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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Neil Best: A trip to Mike FrancesaLand

I don’t like Sabermetrics. I like Inge…a lot.

It still was early on another day he would spend entertaining, informing and frequently maddening metropolitan-area sports fans, a job he has been at for a quarter-century during which he has become an iconic New York lightning rod.

Francesa is fine with that.

“The one good thing is nobody has ignored me,” he said. “You don’t have to have them love you. You don’t have to have them hate you. You just have to have them want to listen to you no matter what.

“I have people say to me, ‘I never miss you. You drive me crazy.’ I say, ‘You know what? That’s music to my ears.’ “

...An entire cabinet is filled with books on the former president. “I know more about John F. Kennedy than I do about the New York Yankees,” Francesa said.

...Such self-deprecating humor is not his specialty. He admitted that it would have served him in September 2012 when he famously appeared to doze off on the air.

“When it exploded, it exploded with such ferocity that I wasn’t sure how to react,” he said. “It was like trying to catch a tiger by the tail. That thing got bigger than anything I’ve ever dealt with before.”

The previous fall, Francesa opened himself up to ridicule with a convoluted explanation for seeming not to be familiar with Tigers relief pitcher Al Alburquerque during the ALDS against the Yankees.

Francesa acknowledged he did not handle the situation well, mostly because he was frustrated with himself.

“I make so few [mistakes] compared to other people and I’m on so much longer and cover so much more stuff than people, but I know I’m going to be and should be held to a higher standard,” he said.

“I’m supposed to be the standard. I understand that. I have the biggest show, get paid the most money . . . If I do something like that, I’m mad at myself and say to myself: You know what, I didn’t work hard enough.”

Repoz Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:57 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, yankees

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   1. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 16, 2014 at 08:40 AM (#4672295)
If we didn't have him, we wouldn't have such great comedy.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4672304)

There is no more entertaining sports talk radio host than a smug buffoon who has no idea that people listen more to hear him stumble than for his insights.

The Al Alburquerque one is indeed the quintessential moment, but note that even in this interview he doesn't 'fess up to having been wrong about "Albert."
   3. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4672306)
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4672307)

yes, another gem, where Mike condescendingly explained to his audience - well......

"Addressing the Cliff Lee hunt, he said that Lee has “fungibility.” Then, His Highness’s sense of noblesse oblige kicked in. He explained the word’s meaning to his audience of serfs, peons, vassals and the ill-bred.

Fungibility, said Fran-say-so, means “uniqueness, unique.”

Gong! It not only doesn’t mean unique, it means almost the opposite. Fungibility means to possess such similar qualities that the items can be interchangeable.

Francesa, apparently having been informed off-air of his error, later tried to re-explain fungibility, as if he knew its meaning but might have left his audience of sloggers and grunts confused—as if we misheard and he didn’t misspeak. But his protracted, contradictory explanation just dug him deeper."

   5. Publius Publicola Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4672308)
Francesa possesses a certain... uniqueness.

EDIT: coke to Howard.
   6. Darren Posted: March 16, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4672319)
“I make so few [mistakes] compared to other people and I’m on so much longer and cover so much more stuff than people, but I know I’m going to be and should be held to a higher standard,” he said.

Too awesome.
   7. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 16, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4672382)
Francesa could have won points for himself if he had just admitted to falling asleep and made fun of himself for doing so. Apparently, he was going on little rest that day, so the dozing off was excusable. A little self-deprecating humor and the whole episode would have died off quickly.

   8. Publius Publicola Posted: March 16, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4672436)
Humility is not a tool Francesa is trained to employ.
   9. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 16, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4672466)
If we didn't have him, we wouldn't have such great comedy.

These videos are great. I love that they found someone to play Mad Dog.
   10. tfbg9 Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4672531)
Yeah, the Mad Dog guy is good.
   11. sinicalypse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 08:02 AM (#4672651)
#7) you can't have the sports pope admitting fallibility. that'd be like having the regular pope admit that the rays were on to something with their organizational philosophy of the last 5-10 years.
   12. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4672689)
“The one good thing is nobody has ignored me,”
Wrong. When I do see his name, it takes me a minute to remember which one is Mike Francesa and which one is Mike Lupica.
   13. TRBMB Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4672904)
In addition to being the greatest Yankee expert ever, FatBoy also wants everyone to know that he is the greatest Kennedy expert ever. Or whatever he might choose to be expert in. No one is as great as Mikey. Right, Dawg?
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4672961)

now, the "Director's Cut" version - includes outtakes from the weekend piece!

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