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Bob Costas: Willie Mays Was A National Treasure

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June 20, 2024 3:01 pm

Bob Costas: Willie Mays Was A National Treasure

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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June 20, 2024 3:01 pm

6/20/24 - Hour 2

Bob Costas and Rich discuss the passing of Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays, which former or current player can be called the greatest living baseball player and breaks down which MLB teams are the best in the AL and NL.

Rich reveals his list of the top wildest sports stories of the year so far including Scottie Scheffler’s PGA Championship arrest, Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut, the Ohtani/Ippei Mizuhara scandal, and more. 

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I'm gonna walk out of here a lean, mean, fighting machine. This is the Rich Eisen Show. True or false, Stripes was shot in a dry county in Kentucky. Somebody had to explain to Candy what a dry county was because he's from Canada. And so when I first told him, you can't buy alcohol in this county, and he goes, yeah, right.

Here's not alcohol. Earlier on the show, Yahoo! Sports Senior NBA reporter Vincent Goodwill. Coming up, legendary broadcaster Bob Costas.

Actor Kurtwood Smith. And now, it's Rich Eisen. Our number two of the Rich Eisen Show is on the air.

844-204-rich is the number dial right here on the program. Bob Costas is about to join us to talk about the life and times of the great Willie Mays. We had a conversation earlier on in our number one about who is now the greatest living baseball player. We'll ask that of Bob shortly. The actor Kurtwood Smith will be joining us from that 90s show, of course, from also that 70s show as well.

844-204-rich number to dial. We'll have time for you to chime in on many of these subjects in this hour. Chris Brockman and Jason Feller are in their positions right over there.

And TJ Jefferson is in his position as well, right here to kick off our number two. And let's do it with one of the all-time greats himself and somebody who I'm thrilled to be able to call a friend, Bob Costas. How are you, sir? Good to see you, Bob. Hey, Rich. How you doing?

I'm doing fine. I know you spoke about this subject matter at length yesterday, and I appreciate you taking the time to do so today. When you heard Willie Mays had passed away, your first blush thought was what, Bob? Well, no surprise. We knew it was coming shortly when we heard that he couldn't come to Rickwood Field for the game tonight, which is a tribute to the Negro Leagues, but also designed as a tribute to him as baseball's greatest living player at the time. And it's both poignant and, in a sense, poetic that he would pass away right in the midst of this celebration of a part of his personal history, because he played for the Birmingham Black Barons in the Negro Leagues as a 17-year-old kid in 1948. So it wasn't a surprise, and I think the overwhelming sentiment is just great appreciation for his place in national, in baseball history, which actually transcends that to the point where I don't think it's an overstatement to say that he was for a very long time a national treasure, and maybe younger fans, and you could be middle-aged and never have seen him play in person or even on television in a live situation, maybe those fans who weren't really students of baseball history are gaining a better appreciation in the last few days with all the tributes to him of just how important he is in baseball history and just how incredibly great he was as an all-around player, but also as a showman, as a true stylist. You know, the sports world is, in my view, blighted these days by exhibitionists who don't understand what true style is, but the Willie Mayses, the Sandy Kofaxes, the Roberto Clementes, the Dr. Js and others, they had tremendous magnetism and style without a thimble's worth of exhibitionism. Everything Willie Mays did, not just the spectacular stuff, and there was plenty of spectacular stuff, but everything he did, even the way he fielded a routine fly ball and tossed the ball back into the infield, the way he trotted down to first base after a walk, everything about him exuded style and made you love baseball more than you might have before you heard of Willie Mays. And I know, again, your guy was Mickey Mantle, and that's famously known, and Willie Mays, I'd love to give you the floor on a little bit more as to what made him so great. We know his numbers, and we also know, you know, he was the first recipient of the Commissioner's Award, which is now named after Roberto Clemente, so a great human as well. But why, for those, as you point out, I'm in that middle-aged group that never saw him, why was he so great? He was just electrifying, and I think it was his first big league manager, Leo DeRocher, who actually coined the term five-tool player.

I mean, the thought existed prior to that, but I think Leo was the first one to verbalize it that way. What are the five things that a position player can do? Run, field, throw, hit for average, hit for power. Willie Mays is a five-tool player, and he certainly was at the highest level of all those five aspects of being a great baseball player. And then on top of it, he was just so much fun to watch. He was just so charismatic, and he had a long career, as did his greatest contemporary, Hank Aaron. And here's a point I made in a few other places over the last couple of days, something that really makes you, that I appreciate, about the era of baseball when I was a kid, and the one that preceded it. But I got to know Ted Williams, and Joe DiMaggio, and Stan Musio, and there's Willie and Mickey, two-thirds of the song that became popular some three years ago. Willie, Mickey, and Luke, about the three center-fielders in New York, during the 1950s.

You know, we're obsessed with rankings, and statistics help us with those rankings. But none of the great players of the 30s, and 40s, 50s, and 60s, maybe into the early 70s, in the case of Aaron, especially, their greatness, none of the greatness of any of them dims or diminishes the greatness of any of the others. You know, Ted Williams, statistically, was slightly better than Stan Musial, as incredible as Musial's numbers were. But Ted was the splendid splinter in Baltimore.

Stan was Stan the man in St. Louis. They're each great, they're contemporaries, they're distinctive. And DiMaggio, despite all the comparisons to Williams, DiMaggio was distinctive too, because he played center-field, because of the way he carried himself.

He's got the 56 games, same season, and Williams has the last man to hit 400. The three of them together are all great, but they're distinctly different. And if you looked at them only from the standpoint of, well, they're different only by degree, no, they're distinctively different. And the game would be poorer if you had two guys that were exactly like Ted Williams, or two that were exactly like DiMaggio. It's better that there were all those three players who were great in their own way, and were received and celebrated differently because of where they played, and other aspects of their personality and their biographies. Same thing true with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. You can say, I think it's credible, Willie was the greatest all-around player. But Hank was probably a slightly better hitter than Willie, and then Hank becomes a civil rights hero because of what he faced, and the dignity and decency with which he triumphed over it, and faced it the way he carried himself. So to many people, Hank will always be the authentic home run king, and then it's not a contradiction to say that Willie was the greatest all-around player. And Mickey Mantle, who I knew well toward the end of his life, it really bothered him that he felt he didn't fulfill his potential. His biography is as much about what might have been as what was. But that star-crossed aspect of his story makes him distant.

He might be the guy that most closely resembles the Roy Hobbs character in Bernard Malamud's novel, and in the film that was made, that Barry Levinson made, starring Robert Redford, about the natural. You know, it bothered Mickey Mantle a great deal that he played a few years too long, and his lifetime batting average progressively went from 309 down to 298, because 300 meant something different back in the day. Analytics now poo-poo batting average, but it mattered to Mickey. But in the big picture, he still lives in people's imagination in a different way that Willie does, in a different way than Hank Aaron does.

They're all distinctively great, the game would be much poorer without them, but if forced to decide which one was the greatest all-around player, I think the overwhelming consensus now is the answer to that is Willie Mays. Bob Costas here on the Rich Eisen Show. Do you have a good personal story of an interaction with Willie, Bob? Whether it was in the meadow in Cooperstown, now seven summers ago, when you went in for Ford Frick, or any point in the stadium where you were calling a game or hosting anything, Bob?

Well, I spent some time not on the air with Willie. He was always very gracious to me, but I did a number of interviews with him, and one, perhaps the most memorable, was on HBO in a theater during the All-Star break. So they were in the theater, there were current All-Star players in 2008, I guess it was, and also Hall of Famers were in the audience. Bob Gibson was in the audience, and something that was striking about it is that when Hank and Willie were introduced and they walked out on the stage together, everybody, all the ball players and all the fans of attendance got up and gave them a standing ovation. The only guy who didn't stand up was Bob Gibson, because in his mind they were still opponents. They weren't teammates, they were still opponents. And he laughed about it afterwards, because obviously he had fondness for them and he had respect for them, but it was just a matter of his own sense of himself that he's not going to stand up and give them a standing ovation. But the two of them together, whatever rivalry there might have been, and it was inevitable that there would be a rivalry, the two greatest National League players of their generation, but the two of them sitting in advancing age together and swapping stories, you could tell that they understood, even if they didn't without the other. You know, we pushed each other to be as great as we possibly could be. And I remember at one point, Willie, who was a better storyteller, a more kind of bubbly personality than Hank, he said, you know, whenever I was in a slump, if we played the Braves and Willie had that high-pitched voice, high-pitched voice, threw his head back and laughed. Can you tell that last part one more time, Bobby, or your wi-fi was kind of a little dicey at the end there? Oh, sorry.

No, it's all good. Good. So, yeah, Willie said, the anecdote Willie told was that if he was in a slump and the Giants played the Braves, he would ask Hank if he could borrow one of his bats because, as Willie put it, there's a lot of hits in that bat.

And then I break my slump. Who knows if that's exactly true, but it sounds right. And I think the general sentiment of it was true.

I love that. Bob Costas here on The Rich Eisen Show. Would you care to chime in on who you think is now currently the greatest living ballplayer on our planet, Bob, since that obviously was Willie Mays prior to his passing. Yeah, you know, you could make a case and a good one for the pre-steroid Barry Bonds. There's such a clear line of demarcation from when he went from being what he was, an inner circle, elite hall of famer on his natural merits, a genuinely great player, one of the greatest of all time, and then became superhuman. But the pre-late 1990s Barry Bonds has a case, but so too does Ken Griffey Jr. And maybe in a way, if you're looking for a comp for Willie Mays, because they were both centerfielders and Griffey was a fabulous defensive outfielder, wall-scaling outfielder, and had two seasons where he hit more than 50 homers. Granted, it was a homer-happy era.

But he might have been at his exuberance. You know, his nickname was the kid wearing the hat backwards. That's kind of comparable to Willie.

You could feel his joy of the game and that transmitted to fans. Maybe Ken Griffey Jr. is the closest comp. And now Shohei Ohtani, whose resume is still building, but Shohei Ohtani, is a unicorn in the history of baseball.

We've talked about this before. Yeah, Ruth was a hall of fame level pitcher before he became exclusively a hitter, but he never did them simultaneously at his highest level. Whereas Ohtani, not this year because of the Tommy John surgery, but he'll be back next year, he's doing something at a high level in modern baseball that nobody has ever done.

So I guess he's another guy you can make a case for. Joe Posnansky, whose opinion I respect, thought that maybe Ricky Henderson had been overlooked in this discussion because Ricky was a speedster who hit for power. He stole more bases than anybody, was a factor every time he was on the bases. He was not a great defensive left fielder. I mean, I like pre-steroid bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. for that answer a little bit more than Ricky Henderson. But I do think that Ricky Henderson, although he was the first ballot hall of famer, I think he's under very well valued in terms of where he falls somewhere on the all-time list because he was an extremely impactful player every time he was on the field.

And I guess one must look for a multiple tool player to be a candidate for this conversation. I threw out the name of Pete Rose earlier in this program. Bob, what would you say about that? You know, there's a difference between iconic players and Pete is on the short list of iconic players and the greatest of the great. Would Pete have been absent the controversies, a new unanimous first ballot hall of famer?

Of course. He's the all-time hit king. I think he won three batting titles.

He was a past MVP. He was an all-star as an outfielder, third baseman, second baseman, and first baseman, which is a distinctive thing. But he doesn't have the power of the guys that we generally discuss in this way. He doesn't have Ruth's power or Madel or Mays or Aaron or Ted Williams.

He doesn't fit there. And he wasn't as great a defensive player as a contemporary to throw another name in there like Roberto Clemente. And, you know, Roberto Clemente is someone you can cite for the point that we were making earlier. Does Roberto Clemente have the home run totals of his greatest contemporaries?

No, he doesn't. But he was in his own way about as distinctive as Willie Mays was. And then he was also the first Hispanic superstar, true superstar in Major League Baseball. And that gave him a real appeal to a certain portion of baseball fans.

And then he dies young as a hero on a mission of mercy, taking supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. So he has a place in baseball history and a place in the imagination that can't be matched by anyone else. Because like all the greatest, you think of actors or musical performers, you know, you can have debates who you like better and how you rank them. But the Beatles are not the Rolling Stones. And neither of them are Bruce Springsteen. You know, it's just the world would be poorer if Bruce Springsteen set out to be Mick Jagger would also look weird. But anyway, I understand the analogy.

You know what I'm saying? Of course, you know, Bob, Bob Dylan has a place because of where he landed, and the the impact on society that he had. But if Paul Simon just wanted to become, like, 1A to Bob Dylan, then his career and the world would be the lesser for it. You know, you can appreciate them both for different reasons. And I think that that's, that's kind of what I'm attempting to say here about all the great ballplayers of the past. It wasn't just the statistical comps as presences, and as what they meant, and as how they remain in memory.

They are all distinctive. Bob Costas here in the Rich Eisen Show. Before I let you go, you're fresh off of calling Orioles-Yankees.

The best team that you have personally eyeballed through the first couple months of this regular season is which, Bob? Well, if the Dodgers, and so I haven't seen this yet, really, because the Dodgers have pitchers who haven't come back yet. They're waiting on Walker Bueller. They're waiting, I guess he's come back in the last couple days, I'm not really sure, but they're waiting on Clayton Kershaw, who they'll have to use in a different way than than in his prime.

They're waiting on a number of other people. Now Mookie Betts is out. Max Muncy was out for a period of time. But when you look at the Dodgers, it's hard to discount them. The Phillies have been tremendous. And the depth of their starting pitching and the quality of their bullpen, you just can't count the Phillies out. Now Garrett Cole comes back. He pitched four innings last night for the Yankees. Their starting rotation has been surprisingly good even without him.

And now you add him to that and Soto and Judge are as dynamic as any duo you could point to in Major League Baseball in the second and third spot in their lineups. And then the team you mentioned, the Orioles, they've kind of been under the radar outside Baltimore. But the thing about them is, they were lousy for so long.

They lost 100 games like three or four years in a row, not counting 2020 when they only played 60 games. But all that time, they had all those high draft choices, and they never missed on any of them. Their roster is filled with number one draft choices, all of whom are contributors. So that team not only is good now, right on the Yankees heels, playing better than 600 baseball, but it looks like they're going to be good for a while because they can hold that core together. And an interesting story about them is that in 2019, they used their number one pick for Adly Ruchman, the great young switch hitting catcher. The number two pick was Bobby Witt Jr., who's headed for the Hall of Fame for the Kansas City Royals. But not to worry, because the Orioles used their number two pick for Gunnar Henderson, who's right there with Bobby Witt Jr. when the question is, who's the best shortstop in the American League? So the Orioles, I mean, I don't know if they're playing Moneyball or exactly what they're doing, but right now their payroll is around 100 million.

The Yankees is over 300 million, and the Orioles are right there with them in the American League East. I look forward to seeing that all play out. Bob, I appreciate the time talking about this, and I miss chatting with you, and I greatly appreciate you taking the time. Thanks, sir. Thanks, Rich.

Best to you and Susie. Right back at you and Jill. That's Bob Costas, everybody, right here on the Rich Hudson Show, the Hall of Famer, talking about other Hall of Famers with eight of his 29 Emmys behind him. That was a great flex there by Bob. Listen, if I was able to flex that way, please. You know I would do that.

It's like NFL Films. He's just like running out of places. That's by the way, that's right. Rich would be Funkmaster Flex if he would do that.

Hey, open up Bob's refrigerator. There's an Emmy. Ken Griffey Jr.'s a great player to mention as best player alive now. You said pre-steroids, bonds, inner circle Hall of Famer, even without...

I think so, yeah. But Griffey Jr., none of us mentioned him first hour. Chris did. You did? Chris? I felt he did. Chris did.

Oh, okay. I knew one of you two had said it. Ken Griffey, baseball.

That's how I grew up. And it's funny, had all the injuries not cut up with him recently, Mike Trout could be on the list. Albert Pujols. Pujols, yeah. I mean, look at Pujols' first 10 years in St. Louis. There are so many great baseball players, man. You know, basketball, there's 12 guys on the team. You know, baseball, just so many.

I don't know how you could pick one. I keep forgetting about him, man. Singular skill, but Mariano Rivera? Yeah, but if you're going singular skill, how are you not mentioning Kofax?

Please. Because it's about longevity. I understand longevity.

I know, but come on. Like, if we're talking pitchers, how are you not talking about Sandy Kofax? You talk about Roger Clemens first. I would push back on that. Again, I would. I mean, Clemens.

No, again, just everything I've heard of Kofax. What about Nolan Ryan? Nolan Ryan's a good one. If you're talking pitchers, though.

But clearly Bob was, you know, right about. I like that Ricky Henderson one. Oh, by the way. That was a great one. Let me tell you about Ricky Henderson.

Please do. I'm down for any good Ricky Henderson story. Well, it's not just it's not a story. Obviously, there's tons of stories about him and his flightiness, if you will. But the other day I was talking to Coop about him. I don't know why he came up. Oh, it's he came up because we were talking about 100 steel seasons and who was the last one to have 100 steel season? And he just looked it up and he saw Ricky Henderson's in there.

And I'm like, Cooper, I got to tell you about Ricky Henderson. And I explained to him how there was an up chance when he let off for the A's or the Blue Jays or the Yankees or all the teams he played for a lot of teams. Whenever he let off the chance of you leading one to nothing. By the end of that, at bat was large because he had pop, but I'm like, it was an even better chance of you leading one to nothing if he didn't home.

Because the chance of you home ring is a certain percentage. Him just getting on base. You could lead one to nothing because he would take second and he would take third. And he would take third and the chance that you would give up a sack fly or a hit to somebody else or baulk or anything because of the pressure he would put on you. He would put pressure on the pitcher by his stance, his crouch. His strike zone was minuscule because he would crouch down for you to find the strike zone against him because of his crouch. And then the crouch would just make you. I mean, you were just intimidated by it. Then you'd get to first base and you're intimidated because he was like a ball of muscle. You could just see like everything. Could you imagine how many steals you would have now when the pitcher is limited as to the number of times you can throw over 200? Yeah, I was just going to say. And the bases are now larger, larger bases. Distances is now shorter and he would steal second and then you would just be the game would slow down and now the pitch clock would be his friend.

And you're in the pitcher's head. I'm telling you, there's nobody like him. I'm glad Coop asked you that.

Kind of goes back to what I was saying. Well, he didn't ask about him. His name came up and I'm like, let me tell you, son, like I was one of those stories.

Let me tell you, son. I got to tell you about Ricky Henderson. I mean, Ricky could probably give us a few at bats right now, right? You have to imagine, because he was always just like rocked and locked. You know, the bat flip, the pop, the color when he'd go around. Imagine Ricky in a social media world today. Oh my gosh.

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Get fired up for your new Weber Slate Rust Resistant Griddle. Last day of spring, folks. I've got a great top five list.

Top five wildest stories of the spring. That's next, your phone calls, and this is The Rich Eisen Show on a Thursday. Customers who save by switching their home and car insurance to Progressive save over $775 on average. That's a whole lot of savings and protection for your favorite podcast listening activities like going on a road trip, cooking dinner, and even hitting the home gym. Yep, your home and your car are even easier to protect when you bundle your insurance together.

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Just go to LinkedIn.com slash direct and get started. Let's get into this Ray Fosse set to at home plate, one of the greatest home run hitters of all time. You were placed in that all-star game in 1970, right? You didn't start that 70 all-star game, Pete.

You know, I don't remember that, Rich. All I know is the game was in Cincinnati, and all I know is I was friends with Sudden Sam McDow, and I had dinner arrangements already made with Sudden Sam the night before, and he called me about a week before and said they added Ray Fosse to the lineup. Could he go out to eat with us?

He was a rookie. I said, sure. And we went out to eat. We went back to my house, and they stayed till about one o'clock, and Ray asked me every question in the world about Johnny Bench, because he was the next comment of Johnny Bench. And if you watch the tape, I started to slide head first, but Ray had the plate blocked, and I'm not going to break both my collarbones, and you never slide if you can't reach the plate. And I went over him, and I tagged the plate with my right hand.

He said, God's honest truth. I guess my knee hit his shoulder. I missed the next three games. He didn't miss any, and he went on to play nine more years. So for all the people that said I ruined his career, they don't know what the hell they're talking about.

So OK, let's take this one at a time. You dined with Ray Fosse the night before, is what you're saying? I took him out to eat.

I took him to a place called Sycamore Shores, which is a boat on the river down in Sailor Park where I went to grade school. And you know, to this day, and I have no idea why, Rich. To this day, Ray will not admit that he went out to eat with me, and he will not admit that he went back to my house. That's the truth.

And he won't do a card show with me. Really? Why do you think that is? I don't know. I don't know what. Because I've never bad about Ray Fosse, because Ray Fosse was a good young player at the time, and he's playing in the Buckeyes' state where I played all those years. But I had to do what I had to do, because my dad was in the stands.

If I just slide in and let him tag me, we might be still playing that damn game. I know. Back on the Rich Eisen Show radio network, I'm sitting at the Rich Eisen Show desk furnished by Grange Wood Supplies and Solutions for every industry. Grainger has the right product for you.

Call clickgrainger.com or just stop by. Terzo in Iowa, all rise. What's going on, Terzo? Hey, what's up, guys? Rich, I'm kind of getting tired of having to call and talk about our great legends passing away.

It's getting kind of old here in these past couple months. Yeah, I know. And so to kind of agree with you on the Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice, the greatest living athletes in their sport, I have to go with Bonds. And that's not just because of, I think, my absolute love for him. Growing up as the Giants fan as I did, my dad was lucky enough to go to Willie Mays' baseball camps when he was a kid.

How about that? Out in the Bay Area. And so I grew up loving the Giants, loving Willie Mays, paying attention to all the history. And so I was extremely excited when we got Bonds to San Francisco. And everything that he did, post-steroid or pre-steroid era, amazing, but post-steroid era, when you see what the MLB did and kind of turn that blind eye, I get the competitiveness of Bonds. Like, I've said this on your show before, I would run over my mom or grandma with the train to win a game of Monopoly.

And I know my grandma's probably listening, so love you, Margaret Ann. But to say that and to understand, I just think that his competitiveness is what kind of drove to that steroid usage. But you can't take away what he did for baseball. And it was great to watch. Terrace, thanks for the call, brother.

Appreciate it. You know, the conversation as to who's the best baseball player currently living, that one I don't think we'll ever find a consensus. No way. Although the two of you said Bonds earlier, and Kosta said pre-steroids Bonds, was in an inner circle Hall of Fame track prior to that, is what he said. So it was good to chat with Bob.

844-204-RICH is the number to dial on the program. Today is the last day of spring. Did you know that? Tomorrow being the summer solstice? Yeah, usually it's today or tomorrow, right? The 21st, June 21st.

I know this is my brother. It's his birthday. And he always told me as a kid that his birthday was the longest day of the year.

So that's why I will always remember that June 21st is the longest day of the year. And so with this being the final day of spring, I have a top five list of the top five wildest sports stories of the spring. All right, let's do it. Hit it. High five. One, two, three, four, five. Rich's top five.

All right, just give me the old regular NBA music here. And there'll be an NFL one and you'll know when to go for it, Jay Felley. OK, so the top five wildest sports stories of the spring. And in terms of again, we're doing this because this day, Thursday, June 20th, 2024, last day of spring of 2024, it began officially on March 19th. And that's where we start this list on March 19th is when Tisha Thompson of ESPN published a story that just blew the minds of everybody in the doors off of the baseball and sports world.

Yeah, my mind is still blown from this. Number five is Shoei Otani's interpreter did what? What?

What do you do? And then the initial the initial story is that Ipe Mitsuhara, Shoei Otani's interpreter said Shoei was making good on his gambling debts. And then the next day they play a game in they play a game in in Asia.

They play a game in Korea against San Diego. And these two are just yucking it up in the dugout together. And then we find out that Mitsuhara told everybody in the clubhouse, you know, that that he's a gambler and Shoei really didn't have anything to do with it. And Shoei's like, what did he say? Like, and then we find out that whatever Mitsuhara told Tisha Thompson initially that Shoei knew about it, he's like, oh, yeah, he didn't know anything about it. And then sure enough, we find out later in the spring with an affidavit from the federal government that looked into all of this, that that is, in fact, the case. They looked at all of Otani's phones and everything else, and that Mitsuhara was actually running Otani's private bank account where he was getting direct deposits, his baseball checks.

It is insane being direct deposited into this. And it was paying off gambling debts that was in the tens of millions of dollars. And now he's pleading guilty and is facing decades in prison.

That is the craziest story. And by the way, there's four more in my estimation. Wildest sports story number four is the Lakers and Dan Hurley's big dance. And I phrased it this way because, yeah, UConn basketball went back to back in dominating the NCAA tournament that wrapped up in the spring. I mean, just beating the tar out of everybody to go back to back and set up UConn for potentially next year, winning it all, which would give Dan Hurley a chance to win. Winning it all, which would give Dan Hurley the first three-peat as a coach since John Wooden did it. And then we learn basically on the eve of the NBA Finals that there's been a long dalliance where the Lakers have been trying to get Dan Hurley to be their next head coach.

And it's not JJ Rettick who's calling the Finals on ESPN that's in the pole position, but really Dan Hurley. And for 72 hours, it looked like Hurley might leave UConn and then he stayed. And the Lakers on the last day of spring as of this moment still haven't filled their coaching vacancy. Dan Hurley still in UConn.

He turned down a reported six-year $70 million deal. And the Lakers are still looking for a new head coach. And UConn did in fact go back to back in the most dominant way possible.

Number three on this list, I'll phrase it this way. The WNBA gives Kaitlyn Clark hot and cold shoulders. The hot shoulders I can kind of get, like the whole business of rookie, you might have done what you did in college. And you might be the slice bread, but this is a grown woman's league. And you're going to have to earn your stripes and we are going to make it tough. We're going to guard you 94 feet. And the hot shoulders even from Kennedy Carter that was initially called a common foul and then ruled secondarily a flagrant foul.

Even that, listen, we've seen that. That's like an age-old story. Welcome to the league, Rook. Welcome to the majors.

Welcome to the show, whatever. The cold shoulders, the stuff that you're seeing where it's couched in a way that one would think, oh, if you had told me that this would happen basically after she announced she was turning pro. She must have really been out of character for her and started pounding her chest and talking about her greatness and rubbed some people the wrong way and ruffled some feathers because she was bringing it on herself with her attitude or or her words.

And she hasn't done anything. Thank you for the charter flights, because there was footage of you waiting with your bags by some baggage claim. And, you know, the heat that you bring because of how famous you are led to the heat of getting some charter flights for the first time. And a lot of these arenas are full and a lot of the storylines of other teams are being paid attention to because of the spotlight she's bringing.

The cold shoulder I don't get. That to me is just wild, completely wild. And as of this conversation, she's won three in a row for the first time or a team has won three in a row for the first time. Number two on this list of the wildest sports stories of the spring. It's simply put, from Friday, May 17th, this happened. Scotty Sheffler's PGA Championship morning commute.

That's one way to put it. Where Louisville Metro police officer Brian Gillis stopped his car, was attempting to stop his car and he didn't see it or he did see it and the back and forth about dragging the police officer and then we found out that the biggest injury suffered was ripped pants. Eighty dollar pants. Eighty dollar pants. By the way, nice pants. Nice pants they got there.

Eighty bucks? And then just put that up one more time, please. I mean, and then they put them in an orange jumpsuit. Like, I remember, I'm like, I'm like wondering what happened. They told him, take off your golf shirt and put on this orange jumpsuit.

Like, and I just remember waking up that morning and seeing that. And I thought to myself, this had to be a meme about how, you know, he's backing up the Brinks truck and he's robbing everybody that he's he's doing it again. He's off to a hot start that Friday morning, had no idea that it involved obviously a tragedy where I believe a worker at Valhalla got hit by a bus on a rainy morning and then it caused a lot of police activity outside of Valhalla.

And then he's driving through and he gets arrested. And Jeff Darlington's right there and shooting the video. And this is the hottest golfer on planet Earth. Maybe the hottest golfer we've seen since Tiger Woods was as hot as all to get out. What the hell?

Perfect face. It was crazy, man. It's like, hey, isn't orange Ricky Fowler's color too?

Yeah. And he's stretching. He's warming up for his round while he's being locked up and being processed.

They offered him a sandwich. It's so bizarre. Now, number one on this list, and it might not just be wild in terms of like you can't make it up, like Scottie Scheffler getting arrested on the morning of the PGA Championship or Shohei Ohtani's interpreter gambling. But this one was one of the biggest head scratches and one of the biggest events that I've ever covered.

And it caused nonstop conversation that's going to last deep into the fall, if not multiple falls. But the Atlanta Falcons drafting Michael Penix Jr. 8th overall to me is the wildest story of this. Number one? And number one, man.

I'm sorry. I mean, obviously we got football in the brain here. But after signing Kirk Cousins to the contract that they signed him and he shows up in Atlanta as the new favorite citizen of Atlanta, throwing out first pitches and talking about retiring there and he's bringing his family and they gave him all that money. And they're like, yeah, one of the things we're going to do to help you win right now in a move that they made to win right now, clearly because you're bringing in somebody like Kirk Cousins to win right now, the move they make is they're worried about the future.

Who's next? Like, really? We're doing that? It's kind of like my kids when it's just like, you know, we're having breakfast and they're like, what's for lunch? It's like, can we finish breakfast? You know, like we're watching a movie, we're renting a movie together, we're streaming the movie and then towards, you know, with five minutes to go, they're like, how much time is left? Why?

Because we want to watch another show. What? That's the good part.

Can we finish this? I still don't get it. I will never understand it.

And Michael Penix Jr., I hope he has an incredible career for Atlanta and will look back on this and say, that's nuts. But that's all it was. But I still don't understand it. It's still the wildest draft moment I can recall. I don't know.

I mean, of a choice, obviously, Laramie Tunsell's Pineapple Express moment is the wildest. Do you think we need one more? Sure.

Why not? Here's one more. Here's one more. And it's simple. And I just need much of an explanation.

The one more after my top five wildest sports stories of the spring is simple. The entire Tom Brady roast on Netflix. Start to finish. All of it. All of it. All of it.

All of it. Man, that was so good. Name a moment. It was so good. Name a moment. It was wild. Name a moment. So good.

Simply name it. It was, like I said, watching a therapy session on live streaming television, being there in inside the forum. It was lit. The place was lit. People were literally lit. I think going into that with the starting. There must have had a million open bars in there.

I have no idea. Kevin Hart doing what he did. And Jeff Ross coming out as roasted Jay Simpson. Nikki Glaser owning the place like she was, you know, Steve Ballmer.

I think does, in fact, own the place along with others. Who else? Tony Hinchcliffe doing what he did. Drew Bledsoe working that way. Belichick showing up. Oh, my God. And then there was probably ten more we could say right off the top of our head after that. It was great. The entire Tom Brady roast on Netflix wraps up the top five wildest sports stories of the spring. All right. We'll take a break.

We'll come back and we'll we will lament the end of a of a streak we will never forget. That's next. This is the Rich Ozzenshow. So to recap, we're cutting the price of Mint Unlimited from $30 a month to just $15 a month.

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The podcast available wherever you listen. All right. So we're going to do some housekeeping here.

Just real brief. Just want to point out today in the Wimbledon warm up, the I believe it's called the since championship at Queens Club. So they start playing on tennis on grass at the Queens Club in London.

You know, I guess one would say warm up as opposed to used to it. But yes, second round. Jack, I wrote it down here, Jack Draper. I don't believe no relation to Don because he's a Brit ranked 31st in the world. So took out Carlos Alcaraz seven, six, six, three. I'm just saying there's a chance. Have you been playing lately?

No, no, no. And I was at an event last night where John McEnroe was. Oh, and I almost asked McEnroe, why didn't you? He didn't want to hear the true answer. Nick Kyrgios already gave you the truth. Yes, so yes.

And macro would have given it to him like even more like curious to start laughing. I mean, so but I'm just saying Carlos Alcaraz, sir, is vulnerable. Is you're right. Yes, but not to you. Well, I don't know what you think.

I don't know. Did you think Jack Draper would take him out in straight sets? He's a book. Jack Draper is still a professional. He's ranked 31 in the world in the world.

22 year old. You might want to focus on getting a point off him first. Yeah, before we move up. He's a gateway player.

Yeah, it's a number one player. Let's get a point of the Michigan coach for coupe back on the Rich Eisen show. Everybody back here on the Rich Eisen show game time tickets. Make sure that you get it on a mobile device near you and start buying tickets. Baseball tickets in particular. And the best part about it is not only do they give you great deals, lowest price guarantee, you can also get last minute tickets because the game time app on their prices go down.

They actually go down the closer it gets to the first pitch. It is so easy to find and buy major league baseball tickets. And for every kind of event in your area, really. Certainly it's concert season. Summertime is right around the corner.

Last day of spring. Make sure you get game time on your mobile device and take the guesswork straight out of buying baseball tickets. Download the game time app. Create an account and use my code rich for $20 off your first purchase.

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Download game time today. Last minute tickets, lowest price guaranteed. Listen, in this world in which we live, heroes are hard to come by. They really are. And you never really want to meet them. Because you're afraid that they're not the real deal, right?

A hundred percent. And then these heroes sometimes, you know, they do have a shelf life. They have a shelf life. And things that you feel, that make you feel good in sports just come to a sudden end. And it's tough. It's tough to deal with. And in this case, that hero, whose magic finally came to an end last night, is named Grimace.

Look at that thing! The winning streak for the New York Mets since Grimace threw out a first pitch over a week and a half ago. It's over. And the Mets had a 3-1 lead in the Metroplex last night. They were up 3-1. And then the Rangers finally put their foot in the ground and said, Go back to your McNugget chamber and go pound that sand.

Rangers 5, Mets 3. Seven game win streak since Grimace threw out a first pitch on June 12th is now over. We'll just start a new one. What a run. What a run.

Well, it's not just that, too. Just start a new one so you can basically, we're not done. We're not done with this yet. If you think we're done with this, because if the Mets do win their next five in a row, it'll be 12 out of 13 since Grimace threw out a first pitch. I think maybe I jinxed this yesterday when I said we wouldn't lose for the rest of the year. It'd be 135 and 37.

So now it would be 134 and 38. You know, we were bound to lose one. Did the Rangers respond? Did the Rangers actually? Not tonight, Grimace was the Rangers' Twitter account. That's fantastic. Not tonight, Grimace. We'll get back on it. We'll get back on it.

That's tremendous. And you know what? Just back to their normal golden arches. Is that what they did on the McDonald's sort of thing? No, that's disrespectful. It's like it never happened.

Oh, but Grimace is a close personal friend of mine is their new bio. Like it never happened. When Hoskins showed me that this morning, I was like, what if we do go on a run? So sad. You've got to put it back on. You've got to put it back, right? I don't know.

Like I said, the Mets should now be reaching out and saying, let's go. Do we call Booker King now? No, that's the thing. Do you get Wendy? Do you get Wendy out there? Wendy. I don't think Jack in the Box is very heavy on the East, but maybe we throw Jack out there. Let's get everybody.

I don't know if you can see the harsh breakup. Does Arby's have a mascot? Or do you build a castle? A white castle? Right center field?

It's right there, Rich. White castle fries only come in one size. Or you have that and you have that thing of a ceremonial first slide, right?

I like your style, kid. Oh, no, not that type of slide with white castle, sir. You don't want that. How about the Chihuahua from Taco Bell? Let's do it.

Maybe you just keep going. You call up McDonald's and say, give us, give me the hamburger. Where's Mayor McCheese? A lot of people in New York would actually elect Mayor McCheese over the current, his honor.

This picture should be hung in the Louvre. Okay. Mayor McCheese. Let's do it. Sorry, sir.

Wow. It's over. It's great while it lasted. It is not over.

It's great while it lasted. We're going to be 14 out of 15, I'm telling you. Your new hottest team in baseball. The Sox? Boston Red Sox. I know, the Red Sox are doing very well right now.

They're doing very well. But you ain't got grimace, though, baby. You ain't got grimace. We don't have grimace. That's true. We do not have grimace. Actually, you know what? Your grimace is those dumb ass yellow City Connect jerseys. Oh, those are the worst of the worst of the worst.

But you can't lose in them. We have a very good. Yankees came in. Yankees came in last Friday night and just spanked the Red Sox. And then they put on those dumb ass uniforms. And it's been like grimace. They haven't only lost one sense.

Totally true. That's basically it. Two out of three against the Yanks.

Two out of three against the Phils and sweep the just swept the Jays. Yeah. Who's next? You're off today? Off today.

All right. Who's next? Who's on? Who's this weekend?

I have no idea. Yeah. The Yanks have one more left with the Orioles. You know the Orioles?

We have the Reds this weekend. Okay. LA time.

Okay. That's fun. The Yankees have one more with the Orioles today. And then the Braves coming. Oh, yeah. Sarah's going to the game on Sunday. Oh, she's in New York?

She's yeah. Performing in Pittsburgh. If anyone's around this weekend. Where is that? In a festival with some other comics. I forget the name of it. Downtown Pittsburgh.

TJ. And then she's since the Braves are in town, she's very close. She's like, do you mind if I go to the game? I'm like, whatever you want. What do you mean mind? What does that mean?

You're going to check on the home fight. I mean, I'm a single dad. Meaning what is that? But how would that affect her?

What do you mean? She means it's extending her stay. It extends her stay. Instead of coming back Saturday night, she's like, do you mind if I go to the game? I'm like, look, Cage, what do we say when mom's away?

We can do whatever we want. That's a shame. That's a shame. Shirts off. Well, they never went on.

Shirts off. Oh, my God. We're going to the movies tomorrow night.

Where are you going? You don't see that bike, that motorcycle movie? The bike riders or whatever? No, no, inside out, too. It's probably much safer for Cage. I mean, I want to see Bad Boys 4, but I don't think I can take that. And then maybe some baseball this weekend.

Unclear. We'll see. The crew streak is over. Fantastic, guys.

You guys are so disrespectful. Somebody send that to me. Well done, well done. Every story eventually comes to an end this June. Hear the final episode of season two of the hit podcast series In the Red Clay, Durham. In the Red Clay tells the unbelievable true story of Billy Sunday Burt, the most dangerous man in Georgia history. In the podcast that people are calling riveting, incredibly moving, captivating and addicting. Binge seasons one and two of In the Red Clay now, wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-20 17:03:04 / 2024-06-20 17:25:46 / 23

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