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After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 3

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
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October 11, 2022 6:12 am

After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 3

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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October 11, 2022 6:12 am

What is up with the NFL's new concussion protocol? | Matt Rhule fired by the Carolina Panthers | AL & NL Division Series preview!

The Rich Eisen Show
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The Rich Eisen Show
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Humanity has been shaped by moments in which one person approached a crowd with something important to say. I'm Jon Meacham, and this is It Was Said, Season 2, a creation and production of C-13 Originals, a Cadence 13 studio, in association with the History Channel. It Was Said, Season 2.

Listen and subscribe for free on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Is there something really absurd that skeeves you out? Getting a paper cut on my eyeball. A fear you can't shake? I'm going to leak ocular fluid down my cheeks.

It's going to go into my mouth and I will perish. Whatever scares you, I want to talk about it. Join me, Larry Mullins, on my new podcast, Your Weirdest Fears.

Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. Halfway through the show, we spent the majority of it talking about one game, not one play and not one element. There's a lot to unpack from Monday Night Football, and we will get back to it. No joke, I've got dozens of cuts, meaning audio clips, specifically from that one game.

But it's a Monday following an NFL Sunday, and it's a Monday right before the divisional round starts in the baseball playoffs. So there's a lot that we need to get to in the following two hours. We're asking for your input in multiple ways on our social media, so find us on Twitter after our CBS or on our Facebook page or our YouTube channel. I know some of you were checking it out last week when we shared our conversation with former pro soccer goalie Jesse Bradley, who has such a crazy story, a tragedy that ended his career, but then a new purpose and a new direction in his life. So lots of you were listening to that conversation last week and over the weekend, which we appreciate. And so there's a lot of different ways you can connect with us.

Right now, though, we're asking you, if you were on the NFL competition committee, how would you define roughing the passer? And I'm being serious. I get it, you can be snarky. I get it, you can come up with all kinds of sarcastic lines.

And, you know, sarcasm is my love language, so I appreciate them, but I'm actually being serious. Because I'm in no way convinced that these officials are not reacting to what we see with Tua, which is not fair. It's not fair that other defensive players should have to pay for what happened with Tua. And I probably believe that the NFL has made this, quietly, a point of emphasis. Now, generally when the NFL issues internal memos, they get leaked. Kind of like practice tape from the Warriors.

Usually internal memos from Roger Goodell do not stay internal. I'm watching it over again, even now. Chris Jones has the ball in his hands, runs away, gets called for roughing the passer. Unbelievable.

I'm the catalyst, though. I wouldn't be surprised if the NFL made it a point of emphasis on the videos that they give to each of the officiating crews. That's what happens. They have videos for these crews to watch. They have plays, either ones that they think were called correctly or ones that they flagged because they were incorrect. They give every single official a grade, a weekly grade, on every single play of the game.

Every single snap of the game. These guys are, they're not only graded, but criticized extensively. They do have a chance to respond. If they feel like they've been evaluated incorrectly or unfairly, they can miss respond. They can appeal to the NFL, but they're graded very strictly. And generally they are right.

As a whole, and this was a couple of years ago, but I'm sure the numbers haven't dropped that much if they've dropped at all. As a whole, NFL officials grade, grade correctly 95% of the time. It's just the ones that they don't are the ones that we focus on.

And Gene Staratore made a real good point on Westwood One when he hopped on the Monday Night Football postgame show. You know, we're so technical now. We have so many angles of every single play. And so there's a tendency, of course, welcome to Twitter, welcome to Facebook.

There's a tendency to fixate and to criticize and to use hyperbole. Like the number of times that I saw people call the Grady Jarrett roughing the passer call the worst they'd ever seen in NFL history. First of all, you can't remember all the calls you've seen in NFL history. Second of all, I feel like that happens all the time. I actually just had a listener find me on Twitter and say, hey, there was also a terrible call in the Ravens game recently. Yeah, it happens all the time. It happens at least once a game where they get it wrong.

They're not perfect. I just will come back to the fact that one call doesn't change a game. You can say that about the Grady Jarrett and try to make a case for it. But why were the Falcons down 21-0? So nothing they did on defense or nothing they did earlier in the game offensively, no turnovers, something like that, that had nothing to do with the game? The call impacted the game more than anything else they did for the first three and a half quarters?

No. That's why coaches, the best coaches tell their players, and I heard it over and over when I was playing, you do not blame the refs. You adjust to them.

They don't adjust to you, number one. Number two, while they impact the game, you have so many other ways to impact the game yourself. You have a far greater impact as a player on a game than an official does. It may not seem like that, again, because we fixate on one or two calls. But there's no guarantee the Falcons score if they get the ball back from Tom Brady and the Buccaneers there. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but there's no guarantee.

You can't just assume. The Falcons had a lot of opportunities that they did not capitalize on before that game went down to the wire. They waited too late for their comeback. But in the case of roughing the passer and kind of working that into the 2-0 conversation, I do think there are some officials who are overcompensating. And I wasn't at the game between the Dolphins and the Jets, so I can't speak to this personally. But from what I saw and from the videos that have been posted by people who were at the game, like their personal videos, even, who is the Dolphins insider that we just had last week?

It was Josh Moser, Josh Moser. We just had a Dolphins insider with us last week, and he actually shared a video and then said, not only did I take this video of Teddy Bridgewater walking off the field. Well, he was in the huddle, and then the spotter relayed down and said, you know, we're taking him off the field. He has to go through concussion protocol. The independent spotter is the one who said Bridgewater's wobbly. And so Josh went through all the tape, like all the tape from the moment that Teddy Bridgewater got knocked to the ground on that play that was a safety, and said that he never once, and others looking at it too, never once saw Bridgewater wobbly.

And according to Mike McDaniel, and I don't know that he's trying to send a subliminal message here, read between the lines, but I do know that at this point, it seems like it's overkill with Teddy. Teddy, he had no symptoms today. He had no symptoms yesterday. But, per the rule change, he's being treated as though he has a concussion, and so he's in the subsequent protocol.

How about that? Maybe there's a chance symptoms show up three, four days later. But the reason that he's being treated like he has a concussion, even though he has no symptoms, what is this, freaking COVID?

No COVID symptoms whatsoever, but you have COVID, so you have to be isolated for 10 days. And how many times were athletes so upset about that last year? But this, and I know a head injury is serious, but if a guy doesn't have a head injury, how long do you keep him in concussion protocol before you believe that he doesn't have an injury? And, according to the NFL, the NFLPA investigation, neither the independent doctors, nor the spotters, nor the dolphins did anything wrong when it came to that initial hit on Tua.

Was it against the bills, right? Where Matt Milano pushed him down, he seemed to hit his head on the grass behind him, and he was wobbly. And he, remember, he told the officials it was his back, that that's what was making him wobble, that he was in pain, and his back kind of was giving him trouble as he tried to stand up? So what they've changed about the rule is that if there's a sign of wobbliness or unsteadiness, it's immediately a red light, a no-go. From that point on, it doesn't matter if you test clear, you are in concussion protocol. Even though, at the time, Tua passed all his concussion protocols, they allowed him to go back on the field. But according to the new rules and the new protocols, if you see a player like that, whether it's an independent spotter or someone on the sidelines, you're automatically out. So now fast forward to Teddy Bridgewater. I've looked at the videos, but not as much as people have who were at the game or who follow this team, the Dolphins.

So far I can't find anyone who said that they saw him wobble. And he was stunned when he got pulled off the field. He was in the huddle, trying to get his players together, getting ready to move on to the... Well, they just had to safety. So they were kind of reconvening. He was trying to get them together and get them organized like a quarterback is supposed to do.

Figure out what the heck to do next. And all of a sudden, you can see the look of surprise on his face, he got pulled off the field. And then after he got pulled off the field, they made him go to the locker room. And even though he has no concussion symptoms, as you hear Mike McDaniel say, he's being treated like he has a concussion.

I mean, talk about 180 degrees the other direction. And I feel like it's the same thing with these roughing the passer calls. Because Tua got hurt, because of the way he was kind of rolled onto the ground. Well, rolled was more like the Tom Brady hit with Grady Jarrett.

I mean, the Tua hit was rough, but it wasn't something we've never seen before. It's not like the defensive player, and I forgot what his name was. It's not like the defensive player was slamming him to the ground.

It was just the way he wrapped him up and kind of dragged him down. But I swear it triggered the officials in the Atlanta-Tampa Bay game, because it looked similar to what happened with Tom Brady. Even though he never hit his head on the turf. And so, we know the NFL is reactionary. We know the NFL pays attention to the criticism. NFL officials, the commissioner, Roger Goodell, they do not like being criticized.

I mean, think about the number of times they've amended their policies because of an uproar or a firestorm in the public or on social media. Do you guys remember what happened a couple years ago at the end of the NFC Championship game in New Orleans? The pass interference call, the flag that wasn't thrown. And I'm not saying that's why they lost the game. The Saints actually, even though there should have been a flag there, Nakel Robey Coleman should have had the flag. The Saints had the ball first in overtime, so let's just remind everyone of that.

That's not why they lost the NFC Championship. But the NFL had been so thrilled. Was that 2019?

2019 season? The NFL had been so thrilled with how the season had gone and the fact that the ratings had rebounded. That when that happened and the uproar, the criticism, the firestorm, the outrage was so loud and so vociferous. They overreacted. Remember, they made pass interference reviewable for all of a year. In an overreaction to that one call, and I guess it wasn't that one. There was also one of the, was there one of the AFC Championship? No, no, no, it was that particular call. The AFC Championship was the, do you remember it was the Patriots and the Chiefs and Tom Brady threw an interception. But, oh my gosh, what was it? D4 got called offsides when Tom Brady threw an interception. That's absolutely right. And it was 2019.

Okay, thank you. The NFL was so upset that that one pass interference that wasn't flagged got all the attention from what they believe was a bounce back season. That they overreacted and overcorrected. It's like when you're driving along, let's say, and I hope you don't do this. That you're looking at your phone, or you're fiddling with the radio, or you're not paying attention. You're talking to someone, who knows what you're doing. But the road bends, or you're just not paying attention, and you kind of swerve a little bit off the road or out of your lane.

And what do you do? You jerk your car back the other direction. That's what the NFL's been doing for years. They do it with the domestic violence policies that were woefully unsatisfactory. So that's what the NFL is doing now.

And it's frustrating if you're Teddy Bridgewater, right? How long are they going to keep him in there? That's the part that's crazy. I don't know what the rule is. I don't know that the new concussion protocols dealt with how long. But how long does he have to be in that concussion protocol? When he doesn't have a concussion.

Or at least at this point, he's not showing any signs of a concussion. Could you imagine how infuriating that would be? That'd be like someone refusing to allow me to, I don't know. No, I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to be sarcastic.

I would be infuriated and frustrated as all get out if that was me. I don't have a concussion. I'm not testing. So now we're just making up the science. So we're actually not trusting the science and this whole system and round of protocols we set up that indicate he's not suffering from a concussion. Maybe there is a rule about how many days you have to wait until it might show up. Again, I go back to COVID.

They say the gestation period was like 10 days or something. Oh my gosh. There's so many parallels in my head right now. We know what happened with that science.

So, before I get myself into more trouble. The idea that the NFL is overcorrecting, it's not a new concept with this league. But it's affecting other games that has no business affecting.

And other players that has no business affecting. I actually feel terrible for Teddy Bridgewater. Here is the update though on Tua. And still thinking about him because clearly he, in the second game specifically against the Bengals, was Josh Tupu.

He was the one that tackled him and that was when, as we were all watching, his fingers seized up. Tua right now, I'm not even really thinking about his timeline. As I said before, we're just trying to get him as healthy as possible. We're pretty much in a 12 to 24 hour reoccurring evaluation process. He's doing well. He was here today, but he's not ready to take the step to do some football stuff yet. So, that will be. Talk to me every 12 to 24 hours.

Talk to me every 12 to 24 hours. Oh man. Thinking about Tua, of course. In the case of Tua, clearly there was a head injury.

And so the protocols have changed now. So if we see a player who's as wobbly as Tua was in that game against the Bills, well then, yes, that makes sense. But a little bit like the roughing the passer penalties. With Teddy Bridgewater, there weren't any obvious signs of a wobble, but the independent spotter decided he saw one. So Teddy was unable to play the rest of that game. But even now, he's still being treated like he has a concussion, even though he's not yet had one symptom.

There's got to be a happy medium. I understand protecting the players, and I do think that's valuable, especially when it comes to head injuries. For me, roughing the passer absolutely, automatically deserves a flag if you hit or impact a quarterback's head or neck area. It may not look like it's a violent hit on TV, but these guys are big dudes, and they should not be coming near a quarterback's head or neck.

Let's not fool around with that. But there is such a thing as overcorrecting in response to what has been an uproar the last week and a half. The NFL's got to figure this out here because the pendulum swung far too much in the opposite direction. All right, coming up, first coach of the 2022 season has been fired. Not a huge surprise that Matt Ruhl lost his job after a 1-4 start, but it's not just the record. It's how bad the Panthers have looked.

Also, they've lost their quarterback. It's after Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. Remember, you get your podcasts. That's where we come from.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. From Greg Papa, a pick-six by Emmanuel Moseley, who actually, this totally sucks, tore his ACL on Sunday against the Panthers and is out for the season. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, that's the state for Emmanuel Moseley, but he did get the pick-six off Baker Mayfield. And let's be fair, this is not all on Matt Ruhl, but Matt's the expendable piece, at least right now. And we know NFL owners and management, management, management, is that a new word? I was going to say manager and then I was going to say management and then it came out management.

You know, you know me, you know, this is what I do, especially after an NFL weekend. And so management is not patient in the NFL. Owners not patient in the NFL. And a one and four start coupled with the slide at the end of last season, David Tepper couldn't take anymore.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Matt Ruhl was asked about his job security following Sunday's game. Of course, kind of hemmed and hawed about it.

No doubt he had already been thinking about it, maybe worried about it. But the decision to fire him didn't come down until Monday when the owner himself, David Tepper, gave a rare press conference. A lot of time has passed here. We, you know, we have the record we have and, you know, again, there's different reasons that go into that. You know, I think that there has been progress of some sort, but we're just not getting over the hump and we've got to get over the hump. David Tepper admits there has been progress of some sort, but we're just not getting over the hump. He goes on to explain that getting over the hump is winning. It's winning.

It's winning. He said that twice, winning more this year than you did last year. Well, I mean, I guess there's still a possibility that they could do that. But after a one and four start, he wasn't confident. Now, maybe he heard them, maybe he didn't, but the fans were chanting fire Matt rule on Sunday. So this loss to San Francisco happened in Charlotte. And you remember their one win that they got a couple of weeks ago that actually ended a nine game losing skid. So they're in the midst of a terrible stretch. And the fans had lost patience. So did the fans impact his timing? There's numerous reasons why you make a decision. There might have been a little bit of loss of intensity on the field yesterday. I would say that's probably evident versus the first four games.

You know, listen, I have great respect for the fans and I do hear the fans. But ultimately those that can't be a reason why you make a change like this. But again, there's numerous reasons why you make a change like this.

Yeah, he didn't go into a lot of detail. But what he said is there's got to be progress. What he said is there's got to be.

There's got to be evidence that change is there. We've got to get over the hump. And that means winning.

Now, I didn't do the math on this, but I read that it's. Not even been six months since the same owner, David Tepper. Talked about years that it could take.

To establish a winning culture again, reestablish. I mean, the Panthers have won in the past. They went to a Super Bowl two, actually.

Right. So they went once with Jake Delome and then once again with Cam Newton. Cam Newton was an MVP that year. And if I remember, the Panthers were 15 to one. I think that season.

So they've had a winning culture in the past. I'm not 32. I miss Cam. What do you think he's up to these days? He's on a podcast yet? I would assume he would.

Yeah, I'm sure. And so they're trying to rebuild a winning culture. But Tepper didn't see any signs that that was happening. So Rule had a record of 11 and 27, which includes the start to this year. And the problem has been offense the entire time. This is a really obscure stat.

But I'll share it with you anyway, just to kind of underscore the point that at times they've had. Defense, but remember, they've also rebuilt their defense with a lot of young talent. The Panthers were one in 27. Only won one time when their defense gave up 17 or more points. And that includes the last 25 times in a row. They've lost 25 games when the defense, 25 games in a row, when the defense gives up at least 17 points. That's a lot of pressure to put on your defense. Especially in today's NFL, where the playing field is slanted in favor of the offense. I'd have to go back and look.

I probably could do it pretty quickly, maybe before the show is over. But the best teams in the NFL, the number of points that they're giving up. I'm looking at it right now. The best defensive teams in the NFL, these are not hard to pick out. But the Niners, the Bills, the Eagles, even the Broncos, weirdly enough. They're not even allowing 300 yards per game. And then if you think about those defenses, how stingy they are. And how very often they're giving their offenses a margin for error and a margin of victory. But to ask your team to never give up more than 17 points is a lot. So the best teams in the NFL at holding their opponents to a few number of points, little bitty points total.

I'll give you these numbers. Colts, 13.8 points. Broncos, 15 points. Steelers, 15.4 points. The Rams, 16 points. The Bears, 17.2.

Oh shoot, I totally lied. Oh my gosh, I swear I was looking at the defensive numbers. Let me try that again.

I'm thinking the Rams. What am I doing? What's happening? Okay, let me do that again. Sorry about that. That was a total mess.

How about I do this first? There are only six teams in the NFL that are not giving up 17 points per game. So the best of the NFL. And in the case of the Panthers, you're asking them to never give up more than 17 points per game because your offense can't even manage that much. So here are the numbers just because I totally, I don't know how the list skipped offense.

I swear I was in the defensive category. Bills, 12.2 points per game, same as the Niners. Those are your top two stingiest defenses in the NFL, averaging 12.2 points per game by their opponents.

Cowboys, I knew the Cowboys had to be in there, 14.4. Broncos, 16. Their offense is averaging 15.

How pathetic is that? So that was another dead giveaway. When I said Broncos, 15, I was like, wait a minute. So yeah, the Broncos offense is averaging 15 points per game. The Broncos defense is only giving up 16 and that's still not good enough to win.

They better watch out that Daniel Hackett could be following Matt Ruhle out the door. The Jaguars, 16 points per game. The Buccaneers, 16.6. Those are the only teams in the NFL that are not giving up 17 points per game. Meaning again, the pressure on the Panthers defense to never allow more than two touchdowns and a field goal.

That's immense. And it's also sad that the offense can't carry its own weight. And then it comes down on Matt Ruhle.

But here's the thing about Matt. He's also got a lot of administrative control. He's also got a lot of GM control. He's very much involved in building the roster, which means even more so the buck stops with him and owner David Tepper responds to a question about the power that Matt Ruhle had over the roster. And it's clear that he's reconsidering that choice. I think a balance is probably more appropriate between the head coach and the GM. A better balance.

All right. It doesn't work very often. How many times have we seen it backfire? Bill Belichick has even had some rocky seasons where his personnel decisions have not worked out. Though he's one team in the league that has, I think ultimately still has the power over the roster. Most coaches have input, but ultimately there's a GM that makes the final say. Now in the case of the Niners, Kyle Shanahan, I just remember their structure. Kyle Shanahan is the head coach. John Lynch is the GM, but Kyle Shanahan is higher on the ladder, the power structure. Kyle actually has the final say, but the two of them work together very well.

And so at this point, it's probably collaborative. But yeah, not many coaches have that kind of power. Mike Tomlin has a lot of input on his roster, and I'm certain most coaches do.

But yeah, there's a reason why you have GMs. I think Baker's our quarterback. I think Baker's our quarterback.

It's just brutal. By the way, Baker is no longer the Panthers quarterback. He's out a couple of weeks. I'm not laughing because of that.

I'm not. I'm never laughing because of injuries, but it just was a funny segue. He's out a couple of weeks with a high ankle sprain.

Same thing that Mac Jones has. So now there's no Baker. There's no Sam Darnold. There's no Matt Corral.

Could you imagine? Matt Corral could have taken over this team like weeks ago, similar to the Kenny Pickett situation in Pittsburgh. This could have been Matt Corral's team if he wasn't out with it. It's Liz Frank, right? He's got a Liz Frank injury.

Oh, that insult to injury. All right, coming up, we'll take a gander. That might be the first time in my life I've ever said that. I don't have any idea where that came from.

What is wrong with me? Uh huh. When was the last time you said we'll take a gander? Take a gander?

Probably sometime in the last few years. Goose and gander? Gander. Like go check out some sites, take a gander at that. We'll take a gander.

Gander over there. Sounds like I'm from somewhere in the south. I don't want to insult. I don't want to insult any specific.

It's just, you know, stereotypes. Okay, we'll do baseball. Is there something really absurd that skeeves you out? Getting a paper cut on my eyeball. A fear you can't shake. I'm going to leak ocular fluid down my cheeks.

It's going to go into my mouth and I will perish. Whatever scares you, I want to talk about it. Join me, Larry Mullins, on my new podcast, Your Weirdest Fears.

Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. Is there something really absurd that skeeves you out? Getting a paper cut on my eyeball. A fear you can't shake. I'm going to leak ocular fluid down my cheeks.

It's going to go into my mouth and I will perish. Whatever scares you, I want to talk about it. Join me, Larry Mullins, on my new podcast, Your Weirdest Fears. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast from. Next.

Why do I have to get flowery? That's just me. You are listening to the After Hours podcast. Bottom of the ninth. Here's the stretch. And the Kirby. Oh, two pitch to Tappy on the way. Swing and a fly ball, center field coming in.

Julio, he makes the catch and the ball game is over. The Mariners win the wildcard series. They're going to Houston to take on the Astros in one of the most incredible, miraculous finishes and comebacks we have ever seen the Mariners celebrate. There ain't Anders pitch. A swing and a high fly. Deep one center field. It is gone.

Hello, New York. The pitch. Swing and a pop up. Foul, third base side.

Sosa racing over foul ground. He's under it. He's got it. And the game is over. And the Phillies jubilant pile out of the dugout as they celebrate a win here in St. Louis. They hang on to the ninth and it's a 2-0 shutout over the Cardinals.

And they will advance to the division series to take on the Atlanta Braves. Here's the pitch to Marte. Swung on, granted slowly to third. Manny charges is. Now plays the hop. Throw to first is in time. And the Padres have not only captured the moment, they have captured the wildcard series. And it's on to Los Angeles for game one of the NLDS Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Ooh, that should whet your appetite.

Let me see if I can remember them in order. Seattle play-by-play. Rick Rizz on the Mariners radio network.

The great Tom Hamilton on Guardians radio. What a walk-off that was. Fifteen innings of scoreless baseball and I think 421 strikeouts before they got to that point.

Crazy. Phillies radio. And who's the voice of the Phillies? Scott Fransky, that's right.

Thank you, producer J. Scott Fransky. And then finally, and the Phillies winning really the stunning six-run rally in the ninth inning of game one in St. Louis. And then Aaron Nola pitches a gem. Just remember, he was the one who was on the mound when they clinched their playoff spot too. They were the last team to get in. First appearance in ten years and they're making the most of it. So Scott Fransky on Phillies radio and then finally Padres radio with Jesse Agler.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Just a taste of what's to come as we head into the divisional round. So we'll do this in order so no one thinks their team is being slighted. The first game is the Phillies at the World Series champion Braves. And of course, Bryant Snitker says, hey, bring on whoever the opponent is. It's just weird that three of these series are divisional matchups. I think when you get to the postseason, you got to go through everybody.

I mean, it doesn't. We didn't care who we played. You know, we have to play.

And, you know, these guys will be ready to go. And like I said, I never heard one guy mention about who we're going to play. It's just about playing and being here now, being in the division series.

It's Ranger Suarez against Max Fried. So again, the World Series champions have the opportunity to host. And of course, the Braves have had time to get the rotation in order. I'm excited. You know, this is the time of year that you play for and you grind for 162 games. And it's finally here, and I know that we're excited to get started. There are a lot of scary teams, as in big bads, in this divisional round.

But here's the benefit. Philadelphia, Seattle, Cleveland, San Diego, they've been fighting, scratching, clawing just to get in for the last couple of weeks. So they've been in playoff mode. They've had that sense of urgency. They've been living on the edge, facing potential elimination in the end of their series, their seasons, longer than these other teams. I mean, in the case of the Dodgers, I swear they clinched with six weeks to go. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Then it's from the A.L.

West, the Mariners against the Astros. And for Dusty Baker, who of course has secured that job there in restoring order and calm in chaos for the Astros, he actually believes they are the team to beat. These guys, they believe in each other. They have a lot of love for each other. And, you know, they are together.

And the more together you are, then the better that you play. Well, that's true, but you could say that same thing about a few of the other clubs as well. Atlanta comes to mind, to be sure. The Dodgers. Man, do they have fun playing baseball or what? Justin Verlander. Okay, well, there's your ace in the hole.

Forget how much you love spending time together. How about Justin Verlander, who's back to being his badass self? And he's got so much experience on the postseason stage. Logan Gilbert for the Mariners and second baseman Adam Frazier says, yeah, we've got some special qualities ourselves. What I like about this team is everybody's all in together.

And we've been like that pretty much all season. We're very close knit. We're bringing the energy. Everybody's fighting for one another and supporting one another to get the job done.

It's not like myself or any one other guy's got to be the hero. It's more that keep the line moving mentality. And I think, you know, we just support each other. And we're rooting hard for each other every time somebody is in the box.

So, that's why I like where we're at with that. And I think that's why we won a lot of games this year. Again, you could get that same sentiment from other clubhouses. The only non-divisional matchup is the Guardians, the youngest team in baseball, on the road at the New York Yankees to start. But see Terry Francona, he doesn't care about the fact that they're young. They've got a lot of experience even building up to this point.

Every single time we do something with this group, it's for the most part the first time. And, you know, again, I mean, this is the first time they've been in a – what do they call this? AL what? Division Series.

ALDS. That's my favorite part. I mean, they haven't done it before. It doesn't mean we can't do it.

You know, that's – I mean, I got asked that in May and June, July. That's just because they're young. It's not their fault. They're just – they're gaining experience as they go. A good part of it is they're competing while they're doing it.

They're doing a good job. It's a journey that I'm so glad is still going. You know, I don't want the season to end. It's such a good group of guys here that I look forward to coming to work with every single day. And Cal's rattling me and saying things to me. I'm sorry.

But, yeah, I mean, it's been such a special season, and I just want to keep it going. Cal, meaning Cal Quantrill, he's starting game one for the Guardians. That's Austin Hedges, their catcher. Going against Garrett Cole, you may remember in the wildcard game against Boston in 2021, he gave up two home runs, two walks. He was pulled when there were three runs already across the plate. He got no outs in the third inning. So does he need some redemption against Cleveland?

I haven't put much thought into legacy. All my focus is towards preparing to pitch well tomorrow. After every start, you evaluate what you could and could not have done better, and you prepare yourself for the next one. I think we've thrown the ball really well lately. So that's Cleveland at New York, which leaves us with San Diego at L.A., and Dave Roberts has got his pitching rotation set up initially. Julio's going to start game one. Clayton will start game two, and then we'll figure out how we navigate three and four.

I think for us, you could essentially flip a coin. They're both aces in our eyes. And I just think that, you know, Julio's been fantastic for us all year and kind of just making that decision to give him that opportunity. We all felt good about it. Julio Urias is actually in the Cy Young discussion. The dominant season as a full-time starter, and how cool for him that he gets the nod ahead of Clayton Kershaw. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.

Wherever you get your podcast from. Is there something really absurd that skeeves you out? Getting a paper cut on my eyeball. A fear you can't shake? I'm going to leak ocular fluid down my cheeks. It's going to go into my mouth, and I will perish. Whatever scares you, I want to talk about it. Join me, Larry Mullins, on my new podcast, Your Weirdest Fears. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app wherever you get your podcasts from.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-19 14:47:03 / 2022-12-19 15:03:14 / 16

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