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Maury Brown | MLB Writer/Senior Contributor, Forbes

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July 12, 2023 6:16 am

Maury Brown | MLB Writer/Senior Contributor, Forbes

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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July 12, 2023 6:16 am

 MLB Writer and Senior contributor for Forbes Maury Brown joins the show from T-Mobile Park in Seattle to recap the festivities of the All Star Game, as well as the immense buzz around Shohei Ohtani & his future.

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That's slash positive. I'm joined by Hall of Famer John Smoltz. Smoltz, tell me this. What's harder, winning a Cy Young or an Emmy Award? Oh man, winning a Cy Young takes a lot longer to happen. You know, it's funny when you mention something like that, I just go back to all those years of being predicted to win and just feeling like a failure.

But in 96, fortunately, I was able to at least get that off my back because that was starting to bother me. Download the Brett Boone Podcast available on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast. Really excited to welcome a brand new guest to the show, Maury Brown, a senior contributor for Forbes magazine. So he's there not only covering baseball, but the business of baseball. There is big money, we know that to be sure. So it was a full house, 47,000 strong, both Monday and Tuesday, not to mention everybody on the field.

Maury, what did you think? Well, I mean, everything from the weather to the crowd, everything that was there really turned out really well. You know, I think that the, you know, Rob Manfred address the media as part of the BBWA meeting this morning, and he was, you know, he was pleased about the whole thing.

As he said, there's high demand for every club in Major League Baseball to host it. So it's good for Seattle, they try to come back to places that they haven't been for a while. So, you know, there's some good history in Seattle. And again, it was a great atmosphere, a lot of fun, especially when Otani came to the plate, everybody was shouting, you know, come to Seattle, come to Seattle, which was pretty wild. But, you know, all in all, it was great. How would you describe the buzz around Shohei Otani for the past couple of days? Insane.

You know, I don't know if you know this, but during the All-Star game, right, when players are done, they will go straight back to the interview rooms and do their, you know, their scrums afterwards while the game is being played. And the interview room that they had set up was probably made to hold about 70. And I would say there was probably 150 in there. And it was insane.

It was crammed as tight as you could get it. So, of course, everybody is, you know, how you feel him right now. On Monday, he said he was really tired of losing, which of course, you know, lends itself to whether the Angels could potentially trade him. And so, you know, I mean, he is really the center of where everything is at right now. It seemed to be on everybody's mind and it was certainly the buzz throughout the ballpark. How much bigger is it than just baseball, Maury?

Well, that's a great question. You know, I think that there's a cultural element to it. I mean, he's a unicorn in a lot of senses, right, in the sense that we have not seen a two-way player like this probably since Ruth. So, I mean, it really is that. I mean, he's young, you know, and seems to have, you know, the world is his oyster right now.

He really is going to be able to make some decisions and do whatever he really wants to do. And people are kind of hanging on every word that he has to say. Somebody asked him, you know, who's your favorite player on the All-Star team? And he asked if it was the AL or NL. And they went all of them. And he said Mookie Betts, which of course, every Dodger fan is going to go, oh my gosh, right?

That's it. And then somebody asked him, what do you think about Seattle? And he goes, I've spent two off-seasons here, so I really like it. And so, of course, everybody in Seattle is like, oh, he must be coming here. But really, I mean, we're not going to know. I mean, nobody is going to know until the off-season where he ultimately winds up saying.

But I mean, it really is. He is right now, I think, the center of the baseball universe. We're excited to spend a few minutes with Maury Brown, who's a senior contributor for Forbes magazine and was there for the All-Star festivities, the pomp, the circumstance, the show around Shohei Ohtani.

It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. You had an opportunity to catch up with Joe Davis and John Smoltz. What was that experience like for you, considering that they are the voices of the All-Star game now? Yeah, I mean, I was curious about how they handle it in terms of the fact that the rosters really aren't set until a day or two before with, you know, players dropping out, other players being added. I asked Davis, I was curious about whether the pitch clock has really altered stuff around what they call these jewel events, right? I mean, the All-Star game, you get a lot of narratives and you talk a lot about the players, right?

And you get to really wax a lot more than you would maybe necessarily in a normal game. But with the pitch clock, that's not there. And like Smoltz says, that's, you know, he's the guy, as you pointed over to Davis, he's the guy that's got to worry about that. I just picked the spots where there's some drama and kind of lend itself there. But Davis said, you know, that they've been working on the games, you know, all season already, you know, the balance schedule has allowed them to see teams that they might not otherwise see.

So that I think is lending itself to it. You know, they said that really leading up to the All-Star game is prep for it. And then they just kind of tweak it a little bit, entering the game. You obviously couldn't hear it because you were there at the event instead of watching on TV, but it's pretty incredible to hear some of these athletes in the middle of it at bat or right before they throw a pitch to be mic'd up. And I really did enjoy some of the combinations like Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, who were out there on the field communicating together, as well as with the guys in the booth.

It was pretty cool. Yeah, and you know, this is something that the league has really wanted to try and do for a long time. You know, it obviously requires the Players Association and the players to buy off on it. And, you know, spring training, the All-Star game, that's something that you're going to see. Are you going to see it during the postseason?

Probably not. But again, I think that it is one of those things to where the personality of baseball players, I think, has been kind of a lost story for a while. I just don't think that they get enough credit. It's part of the, you know, the design of the game. Players are up to bat, you know, every inning and a half or so.

So, you don't get to see them there. You know, if it's a star pitcher, you may not see them until every fourth or fifth day. It's different than every other sport where a LeBron James, right, or a Tom Brady, or whoever you want to pick as your star, is out there for long periods of time. So, I don't think you really get to see as much star power in the league and the Players Association have been trying to market the players more. And I think this shows their personality. And look, there's a lot of personality with major league baseball players. So, it makes, it really is entertaining television.

Yes, agreed. And the 47,000 plus in the stadium, they make for that ambiance and that electricity as the backdrop for the game too is really cool. Maury Brown is with us after attending the All-Star festivities in Seattle, covering it for Forbes after hours here on CBS Sports Radio.

Rob Manfred held court on Tuesday. What stands out from what he had to say about baseball and every other topic that he covered? Yeah, I think the big one was that he's really honed in, a major topic was the rule changes and the fact that, you know, that attendance is up, television is up. They're looked very closely at the age demographic. They're seeing a younger demographic, which is of course really important if you want to sustain your game.

You can't have 55 and older people doing it or you won't be able to have the game for very long. So, look, that was really important. Now, Tony Clark, the head of the Players Association, spoke before Manfred and the players would like to see in the post-season, the pitch clock extended a little bit more. They actually asked for that when they started the design for the pitch clock, when they wanted to see it at the beginning of the season, they didn't get Manfred to go ahead and do it.

They say those conversations are still going on. But it sounds to me like the league wants to hold the line on this for a couple of reasons. One, the players have been working with it, right? They've had that sort of thing. And they will tell you that most pitchers are delivering pitches six seconds before the pitch clock ends. The other thing is the belief will be, well, if they ask for the post-season, they'll ask for it again during the regular season because of course they wanted that in the first place. So, some of it is political, some of it I think is practical.

Nobody wants to see post-season games decided by the pitch clock. So, that was a big topic of discussion. Then the other stuff was largely some questions about when expansion might happen.

And that was really important because there's a belief that finally the A's and the R's, there's a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel on these ones. And he said that they would look at expansion right away. Now, they're not going to jump into it willy-nilly. They understand that certain markets and what comes with it, there's a lot of small markets. So, whether it would take revenue sharing, but they see that the expansion fees, which could be $2 billion each, right? So, it would be $4 billion total would come in to the current 30 owners. And that's a healthy paycheck. And he said that once they get this thing with the A's and the R's sorted out, it would be a pretty quick thing.

So, it could be five years from now. What are a couple of moments or people that you will remember from the Seattle experience? Well, certainly Marston Lynch with the home run derby was pretty great.

I mean, he's just a character in and of himself and is such a signature guy in Seattle. It was pretty great at the beginning of the game. They had a lot of the guys from the 2001 Mariners.

So, you had, we had Edgar Martinez, we had Lou Piniella, we had John Olerud and other players that were on that roster come on out and Ken Griffey Jr., of course. So, that probably lent itself to it. There were some others that were wandering around.

I was largely there only for part of the day yesterday and today. And it was chaotic. I mean, when you get down on the field, I don't know, there's probably close to a thousand people while they're doing VP.

So, it gets pretty crazy. There's a lot going on with the international press. There was well over 200 people from the media there for the game and a lot of that was Japanese looking at Otani. There's so much interest around him that you saw quite a bit going around that.

And if you haven't checked out Maury's Twitter, you should because he's got a photo from inside the press room where Otani was holding court. Does look like every single member of the media packed in there. So, I can imagine then the press box emptied out quickly, at least for a short time.

Yeah. Well, and you know, they have overflow for the media. So, they can't fit everybody in the press box. So, they'll use part of the seating around there. And we had great seats this year for it. The unfortunate was it was at the far end of the ballpark. So, you literally saw members of the media running to get downstairs to the interview room, right?

And we like you walk in the door and of course it was wall to wall people. So, you know, again, I have not seen anything like this. Maybe not. I mean, Barry Bonds during the height of his home run chase is the last time I can remember any kind of hype like this.

It's just something that you'd have to see to believe. It really is like this incredible thing where the media is that's all anybody can talk about right now. And, you know, largely because we know he's going to go somewhere other than the Angels.

It's just a matter of win. So, you know, again, it's great for baseball. You know, the commissioner's happy. Tony Clark from the Players Association is happy about stuff. And again, it was, you know, the players look like they had a great time.

The weather was perfect. It's interesting too because I feel as though he handles it so calmly and with a lot of humility, but maybe doesn't quite understand the furor around him or maybe he does and he just handles it like a pro. No, I think it's the latter. I think he's fully aware of what's going on. He is very humble. He's, you know, he's very, his answers are pretty short. He doesn't really, you know, elaborate and get too wild.

He's pretty evenly killed. He'll smile, you know, when there's questions about stuff around certain players or when he's pondering, you know, like how do you say who's the best player that you're around without offending people or like, you know, like there's political implications about when you say stuff, right? He seems to be, you know, self-deprecating on some levels. I asked him, you know, what he wanted to do on the second half, you know, given where everybody's, you know, there's this break and then we go into the second half into the stretch. He says, I'm not going to change anything that I'm doing now.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Right. But given where the angels are at and this storm that's going around him right now, you know, he could say, hey, you know, maybe I'm going to go ahead and pull back or I'm going to lean into it a little bit more given the fact that there's so many entries specifically Mike trout. But again, he seems just really evenly killed about the whole thing and really aware of where he's at. Nothing seems to be going to his head. He's very, very humble in that regard.

I think part of why there's so much appeal there is because he's not a jerk or doesn't come across that way. All right. You can find Maury on Twitter at Bizball Maury. So B-I-Z B-A-L-L Maury for Forbes and was there for the festivities in Seattle.

I do love the all-star break. It's great to hear your perspective. Maury, thank you so much. All right. You take care of yourself. Thank you so much for having me.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-12 08:25:22 / 2023-07-12 08:32:44 / 7

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