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After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 3

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
March 21, 2023 6:18 am

After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 3

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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March 21, 2023 6:18 am

QB News: ft. Baker Mayfield, The Indianapolis Colts, and... Cam Newton!? | Nick Saban takes a shot at Nate Oates? | Team USA gets set to play Japan in WBC Championship.

Zach Gelb Show
Zach Gelb

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That's positive. Halfway through our second show of the work week. Monday night, first official night of spring or if it's your Tuesday morning, good morning to you. Ouch, as in ouch, but you're waking up on what is the first morning of spring officially. I hope it feels like spring in your neighborhood. If you're in the northern half of the United States, I know there's still some cold temps in store. In fact, I was looking at my backyard realizing I have yard work to do, but checking the forecast, also seeing how temps are going to drop into the 40s over the weekend with some really cold rain. Not quite the storm that we had last week, but definitely some cold rain, so got to get the yard work done before we before we get to the weekend, which is okay because my taxes aren't finished either, and those should probably take the bulk of my weekend. Garg! The spring is so busy, and since your host is procrastinator extraordinaire, do what I say, not what I do. I think that's a phrase I heard a lot. Since I am a brilliant procrastinator, I was supposed to do my taxes last weekend.

I did not get them finished, so now it's yard work and it's taxes. Glad to have you with us as we head into the second half of the show. We've hit a bunch of March Madness, both on the women's side, as well as Zach Martini of Princeton, the junior Tiger Reserve, who comes off the bench.

I had an awesome opportunity to share his story and the emotions of an historic weekend for the Princeton Tigers, still dancing into the Sweet 16 as a 15 seed. Also from the NBA, the Warriors and their 11-game road losing skid, the Knicks waste a 57-point performance from Julius Randle, and also Ja Morant is expected back by the Grizzlies come Wednesday. If you missed it, in the World Baseball Classic, a walk-off by Japan.

In the bottom of the ninth, a two-run double by their star third baseman after he had three strikeouts earlier in the game, scoring not just Tim Murakami, but also Shohei Ohtani, who was determined to get on base to start that inning. And after Japan stuns Mexico, it'll be Japan versus Team USA on Tuesday night for the World Baseball Classic Championship, and then it's done because we are now just nine days away from all the openers. All 30 teams will open their seasons on March 30th.

That is coming up quick. So these last couple days of March, they really set the tone for April. Second busiest, second most hectic and most chaotic month on the sports calendar. April's also nutso, and then throw in the fact that I'm teaching my first ever class as an adjunct professor. Also taking a trip to Arizona to see family, so an aunt and an uncle on my dad's side, so my grandmother's kids right around the time that she would have been celebrating her 101st birthday. Just a lot going on in April. It will be a roller coaster month emotionally, but a lot to look forward to. It is one of my favorite months of the year. It's After Hours on CBS Sports Radio, on Facebook, also on Twitter.

You can find me, ALawRadio, our show account, After HoursCBS, and we always provide the link to our podcast on weekday mornings. Free agency has now been a thing. It's now been official. We're officially into the free agent frenzy over the last week, and while it slowed down significantly because most of the players have signed, there are still a few that are available. Most recently, we were just talking about the Eagles. CJ Gardner-Johnson picking the Lions over the Eagles, so we'll talk more about some of the other positions on the football field, but you know, we're obsessed with our quarterbacks. The Holmes fires for the end zone, caught. Touchdown Kansas City.

No, Herbert keeps it. End zone. Touchdown Chargers. Herbert with his second of the day.

Here's the snap. Josh going to keep it himself and run it again inside the five. Into the end zone. Touchdown Buffalo. Josh Allen, nine-yard touchdown run.

The Bills respond and then some. It's time for QB news on After Hours. What a difference a year makes for Baker Mayfield. This time last year, still a member of the Cleveland Browns, but was on his way out. We knew that because the Browns had snagged and signed Deshaun Watson.

So Baker waits and waits and waits. Ultimately, gets traded to the Carolina Panthers. Starts a few games, doesn't work out with the Panthers, and before the season is done, he's not only cut, but is a starter for the Los Angeles Rams. Then finishing up the fifth year of his rookie deal. Man, he lived a lot of life under that five-year rookie deal.

Looking for a new home. Gets a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he becomes the next quarterback after Tom Brady's retirement. that.

I'm excited. Like I said, it's an organization that's seen success and following a guy like that. It's special. At least he's not going far, I suppose. Not sure if he kept a home in Charlotte, but staying in the NFC South, where it's worth noting every single team finished below 500 last year. You had the Buccaneers who won the division at eight and nine, and then the other three teams all seven and ten. But as Baker points out, there is a recent track record. The 2020 Super Bowl champions and under Tom Brady, a couple of division titles in there as well.

So at least there are guys who remain from that era, quote unquote. Though they've seen quite a significant turnover in Tampa too. An organization like this that has had success in obviously for a while and as recent years as well. It was important to me to be in a place that's stable and knows how to win, knows how to do it properly. And I've gotten to see different things from my journey that is not exactly how I drew it up.

But it's helped along the way. And especially to make a decision like this. And I want to go somewhere that we can win right away.

And this is that place. There is a much higher standard in Tampa since Tom Brady showed up on the scene. Those expectations, they carry them forward. Even though it's no longer Bruce Arians, it's no longer Brady.

Now it's Todd Bowles. And they're going through and making tough choices. They've let go a bunch of veterans. They're trying to, I would say they're hoping to skip a rebuild, hoping to do more of a reload.

Since there are guys remaining, that's possible. The challenge, of course, is that you're transitioning at quarterback and you no longer have the leadership or the equity of a Tom Brady. But for Baker, this represents a fresh start.

And I got to tell you, I'm now rooting for Baker Mayfield because he was humbled in the last year. And he admits to that. He said it was definitely a struggle. There were times where he was looking at himself in the mirror thinking, all right, what's next?

What do I need to do? If he can use what was a humbling year, if he can use that as motivation, but also recognizing that there's nothing that comes easy, there's no entitlement here. He's not owed anything simply because he was an overall number one draft pick. Yeah, if he can take that hunger into the situation with the Bucks and give them all the intensity and I would say the moxie too that he brings to it, he's got the it factor. Just put all the garbage aside and play free, but play with that extra chip on your shoulder.

Well, then it can be something special in Tampa. It's not how I drew my career up by any means. If I was to tell you how it would go based on the plan, I wouldn't have said that I put on three different uniforms in the year 2022, but that's how it happens. And so you got to learn from it. Roll with the punches. I've grown a lot. I appreciate all the things that have happened throughout my journey and it's helped me get here today. And so I want to play this game so I want to play this as long as I can.

So I've learned a lot of lessons along the way. I think he has staying power. I do think that Baker has the tools. Very often it's been between the ears that has kept him from being over successful. It's been a tune that he's brought to the table. Certainly rub some people the wrong way with the Browns though. They mishandled him and I don't think they treated him the way that he deserved either as the franchise QB. Now he has to start at the bottom.

He's on a level playing field and according to the Bucks will compete for the starting job with Kyle Trask. My personality might rub people the wrong way, but I am who I am and that's how I was raised to be. I'm not trying to, you know, play to be your friend or to impress you. I'm doing it because I love it and I'm doing it because I love my teammates and I think all my teammates would say the same.

Behind closed doors they knew who I really am and that's what really matters. He's still looking for his next long-term deal, right? He's still seeking his first major free agent contract, so this is a prove-it deal. He was not promised the number one job, but he likes to compete and if I can see the Baker Mayfield going back to his days at OU, the Heisman Trophy winner, early with that tenacity in the spirit with the Browns but not the attitude, right?

Set a rookie record at the time for most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback. I mean there's a lot there. He's got to be smart and I hope the last year has given us a smarter, more efficient, wiser Baker Mayfield. They always come back. Oh gross.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Also in the NFC South we know his former team, haha, the Panthers are seeking their next franchise savior. They don't really care. They traded for the overall number one pick with the Chicago Bears, so Frank Reich, GM Scott Fitterer, what is the team looking for in their next quarterback? Ultimately you're looking for, you know, I mean it goes back to the earlier question.

I'm not going to sit here and list everything out. Everybody wants a leader. Everybody wants a playmaker. Those are general terms that you hear about the quarterback. Certainly true of what we're looking for, and I feel like we're putting pieces in place that he can walk in and be ready to go.

It is something special to draft a guy young and have an opportunity to work with him from the ground up, so yeah, excited about that process. Obviously it comes down to leadership, guys that can process quickly, accuracy, someone who can run the team, you know, get you in and out of plays. It's not just about making throws. It's about managing the game at the line of scrimmage.

It's about doing all the little things right during the week. The big challenge for the Panthers at number one overall is to determine which cuba they want, right? There's been some talk of C.J.

Stroud. Obviously Alabama's Bryce Young, who has to answer questions about his height. He's 5'10", and so the challenge is not only finding the right fit, but finding the guy that you feel like has the intangibles. Bryce Young has proven that he can compete like a Kyler Murray, like a Russell Wilson. You just never know for sure if it's going to translate at the next level, and then the challenge too is should you be throwing your rookie quarterback out there into the fire? This division is wide open. All of them are changing quarterbacks, all four teams. They've changed coaches, most of them, all of them in the last couple years as well. It's up for grabs, it's up for grabs, and I'm excited for it, but the Panthers want to be careful that they don't overwhelm their young quarterback either because you want to make sure you don't lose sight of the forest for the trees.

That old cliche. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio, thinking about the move that the Panthers had to make to get that number one pick. It cost them their top receiver in DJ Moore. Now remember, they also traded away Robbie Anderson, they traded away Christian McCaffrey once they started divesting themselves of pieces, and DJ Moore ends up in Chicago, though Federer indicates he did not want to make that move.

You never want to, especially someone like DJ. You do your best not to, but the price of this, you know, number one pick was too expensive to give up all these picks and everything else to get up there, so unfortunately we had to give up DJ who was a great member of our team. He did a tremendous job for us, great locker room guy.

It hurt, but, you know, we had to do what we had to do to get in this position. DJ Moore did an interview with NFL Total Access in which he talked about his new quarterback Justin Fields ended last season hurt but had an incredible campaign once the Bears tweaked their offense to allow him to use his legs, more design runs, kind of set him free. DJ may not have been taking a subtle dig at the Panthers revolving door of quarterbacks, but it's clear he's looking forward to a more stable situation in Chicago. I spoke to him, he just said come ready to work along with Mooney and Claypool.

You know, them guys had had a fun time with them while I was out there. I'm looking forward to being able to have a stable quarterback. You know, he's so dynamic when you run the ball, throw the pass. You know, I'm just looking forward to go out there and make some plays with them guys. Yeah, it's again, it's been a revolving door for the Panthers at that QB position. They still don't know who will be their starter moving forward into the 2023 season. Meanwhile, it's Justin Fields, no doubt, and actually former Panthers QB PJ Walker is now in Chicago as the backup, and then he mentions Mooney and Claypool, so DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool. That's your trio of starting wide receivers, and we're talking a lot about the NFC South. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio, just a bit of a shift, actually a hard left to the New York Giants and the NFC East, and yeah, there are a lot of people questioning the wisdom of the deal given to Daniel Jones, but unequivocally he is their franchise QB, made great strides in the first year with Brian Deball. They end up in the playoffs as a third team out of that East division, and Darius Layton says, hey, step off. Don't be taking shots at my quarterback.

Anybody who follows me on Twitter knows Daniel Jones' slander is not being tolerated on my timeline, so, and that'll be that way is, you know, probably to the day I die. So, you know, I'm extremely happy for him, and I'm just glad he's able to get his due. Honestly, the happiest, I might've been more happy for his deal than my own deal, honestly, you know, just because I've been here, you know, for everything that it's taken for him to get here and, you know, kind of seeing the way people viewed him before and the way they view him now. The Giants are able to re-sign Darius Layton, which is a big deal in terms of stability and consistency. They also were able to bring in Paris Campbell, trying to put the right pieces around Daniel. Saquon Barkley, that's the critical piece. He gets the franchise tag once they get the long-term deal done with Jones.

It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. We're looking at various pieces around a star quarterback. Well, we know offensive line has been the biggest question for the Cincinnati Bengals since Joe Burrow got drafted number one overall. They've obviously made incredible impression in the AFC North, but still O-line is a challenge. Orlando Brown signs with the Cincinnati Bengals, and he says it's because of their QB. For me, it played a huge decision.

It was really important. Something that I really wanted to be a part of was a winning organization and be able to block for a winning quarterback. Joe's proved that man, and he's right there on the cusp of being one of the best in the league. You look at everyone's tops, and he's right there. His production shows that on the field on Sundays. His statistics, his wins show that. He's continued to show up year in, year out, leading this franchise front and center. He's been super cool about it, and I'm so happy to be a part of it.

It definitely played a really big, large factor for me. Well, and the money too. Four years, $64 million. He's a four-time Pro Bowler. He leaves the Chiefs.

Now, think about it. The Chiefs O-line, a major key for them in the Super Bowl against the Eagles, but also throughout the season. The way that they were able to really not take a step back, but actually take a step forward despite losing Tyreek Hill.

They have a bunch of new pieces. Yes, Patrick Mahomes, but the offensive line giving him space, giving him room, creating running lanes. And so it turns into a big deal for Brown. Four years, $64 million, and it's a signing bonus of over $31 million. So a massive investment in the pass protection for Joe Burrow, and Orlando Brown gets to be part of it. So good for him. Finally, and I hesitate to call this QB news, although I suppose he is a quarterback, though not currently active in the NFL.

He's a man without a country, but Cam Newton taking to Twitter with a new video to let everybody know he is going to work out at Auburn's Pro Day. Tell me how these randoms keep getting times. Don't worry about it. I'm gonna say it.

I can't wait. Last year, you may have made some smart decisions and you may have made some not so smart decisions. Like maybe you had a little too much confidence in that one crypto exchange. The good news is making smart financial decisions is easier than you think. Nerd wallets smart money podcast has the weekly know how you need to get ahead. Sean and Sarah, the hosts of smart money, break down the latest financial news and give you honest objective money advice. Subscribe to nerd wallets smart money podcast today. today to start your three day free trial. I've seen a lot of people telling the idea and it's official. I will be throwing an Auburn Pro Day Tuesday. Cam Newton has got one of those giant cam laughs in this video that goes just under a minute. I don't know what the goal is, but it's clear that he still believes he is better than the randoms who keep getting jobs in the NFL. There ain't 32 quarterbacks better than me. We've heard that from cam in the past that is still his anthem. There ain't 32 who are better than me and I'm not 32 that pro day at Auburn comes up on Tuesday.

And so I'm looking forward to the entertainment value. If nothing else, if you think I couldn't be on somebody's team right now, you're a damn fool. That was his statement on the pivot podcast with Ryan Clark and former NFL players, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor going back to the summer June.

He's still on that. So he's going to work out with the young guns at Auburn, but you can't cook. I mean, can you throw? I can cook. Can you throw? I'm not 32. I'm not 32.

Oh goodness. There is no personality like Cam Newton unabashedly cam unabashedly. And for a while as an NFL MVP and a guy who sparked the Panthers, I mean, there was some immaturity. There were some moments early in his career with the Panthers that raised eyebrows, but if you remember their season in which they lost just one game, they ended up in the Super Bowl, obviously ran into Von Miller and the Broncos defense, but man, when he was good and locked in locked and loaded, there was nobody like Cam.

The size, the strength, the speed, the skill. I think his best days are behind him, but he still got the same humor, the same personality. I ain't 32. You can find me on, I ain't 32. You can find me on Twitter, A Law Radio, also on our Facebook page.

Glad to have you with us. Trying to think if there's anything else from the NFL that I want to talk about before we move on. Let's see. Why don't we put football in the rearview mirror, at least at the NFL level. Nick Saban taking a shot at his basketball coach, potentially Nate Oates.

Now, the Bama men's basketball team is the top seed in the South region, is into the Sweet 16. They've got bigger and better things to occupy their time right now than going back to the Brandon Miller flap and the murder that took place that cost them one of their former players, who's now being charged with capital murder, but you remember all the talk about Brandon Miller. Why is he playing when he was the one who showed up on the strip in Tuscaloosa?

The gun was in his car. How is it that he's still allowed to be part of the team? Was Nick Saban sending a message to the Bama fan base, but also to Nate Oates with his recent comments following the suspension of one of his own players? It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.

You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. The way the team performed out there together as a group was something to prove. I think we had a little bit of a taste in our mouth that if we had a dominant performance, it would show people that we probably did deserve to do a little better than we did in terms of the playoff picture, but at the same time, I'm proud that we came to the Sugar Bowl, proud that we won the Sugar Bowl, but I'm most proud that there was a team out there that cared, that represents University of Alabama in a first-class way in the way they competed and the way they played in the game.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Nick Saban holds his football players to a high standard, and he's never been afraid to put them down, set them aside, suspend them, punish them, discipline them if they don't uphold the standard that he believes Alabama football players should have, not only because they constantly have a spotlight, but because they do have a program that perennially is competing in the college football playoff, and if not that, then it's very rare that it's not that, but then at a bowl game that has a ton of fan support and the eyes and the ears of the college football world. He's made it very clear over his time at Alabama that you have to toe the line, oh I have a sneeze coming, that you have to come into that program knowing that there are expectations that you must meet, and he can do that because of the success of the program.

He doesn't have to settle for this recruiter, that one. Alabama very often has its pick. Now I know the NIL rules, the transfer portal, they've leveled the playing field a little bit, but he's still Nick Saban. Alabama's still a perennial power who has championships to show for it, and so when Nick Saban indicates that a player's getting suspended or that he expects them to remember who they represent when they make their choices, whether positive or negative, he means it. He puts his money where his mouth is.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Now you think about the Brandon Miller situation, you think about the way that Nate Oates kind of stumbled through the initial questions about Miller's involvement with that shooting that took place, the fatal shooting that took place in Tuscaloosa in January, which a former basketball player is now charged with capital murder. Miller is the one who drove there and had the gun in his hand, and he's the one who drove there and had the gun in his car. Whatever it is that you believe, we don't need to go over the details again, but when that revelation came out in court, head coach Nate Oates was not prepared for it, made some awkward comments, I think in some cases some inflammatory comments, they seemed insensitive at best, and he later had to apologize. Miller was never suspended, he was never separated from the team, and if you remember Oates gave, again he apologized later, some line about how wrong place, wrong time, that was what he said about Miller, being there on the strip, having the gun in his car, wrong place, wrong time.

Miller wasn't charged with anything under Alabama law, there was nothing that they could charge him with, they chose to to indicate that, that Miller wasn't going to face any type of repercussion himself, but there still was questionable decisions that were made. Now one of those was the pat-down as he was introduced in the next home game. Now I heard it from a lot of fans on the road, how to deal with that, the distraction, but even as Alabama is attempting to keep its players away from the media and kind of limit the access to Miller and his teammates, they do this kind of pat down, they said it was about the TSA, but Nate Oates then had to kind of answer questions about that.

That situation's on me, we addressed as a team, as soon as I brought it up to them, they immediately asked me, how it could be interpreted, and we all felt awful about it. They explained to me that it's like when TSA checks you before you get on a plane, and now Brandon's cleared for takeoff, we as the adults in the room should have been more sensitive to how it could have been interpreted, and I dropped the ball, that's it, I dropped the ball on it, we've addressed it, I got it, I got it, I got it, I got dropped the ball, that's it, I dropped the ball on it, we've addressed it, I can assure you it won't happen again. For Nate Oates, there was a lot of explaining, there was a lot of apologizing, there was a lot of sitting in front of the media, sitting in front of fans, trying to limit the PR damage, trying to appear sensitive to the fact that a 23-year-old mom lost her life, but I would say it was, at times, not only awkward, but it drew attention to the Alabama men's basketball team for all the wrong reasons.

I get it, you're never really prepared for this as a coach. Now Nick Saban, just as the Crimson Tide are scheduled to start spring practice in football on Monday, has suspended a freshman defensive back, his name is Tony Mitchell, he's charged with the possession of marijuana with the intent to sell and or deliver, okay, so it's not just about him having it for his own usage, it's about him getting stopped with enough of it, plus a large quantity of cash that was found in the vehicle by police, that it's not just, hey this is mine, it's the intent to sell and or deliver it, plus there was a concealed firearm in the car without a permit. So he takes the step and suspends his freshman and then, oh, uses a phrase that we heard from Nate Oates, but a different context. Everybody's got an opportunity to make choices and decisions, there's no such thing in being at the wrong place at the wrong time, you got to be responsible for who you're with, who you're around, and what you do, who you associate yourself with, and the situations that you put yourself in, so it is what it is, but there is, you know, cause and effect when you make, you know, choices and decisions that put you in bad situations. I'm not a big believer in coincidence, in fact I don't really believe in coincidence, maybe Nick Saban did not intend to remind people what Nate Oates had said about wrong place wrong time for Brandon Miller, maybe he did, maybe after watching how the basketball team and and the head coach mishandled its situation, maybe even feeling like Alabama was embarrassed and that Brandon Miller should have at least spent time away from the team, watching that from his perspective, maybe this was Nick Saban's attempt to make a statement to indicate, hey, I don't believe that a player should be absolved of responsibility for his choices.

Interesting. Again, the words, the phrasing, wrong place wrong time, I know I didn't, we didn't play it for you, but that's exactly what Nate Oates said about Brandon Miller, wrong place wrong time. Meanwhile, the men's basketball team will be back in action in the south region against San Diego State as the one seed still alive in Louisville. On Twitter, ALawRadio, also on our Facebook page, always good to connect with you, we appreciate it.

Straight ahead, let's see what I want to do next, I love it when I have choices. We talked a little bit about the NBA, we certainly have talked about college basketball, we've hit football as well, maybe back to the world baseball classic, pure unadulterated joy. Let's hope we get that on March 30th when all 30 MLB teams open their 2023 schedules. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence. You are listening to the After Hours podcast. He lifts a fly ball to deep left field, and one night later he's left the yard again. Another no-doubter from Trey Turner. Turner drives up on the left center field, back it goes, it's gone again. On a team full of stars, none shining brighter than Trey Turner. They quit showing us up, man that's quite a performance by him, we needed it, I mean he can do it all, I mean he can shoot the ball the other way, he's fast, plays great D, showed us some power, so he's been a great player since he came in this league.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. And Trey Turner is sitting in the ninth spot on Team USA, the defending champion at the world baseball classic. Yes, it's been a few years, but the Americans were watching and waiting for the winner of the other semi-final on Monday night, which delivered the same buzz and intensity, the electricity with a packed house at the stadium in Miami.

Kind of wonder, will there be the same spirit and emotion on March 30th when the Marlins open their season and when we have all 30 MLB clubs theoretically who will be in action, pending any type of weather in some of the cities where that can still be an issue in late March. But you hear with the calls on FS1 that the Americans have gotten an incredible boost from Trey Turner as well as Paul Goldschmidt who was talking about Trey, really everyone's talking about Trey on Team USA. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio, Japan trailing Mexico from really the outset of their semi-final on Monday. It was a three-run home run in the seventh inning for the Japanese club that tied it three to three. You had some awesome defense.

Randy Rosarena, he was flashing the leather too. This was a back and forth, but it always felt like Mexico had the edge heading into the bottom of the ninth. Last chance for Team Japan. Shohei Ohtani decides, okay I got to make something happen. Leads off the inning with a double. He can get a huge lead.

Cracked in the air. Deep center field. Thomas on the move.

It's off the wall. Ohtani's in to score. Here comes the winning run. Japan turns it around on its last breath.

Listen to that noise. That's coming through the TV on FS1. The call there with Joe Davis and so even after Japan ties it, works its way back in the bottom of the seventh, Mexico plates a pair of runs in the top of the eighth. Japan is able to cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the eighth, but then the walk off and the noise is what really captivates you if you're listening on the radio but watching it too. The way that the fans just went crazy and the fans watching what's happening on the field as Shohei Ohtani is celebrating with a rare wild abandon. I mean this was a really cool moment of redemption too for Munetaka Murakami who is a star third baseman in Japan.

He's a triple crown winner. He's actually the nation's all-time home run leader, but he had three strikeouts in this game before his appearance there in the bottom of the ninth and yes Shohei Ohtani told the dugout Lars Knutmar heard him that he was going to get on base and try to start off a rally. Anytime you see Shohei show emotion like that you know it's real and so that gets everybody fired up. When a quiet guy like that with a cool demeanor gets fired up it lights a fire under everybody and so he said he said earlier he made up his mind that he was going to get on base and I was like man I wish I could just make up my mind and get on base in that situation too, but you know that just goes to show the greatness of Shohei. Lars has been one of the talkers for Japan obviously with the the ability to speak English and not have to worry about a translator and a lot of the Japanese guys do know English. They're just not super comfortable with TV interviews and so Lars has been the unofficial spokesperson for Team Japan at least with the American broadcast which is fun because he's living the dream right. He was able to do some of the the pregame speeches and and lead the team in some of their their cheers and their chants.

He's I mean he's nothing but smiley every time you see him on camera. So that interview there on FS1 also the idea that Japan was trailing most of the time wasn't daunting in the dugout. We were getting guys on all game long. We just weren't cashing it in so I think as a group we kind of had confidence that we were going to scratch them across. It was just a matter of when. We were taking good at bats. Here it is right here. Unbelievable, but you know that that's kind of the the group mentality.

You know just never give up. We're playing for our country the WBC. It's unbelievable. We got Japan across our chest and they wear that with pride. Everybody does in a dugout and so um you know we'd be foolish if we ever gave up during that game and you know it just goes to show these guys are unbelievable and I'm just glad that they accepted me.

How about that? So Lars he said it's been a dream come true to play for Japan and to be part of what we have seen as national pride. Going back to the early games in the Tokyo Dome where man they were chanting the name of Shohei Ohtani where they've got flags waving the whole time. Now these games taking place in Miami in the knockout stage and you see still sold out crowds. We talked about Team USA versus Cuba. A little bit of a different flavor there because of the political demonstrations and and the undertones with Cuba.

The different protesters that that were onto the field but also because it wasn't a tight game throughout. It was overwhelming a victory for Team USA but Japan, Mexico and some of the other games that have featured the Hispanic countries and blown away by the electricity. It reminds me a lot of the World Cup and what those games and to have a team in the in the World Cup on the national stage or the international stage means to some of these nations around the world that don't have a presence in our leagues right and I know as Americans we maybe don't get it as much about the World Baseball Classic. There's some scoffing about how it's a it's a worthless exhibition.

I've used the term exhibition because it is. Because we we kind of understand the pride around the Olympics and we celebrate our Olympians but because we have so many options in the United States while we love our NFL we love our football there are so many professional athletes. You have a smorgasbord from which to choose as a sports fan especially right now in the spring where it's college hoops, it's march madness both men's and women's, it's the stretch runs for the NBA, the NHL, football free agency, I mean heck even spring football for those who love the college game a little more. Baseball spring training building up to opening day on the 30th, the Masters is right around the corner. We have a plethora of options in some of these other countries smaller a more limited opportunity it's maybe soccer and it's baseball especially in the Hispanic countries there's such an incredible pride for their athletes who get to leave and make their way in MLB who make money but still represent their countries and it means something to them and the entire nation rallies around them and around these teams we're seeing it we're hearing it. I think it's been a cool lesson maybe eye-opening for some American fans but also for Team USA. I do sincerely hope that that same spirit and enthusiasm and emotion carries over or as these players disperse to go back to their MLB clubs finish up spring training and prepare for opening day on the 30th that some of the spirit carries over. Now I get it it's a grind it's 162 games you got to pace yourself it's a marathon the WBC is a sprint but I love what I've seen so far and I know people quibble with when the WBC is played there have been some significant injuries but man you want to talk about a setup a precursor to the MLB season they've done it right. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-21 08:49:47 / 2023-03-21 09:05:25 / 16

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