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Welcome, everybody, to a very special edition of the David Simpson Show on Tuesday, MLB playoffs started today. Want to leave Wednesday and Thursday for reaction. As you know, the Miami Heat are in the NBA finals, but there's another big local story with the Miami Marlins. And David, I kind of feel really bad for this franchise because this is their third playoff appearance. And while that seems like a weird way to phrase it, how could you feel bad for a team that's made the playoffs?
Never in our sports history has it lined up congruently with an NBA finals at the same time. So while the Miami Marlins are this underdog story for the ages, right. Unprecedented season pandemic. And yet you could maybe say, well, look at the there the run margin, look at their actual record. This team would never find itself in the playoffs if it were full proper season with a normal playoff setup. These are the rules for this season.
And the Miami Marlins, more than anybody, were behind the eight ball because of all the positive covid they received. So congratulations to the Miami Marlins. However, the true underdog story that's warming South Florida sports arts right now is the Miami Heat, because they're in the NBA finals, all they have to do is hold on for 10 more days and they will be the story.
And this just is so reminiscent of any time we'd be having a good September, whether it was 09 or even 05 when we were decent under Girardi in 06. Just the heat always were the story, but we always knew we just had to hold on. They'd win it in June and we'd have the summer for ourselves until the Dolphins started. This year is just crazy because all the sports are happening at once because of covid. It doesn't feel like October because the NBA finals are on.
So it feels like June, but yet the MLB playoffs start today. So that feels like October, yet it's ninety eight degrees outside. So it's all very confusing to my internal clock. But what the Marlins are saying to themselves is let's stay under the radar. If we can get out of Wrigley and win two out of three, then we're in the division series against either the Braves or the Reds. If we can just get to game three or four of that, the NBA Finals are over.
The Heat have their Koven parade. Everyone will be excited and then it'll be all eyes on the fish. And that's what you're hoping for.
If you're the Marlins tall order, though, the Cubs are a good team. Yu Darvish is going to start one of those games and he's been electric this season. How do you like the Marlins chances? Because they have a pretty good starting staff themselves. Any one of their three top guys can go out there and have a really good performance. They could win you a game against the Chicago Cubs, but Chicago's a good team, as we mentioned. And once we get deeper into the playoffs, you'd better be rooting for Cincinnati because the Braves have owned Miami this season.
How do you like the Marlins chances?
Well, let's start with the Cubs. I went through on yesterday's nothing personal every first round series, and I actually picked the Marlins to beat the Cubs in three games. I think the Marlins can win this series. Yu Darvish is the only positive spot the Cubs have there. The rest of the rotations, OK, their hitters have great names from contraries to Schwiebert or Rizzo Baez, but they're not hitting well. And if the Marlins can get what they've been getting out of our contre out of Sixto Sanchez and out of Pablo Lopez, Kinstler has been great.
At the back end of the bullpen, Martinez, OK, got hit in the ear. He's going to be OK. The Marlins are not a bad team at all and they're just dumb enough. And I say this as a compliment because that's what we were No. Three, just dumb enough to think, what are we doing here, playing with that type of looseness that can help you win a series.
Did you think Brian Anderson would turn into this? I know everything is you have to apply the context of a shortened season. And we've seen guys sort of drop off the second half of the season. But Brian Anderson, I know he was a highly touted prospect. And then I thought we saw enough of him in the pros to maybe say, OK, maybe he's not exactly that, but a great year for him this year.
Now, he was I was still with the Marlins when we had Brian Anderson and we had him pegged as a guy who was a potential pre arbitration extension candidate. And it would have been good to get him done last off season because his price just went up because he did have a good year. But he shows he always had the character to be a leader off the field and he always had the talent to be a leader on the field. And he's young, but he's growing into that type of leader.
He's the player who we thought Logan Morrison would become in terms of we thought Logan Morrison would be the first captain we named as a marlin. We and I I traveled with him to visit troops and I spent a lot of time with Logan. And I never could understand what happened because it just did. The career never happened. He lost his dad. And I don't want to blame that he's sort of his anchor, but he just it never turned out that way.
But guess what? Brian Anderson could be that guy. He could be the. Captain of this team going forward, it's a big decision this offseason whether or not you try to sign him long term. You've told us before that you try to get Logan Morrison off of social media. And for a couple of years there, the name Logan Morrison was synonymous with Twitter in terms of a baseball must follow. Do you think that hurt his career? Obviously, you had some thought about that if you were pushing so hard to get him off social media.
Well, I just had always told him that if you want to be the king of Twitter, that's fine. Be better, be good at baseball. And sometimes if people don't realize how hard it is to be good at Major League Baseball, these are the best of the best, not just physically, but also mentally. And if you it's like being an actor. If you can't deal with failure, you cannot be an actor because you don't get every part you want by any stretch you try out.
And there's no such thing as an overnight sensation. Baseball is the same thing. There's so much failure that if you don't have the mental fortitude, it can just drown you. And everything came very easily to Logan. That's how good he was.
And it's just hard to maintain it. By the way, he's still in the big leagues now.
So, I mean, it's not as though we didn't have a career, but we're so he's had a very successful career, Major League Baseball. But what I'm talking about is we thought he would be premium premium. And that's where Brian Anderson is now with the Marlins. It could still go both ways, but there's a chance that he is a premium premium player.
So you've told us some stories about the Cubs Marlins postseason history with a radar gun and Josh Beckett through an unbelievable gas in a game that you guys absolutely had to have. But we've never really gotten into the Bartman game outside of you admitting the bigger play was Alex Gonzalez messing up a tailor made double play. Set the scene for us. NLCS your season on the line. The ball goes into left field, Moises Alou is chasing it down, Steve Bartman reaches over for it, but nothing unlike any other fan, Moises Alou does not help the situation with his reaction.
And Bartman goes into hiding and the Marlins end up winning a World Series. Unfortunately for you guys, unfortunately for you guys, people remember the Bartman, but that was a hell of an inning. Mordecai Hollandsworth, you had so many great contributions from roll players that you guys found. Kudos your scouting department. You press all the right buttons, but it's always going to be remembered for Bertman. Tell us about that game.
There's a lot of yadda, yadda in there because you went over so many things. I guess I would start with this. When you're down to the Cubs, three games to one. Back then, they had a pitching staff that had Carlos Zambrano, Mark Pryor and Kerry Wood, and that was the equivalent of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. That's the modern day equivalent. The Cincinnati Reds are as close as possible this year with Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray.
Last year, the Nationals with Scherzer and Strasburg and Korban. So imagine last year having to beat Washington three straight times, beating Korbin, then Scherzer and then ending with having to beat Strasburg. It seems impossible. And you're down three one knowing that those three guys are pitching against you. What Jack McKeon told us and told the guys is, I don't care about game six or seven. He said to Beckett, just win game five. Just get us through game five, beat Sambrano will get on the plane and we'll worry about Chicago later.
So I remember the mentality before game five very clearly, which was we can't win three in a row today. It's like when you're down twelve points in the NBA. The Celtics did it yesterday's game. If I could just digress for a minute. When they lost in Game six to the Heat, they were down with three minutes left down six, seven, eight points. They started shooting only threes. That's what they did, as though they were down twenty.
And when you do that, you're trying to hit a six run home run or you're trying to get back in the game in one possession, it doesn't work. And Jack McKeon was really good about that. Did you notice that with the Heat game or. No?
Yeah, I noticed that. I kind of think the turning point was bam out of bio saying, OK, I can just take Tyce off the dribble, I'm going to bring the ball up court and I'm going to drive and he can't stop me. I thought collectively the Boston Celtics sort of said, oh shit, we don't have an answer for that bomb's away because this guy is going to get every two that he wants. And he did, whether it was him himself getting fouled or facilitating a basket, Bam!
Adebayo completely took that game over. And I thought the Celtics at that point sort of resigned to the fact that, hey, this is something we were not prepared for. We hadn't seen this game amount of bio all series long bombs away.
But you just felt it, right? You felt the. Yeah, the air just came out of the Celtics. They started chucking and ducking total desperation. And when you do that, you it's done. The game was over at that point. Yeah. So in baseball, it's the same thing. If you if you're down six runs, you have to know. And Jack McKeon and really every manager is pretty good about this, how to get back into a game.
Hey, we've got six innings left. We're down six runs. Just manufacture one run this inning. Just get what? Just get on base. That's all you have to do.
That Beckett game is always forgotten. It was massive. It felt like everyone, us everyone thought your season was over. You guys were wearing those awesome Sunday uniforms that looked like pajamas with the the big F and Malim that I miss so much what I have in those uniforms. You didn't keep those around. I think you gave up on those like two years later. I don't even remember what happened.
I love those. It's funny. We was an afternoon game and back. It was just unreal. Having no idea what would happen in game seven when he pitched again, having no idea what would happen in the World Series. But the beginning of his and I don't remember Beckett pitching in San Francisco. I don't remember Beckett pitching in the beginning of the Cubs series. My true memory of of the three without studying it and going back to notes and everything else was started with Game five against the Cubs.
I remember moments of San Francisco on the offensive side. OK, I do not. So I remember the games perfectly. I have unbelievable memories.
And Brad Penny and Jason Schmidt had an absolute battle earlier how good Jason Schmidt was. It was amazing. He couldn't return because he got hurt to our end game, for he could not pitch on.
Short rest was massive for you, Brad Penny, unsung hero of that entire run. You could make a case for him. I know Beckett ends up being the star because he has the moment and that shut down game. Brad Penny, if I were to just like, pinpoint an overall playoff MVP for twenty three, Brad Pitt is as good a pick as anybody.
There's no question he had a great postseason. And people forget, you know, I take credit because it's fun to take credit for the trade of who got there being a and bringing him in to be the closer he was so done by the playoffs he was blowing saves left and right. Right. The play that beat San Francisco on the great throw by. Jeff Conine, that's a blown save by Urbina, it just happens to be the conine throughout J.T. Snow to end the game so he gets the save.
But that was a hit. So it's just everyone was on fumes, but so Beckett wins game five and we got on the plane and we were going back to Chicago and we were told and we told the guys that we were packing for two series because we were not coming home. We were going to play a Game six, going to play a Game seven, and then going on the road to the American League because we knew we wouldn't be at home for games.
One and two of the World Series were going to go to Boston or New York. I think Kerry would. Was your game six opponent, didn't Kerry would go yard in that game?
No, Kerry would win game seven. There was the Bartman game. All right. Mark Pryor was apartment. There was game set. Kerry Wood did go yard, though, in game seven, right off Mark Redman to tie the game.
We had taken a lead in Game seven and the Cubs fans were despondent and then carry what it's a three run home run. And I was despondent thinking that that was the end. But then we just came back and won. All right.
My fault for mixing up the starters. Let's concentrate on the prior game. When you go back to game six, we're going against Mark Pryor, who was the best pitcher on the Cubs. And I had him as the best pitcher in baseball that year back in 03. People don't remember Dusty Baker, the current manager of the Astros, crushed those Cubs starters. And we knew it all season long, Larry, by investing. Michael had said to Jack and it said to me, listen, guys, prior starting Game six, the game plan has to be worked.
The count get his pitch count up because Dusty Baker will keep him in the game and he will get tired.
The unsung moment of the Cubs series in 03 was the first game that Mark Pryor pitched in that series where the Cubs crushed us. But Dusty Baker inexplicably left Mark Pryor in the game and he had over one hundred pitches in a game that he had no business being in because we had the Cubs had won and we knew Game six just hang in, hang in. So game six happens. We're down one nothing. We're down to nothing we can hit. We can't get a hit.
Mark Pryor is just too good. We're preparing for the season to be over. I'm sitting there watching the game with Larry and it's just it's done. We're going to lose the game. All of a sudden, weird stuff happened because Mark Pryor is still in the game. And we had six outs that we had left and we just said maybe one guy, get on base. All we need is a blup in a box and something good can happen.
When you're in the stadium, Mickey, the Bartman game was not the Bartman game, only on TV where you get a replay 20 times. Do you know there was even a fan involved? We're live I was sitting above the dugout. It was a regular foul ball to me. Only in hindsight did I realize that something may have happened. And that was only after the game you didn't clue into.
Maybe something was different by Lou's reaction. Didn't even notice it, really.
I thought I'd lose reaction was kind of out of line. It was really unfair to Obama. And maybe if ILU reacts differently, this whole thing doesn't happen with him.
Well, what we did notice, though, in the stands is there was some sort of when you grow up going to Yankee Stadium, which I did, you're used to things going on in the stands during a game. There's a fight. Security goes to a place. There's beer being thrown. Right. That's just part of the game day experience in Chicago. It's the same thing when we looked out in the left field, down the fire line after that foul ball during the stop at.
We noticed Boeing could hear it. We saw security milling around, it didn't even occur to us that they were doing anything other than kicking someone out. It didn't. And we talked about this after. I remember very clearly learning that they took him out for his own security, for his own well-being. And we said, what do you mean? What could have possibly happened? Was he a Marlins fan? And then we saw replays, but we knew and I've spoken to Moises Salu about this after he had no chance at that ball, Bartman did nothing wrong.
That whole inning got away from them. Mark Pryor was in the game too long. Kyle Farnsworth threw a fastball to Mike Mordecai that you don't throw because that's what Mike Mordecai can hit. And anyone who skips the Marlins, no, you don't throw one hundred down the middle to Mordecai because he can get around on that. And he did it and cleared the bases. So, I mean, everything happened and it happened so quickly. And the Cubs back then, remember, we're in the middle of their curse.
So for them it was as though, oh, God, here it comes again. We're done. And they were so defeated that going into game seven to two us, we were going to the World Series who hit the ball to Alex Gonzalez.
The Cubs had an Alex Gonzalez playing shortstop in that series is a very confusing series because there were two Alex Gonzalez is playing shortstop in that one. Someone hits a ball to Alex Gonzalez.
Cabrera, not somebody. Miguel Cabrera is up. He hits the ground ball. Taylor made double play. Miguel Cabrera back when he was twenty years old, was not as big as he is now, but it was never a speedster.
Yeah, he wasn't good to get that out. It was a tailor made ground ball. And Alex Gonzalez, who is a great shortstop, not as great as our Alex Gonzalez, but a premium shortstop. He just booted it. It went off the heel of his glove and that was it. We were I was above the dugout for that. And the dugout was chirping so loudly back then, Bill Robinson was dating coach. You may he rest in peace every time another team would make a mistake.
His focus was, that's it. You now make them pay. No matter what you do, you score when the other team gives you a chance. And when that got bobbled and everyone was safe, the dugout was just positive that they were going to get it done.
How many role players made a contribution for you guys in that inning? Was Mordecai Hollandsworth? Did banks have a hit in that in that inning as well?
Now, it's funny because, Jack, those were in baseball. We had an expression the Sunday lineup and the Sunday lineup was when you use your bench players, if you are a fan, you don't necessarily want to choose to go to a Sunday game unless you have kids, because the odds are you're going to see a Sunday lineup without that's when you give your superstar rest, especially if there's an off day Monday, because then they can get two days off in a row and in Baseball Mondays, commonly an off day.
So we would say, hey, it's the Sunday lineup. Jack McKeon was famous because he would never play a Sunday lineup. He wrote Our Guys in the heat of South Florida. He did not give one crap to. He said, I took over this team. You're not going to tell me who to play. You're not going to tell me when guys need rest. We're not studying their sleep. We're not doing analytics. I am putting out the guys who I want to play every single game.
So get in your sweet and shut up.
I would go to a lot of those Sunday games. My face would be swollen by how burned I would be. But I love those snapshots on days. I was a great promotion.
It was. It's hot, right? You needed a roof so high. But so Jack didn't play his bench really at all. The role of the bench was to steal signs. That's what Mordecai and Banks and Andy Fox were in charge of, is to steal as many signs as they could. That's it. And to be ready in case of an injury in case something happened. But listen, when when Lowell got hurt, instead of playing the bench, instead we went out and traded for Conine.
So it's that bench was something else. But in that inning, Mordecai was actually he let off the eighth. He actually my recollection is he batted twice in that eight runs. And so his base is clearing triple double was not a pinch hit because he had already pinch hit to start the inning. And my recollection is he made it out, although I don't know what exact, but I do know that was his second at bat. So it didn't count as a pinch hit.
Bases clearing double. What an awesome game. And just seeing the Cubs fans cry and and silent. What a great memory. They were so angry. After Game six, they tried to turn over our team bus. Literally, we had security surrounding our bus. Our players were nervous and I was nervous and there was nothing we could do. We were sitting on the bus. We couldn't move because back then there were no covid restrictions. Everyone was on top of you.
But game seven, after the game, it was silent. People were just stunned. Love it. This wasn't history.
Majors think that you guys won that series with the Bartman mistake, but there was an entire inning that was played and there was an entire other game. I remember. OK, we got that miracle. In game six, I was still fear in game seven. It was sort of like the Heat. The Ray Allen shot was in game six, but there was a tight game seven that was played after that that was nervous the entire time. Of course, this is Bill Buckner's error.
Was that a game six also? I believe the Mets then had to win a game seven.
Yeah. And I believe the Mets had to come from behind in that game as well. So isn't that funny?
People remember, though, right a moment, but you don't realize so much other stuff has to happen. So a lot of stuff had to happen in game seven. Jack did not want to start. Mark Redmond in game seven.
I didn't watch you guys just heard Mark Redmond.
But there was there was no other choice, literally. And we just want him to hold on. We were hoping for five and dive out of Mark, who had been really good for us during the regular season, but just ran out of gas. He was a lot like the the guy from Major League who needs the oil on his and is the older guy. I can't remember his name, the pitcher who you who didn't like Sorano said blank Yujiapu.
So that's where Redmen was like he was really good, but they just got tired at the end. But he gave up. We get got him a lead in game seven and he gave it up and we were pissed and Jack took them out of the game and was furious because at that point he said to us, why not just go to the World Series now? We already made it back to three three. He told the guys before the game, you know, we might as well while we're here.
But Kerry would it's a three run shot, and at that point, you got to think maybe this is an art.
Well, I was worried that baseball the fix was in. I really was, because baseball at that time wanted wanted the Cubs badly. They wanted either Cubs, Yankees or Cubs. Red Sox, Cubs. Red Sox would have been the greatest World Series of all time because both of them had not won at that point back in 03. Since then, they've both won Red Sox, I think four and Cubs won. But back then they were one hundred year versus, let's say, and the Marlins were just Miami and they were an afterthought and no one cared, even with Pudge on the team.
And they were Miguel Cabrera wasn't a Hall of Famer. There was nothing. And the Yankees were the Yankees. So it was definitely the Cubs all the way. And listen, I have so many crazy memories of that series and I've spoken to Dan about it. I don't remember on the air, off the air. But the league was so obvious about winning the Marlins to lose that even the National League president, who was a guy named Bill Giles, was writing a speech congratulating the Cubs.
And it pissed me off so much because he was doing it in our suite at Pro Player during Game five.
Does each league still have a president now? That seems so antiquated at the time and stupid, it's done.
Well, you know, there used to be umpires that if you looked at their hats, they'd have either A or now on them because they were league umpires.
Yeah, angels in the outfield. Christopher Lloyd would get a hat off of one of the umpires and say, just call me Al.
So that's it. And now now Rob Manfred. And that started really under Bud. But Rob Manfred is continue that where they're making it. Which one unified game of baseball, one unified league. We actually talked about getting rid of the American League. Once you have a universal deal or no deal at all, there really is no reason to have a national league in an American League. They used to be under two separate charters like they were two literally two separate businesses, the American League and the National League.
But that's not the case anymore. So I think when you get expansion, you may see a lot of changes into how the American League or National League is formed.
Part of this is network struggled during the pandemic and they're trying to get their numbers luvin program programming. But I do find it curious that games are popping up on ABC for the first time in decades. Major League Baseball has to be happy with this development because more I see it on network TV, even though that's not an audience that's used to seeing baseball. Is this a product of more games or product of networks need in their numbers? How does this come about?
So think about it from ESPN's standpoint. So ESPN and ABC and ABC, they're the same network and they've got so many series going on at once. They want to have as many as they can without sending it to ESPN News or ESPN Part four. And from ABC standpoint, they've got the Marlins Cubs going. The Cubs are a great they're a nationally known team because back in the day, back when your listeners may have been born WGAN. So remember the national teams very long time ago, the Braves in the Braves, as of TBS and WGAN, I was sort of simultaneously a Braves in a Marlins fans, the early years of your existence, because the Braves were just always on TV.
And I loved watching that team. I love their pitching staffs. So even though there were division rival, I kind of liked them. But then ninety seven came along and I was all about Livan in the Marlins.
Well, but it all changed because then there's this thing called the ticket where you can watch every team, wherever you are, whenever you want. The reason you like the Braves is you're watching the Braves, you're watching your junior high school team. And so the Cubs have a huge national following for that very reason. So putting them on ABC against the Marlins makes sense. Jeter and Mattingly bring star power to the Marlins. They bring the New York audience because the New York audience will watch the Marlins play, either rooting for Jeter or rooting against him, likely rooting for him.
It's not that the Marlins team is a story, but those guys are the story. You add that to the Cubs and ABC says, listen, we could show some soap operas or let's actually do daytime baseball during the pandemic. People are working from home. They're going to have the TV on in the background. There's no reason for them to have to do it digitally online. So it just works perfectly. And it's great for baseball.
We got into exactly why there were so many evening and night starts in Major League Baseball because of the regional sports networks that have to make there no massive mistake. I understand what what happened there. You guys could absolutely own the afternoon time slot. I know that's not a major audience, and I know that doesn't help with advertising, but one, two games a day in that time slot nationally, your partners would absolutely air it. I think it was just a massive mistake by you guys, especially with the calendar so congested.
You were going right into the teeth of some pretty important basketball games and now with football and. Basketball happening at the same time, I'm not really anticipating big numbers for the baseball playoffs. What's scary to me is that a regular season, it's not scary because I've just been a part of this for too many decades. The regular season NFL game. It's not even close. More people watch that than a conference final game in the NBA. It's incredible to me.
Yeah, I think you guys, your World Series, you didn't go up against Sunday Night Football because the NFL would sort of bow to Major League Baseball's World Series and and not have a Sunday Night Football game in direct competition with the World Series back in the day. Now, it's it's easy for them. They don't think twice about it.
Well, but when the same network has two different sports, which happened just with the heat, the reason why the heat had the extra day off when the Celtics series is they didn't want to have a Monday Night Football game on ESPN against a Monday night basketball game on ABC, because that's they're the same company. You're Miles, go further with the Capital One venture card, the travel card that lets you earn unlimited double miles for more than just air travel right now, earn 100000 bonus miles you can actually use redeemable for vacation rentals, car rentals and more.
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The smartest way to hire. So we're talking with David Samson now, the Marlins begin their playoff push tomorrow against the Cubs, a major league baseball playoffs start. Now, we've had this conversation before, and I don't know if you were ready to make rash decisions, full time decisions based off of this weird experiment of a season. What did you like from this year, now that it played out? How do you think overall what what grade would you give Major League Baseball for handling the pandemic?
Because at the beginning of the season, the season was really in doubt, especially with the Marlins and then the Cardinals had their their situation. So tactically, what did you like about the game of the situation to say it was an outbreak?
Yeah, their outbreaks. What did you like about what Major League Baseball did this season? What did you absolutely hate?
I thought that the players surprised me. My number one takeaway is that the behavior of the players far out kicked its coverage. I did not think that that Mike Clevenger of the Cleveland Indians and Zach Plesac of the Indians would be the only two players who would go out and get caught. I assumed it would be constant and the players leaned into their restrictions. They stayed in their hotels. Now, granted, they were hall monitors and guards in the lobby.
But even when they were home, they behaved. And it shows that forget politics with this virus. If you do the right thing, business can continue. If you do the wrong thing, business will be interrupted. Baseball is just a metaphor for life. And so we can find a way to navigate this. It just requires discipline. And the players showed it. And I give them all the credit in the world because without that, the season would not have been successful.
I loved the rule change for extra innings, even though everyone hated it. I loved it. I don't like 17 inning games as as a team executive. I don't like them as a fan. I enjoy the strategy that came in the 10th and 11th inning. I love the seventh inning double headers. I think that that led to more exciting games where you didn't have to see mediocre midrange pitching, middle inning pitching. And I did not like the universal DH because I missed the National League strategy, but I'll get used to it.
So overall, it was exciting. I am in three days we're going to do a show and we're going to talk about the top seeds who didn't make it out of this first round and how despondent they are because they had no advantage to having a good sixty game regular season. You will see that change next year. By definition, the Dodgers and the Rays would not be playing today and tomorrow come next year.
Do you think expanded playoffs in some form or fashion? Stick around.
I don't think it's going to be this guaranteed guaranteed too much money, too much money, too many happy owners who have who can sell into this. The Marlins can now sell into twenty. Twenty one is a playoff team. So can the Brewers soak in the Astros? So can the White Sox open the batteries? You need something to sell into as you're starting to sell season tickets in group sales and getting people back post covid. So this was absolutely perfect that baseball did this, but next year the number will be smaller than sixteen.
What do you make of what the Astros did this season? It seems as though it was going to be very difficult to be a Houston Astros this year. And then the pandemic happened. Bigger things took over the front of our mind. Time pass, time heals all wounds. There were a couple of high profile incidents between the Astros and opposing pitchers, but they find themselves as a world champion in the playoffs because of all these warped rules that sees them as an under five hundred team.
Correct. And under five hundred team in the playoffs not performing nearly as well as they did. They weren't very injured, though, Mickey, don't forget, very injured.
That's fair. And maybe that's all the context that we need. But I think someone had a tweet I forget, who had the tweet by, oh, Stan Van Gundy. It's not as easy when you're not cheating. You're taking the Astros this year.
I wanted to respond to Stan, but he's become such a Twitter heavy guy in terms of his following, in terms of his politics. I didn't really feel like getting into it with him.
But that tweet was born of ignorance, and he's a great guy and he's a smart guy. But that's not what happened with the Astros. It had nothing to do with garbage cans. Any sixty game period out to they can hit to twenty and Bregman can be hurt for a while and not have a good year. Verlander can be out. Garik goes to the Yankees, they lose their clothes. Are Ozuna their star rookie Alvares Rookie of the Year is out for the year.
So it really had nothing to do with the fact that they didn't know the signs. I just I'm not buying that for one minute. The team is just not good. They're exactly a below five hundred team and that's all they are. And that's because of their personnel, not because of lack of ability to cheat. Have you? Pored over the injury numbers on nothing personal. Because just look at my fantasy team. I couldn't keep a pitcher healthy.
Every single one of my pitchers either contracted covid or went on the 10 day fell or was day to day. Every single one of them had some sort of injury. What have you looked at in terms of data?
So the numbers were historic and we talked about it earlier. Nothing personal, saying that spring training part two is way too short and there were no exhibition games. Remember, teams only played one or two games at the end of the new spring training right before they started the regular season sprint. You cannot. People don't remember this covid was an entire off season. Literally, that's how long baseball stopped with an entire off season. You can't just start after an off season, start playing games.
It just doesn't work.
And what baseball did is they were so desperate to get the calendar in and get game started before a second wave or a third wave or a fourth wave or a first wave that they started spring training and what teams did to try to make up for the fact that it was going to be so short. They had pitchers throwing live beep day one of spring training. It's unheard of. Our pitchers don't throw live beep and spring training for two weeks. They've got bullpen's, then they're behind a cage.
Remember when Tanaka got hit in the head by Stanton? Come back here like the first day of spring training. What the hell was Tanaka doing on the mound without a cage throwing live bpy? Day one of spring training part to it. None of it made sense. And the injury numbers more this year than any other year by a factor, by a multiple. And that is something that that hurt baseball very much.
The Marlins Twitter account kind of threw some shade at John Carlos saying, I don't know if you saw this tweet slider low and away on a Giancarlo on a John Carlos strikeout in a big game for the Marlins. That's a tip of the hat to Marlins fans that share that frustration, because that seemed to be the pitch that would always entice Stanton and would always get him to chase. But that was I was curious if you had a reaction to that, but you're learning about it for the first time.
What was the tweet exactly? It was exactly that slider low away and and Jeff and John Carlos Sainte-Anne weapon to celebrate the fact that John Carlos Stanton struck out on a slider low in a way that was that was the tweet. OK, so. That is interesting, and we had a I got in trouble doing a marketing early in my career where we did a pretty aggressive marketing, a pro player, where we put other teams logos in the urinals, a pro player.
And so we would have our fans piss on the logos. We would do little videos during our games are really going after our opponents in the National League East and around baseball. And finally, the owner, Jeffrey, got so angry.
So there I'm showing David to I'm seeing this tweet slider blown away like the Marlins pitching to Giancarlo, a slider blowing away.
John Carlos striking out. And the Marlins are saying that, hey, we got John Carlo to strike out on the slider low and away. So that's pretty low hanging fruit. I'm not sure I understand the purpose of that. The sour grapes should not be there, because the reality is, without Mike Hill finding a way to trade Giancarlo Stanton not once, not twice, but three times traded to the Cardinals, denied giants, denied then did a trade with the Yankees.
And he saved the Marlins franchise because the Marlins were not well capitalized enough after they had to purchase the team that they were not able to. If they had Stan on this team, they had no chance. And so, Mike Hill, you should thank John Carlo for accepting the trade to the Yankees. Appreciate my kill by giving him extension with what he did, because everyone's talking about the return the Marlins got for Stan, how it was a bad trade.
That's the greatest trade in the history of the franchise because it saved the franchise because of just the money that they weren't on the hook for.
That's exactly right. Hmm. Interesting. The standard thing, I always thought that he was headed to the West Coast, that was he was a West Coast guy, I was really surprised that the trade with the Giants didn't end up happening. What happened there?
He said that he felt that they did not have a winning, not enough winning in the short term, is what I would say. His focus was on winning. And he felt that, you know, for St. Louis, I don't know that he'll ever admit this to you, but he just didn't like St. Louis right as it to live. Yeah.
And for the Giants, that's not exactly San Francisco is not L.A. is a Southern California guy. That's like saying that, you know, Jacksonville and Miami are the same.
Yeah, I understand the dynamic, although no college is beautiful in its own right. But it's a thing they're not always right.
It's not so, Cal. And the reality is the Giants were rebuilding and are still rebuilding, even though they came close to making the playoffs. And the Yankees are a team. They have not. I think the stat is, am I right? They have not had a losing season like twenty five years. Is that possible?
I think they had a losing season fairly recently. Did they?
Yeah, I had some recollection that they're five hundred are better for like a period of insanity, like decades. In any case.
Were they good cheaters last season. I don't, I don't think the World Series since 09. Yeah. I think the traction there like one games. I think the attraction last year was that, hey, just come together for the last time. Let me look that up, though. This is you're really stretching my baseball knowledge because I don't I kind of gave up after 2010 when Stan agreed to that trade.
I remember Mike Hill saying, listen, this is huge for our franchise. Where they needed to hit on the trades was the Yelich trade, the trade and the Ozuna trade. And the returns on those trades have been better. The U.S. trade obviously is the big question mark. It's not it's just a bad trade. But getting the players they've gotten has put the Marlins in the position they're in, which is to be good now for sustained period of time.
And that's that's exciting for all of us down here.
You're right. What was cheater's last year? Twenty, twenty, thirteen twenty. There was an eighty five and seventy seven. I guess when they go when they have less than 90 wins, it kind of feels like you imagine what you're saying.
When's the last time they won fewer than eighty one games. Well this year they say they didn't finish below five hundred that fewer than eighty one games the last time they did that.
It's I have to keep scrolling down past twenty one but but nineteen ninety five.
So there you go. So it's twenty five years. Wow. That's a hell of a run in that sport at ninety five.
Was the strike shortened season by the way. So did they finish about five hundred and ninety five in ninety five.
They were seventy nine and sixty five. Oh so wait a minute. That counts. Yeah. Yeah that's right. The year before that. Well no the year before that was the strike shortened season. They both were. Yeah. That added into it. They were seventeen forty three man the Expos and the Yankees. That sucks for Mattingly because they just started turning it on as he was winding down and of course won the World Series the year after year after being after leaving the Yankees.
Tyreke was the final year, the year that he got upset by a young A-Rod and Ken Griffey and just a Mariners team at the at the Kingdom that everybody loved.
Man is a different guy. He's a baseball player. He's a grinder, and people forget if he didn't have a bad back.
The story of my childhood. Was Don Mattingly bad back? Yes, because he was a Hall of Famer when I was very young.
This story was Thurman Munson and his tragic death. Yeah. Then the Bronx Zoo period. Then Mattingly and Mattingly was the guy. He was so good and he just had a bad back.
And you cannot play baseball with a bad back. And that was the end of his career. And then he never won it. Know a lifetime Yankee. He never won a ring.
Yeah, it always seemed like Gloria just loved owning baseball because of his Yankee fandom. And Don Mattingly, now the longest tenured manager. I do want to close with your review, but one little bit here on Don Mattingly, because on Friday I was in a bit of a sour mood. The Celtics had won. And on my second TV, I turn my attention to the the underdog Miami Marlins that have overcome so much in four years to the day that after Jose Fernandez passes away, there were all these stories that came out before the game that I hadn't known really originating from Don Mattingly, his wife, that Donnie Baseball wears a wristband with the number sixteen on it and in the team photos, I'm sure warmed your heart to see Mattingly rubbing that that bracelet, holding it up as as best he could in some photos.
And the emotion of that moment really hitting him differently than everybody else on the team because you have. So learning some of these faces, I'm still trying to learn some of their numbers, given the way those horrible black jerseys, but it was really touching to see. And from that moment on, I hadn't really felt a connection with the Marlins, but I could connect to that moment. And I was curious how you experience that whole that whole celebration and it being four years to the day of Jose's passing.
So two separate ways, I thought a lot about when the Marlins clinched and I was jealous, I felt left out. Mm hmm. I felt sad that I couldn't do it. And then it seems like now Jeter is doing something better than I was able to do or he was able to do something I couldn't do. And I couldn't give that experience to the fans or to my kids except once. And and I had these horrifically negative feelings. And I was angry with myself for feeling that way when the Marlins clinched, because it's a better narrative for me if they never win anything and if they never are successful.
And that's incredibly selfish. Yeah. And but I but I couldn't help. But that's how I felt and. I I didn't want it to happen on September twenty fifth, I didn't want it to happen at all. Again, I'm admitting this to you. It's like you were in each other's living room. It's a human it's human being honest. I appreciate your honesty there, but did it turn when you started seeing Don Mattingly?
So, no, I didn't want it to happen on September twenty fifth because I didn't want Jose's legacy to ever have anything to do with Derek Jeter and his and his part of the team, because Derek Jeter has been so awful as it relates to Jose Fernandez. What he did to just Jose Fernandez got swept under the way. He wanted to sweep me under. It's two different things. If you want to get rid of me, get rid of me.
If you want to pretend I was never there, pretend I was never there. But if you're going to do that to Jose that you just don't do that.
Well, you guys wanted to you guys wanted to build a controversial statue because that wasn't the only victim on that boat. And there were all sorts of reports out there that there were seen out and about having a good time at night. And a lot of people in the community and I felt a little conflicted about this, too, I must admit. What exactly are we celebrating? You're celebrating. The man is Cuban heritage, his story, his passion for baseball.
But people had a very difficult time sort of differentiating the two, the circumstances surrounding his death and his story.
That bothered me always. Here's why we wanted the statue and we wanted a proper plaque and a memorial for him to make sure that his legacy would never die. And part of his legacy is what happened that day, is the fact that there was there were drugs found in his system, is the fact that he felt invincible because of what his life was like. And what he had to do is the fact that he felt so free that he could do anything he wanted without consequence, because he had a frame of reference that so many that anybody of my any white person from New York has no idea what Jose Fernandez went through to become free because I was born free and to a race.
That is what we didn't want. I want people talking about every part of Jose, his love of the game on the field, his struggles off the field, his compassion off the field, the things he did in between starts, the things he did for his family. That's all part of Jose. And to lose that or to have Derek Jeter turn his back on that because he associated with prior ownership and he was so angry about everything, it angered me.
And now that day, which was a day to talk about Jose that day is now being talked about, is the day the Marlins ended their playoff drought. They're back in. So it hit me doubly hard on that day last Friday. As a matter of fact, I remember exactly where I was when you get into the double play, because, of course, I was watching and I was rooting against them and I hated the fact that I was rooting against them.
I hate the fact that I felt the way I felt. And I'm feeling better now, but not all the way. Like, I don't want it's I mean, I don't know if they win the World Series. I'll be really happy for the fans, but I will be incredibly unhappy that Jeter won.
You have personal relationships, though, with Mike Hill and Don Mattingly. What wash over you specifically when you were seeing Don Mattingly understanding everything that he's overcome, how difficult to the season this has been, how hard he took the passing of Jose Fernandez? I'm sure part of you your initial reaction is human. Understandable, also sad, too. I'm sure there are people listening to that. Like, that's not that sounds kind of miserable. Any but any any.
I mean, it is what I'm only being honest about how I felt.
Right. There's plenty of misery in the human experience. It's understandable. But seeing Don Mattingly, his face in those photos and him, he doesn't he's not this emotional guy, at least publicly. He doesn't seem like this emotional guy seems a fairly stoic. And we saw him in a different light that day. I was like, oh, humans.
Yeah, he is very emotional, actually. Really? Yes. And so is Mike Hill. And and I'm very happy for both of them. And I want them to win. I want them to be apart. Mike deserves it. He's gone through a lot of stuff over his eighteen seasons with with the Marlins and he's got a free agent year. And Don Mattingly took a pay cut to come back this year, which he didn't deserve to take. He didn't need to take, but he did from Jeter.
And I want Don to win a ring. I want him to win a World Series as a manager. You know, he didn't get a chance with the Dodgers because they never won, except he won with them, but they unceremoniously dumped him already to be done with him. And it was our luck. And I'm so happy that he's I was able to be with him. He was so great to work with that I that I'm very happy for them.
So that's the conflict, right? To want good things for Donny and for Michael and for Miguel Ro. And for some of the players who we had, but at the same time to so openly root against cheater internally, right, that that conflict is very interesting as I watch each game and each at bat. And it's so it's so it's fascinating what goes on in my brain. Does this place look haunted? No, I don't think so. What about those two creepy girls?
Come stay with us. That is truly frightening. You know, what's really scary missing out of this great service is that you get 24/7 access to licensed agents. Thank you, creepy girls to see your room. Can I sleep in the car now? Happy Geico.
We switch today for 24/7 access to licensed agents.
Does this place look haunted? No, I don't think so. What about those two creepy girls? Come stay with us.
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We switched today for 24/7 access to licensed agents. Well, we'll see how you feel about things next week when we catch up with you again, what is your review for the week, David?
Do you have a special guest coming on or. I want to I want to close with the Jeff Passan. You have it.
Is he is he on? It's like on hold. Is he in the zone himself?
All right. So we'll get to this now, Jeff Pass. And if you listen to last week's episode came up and he's always he's always been a very public critic of Jeffrey Loria and David Simpson. And I thought it would be a good idea to sort of have one of these On-Air meetings so I could see all the content and and reap all the downloads. But you called it you said Jeff Passan would not come on. And you also mentioned that ESPN wouldn't let it happen.
This was totally Jeff that wanted no no part of this, but he did pass along a statement. All right.
First of all, before you read it, let's just tell listeners this. I've not heard the statement yet. I did not know anything about this. What I do know is that for him to send us a statement now, when you say statement, do you mean like a text to your private cell phone? Yeah, this is a text. OK, so it's not he didn't actually know. He said you can tell Samson this. Publicly or privately, or you can say this the next time he's on, OK, I'm ready to hear it because it's got to be really fascinating.
I think he's a schemer. I think he sold Miami and Dade County a bill of goods. I think he's a kind of sports executive who gives others a bad name. I think his opinions are typically garbage, but he does have a great speaking voice and is an excellent storyteller. That is the statement from one, so that's so nice, thank you, Mike.
I don't think your opinions are typically garbage. That's one that I was like I kind of disagree with that. The selling Miami and Dade County, a bill of goods that would sort of bang on and fair and inventive sensibilities.
Is that what happened? Well, that what I wanted him to respond to is don't tell me he doesn't have time because the guy has enough time to go on every show known to mankind. Oh, he has time. That's why he won't give you 15 minutes.
Well, he knows he would love to give me 15 minutes with me. He doesn't want to give you the 15 minutes. Yeah. He just doesn't want to. He has no interest in joining you. Maybe that'll change someday. I'll keep pushing. But for the time being, it seems as though Jeff Passan is not at all interested in doing what we did with Ariel Juani and and confronting you. But he did pass along that message for me to share with you and the audience.
And, you know, it's a little wussy, like I'm not what he wants to pass it on. Like he say to me, Jeff, one time, you know why he doesn't want to come on, because he doesn't want to have to say on the air. Nice to meet you, David.
He did refute your claims on the local hour last week because you guys said that he's never taken the time out to to speak with you or anything like that. He says that he spent ten years asking the Marlins to speak with you and not once did you say yes. So I need to pass that along.
Let me tell you how ridiculous that statement is. And you can ask anyone in the media, you're telling me that if you're Jeff Passan, you don't find a way to get my cell number and text and say, hey, let's have a conversation. Hey, I'm doing an article. Do you want to respond to that? That is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard.
I spent ten years trying to reach David Sampson. He was on the moon the whole time. I couldn't get a cell.
Well, he was probably going through PJ Alto and Matt Roebuck. Were they did they ever run any interview requests by you? Were they acting independently? This is something that can happen, because I know for a fact I've been rebuffed before by your media relations department, where they certainly didn't ask the player. There's no doubt that we will rebuff people before going to a player, there is no way that Jeff Passan is rebuffed with me not knowing about it.
There is no way. All right. Well, for one, hope no.
Hopefully one day we can have you on together. He's not interested in it right now. But there is there is a disagreement among that singular fact, and it's not a disagreement.
He he and I have never met. We've never spoken. And he's got opinions. He's going to call me a schemer and he's going to say that I sold Miami-Dade a bill of goods and that my opinions are garbage. Just come talk to me and tell me where you get this from.
What was the scheme? What opinions were garbage? What is it that we did? Because he started against us way before the stadium deal and way before.
And if I ask you a great story teller stadium deal, he called her. Tell her whatever, Mike.
I mean, the fact is and by the way, what network does he work for?
He works for ESPN. Exactly what network do you work for? I work for ESPN.
OK, so the fact that he won't even do it for you on on the network that you both work for shows that he's just scared because he knows that he has no standing whatsoever to go back all the way to your scheming in Montreal, because we had him on a lot when he wrote for Yahoo!
Sports before he was on with ESPN and he was writing scathing columns about you, you and Jeffrey.
Yeah, the ESPN thing is reason we we would go to him when he was with Yahoo! So this is an ESPN thing. I well, I think your point is why wouldn't he join a fellow ESPN or you're always my only point. Well, you're not the fellow ESPN or you want to join, so I don't care about him.
When he was with Yahoo!
The reason why I don't respect him as a as a journalist or he has great sources, there's no doubt about this, the premier news breaker in that sport and that.
But so let's be clear. When you are a news breaker, what that means is you have a connection with people at every level of an organization from central office commissioner down to the training staff of individual teams.
I understand the point that you're making. You could very easily, from his connections, get your direct cell phone number and circumvent the proper protocol, which is going through media relations people.
That's all he does, is not do the proper protocol to go around in order to get information off the record. That's that's his job. Fair enough.
Let's get to your movie or TV review for the week. David Samson, who I've agitated with this Jeff Passan public doesn't agitate me, is a joke.
And people who are of no consequence to me don't agitate me. So, Jeff, passengers agitate me. I don't pay attention. Anything he does. I'm laughing at your statement that he said he took the time to text you, but refused to take the time to help your show, which, by the way, doesn't need help. It would help him to go on your show. In any case, it's playoff time, whatever. Dan, you got something to say.
You show for the last five minutes. I do. You're looking at me. I just I just believe you. I wanted you to know that I believe you when you say I do believe you. When you say that you are not agitated. However, the tone of your voice sound agitated. OK, thank you. What is your review of the ad is some sort of value added to the local hour with me and Mikey and my tone is agitated as agitated is that we are on for an hour and then all of a sudden in like Apollo from the mountain is Dan's voice, introducing himself into the conversation, shaping up for the fellow ESPN or David tafsir.
What is your review?
All right. So it's playoffs for all of you Marlins fans the day before the playoffs. I try to do this, and I did it last night because it was a slow night and I try to do it before any playoff run, even when the Marlins aren't in it. I watch the two thousand three Marlins World Series DVD. There's a movie that came out that goes through the entire season and it starts where they filmed with Pudge driving to spring training the first day, the famous Pudge who your own Dan Liotard wrote was a wasted sign.
No. What did I say?
What did I wrote a pair of guys playing on on a court, getting breast implants on the court. Probably not something and an analogy would make in twenty twenty, I don't think.
But it really captured the zeitgeist of what was going on. Am I going to have my going to have to apologize actively a decade later? You know what, let me get out in front of this right now. I am sorry that I said that the Pudge Rodriguez one year signing that the Marlins were so bad that it was like putting breast implants on a corpse. It's a good line, but I shouldn't use.
Yeah, you could have done like dental work on a corpse. I guess that would be Brazilian wax would have even been OK. You should just like I don't know if there's ever a compliance on video that Disney sends out on what you can and cannot put on a corpse. But that's probably not one of the items that you should be putting on.
What's ironic about the apology tour that Dan will now have to go on is there is no statute of limitations. That's a 17 year old column and it might as well have been written five minutes ago.
The Internet is forever. So your review is the two thousand and three Marlin's World Series DVD, which is great. And I agree. Watch this play.
It is what's what's great about it is that they film all the teams. Why would they? Go film Paudge driving to spring training the Marlins when all three started, we're nothing. There was no chance they were going to win the World Series, but you never know. So you had a you had a camera crew following all 30 teams. And I remember because I did not think about it when it was happening at the time. And then when the DVD was screened to us, I said, oh, my God, this is so amazing.
How smart were they? And of course, they were doing it with all 30 teams. But it goes through the season. It goes to the clinching. It talks about shows Jack McCann and how special some of those games were. It reminds you of what happened during some of those games, some of which we covered today. And it's not very long, but just the music of it, the the the celebration of it and realizing that Dontrelle Willis and one player and the happiness they felt and looking at a young Miguel Cabrera and Jack Wilkins turning 90 this year and is still healthy and working out every day and just realizing the moment that we had in South Florida and wanting to create that, again, that fuel.
So that's why I'm rooting for the World Series again, because that moment when you win a World Series for a community, it's awesome.
Well, you'll be honest with us as we go through this journey together about what emotions you will feel, because the initial reaction was one of jealousy and sadness. So we'll see what you feel after this Cub series. David Samson, the host of Nothing Personal. This was a really good episode. We got into the twenty three Cub series in honor of the playoff matchup that's kicking off tomorrow. So really enjoyed our time with you. And Dan, thank you for making yet another appearances like three straight from you, Dan.
So thank you so much. We'll talk to you next week.
David CYO. Well, I think it's all I found in the attic is curse no, its eyes are just very lifelike. Then what does its head keep spinning in my mind?
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Oh, we can just bury it deep in the ground.
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