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David Samson | Former MLB President, CBS Sports HQ Analyst

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
September 28, 2022 6:16 am

David Samson | Former MLB President, CBS Sports HQ Analyst

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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September 28, 2022 6:16 am

Former Marlins Team President & current CBS Sports HQ Analyst David Samson joins the show as the playoff picture unfolds in MLB.

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What's up everybody? Guess who's hosting a new podcast? No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith. Listen as I pull back the curtain on everything beyond the world of sports. Interviewing influential guests, outspoken celebrities, and thought leaders across the political, financial, and social spectrum.

You know me, I'll give you my unbiased opinion. A No Mercy episode drops every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith, a presentation of Cadence 13 and Odyssey Studio, available on the Odyssey app or wherever you listen to your podcast.

What's up everybody? Guess who's hosting a new podcast? No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith. Listen as I pull back the curtain on everything beyond the world of sports. Interviewing influential guests, outspoken celebrities, and thought leaders across the political, financial, and social spectrum. You know me, I'll give you my unbiased opinion. A No Mercy episode drops every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith, a presentation of Cadence 13 and Odyssey Studio, available on the Odyssey app or wherever you listen to your podcast. We are pleased to welcome former Marlins president and longtime baseball analyst, David Sampson, who loves to join us in the first hour of our show because he's an early riser. So before we talk about anything to do with baseball, David, how's the weather where you are? It's absolutely fine as I am not in Florida.

So I'm thankful for that. But my thoughts are certainly with people in Florida as I think about the first of all, everyone's safety. But then, of course, from a sports standpoint, I also remember running the team in Florida and having this in your thoughts as you think logistically about the impact of games and of your community and of your fans. So hurricanes are no fun, I can tell you that. Yeah, it feels like pretty much anybody you ask has either family or friends in Florida. That's just kind of how it works out.

So watching it now as Ian has turned into a category four, but I'm glad you're in a safe place. So David, let's talk about postseason picture. As we know, we just have the one and at least division title that's still up for grabs. So Mets and Braves, what's your impression of that race? And really, the Mets have led almost the entire season, but the Braves have caught them again. So when expanded playoffs were invented, you know, the picture was in our mind that there would be these exciting races and that people would be more cities would be involved. And the coolest race we have now really is the Mets and the Braves. But there's not as much at stake as there usually is because the loser still is going to make the playoffs.

So now you have to find another way to engage the fans and talk about why it's so important. So now what they're saying from a marketing standpoint is the loser has a chance to play the Dodgers earlier than the winners. So it'd be really good if you win your division because then you both get a buy and then you don't play the Dodgers until the championship series.

So there is a lot at stake. And the Braves, you know, they're the defending champions. They were my three preseason pick to win the World Series, but they've been playing from behind all season long. They're a really good team, though. They have a much deeper lineup than the Mets, but the Mets rotation is slightly better. So it's a pretty exciting race, actually. Why did you pick them preseason to repeat?

That's pretty challenging. Because there hadn't been a repeat champion since the Yankees in 98, 99 and 2000. And I thought that losing Freddie Freeman while it was going to hurt them, they were so deep.

Of course, I had no idea how good Strider would be. And now he's out and hurt. So you just never know. But it's about time for a repeat. And actually going into the playoffs right now, I'm still okay with the place in the World Series. They're that good. What changes in the postseason internally for whether it's a front office or whether it's the players?

Oh, I love that question. So the front office, what changes is that you're hoping for certain things to happen in October that you can't predict that analytics cannot indicate. And that is a misplay by the other team.

That is a seni ground ball that somehow is not a double play, but turns into a two out RBI or an RBI with one out. Let's say you're hoping for a player who you're not expecting to be a hero to be a hero. You know, you need every single one of those things to happen to actually win the ring to get to October. You need to be good over 162 games to get through October.

You need someone to step up. You didn't expect. Does that mean then that experience matters or counts or plays a role? Or are you not a believer in that? I'm not a believer in that. As a matter of fact, there's a ring on my finger from 2003 because we had a bunch of players who didn't even realize where they were.

And that's one of the great expressions. When we were in Yankee Stadium trying to win the World Series before game one, the Yankees were playing video during our batting practice. George Steinbrenner had them during our BP.

I don't think I've told you this, Amy. They were playing on the jumbotron, all video from all of the World Series they had won all of the memories and moments from Yankee Stadium. And these were marlins where we were playing in front of 12 people all the time with no franchise history.

And we spoke to the players about that because the music was haunting what they were doing during BP. And our players were like, we didn't even know any of this. We don't care. It means nothing to us. So sometimes when you have no experience, you just go ahead and play. And that's what happened in those three.

So I don't know that it matters. Okay, so then thinking about the Cleveland Guardians, for instance, the youngest team in Major League Baseball. They've got a veteran manager, though, in Terry Francona, who's been there, done that. What approach do they take going into these playoffs?

That approach where, hey, we've never been there, we've got nothing to lose? I'm so thankful you're talking about the Cleveland Guardians because no one's talking about the Cleveland Guardians. And the interesting thing is that that division was supposed to be a runaway by the Chicago White Sox, who are the most disappointing team in baseball.

I chose them as everybody else did. And I can't obviously that's anecdotal. There may be someone who makes predictions out there who said the Guardians can win the division. But let's say ninety nine point nine percent thought the White Sox would. And they've just been awful this year.

Some injuries, of course. But the Guardians have that thing. And the thing that we talk about in front offices is that the attributes where you've got complimentary depth, where you have overperformance in certain areas than what you expected in spring training, and you have that feeling of almost destiny. That's how, again, we felt in 03. And the Guardians may feel it, but again, they need a lot to happen for that depth and that excitement to translate to a ring.

But they're going to have a chance. And that's pretty cool. David Sampson's a longtime Marlins president now with CBS Sports HQ. We love to have him here. Of course, he's got the podcast, too, in which he gets very saucy.

It's called Nothing Personal with David Sampson. So when you think about the American League and then we'll shift, but do you believe that it's the Yankees or the Astros who are more dangerous? The Astros are a better team than the Yankees. The Astros have a better lineup than the Yankees lineup. The Astros have a better starting rotation than the Yankees starting rotation. I could easily argue the Astros have a better bullpen than the Yankees bullpen. So I'm not sure where the Yankees would have an advantage in this series against the Astros. And that has both been proven over the course of the season, but also as you just analyze and look at the teams.

So I think it's going to be very interesting what happens in New York. The interesting part for me is the pressure. So we talk about the Cleveland Guardians, who are probably playing very free right now. There's a lot of pressure on the Yankees. They're reading every day about the fact that they have not won since 2009. This group together with Stanton and Judge has been together not for a year or two years, but multiple years, and they have not been able to perform well in the postseason. So for me, they go into October with the most pressure and not the best team.

And that combination normally doesn't lead to a wrinkle. I got to ask you about a tweet, and I'm trying to go back and find it, but it was a long time ago, in which you were looking down the road toward the end of the regular season. And you actually said in both the case of Albert Pujols, as well as Aaron Judge, that you did not believe either one would get to the historic number. Now we know Albert Pujols has gotten to 700 home runs, so I'd love your perspective on that and the way that he's clobbered balls this summer, or even into the fall. But I don't know why. Why did you think that Aaron Judge would not get to 61?

Because right now he's still sitting on 60. Yeah, so I'm probably going to lose that one too. So I did think about some second half predictions where I thought at the time the Yankees and Mets, I thought they'd both hold on. And all of the things I said going into September may not turn out to be true, other than the Yankees winning the division. But the Mets may not survive, and the Braves could overtake them, and Judge likely will get there. But what's happening right now, and everyone's talking about all the walks, last night he walked four times and Toronto fans were booing, etc.

But here's the fact. When you play the Yankees, you meet pregame with your manager and with your team, and you say, I don't care what happens, but Aaron Judge will not beat us. So Aaron Judge is like Barry Bonds when Barry Bonds was at the height. Now he's not like Barry Bonds in that Aaron Judge doesn't do steroids the way Barry did. But I'm talking about in the lineup right now, you identify one person who you will not let beat you, and Aaron Judge is that person. Therefore, he's not getting more than one pitch press back to hit.

And if you don't hit that pitch, you're not going to hit a home run. The bigger story for me, Amy, if we could talk about it, is Aaron Judge can win the Triple Crown. And that's way bigger than him breaking Roger Maris's record. Barry Bonds, whether you like him or not, or like it or not, he has the home run record of 73. It's not, you know, Giancarlo Stanley hit 59 in 2017.

That was exciting, he won the MVP, but there were certainly no live break-ins. You know, breaking Roger Maris's record, it's cool, but way, way cooler is the Triple Crown. And there hasn't been a Triple Crown winner since Miguel Cabrera 10 years ago. So I don't think people are giving Aaron Judge enough love for that, which to me is going to be remembered way more than him having the Yankee team record or the American League record. Yeah, he may not be hitting home runs in the last week, but he's still hitting, he's still getting on base to be sure. So you've been in baseball for a long time. What does 700 home runs mean to you? It's incredible. I was talking to someone about it just a few hours ago, actually, Amy.

Four people. Let's just think about that. Four people have done it in the history of baseball, in the hundred years plus. And it's never going to happen again.

That is a club that is locked down, closed out. You can do all the math you want. You can tell me about Mike Trout or Aaron Judge. Well, Aaron Judge doesn't have a chance, he's too old.

Even my friend Giancarlo Stanley. You can go young with Juan Soto. How about Mike Trout? Name me anybody. Acuna in Atlanta.

Go ahead. It's never going to happen again. What Albert Pujols has done as the best right-handed hitter, not just for power, but take a look at what he's done in his career, both offensively and defensively. Albert Pujols is simply a superstar.

He just faded in a way that people forgot about him. And he's had this recovery in the second half that is inexplicable by anything other than the baseball gods. And you're watching something that you'll never talk about again on your show ever. So that's pretty cool. I don't toot my horn very often, but anybody who listens to the show knows that I was on this in March. I said it was going to be the story of the summer in Major League Baseball. And I'll be damned if he didn't turn me into a bit of a prophet with the second half that he's had.

It's phenomenal. But one more question. Just as we're thinking about playoffs, the Dodgers obviously have 106 wins. They've tied their franchise record, but man alive, they cannot seem to get that closer situation set. I know Kenley Jansen's got a World Series ring, but they moved on from him. They've got Craig Kimbrel and they've demoted him. Is that going to be their Achilles heel? No, because by the postseason, here's another thing that happens.

You've gone through the regular season. Your closer and your bullpen is so tired. And remember what we talked about at the beginning of this segment, where every team who wins the ring needs someone to step up who you may not be expecting. That is true, especially in the bullpen. So again, it's 20 years ago, but I ask you to think back to not just our World Series for the Yankee fans out there. Do you remember how many blown saves our closer had during the playoffs?

He was exhausted. And we had two of them and a guy named Braden Luper in Ugetherbina. So having a closer by committee, quote unquote, every playoff team does closer by committee in the postseason. You have starters who end up in the bullpen.

Look at what Tampa does every year as they get deeper into the playoffs. You say to yourself, my God, they're pitching that guy at the end and he's throwing 98 and getting everyone out. So that is not as big a deal as people make it out to be. The fact that Holmes is giving it up, that Chapman lost his closer role, that Kimbrough is not pitching well. That is not as big a deal as you would think.

I'm looking forward to those games with 17 pitching changes. Let's go. All right. You can find David on Twitter at David P. Sampson, S A M S O N. He's got the Nothing Personal podcast and show, which I'm telling you, he's like a different guy. Not at all buttoned up.

CBS Sports HQ and of course, longtime Marlins president. We always appreciate the experience and the anecdotes. And we'll talk to you again in October. David, thank you.

I'm always buttoned up. See you later, Amy. What's up, everybody? Guess who's hosting a new podcast? No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith. Listen as I pull back the curtain on everything beyond the world of sports. Interviewing influential guests, outspoken celebrities and thought leaders across the political, financial and social spectrum. You know me.

I'll give you my unbiased opinion. A No Mercy episode drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith, a presentation of Cadence 13 and Odyssey Studio available on the Odyssey app or wherever you listen to your podcast. What's up, everybody? Guess who's hosting a new podcast? No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith. Listen as I pull back the curtain on everything beyond the world of sports. Interviewing influential guests, outspoken celebrities and thought leaders across the political, financial and social spectrum. You know me.

I'll give you my unbiased opinion. A No Mercy episode drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith, a presentation of Cadence 13 and Odyssey Studio available on the Odyssey app or wherever you listen to your podcast. What's up, everybody? Guess who's hosting a new podcast? No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith. Listen as I pull back the curtain on everything beyond the world of sports. Interviewing influential guests, outspoken celebrities and thought leaders across the political, financial and social spectrum. You know me. I'll give you my unbiased opinion. A No Mercy episode drops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. No Mercy with Stephen A. Smith, a presentation of Cadence 13 and Odyssey Studio available on the Odyssey app or wherever you listen to your podcast.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-01 10:36:03 / 2023-01-01 10:43:05 / 7

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