Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
He came in there as an opposition hoops player in the late '70s for Salesian High School and walked out of there with 9 turnovers in a game he was beaten by 35 points.
Mike talked about the origins of his broadcast career that, like mine, started at WFUV, the campus station at Fordham University. From there, he broke into radio north of New York City. Discouraged after a few years, he almost quit the business and asked his father for an application to follow in his footsteps at the steamfitters union. But his parents persuaded him to stay.
Soon thereafter, he got his big break when WNBC-Radio needed someone to fill in on the Don Imus show doing morning sports for Don Criqui who was on assignment for the NFL.
At the time, Imus was still in the throws of alcoholism. Station management took him into Imus' office on a Friday to introduce him and, as he told the students, "Imus is three sheets to the the wind at two o'clock in the afternoon, is sitting on his couch, staring at the floor and never looks up when I'm introduced to him."
The following Monday, Breen walks into the studio, sits down to do his sports report and Imus goes into shock saying, "Who the hell are you?" Imus winds up interviewing/interrogating Breen on the air and a career was born.
My gratitude to Ron Schutte, Executive Director of the All Hallows Foundation, and Principal Sean Sullivan for allowing me to kick off our media mentoring program with Mike and Alan Kalter that will continue in the new school year.
Friday, May 8, 2009
When Rudy Giuliani came on my TV show, Ed Randall's Talking Baseball in 1994, he said that when he went to his first game, he found it the oddest thing that one player would leave his glove on the field after the third out for the opposition player to use at the same position. In this case, Dom DiMaggio of the Boston Red Sox leaving his glove in center field for his brother, Joe, to use for the Yankees.
And now to get personal.
In 1991, Dom came in to do my show to talk about his just-published book about the 50th anniversary of the 1941 season when his brother hit in 56 consecutive games and the guy he played next to in the Boston outfield, Ted Williams, batted .406.
He was a gentleman and a gentle man.
Later that season, it is Boston's turn to host the Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball game where they were honoring Joe D and Ted. They were sponsoring my show and I was invited to Fenway to do interviews for future use.
After the Heroes and regularly scheduled game, Mrs. Yawkey hosted a dinner in Fenway's 406 Club and I was invited. I sit with Dominic and others. As dinner is ending, Dom turns to me and says, "Ed, would you like to meet Teddy?" He's seated at the next table. With that, he takes me by the hand and introduces me as follows: "Teddy, this is Eddie Randall. He's up from New York. He has a TV show and I was on it to talk about the book. He's a good kid." Ted Williams extends his hand and these are the first words he ever says to me: "Eddie, nice to meet ya. Listen, the fact that Dommy likes you, that's a lot of hits in your favor."
Something only Ted Williams could say.
And because of that exchange, Ted Williams did my TV show the following year during All-Star in San Diego, to this day, one of the highlights of my professional life.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
You got out of the military if you were cited with a Section 8.
Now, Manny is out of baseball for 50 games after being found in violation of Section 8.G.2.
That's the provision of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program he was found to be in non-compliance with.
After consulting with the Players Association and his representative (Scott Boras), he waived his right to challenge the suspension, which ends July 2nd.
The below is Manny's statement from the Players Association:
"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons."
"I want to apologize to Mr. McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, Mr. Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I'm sorry about this whole situation."
Not nearly as sorry as everybody who loves baseball is.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I went there for 12 years.
Now that the grammar school is long gone, whenever I come back to talk to the students and tell them I was there that long, I need to remind them I wasn't the dumbest guy in the class at All Hallows HIGH SCHOOL.
I started a mentoring program this morning for students interested in the media by doing 'show and tell' with 'friends of Ed.'
The announcer for the David Letterman Show, Alan Kalter, was our leadoff hitter and was a great hit, telling funny stories from a career that began at age 17 and offering valuable career counseling, telling the students to "only do what you absolutely love in life."
Batting second next week: the television voice of NBA play-by-play on ABC and ESPN, Mike Breen.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
First, member of the Board, Neil Romano, former Assistant Secretary of Labor, who said this:
"The only consecquential thing about this overall discussion is whether or not it will affect insurance paying for all the tests...all the time...sometimes...intermittently...never, etc. "However, I do not think it changes our focus or thrust one iota...it will likely make us more relevant, because we may be the only pro-testing voice many men will get...especially in the inner city and among African-American men. Unfortunately, life is cheap when it is somebody else's life.
"Some may wish to split hairs on whether to test or not to test...with the unintended consequences being some men will slip through the cracks and die...oops! I believe we drive toward the goal and allow others to equivocate.
"So what is their alternative to our message? 'What you don't know might kill you, but you really don't need to know...we think!' I am not even sure I even understand the logic of the discussion. Is this cancer real? Yes. Can it kill you? Yes. Can being tested help prevent that? Yes. OK, I'm in."
And, to punctuate this thought, here's Bob Zettler of the Illinois Department of Public Health who made our recent PSA screening with the Chicago Bulls possible: "It is just part of the battle. From a legal standpoint, my program has a legal mandate to perform screenings and awareness activities. Yes, there are age conditions but I wrote the rules and regulations so that we can see virtually anyone in need.
"And, from an emotional/rational level, how do you tell a man who was screened AND discovered teh cancer AND who is still alive today as a result of that screening that maybe he should have:
A) Talked it over first with his doctor about informed decision-making (like doctors take the time any more)
B) Not gotten screened until he exhibited symptoms or
C) Waited till better screening methods became available
"It is the survivors like you, and, unfortunately, those who didn't because their disease was caught too late who are the best advocates for screening now until better methods are discovered other than the cheap PSA blood test.
"I simply do not understand the reasoning (or lack thereof) behind some who rally against ALL screening."
Great thanks to Neil and Bob for their thoughtful comments.
Great thanks to everyone involved in our involvement with the CBS Health Expo, sponsored by the six CBS-owned radio stations in New York City, at the new home of the Mets, Citi Field.
Our volunteers--Creative Director Joe Nunziata, VP of Communications and Public Relations, Mike Rizzo and his wife, Jennie, Eileen Levine and Andy Richter--were in their typical beyond the call of duty mode.
Throughout the day, hundreds of people visited our table to pick up the same materials
we are distributing on our minor league roads trip alerting them to our twin missions of prostate cancer awareness and education. It's a beautiful thing when we run out of items to distribute.
We have many more foot soldiers in our army today than at the start of the weekend.
A special word of deep appreciation to Tim Scheld, News and Program Director at WCBS-Newsradio 880, for suggesting and facilitating our participation and to morning sports anchor, Jared Max, for interviewing me on stage at their booth about our charity and baseball.
Who would imagine?