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JR Interview with Curtis Granderson

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2023 10:55 pm

JR Interview with Curtis Granderson

JR Sports Brief / JR

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October 11, 2023 10:55 pm

Former MLB All-Star Curtis Granderson joins JR for a very special interview!


It's the JR Sportbree Show here with you on CBS Sports Radio. We know we're in the midst of the Major League Baseball postseason, so we have to bring on someone qualified to talk about it all. Sixteen years as a pro, three-time All-Star. We're talking about someone who's also amazing in the community.

He's from Chicago. We're going to talk about some of the great works he's doing out there, some of the things going on in the postseason. It's Curtis Grandison. Grandison, how you doing, Curtis? You good?

Oh, I'm doing great. Like you said, it's postseason time. It's October. Halloween's one of my favorite times in the year, and we have baseball, so I'm doing great. Absolutely, and I can't forget all the work that you do over with the folks at TBS and TNT covering the game.

They can tune in and check you out there. In a general sense, how are you feeling about the postseason now that we're getting closer to the championship series? How are you feeling about what we've seen so far? It's been fun.

It's been exciting, and it's a roller coaster. I mean, it's just what baseball is. There are going to be some times where things get slow like we saw in some of these first few games. Not a lot of offense, but then you get those crazy, exciting moments that leave you on the edge of your seat. Ninth inning, bottom of the ninth, trailing by a run. You have a chance to win it, and then when one play, the game is over. I mean, these are the things that you dreamt about as a kid in the backyard, those scenarios you would practice, and truly, they are playing out in front of us live and in action, whether you're in the stadium or you're watching it on TV.

Absolutely. We've seen some of those two-run bombs by the Braves. They keep bombing away Austin Riley to go ahead and win that game a couple of days ago. And you talk about no runs, and I got to mention this to you. The Orioles come in. They shock everybody throughout the course of the season. 101 victories.

Don't score anything. What are your thoughts on what they look like moving forward? We had a lot of callers from Baltimore kind of happy and in some kind of worried about them.

What do you say to them? Well, I think, one, be excited that your team got a chance to get to the postseason because not everyone gets there, and it's been a long time since Baltimore was there, so definitely enjoy that moment because you can't take it for granted. You hope you're going to be back there next year, but you may not be. But then, two, just baseball in general. Off days are not a good thing, especially for the offense. In 2006, I was with the Detroit Tigers. We had just swept the American League Championship Series. We're going to the World Series, but we had seven days off. And all of a sudden, we get to the World Series against St. Louis, and we couldn't hit to save our life. And sure enough, I think that's a very similar situation than what we saw in the Baltimore Series, the first few games with Atlanta and the Dodgers. Three teams, all with 100 wins, couldn't get it going offensively, partly, I think, because they had so many days off. If you think about it, MLB All-Star is the only time you have four consecutive days off, and we're talking about seven days off. So all those different things are definitely not a good recipe when you're trying to go ahead and score some runs, and it showed in that Baltimore-Texas series.

Curtis Granderson is here with us, the JR Sport Brief Show on CBS Sports Radio. When you think about the new version of the wildcard, where you quote-unquote can be swept in only two games, and you think about that gap, do you think that is an easy adjustment for Major League Baseball moving forward to kind of close that window, or are we kind of stuck with that, with a two out of five potential series, or two out of three? I don't think we can never be stuck with it. I mean, this game has changed a lot in its long time.

Even though it is traditional, we can modify things as we go. If we don't like it, we'll switch it up again. I mean, look at all the rule changes that happen this year.

Larger bases, adding the clock, eliminating how many times a pitcher can pitch over. And my favorite, everybody finally got a chance to play everybody. But when you think about it from the wildcard standpoint, the way it stands right now, I played in game 163 with the Detroit Tigers against Minnesota, and I see that that was one of the most exciting games. It was one game. It was win and go home. And sure enough, when the wildcard was that way, I think so many people were excited because you're literally on the edge of your seat. If you can't get it going in this game, your season is over.

So maybe that is something we look to go back to. One game wildcard, the series ends, and then you start the division series sooner versus that long seven-day stretch off. Yeah, that's a hell of a hell of a wait for everybody, as you had mentioned. Curtis Grandison is here with us, CBS Sports Radio, the JR Sport Reef Show. One team that's already been sitting there, we've seen them sit there for a lot, especially in the ALCS, it's the Houston Astros. Curtis, you have no you have no idea how many calls we fielded last night where people are still talking about banging on trash cans and cheating. One caller in particular asked about whether or not this team could be considered a dynasty, this franchise, this period of dynasty, if they win another one. I said it's kind of tricky based on how they started.

What say you about the Astros if they're able to pick up another one? To your point, how they started isn't the most exciting. It's going to be something we all talk about for a very long time in baseball, especially since it's such a history and bringing up the history. But if you keep getting there and you keep winning and you keep doing it, unless they start to keep on finding things that they're trying to do to use as an advantage, you also have to give credit where credit is due. And last year, the way they rolled through the New York Yankees, I mean, it looked like an uneven match from start to finish.

And sure enough, we're in a very similar scenario as we are right now. It's an experienced team. It's a well-balanced team. And you have one of the best managers in all of baseball, Dusty Baker, out there leading the troops.

So you got to give credit where credit is due. I know it didn't start the way you like to, but wow, I can't help but wonder, like every time I keep turning the TV on, they are always in it. So congratulations to what they've been doing up to this point. Curtis, you mentioned a team that you used to play for. They're not in the postseason this year. It's the New York Yankees.

What can they do moving forward to get back into space? I think this past year was a down year. I'd expect them to get back to like 90 something odd wins. But how do they finally get over that hump to kind of even compete with the Astros? Well, you hope that they're able to get back to 90 wins.

First and foremost, you got to stay healthy. But that's just one of the things that happens in this game. People get injured, but you have to have pieces that can replace those injured pieces, whether it's your pitching, whether it's your hitting. Somehow, if someone goes down, and over the course of 162 games, that's going to happen. Can you have enough in the minor league system? Can you trade and get a piece? Can you have someone slide over and take over while that player is injured to keep you going?

So, that's one of the things you got to get going. But the days are over where it's only one or two teams that are running the league or running the division. We're talking about the Houston Astros. We just finished talking about the Baltimore Orioles. Toronto Blue Jays were in there this year. The Tampa Rays were in there this year. And those are three teams all in the same division with the New York Yankees.

So, everybody's a little bit more balanced now. There's always another team that's looking to improve. You just can't outspend everybody like you used to be able to. You have to develop.

You also have to spend. And you have to have a team that buys into the culture. So, the Yankees are the Yankees. They are the most recognizable team in all of baseball, all across the world. So, they have that part for them going. Now, they just have to get everybody on the same page. And with the captain Aaron Judge over there, it's there. They just got to go ahead and continue to execute once they get on the field.

Curtis Grandison is here with our CBS Sports Radio, the JR Sport Brief Show. You talk about spending money. Steve Cohen has learned that the hard way. And then we even have teams. We didn't talk a lot about the National League side of the postseason. We got the Dodgers with their backs up against the wall right now. The Braves and Phillies are in the process of slugging it out. What are your thoughts on what things currently look like on the National League side of the playoffs? The National League is very interesting. I mean, you talk about it prior to the playoffs. Like you said, you had some teams that spent a lot of money, the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres. Everyone thought it was going to be the Padres' year to take over the Dodgers.

They're sitting at home not watching. And then here come the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team that not a lot of people talked about. But they're talented. They're gritty. They steal bases. They do all the different things that you wanted to see with all these rule changes.

And they put pressure on you. And sure enough, they're on the verge of possibly advancing to the NLC Championship to get a chance to get things going over there. Now this Braves-Phillies series, two teams that got a chance to do it last year.

Now they're doing it this year. You saw the Atlanta Braves get on the red carpet before they headed on the airplane to fly to Philly, where it is going to be hostile. It's going to be energetic. It's going to be intense. But that's what you want to see in the playoffs.

These are the final teams. These are the fans that are intense. That's why they call the Phillies the fanatics.

That's what you want to see. And if you haven't been watching baseball all year, October is of course the best time to watch it. And the NL has definitely been fun on all fronts. Well, Curtis, a lot of people, they should notice by now, man. You've been in the public eye for so long. You do so much great in the communities where you have played, but in particular, where you're from. We're talking about Chicago, man. This is Chicago.

And in that ilk, you have done so much, donated your own time, your own money. Tell us about your latest endeavor and what you're doing with the Chicago Baseball and Education Academy. It's so unique, you know, not playing in Chicago, even though I'm from Chicago, a lot of people associate me with all the great teams that I had a chance to play for, which is amazing. I feel like I was able to leave my mark in all those different cities and organizations, but Chicago's home.

My mom and dad still live there. I live there, went to grade school, high school, college, got drafted there. I would train in the off season there.

And remembering that that's the reason why I am where I am, put me in a position to be able to help the community hopefully get to where they want to be. And through the Chicago Baseball and Educational Academy, we get over 60 communities in the Chicagoland area, boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 18, playing baseball, playing softball, training it, practicing it year round. And for those of you that know Chicago, once it gets cold, it is cold, but we have the ability to bring you inside full indoor turf, a place where the Chicago White Sox, the Chicago Cubs, when they come for their Fan Fest, players have come and trained there.

I trained there in the off season. So you're in a facility where MLB's tops are out there. And you also have the youth getting themselves getting started.

And for the first time for a lot of these students, they are stepping foot on a college campus. So we call it the Chicago Baseball and Educational Academy for a reason. You are at a higher level of education on there, of course, practicing and playing and training your sport, but it's all about these are the things that helped me get to where I am. And now I'm in a position where hopefully I can help others get where they want to get to.

We got a lot of listeners, Curtis, people tuned in on 670 to score in Chicago. Where can people find out more information if they want to go ahead and get their youth involved? And there are also benefits for older individuals. You're helping out umpires, you're educating people. There's space for a lot of folks.

Where can people find out more info? Check out our website, We just launched our fall camp. As you mentioned, our umpire training camp, because this isn't all about just getting a chance to play. How can I make a career in this in the game that I love?

If being on the field, hitting the ball, fielding the ball isn't there for me. We partnered with UMPPS Care. We just rolled out our first umpire training camp last year. We're looking to do it again this year.

So check us out on the website, and on all the social platforms, cbeauic. We highlight what's going on. We show how fun the game is, how exciting it is, and how there's just so many different ways that you can have success in this great game of baseball.

Curtis Grandison here with us, the JR Sport Brief Show. As we start the wrap up, I got two questions for you, one personal and one back to the postseason. How has Chicago and the community and your family shaped you into who you are today? What's special about Chicago? Chicago, it's great from a number of points of view. One, our food is arguably the best.

And this is me coming from someone that spent eight years in New York. Obviously, great food there. I played in L.A., great food there.

And that was one of the things I enjoyed about traveling. But we can eat and we can eat with the best of them. So when you come to Chicago, you are going to enjoy all things food wise.

But that's home. We're Midwest. We're very friendly. We're open.

We're accepting. We want to treat others like we want to be treated. And I learned that from my parents. Both my parents were educators. They taught in the Chicago public school system.

And the impact they had not only on me, but the students they had is immeasurable because through my social platforms and all the places I played throughout baseball, the number of people that come to me and say, your mom taught me, your dad taught me just speaks volumes to what they did and how they shaped and molded me. So Chicago's home. When everyone asks me, hey, how come you don't spend the offseason somewhere warm? I go, I got my jacket. I got my sweater.

I got my scarf and gloves. The cold doesn't bother me in Chicago. Plus, we get four great seasons. And if you've been there for the cold, you definitely have to come back for the summer. Chicago summers are some of the best in the world. So come out for that four months.

It's only four months now. But come out and enjoy the summer. Enjoy the food.

Check out CBEA at UIC. We got the kids running around in so many great ways. And that's home for me. Hey, props to you for everything you've been able to do to give back.

It's something that's so admirable. Last question for you. What do you think the World Series is going to look like? Who are we going to look at in the World Series? Curtis, give us give us those teams. So my two predictions from day one are still live. So that's still up there. I really like Houston over there.

I know we talked about them. They just have that track record right now. And I think teams playing against them know that they feel that they sense that. And then on the National League side, the team that's been in first place all season long, the Atlanta Braves, I think they have enough. If they can keep it going, they got to get the energy back up. It didn't start out the best in game one, but the energy has to get high.

It can remain high. And when you have Acuna, who's been very quiet up to this point, one of the best players in the game, arguably the MVP of the National League, he turns it on. This could be a fun one to see. Houston Astros. That's how I see it in the World Series.

Yeah, Acuna will have, I don't know, five home runs and five stolen bases in the World Series, and everybody can go home happy. Curtis, thank you so much for taking the time. Tell everybody one more time where they could find out more information about the academy that you have going on in Chicago. Thank you again for having me. And that's the Chicago Baseball and Educational Academy,, for all things about getting kids excited about the great game of baseball. Hey, listen, we've been joined by Curtis Grandison. Damn it, a great guy on the field. More importantly, a great human being off of it. You're tuning into the JR sport re-show here with you on CBS Sports Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-21 19:30:31 / 2023-10-21 19:37:59 / 7

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