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REShow: Gabe Lacques - Hour 3 (7-8-2022)

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July 8, 2022 3:10 pm

REShow: Gabe Lacques - Hour 3 (7-8-2022)

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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July 8, 2022 3:10 pm

Dan Schwartzman fills in for Rich Eisen. NHL Draft. It’s just not the same spectacle as the NFL or NBA drafts. Gabe Lacques USA Today MLB reporter. Wimbledon final. Djokovic vs Kyrgios.

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Upgrade today by calling 877-ASK-DELL to save up to 48% on our latest technology. The Rich Eisen Show with guest host, Dan Schwartzman. And now, sitting in for Rich, it's Dan Schwartzman. That's right, our three Dan in for Rich on a Friday, a beautiful Friday at least on parts of the East Coast here.

Hope everybody is planning themselves a nice exciting summery weekend coming up. Last night I tried to follow the hockey draft and I commend the NHL for trying to make this into a spectacle. The NFL has mastered the NFL draft being an incredible event.

Hundreds of thousands of people show up, they pack entire cities, there's a whole run-up to the event. I remember, by the way, as a youngster when the draft is always held in New York, it was at the Paramount Theater at Madison Square Garden. It wasn't even in the main, you know, part of Madison Square Garden where the Knicks and Rangers play where, you know, 19,000 people can sit. It was in the Paramount Theater of Madison Square Garden, which is like a smallish theater within the confines of the building. And I remember as a high school, I guess I was a junior or a senior, going to the 1996 draft. The Jets, I was a Jets fan, the Jets had the number one pick in the draft, Keyshawn Johnson, so I went.

And we sat there for hours and it was great. And then, you know, as the draft grew in status and I got into this business, I went to the Radio City Music Hall draft where obviously that's a massive place and I've seen the expansion of the draft when it went to Philadelphia a few years back and just hundreds of thousands of people packing the, you know, the roadway leading up to this steps, to the art museum, Rocky Steps, you know. And you saw what happened when it was in Vegas this year.

The amount of people, even with COVID, right? I mean, it's massive what's become of the NFL draft. The NBA draft is a big spectacle as well. It's great.

It's fun. Baseball has now started televising their draft just a few years back. I mean, it wasn't as if every year they televised a draft.

It wasn't a big deal to them. And hockey has always tried to do a nice job televising it. They have the, you know, the top players be there. They had it in Montreal. You got fans.

It's cool, right? And I've tuned in yesterday to watch because I love sports and I am a hockey fan, so I wanted to watch. The problem is you cannot get really invested in the NHL draft, even as a hockey fan, unless your team's picking first, second, third, or whatever it might be, and even then it's hard to get invested for two reasons. One, you don't know these players.

We aren't watching these guys. Jura Slavkovski going number one overall to the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal is a cool story for the 2022 upper deck draft at the Bell Center. It's a cool story, and I'm sure he's a great player playing in Finland being a Slovakian. Did anybody watch TPS in Liga Finland's top professional league play? A lot of TPS fans there, huh? A lot of you guys watch TPS on tape delay from Europe? No.

You didn't, right? The number two guy, I don't know who he is either. I have no idea who these guys are, and I've never seen them play.

That's the issue. Simon or Simone Nemec picked by the Devils, number two, another Slovakian. I've never seen coolies in America, but I've never seen them play. Never seen them.

Why? Because they're playing in overseas leagues for one. Or they're playing for the U.S. Developmental League, which again, where am I watching those games? I'm not. I don't watch junior hockey coming out of Canada like the Oshawa Generals.

I'm not watching that. The Sault Ste. Marie whoever's, right?

Mustangs or whatever it is? Peter Burrow? I don't know. I don't know these guys. We can look at statistics and say, wow, that guy put up big numbers. But a lot of guys coming from Europe, A, don't put up big numbers, and B, the ones coming out of the OHL in these Canadian leagues, everybody puts up big numbers in those leagues. So the whole thing that I'm telling you and looking at is the fact that I don't feel invested in the NHL draft, kind of like the baseball draft, because for one, we just don't know these guys and we've never seen them play, except for highlight reels. I can make a highlight reel of anybody and make them look great, right? Because it's picking and choosing a very minuscule amount of times in film compared to the entire body of work of watching them 10, 20, 30 times a year and seeing them play over the course of not just a game, but the season. We're looking at a two-minute highlight reel going, yeah, that guy looks great. Maybe he looks terrible in the other film, right?

We don't know. You can manipulate highlight reels left and right. High school prospects do it all the time to try to get college. Scholarships or coaches will, you know, pick the four great plays they've made, even though they may have had 20 terrible missed tackles, right, throughout the course of a game.

That's the first problem. The second problem is just because you draft a guy, when are you going to actually see him playing in the NHL? Even number one overall picks now don't go straight into the NHL. The guy last year who went number one overall, I believe, played at Michigan this past year. Now he's going to be in the NHL a year after being drafted number one. Michigan had like five guys who were high first-round picks on their roster this year. So maybe this Yura Slavkoski is going to be playing for the Canadians this year.

Maybe he returns to Finland for one more year of, quote, seasoning, right? This guy, Logan Cooley, he went third overall to Arizona. I believe he's going to go play college hockey for a year.

Look, I'm a New York Ranger fan. They drafted Igor Shasterkin in like 2014. He didn't come to the States like 2019, like 2020. They drafted Keondre Miller. He played at Wisconsin for a couple of years before he came. So just because you may get excited because they had a high draft pick and drafted a guy that an analyst tells you looks great and is a big part of your team's future, you're not going to even see him play at the NHL level most likely for a couple of years. And that's so similar to the baseball draft, right?

The hockey draft mirrors to me the baseball draft, which is a bunch of college players or high school seniors, and there's too many guys to choose from. And we're not watching high school baseball. And very few of us will sit there and watch the College World Series. As fun as it is, very few people actually sit there and watch the College World Series.

So you don't know these guys. And then once you draft the guy, even number one overall out of some high school in like Round Rock, Texas, or Harvard-Westlake High School in California, it's like the L.A. region, right? Art? Harvard-Westlake? Yeah, it's up in the Valley. Yeah.

North of L.A. It's like a powerhouse. There's like four guys in Major League Baseball right now who are like teammates at Harvard-Westlake at the same time.

It's like what? Max Fried, I think, of the Braves. Lucas Giolita, I think, of the White Sox. The guy pitching for the Cardinals. And I forgot who the other guy is. I think three or four guys off that same rotation or pitching staff are all high draft picks and are all playing in the Major Leagues right now.

They better have one state that year. It's Phil Bickford. Phil Bickford? From the Dodgers. The Dodgers. And who's the guy from the Cardinals? I forgot. He just came back from, I think his last name is Kennedy or something. He just came back from an injury, I think. They all played, I think, at the same time at Harvard-Westlake.

Again, they better have one state. It's like when, I think it was like Joey Gallo, Bryce Harper, and I forgot who the other player was, were all playing at the same time in Vegas. But again, you know, you draft the guy number one overall in baseball. If he's in the Major Leagues three years later, that's a quick rise, right?

He's an 18-year-old kid out of high school. You draft him. He goes through rookie league. If he's a college guy, he usually starts in single A then. If he does well, he gets moved up.

Double A, triple A. If you're lucky, in three years, the guy's going to be there. You never knew who he was on draft night because you don't watch high school baseball or even college baseball. And even after being excited that they got a guy that the analysts tell you is great, you don't see him for three or four years. Doesn't that sound very familiar to what I was just talking about with the hockey draft?

It's the exact same concept. So hard to get excited when you just don't know the prospects. The NBA draft or the NFL draft, there's a pattern, right? You do your mock draft. If you're a real fan, you do a mock draft. And then you follow along and then based on who's getting picked where, you start to shift your draft boards of who's remaining, who went higher than you expected, who's kind of dropping.

Kind of the fun part. And we've seen these guys because most of us that love sports will sit there and watch college football on a Saturday so we've learned who the players are that we should look forward to, right? And then you have the combine process. You have Senior Bowl. You have the personal workouts at their respective schools that you hear so much about. Oh, did you hear about so-and-so?

He ran a 4-3-40 after a 4-4 at the combine. Boom, draft stock is increased. In the NBA, you've watched them play most likely a one-and-done year at a top program that's on TV that usually makes the NCAA tournament so you get to watch them on the national stage of March Madness. And sure, you've got the Euro players that you may not know, right?

But they're kind of sprinkled in there. The majority, the bulk of the guys you do know. You know the Trae Youngs coming out, the DeAndre Aytons, Marvin Bagley. You understand these guys. You didn't know Luka Doncic except what you read from the scouting reports, how he exploded for this many points playing for was it Real Madrid or something or Barcelona in the Euro League.

But that's all you hear. So you don't really know the European guys but they don't make up the bulk of the actual draft. And as I commend the NHL and Major League Baseball for trying to make the draft big because they see the success of the NBA and especially the NFL, they will never get to those heights because we don't know these guys. And they don't come straight into the league the way that in the NFL, a guy goes straight into your pro team, there's no minor league. And in the NBA, if your high draft pick has to go play in the G League, then obviously he stinks and shouldn't have been drafted that high, right? That's the problem.

When a high draft pick ends up in the G League, it's because he's failed in the NBA for two or three years and the team thinks, okay, this is the last chance to maybe be able to salvage him. Let him go play G League ball and hopefully the light bulb goes off in his head and he changes. It's a problem. But you can't change it.

There's no way to change it. Because even if you tried to televise Finnish league games or KHL games or whatever it might be, no one's going to watch, right? When baseball had the lockout, I tuned in and watched some Korean baseball, I watched some Japanese baseball here and there, but I'm half, you know, my mother's from Japan. I know Japanese baseball, so I'll watch. I appreciate it.

I understand it. I know the top players. But I couldn't watch Korean baseball.

I don't know the guys. As much of a baseball fan you might be, just because it's baseball, you're not going to sit there and watch. Like I was a little desperate because I love major league baseball and I'll watch the spring training game, but they were locked out and we didn't have an opportunity to watch this stuff.

So I did watch Korean baseball and then was gladly watching Japanese baseball. But it's hard to get invested because, again, I don't know these players. A handful of guys that you may have heard about, especially in Japan, you have, I think, I think there's a limit of two or three Western players that you can have on your team. And yeah, you hear about some of these guys. You remember the names from when they were in the major leagues. Some of them were half-decent players. Others were not. And it's just hard.

If you don't know guys, it's very hard to be invested. That's really a major problem. It is. And that's what happened with the NHL draft yesterday. I just could not, I couldn't follow it.

Could not follow it. And by the way, did you notice something, Art, with the NHL draft? In the NBA, you see it a lot. There's a lot of trades, right? A lot of draft picks are picked and then the guy is traded.

He never actually suits up for the team that drafted him. There were a lot of trades that didn't sell draft, right? It just seemed that teams were not valuing draft picks. They were getting veteran players for draft picks. I think it was Arizona traded a pretty high pick. I think they traded, Montreal traded a defenseman and a fourth-round pick to the Islanders for the No. 13 pick. Yes, there were some goalies traded. Exactly.

It's really strange, honestly. It looked like the NBA draft in that regard where teams were trying to get out of drafting in the first round. The NBA, there's a reason, because the guy selecting the first round, it's a guaranteed contract. Once you get past the first round, second-round picks are not guaranteed contracts. You can draft guys, stash them in Europe for years.

It doesn't matter. They may never come over, right? But you don't have to pay them. First-round picks, you have to pay them. So some teams that are in weaker drafts especially will treat their draft pick like it's monkey pox.

They will run from it. They don't want it. Because they don't want to deal with having to put a guy in a roster and guarantee him a contract because of where he was drafted. Hockey, I don't think it's the same way. You hold on to these rights, but it's like trading these picks like it's candy, you know?

No big deal. Yeah, take this 13th pick. Other drafts, it's like, my goodness, the 13th pick. I'm holding on to that. It's a big pick.

No, take this 13th pick. Give us this Alexander Romanov. Also, by the way, in the hockey draft yesterday, Art, do you see the two Russian talents, like two Russians were like really highly regarded. This defenseman and this offensive guy. And I think one went 20th, one went like 26th overall, but apparently they were projected to go much, much higher. And what the story was... It's the Putin factor. Yes, they can't guarantee that they can get these guys out of Russia or they're going to want to come play in Russia.

Craziest thing, like really the craziest story. This guy went 26th overall, I think it was. Or 20, where did he go? A guy that was, I think 24th, Danila Yurov. He was drafted 24th overall after the Russian defenseman Ivan Miroschnichenko went 20th. But the guy who went 24th was apparently like a legit top 10 talent.

Or sorry, Miroschnichenko was a left winger. But these guys went much lower than they should have gone. Because of the fact that people are afraid you can't get them out of Russia right now with what's going on. And will Putin let them go?

That's the thing, right? Or is he going to force them to play in the KHL because, hey, let's beef up our league. Forget the West, forget America and their NHL. Let's make the KHL better, which is the second best league in the world anyway for hockey. But let's make it where you are going to play here and represent your country by playing in your country's league. And if relations improve, then one day you can go play in the NHL, right? You would probably have to sit out a year or two anyway. Usually they do in Russia and they keep playing in the KHL until their contract ends.

But I'll tell you what, like... It's either that or they get sent to the gulag. Well that one guy did. There's that crazy story of this guy, this Flyers goaltender. He's considered one of the top goaltenders in the world, not playing in the NHL. He was like a 6th round pick in 2015 and he's really developed into a top goalie. And he was in Russia and there was like a documentary being filmed on this guy. And the Flyers were expecting him to come to camp this year and truly vie to be the starting goalie because Carter Hart's not been any good since being a top prospect.

He hasn't lived up to it. So they had the expectation this guy Fedorov or something was going to show up and fight for that number one job. Well, he's leaving his rink in St. Petersburg and he's met by military police, starts having heart palpitations because he's like, Oh my gosh, goes to a hospital. No one knows what happens to him. Next thing you know there's pictures of him at some Russian naval base in Siberia. And the talk now is they are going to conscript him for a year because he didn't do his one year military service. You see? That's the Putin factor.

Right. And apparently the Flyers haven't had contact with him. His agent hasn't had contact with him. And no one knows what's going on except that there's a picture of him at some Russian naval base in Siberia. And the rest of the talk now is other teams with Russian stars that have actually gone back this offseason. Like Kirill Karpetsov, I think his name is, the guy from the Minnesota Wild, the star player, and also, what is it, Sorokin, Ilya Sorokin, the goalie for the Islanders. They also play for this CSK Moscow team, which is affiliated with the military. And they're in Russia. And while they claim they're not worried that they're going to be held back and not allowed back here, there is some concern, this Kirill Karpetsov or something from the Minnesota Wild, there was this rumor going out, mind my pun, this wild rumor, that he was under arrest because he had a falsified military ID or something. He had some crazy talk.

And all these teams are now scrambling. Real quick, Shostakin, who just won the Vezina. I know what it was. I know what it was.

Who was it? He stoned Putin. And Putin. And that's it. Putin loves to play.

That was not a popular move. Putin loves to play hockey. And he loves to score. And if you stone him, you go to the gulag. Exactly that. Sorokin's finished. But real quick, Shostakin of the Rangers, who just won the Vezina trophy, decided that he wasn't going back for the offseason.

He stayed in New York. Because, again, people worry. Very smart move. Very smart move, yeah.

It is insane what's going on. He saw it yesterday play out in the hockey draft. Well, we've seen it with Britton Griner, too. Yeah, no, absolutely.

Unbelievable. We're going to talk some baseball next. Gabe Lax, he will join us.

I just want to talk a little, I don't know, All-Star. Also, of course, a little Tony. That's next. Dan Schwartzman in for Rich Eisen on a Friday right here on the Rich Eisen Show. Dove Men Plus Care Dry Spray. Goes on dry.

Clean feel all day. 23 past the hour. Hour three. Rich Eisen Show.

Dan Schwartzman in for Rich on this Friday. Major League Baseball halfway point of the season. All-Star game coming up shortly.

Very soon, actually. I like baseball All-Star game. I do. It's always one of the better ones to me. Better than the NBA. Better than the NHL. And way better than the Pro Bowl. In fact, I think it's the best of the four major sports.

A lot to get into. We bring on Gabe Lax. Covers MLB for USA Today Sports.

And, you know, Gabe, I want to start off, look, I can sit here and talk Shohei Ohtani every single day. But the guy just has thrown, what, four straight starts where he has not allowed an earned run. He's on pace for the usual 35 or so home runs. And yet, you know, people say he won the MVP last year.

His team's just not that good this year. Maybe he's not been as good hitting-wise this year, but he's been a better pitcher this year, Gabe. I mean, if he continues this and ends up with 200 strikeouts, 12 wins, and hits 35 home runs and gets 100 RBIs, he's still giving the MVP to Aaron Judge?

It's a really good question and one that gains a little more validity with every, you know, six or seven shutout innings that he throws. My first rule of MVP voting is there are no rules. You never know what direction a given season will take and where it will take you. And, yeah, I generally don't prefer MVPs coming from non-playoff teams, from last-place teams, or whatever the case may be. But at the same time, you do have to, you can't just out-and-out say that that can't happen because sometimes Shohei Ohtani comes around. Sometimes 2003 A-Rod will hit 52 home runs for a last-place team.

You just never know what a given year will bring you. So, I think at this point Aaron Judge is still the MVP, especially with the numbers he's putting up in the offensive environment that we have this year. But, by all means, we can't get jaded by what Ohtani did last year, by what he's doing this year. He seems almost strangely underrated or underappreciated, so definitely something to keep an eye on and appreciate as the season goes on.

I'm a baseball fanatic, and to me, I'm a Yankee fan too. And when it comes to Aaron Judge and the contract negotiations that are either secretly taking place now or will begin once the offseason begins, you have other guys that you can look at and say, this guy makes X, Judge will make more than that, but they're similar types of players, right? He can field in center field.

He's obviously a very dangerous bat. Ohtani hits free agency a year later, and he'll be a year younger than what Judge is when he hits free agency this offseason, and there's no comp. So, when it comes financially down to it, Gabe, and you're not an accountant, I don't think, the reality is what kind of money do you think that Shohei Ohtani is going to get per year? Because again, you can't put him up against another guy and say, well, he makes X, he should make Y. There's so many conversations of that nature happening in so many front offices right now, simply because you're also trying to project two players, in a sense, and trying to figure out, will he pitch at the, I think that's the bigger question, will he pitch at this level for an extended period of time? Because that's clearly what separates him from your garden variety slugger, even if he does, I mean, if he hits another 46 home runs this year, another 40 next year, and then hits the market at less than 30 years old or just about at 30 years old, that will command him plenty of money, and certainly the kind of money that Judge is seeking somewhere well north of $200 million a year, north of $30 million average annual value, that's probably fair. Now, the pitching piece of it is fascinating because, yeah, he is getting better as a pitcher.

He's already had one Tommy Jones surgery, so you do worry about a second. On the other hand, he got it out of the way, quote unquote, so that adds to his marketability in a sense. And then you throw out the fact that, okay, what is Otani worth as a drawing card in terms of international interest and sponsorships and all that kind of stuff? That's a really unanswerable question because you would think he would be a bigger star and that Anaheim isn't Peoria, but it's also not quite Los Angeles either. You wonder how much more marketable Otani might be in a New York or LA proper or for a more vaunted franchise like the Cubs or the Red Sox or a team that consistently makes the playoffs.

A lot of unknowns with that as well. But yeah, if he remains upright and physically healthy and does not take a step back pitching-wise, gosh, are we looking at a $40 million a year player? And the fact that his age is where it's at, that might make a lot more sense, maybe a slightly shorter term deal for a massive average annual value. That may be what best suits him for his future. So it's coming quickly and the time to talk about it is pretty much here. So it's a really great point that you raise.

And there's the other issue here is this. With the DH being universal now, he can always DH, right? And if you worry about the innings that he's going to pitch as a starter, his stuff is closer stuff as well, right?

Think about it. He throws 101, has incredible secondary pitches as well. If you worry about innings, maybe later in his career he becomes a closer. So there's still options of how you can say, I can pay him $40 million and I don't think at the end of that contract I'm getting ripped off because of the fact there's other avenues of what he can do on the field where he can continue to justify it more so than a one-dimensional player. And I'm not going to say judge is truly one-dimensional, but he's a slugger, right? He plays good outfield.

But that's it. If he's hurt, he can't just moonlight as something else the way that Shoei Ohtani can. So I think that to me is the difference where maybe you can justify a longer term contract because there's the option of him as a closer or just strictly DHing as well while getting healthy from a Tommy John, which we saw in the past, Gabe. It's crazy, really, to think about what we're seeing. I think you're going to start to see more guys, maybe way back in the day you called them a fireman, but I think you're going to start to see a lot more value in guys who can pitch three high-leverage inning appearances twice a week.

That would be a phenomenal role for him. The question is, he's needed so much planning and kind of a rigorous schedule, basically pitching. He's not a once-every-five-days guy. He's a once-every-seven-days guy. This year, those days seem to be Wednesday, Thursday.

A couple of years back, it was Sunday, Monday. Can he be a little looser going forward in his regimen and all that? Can he hold up physically if it's not so predictive? It seems like the Angels have really stumbled upon a really good plan. We're looking at right now going on two years of really great health. Obviously, the pitching arm is holding up.

They've definitely stumbled upon something. It is interesting to see what form that will take as he gets on the other side of 30 going forward. Chat with Gabe Lacks covers baseball for USA Today Sports here on the Rich Eisen Show. Dan Schwartzman in for Rich. The Atlanta Braves, the World Series champions, got off to a slow start. They've turned things around. One of the big reasons is a rookie named Spencer Schreider. I mean, who is this guy? It's remarkable to see. An X-factor that nobody really considered.

Not that I was throwing dirt on their chances this year per se, but I really did think that there was a hangover year in progress. And then he steps on the scene. Started out in the bullpen, started out kind of getting spoon-fed innings and whatnot, but now it's just such a big boon. When you combine the emergence of Kyle Wright with Spencer Schreider, then suddenly the woes of Charlie Morton, not woes per se, but just not performing at an all-star level, and Ian Anderson's inconsistency. Suddenly, that's plenty to stomach. Here we are talking about a guy, just a fourth-round pick a couple of years ago, coming on very quickly, but the K-rate is legit.

The stuff is very legit. Again, the back nine of season is always interesting to observe. Can he keep it up? Can he handle the leap in innings that is always tricky for a young pitcher? He only threw 96 innings last year total. Did not pitch at all in 2020 after his draft year. He's already up to 66 innings.

Do you spoon-feed him a little more in the second half, or do you just throw that caution to the wind and hope he can keep it up? That's going to be a huge question for them, and that is going to be a phenomenal race. Braves-Mets are going to be fun. A couple of really great teams with really big expectations. One of these years, we're going to get a great NL East shootout with two, three, four teams. Seems like there's always a couple teams that disappoint a year, but Braves-Mets will definitely be worth the cost of admission going down the stretch.

Yes, separated by three and a half games. Mets still getting healthier at the pitching staff with Scherzer back, and DeGrom is now rehabbing and should be back sometime soon. Gabe, real quick, Yankees have six more wins than anybody else. They score the most runs. They give up the least amount of runs. To me, one of the big weaknesses has sometimes been Aaron Boonette, manager, being a little too much by the book.

Same thing this year? Have we noticed maybe a shift in him as one of the reasons why the Yankees have been this good? I think the dominance has just been such that they're able to outkick any of that. A lot of Boon's rigidity comes from the front office. I think the reason he was there and Girardi was no longer there is Girardi might occasionally go with the gut feel a little bit. Even though he took them within a game of the 2017 World Series, I think the Yankees were seeking even more by the book, more analytic-driven decisions. I've got to say, I wasn't on their train at the start of the year. I thought they would get one of those last wildcards, maybe even be three or four in that AL East. But the steps taken by particularly the pitching staff, when you talk about Jordan, Montgomery, Jamison, Tyone, Nestor, Cortez, and what they needed offensively, defensively was perfect.

The catching duo of Trevino and Higashioka, the defense of Kiner, Fuleppa, moving Glaber over to second base, all those moves worked out brilliantly and I'm stunned at how well it's worked out. So credit to them, definitely. No question.

Gabe Lacks covering baseball for USA Today Sports. Gabe, appreciate you hopping on the show. Have a great weekend. Appreciate it, Dan. Anytime.

Great stuff there. I love talking baseball. I got to say, I'm 43 years old. I'll be 44 in September.

That's right, get the presidents ready. I'm in that generation where baseball is still number one. I know that for the younger guys and gals, for me, baseball isn't number one. Oh, it's too long. It's so boring.

Oh, my goodness. Let's speed up the game. Honestly, I mean, sit me in a, put me in a seat at a stadium for three and a half hours and make the food and beer a little cheaper. You know, forget the length of the game. It's the price of the food and the beer.

Make it a little bit cheaper. I could sit there all day. My ideal of heaven, my idea of heaven is sitting at a ballpark with a hot dog and a beer. Although I have to tell you, Dodger dogs are overrated. Hate to tell you. Hey, hey. They are. I, they are.

I was, I came out to L.A. The all-beef Dodger dog? Oh, my gosh. Overrated. That's, that's heaven. No, not for the, what is it, 20 bucks or some, some ridiculous. Yeah, I know.

And that's, it's outrageous now, but. I was out there. I went to Dodger Stadium. I went to the Big A. I've been out to L.A. like three or four times in the last like six years or five years. And I went to Dodger Stadium. I've been to the Big A.

Clearly, Dodger Stadium is great. I love it. I, I know that people want to do some renovations here and there, but it's great. I love it the way it is. You don't have a bad seat in the house. I love going up to the roof, taking a look down.

Awesome place. More so than the Big A, which to me is more cookie cutter, you know. Food-wise, though, I mean, Dodger Stadium, that Dodger dog, the helmeted nachos. Classic, man. You got to work all day, all week to afford to just go there and eat, right? Yeah, exactly.

Incredibly expensive. Got to pay for Cody Bellinger's salary. Can there be, at this point, do you want to just DFA him? What do you want to do?

No, that'd be Muncie. Well, what happened? I mean, this is a team of 53 wins, yet there's all these questions. Freddie Freeman's been good, you know, but I agree.

What is the deal? You know, Mookie's Mookie, of course, but Cody Bellinger's hitting 211 with 11 home runs. What is Max Muncie hitting?

Jeez. 164 with 8 home runs. He's become Joey Gallo Lite with less strikeouts.

But I don't understand Bellinger. He's still young. He's 26 years old, right? Had that great rookie year. Third year, he wins MVP.

And he has dropped off the face of the earth since. I mean, since 2019, when Cody Bellinger rightfully so won the MVP with a 305 average, 47 homers, 115 RBIs, 95 walks, 108 strikeouts, had an OPS of 1.035. He had a war of nine that year. 2020, 239, 12 home runs.

Okay, shortened season. 2021, 165, 10 home runs. This year, 211, 11 home runs in 76 games. 92 strikeouts in 280 at bats. This is a guy who, in 2019, struck out 108 times in 558 at bats. Last year, struck out 94 times in 315 at bats. This year, he's already struck out 92 times in 280 at bats.

At what point do you say, okay, maybe this guy was literally a two-year monster and that was it? He's solid in center field, though. I mean, he catches everything. Yeah, but are you paying, you know, in today's baseball, are you paying a center fielder to hit 200? I'll give you a Joey Gallo.

What are they paying Bellinger, Ryan? Didn't he get a big contract? Yeah, he did. He did. So do you wonder, like, maybe if he just, he's cruising?

I just want to know what happens. No, if you look at him, no, he's not. He tries. Well, he's not trying hard enough, I'll tell you that. He's certainly not trying hard enough.

He makes absolutely no sense. He's making 16.1. Oh, my goodness.

16.1 million? Oh, my goodness. But that's got to be the biggest question in that city right now when it comes to baseball. Like, what's happened?

Like, what has happened? Is he just, and look, after this year, he's, you know, he's arbitration eligible. Next year, and then 2024, he's a free agent.

And at this pace, if he does not go back to being the Cody Bellinger for the first three years of his career, I'm telling you right now, he will not be a Dodger in 2024. And you'll be happy. Absolutely not. Yeah.

You'll be happy that he's not there. But that's a head scratcher. That's really a head scratcher.

Yeah, I've seen, like, look, because here's the difference. Joey Gallo has never hit much but air or home runs, right? The guy has never been that great of a baseball player.

He's been an all-or-nothing type of guy. Yeah, he walked a bunch, but he's never really hit for a high average. He's regressed to being literally the worst player in baseball. I don't even know why the Yankees even put him out there. He's the sabermetrics guy. He's the reason why sabermetrics in baseball are so dumb.

And Joey Gallo's the perfect answer. People like Joey Gallo as a hitter, even though, literally strikes out 230 times a year. He's atrocious at the plate.

Decent in the outfield. But Cody Bellinger at least had a history of a high batting average, right? Like, not a ton of strikeouts. Sure, he's striking out 150 times a year there, but not to where you thought he'd strike out 200 plus times a year.

And now you're looking at a guy that has not just regressed. You wonder if baseball figured him out, and he's never made the adjustment to whatever they found out. Like, there's something there that's happened where pitchers noticed something.

And the word has been spread around the league. This is how you get Cody Bellinger out. It's the high fastball.

He can't lay off of it, and he, you know, he can't hit it. Is that all it is? Yeah. It must be, right? He's chasing bad pitches too.

Ah, trying too hard. Does he get booed now, or are people still kind of giving him a bit of the doubt? Oh, no, no, no.

We still love him, absolutely. Really? Yeah.

Why? You guys are too patient. How do you, no offense, though, he might be the nicest guy ever, and maybe he kisses babies and takes photographs with everybody that walks by, but at some point you gotta say, man, you're killing us out there. Like, you're making 16, 17 million bucks, and you're killing us out there. Every time you go to the plate, you're a strikeout machine. He's striking out once every three times he goes to the plate. That's unacceptable.

Ah, you guys are really patient. I mean, the Yankee fans give it to Joey Gallo. He gets it. He's also batting 160. Well, so is Bellinger and Matt Muncie, so.

Well, no, Muncie. Bellinger's all the way up at 211, I think. All right, we'll wrap things up next. It's amazing how the Dodgers and Yankees win that many games, having Aaron Hicks and Gallo doing very little and Bellinger and Muncie doing even less in their lineups right now.

Pitching, my friends, wins games, and you are seeing it. Dan Schwartzman on a Friday, filling in for Rich on The Rich Eisen Show. Wrapping things up, it's a Friday.

Dan Schwartzman in for Rich, The Rich Eisen Show. This assassination of the former prime minister in Japan, the thing about it is, and I knew this, I've been in Japan, but it's a relatively gun-free country. It's a country of like 150 million people packed into land mass the size of California. I just read that they had 14 gun deaths in five years. Fourteen gun deaths in five years. The guy built a homemade gun. First thing that popped into my mind when I saw that, what's that movie with Clint Eastwood in the line of fire, right, where John Malkovich, his character, builds the homemade gun? It's exactly what I thought. Unbelievable.

Crazy stuff. Fourteen gun deaths in five years. That's a big debate we have in this country, obviously, but that's a country where having a gun is impossible. You can't get one. Really, it's impossible. Unbelievable, but crazy world we live in right now. Yeah, it's a shame. It's really a shame.

Yeah, really a shame. Crazy world. In a place like Japan, which is one of the most calm, relaxed, and safe countries you're ever going to go to and visit, this is unheard of.

The shockwave reverberating around that country because of this is incredible. It's not something you expect. Maybe a stabbing, you know? You'll have that once in a while. Some guy goes on a stabbing spree, but when it comes to gun violence, never.

Especially a guy that makes one out of metal tubes, wood, and duct tape, electrical tape, things like that. Insanity. Alright, as we wrap things up, some of the things to kind of look at. The French open, excuse me, the Wimbledon final is set, and it's very subdued, obviously. Novak Djokovic loses the first set, he comes back, sweeps the last three, knocks off Cameron Norrie.

He's in the final, no surprise there. I think he's going for what, his fourth straight Wimbledon crown. And we're all kind of excited to see Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. We found out yesterday that was not going to happen as Nadal had to withdraw because he has an abdominal tear in one of his muscles to where he just couldn't play.

Tried to practice yesterday for like 45 minutes, just couldn't play. He can't serve right now, and it's very painful. So Nick Kyrgios with the walkover, we will see Kyrgios going for his first grand slam, and Novak Djokovic.

Good luck, right? But here's the thing, you know, even if Djokovic loses the first set, it's no sweat, right? Like the guy is unbelievable. He loses a set like he did today where he played poorly. Doesn't matter. Djokovic is like, yeah, all right, whatever, let me just wake up now and play.

Remember, he almost lost in the quarterfinals to Janik Sinner. He was down two sets to nothing, right? Five, seven, two, six. And it's like, yeah, all right, let me wake up. All right, enough of this nonsense. Six, three, six, two, six, two, boom.

Moves on. He may lose a set to Kyrgios, but I don't really see him losing. It would be stunning, frankly. It would be absolutely stunning if he was to ever lose to Nick Kyrgios in a five-set match. Stranger things have happened, right?

But not likely. I'm looking at his career here. Djokovic, he's not the nicest guy in the world, but next to Kyrgios, he's a saint. Yeah, I mean, look, you know, you don't hear, obviously the whole vaccine issue was big with him, right?

That was a major deal. But before that, you don't, yeah, you heard maybe some sportsmanship issues here and there. He may wear his emotions on the sleeves a bit, but you never heard of him being like a bad dude, right? No one says he's a terrible guy on tour and people hate him. In fact, from talking to people involved in tennis, he's apparently like a nice guy, right?

But it's funny. He's been in this, you know, he's been playing professionally since 2007, so he's played 15 years. His career earnings are $156.5 million. He's obviously going to add to that with most likely a win, so put him at like $159 million, right? It's the money these guys make, especially tennis players, off the court in endorsements that's so massive. Like the amounts of money they get in endorsement deals because they're not making, look, yes, they're making a lot of money, don't get me wrong, but the most money Novak Djokovic has ever made in a season in terms of prize money was 2015 when he won $16.76 million. I mean, me or you would love to make $16.76 million, but in terms of being a professional athlete, he's making what Cody Bellinger is making, and he's a much better tennis player than Cody Bellinger is a baseball player, right? He could still turn it around. Djokovic or Bellinger? Bellinger.

Come on, Cody, turn it around. That's the most money he's ever made playing tennis in a single season, $16.76 million. It's the endorsements where you're making like another $40, $50, $60 million. But he's not Federer, right? He's not Nadal. He's not lovable like those two guys who make more because when it comes to endorsement, you want somebody that's more, I guess, personable, right? That somebody looks at and says, yeah, if I met him at a bar, I'm sure I could have a drink with him, right?

Like you want a guy that sells your product that you feel people like and gravitate to. Djokovic, to me, like Federer's the ultimate gentleman, right? Like you never think of Roger Federer saying or doing the wrong thing or acting like a jerk on the court, right? And getting into fights with fans and ball people and lines judges and things like that, right?

You never imagine that. Even with Nadal, you don't see that happening. Novak Djokovic, another story. Like he will slam his racket. He will, you know, do things to pump himself up.

Not quite Nick Kyrgyos, who's kind of a lunatic out there on the court. But doesn't it make you want to watch a bit? Like if it was Cameron Noory. Oh, I'm totally watching. I'm going to be totally watching this. If it was Cameron Noory versus Djokovic. I just want to see him destroy Kyrgyos. I wanted to see.

I want to see. If the semifinal matchup of Noory versus Djokovic was a final, honestly, you probably don't watch, right? Because who's Cameron Noory?

There's no storyline with that guy. But because it's a Novak Djokovic going for his, what, 23rd Grand Slam to Ty Rathler or maybe it's the 22nd, whatever it is. And because it's the fourth in a row he's looking to win. And it's because it's Nick Kyrgyos, the bad boy of tennis.

You kind of want to see Djokovic just dominate him and see the antics of Kyrgyos on the court. I do want to thank Ben Troop for joining us, our one, Andrew Branton, our two, and Gabe Lacks talks in baseball with him here in our number three. Always a big thank you to Art Martinez on the other side of the glass doing a great job. Always fun filling in for Rich.

Have a great weekend. I'm Dan Schwartzman. This is the Rich Eisen Show. This is the Rich Eisen Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-05 06:54:34 / 2023-02-05 07:14:20 / 20

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