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Get a wedding suit as unique as you with Indochino. Go to Indochino.com and use code PODCAST to get 10% off any purchase of $3.99 or more. That's I-N-D-O-C-H-I-N-O dot com promo code PODCAST. We are mere hours from opening day. Can you believe it?
Wowzers, it's here. Now it's a little early this year, especially if you compare it to 2022 where we had the lockout that delayed the start of the season by a week only. However, all the talk over spring training was the fact that there was a work stoppage and we were never going to forgive baseball and that was it. I don't know that baseball could have done a greater or more dramatic 180 from a year ago to, that's not awkward, but then last year to this year, it's night and day. Fans are on board, really excited, and for the first time baseball is doing, well the first time in a long time, baseball is doing a schedule on opening day that features all 30 teams. So 15 games, all 30 teams, barring any crazy weather that will of course delay or postpone or cancel, blah, blah, blah.
I hope that's not too. Wherever you are, I hope that your opening day is bright sunshine, maybe not warm, but at least the game goes on. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Good stuff in our first hour, both hoops as well as a little football. We've got more from the NFL League owners meetings and that includes Roger Goodell, but also others.
I'm trying to think what else I thought was really good. Oh, some great Brandon Bean audio about Josh Allen. Also, we've got some audio from Ron Rivera and Kyle Shanahan about their respective quarterback situations and why is Ron Rivera talking about Kyle Shanahan's quarterback. So we'll get to that. That's something that we'll sprinkle in throughout the rest of the show.
Ask Amy Anything begins about 90 minutes from now. So you'll want to send your questions to our show Twitter, After Hours, CBS, also to our Facebook page. Right now we are pleased to welcome CBS Sports baseball writer and reporter Matt Snyder. We enjoy having him on the show when we can. After a trip to the Arizona Cactus League, as well as the WBC, I want to start there.
Matt, if you don't mind, you had a chance to catch one of those games in the World Baseball Classic. So now that the dust has settled, what did you think? I think it's growing. I think it just continues to get bigger and bigger on the worldwide stage.
So many of these other countries take it so seriously and it's such a big deal. You look at I think it was Chinese Taipei. I was looking at the crowd and it was a sellout and it was a home run and they were going crazy and they were doing some kind of chop thing. I didn't even know what it was. They had cheerleaders on the dugout. It was amazing. They have way more fun than we do in so many other countries watching baseball. And I think especially since it had been six years since the last event to see it come back and be so huge.
I feel like next time around it's even going to be bigger. And I do want to say one thing about the injuries, because I know there's been a lot of focus on the Edwin Diaz injury. He was hopping after Puerto Rico beat Dominican Republic to advance. You know, Reece Hoskins tore his ACL in spring training. Gavin Lux tore his ACL in spring training. I know Jose Altuve had the broken thumb on a pitch in the WBC, but Justin Turner and Austin Nola both got hit in the face with pitches in spring training. There's just as much risk in spring training as the World Baseball Classic. So it sucks to lose guys to injuries in the event, but it does in spring training too. We heard the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred, indicate that he would like to see more and more superstars. So more and more of baseball's best to participate in the WBC. Is there a point at which teams could say no to a player or is that something they're not allowed to do?
Oh, they can. Ronald Lacuna Jr. and the Braves went kind of round and round this offseason. It was kind of the last minute that the Braves finally said, just go ahead and go. As much as the players seem to love it, and this was the most I've ever heard players rave about it was this year.
It seems like that's why I think I feel like it's getting bigger and bigger. It's not just the fans internationally. It's the players and it's American players. There were a few players in the Dodgers clubhouse. I don't think we were on record, so I'm not going to say their names, but they were American and they were talking about how big of a deal it is. And they talked about how Clayton Kershaw really wanted to pitch in it, but it didn't line up with where he was in terms of getting ready for the season. Remember, he was on Team USA and he backed out. Several other big name pitchers on USA had to back out. And that's where it looked like USA kind of had a lineup, but maybe it's like not even B or C team, like D or E starting pitching. And that's where I think Goodell was like, USA could run out something, could have this year something like Justin Verlaine or Max Scherzer or Garrett Cole at the top of the list.
And instead it was more like Merrill Kelly in one of the biggest games. So I think that's where we're probably headed, though, because everybody's ramping it up in spring training anyway. And there are pitch limits on the guys in the World Baseball Classic in the early rounds. One of the things that I appreciated about the WBC was the chance to see Shohei Ohtani in front of his own fans. So in front of the crowds there in the Tokyo Dome that were completely insane over this guy. How much bigger can his star get, Matt?
Not much. I mean, we feel like we're at the apex. But then again, I probably would have said the same thing in 2021 when he won the MVP in his first year where he was able to stay healthy the whole year and pitch the entire year in the rotation. Pitch like an All-Star, hit like one of the best sluggers in baseball. Well, he came back last year and he probably was a better pitcher than hitter, which is saying a lot. Yeah, at WBC MVP heading into this year, he looks like he could be a Scion candidate and still hit 40 home runs, which still just sounds ridiculous to even say out loud. And it'll be the third year where we could say that.
I thought it was really neat to see he and Mike Trout go against each other, as did most of baseball and its fans. What would the Angels need to do to keep him? The first thing is make the playoffs. He hasn't even made a secret about how he's tired of being at a playoff contention come September. And maybe not even make the playoffs. I feel like they do need to make it, but I guess let's say if they were in contention down to the final series and then they gave him an offer that blew him away, and it looked like they were still building and they were going to be just as good, if not better, toward next year.
I could see him entertaining that. But if they're going to go out and win 73 games, I would say he's out the door no matter what the money says. They absolutely have to be in contention. If they're not in contention come trade deadline, my hunch is they'll probably trade him because they'll know that he doesn't want to stay and he'll probably make it clear. But if they're in contention to the end and then they make the playoffs and let's say they went around to the playoffs, I would start to come off the feeling that he's definitely going to leave and I would think, you know what, there's a chance he could stay. But he wants to win.
Yeah, for sure. It was very obvious how excited he was about the success of Japan. Sometimes where he's a little more reserved, he was throwing his glove and yelling and there were lots of big smiles.
So that was really cool to see the other side of him. Matt Snyder is with us talking some baseball with opening day on Thursday, part of CBS Sports and covers MLB. It's after hours, CBS Sports Radio. Outside of Otani, what are the top headlines as we break spring training and start to play, Matt? Well, we haven't had a repeat champion in a long, long, long time. Gosh, it's got to be the Yankees, 99 and 2000.
So we haven't had, surely the other major sports have had a repeat champion since then. The Astros, probably the best, you know, and you can't really say program organization, one of the most well, the best organizations in terms of how they've run things and built their talent base to the point that they lost Justin Verlander in free agency. And I still think they're the best team in baseball heading into next year, heading into this year.
We're really close, a couple days away. That's a big one. Would we see a repeat champion for the first time since the Yankees all the way back in the prime jitter years? That's a long time without a repeat champ. Another one is I look at the Dodgers, gone to the playoffs so many years in a row. It's been 2012 was the last time the Dodgers didn't make the playoffs and their only World Series championship. And there was 2020. That was a shortened season. World Series was all neutral sides. So while it counts, they haven't won a World Series in that stand in a full season in front of full crowds in home parks, in a helmet home in the World Series situation.
So like those are the two team level ones that stick out to me the most. There's been a lot of chatter, or at least there was early in spring training about the pitch clock and many predictions about how we'll see this impact game times. What's your reaction to the implementation to this point and what potential impact it could have? Well, I think everybody went way too crazy about it the first week in spring training because people are always going to adjust. There's a reason they started the spring training. I've got six weeks spring training last couple of weeks, you'll notice there hasn't been all those viral posts on social media of like a game ended when a pitch was even thrown now because everybody's making adjustments. Now the game times of spring training drastically were cut down.
Now, when you get in the regular season, we still got the commercial breaks. I still think it'll take a little bit longer than spring training, but whereas if you're looking at a normal game being in the 310 range, I bet you we're going to see 245-ish or so. And for me, it's less about the time of game and more about the dead time being cut out and guys just standing there forever, stepping out, stepping off, taking forever, staring each other down. There's going to be a lot less dead time and a lot more action and I think that was the main goal. I think it's going to be great. Maybe there will be a regular season adjustment period, but my hunch is by May we barely even notice the clock. Do you believe that it will have the impact of attracting new fans, potentially the fan base is getting younger because we know that's what Rob Manfred and Baseball are after?
I would say on the clock aspect, it's less about thinking that we're going to bring a bunch of people in and more about not driving people away, if that makes sense. Somebody who's never watched a baseball game before, you're telling your friend, hey, this is a big playoff game, you should watch this. And they go and most of the time they're looking at the screen, it's guys staring each other down at home plate and they're going, what's going on? Why is this taking forever?
Why is there nothing happening? Now we're going to have a lot less dead time and I think there's a lot more chance to hook people with more action. You mentioned Reese Hoskins earlier, definitely a blow to the Phillies, but there's still a ton of excitement around them coming off of a year in which they made the World Series and then they added Trey Turner. What do we see from the Phillies in terms of an encore?
It could be very similar, actually. They're not going to get Reese back. I guess maybe if they made a run to the World Series, he could DH, bringing back memories of Kyle Schwerber with the 2016 Cubs, but a torn ACL. But I'm thinking more about Bryce Harper being out to start the year. It looks like they were talking All-Star break when he first had the procedure on his elbow, but now it looks like maybe Memorial Day might be realistic. Ranger Suarez looks like their third starter.
He's probably going to start the season on the injured list with a forearm injury. Maybe they have some things to settle in the bullpen. I feel like they're probably going to end up in one of the wildcard spots because they're contending with the Mets and the Braves in the NL East and they're probably not going to be as strong at the start of the year as they are at the end.
But by the end of the year, when they're full strength, they're going to be really, really good. And if they do make the playoffs, and I believe they will, you're looking at Nola and Wheeler and Suarez again in the rotation, the bullpen. They added Craig Kimbrell. We'll see what he's still got, but they traded for Gregory Soto, All-Star closer from the Tigers, along with Sir Anthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado.
And then that lineup will be very similar, except now Trey Turner's at the top. I feel like it could be another situation where they win 86, 87, 88 games, and then they're a really tough out in the playoffs. Matt Snyder covers Major League Baseball for CBS Sports.
He's with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio. Matt, that was a tough division last year. The NL champion came out of the NL East, but you also had the Braves and Mets win over 100 games. Is it the East or is it another division in baseball that you think will be the most competitive in 23? I'm going to go with the AL East. Yankees are still really good.
I don't know if their 99 wins good, but they weren't that great in the second half and they still won 99. The Blue Jays, 92 wins last year, and I felt like for a lot of the year they underachieved. The Red Sox, I don't think they're any worse than last year. And a good note for the Red Sox was they were 26 and 50 in the AL East last year, which is horrific. But the schedule has changed.
It's a lot more balanced now. Now the teams only have 52 games in division instead of 76. So for the Red Sox, that means less getting beat up on by the Yankees and Blue Jays and Rays and more games against teams like the Royals and Tigers and A's.
That should give them a natural bump there. And I still like the Rays, the Orioles, one of the upstart teams in baseball last year. The curve should continue to be pointing up for them. So the AL East, you could well see five teams all with a winning record. I don't know what you thought of the Guardians this time last year. However, they were one of the youngest teams in baseball. They ended up with 92 wins. So what I'm looking for, Matt, is another team that fans should pay attention to, whether it's their youth, whether it's additions, whether it's the leadership.
That could be the Guardians of 23. Well, not winning the division because they're in the wrong spot for that. But I like where things are headed with the Diamondbacks. They have a lot of good young talent. Corbin Carroll is my prediction for National League Rookie of the Year, even though a lot of people like Jordan Walker of the Cardinals, and I do too. But I'm going with Corbin Carroll there. They've got a lot of good young talent. We're going to see Gabe Moreno thrown into the catcher role now that Carson Kelly had a forearm fracture. Alec Thomas, Jake McCarthy in the outfield.
Katell Marte is an established star, but he had a bad year last year. I think he's going to bounce back. I don't think they have all the starting pitches they need behind Zach Gallin at this point, although he is a scion contender. But I think the Diamondbacks are going to be kind of a sneaky type, maybe fringe contender.
But at the very least, they're going to be a pest. Kind of the way the Orioles were a pest in the A.L.E., I can see the Diamondbacks really bothering, not finishing in front of, but bothering the Dodgers and Padres. Speaking of the Padres, glad you went there, Matt, because they put a ton of equity and capital into this roster. Seems as though the franchise is going for broke, trying to build on what happened last year. So how high are you on the Padres?
Well, our predictions are coming out on Wednesday, so I guess this is a little bit of a spoiler, but it's only a few hours ahead of time. That's who I have winning the World Series. I looked at them, they got to the NLCS last year. They only had a couple months of Juan Soto, and he wasn't even like pure Juan Soto. They didn't have Fernando Tatisci at all.
They didn't have Zander Bogarts because he was on the Red Sox. So if I'm looking at them full strength toward the end of the year, and if Jake Cronenworth is your fifth best offensive player, you have three guys in Machado, Soto, and Tatisci who could win MVP. You have another in Bogarts who's probably a top 10 MVP type finisher.
That's a completely loaded offense. And then I go to the pitching staff and you see Hugh Jarvis, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove. That's a heck of a big three. They signed Michael Waka, who could be a really nice four in the playoffs. The bullpen was in flux for most of the year last year, but it's settled with Robert Suarez in front of Josh Hayter.
They fixed Hayter down the stretch. They're top to bottom, a very, very impressive team. I think they're going to win the division over the Dodgers, and then I've got them winning the World Series. This is the second year for Julio Rodriguez. He really captured a ton of attention, a megawatt smile, a game to go along with. The Mariners are a team that fought and scratched, and Claude finally got back into the playoffs. And so now they can build on that. How critical is he to the success of the Mariners, but also how important do you think he is as one of the young superstars in baseball?
Oh, Paramount to both. Bigger to the Mariners, because I mean, no insult to Julio, but there are a ton of young superstars in Major League Baseball right now. We're so blessed with so many of them. If I throw out a name like Ronald Acuna Jr., and it's like, oh yeah, yeah.
I mean, I could do that with like dozens of names. Oh yeah, he's amazing. Just like Julio. The Mariners, if I look at that lineup right now, and you take Julio out of it, ooh, I don't know. I mean, I like Ty France. I like Teasco Hernandez.
I like A.U. to do Suarez. How could you not love Cal Raleigh? But Julio is the linchpin there, and he means everything to that team. He's an MVP-type player probably as soon as this year. I don't think he's going to win it. I've got Julio, Tommy. Way to go out on a limb there, Matt.
Yeah, exactly. But I mean, it's crowded, you know? You've got Jordan Alvarez, if you're going to look at the Astros, Aaron Judge on the Yankees, but Julio is definitely that type of player who could be in the MVP mix. I like this team. I don't think they can beat the Astros. They're a wildcard type, but two wildcards in a row after that long of a playoff drought is not an insult at all. Opening Day comes up Thursday.
It's this new look for baseball. All 30 teams who will play, barring weather, on March 30th. What other day on the sports calendar is comparable to Opening Day, Matt?
Oh, man. I mean, in terms of the hope with everybody having hope, there probably isn't anything like it. You know, I'm a big fan of so many other sports, and I'm just drawing a blank there because I do feel like, for example, I'm a Bears fan in football. I was really excited for the NFL season, but I knew the Bears weren't going to make the playoffs.
So, yeah, and I'm sure that we could say in baseball this year, like, the Nats and the A's aren't going to make the playoffs, but I feel like you could make a case for 24 to 26 teams that have a shot that could break through and surprise you. So, yeah, I'll say nothing. There's nothing like it.
Absolutely nothing like it. Coming up on Thursday, I want to make sure you find Matt on Twitter, at Matt Snyder, CBS. He's got the power rankings and the predictions coming out on Wednesday. It is always great to catch up with you. We look forward to doing it again during the season. Thanks, Matt. All right. Have a good one. Love that question.
It was a little bit of a brainchild there at the end talking to Matt, but I want to pose it to you. How about that? What other day on the sports calendar has the same buzz, the same excitement, the same feeling and anticipation? What other day, one single day on the sports calendar, carries the same buzz and anticipation as MLB Opening Day? And it's really cool, right, because we get games all day long.
That's part of the attraction. On Twitter, ALawRadio, I bet Producer J is going to put that post up on our show Twitter account as well. After Hours CBS is where you can send your questions for Ask Amy Anything or on our Facebook page. So glad to have you with us.
If you want to call 855-212-4227, 855-212-4CBS is always toll free. Let's see. What do I want to do next? You know what? There's another game in hoops from the Eastern Conference that carried major playoff implications. And also we got news from the Nets and from Kevin Durant.
Nets and Kevin Durant, Kyrie, they're eternally tied. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Planning a wedding is intimidating, but finding the perfect suit shouldn't be. Design your dream suit at Indochino.com and use Code Podcast for 10% off any purchase of $3.99 or more. That's I-N-D-O-C-H-I-N-O.com Code Podcast. Listening to the After Hours Podcast. This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. They have been few and far between with the Phoenix Suns. Did you know Kevin Durant still hasn't made his home debut as a member of the Suns, but that could come up on Wednesday.
It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We didn't get confirmation from Monty Williams, that's for sure. In fact, he even bulks at the question, though he does it with such grace and humor. You keep asking me the same question differently, like I'm in the third grade. Did you clean your room? Did you make sure your room is clean? Is your bed straight? You're asking me the same thing.
He laughs to mask his annoyance at the fact that the questions come over and over and over again. When is KD playing? Will we see him on Wednesday in the Suns home game?
The reports out there are that yes, he will finally make his home debut against the T-Wolves. This is three weeks after that left ankle sprain in warm-ups on March 8th, when he was about to make his home debut with the Suns. He's missed 10 games. Couple that with the games he missed at the beginning, right after the trade, because he wasn't healthy yet. He's played three. A grand total of three games with the Phoenix Suns. The trade happened in early February, and he has played three games with the Suns. Now, are they still in a good spot? Sure, they are. They're right now in that number four position, but the rest of the pack, the scrum in the West, is gaining on the Suns.
They're reeling the Suns in. Think if you're a Tour de France fan, or you just like to watch bicycling races, maybe even in some road races. I think this happens in longer marathons with elite runners, where you've got packs that are able to reel in. More happens with bikes, but you get extra speed when you're in a pack. Part of the deal is because of the wind, so the wind is the resistance against a single rider. It's harder to break through that wind and create some momentum when it's just a single rider who's got the windbreak. When you've got a big pack of riders, you can generally reel in a single rider who's broken away from the pack. Happens in NASCAR a bunch, too.
Anyway, that's the idea. The pack is reeling in the Phoenix Suns. Right now, they have just a half-game lead on the Clippers in the five spot. Get this, the Warriors who won earlier are only a game back of the number four spot.
We talked about this. It's crazy how much can change between now and the end of the regular season, which is just a couple weeks away. Devin Booker, he's been looking forward to it. Then he's been looking forward to it again.
He's still looking forward to finally having KD back on the court. Even more now than ever, we're just going to have to pick your poison. We'll see how it goes. We had a three-game sample of it, and that went well. As you know, when the playoffs come, things tighten up a little bit more.
The game's more physical, so we'll see how it gets when it's time. We're all on the same page and the same goal. Understand that we've been waiting the whole year for this moment right now and what's coming. I think everybody just feeds off each other's energy.
We understand what time it is, and we're ready to get after it. It's KD time for maybe three more games, and then he's out again. I hate this because I love KD.
His personality can be abrasive, but I guess so can mine. I love what he does on the basketball court. He's an amazing player to watch. I don't love how he's handled his business, but for speaking basketball, the game is better when he's out there. This is who KD is now. Ever since the torn Achilles, he has missed long chunks of time with various other maladies, knee injuries, ankle injuries. It's who he is.
There's a lot of mileage. He's not extremely durable, not anymore, and so if you have Kevin Durant on your team, as the Phoenix Suns now do, you just have to take the bad because you know that when he's on court, he can be a lethal option, which is what Devin Booker is talking about. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. Speaking of missing games and teammates for KD, well, Ben Simmons was one of those for a brief, shining moment, and as we find out that nerve issue in Ben's back, it's not going away. Ben will not be joining us the rest of the year and through the playoffs. After consulting with our doctors, multiple specialists, he's just going to begin a rehab program.
Our doctors and the specialists feel and think that he'll have a full recovery, so that starts now. What a waste of a trade. I feel badly for him. I don't think he doesn't want to play. Maybe he didn't want to play when he was with the Sixers at the end, but I do think he would like a chance at redemption. The Nets could certainly use his body, his defense. We know he's right now going through a season where he's already missed 33 games, and in fact, if I remember correctly, he hasn't played since the All-Star break, or roughly the All-Star break.
It's been a while since he's been out there, and he's got career lows in pretty much every category. So I know it's been a rough go for him the last three seasons, some of it self-induced, some of it because of this nerve issue in his back, but if you think about the trade now, even a year later, has it been a year with James Harden and the Sixers now? Okay, so you think about the trade now, as much as I despise, I tell you I don't like how KD handles his business, I despise how James Harden handled his business the last few years, the Sixers definitely got the better end of that trade.
Definitely got the better end of that trade. They have a player that plays. Period. Yes, exactly.
I mean, again, that's basically what it comes down to. Look, James Harden's not the old James Harden, but he's still contributing, and he's still a good player. Ben Simmons has barely been on the floor for the Nets.
I know, seriously. I think he's played 40 games for them in the year and a half that he's been there. And he's missed 33 this season already, so what about the future then? Are the Nets willing to let bygones be bygones and cut their losses?
Just think about it. He's 6'10", athletic, what he could do and bring to our team, how he could help our group on both ends of the floor. We want to be involved in that. We want to see that. I want to coach Ben, and I want to be able to push Ben to get back to our defensive team and impact our team on both ends of the floor. So that's definitely the goal going forward. In other words, this season is a lost cause. Let's try again next year.
Womp, womp, womp. That's Jacque Vaughn. I honestly feel for Ben Simmons in this regard. If it's the injury you feel for him, I don't know how much of it is completely the injury. I think most of it's in his head, and I almost feel worse for him. Yeah.
If that's the case, yes. I think he's mentally right now, he's fried, and I think he's afraid, and that's scary when it's an athlete. If he can't conquer his demons, to be sure. Okay, so we're asking you a question, Jay. Did you have a chance to put up a post?
No, okay, not yet. Well, a post will be up, but it'll be fun to ask this question of Marco Belletti. Because, you know, it's fun to put him on the spot. But he's usually pretty good in these situations. He can recite the Giants' offensive lines going back like 40 decades, and that'd be a lot. Forty years, four decades. Also, if you were listening, was it Super Bowl week we were talking about quarterback matchups? And Marco Belletti went back 25 years without missing a beat.
Unaria beat. And he listed the quarterback matchup for every single Super Bowl in order for 25 years. He's an encyclopedia. I don't know how he does that. Anyway, we don't want to do that again as entertaining as it was. It was a one-time thing.
We don't want to ruin your reputation. Opening day, Major League Baseball. Mm-hmm. Buzz.
Buzz. Great anticipation. This year, all 30 teams. You get games all day long.
Mm-hmm. What other day on the sports calendar can match the excitement and the anticipation of baseball opening day? Well, I mean, week one in the NFL is, to me, that's unmatched. It's still the NFL.
Okay. Anything in the NFL is unmatched. So you're talking about week one? Oh, not week seven is better than opening day in Major League Baseball. Stop it.
Again, we're going by when you first start, right? I mean, opening day and the NBA is nice and all, but it's kind of meh. Same with hockey. Baseball, it's a big thing because of tradition.
Football, it's a big thing because it's football. Okay. But week one, I understand. Week seven, I'm going to say there's a little more excitement and anticipation around this one day for Major League Baseball than, say, week seven Sunday in the NFL.
Okay. So you're looking for any other day on the calendar? Yeah, like a single day on the sports calendar. For instance, for those of you who are NASCAR fans, the Daytona 500 brings so much excitement. Pomp and circumstance, anticipation.
Even if you watch no other races the rest of the year, you tune in for Daytona because it's the Super Bowl of NASCAR. Fair. Okay. Again, are you talking regular season too? Because anything in the playoffs is obvious. It doesn't matter. Any day on the sports calendar.
Just give me one. Again, wild card weekend, divisional round, championship Sunday, the Super Bowl, all those things dwarf opening day in baseball. Oh, right. They just do. No, it's what you mean. So I got to take that out. Can you be nice about it?
That's kind of automatic. You don't have to be so snarky. I'm not trying to be.
I'm trying to think of anything else. Last night, if you missed it, Marco was yelling at me. And I just, I was like, Marco, please stop yelling at me. There's a difference between yelling and yelling.
Now, we're both Italian and my family and friends frequently say to me, I get very excited and fired up. Why are you yelling at me? I'm not yelling at you.
Indoor voice. I struggle with that. I don't have one. I can't think of anything off the top of my head of regular season for any of those. Not Christmas Day in the NBA? No, because I'll be fair with that. That's made up.
That's nonsense. Thanksgiving Day in football? Sure, but it's the NFL. You told me not to really kind of.
No, no, no. I said if you're going to do playoffs, I mean, yes, but. Yeah, I mean, obviously, Thanksgiving Day for the NFL. Look, Christmas Day is nice for the NBA.
It's fun. Is it? Does it have the buzz of opening day for baseball?
No, it doesn't. How about Thursday and March Madness? Thursday, Friday and March Madness, the first two days. That's a good one. That's definitely more than the actual championship game, which is crazy.
But March Madness is definitely the first two days. Sunday at the Masters? For you. If there's a crowded leaderboard, baby. I'm not going there. No, I can't do that. No. Same thing.
Yeah, if you've got Tiger with a, you know, one stroke lead, sure. Yeah. All right. Great. If you've got a regular Sunday at the.
No, no, it's not the same. A regular Sunday. Well, Tiger changes things. And also, if you've got a really tight leaderboard on the back nine, the last three or four holes, maybe. Yeah, OK. A regular, just a regular Masters every year, it's not going to have the same buzz as opening day. Now, do I think it's more important than opening day?
No. But there's more buzz on opening day. So it's a different question. It is. No, the question is about the buzz and the anticipation.
It's not about the impact. Because baseball's opening day means one game. That's it. In a schedule of 162, you don't need to get all freaked out about your team winning or losing. But it's the anticipation and the way fans look forward to opening day. That is what I'm three things for opening day. There's the tradition, obviously. It's the start of a long marathon type season.
And three, don't overlook this. It feels like the start of summer. It does. And that's something that we all look forward to. It's beautiful. So those three things are the reason why opening day is so special.
Yeah. It's because it's been around forever with the tradition. Again, don't discount the idea of we feel like, hey, it's summer, even though it's really not. Because it's April and it's still cold. Depending on where you live. In some places. Yeah, exactly. And so I'm hoping we have no weather delays on Thursday.
Because it's a lot of fun. I even said April. It's March. Right. It'll be March 30th. If you get the full day of baseball, what are the chances all the games get in?
Probably slimmed it on. Right. But it's going to be amazing to see, as you point out, just the anticipation, the buzz in the stadiums, but also the tradition of getting those freshly pressed and very clean uniforms out onto the field and the fans. I love it. I love it. Now, again, I understand, like, then you settle into a long, long season.
But opening day, there's nothing like it for the feel. Hope springs eternal. That's exactly what it is. Good question, huh?
That's a good question. Thanks, Marco. It's not quite 25 years of Super Bowl quarterbacks, but still. Can I point out it was 25 because you made me go back 25? Well, okay, but you didn't miss a beat. I got to make the questions, the challenges here on the show a little harder for Marco because... No, but my point was, and I'm not sure, I think I could do all of them. That was the point. I'm not going to. Yeah. That would show me up on my own show.
So no, thank you. On Twitter, After Hours, CBS, I stink at trivia. Also on our Facebook page, we're an hour away from Ask Amy, so send your questions to either one of those sites.
Let's see, straight ahead, Roger Goodell is weighing in on Amazon, the Amazon quotient, as well as sports gambling and how the NFL is involved, but also being careful. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. Good evening. Welcome everybody.
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This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. It almost feels cheap and like we're setting you up to use the NFL music, but the league owners meetings were taking place in Arizona. I think it was just two days. I think they're done now, which is why they had all the AFC coaches there on Monday for a breakfast and then Tuesday it was the turn of the NFC coaches. Top of the hour, some QB news, everything from the Atlanta Falcons to the interest in Lamar Jackson to, and I really love the insight from Brandon Bean about Josh Allen. It's really doesn't need context much, just it's Josh and they're always this concerned about guys who take too many hits. Got Robert Kraft on Mac Jones and also Ron Rivera talking about Brock Purdy. What?
Uh-huh. Just wait. We're going to sprinkle in some Roger Goodell between now and the end of the show.
He talked about a variety of topics as he was meeting the media himself on Tuesday. It's After Hours here on CBS Sports Radio. So I don't know if you saw the headline, but the NFL is not going to stop the practice of flexing games from Sunday, well, they're not going to stop the practice of flexing games.
Okay. They understand the challenge of flexing games, they say, whereas you leave some fans an alert to plan their entire schedules that week around the time of a game, but they're trying to figure out the right way to do this so that they balance short work weeks, okay, so they don't want to have a ton of short work weeks for one specific team over say another one who whether gets flexed or gets the national games that puts the team with the short work weeks at a disadvantage if you stack them up too many times, but they also recognize that they want to have the best names and the biggest stars on national TV. And certainly at the start of the season, we think one thing about a particular club or division think AFC West last year, it was supposed to be the best division in football. Every single Thursday night game it felt like revolved around the AFC West. They were duds.
Most of them were duds. I know two teams made the playoffs, but my goodness, people were begging to see no more Broncos games in prime time. So here's the idea, says Roger Goodell of flexing Sunday games to Thursday. There isn't anybody in that room, anybody in any of our organizations who don't put our fans first. That's really important. Obviously, providing the best matchups for our fans is part of what we do. That's part of what I think our scheduling has always focused on and flex has been a part of that. We are very judicious with it and we're very careful with it. And we look at all of the impacts to that. And so before those decisions are made, I think we average in the years we've been doing it about a flex and a half a year.
It can vary any particular year. So it's a very important thing for us to balance with the, what I would call season ticket holders in the in-stating audience, but we have millions of fans who also watch on television. All right, so Roger Goodell and the owners did not, well Roger wouldn't vote, but the owners did not vote on this proposal that would allow the league to flex Sunday games to a Thursday night. So swap out some of the less attractive Thursday night games and move them to Sundays. They also instituted a rule that only allows the league to saddle teams with a maximum of two short week games, okay? So the short week is the part that a lot of teams worry about and hey, you can't give us so many because it turns into a disadvantage for us.
So that was kind of what Roger Goodell was talking about. And as I say, the resistance from some owners like John Mara of the New York Giants is that if you, he actually called the idea of flexing Sunday to Thursday night abusive because he says if you think about the fans and the fans that have maybe shelled out the most money that they will all season for a particular game and they've planned their entire week, maybe they're traveling to get to a particular game at a particular time on a Sunday and then you turn around, you throw that game onto a Thursday night with very little notice. Sometimes it's only two weeks notice. Well then you're doing the fans a disservice because what happens is that some people can't make it. They have to change their travel plans. It's just not as possible on a Thursday night, which is during the work week, yada yada yada. So the owners did not give the league that power to be able to move games from Sunday to Thursday. Phew. It's after hours, CBS sports radio.
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