By TED SILLANPAA
On Twitter @TedSillanpa
Stuck in the car, driving home, without my music or the podcasts that entertain me as radio once did. Old, old habits die hard, so I tuned to KNBR to hear my favorite Bay Area radio guy Tom Tolbert talking about Angels star Mike Trout. Actually, Tolbert and co-host Ray Ratto were talking about Trout’s contract being extended by the Angels and …
OK. I’ll admit that I don’t care about player salaries or team budgets. Don’t care. Thus, I ran from sports talk radio to my iPod. Still, come on, who does want to hear two segments of Bay Area sports talk radio where the hosts kicked around Trout only getting $20,000 above the Major League Baseball minimum and how that meant the Giants should deal with Buster Posey as he enters … approaches …
Really? There are baseball fans who sit around and think about whether young stars like Posey and Trout should be paid more or given longer contracts than they absolutely need to stay with their teams? Really?
Trout and Posey are both being paid right now what the clubs can get away with paying them based on the MLB collective bargaining agree. (You want something I really don’t want to talk about? Talk about any sport’s collective bargaining agreement!) Neither of those guys will be leaving their team any time soon soooooooooooo … moving on!
Tolbert, admittedly an Angels’ fan, got into Vernon Wells’ contract (Ratto agreed it was the worst in baseball history … well, for everybody except Wells). I would’ve tuned into a different radio station if I knew off the top of my head any other station to tune to past 680 AM. Ratto opined that the Angels were probably going to give all the money currently going to Wells to Trout in … whenever Wells’ contract ends. Then, Ratto imagined he was the Angels’ general manager (actually, he imagined it twice) and said, “They’ll go to Trout and say … ‘You know what? …’ “
People really want to know what a media buy in San Francisco thinks comes after the Angels approach Trout and start with, “You know what?”
Times have changed and KNBR needs to let Tolbert be Tolbert and just … tell stories, plug into pop culture at whatever level he can do that. And, heaven knows they have to do better than to team him with a writer whose claim to fame are his negatives takes on sports. Tolbert can be entertaining. He had me interested when he took talk of Gonzaga being ranked No. 1 in the men’s basketball poll to his being recruited by UNLV, Clemson and just riffed on how how basketball star Tom Tolbert picked a college … leading to a story about how UNLV would pay players in the 1980s and 1990s. Tolbert remembered hearing how a big-time basketball recruit out of Los Angeles was playing UNLV versus LSU … and said that he was told that UNLV dropped out of the recruiting chase when the player asked for $75,000.
That’s interesting, isn’t it? It’s interesting to basketball fans, people who just have casual interest in sport … to anybody. Tobert heard a kid got more than $75,000 to go to college at LSU? Imagine that?