Discover more from MutStack
Friday Four-Pack 8.4.23
Rough look for Red Sox and WEEI. More Barstool golf coming? A must-see jockey clip.
Brian O’Halloran seems like a very nice guy. That’s not him pictured above, that’s just a Substack stock photo found while searching “ducking.”
There he is! The Red Sox GM seemed affable the time I spoke with him on WEEI. And he’s a horse racing fan! The guy drove to Saratoga to watch his horse run, then went back to Fenway to watch a Sox game back in 2020. Love to see it.
So this is not about him, I guess. It’s more about the Red Sox. And WEEI.
Yes that WEEI, my former employer, they are the Red Sox rights holder. As such, they have a segment called “The Front Office Report” that airs every Thursday on The Greg Hill Show. It features a rotating cast of different members of the Red Sox front office.
I tuned in Thursday hoping to hear Chaim Bloom call the Red Sox underdogs as he had a few days earlier. Or Sam Kennedy tell me that team’s big trade deadline deals were Trevor Story and Chris Sale returning from injury. To his credit, producer/host Chris Curtis has been good at asking tough questions of both Bloom and Kennedy this season. It could have been good radio.
Instead, we the listening audience, got GM Brian O’Halloran.
For both the Red Sox and the radio station.
In asking around Thursday, I was told there is a “schedule” of when O’Halloran, Bloom and Kennedy will appear on the show. The schedule in this case, THE WEEK OF THE TRADE DEADLINE, called for O’Halloran to be the guest. The Red Sox, I’m told, provide that schedule to the station/show.
So first, some blame for the Red Sox. Read the room. No one really wants to hear from Nice Guy O’Halloran on Thursday. Like it or not, they want to hear from Bloom or Kennedy. Truth be told, they’d like to hear from team owner John Henry, but he’s completely off the grid as far as the Sox are concerned.
If the team planned this ahead of time to avoid Bloom or Kennedy going on the show, shame on them. Not surprising - but bad job hiding the real decision-makers from the fanbase.
Secondly, some blame for the radio station.
Thanks for reading MutStack ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
I’m told there was some frustration in having O’Halloran on and NOT Bloom or Kennedy. So either demand to “change the schedule” or just don’t have him on and explain to the audience why.
Can you imagine Chris Russo and Mike Francesa NOT getting Bloom or Kennedy in that spot? Or Glenn Ordway? Or Mike Felger? Feels like a situation where host Greg Hill could have gone to bat for his own show. Maybe he did and station management forced the interview? Maybe he didn’t want to fight the Red Sox? Maybe he doesn’t really care? I’m just asking - I wish I had more answers.
Either way, it just came across as weak all around.
No one is served by having O’Halloran on Thursday. Not the Sox. Not the radio station. And certainly not the audience.
And to Brian O’Halloran - would love to talk racing and Saratoga. Hit me up. Good luck with 007 Racing.
Let’s get on with the rest of the Four-Pack.
TODAY’S FRIDAY FOUR-PACK IS PRESENTED BY NYRA BETS
Want to thank NYRA Bets for giving MutStack Fans and new NYRA Bets users a great deal.
New users can take advantage of the MUT200 promo and get up to a $200 deposit bonus when they sign up at NYRABets.com. It’s where I’ve played for over 10 years. They are great. Bet any track, anytime.
When you use the MUT200 promo code you’re supporting MutStack. And when you play at NYRABets you’re supporting New York Racing.
Whitney Weekend! What are you waiting for?!?
On the Red Sox at the trade deadline…
Rather than add for this year or try to sell to help for next, you do nothing.
After Alex Cora asked publically for help.
After your best player, Rafael Devers, asked publically specifically for pitching help.
After our guy, RedSoxStats, advocated building for next year and getting a young starting pitcher.
You do…nothing? Again? Brutal.
It felt like the deadline was a bit of a middle finger to both the team and the fanbase. We’re not going to help the team and we’re not going show the fans we believe in their team. The Bloom presser didn’t really help matters.
The Sox seem to think the fanbase is okay with continually kicking the can of winning down the road. When you try to rebuild on the fly, I guess that comes with the territory, but it doesn't make it any more appetizing.
At some point, the pains of moving on from Mookie Betts and Xander Boagerts; the down years with no playoff contention; the trade deadlines where nothing seems to go right; the off-seasons without fireworks; at some point all those things have to culminate with winning at the big league level and a rebuilt farm system to deal and build from. Right? That’s been the point of all of this, I think.
I guess the team is not there yet, so the fans wait. And the players themselves fight for a playoff spot with no real help from the trade deadline.
Yes, the team is still in the playoff mix. Over 78.5 wins - still very much in play. But the championship-driven every year, win-at-all-cost, “feeding the Monster” days for the Sox are long gone.
We’ll see if the fans have the patience to stick with the new slow-burn plan for much longer.
On the Barstool Sports Korn Ferry Tour Broadcast…
Had a chance to watch most of the Saturday coverage and then dozens of clips online as Barstool Sports took on live golf for the first time.
My favorite moment came in the playoff Sunday. You should watch it.
“Oh my goodness.”
“I didn’t see that coming, boys.”
I’m trying to imagine Dan Hicks or Jim Nantz taking our Lord’s name in vain (on a Sunday, nonetheless) like our friend Kirk Minihane did as Patrick Fishburn gagged that one in the bunker.
And of course, they wouldn’t. Which is how/why the Barstool coverage was not only so different, it was so good. From the Minihane/Riggs/Jake Marsh chemistry/tension…on-course reporter Francis Ellis not being allowed to talk to certain golfers…a big ass turtle. There was plenty of time to analyze the golf and also bust some balls along the way.
It was really good. And from the sounds of it, there is more coming next year.
From Golf.com - PGA Commissioner addressed this with the players in a memo last week.
“And finally, while this isn’t a Policy Board-specific topic, I thought you would be interested in an exciting development related to this week’s Korn Ferry Tour event in Chicago,” the memo read. “All four rounds of the NV5 Invitational will be streamed live, subscription-free, on Barstool.tv.”
The big development, per Monahan? Not only would Barstool Sports be broadcasting this week’s Korn Ferry Tour event, the NV5 Invitational; the Tour and Barstool would also hope to come out of this week’s broadcast with a blueprint for future Barstool broadcasts.
“We hope to come out of this test with a multi-event model that will provide fans with more opportunities to see live competition coverage of the Korn Ferry Tour in 2024 and beyond,” Monahan wrote. “Please tune in for a bit this week and let us know your thoughts.”
It also sounds like the PGA Tour itself, not just the Korn Ferry Tour, is interested in getting Barstool involved in the first few rounds of an event (events?) next year. As someone who has watched hours of Thursday and Friday golf on ESPN+, this is a great idea.
My concern - as I mentioned on the Kirk Minihane Show Wednesday - is some TV or PGA executive decides to add a no-name golfer to the desk and asks the guys to be more golf and less Barstool.
That would be a massive mistake. Besides family and friends, no one is tuning in to Korn Ferry for the golf. I would never have watched if not for the Barstool tie-in. I’m sure I’m not alone.
It’s still not clear if you can even bet on the Korn Ferry Tour, but I’d add more gambling to the broadcast. I would not change much more.
If the Korn Ferry/PGA Tours are smart, they’d leave the guys alone and let them do their thing.
On a must-see jockey video…
The star of Mohegan Sun’s Race Player Appreciation Day and jockey Chantal Sutherland posted this video Wednesday on
Watch the jockey in the #1 Greg Romero. Yikes.
Nice commentary from Simon Brey and FanDuel TV. “What is wrong with you?”
His horse was 9-1. The horse that runs by him to win is the 6/5 favorite.
At worst, he’s cheating, stopped riding, and is letting the #3 win. Kick him off the tour, Doug!
At best, his lazy, showboat riding cost bettors an easy score on the horse.
The Ohio racing commission moved quickly on this one, suspending Romero for 30 days and fining him $1,000. Probably due in part to Chantal’s tweet. Belterra Park has banned him indefinitely. He apparently had a hearing to explain his actions, but Belterra isn’t saying how he spun it.
We’ll see if he ever gets to ride again in Ohio or anywhere else.
One a four-pack of quick-hitters…
The former Massachusetts dog track Raynham Park was scheduled to open “one of the largest sportsbooks in the country,” this fall. It seems like that timetable might have to be pushed back as they still don’t even have a sports betting license. Their hearing to finalize that license happened Tuesday without a vote, over some questions about one of the owners and his involvement. They’ll try again in a few weeks.
Big thanks to Lauren Matuszczak for designing some great MutStack logos.
She rocks. Awesome to work with. You should work with her too if your company needs any design, media, or photography work. You can see more of her great work on her website.
With Celtics Voice Mike Gorman confirming to the Athletic that this will probably be his last year calling games, NBC Sports Boston has some big shoes to fill. Gorman is great at his job and was missed by this Substack author every time he was out - especially when subjected to the play-by-play of Brian Scalabrine. Radio voice Sean Grande has to be considered an overwhelming favorite to succeed Gorman. And given their chemistry, I might try and bring Cedric Maxwell along, too.
Whitney Weekend at Saratoga. An important race with a huge favorite to win, Cody’s Wish. If you have not read the story of Cody’s Wish and his namesake, 17-year-old Cody Dorman, take a few minutes and do it now.
We’ll have full coverage of the Whitney here on Saturday. We’ve taken on a new endeavor with StackCapping this summer. We’re writing every raceday about Saratoga.
You can subscribe now to Mutstack and make sure you’re getting all of our content, or if you’re reading this and already subscribed, you can manage your subscriptions at the bottom of this newsletter by clicking “Unsubscribe.” Trust me, it works, you won’t be unsubscribing I promise.
You can also find that daily content in the StackCapping tab above, but we hope you’ll subscribe. It’s a huge help.
Saratoga Friday post later today in StackCapping.
Thanks for reading.