with COVID-19?
Shortly before I called into WISE Sports Radio for my regular baseball segment with Pat Ryan, news of Al Kaline’s death was being widely reported. I have far more to say on the Detroit Tigers legend and Hall of Famer than I could articulate on show. But I’m glad I did have an opportunity to express my feelings about Kaline.
We also discussed the MLB players union making sure that established major leaguers who signed minor-league contracts in spring training, hoping to catch on with a roster, were being paid during baseball’s shutdown. And a proposal for extra innings from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner that could be a lot of fun.
For those of us in sports media, the NFL is thankfully still making some news that isn’t someone contracting COVID-19 or wondering when a postponed season will resume. (Although football is facing those questions now…)
On Thursday’s WISE Sports Radio NFL segment, Pat Ryan, Mike Gore, and I wonder if Antonio Brown is angling for a gig with the Baltimore Ravens, why no team has signed defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and whether or not Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and his recovering hip will be the second quarterback selected in the NFL Draft.
We talk baseball Wednesdays on WISE Sports Radio. Even though MLB games aren’t being played right now and it’s uncertain when the season will begin, there are still topics worth discussing like how minor league players and major leaguers are going to be paid during the next two months.
But one of the things that’s always been fun about The WISE Guys show is that Pat Ryan likes going off-topic into pop culture. And with many people, including me, posting lists of favorite albums and live concerts, we talked about some of my favorites, including The Replacements, Sugar, and INXS.
With the White House and CDC extending social distancing restrictions on gatherings of 50 people or more to April 30, a Major League Baseball season can’t begin until June at the earliest.
A shortened season is a near-certainty, which left MLB and the players’ union to work out many logistics in terms what players will be paid and the conditions games would be played under. On Monday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment, Pat Ryan and I went over the big points of the new agreement.
UNC Asheville coach Mike Morrell guest-hosted with Pat Ryan for Thursday’s WISE Guys show on WISE Sports Radio. So we got some coaching and roster-building insight for our NFL segment. (UNCA is really lucky to have Coach Morrell and women’s coach Brenda Kirkpatrick Brown on campus and in town. Both great coaches and great people.)
We discussed Cam Newton’s chances of catching on with another NFL team after the Carolina Panthers released him this week, the approach new coach Matt Rhule is taking with the roster, and how much the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might improve with Tom Brady.
It was bound to happen one of these days. I had my computer ready to record my WISE Sports Radio baseball segment about 15 minutes before I was on. Then I brewed a cup of coffee, added to my notes, and the phone rang from the station. Forgot to get back to my computer to hit record! Oops.
We discussed Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale needing season-ending (if baseball season ever begins) reconstructive elbow surgery, the possibility of MLB playing more doubleheaders this season, and a new advocacy group for minor leaguers trying to get those players a better salary, along with keeping them housed and paid while the sport is on hold due to COVID-19.