Good morning to you.
There are so many reasons to be smiling on this Friday morning. First of all, we survived opening day and now we get to settle in for a long baseball season. Soon, it will be the soundtrack of the warmer spring and the summer. Baseball's back, baby. Already, already we are seeing the impact of the pitch clock as well as some of the other rules like only two pick off throws by the pitchers. We're already seeing the numbers change, which is exactly what Major League Baseball wants. So we'll give you the early returns.
It's early, it's one day, but I want to at least show you the impacts. We also have early season injuries to pitchers because that happens. You hope it doesn't happen on the first day of the regular season, but already multiple pitchers who will need stints on the IL or could be headed that direction. We saw a bunch of aces get blown up. That also happens on the first day or their first pitches when we get started early in the spring.
But we had some really cool moments as well. It is the last opening day for Adam Wainwright and he tells you why and how he ended up seeing the national anthem at Cardinal Stadium or a Busch Stadium, excuse me. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.
Thanks so much for joining us. Baseball, yes. Jay and I went to see an NHL Stanley Cup playoff preview on Thursday evening between the Devils and the Rangers and the atmosphere at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey was electric. I go there a bunch because that's the arena or the stadium, not stadium, that's the arena where I can get, first of all I have a good relationship with the Devils, they're great.
Second of all, it's just an easy access for me because I don't have to cross a river and so I enjoy going and seeing. In the past it's been other teams that were playoff contenders, right? So that's where I saw the Colorado Avalanche last year as they were on their run to win the Stanley Cup. This year I'm there to see the Devils because they are a damn good hockey team and Jay managed to not embarrass us in the press box, though a couple times I was like zip it zip it, but mostly it's because his favorite team, the Rangers, didn't have a whole lot to cheer about. So to be fair, there might have been more cheering in the press box that could have gotten us kicked out if Jay had had another reason to cheer, but he was more complaining loudly. Admit it. Admit it, you were complaining loudly. I don't know about loudly. You were criticizing loudly. It's like everything the Rangers did wrong you had to point it out loudly. Loudly.
We're not in your living room, we're in a press box. Following the game. Pointing out what they should have done differently. No, no, negative.
You can't do that. That's the job. Although it is funny because the woman that was sitting to my left, so I'm sitting next to Jay on my right and the woman on my left is also gesturing with every mistake the Rangers made. I couldn't tell if she was a Rangers fan or a Devils fan, but she was clearly one because she was, well she was intense about everything that was happening on the ice.
Did you see her trying really hard to get someone's attention? She was, oh my gosh. Yeah, so there's a, we're sitting above the, about mid ice, above the ice, probably third level. Great seats for an NHL game because you look straight down on the ice. Cold as heck in there though, oh my gosh. I put my coat on halfway through the game.
I don't think I'm warm yet. Yeah, it was colder than normal really. So the woman next to us, when she wasn't charting the game, she apparently knew people on the other side of the arena and for 10 minutes is waving, waving, waving, trying to get their attention on the other side of the arena as though it's, hey look mom, look mom, I'm on camera, I'm on candid camera. I mean she didn't stop for a good 10 minutes. And she was wearing that like big bulky bracelet of the rocks and I kept hearing like, stop, cut it out, they don't see you. So see, probably her bracelets would have drowned out you cheering in the press box so at least we didn't get that.
Maybe she was doing me a favor. The picture I take at every single hockey game that I go to is the juxtaposition, no not juxtaposition, the, what's the word, trans, trans, no, it's the transpose, no, the transposing, transposition, the reflection. Not following this one. Yeah, the flag on the ice, it's, it's not a reflection really, it's a, you know when you, you reflect, you're, why are you looking at me with that face? It's not a real flag on the ice, it's light so they're projecting it, there, that's probably the word I'm looking for, they're projecting the flag onto the ice. Oh my gosh, if you guys could see Jay's blank stare right now, you have no idea what I'm talking about.
Is there a word for that? Yes, they're projecting the flag onto the ice, that's the word I was looking for. Anyway, it's beautiful and they've got a red hue in the arena and then the picture of the flag is up on the big screen so it's gorgeous, I happen to capture. I know, I know, I was supposed to be standing with my hand over my heart and I did for most of the time but I also took a photo so check it out. Here I'll retweet it, it was really pretty and I love it, if I miss the national anthem for a hockey game then I feel as though I've, I've just, I'm, I'm all out of sorts. Got to be there for the national anthem because it's so cool to be out there projected onto the ice, see that's what I meant.
It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio, on Twitter, ALawRadio, also on our Facebook page and then our phone number 855-212-4227 so you can check out the photo. If it's your payday, boom, hours two, happy Friday to you and happy last day of March. Beware on Saturday, not only is it a final four but, and we'll get to a bit of a preview, but it's also April Fool's Day. I learned my lesson in the past, now I do not speak to people on April Fool's Day so I will, oh no. Oh well the date is tonight so there's no chance that this is like some kind of an April Fool's thing, right? Pre-April Fool's, there's no way, he wouldn't do that.
No, I don't think so. Okay, right so don't accept any phone calls from any dates coming up on Saturday. No calls, no text messages, just beware of everything that you receive Amy on Saturday. There's no like April Fool's Day Eve so. I know but I just, this, oh that makes me nervous. I don't, I hate April Fool's, I think it's dumb but also I have been duped in the past so now I'm nervous about it.
Dooped by a former boyfriend. I am overthinking. Not Bob. I do, I do overthink. Alright, I'm just, I'm not answering the phone on Saturday, that's it. I'm not taking any calls, I'm not answering any text messages. I don't need to be April Fool's Day to do that on a Saturday.
No, here it says the spider to the fly come into my web. No, I'm not doing that. I'm avoiding all human contact on Saturday. I do have to go to Home Depot to buy some dirt. It's going to be so much fun, I'm going to buy some dirt. Hi, can you tell me where the dirt is? I'm here to buy some dirt. Just plain old dirt. What kind of dirt? Just dirt.
Not, not soil, just dirt. Let's bring a shovel and a bucket. Go in the parking lot. Our parking lot? No, not our parking lot.
I was going to say we're in the middle of Manhattan, how is that a- Although there is some trees, like little whatever you would call those. Flower beds? Yeah, but like those, you know, the square like- I'm saying flower beds. There's not enough dirt there to fill my flower garden. I got to buy some bags of dirt.
I put it off too. I don't relish this because the bags of dirt are extremely heavy, like 50 pounds and I need to buy about four of them. It's going to be, I'm going to be sore muscles after that, moving all the dirt around. So that's on Saturday, but it does not require talking to anyone.
So no, I'm not speaking to anyone in April Fool's. Instead, I'll be focused. Baseball, hockey, basketball, and a little bit of March Madness.
We get the culmination with the Final Four, Dallas and Houston this weekend. So why don't we get started. Baseball, I think early returns on the pitch clock are rave reviews. Unless, of course, you are Marcus Stroman, who becomes the answer to a trivia question.
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. He is the first in 2023, the first pitcher ever to be slapped with a pitch clock violation. It's tough, this pitch clock. It's a big adjustment.
I don't think people really realize, like, it just adds a whole other layer of thinking. You got to be conscious of the clock. You got to be looking at the clock. You're trying to worry about the pitch. You're trying to worry about the guys on base. You're trying to worry about your grip. There's so many things going on now.
So it definitely ends another layer to the game that's tough, to be honest with you. It's definitely not easy to be a pitcher out there and to feel rushed at times. In case you don't know the rule, the pitchers now have 15 seconds for a delivery, 20 seconds if there's a runner on base. Batters have to be in the box ready to hit with at least eight seconds left. So it's the pitcher, but it's also the hitter. Then some of the other rules that haven't gotten quite as much attention, but no more defensive shifts, which I personally absolutely love. Felt like defensive shifts were a gimmick.
And then also bigger bases. And so the idea is to increase the offense, okay? So the data, one day, it's just one day, so let's not get too excited.
Although you know Rob Manfred is grinning from ear to ear, maybe doing a little dance in his office. The average length of the games on Thursday, two hours and 49 minutes, roughly two hours, 49 minutes. That compares with three hours and six minutes last season. Then you also saw a spike in hits on the first day. More than six hits per game, which is up nearly a full hit over last season. How about that?
Don't know if it stays that way. Just know that those are exactly the types of results that Major League Baseball wants and is seeking here. There was an actual game on Thursday that did not last two hours and 15 minutes. Two hours and 14 minutes.
I feel like I don't get the bang for my buck if I go to a game and all I see is two hours and 14 minutes. No way. I'd take it out of a hockey arena in two hours and 14 minutes. NBA game, same thing. No way.
I'd demand a refund for two hours and 14 minutes. Or at least a discount. Free hot dog or something. One of the new changes that didn't get as much attention, so I didn't even know this until I guess last night as I was paying attention watching what was going on with Otani. So Shohei Otani starts for the Angels last night in Oakland. There's a new rule that allows the pitch comm, so it's a device that allows the catcher and the pitcher to communicate, essentially. Now, how it normally works is the catcher is giving the sign or is sharing his pitch of choice with the pitcher but through some speakers, right?
It's got like a speaker in his helmet or speaker in his hat. So typically it's the catchers who are using the pitch comm device or initiating the pitch sequence. But on Friday of last week, so just a week ago, baseball agreed to allow pitchers to have this little device, meaning that they can initiate the sequence.
So instead of Shohei Otani waving off a bunch of pitch suggestions by his catcher, he's the one who's got the pitch comm device. And man, was he efficient with it. It was in a weird spot too. It was under his arm on the left side. And because he couldn't see it, according to the reporters, I tried to find video but I couldn't. According to the reporters, he had to memorize the sequence so that he could type in the pitch or the call for the pitch without looking.
But the reason he's doing it? Pitch clock. He wants to be able to, if he has to, I guess, wave off the catcher. But in lieu of that, call his own pitches, make sure he and his catcher are on the same page and do it with just the 15 or 20 seconds. And so we're probably going to see if it's successful, and he was very efficient last night in terms of the pitches, getting the pitches thrown on time. If we're going to see it work for him, we're likely going to get other pitchers who then take that pitch comm device from their catchers.
But again, baseball's rules just changed last Friday to allow pitchers to have it. Shohei Otani picking up where he left off at the end of the WBC. One ball, two strikes, here's the next delivery and he got him, took something off that pitch and that was a slider, struck him out. Otani with his 10th strikeout and the inning is over. Two balls, two strikes to Tony Kemp. Swung on a five ball, right center, well hit in the alley. Trout going back, way back, it's over his head, one hop in the wall. Ruiz to third, turning to third, down in the bag. He comes to the plate to score easily and the A's have tied it up on a double to right center by Tony Kemp.
He delivers and led, it's a drive to left center, sinking, that's going to get down for a hit. Around third to score is Tony Kemp and the A's have taken the lead. Terry Smith on Angels Radio, Ken Korak on A's Radio. When Shohei Otani left, the Angels had a 1-0 lead. He had 10 strikeouts. After he left, the A's played in a pair of runs and the Angels lost.
So the more things change, the more they stay the same. Otani, dominant, stingy, team looks really good when he's on the mound. Not so much when he leaves the mound. Although Mike Trout wants, Mike Trout's still healthy by the way, woo!
Mike Trout wants people to R-E-L-A-X. It's the first game, so let's go get them Saturday. We had some opportunities like you said, just hit the ball right at people. We're going to score more runs, I'm not worried about that. Just opening night, baseball gets weird sometimes.
We're going to swing the bats, we're going to score a lot of runs, I'm not worried about that. Michael Nevin, Mike Trout, Shohei Otani, the boys are back though in Oakland to start their season. We talked Dodgers earlier because a lot of people, I would say analysts, prognosticators, down on the Dodgers this season thinking that they could miss the playoffs in the National League West and actually could finish in the basement of the NL. Which is crazy to me considering the Rockies do still play in that division, so I don't know about that. But we had a great conversation with Michael Duarte of NBC LA. Every time in 10 years the Dodgers have had a night game on the first day of the season, so typically they are day game. And also there is a brand new light system at Dodger Stadium that cost millions and millions of dollars. The operator is not in mid-season form. I guess there were some glitches last night, and so Michael was describing it.
Vittorio Lovello of the Diamondbacks said that it was actually bothering his pitchers when they were warming up some of these various elements to the light show. So if you missed Michael, he's great. He's always fun. He was also giving me tips for my Grand Canyon hike that's coming up in a couple of weeks. So we love him.
He's worth listening to on the podcast. And that's After Hours, AmyLawrence.com. Another word for the projection of the American flag on the ice? The hologram. That would have worked as well.
So a couple of you have found me on Twitter to say it was a holographic image or a hologram. Thank you so much for that. By the way, as much as Devils and Rangers was a great atmosphere, it's of course necessary to point out that both those teams are trailing, every team is trailing, the Bruins in the NHL last night tying their own, no not tying, passing their own single season mark for wins, earning the President's Trophy. So they get that in overtime with a goal from David Pasternak about 40 seconds in. Now they are just a few wins away, four wins away from the mark set by the Red Wings and the Lightning. The Lightning equaled it a couple of seasons ago for most wins ever in a regular season.
So they're closing in. They've still got an opportunity. The President's Trophy isn't, it's not a precursor to the Stanley Cup. Sometimes, I don't believe in jinxes, but people think there can be a jinx associated with it. I don't believe in jinxes. The Bruins have been badass all season long.
They can beat you a variety of ways. Now they are in fact the best team in the regular season. A lot of anticipation building there for the playoffs, the Stanley Cup playoffs for the Bruins and also for the Celtics who thrashed, and I mean thrashed behind the woodshed, the Milwaukee Bucks last night.
I still can't believe that happened, but it did. So there's got to be a ton of anticipation in Boston for hoops and hockey and the postseason. All right, thanks for your tweets, ALawRadio, also on our Facebook page. You guys are cracking me up with some of your responses to the date that I have coming up tonight is unique. I will say that.
It's going to be a first time for me as well. But feel free to use the idea because I think it's a very creative one. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours podcast. All rise. Here comes the judge.
This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. First at bat home run. So both Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani pick up where they left off at the end of last year. And we'll see. It's way too early.
Small sample size. However, it is kind of nice to know that the more things change, sometimes the more they stay the same. John Sterling among the longtime baseball announcers who are returning to their booths this season. I do love baseball on the radio.
It's my preferred way, actually, of following it. And I just I am so captivated by the way many of these announcers tell a story. So Charlie Steiner with the Dodgers, John Miller with the San Francisco Giants. John Sterling has been the longtime play-by-play voice of the New York Yankees radio network. Howie Rose on Mets radio.
He's got a new partner as well. Who else did I hear yesterday? Oh, Jocas Tiglione of the Boston Red Sox, a Hall of Famer. So it was really neat to jump around and listen to different announcers. And those are just a handful. There are many more. So don't get upset if I don't mention your favorite announcer.
But I know many of you feel the same way. It was a rite of passage on Thursday opening day to listen to some baseball on the radio. So Aaron Judge gets home run number one. And it certainly did give the support to Garrett Cole, though he didn't need a lot. Three hits that he allowed against the Giants through six innings pitched, 11 strikeouts for Garrett. And he was blowing on his hands in between pitches. It was cold.
Just tough to feel the hand. I didn't think my command was great all day. I did make some good pitches in some good situations. I thought that Trevie was using what we had really well. And he was locked in, giving us the most margin for error with the pitches that he was calling. And obviously it was nice to get a lead right out of the shoot with Aaron.
He mentions Trevie, Jose Trevino being his catcher. So good start for Garrett Cole. And there were a couple of solid starts. Marcus Stroman throws six scoreless for the Cubs in their win. Dansby Swanson, by the way, had three hits. Who else was really good yesterday?
Who? Pablo Lopez had a good start. First start with the Twins.
That's right. Okay, so there were some real strong starts. For the most part, early season, it seems like pitchers more often are going to get shelled. And when the temperatures are colder, what you worry about is not just your pitchers and their command because it's early season. You also worry about them getting hurt. So thankfully Garrett Cole, even though it was in the low 40s at first pitch and the wind chills made it feel like the 30s.
This is the worst feeling in the world. Garrett Cole had good command through six. The Braves were in D.C., so not quite as cold there. And yet Max Fried exits the game with a leg injury in the fourth. He got popped with a ball and then it looked like he was kind of holding on to the back of his leg. And so he may be headed for the I-L now.
Strained his hamstring. It's probably going to, you know, more than likely be a D-L. We don't have to do anything until his next start. So we'll just treat him up again with the off day tomorrow.
Come in, get a lot of treatment. But, you know, we haven't, like I say, officially done it yet. But it's definitely miss a starter.
You know, then we'll just see. I felt great. And felt like I was, you know, had a really good rhythm.
Got in the dugout pretty quick. You know, felt like it could have been a good one, you know, be able to get deep into a game. But unfortunately things happen.
Things do happen. So he had some left hamstring discomfort. And kind of like I said, if you – there was – I don't know if you mentioned a pop. It was just more about like a catch, kind of a catch. Almost as if he'd been hit by something. Like you guys know that feeling, right?
Like a run or your climb or just any type. You make a movement and you feel kind of like a catch or a grab in one of your muscles. Almost as though you've been hit with something. And so for Max Fried, that's sucky. It's early.
It doesn't sound real serious. But he didn't make it out of the fourth inning there in Washington. By the way, I feel better now. Brian Snicker mentions the DL, which I sometimes do, instead of the IL.
All right. Also in the National League East, Justin Verlander. He wasn't supposed to start at opening day. That was Max Scherzer and Max did his job. But Verlander heads to the IL himself with what they're calling a low-grade strain near his pitching shoulder.
He said he noticed his velocity was down one to two miles per hour in his bullpen session on Wednesday. And so because of that feeling like this particular pressure, this pain wasn't going away, they felt like this was the right step. I think the fact that I'm going to be able to continue to throw is showing how minor of an injury it is.
But still, there is something there. If this was a different point in the season, particularly late in the year, I think pitching is definitely on the table. If this was a different point in the season, particularly late in the year, I think pitching is definitely on the table. Playoffs, I'm definitely pitching. But being the beginning of the season, coming off of spring training, it just makes too much sense to not push it right now.
And like I said, risk three months when it could be much, much, much, much, much. I'm glad he has the ability to make a joke out of it or to at least be handling it with some humor. However, he's the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner and Mets fans were thrilled to partner him with Max Scherzer. Then thinking about the Edwin Diaz loss and how important it's going to be for starters to go a little bit deeper, though you still need a closer who will step up. And then the news on opening day that Justin Verlander is on the IL, so it was like a wah, wah, wah. And Jay is a Mets fan and he said, same thing he says to me every time something happens with the Mets. This is how it goes with the Mets. It's the Mets.
This is what happens. So everybody, let's go Mets. Let's go Mets.
It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. Former Met Jacob DeGrom making his first start in a different uniform. And speaking of not going well or not having a great day, he does strike out seven in his debut with the Rangers against the Phillies. But he also allows five runs on six hits. Doesn't make it out of the fourth inning.
Similar to Aaron Nola. Allows five runs on four hits. Doesn't make it out of the fourth inning. And in the bottom of that inning, the Rangers score nine runs. Nine runs in the fourth inning. Again, very early in the season. So DeGrom, he got that debut underway.
I'm glad he's healthy. That's important. No place to go but up. I didn't make some pitches when I needed to. Obviously, you know, I'm not thrilled with how I threw the ball. But, you know, the guys did a good job there in the bottom of the fourth to put up, what, nine runs and then continue to add on.
So, you know, my outing I'm not thrilled with. Didn't make pitches when I needed to. But the most important thing is we got to win. There's times where, you know, they pick you up and that's huge. You know, there's time for, you know, you go out there and you're putting up zeros and you're doing what you're supposed to do. But then, like today, I wasn't able to do that and they did a good job of picking me up. And, you know, the bullpen came in and did a great job.
It's about picking each other up. He probably wasn't quite as sharp today. That's fair to say, you know, they did throw some good at bats. But also, you know, he had some bad luck, too, with some balls that got through.
But, you know what? The guys rallied and, I mean, what an inning. Just had some great at bats in that big inning there. And that's a great one, especially on the opener. It's so exciting out there. The guys were all excited. And, again, you know, after a tough start, it's a great way to finish it. I'm excited to hear Bruce Bocce talking about baseball again.
That's awesome. So Bocce and DeGrom. And we'll see if the Rangers are finally able to capitalize on some of the pieces they put together, some of the money that they have spent. All right. We've just got a few minutes before the top of the hour.
If you missed Adam Wainwright in his opening day start, well, you missed a ton. It is unlike anything I've ever heard before. It's awesome. So we will let you hear it.
And also, he explains how this came about. Speaking of national anthems, we'd love to hear from you. Well, I guess it depends on what you have to say, but sometimes I love to hear from you. On Twitter, ALawRadio, also on our Facebook page, After Hours with Amy Lawrence. If you, too, have a stomach that is growling at this current moment, you can be part of our club because that's where we are. You are listening to the After Hours podcast. Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. That is so impressive.
You are unbelievable. In case you can't tell, that's Adam Wayne right now. I know he's a songwriter.
I'm not sure if you've ever mentioned that before. He loves music and he had two of his friends out there who were on guitar with him. It was slow, right? But I can understand why. It's a very difficult song and there are a lot of modulations and notes you need to hit.
In fact, it's really challenging even for a professional singer because of range and what note you start on to be sure you can hit both the lows and the highs. And I think it was a surprise too because I heard from a bunch of people, if you haven't seen it or you want to hear it again, you want to see the gigantic smile on Wayne Wright's face. I retweeted the video from Busch Stadium. It was really cool how excited he was when they introduced him and he ran out there and he had his hat over his heart the whole time and the smile on his face as he's finishing up and he raises his arms in the air.
Classic. If we're going to hear Carl Lewis and his rendition of the anthem from now until kingdom come, Roseanne, well then we need to include this one. Because this took some nerve to get up there on opening day and to sing in front of all of those fans when you don't need to. It was really cool.
And Wayne Wright tells the story of how this came about and also says he's not going to be listening to it much more than just what he's heard in the stadium. Well I've only briefly listened to it, but I know I went a little slower than I wanted to go, but I was just telling them, very tough. Props to anyone who does that because it's very tough with the delay.
You know, you sing it and then you hear yourself sing it a whole second and a half later and then you start listening to yourself and then it slows your tempo down. That's what happened to me today. It shows my rookie self, you know.
Let's see, I'm just telling all the same stories. A few days ago when we were still on Jupiter, they told me they were going to do, when I was playing on starting today, they were going to do kind of a tribute to me today. And they wanted me to pick someone who was special to me. So I was going to have Gary and Greg sing it while I warmed up because those guys are my songwriting buddies.
They really helped me a lot. But when I got hurt, Melody Yount called me and said, what do you think? I'd love for you to do it.
There's, you know, it would be really neat, I think, for you and for St. Louis if you would do it. And so I said, no. And she goes, well, I'm going to give you a few minutes to think about it, but OK, we'll start going with Plan B. And then I called her back 10 minutes later and I was like, all right, I'll do it.
Brave! There is no way that I would do that song. And I love to sing, but there's no way. And he did it not dry completely, but it's not like there was a bunch of music to carry him along. And so, yeah, not only are you slower because it's a tough song, but then the feedback.
So that's why a lot of performers, you'll see them, they're wearing headphones so that they can stay on and not listen to what's feeding back through the speakers. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. Again, it's on my Twitter, ALawRadio. He crushed it. I just think that's so impressive on what is your last opening day. So we're going to transition to college basketball just because it's the last weekend of the season. And we've got the final four for the men in Houston, the women in Dallas. A lot of excitement around the women, of course, because it's Kaitlyn Clark, who's the player of the year for Iowa. Their first final four in 30 years. But, of course, the big bad is Dawn Staley in South Carolina, the defending champion.
They have a perfect record. So right now, everybody's taking aim at the Gamecocks on the women's side in Dallas. On the men's side, we're talking three first timers.
Three first timers. Nothing higher than a four seed. So UConn is the only blue blood in this entire final four. And UConn hasn't been there since 2014, which was the last time that the Huskies won a title. Did you all see, I actually retweeted it from our show account.
The Husky, the actual Husky who, so think Georgia and UGA, the Husky who is the mascot for UConn. I guess he was too big to go on a plane, so they were trying to find other transportation for him to get to Houston. But the photo on our show Twitter, it's this really cute photo.
He's got his snout stuck through the, I guess it would be the tops of two headrests on the front seat. And he's, yeah, can you want to retweet it? If you want to retweet it from like our network account or whatever.
Or just retweet it again from our show account. He's got his snout smushed in there and he looks like he's making a sad face because he can't go to the final four. So the last I heard, is there a name for him there, Jay? No? Okay. So the last I heard the Husky wasn't able to make the trip or they were still looking for transportation for him to get to Houston.
But yeah, super cute. So it's UConn as the blue blood. It's UConn as the dog and then three actual underdogs.
So a whole lot of dogs if you're a dog lover for this final four. Let's hear from each of these head coaches. By the way, Dusty May is staying at Florida Atlantic.
He has declined to take any other jobs and I don't even think he's interviewed for any other jobs. He's decided he wants to stay with the Owls. And so it's Florida Atlantic against San Diego State in the first national semifinal. And yes, it is the first final four appearance for both the Owls as well as the Aztecs. Extremely rewarding to see a group give as much as these guys have all season shots, playing time, minutes, everything you can imagine, 100 percent every day in practice and then be rewarded because there's never a guarantee.
It's always you're relying on faith that you believe it's going to happen, but you never really know. And it's just in this era where everyone wants the whole pie. These guys continued sharing the pie every single day.
And this was the result. So couldn't be more proud of a group who did it really together every single day. The Aztecs are led by Brian Dutcher, who is a longtime assistant to Steve Fisher there at San Diego State. And there's a special, not just plan, but purpose and a methodology behind how they got to where they are. It starts when you recruit them. It can't start when they show up on campus. When we recruit them, we tell them we defended a high level here. You don't want to play defense.
We're not the place for you. Defense, baby. If you do defend, we'll let you play with great freedom offensively. And that's kind of what we are. So when they get there and they're not having success, even though they're scoring, it's like, hey, we told you we're defense first and you have to defend in order to earn an opportunity to play offense. And so it's a culture.
It's something we've always preached. And I think we're pretty good at it. So that's your opening national semifinal between two first timers. And I'll be really intrigued to know how the ratings, how the ratings and how the viewership responds to what is a Final Four, where there is, I don't want to say they're not recognizable teams because that's not fair, but certainly Miami is a Power Five school. San Diego State is the first one from the Mountain West, though, to get to the Final Four. So we're talking about a couple of mid-major conferences here. Then you've got Jim Larriñaga's Miami Hurricanes against Dan Hurley's UConn Huskies. So even though UConn is seeking its sixth national title in men's basketball, right, so the women are not in the Final Four.
This is all about the men. It's a completely different era. It's Dan Hurley, after a couple of tries to get it right after Jim Calhoun retired, they stick with Dan Hurley.
He's brought a toughness there. And then you've got Larriñaga, who is a longtime head coach and took George Mason as a mid-major back in, what was it, 11? No, it was earlier than that.
It was like 17 years ago, so it was earlier than that. Anyway, so you've got a guy who's got experience, and he's a lifer in college basketball, but his canes have not been there, and they are taking on the Huskies of UConn. So we'll play these back-to-back with Jim and then with Dan. How great are those kids? Their personalities, they're just so much fun to be around. They exude confidence in themselves, but they also believe in each other. And just listening to them, they're enjoying this experience, taking it all in, and I'm hoping the emotions of the size of the venue, that they'll be able to channel their emotions in the right direction, because they know this is a challenge to get to the Final Four.
There have been a lot of great players, a lot of great teams that have never reached this point in their playing career or coaching career. So you've got to appreciate every opportunity you get, and we're just looking forward to playing Saturday night. Excited to be here, exhilarating the reception here in the great state of Texas, but the great city of Houston. I just feel so welcomed by the people. It's great to get in the stadium today and get on the court and put the work in, prepared for our biggest challenge of the season, this Miami team that's playing great.
Congratulations to these four teams, three first-timers, so three underdogs and some actual dogs will now try to tip off in Houston with the one prize still remaining. The one fining moment. Oh my gosh, it's the end of what's been a long week, and it was a very long day.
I did not sleep well yesterday because I knew I had to wake up early to take care of my stuff and my dog and then get on a train to get to a hockey game. I think I was combining one fine day with one shining moment, and it came out one fining moment. I will say this about my radio show. There are elements that you've just never heard anywhere else. There's nothing like it on the planet, for better or for worse. And that's fine. It really is.
It's totally fine. It's after hours, CBS Sports Radio. Really quickly, your baseball nerd alert, because I love this. We're sending you off to day two of the Major League Baseball season that loves its numbers. Adly Rushman, five for five with a home run and four RBI for the Orioles, first player since the early 30s.
To go five for five or better with a home run on opening day, first catcher with five hits on opening day since at least the turn of the last century. Go forth. Be free. Enjoy your baseball weekend. We'll talk to you Sunday night after hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. Boom!
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