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Paul O’Neill, Former Yankees Outfielder

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
February 19, 2024 5:12 pm

Paul O’Neill, Former Yankees Outfielder

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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February 19, 2024 5:12 pm

Former Yankees Outfielder joins Zach Gelb


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$10 minimum per order. Additional terms apply. Alrighty, this is Zach Gelb's show on CBS Sports Radio. And right now we're going to talk a little golf.

We're also going to talk a little baseball. The second annual Invited Celebrity Classic is a nationally televised PGA Tour champions competition that features 78 PGA Tour champions and 40 sports and entertainment stars. It's from April 19th to the 21st. Tickets are free. Fans just need to register at

You can also watch it live on the Golf Channel for all three days of competition. And now joining us on behalf of this is Paul O'Neill, the former big leaguer who played with the Reds and also the New York Yankees, a five-time All-Star, also a five-time World Series champion. Paul, always appreciate the time. Thanks so much for joining us and how are you? I'm doing right. I mean, it's just time. I mean, Super Bowl's over now. It's time to start talking baseball. So I appreciate it and, you know, it's always a good time of year.

It brings back a lot of memories when, like I said, once that last play at the Super Bowl, you realize that the next season that's going to start is baseball. How's your golf game, by the way, these days with this tournament coming up? That's kind of a bad, sore subject. I just lost in the club championship this weekend. But you know what? It is what it is. It's a weird game. Some days that ball will go in the hole, some days it won't.

But it's kind of the natural progression for any athlete. Once you get out of the game, you can still compete in golf. Did you at least have a good showing and then you just lost it at the end or was this bad from the start in the champions? That putter of mine just did not work. I won three matches to get to the finals, which I was really happy about. And then I wilted, I guess. My putter wouldn't hit it straight. Yeah, well, you won enough championships when you were a player.

So I think there's a lot of people with a small violin probably right now hearing that the golf game hasn't been that great. Paul O'Neill is with us. So when we get to your Yankees, you have Aaron Judge and Juan Soto in the same lineup. Just how about your excitement to see those two guys day in and day out hopefully playing the same lineup for the Yankees? Well, that was a big signing.

Obviously, you had Otani and then you had Soto. And the Yankees were fortunate enough to get one of them. He's going to add so much to this team. He's a left-handed hitter. His on-base percentage has always been great.

He said all the right things today in his press conference. I think Aaron Judge is going to probably hit behind him where he's going to have tons of protection. And obviously, if he's on base a lot, it's going to give Aaron Judge a lot of opportunities.

So two of the premier hitters in the game in the same lineup, that's always exciting. And if the Yankees are still the Yankees, I know that there is a year left on the Juan Soto deal. They'll find a way to ink him to a long-term extension and find a way to get that done. Where's your confidence that that will ultimately happen and Soto will be here for the long term? Well, I think a lot depends obviously on the type of year he has, how comfortable he is.

I mean, if you've played in other cities and then you're playing with the Yankees, you do notice that the Yankees, it's a different animal. And I think that he's going to like that. And obviously, if he wins and is well received by the fan base here, then I can't see him wanting to go anywhere else. And it doesn't sound like, you know, Brian Cashman and Al Steinbrenner, Annie Levine, it doesn't sound like they're concerned about a one-and-done for Soto. So, you know, you look at what he can do this year for this team offensively and, you know, championship is on their mind.

There's no doubt about it. Do you think the Yankees need to add Blake Snell? I know that they've been linked to him and that could be a potential destination. You know, it's kind of surprising that, you know, he hasn't signed and, you know, anybody that could get him obviously would want him. You know, you're just looking at a few guys. I mean, you brought Stroman in and you know what you're getting there. I mean, you're going to get a lot of innings. The guy that keeps the ball in the ballpark for the most part and he's a veteran pitcher.

So, you know, that's going to help. And I think that Rodon obviously is going to have a bounce back year. It was kind of a wasted year last year with injuries.

And, you know, Garrett Cole obviously is the rock. And Nestor has an opportunity to come back and Schmidt, you know, showed signs of being really good last year. So, you know, if healthy and that's always the big if on any team. Their rotation is pretty strong. But, you know, if you can add Blake Snell, you know, it's only going to get better.

And I'll tell you this, too, as Paul O'Neill is with us right now. I think most people are most excited to see what happens with the Dodgers this year. I can't wait to see how much better the Orioles can be with what they did last year. And then also the big move a few weeks ago to go get Corbin Burns.

Yeah. I mean, they didn't do a lot. And then they added a quality pitcher. But, you know, they're a youthful team.

And so they're going to get better. But, you know, they're not going to sneak up on anybody this year because of what they did last year. So, you know, the American League East should be very strong again this year. You know, Toronto, you always wait for that breakout year because of their offense. And, you know, there's so many surprises throughout the year, but a lot has to do with the health of these teams. And if you can keep your star players out on the field every day, you've been on quite a few championship or bus teams. We know the Dodgers this year, anything short of winning the championship would be a failure.

You add Otani, you add Yamamoto. For the Dodgers, is it the mental grind of this, which is the most curious part? When you look at them this year, knowing that regardless of what they do in the regular season, people are not going to give them any credit until they find the way to hoist another commissioner's trophy.

Yeah. I mean, when you add names like that, obviously you're expected to do, you know, great things. But, you know, I've seen a lot of teams that just load up on talent and, you know, it's kind of a misfit here.

It just doesn't gel right. I'm not saying that the Dodgers did that. But, you know, Otani is one of those players that you just don't see. You know, they've got Mookie Betts and they've added another great pitcher. So, you know, they expect the UPI pencil and then to make the playoffs. But, you know, the short series and just getting to that point can be a grind because you basically know from opening day that, you know, you're going to be there. And it's almost a waiting game to see if you can finish that deal. And, you know, there'll be obstacles.

I mean, not too many teams go through a year without anything going wrong. The other thing I'll be curious and maybe you give us the hitter's perspective of this. When you haven't seen someone in the United States in Major League Baseball, which everyone's now going to see Yamamoto, and you hear so much about him, how do you kind of prepare for when you go up against him with a very limited book about him?

Well, I mean, the best Gannon report is always in your mind. You know, how a guy has pitched you, what his stuff does. I mean, they have so many, you know, vehicles to help hitters now. A batting machine to throw from the same arm angle, same pitches at certain pitches.

You've got video to watch. But, again, if you have not faced a guy before, I always think that the pitcher kind of has the advantage. And, you know, we're looking for a series down the road where the Yankees actually visit L.A. this year.

But you know what? If you had to write it in right now that the Yankees and the Dodgers are in the World Series, I think it'll be a special year. Talking to Paul O'Neill, wrapping up with the five-time World Series champ. You look at Atlanta, right? They've won their World Series. The last two years, it hasn't gone their way, though, in the postseason. When you've had, like, failures like that when you don't get the job done, how tough is it to bounce back the following season? Well, it almost, and I also said a lot of times in 1997, after we won in 96, that was probably the worst loss that I remember. In 97, we got beat by the Indians. But I think, I don't know that those next three years happen unless you have that because you kind of get this fear of losing again.

And you don't want it to happen again because you know the way it feels. So, you know, they, again, a youthful team that is going to get better and better. And, you know, they just seem to do everything right in that organization.

Right now, they've got some superstars. Mike Trout is under contract through 2030. I know he left the door open about his future. Isn't it best for all parties here, Paul, if he just requests a trade and they start to move on from Mike Trout?

Well, I think, you know, losing Otani obviously was kind of a hint to him that they weren't going to throw all the chips in to try to win now. But, you know, Mike Trout is one of those guys that's, you know, a future Hall of Famer. Do you want to see him in the playoffs with some team?

Absolutely. Because he's, you know, one of the faces of MLB. So, I always enjoy watching him.

He's a great fit anywhere because athletically he does a ton of things on the field that a lot of players can't do. I know that we've been talking a lot about the Yankees with you. Let me get one question in about the Reds when you started your career. How about your early impressions on the excitement and the entertainment that Elie De La Cruz has brought to Major League Baseball? Well, I mean, he hit the ground running. I mean, he took off and that team took off. I mean, they were going nowhere when they brought him up.

And all of a sudden, you know, two weeks later they were in a playoff hunt. So, talent wise, obviously he has a ton of talent. He's going to make adjustments. Pitchers are going to make adjustments.

But he has a ton of tools to work with. The Reds, you know, and David Bell, you know, they really turned their ear around last year. They've added some pitching. So, you know, good things could happen. It's a tough ballpark to pitch in. It's kind of a home run paradise.

But, you know, they're in a division where they can definitely compete. So, we know you're going to be putting in the putting reps. You're going to be trying to improve that facet of your golf game from now until April 19th. Right around the corner.

Today is February 19th. So, we've got two months until this tournament gets underway in Texas. Tell us a little bit more about the Invited Celebrity Classic. Well, anytime you can get together with guys and, you know, play with guys that really know how to play the game. And the ex-pros, they're fun events. But until you show up and you get a little nervous on that first tee, you just think it's all fun. But, you know, most people, once they get on the course or anything, whether it's golf, pickleball, tennis, basketball, anything.

Once you get going, you know, you get competitive and you want to win. So, last thing I'll ask you, we're a national show, obviously, being here on CBS Sports Radio. Paul O'Neill is with us. Down the hall is WFAN, the legendary local New York radio station. And their afternoon show of Tiki Barber, Evan Roberts, and Sean Marash. Last week, they had an A-Rod day. And they want A-Rod's number retired by the Yankees. Would you like to see number 13 retired by the Yankees and have a plaque for him in Monument Park? Well, you know, Alex Rodriguez is obviously one of the better players that played in his generation. So, you know, whether because he wasn't a Yankee his whole career or whether that comes into factor, I don't know. I mean, I have all the respect in the world for the talent he had and the numbers he put up and, you know, the way he plays baseball. But, you know, as far as anything like that, I mean, the Yankees usually do everything right. And I have all the respect for that organization, too.

So, what does that have to wait and see? Yeah, separating the Monument Park, just getting into the Hall of Fame stuff. Yeah, I think it's a problem, and I know it's up to the writers that Major League Baseball has right now, because they're kind of trying to tell us that, like, some guys, they deserve to get in, that were accused of using steroids, but other guys aren't. I just think it's a mess when it comes to the Hall of Fame. And I think if you have the numbers, whether it was clean or not, you deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. How about your thoughts on that? Yeah, I mean, it's a cloudy, you know, kind of situation because of what happened during that era. I have a ton of respect for the guys that are in the Hall of Fame that were never, you know, associated with any of that. And, you know, growing up a baseball fan, when I look at, you know, some of my heroes, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, I mean, those guys just played baseball, and nothing else was ever brought to attention that they did anything wrong.

So, I still look at, you know, the great players are great players, and it's just the way it is. For more information, Check out the tournament that airs on the Golf Channel from April 19th to the 21st. He's Paul O'Neill. Paul, good luck. Hopefully you hit some big putts coming up in April. You guys have a good day.

Thanks so much. There he is, Paul O'Neill, joining us on the Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio. You know, I said this right when the Hall of Fame announcement came out this year, and I'll say it again. This just shows you the problem with the Hall of Fame, is that you had a guy like Mike Piazza, who voters wanted to wait and wait and wait based on speculation. But then, Pudge Rodriguez gets in his first year of eligibility. And John Heyman didn't vote for Piazza, but voted for Pudge. And Pudge has been on the record when he was asked, did you ever do steroids?

He says, only God knows the answer to that one. It's just such a hypocritical game on guys, did you like them or did you not? And that's the guys that end up getting the Hall of Fame. Like Big Poppy.

I love Big Poppy. He should absolutely be a Hall of Famer. He easily gets in, but Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens can't. So, it's all just hypocritical BS. I think if you have the numbers, regardless if you put a syringe in your body or not, and you put steroids in your body or not, I'm not saying I don't care.

But I think we need to accept what Major League Baseball allowed back then, and quite frankly, if you have the numbers, in my opinion, you should be a Hall of Famer. Alrighty, we'll take a break, we'll come on back, we'll update you on some of the biggest stories in the world of sports with some audio. We call this segment the News Brief, but first up with the latest CBS Sports Radio update, here he is, the act man, Rich Ackerman. For more details, Hyundai, there's joy in every journey.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-19 19:06:18 / 2024-02-19 19:14:12 / 8

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