I Guess You Wouldn’t Be A Mets Fan If You Didn’t Overreact

There is a segment of this fan base that really needs to stop listening to sports talk radio for your own good. There are too many of you that take the word of the gasbags on WFAN and WEPN as sports gospel. The biggest offender seem to be the wanna- be shock jock on WFAN in the early AM who threw out a line that a Mets “official” said the club was going to honor Chipper Jones during the Braves last visit to NYC. I guess the fact that the wanna- be shock jock’ partner, the fair haired Norman Esiason has been taking days off here and there (maybe NFL Norman is trying to tell wanna- be shocks partner Norman that this morning gig is bad for you imagine and credibility) left the wanna-be shock with nothing to talk about since his scope of sports knowledge seems to be whatever is in the daily fish wraps and what he reads on blogs, so with no partner to banter with he decided to join in on every media types favorite target of belittlement, the NY Mets.

After it was broadcast over the biggest waste of 50,000 watts in radio, that the Mets were thinking about honoring Chipper Jones, the lunatic fringe of Metsopotania flew into a Tweeting rage. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m a lifelong Mets fans I’d have laughed my ass off over the over reaction by some fans but instead I’m left shaking my head and letting out a great big “sigh”.

The Mets are not going to hold a “Larry Jones Night” at Citi Field. If anything they will have a short and sweet pre-game annoucemnt that no one will even see as it will be so far from game time you will still be on the Shake Shack line. The will give Jones a plaque and acknowledge his Hall of Fame career and wish him the best on his retirement. It will take you longer to decide what dipping sauce you want with your Box Frites Belgian fries.

Yes I understand that Jones was a one man wrecking crew against the Mets for his career but I also understand the he thoroughly enjoyed competing on the New York stage and he appreciates the rich history of New York baseball.  As I’ve mentioned many times, he loved to interact with Mets fans and always found time to sign autographs. Ask David Wright about Jones and how he has helped Wright with encouragement or a batting tip here or there.

I guess if you haven’t been witness to Jones’ mingling with Mets fans all you would see is a guy who beat our brains in but if you’ve seen Jones up close at Shea or Citi dealing with Mets fans you know he’s a classy guy. The Mets are just acknowledging that class.

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IN NYC YOU CAN GET GREAT PASTRAMI,BUT GREAT SPORTS TALK RADIO? I’M AFRAID NOT

It will be tough to read any Mets news this week as NYC has turned its sports eye to this Sunday’s Super Bowl (with a squint at Madison Square Garden as Knicks fans await the firing of coach Mike D’Antoni and Mike Woodson taking over for the season) and the over saturation of information that will come out of Indianapolis all week. One of the more interesting aspects of this fountain of information is the two sports radio station in town going head to head on Radio Row.

David Hinckley has a column in today’s NY Daily News on how both station will be on Radio Row fighting for guests and for the ears of the New York sports fan.  What makes it even more interesting is FAN is the flagship station for the NY Giants games and WEPN carries NY Jets games. Both station have players under contract for weekly spots with Anonte Rolle , a provocative weekly guest of Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts and Eli Manning who calls in to Michael Kay show each week.

WEPN has never made a dent in the ratings and as the Great Sports Pope, Mike Francesa likes to say, “Dey cum ta wawr wit pea shootas” .WEPN’s biggest problem is they can’t decide if they want to be national sports radio broadcasting in NYC or a hybrid National/Local station. To be honest here, I’ve kind of weaned my way off WFAN. I’ll listen to the station at work but when I’m in the car I’ll listen to Sirius/XM radio, mostly MLB Radio.   

As much as I would love to listen to someone other than Francesa, when I tune into the Michael Kay Show it’s the sports talk equivalent to fingers nails on a chalk board.  What make it worse is I really like Don LaGreca and I’ve always felt he was being wasted as a second banana on the Kay show.

When you look at the WEPN line up, it’s no wonder it gets miniscule ratings.  Even though Mike and Mike is an ESPN infomercial, I kind of enjoy listening to them but again they are a National show which makes it more puzzling why they follow M & M with the totally unlistenable Colin Cowherd, again another National show.  At 12 noon the station puts on its best effort of the day in airing Ryan Ruocco and Robin Lundburg. Ruocco and Lundburg are young and come with a fresher, hipper way of doing sports talk that is quite refreshing, the problem is they only get two hours of air time as at 2pm WEPN turns into old foggey radio with the Mike Lupica Show. Lupica has not been relevant on the New York sport scene in about 10 years when he was at least watching sporting events on television (stories were all around that Lupey never attended games he wrote about it seems he’s beneath siting in a press box) what line of thinking is going through WEPN program director Dave Roberts head that he feels an hour of Lupey is better radio than an extra hour of Ruocco and Lundberg?

Sure it’s a tough task to overtake WFAN in the ratings as they are the founding fathers of sports talk radio not just in NYC but the country but it can be done if you go out a get younger hosts who are social media savvy who can talk about multiple subjects instead of beating listeners to death with Rex Ryan coaching critiques and 1960’s Yankees retrospectives. WEPN is missing a great opportunity to reach hockey fans by not giving LaGreca a weekend hockey show especially with the station airing NY Rangers games. Same for doing an NBA show. I know Stephen (Screamin’) A. Smith can polarized listeners but he is in tune with the NBA and by paring him up with the underutilized and underrated Larry Hardesty I’m sure they would move the rating needle north.

When you think about it here we live in a city that is sports crazy with multiple teams in four major sports but we don’t have a decent sports talk radio station to listen to. Sad, don’t you think?

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