This song makes it sound like it's so much fun to do the Humpty Hump and get over the hump show, but I'll tell you what, I generally am doing a face plant into the hump. It was one of those days where I was awake long before I needed to be. You want to know what did it? Of course, this is what happens 90% of the time that I can't get back to sleep in the middle of the day. It's because I look at my phone. If I would just never look at my phone, I would never know what messages and emails await me, but I did. I looked at my phone and once my brain started going, I couldn't turn it off and so I never did get back to sleep. That is absolutely my own fault. Maybe, just maybe.
What do you think, Jay? Should I start leaving the phone across the room so that I can't wake up, open my eyes, roll over whatevs and pick up the phone? Should I start leaving it in another room? It is a tough call because I know that I would never go downstairs and get it, right? If it was downstairs, I actually have a college friend of mine who tells me, it doesn't matter if you text me in the middle of the night because my phone is downstairs in the office.
I do not have it next to me in the bedroom and so I could try that. I could try leaving my phone downstairs in the kitchen because it's not on. I mean it's on, but it's silent. The ringer is not on.
I don't hear it anyway. The only reason I would use it would be for an alarm, but typically I don't need the alarm to wake me up. Dog wakes me up, cat wakes me up. I don't need an alarm and very rarely do I actually need to have an alarm in the afternoon. Every now and then I have reason to get up, but maybe on those days when I'm not on a time crunch in terms of when I wake up and an appointment, something like that, maybe I could leave the phone downstairs.
What do you think? You could try it. I would say that it would on a day where you know you have a block of window to sleep and you don't have to get up for anything. The only concern is that you know of course an emergency situation where you would have to call somebody else. Say you heard a noise or something happened and you had to get to the phone really quickly and then you couldn't get out of bed or what about a fall?
I mean these are just things you got to think about. You fall out of bed, that could happen. You have the phone right there. But the phone would be on the bed, so if I fell out of bed and broke something and couldn't get up, the phone would be in, it's on some cushions on the other half of the bed.
Yeah. Well that's the only thing I could think about being a negative about that, would just be an emergency situation. But it sounds like an idea where you know if you have a block of window and you want to keep it down there and not wake you up, then yeah you definitely wouldn't go down and get it and then come back up. No, I wouldn't.
Huh. I didn't think about emergency situations, but you're right. If I heard a noise and needed to call 911, although most of the time I sleep in the middle of the day, so that's less likely to happen. But you're right, there could be someone who is trying to sneak in an open window in my backyard or some such nonsense. Hmm, never mind, I can't do it.
I mean I don't want to put that in your brain or anything, but it does happen. Yes, maybe I replace the phone with a baseball bat next to my bed. There you go, all right. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. You can find me on Twitter, ALawRadio, our Facebook page too. If you want to send your questions for Ask Amy anything, that's coming up next hour. You can do it on either our show, Twitter, or on our Facebook page. I know Producer J is also mining questions these days for our next video version of Ask Amy. By the way, I've been meaning to give you an update on the Chubby Bunny World Championship 2023. We've had to postpone it multiple times for a couple of reasons. Number one, one of our contestants from a year ago turned out to be a dud and he has begged out of the competition for this year, so Billy has agreed that he will videotape the competition so that we can put it up on our YouTube channel, but he's not going to participate, which means we then had to find two other people who aren't always in the building during the final hour of our show. Okay, so we have to coordinate with two other people. One is Sean Marash, who nearly died on the show last year during the Chubby Bunny World Championship.
No, absolutely not. He had no idea what he was in for and he nearly choked on the marshmallows. Tried to warn him not to be all full of bravado.
I can't! Claimed that he was going to put, what do you say, a dozen marshmallows? A dozen marshmallows. He didn't even get halfway to a dozen for heaven's sakes. He choked.
He moved the marshmallows from one side of his mouth to the other and as they were going across his throat, he gagged and nearly died. Anyway, let down. Yeah, Jay didn't make it much farther than, I think he had six. You were out at seven because you had one come flying out of your mouth and hit the microphone. We're not counting that one?
No, we're not counting that one. So because we have to change who's participating, for those of you who listen to the DA show, which follows us here on CBS Sports Radio, I know you don't always get it in your markets, but for those people who do listen, Sean and sometimes Pat work on that show, Pat Boyle, and the two of them need to be in the building at the same time on the same morning, which is not easy to do. But because DA has some time off coming up, we believe that we will have them both in the building during the final hour of our show in the next couple weeks, say. We don't have an exact date, but we are hoping to get this done before the end of May. I can't make any promises, but if not the end of May, then early in June.
Again, it depends upon DA schedule and then when those guys are on the same show at the same time in the same morning. Just, it's a lot of coordinating because our hours are not typical, obvi. So yeah, we'll do it as soon as we possibly can. But in lieu of that, Jay is going to collect your questions for a video version of Ask Amy Anything, which we'll do next week to be sure.
So Twitter, Facebook, send your questions. That's coming up next hour. Still ahead, this hour actually, we're going to head to Vegas.
We'll say this is 10 minutes from now. We're going to head to Vegas. Our friend Johnny Avello has agreed to answer my questions about the Oakland A's, soon to be the Vegas A's, trying to put a brand new stadium, now a smaller stadium, but the proposal is for a brand new stadium on the Vegas strip actually. I still have never been to Vegas in my life. I know that it appeals to a lot of people.
It doesn't really appeal to me. What I would most like to do is go to see a show there. Cirque du Soleil in Vegas has always been on my bucket list, but I just haven't gotten out there.
I do already have some plans in place, we believe, for being there in 2024. So I don't, I'm not the person who's most qualified to talk about the strip and whether or not the stadium fits there, but Johnny Avello is. He's the director of race and sport operations for DraftKings and he's been on the show before, though not in quite a while, because he's a guy who's lived in Vegas for decades and so he's not just someone who works in the sports betting industry. We'll talk to him about the latest trends, but he's also someone who is familiar with Vegas and has seen it grow from a small town to what is now a thriving metropolis, not only for travelers but also for people who are moving there.
It's one of the most popular places to move in the United States of America at this current time and has been for a few years. So we'll talk to him coming up next. He's going to join us because I want to ask him about putting a baseball team in Las Vegas and what impact and then of course the Super Bowl will be there in February and we will also talk about some of the various popular bets right now going on with the NBA playoffs and then they have a brand new app actually DK DraftKings has a brand new app specifically for horse racing and the entire most of the horse racing schedule now stretches in front of us for 2023.
But with the controversy surrounding the Kentucky Derby, I wonder how that's impacting the gambling industry. So we'll do all that with Johnny Avello when he joins us in our next segment here on After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. Before too much longer, I want to have you hear what veteran coach Eric Spolstra had to say in response to veteran coaches getting fired in the NBA. The latest, Doc Rivers. There were many of you who said Doc Rivers should pay the price for another game seven loss. The Sixers eliminated and it wasn't just that they lost in Boston, it was the fact that the game was over by halftime.
It was, it was gross. It was demoralizing for Philadelphia to be sure. Give the Celtics all the credit in the world. Jason Tatum, record number of points for a game seven in the NBA playoffs.
But the way that they petered out in game seven, when they had two opportunities to beat the Celtics and finally bust through this second round glass ceiling, the Sixers not only came up short but looked miserable doing it. So Doc Rivers gets fired. Here's his record in three seasons, 154 and 82. So his winning percentage in three seasons in Philadelphia, 65 percent.
Most franchises out there would take that. 54 victories this season, it's the most for the Sixers in over 20 years. They were in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency and obviously had the MVP of the NBA.
This was the partial statement from Daryl Morey who is the president of basketball ops. Doc is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, a future Hall of Famer, someone I respect immensely. After having the chance to reflect upon our season, we decided that certain changes are necessary to further our goals of competing for a championship. Now here are the the gaudy numbers for Doc. 16 straight winning seasons as a head coach. 16 straight winning seasons as a head coach. But the other gaudy number that a lot of people are repeating, 10 losses in game sevens. Five in a row. Okay so they didn't it's not 10 in a row which some people have quoted. It's 10 in his career, five in a row.
Is that all on Doc? Heck no, he's not out there on the court. The players have to bear some responsibility. James Harden has to bear some responsibility. I get it, he had two games in which he shot lights out. One when Joel Embiid was not available and he nearly had 50 himself. He had two game winners in the series. But in the four losses in this the seven game series, the four losses to Boston, he shot 12 for 55. So he shot under 22 percent in the four losses. He was essentially a disappearing act. This is what I tell you about James Harden in the playoffs. He's either hot to trot or he's ice cold.
There's no in-between. And as for Joel Embiid, he also was a shrinking violet in game number seven. The defense played him perfectly and yet somehow it's Doc's fault. It bothers me. And I suppose you're not surprised to hear, what did I say to start the show, Jay, about wouldn't it be funny if the Sixers hired... Oh, Monty Williams or Mike Boudinholzer? Mm-hmm.
Guess what? According to sources, the coaches who are expected to be considered in Philadelphia, Mike Boudinholzer, Monty Williams, along with Nick Nurse, who got fired by Toronto, Frank Vogel, who was most recently fired by the Lakers, right? He hasn't worked since then.
I don't believe so. Or at least not as a head coach. And Mike D'Antoni, who by the way, was the head coach in Houston when Daryl Morey was the GM or the president of basketball ops there.
So how ironic is that? Boudinholzer and Monty Williams get fired by their respective franchises because they failed to lead their teams deep enough in the playoffs. They failed to meet expectations. One of those guys might end up replacing Doc. It's because they're good coaches.
Oh my goodness. Eric Spolstra, he was supposed to be talking about the Eastern Conference Finals, and he did that, but he's also disturbed by this trend. The great proven experienced coaches that have lost their jobs already, it just doesn't make sense, you know, to me. When you have a proven guy and then you have an opportunity to, you know, start again without like revamping the whole culture and everything. It takes so much time to, you know, energy to restart something. And I think that's, you know, part of the reason why we've been able to reboot so many times over and over and over.
We're not reinventing a new culture and then trying to teach everybody and then all of a sudden two years later it's going to be somebody else doing the exact same thing. But particularly in a proven veteran guys, it's just been stunning. It really has been disturbing. I mean, just gave you the list of veteran coaches who are available, but Nick Nurse fired going back to when the Raptors didn't make the playoffs, of course. Mike Budenholzer after the Bucs first round exit. Monty Williams after the Suns got embarrassed in game six on their own court against the Nuggets.
So that just happened, I guess it was over the weekend, right? And then Doc Rivers. Wow. And I think Eric Spolstra makes an excellent point. If you don't give the coach enough time to build a culture, you're starting to get a better coach enough time to build a culture. You're starting over every few seasons. Or then he builds a culture, but the second it's in place, well, see ya.
Wouldn't want to be ya. As for Spolstra, who's been in Miami, actually his entire career, he was an assistant coach and now he's the head coach. He and Pat Riley have a great working relationship and there are results. There is fruit from that relationship that has consistency. That is this coaching profession.
I get it. And, you know, I'm so thankful and grateful, you know, every single day, you know, working for Nicky, Pat, Nick, Andy, that are right there in the trench, you know, with us, particularly when things get tough, you know, it's a blessing, you know, really to go through tough times. I've told the team so many times, you've heard me say it, there's a beauty in the struggle of what we went through this year and you can really grow from experiences like that. Doesn't guarantee you always will grow from it. Sometimes they can take your spirit and sometimes they can take your team the other way. It did not with this group. We have a very tough-minded group that embraced these tough times and how often do you get this opportunity to, you know, face adversity, come out stronger from it and not bail from it. They've got a culture. They have a revolving door of players a lot of times and now they have a superstar in Jimmy Butler, but what Eric Spolstra has done with the group and considering the injuries too, right?
Tyler Hero's out, Victor Oladipo's out, they lost to me Butler for part of the season two and they've, yeah, they've been dealt a hand and yet he's steady and they're in their third conference finals in four years. Reflective, thoughtful from Eric Spolstra. All right, coming up, Gianni Avella will join us from Las Vegas, not only his hometown, but also his place of business as the director of race and sport for DraftKings and sports operations for DraftKings. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours podcast. Getting you to the good half of your week, it's the Hump Show on After Hours. Thanks for hanging out with us. We are talking to NBA, not just the Western Conference Finals, but also the firing of coach Doc Rivers in Philadelphia, a move that a lot of people anticipated.
Wait until you hear what DeMar DeRozan has to say about the state of the NBA these days and Dwight Howard as an invite for those who've already bowed out of the playoffs, not so gracefully. It's After Hours, CBS Sports Radio. We're pleased to welcome Gianni Avella, who is the director of race and sport operations for DraftKings. Haven't had you on the show in a while, Gianni, but considering what's happening in Vegas these days, thought it was a good opportunity. I know that you call Vegas home and have for quite a while. You love the city. What's the buzz like these days when it comes to sports in Vegas? Yeah, you know, if you go to a night's game, Amy, that's packed. You know, we don't have an NBA team yet, but I think that'll be coming soon. We do have a triple A team there that packs them in every night. So, you know, the city's buzzing. Besides everything else that you can do in town, besides, you know, the shows and entertainment and the great restaurants, now we have pro teams also. And people follow, come to town, they follow their team.
You know, it might be in Phoenix the night before or in Vegas the night, the next night, or in L.A. the night before and in Vegas the next night. So it's great. And then the Raiders, of course, you know, we'll have them back this year for their third season and hopefully they can make the playoffs with their new quarterback, Jimmy G. Is this filling a void that used to exist in the city without the pro teams at the highest level? I don't think so, because remember the town is, I came to town in 79. At that time, there were 300,000 people here. Obviously, that's not enough to support any type of a pro team. But as the city's grown and we got to a point where we did have enough people here to support those teams, that's when they brought them in. So I think the timing was great for each and every team we've brought in so far. Baseball?
I don't know. Baseball, you know, is fickle fans in baseball. You have to win or, you know, sometimes they don't fill the stadium. But this is supposed to be a smaller stadium. The newest proposal as of today, and I'm sure you're aware of it, is, you know, where the Tropicana Hotel is. So that's right smack in the middle of the strip.
Well, good. I'm glad that you mentioned that because, yes, the proposal is not only for a 30,000 seat stadium, it's a 35-acre site, but it's right there in the middle of all of the action. How do you think that will work for what will be the Las Vegas A's? Well, I think they're going to have to do a little bit of work on, you know, getting the traffic through that area.
It's a little tight right now. And I'm sure there's plans to maneuver that traffic, you know, in certain ways so that it can pass through and no congestion. So we'll see. I mean, I think the all the funding that hasn't been decided yet, hopefully what they'll do is give the locals a break because the locals are paying a lot of money to go to the area. So they're going to pay a lot of money to go to these games. I'm just hoping that somewhere along the line they say the locals, you know, if you live in Las Vegas, you get a break there, you know, to pay your way into these games. And that hasn't happened yet, but I'd like to see that not only in our city, but maybe in other cities. Right.
They're looking for public financing as part of this $1.5 billion project. When you think about the reception for the Golden Knights and the Raiders, though, what's it been local fans, Jonny? They're packing them. I mean, you know, first of all, the Knights have been a winner. They've made it to playoffs every year, gone to the finals now a few years.
So the Knights have been successful. The Raiders, you know, they haven't won anything yet, but it's not stopping them from packing the arena. And then the arena does a lot of other shows also and packs them in too. There's been great soccer games there, great concerts there. And now, you know, baseball's next and, you know, I'm sure the town will support that also, especially if it's only 30,000. You know, if it was 50, 60,000, that's asking a lot.
But 30,000, that's the size of a Boston stadium. Jonny Avello is with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio. Since we last had him on the show, his title has changed.
He's now the director of race and sports operations for DraftKings, and we'll explain that coming up. Jonny, we've seen a lot more sporting events go through Vegas or make Vegas one of their stops. All-star affairs like the NFL, also the NHL last year. We know that the Super Bowl is headed to town. Is there a buzz yet about the NFL's championship game being there next February?
Oh, yeah. I mean, they haven't stopped talking about it. We're a year away and we're less than a year now. And, you know, it's the talk on the news every night and everybody's preparing for it. Well, you know, when you come to Vegas for a Super Bowl, I usually attend one of the parties that the hotels are throwing. So now, you know, you get to go to not only a party but the game itself if you're lucky enough to have tickets. So it's going to be a busy, busy time here in town. We've had a lot of events come through here. We had the NFL Draft last year and when events come through here, the place is packed. And when events don't come through here, the place is packed. So it's been a busy town now for a few years. Do you actually notice when there's an event in town or is the city able to absorb it so you don't really realize it's something separate from what is typical Las Vegas traffic? Yeah, I don't know if you do notice it, but, you know, you'll certainly feel it when it's close to game time, an hour, an hour and a half before game time, you'll see that, you know, traffic's bogged down a little bit. And of course, like any other city, we're constantly working on the roads to make them wider.
You know, we've made them wider like five or ten times, I don't know. So it just seems like, you know, we're dealing with that also. But no, it's a great place to live.
And, you know, I've been here now for 45, almost 45 years. So it's been a good town for me. And of course, your business is there, although it's expanding around the country with more and more states agreeing to allow sports betting and sports gambling. But Johnny, Vegas is still the hub for that. So what are the big events right now that are capturing a lot of the attention among sports gamblers?
The NBA Conference Finals, and they're down at a Hockey Conference Finals. So those are the two big events. We've got a PGA golf tournament come up this week.
Those are the big ones, Amy. But, you know, if you look at our menu, you get baseball every night. You got if you like Aussie rules football, we have that. If you like cricket, we have that.
If you like cycling and lacrosse, college lacrosse and MMA and, you know, soccer around the world and tennis, NASCAR. Amy, the menu is extensive. So, you know, never a loss of words for the things that we're offering here. I got to tell you, my motto for spring in the sports broadcast industry, which certainly could apply to your industry as well, is sports never stop because in the spring time they never stop.
They never do. And, you know, we've just added horse racing to the menu. So that kind of makes our menu complete. We kind of have all the verticals now. So people want to stop shopping now for DraftKings. Well, it is a Triple Crown race this weekend. So the second leg, which is the Preakness, when we're talking about it on the show, it's not quite the same. And I think there is some damper on the sport a little bit because of some of the recent drug allegations, the suspensions, also the death of some horses, especially at Churchill Downs.
How has that impacted your industry? Yeah, we don't like to hear that negative news. And horses do die on the track from time to time.
And I just think that there's going to be a certain amount that do. The horses are really well taken care of. As far as the sport, integrity of the sport and the way the animals are treated, I think they're treated great. Unfortunately, there's a lot of weight on four legs, four thin legs of a horse. And sometimes, you know, the horses, you know, break down. And that's very unfortunate and sad for all of us who love the game. But the game's doing well. At DraftKings, we're trying to bring some new players into the fold, some younger people into the fold.
And that's exactly what we've been doing. We've been up now for about five weeks or five, six weeks. It's not on our normal DraftKings download app. It's called DK Horse.
It's a separate app you have to download and been up five, six weeks now and doing really great. We're just trying to offer our customers another vertical to bet, you know, especially this time of the year with the second leg of the Triple Crown coming up. Some great racing this summer at Saratoga, one of my favorite places to go, and Del Mar. And then, of course, leading into the Breeders' Cup in November. Great horse racing for the rest of the year.
It's called the DK Horse app. And we're pleased to hear more about it with Johnny Avella, who's the director of race and sports operations for DraftKings. All right, so Vegas being the hub. Who are the most popular teams so far in the NBA playoffs in terms of the betting action?
Because we've had some real superstars, weirdly enough, this rematch of 2020 in the bubble on both the east and west side. Yeah, well, you know, there was a game tonight. We actually opened that game five and a half. We closed six and a half and the game fell six. So that's just typical of what we do with the odds.
Sometimes we're just a little bit too close. But the money tonight was on Denver to cover the spread and some of it was on the Lakers to win the game straight out. So the result was OK for us. But when you look at the teams that are left, they've bet the Lakers, they've bet Denver, they've bet Miami. The one team out of the four that'll end up being pretty good for us is the Celtics. So, you know, they caught the heat at some really high odds. They were, again, number seven seed. They caught the Lakers at some high odds. Whoever thought the Lakers would even get this far the way they were playing.
But the Lakers are always a popular choice. And the Nuggets had just been solid all year long. I think maybe the Celtics odds were a little low. They were, you know, for the better to throw heaps of money on. They were only, you know, five to one at the beginning of the year. And at some point during the year they were only, you know, two and a half to one, three to one. So that's why we're probably a better position with them than anybody else.
Interesting. And how much does that fluctuate? Over the course of the playoffs themselves, which can go about two and a half months. Yeah, you know, we keep this stuff up. The future odds, we just adjust them right after the game, put them back up, and, you know, the bettors are back betting them again, looking for, you know, what they believe is value. And, you know, now we're down to these four teams after these little Lakers lost tonight and their odds went up a little bit. And Denver won and their odds went down a little bit. Now if the Lakers win the next game, then the Lakers odds will go down a little bit and Denver's will come up a little bit. That's what we do.
It's a balancing act with these odds. Does it ever stop? Is it ever quiet, meaning there's nothing happening?
The answer to that would be no. Never. I mean, even you would think the summers might be slow, but they're not because baseball's every day, there's golf tournaments every weekend, there's majors, there's tennis tournaments. I mean, NASCAR, I mean, it just goes on and on. PGA Championship is this weekend and so the second of the majors on the golf schedule. No Tiger Woods, but seems like tournaments these days on the PGA Tour are so wide open. I remember a couple years ago when we spoke, golf was starting to become more and more popular.
How is it now compared to some of the other team sports? Golf's as popular now as it's ever been and it continues to grow each and every year. I think some of the reasons for that is, you know, first of all, coverage, the way the game is covered now, the way we allow people to bet on golf before it used to be. Pick the winner before the tournament starts and then maybe after the end of the day, we'll put it back up and you can bet it again. But now, we have betting going on while the tournament's going on in the middle of the tournament. Bet on each individual hole.
Will the golfer score a lower score than his partner or his fellow golfer on this hole? So, we're constantly putting up odds in play wagering. So, we've changed the way that golf is bet and when you look at the field of golfers now, there's some really great prices out there and some really good golfers because there's so many good golfers in the field that, you know, you have to give some really nice prices on some of the players. Tony Fee now for this week's PGA championship, you know, he's over 20 to 1. Jason Day, who just won last week, he's 28 to 1. Justin Thomas, he's 30 to 1.
Dustin Johnson, he's 35 to 1. So, these guys are just great players and I think there's value in betting golf, but it's hard. You know, only one guy can win the tournament, but there's a lot of ways to bet it.
You can bet guys will make the top five, make the top 10. We have them in match-ups against other golfers. So, there's many different ways to bet the game.
Just out of curiosity, do you have betting options for the live tour or no? Oh, yes. We don't pass up. If there's a sport out there that we can book and we get approvals from the state to certain jurisdictions that we're in to do it, we do it.
We have pickleball now and corn. What? Come on. Yeah, that's right.
Yeah, that's right, Amy. Yep, they're both in action now. So, live is a big, big tournament with a big name. So, of course, we're doing that.
A lot of options as you hear with Johnny Avello, who's the director of race and sport operations for DraftKings. Always good to catch up with you in Vegas. You give us such a unique perspective as someone who's lived in the city for such a long time and always thank you for joining us on the show. Oh, Amy, it's always great and a pleasure to speak to you.
We'll talk again soon. I wonder about the rest of the Vegas residents if they feel the same trepidation over baseball. We had just talked to Matt Snyder about the A's landing on the Vegas strip and how that might play over and that there's so many home games and can they actually attract the fans and now you hear the same thing from Johnny.
Really good stuff with him. Brand new horse app and sports never stop in the spring. So, a plethora and a smorgasbord of options. All right, send your questions for Ask Amy Anything an hour from now on our show Twitter after our CBS. Also, on our Facebook page. You are listening to the... Surgeons keep our hearts beating. They do the amazing. Help save lives and so can you. Your CSL plasma donation can help create 24 critical life-saving medicines that can give grandpa the chance for his heart to swell when he meets his new grandson or give a bride the chance for her heart to skip a beat on her wedding day. Every plasma donation helps more than you know. Do the amazing. Help save lives.
Donate today at your local CSL plasma center and be rewarded for your generosity. After hours podcast. Three two. Swinging a fly ball. Fairly well hit to left. Going back and over and now onto the track and leaping and watching it bang off the wall. No, it's a home run. It cleared the wall and bang back onto the field of play. It's going to be a three-run homer for Isak Paredes and the race should lead three nothing. And the delivery is lifted way up into the air down the left field line to the corner. Garnovitz fair to the pole and fair ball home run for Isak Paredes. He's got a second of the night and the race now leads six nothing. The awareness that they're going up to the plate with whether it's start or reliever, I think it's just given us a better advantage of accomplishing good things and the eight run mark is a pretty good one.
This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Kevin Cash thrilled with the offensive production for the Tampa Bay Rays against the New York Mets. This taking place at Citi Field also happens to be the home debut, the Mets home debut for Justin Verlander.
Now remember he started the season on the IL so his debut in Queens is delayed and it didn't go so well. The Rays don't care. The Mets end up losing eight to five but Verlander gets torched for six runs on eight hits including a pair of home runs and a couple of walks.
It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. To make it worse, even though he's high profile, high price free agent coming off a Cy Young award, he and the rest of the Mets get booed there at Citi Field. They fall into a season worst three games under 500 and just the next victim for the Red Hot Rays who by the way are now at 32 and 11. So they did drop a couple of games to the Yankees over the weekend so now they're in double figure losses but 32 and 11 best record in Major League Baseball. Verlander still trying to find that rhythm and it's still early for him.
Yeah the home runs really bother him. There's been plenty of times in my career where you know you find yourself a little a little off and there's no panic button especially you know my third start of the season but sometimes it takes games like this to really kind of you know kick you and you know make you study everything that you possibly can to find out what's a little off but yeah overall today not great. I was surprised that left I thought it was a pop-up off the bat. I felt like the ball was carrying the left and the second one it was just a matter of fair foul. I mean if those balls right down the line, if that ball squeaks just left of the foul pole then you know maybe we're in the game but you know this isn't the game of what-ifs whether it was bad luck or I thought I would leave the yard or not done none of that matters. They did leave the yard. I didn't make good enough pitches.
I need to be better. Buckshell Walter has no excuses for the Mets. I know they've had a couple of high-profile injuries specifically pitchers. Max Scherzer's a mess.
He was suspended for 10 games though I guess now he's not alone. There's another New York pitcher who's about to serve a 10-game suspension for sticky substances for stickiness. It was clumpy.
But Verlander, Scherzer, Edwin Diaz they've had injuries or just disasters among that pitching staff and then they've got bats that just aren't in sync yet. Really it's icky. It's icky and sticky. A long way to go but at least on Tuesday Buckshell Walter he actually says, hey what the fans are giving us what they're letting us hear it's not that different from how we actually feel about the season. Frustrating for me for them because I know how much they wear it. I see them get on the plane.
I see them get on the bus. I see them in the clubhouse and talking among them themselves. It's tough but also it's tough on our fans too right. Who wants to see us play better?
We're capable of it. I understand the fans are frustrated. We're frustrated too. Everybody's frustrated. We expect to be better.
I expect to be better. I think this entire organization expects to be better and you know there's only one thing left to do and that's you know put your head down work hard and find your way out of this slump. The thing is because major league baseball's season is so long we're only a quarter of the way through although it did go pretty fast. Anything can and will happen and how many times has that been the case in baseball over the last few years? Whether it's individual or whether it's a team situation in the NL East alone. We've had a couple of teams that have last year the Phillies getting all the way to the World Series but they were below 500. They changed managers and they surge via the wild card route to get to the World Series.
Same division Washington Nationals Scherzer's former team. There are 12 games below 500 in May. They end up winning the World Series and they have to face multiple elimination games over the course of that October postseason but because they had been locked in with a obviously no margin for error and a real tense sense of urgency for a good portion of the season they were primed and ready when the playoffs came and they weren't flung mixed by the atmosphere or by that kind of need to win that intensity. It's still just May and there's such a long way to go that there's no need to panic especially when you have a bunch of veterans.
There really isn't any need for the panic button at all. The issue I think in that division as the Mets are now in fourth place, the Phillies are below 500 as well. They've actually just fallen below 500 with a three-game losing skid. It's a benefit to them that the Braves have come back to the pack a little bit but the Braves are so good in this division that you really don't want to fall too far behind because the deficit can be so great. Still it's just May and there's a long, long, long way to go.
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