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5-5-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
May 5, 2023 5:47 am

5-5-23 After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 2

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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May 5, 2023 5:47 am

Green Bay Packers insider Andy Herman joins the show | Your NEW group of After Hours "Hall of Flame" candidates! | Justin Verlander makes his season/Mets debut. It wasn't great.


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That's Hey, hey! Happy almost Friday! For those of you who are still straggling through your Thursday, I know the feeling.

That's actually how I feel right now. But getting close to the weekend, three hours to go on this here radio show. I know it's your favorite. Thank you for making it your favorite radio show. Even if it's not your favorite, thank you for listening.

I'm not picky. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. More coming up with the Baltimore Ravens contingent in the wake of Lamar Jackson signing his new contract. Also John Harbaugh and Eric DaCosta. A little bit with Dak Prescott.

How about that? What's going on with the Dallas Cowboys? We had a new listener who found me on social about 24 hours ago to ask me what he could expect in my coverage of the Dallas Cowboys. As a Cowboys fan, what can you expect from me?

No one's ever asked me that question before. I did give him a thoughtful answer though. On Twitter, ALawRadio. Also on our Facebook page. If you haven't yet voted in our May NFL poll, why not? We're inside of a week to go until the schedule release. For heaven's sakes, why not? Some of you actually did respond to the over-under we did about number of Jets games on national TV. The Jets or the Packers?

Who has the better record in 23? And yes, I know it's May. It's just for fun.

No need to take it seriously. You've got one hour left on the poll. So again, find it on my Twitter or on our Facebook page. A lot of you are weighing in and I would be remiss if I did not say once again I loved all of your Star Wars photos and picture arrays and memes and GIFs. Some of them were fun. Some of them were very nostalgic.

We did retweet a bunch of them from our show account after our CBS and we got so many of you that responded to our post on Facebook. So a lot of fun. I gotta say one of my favorite days of the entire calendar year.

If only it wasn't three days before a half marathon, maybe I'd be a little more giddy. But it was good to hear from so many fellow Star Wars nerds. So poll, Star Wars, anything you need on our social. But we turn our attention now to the jilted lover. Kind of.

Not really. This was Green Bay's decision. Green Bay wanted to move on. Aaron decided he would move on too.

And now he is so, so happy in New York. It's been great. I mean, everything is new. It's like the first day of school every single day. There's new people to meet and got to figure out your routine and, you know, where the laundry loops go and, you know, mail and cleats and weight room shoes and all this stuff. Everything's new and exciting and fun. I'm just pinching myself a lot of days.

I can't believe, you know, it's real sometimes. So it's been, it's been a dream for sure. Just to be here.

Definitely feel energized to be in the building. So we know Aaron Rodgers is giddy about New York. And New York is gushing about him.

That's for sure. What about Green Bay though? And the Packers fans left in his wake. We are pleased to welcome Andy Herman, our favorite Packers insider. He certainly does do a lot of work here on the show. With the Pack a Day podcast and Packer Report 66. All right, Andy, he says he's super happy.

He's an A-list celebrity in New York. What's your reaction to Aaron moving on? Yeah, so there's a couple things obviously there. I think the first thing, and this kind of goes back a little while now, is I've been certainly on the bandwagon for the past couple seasons, even going back to last year where I thought that Green Bay should have traded away Aaron Rodgers a season ago. That makes it a lot harder last year when you're coming out back to back MVPs. But certainly this year when you looked at the contract and everything involved, it certainly seemed like it was time from a Packers standpoint to move to Jordan and go in a different direction. But one of the things that I had said all along is that it felt like it wasn't just the Packers that needed to move on.

I thought this was also going to be best for Aaron Rodgers. He's been in the same place for a very long time. And it just felt like he needed something new. Something to rejuvenate him. Something to refresh him.

And I think over these first seven to ten days with the Jets, whatever it's been now, you can tell that he is rejuvenated. That he is refreshed. And that this is something that's a little bit new for him.

And obviously he is gathering former Packers coaches and players like Infinity Stones in a gauntlet of some sort. But I still think that this is something that's new and exciting for him. You can tell how happy he was.

Maybe a little bit nervous at times in that opening press conference. But he's excited. He's happy. And I think for most Packer fans, they're happy to see that as well.

So hopefully this ends up being a win-win for both sides. I'm glad you brought that up because I had wondered how happy Packers fans are for him to start over. Shades of Brett Favre getting traded to the Jets and then ultimately ending up with the Vikings which made Packers fans less happy. But do you think that's the truth? That most of Packers nation is happy for him to start over somewhere else?

I don't know that I would necessarily go that far but I'll say a couple different things. A, this is totally different in the city of Green Bay than it was when Brett got traded. When Brett got traded, it was madness.

It was literally a house divided. There were fans that were swearing they were never going to be Packer fans again. There were a lot of people wearing Jets fans in Green Bay, Wisconsin. There was a lot of vitriol and hate towards even Aaron Rodgers who did nothing wrong in the situation. Certainly towards Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy.

It was literally a house divided. There's really not a whole lot of that going on in Green Bay and I think that's for a variety of different reasons. I think first of all, A, Green Bay has experienced the whole Brett Favre saga in the past.

So that's number one. I think the second thing here is that this has been coming for some time. This is the third consecutive offseason where there has been rumblings that Aaron wanted out of Green Bay or was considering out of Green Bay. I think there was just some general fatigue going on with that and I think when you're coming off back to back MVP seasons, it's a little bit different. When you're coming off and listen, Aaron had the rib issue. He had the thumb issue. The weapons weren't quite the same last year.

That's not certainly all in Aaron Rodgers, but he's coming off one of the worst seasons of his career statistically. They did not make the playoffs. They had the opportunity to get in in that last game.

It didn't happen. And when you start having that fatigue over a few seasons of this going on, I think people had started to see this coming. And I think some fans were certainly getting to the point of also wondering, Hey, is it, is it really best time for Green Bay to move on in this situation? And it certainly doesn't help matters that the better or the worst that the jets do next season, the better Green Bay's draft pick is next year in the first round, assuming he plays 65% snaps or more. So unlike Brett, when Brett got traded, the better he did, the better Green Bay's draft pick would be in this situation. The worst Aaron does, assuming he plays at least 65% of the snaps, the better Green Bay's draft pick is.

So that's playing a part as well. Andy Herman is with the Pack a Day podcast and one of our favorite Packers guests. In fact, I think he's really our number one Packers guest now here on After Hours, CBS Sports Radio. We did this poll on my show over the last 24 hours asking listeners who would finish with a better record in 23. It's just guesses right now. Two thirds of the votes are in favor of the Jets. What do you think, Andy?

Yeah, I think that's definitely fair, right? You have two diverging franchises in some capacity. You have the Jets who are going all in this season, trading everything away to try to make this season as best as possible. Obviously, go out and get Aaron Rodgers. They have a really fun, young core. The rookies that they got a season to go in their draft were spectacular. Hopefully, they can all play like they did a season to go. I know they got the injury to Breece Hallett running back.

Hopefully, he can come back sooner rather than later. But they're also now acquiring pieces around Aaron that are hopefully going to make him successful on offense. I think the Jets are very much going in the all-in direction. Meanwhile, Green Bay, I know they don't want to say the word rebuild in Green Bay.

Brian Goudekins will tell you that the expectations remain the same and that there's only one goal in Green Bay, and that's to win championships. Well, they don't have the financial means to go out and spend any money in free agency. Really, their biggest outside free agent signing was Tavarius Moore, basically a vet minimum safety that will have an opportunity to compete for one of the safety spots. They bring back Keyshawn Nixon. They trade away Aaron Rodgers. Like I said, while they're not going to use the rebuild moniker, this is a team that understands that it has to get more fiscally responsible, that just picked up some serious draft capital last year for Devante Adams, this year for Aaron Rodgers, and is starting to rebuild a roster that was getting old and expensive. And I just looked at it yesterday, Amy, there's only four players on this roster over 28 years of age. So I know the NFL as a whole is going young, but that's pretty incredible that they've only got four players over 28 years old. Then why not use the word rebuild?

Why is that so sacrilegious? I think most fans are probably smart enough to understand that this is a rebuild in some capacity at the same token, where I think a lot of franchises in pretty much all sports are now more attuned to, hey, if you're not giving an A and we're not going to make a run at a championship, it's probably better to get an F and probably get as early of a draft pick as you possibly can. This is a Green Bay team that has been allergic to really ripping that bandaid. They probably could have moved on from some more guys like a Preston Smith and an Aaron Jones and some of those sort of things to really rip the bandaid and really try to do a full on rebuild, really get as young as they possibly could. And they sort of stopped short of doing that part of that was the salary cap situation that they were in.

But that's just not been their mo. This is really an interesting team where I don't think anyone's expecting them to make a run. But if maybe Jordan is a little bit better in year one that maybe people are expecting, it still has some really fun talent on this team. This is still a team with a David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, Jayar Alexander, Christian Watson, who played extremely well a season ago, Elton Jenkins, you know, Kenny Clark, like Preston Smith. There's a lot of talent still on this roster, not to mention all the first and second round picks that they've had over the last couple of seasons in those two trades I just mentioned.

So certainly some form of a rebuild, but probably not that full rip the bandaid rebuild that we've come accustomed to and really all sports at this point. What is your perception of the NFC North, at least as it stands today in May? Yeah, I think this is a really, really fun division. And Amy, if you told me that any of these four teams finished in any of the four spots this upcoming season, I would totally understand. You can make an argument for any of them finishing first, any of them finishing fourth, and I could totally buy the argument. I think, you know, Detroit is coming off a very fun season. They have, you know, two players that I know a lot of, you know, draft analysts were wondering if you can spend first round picks on running backs and off ball linebackers. I get that philosophy.

I believe in that philosophy. But Jack Campbell and obviously the running back, Jamir Gibbs was two of my favorite players in the entire draft. They're going to continue to get better. I think they're an ascending team. I think Minnesota is trying to hold on in every way, shape or form that they can to that team and try to make one more run at this thing.

I think they're in a little bit of no man's land. Chicago had the first overall pick. It's a bunch of really fun draft picks and they get DJ more from Carolina. I think that's an ascending team. But if you would have told me at the same token that that team had $100 million to spend in the first overall pick in the draft, I kind of was expecting it to be a little bit more painful for Packer fans and expecting them to kind of load that roster up even a little bit more, even though I think Chicago has done a lot of really good things. And you've got Green Bay.

Like I said, they're in this interesting place where I think you're sort of expecting a little bit of a no man's land where you have some of those veterans still that are still hanging around. A lot of volatility with all the rookies and second year guys, but it's going to be a really fun competitive division, I think. Andy Herman is with us from Green Bay, the Packaday podcast, and certainly plenty of intrigue around the Packers roster, regardless of what's happening with Aaron Rodgers in New York.

It's after hours, CBS Sports Radio. Still, even as I say that, Andy, what's practice like without Aaron Rodgers? Yeah, I think that's what everyone's going to be really looking forward to seeing. So they've started their private OTA so far. Rookie mini camps start this weekend, and we're going to get our first eyes on the actual rookies.

And then it'll be in the coming weeks where they have the OTAs and the mini camps that are actually open to the media with a couple open to the public as well. So it is going to be a totally different vibe. Jordan is QB one for the first time. For the first time in 30 years, this is a team that doesn't have Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre as the starting quarterback of the franchise.

So definitely a different flavor. I think everyone's looking forward to seeing what Jordan's going to be able to do as the guy in Green Bay. But as we get eyes on him, I think that's what we're going to be obviously a million percent focused on moving forward with this offseason.

What are the expectations? Where do we start with Jordan? I think that's literally it, right? The starting point is him starting. And I think that's what Brian has kind of said all along is he just needs to play.

There's nothing more that he could have done in the situation that he was in. He showed everything that he needed to show as a backup quarterback to show that, hey, I'm as ready to play as I'm going to be until I can actually play. And listen, teams are going to throw the kitchen sink at him. They're going to try to confuse him. They're going to try to make him have to think through everything, pre-snap, post-snap and make adjustments on the fly. I think this is going to be a very steep learning curve.

I think there's going to be a lot of learning on the fly. I think the expectation is that Jordan handles it and can show that he's capable of being a starting quarterback. He's had all the opportunity in the world to learn behind Aaron Rodgers and learn how to be a starting quarterback.

Now he's got to kind of put all that practice and all that preparation into this season. And I think we're all going to find out exactly if he is capable of being that guy in Green Bay. When you think about the strengths and the weaknesses of the Packers, and again, it's May, we haven't even seen him in a practice, but just knowing what you do of the personnel, Andy, what do you think will be the strong point of this team and where do you think they'll have a weakness?

Yeah, so I think there's a couple things here, right? So I think a big weakness is probably going to be at the safety position right now. Again, they don't have any money to really go out and spend in free agency. I think they would have loved to have taken like a top safety in the draft, but this is a really weak draft at safety. They've got Darnell Savage returning on a fifth year option. Quite frankly, the only reason he's probably back on the team is because he's on a fifth year guaranteed option and they can't really get off of it. Like I said, they brought in Taverius Moore, who was kind of a career backup in San Francisco. Rudy Ford's a nice replacement level rotational player at safety. They get Anthony Johnson Jr. in the seventh round, but this is a safety group that is pretty slim and doesn't really have starting caliber players at this point in time. They're going to need a couple guys to step up at that spot. I think that's probably going to be one of the biggest weaknesses.

I think the other is both a strength and a weakness we can kind of go over all at once. If you look at the offensive side of the ball, they finally have some real legitimate playmakers. I think a lot of people are really high on Christian Watson. You know, they go out and get a Jayden Reed in the second round. Romeo Dobbs showed flashes a season ago. They get two tight ends in the second and third round in Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft.

Like they went out and they got some weapons for this team. And I think there's some real run after the catch playmaking that has really been not present here in Green Bay at the tight end and wide receiver position for a little while now. So some actual run after the catch and yak is going to be very nice for a quarterback that's not a Hall of Fame quarterback for the first time in 30 years.

But at the same time, I think a lot of volatility there. Right. You've got a first year starting quarterback. You've got wide receiver. Every wide receiver that's basically expected to make their top six wide receivers on this team is either a rookie or a second year player. Three rookies a season ago, three rookies this year. Those are going to be their top six. Their top two tight ends are going to be rookies this year. So I think there's a lot of fun and excitement with this team, but there's going to be a lot of a lot of bumps in the road and a lot of learning along the way.

So a lot of volatility with those playmaking positions. Did they want to keep Allen Lazard? I'm sure they did, but I'm sure they sort of had a price. It's a very Packer thing to do that. Like I said, they were tapped out from a salary cap standpoint. So it was never really expected that he was going to come back.

I think they kind of did the classic Packer thing of, hey, here's our number. If you can go beat it somewhere else, by all means, go beat it. We love you.

Thanks for everything. And we wish you luck on your way. If you can't beat it, we'll sign you back at this specific number. And my guess is their number was quite a bit lower than what the Jets ultimately ended up giving him. And I don't think they were really ever expecting to get him back.

And I think, again, they're not using the rebuild moniker. But when your entire wide receiver and tight end core is basically made of rookies and second year players, I think the writing is sort of on the wall at that point. Before I let you go, Andy, it is a little bit strange to think about the Packers without Aaron Rodgers. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it. But do you think there's hope among Packers fans that there is life beyond what they've had for the last 18 years?

Yeah, I think there is. And I think that what they were able to get in return for Aaron Rodgers was a big piece of that. I don't think they wanted to really do the Devante Adams trade a season ago, but Devante wanted to play for the Raiders.

I think they made the best out of that as they possibly could. I think getting a lot of that draft capital in over the past couple of seasons has really changed this around. I know Aaron is, like I said, first ballot Hall of Famer, one of the greatest throwers of all time. He was set to make an additional $60 million if he played this upcoming season in Green Bay. They're already in a really tough situation financially because of a lot of the contracts they've done to borrow from future salary caps and things like that.

Adding that $60 million on top of that would have made things really difficult moving forward. So nobody's under the impression that because Aaron's gone, things are immediately going to be better. But I think there's a really good understanding that, hey, if Aaron would have come back and even had a really good season this year, but maybe another first round playoff exit or something like that, it would have really set them back in the future because of the salary cap and his huge contract. So I think there's some hope based on what they got in return, basically getting off of that deal and what Brian's been able to do over the last couple of years with really invigorating this team with some young talent. Yeah, crazy revelation from Andy Herman. Four guys on the Packers roster that are over the age of 28. So if that's not a rebuild, then it's conveniently disguised as one.

It feels a lot like one. All right, you can find him on Twitter at Andy Herman, NFL. He's got the Pack-A-Day podcast and also writer for Packer Report 66.

And we always love catching up with you. Thank you for the intel and the perspective as well coming from Green Bay. Appreciate it so much, Amy.

Thanks a ton. He doesn't speak for all of Green Bay, but he seems pretty confident with the amount of interaction he has with Packers fans and Packers themselves that they're all right with moving on. And it's not nearly as acrimonious as it was with Brett Favre. It's not nearly as dramatic.

It's okay for Aaron to go and find a new life. I think the Packers themselves may want to indicate the expectations are still as high, but that's a really young roster. A really young roster.

All right, coming up. We haven't done it in over a year. I can't get over it. But your first chance to hear the newest round of candidates for the After Hours Hall of Flame.

You get to choose our next inductee. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours podcast.

We're talking about practice. On After Hours, the biggest meltdowns in sports history. Playoffs? You kidding me?

Playoffs? I'm a man. I'm 40. I want to eat his children. Are immortalized with an infamous distinction.

Can't do it. They are who we thought they were. You play to win the game. Now it's time for Amy Lawrence to bring you tonight's candidates for the After Hours Hall of Flame.

Here's Amy Lawrence. He's an idiot. It's called maturity.

It's your job. What in the f*** was that? Like s*** to a tin horn, man.

All I see is ass. No days off. No days off. Take that for data. Amy actually stuck her finger up her nose. The ref really wasn't even listening.

Listening to nothing that I was saying. For what? I didn't know. Why don't you just run it? You know, that's a really good thought.

I tried to activate my boots. It's the best I could. It's funny to hear a female talk about routes. He's an idiot. I'm rude to.

Listen to that. Bend over backwards and be f***ing honest and direct with you f***ing guys. You stick it right up my a**. End the f***ing team. I'm sick of it. I'm here so I won't get found. L.A.P.B.

results. If you're not going to punch me in my face when you see me, then shut up. I apologize to Draymond Green and his mom. Stop it right now. We won't stop this tournament. This is stupid. This is absolutely ridiculous.

Hey, I'm having a crush on you, OK? Thank you. We're still here. Oh, whatever. We're still here. Our roster looks great on paper. Whoopty hell.

All right. They're very fiery under the covers. What kind of mythical powers does the Sun Devil have?

We've got to consider that. I'm going to say the Wildcat's out. The Trojan. Does he have a horse or is he on foot? Does he have a bow and arrow or just his sword?

The Bruin definitely formidable. If I get the Rona on top of that, if I get the Rona. I would rather die than to live the rest of my life in fear and wearing a damn mask.

If you can't quit working in the building and work hard, do your lifts and do what you're supposed to do, you should not be here. Someone has run on the field. Some guy with a brawl. Arms in the air and a victory salute. He's pulling down his pants.

Put up your pants, my man. He's being chased to the 30. He breaks a tackle from a security guard. The 20 down the middle. The 10.

The 5. He slides at the 1. Pull up your pants. Take off the bra and be a man. Lord, now they're cuffing him. But pull up his drawers.

Whatever you do. I came in and they're like, yo, you got to like show like you got to be the dog. And I'm like, we got dogs. We got dogs, you hear me? Milwaukee, we dogs. Bro, I've been working on my fucking glutes all year. I thought about just mooning them.

A big old chocolate ass and MetLife. We certainly do have a long list of inductees into the After Hours Hall of Flame. And now we are out to induct one more based on your votes.

So you want to find us on Twitter, After Hours CBS, also on our Facebook page. Yeah, I really walked down memory lane there because it's been over a year. I can't get over it. But yes, it is time. It is time. We're about to fix that.

Heading into a Hall of Flame Friday, if you will. So we've got two from the world of basketball, two from the world of football. And gosh, we've forsaken a lot of candidates over the last 12 months.

These are fairly recent. Starting with Draymond Green, who, you know, got into a bit of a war of words with Dylan Brooks going back to the end of the NBA regular season. And wow, what context it takes now considering Dylan is no longer with the Memphis Grizzlies and he decided to poke the LeBron James Bears. So yeah, maybe take Draymond's advice. This idiot said, I don't know what Draymond does out there. He said, I don't like Draymond at all.

You don't know me. Draymond talks a lot. You talk a lot now. So if you have four rings, sure, you talk a lot more. For All-Stars, you probably talk a bit more. Defensive Player of the Year, you for damn sure would talk more.

Two Olympic gold medals? You definitely would be talking because that would mean you beat Team USA. And we all know how that goes. So gets away with a lot too.

What exactly do I get away with? I have 15 texts, one less than your dumb ass. Next time you speak up on me, I hope you in a better situation than you in now. Where the guys you play with actually enjoy playing with you because they actually think you're contributing to win it because it ain't happening right now champ. Ah, you not a champ.

You a clown. Oh, takes out a little extra meaning, a little extra zing, considering that Dylan is not welcome back to the Memphis Grizzlies and also the Grizzlies as the two-seater, no longer alive in the postseason. So yes, Dray using his podcast because boy does he love to get the last word.

Jason Tatum, maybe a man of fewer words, but you may remember he came back from the All-Star game in which he was highly recognized, won some awards himself. Not quite the same getting back to the regular season. He had a reason though. It was either I left home shooting in Utah or still drunk from vacation. That's how I played the night. Oh, dear. Yeah.

It took a little time to shake the hangover off. Jason Tatum just telling it like it is. Candidate number two for the After Hours Hall of Flame. It is After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio.

Now moving to the world of football. You knew, you knew if you knew anything about the Hall of Flame that we could not do another induction without including one Aaron Rodgers, who is so happy now. But six weeks ago, salty about the rumors that were flying as he made his appearance on the Pat McAfee show. I didn't say I'm going to my darkness retreat just to figure out if I'm going to play next year or retire.

Right. So then that narrative got out there. So how many narratives can come from one like show where they didn't even actually listen to what I said or the intent or the tone. And again, nothing against Rapper for it, but he doesn't have anybody who knows legitimately what's going on in my life. So don't make it up. OK. Like I don't have your number.

You're not going to have my number. You do a great job, but not when it comes to my life. So stop talking about.

All right. Such a different tone now that he's in New York and he's an A-list celebrity and he is king of the hill. Staying in the world of football, boy, we could have chosen a bunch of different samples from one Travis Kelce from the AFC Championship through the Super Bowl to the Victory Parade.

He was locked in and crowing and talk and smack the entire way to being a champion yet again. I got some wise words for that Cincinnati mayor. Know your role and shut your mouth. You jabroni. You got to fight for your right to party. There are a lot of ways that Travis Kelce clapped back in every opportunity as the Chiefs continued to win.

Boy, he was taking aim at those people who said she's not going to be as good this year. So we are looking for you to vote for the After Hours Hall of Flame on our show, Twitter After Hours, CBS. We'll have a poll up soon and also on our Facebook page. So let us know which Hall of Flamer gets your vote.

Draymond Green, Jason Tatum, two very different basketball players, Travis Kelce, Aaron Rodgers also two very different football players. Good stuff. It's been over a year.

It's been far too long. It's After Hours here on CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours podcast. Last of the first inning, Mets didn't score in the top half. And now Justin Verlander, the former Tiger, about to make his first delivery as a New York Met. And what a beautiful scene between innings.

He got a standing ovation from these fans. The one one swinging a high fly ball down the right field line way back gone in an instant line drive home run for Rodney Green, his third of the year. And the Tigers take a one nothing lead. Two batters in, 1-0, swinging a high fly ball right field.

This one's deep. This one's way back. This one's gone off the bat of Baez. Opposite field, right center, back to back home runs and the Tigers take a two nothing lead in the first.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. That was actually the final score of this game between the Tigers and the Mets. And it was notable because Justin Verlander was making his season debut and of course his first start for the New York Mets. So on back to back days against the Tigers, Mets are taking on the Tigers in Detroit and they've got two former Tigers Cy Youngs who are now starting for the Mets. And the Tigers won both games.

So I guess there's a little bit of vindication there. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. You hear the calls with both the Mets and the Tigers Radio Network. Now big picture, this is Verlander's first game since he recovered from a muscle strain in his upper back.

I don't know which part or where or which muscle. But he had some uncomfortable pain in his upper back. And so he was, even though they said it wasn't real serious, he was on the IL to start the season.

And at 40 years old, I understand, long season, you're going to take a little more time with him. So he goes out there and he gives up two home runs in the first inning, in fact back to back jacks, but throws four scoreless after that. Final line, two runs on five hits at a walk. He did strike out five, including two in the last inning that he worked. And all right, Justin Verlander, welcome to 2023. A little behind, I mean, obviously, you know, getting kind of shut down at 80 pitches.

It was worse, I mean, worst case scenario, I guess, timing wise for pitch count. You know, we kind of had like a 90-ish number in mind today. And then after the fifth, I was hovering right at 80.

You know, if I was 75 or 76, I think everybody's comfortable with 15 more. Everything felt good, no issues physically. You know, it felt like as the game went along, the velocity started to come a little bit too. So physically, overall, it was a good day. I was really happy with Justin today. That was a real highlight to see him work his way through five.

We were going to try to keep him around the 80 mark, didn't want him to get up again. But he's in a good part of the progress now. And he and Max both got built up some last night, so I hope it goes forward from there. He saw his stuff and so to speak and velocity and Christmas kind of get better as the game went on. I could tell he was getting after it that last inning a little bit with one of his better velocities of the appearance. So I think that bodes well.

It may bode well. Certainly, having Max and Justin back in the rotation is a positive. Justin Verlander got $86.5 million for the two years with the New York Mets, and he's not the only expensive free agent that Steve Cohen has brought to the Mets. They spent nearly $500 million on free agents this winter.

Remember, these are fully guaranteed contracts. And so the opening day payroll for the Mets was a record in baseball history. $353.5 million, but the new owner is determined to spend whatever he thinks is necessary to make the Mets a contender.

To make the Mets a Super Bowl, oh my gosh, to make the Mets a World Series contender. Justin Verlander, one of those pieces. But for the Mets, there have been injuries to start. And right now, coming off a sweep against the Detroit Tigers, they're hovering right at $500. So the top payroll in baseball, as I say, $353.5 million. Mets and Yankees are 1-2.

Again, right now, both teams with a lot of injuries. But this is how far down the Yankees are. Now, you know, the Yankees historically have spent a lot of money hand over fist, though in recent years, Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenners, Hal Steinbrenner, they've been backpedaling a bit because they don't want to pay the extreme luxury taxes.

Steve Cohen couldn't care less about that. Enter number one at $353.5, the Yankees are second at just under $277 million. That's the disparity between the top two teams when it comes to payrolls in 2023. Now we keep going, San Diego, Philadelphia, the LA Dodgers, and then the LA Angels round out the top six. Paging down, paging down, paging down, paging down, looking for the team with the best record in Major League Baseball.

I'm not sure I have to tell you, but once again, it's a pretty incredible story for the little engine that could. Two-two to Randia Rosarena, swing and a high fly ball belt to deep to right field. Joe looking up at the wall, gone, another homer for the Rays. Swing and a high fly ball toward fairly deep right center.

Joe back to the track and this ball is gone. It just cleared the wall in right center field, the third solo homer of the day for the Rays. Three and two here, he pitches, swing and a miss, he struck him out and the Rays sweep the Pirates. A nail biter in the end and the Rays take all three games from Pittsburgh. They sweep them in this little bit of a May World Series, the best of the nationally coming in and the best in baseball, the American Leagues Tampa Bay Rays become the first team since the 84 Tigers to go 26 and six. Early in the season, the final again, the Rays three and the Pirates two. First of all, it's great that the Pittsburgh Pirates are eight games above 500.

I love that. I know we've seen a lot of feedback from Pirates fans about how they are playing above their heads in this first stretch of the season, but it's awesome, good for them. I say it's always a better, it's always more fun, but it's always a better season to cover in whatever sport, the more fan bases that are involved. So I love that the Pirates fans are pleasantly surprised, weren't expecting this, judging by your reaction on social, but right now sitting on top of the NL Central at 20 and 12. And that's even with a four game losing skid. Though the Brewers have dropped four in a row, the Cubs have dropped three in a row, the Cardinals have dropped six in a row, they are really struggling to start the year. I wonder if they're thinking about some of the changes they made in the off season and regretting them, but this is really about the Rays. Now at 26 and six, they are the only team in Major League Baseball that has not lost double figure games in what is, at least at this point, the division that's setting the pace in Major League Baseball. There are already four and a half games above the Orioles, 17 and two at home, drop a can of fields, the field that gets made fun of a lot because of the sound, the acoustics, but also because half the time it's empty, and because high fly balls frequently bang off the metal pieces at the top. So anyway, given all of that, and the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays have the third lowest payroll in baseball, I don't know how they do it.

It defies logic. But they always have a great farm system, especially when it comes to pitchers, and they continue to remain successful with this formula, again, that doesn't work for many other teams. We're just here to win.

I don't really know. I feel like everybody's mindset coming in is the exact same as it was opening day. Everybody's coming in, going about their business the way they should be, day in and day out. I just feel like we're just putting some good at bats together. The pitching staff has been tremendous, the start and rotation has been awesome, so hopefully we can just carry that into this month.

I hope it's the case, too, because I think it's a great story. They do it over and over again, and I would love for them to be able to get to a World Series again. They lost to the Dodgers in 2020, right?

That was the year they went back to the World Series. Their payroll right now is $73 million. Side note, fourth lowest payroll in baseball belongs to the Pirates. They are spending $100,000 more than the Rays, so those two teams are spending about the same.

About $73.2 million is about what they're spending. The only teams that have lower payrolls in baseball than Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, Baltimore, which is shy of $61 million, and yet they're in second place now, and Oakland, who's just at this particular time a dumpster fire, and the team and its success is not actually a concern of ownership, to be fair. But you've got Tampa Bay, the 28th payroll in baseball, compared to the Mets, the Yankees, at this point anyway, a far better record.

It's great when we come up against, bang into a storyline like this that defies logic. Seriously, two of the lowest paid teams in the sport right now have two of the best records in baseball. Doesn't mean it's the only way you can win, and it certainly doesn't mean they can sustain it over the course of the season. You hear Taylor Walls talk about how they're just sticking with that mentality of, we're here to win. Valley Sports Sun, by the way, is where we get Taylor Walls from. The Rays have been there before and not been able to secure the ring, to secure the World Series title, to win that Fall Classic. I got to imagine that if they get back there again and they do it with this type of a payroll, which again is their MO, there'll be a bunch of fans who will kind of hop on that bandwagon.

I would love to see Kevin Cash specifically come through in this way. All right, we're halfway through. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We're bringing both the disability and non-disability community to one community, all one people, one family. It took me a little while, but I decided to claim autism as my superpower. When you hear the word autism, don't let that hinder you from doing whatever it is that you want to do. That's what Special Olympics tells you. You get involved in sports, but then you take it from the playing field out into real life. Family means to me community, acceptance, love, embracing a person just as they are. That's what Special Olympics did for me. It's all about family. Subscribe to Agents of Inclusion on the free Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-05 06:24:53 / 2023-05-05 06:42:41 / 18

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