Shays Hammered for Baseball Grandstanding

“Mike and the Mad Dog” is the drive time sports talk radio show on WFAN, in the tri-state area. It has a huge audience and its hosts, Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo are very respected sports commentators in the New York sports media with their show being simulcast on the YES cable network and Francesa having a TV show during football season on another network that I’m forgetting.

Yesterday Mike and Chris were following the baseball steroid hearings and, not surprisingly, had very strong opinions about the grandstanding they saw House Republicans doing, lead by Chris Shays. They just eviscerated Shays for not knowing what he was talking about and being a complete Roger Clemens fan boy. It got so bad that Russo, who is a registered Republican from New Canaan, CT and one of Shays constituents, decides that he has to support Jim Himes, Shays challenger. “Get Shays out, get Himes in there!” By the end of the show, the hosts were going through Himes background and informing their listeners that a couple could donate up to $4,600 to Himes campaign!

CT Blogger at My Left Nutmeg pulled video from the show. First (and this is probably the least interesting clip), Mike and Chris run through Shays behavior during the House hearings on steroids yesterday:

Then they start taking callers to respond to Shays. In completely bipartisan fashion, listeners to WFAN agree that Shays was a disgrace and that they wanted him out of there.

The best segment, in my mind, is this clip where Mike and Chris first decide that Himes is their guy:

It merits repeating that “Mike and the Mad Dog” are on cable in the tri-state area for about five hours every day of the week. If they decide to make bashing Chris Shays a regular issue, Shays is in serious trouble. Connecticut’s 4th CD, which Shays represents, is completely within the broadcast range of WFAN. There is a huge base of sports fans from CT that listen to WFAN religiously. I grew up in Shays district and used to listen to “Mike and the Mad Dog” every single day after school. Now that I’m back in their broadcast range, I frequently listen to their show.

MLN commenter joejoejoe notes:

From the NY Daily News 4/07: “For nearly 20 years, Francesa and Russo have either been No.1 or No.2 in the market in terms of ratings, among men 25-54, the key demographic.”

From Wikipedia: “During the day, WFAN’s groundwave signal can be heard faintly as far south as Washington, DC and as far north as the I-90 corridor (the New York State Thruway and Massachusetts Turnpike), about 150 miles north of New York City. WFAN can also allegedly be heard clearly on the northern beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks during the day. Signal strength varies depending on factors such as weather and elevation. Still, a good car radio can pick up WFAN cleanly in most of eastern Pennsylvania and throughout Connecticut”

This could actually be a big deal in the Himes vs. Shays race. If Russo and Francesa decide they are going to regularly blast Shays and promote Jim Himes, then there’s the potential to give a lot of people who vote in this race a very solid hook to turn them against Shays.

Oh and I hope you caught it at the start of the 3rd video, but the Himes campaign had Jim call the WFAN studio while Mike and Chris were on air. That’s a very impressive response to a timely issue and it looked like it impressed the hosts.

Learn more about Jim Himes at his campaign website,

3 thoughts on “Shays Hammered for Baseball Grandstanding

  1. Yeah I agree Fred. This is a real opportunity to hit GOPers for being out of touch with working Americans.

    No one I know – and I’m a HUGE Yankees fan – is on Clemens side, except Republican congressmen.


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