Friday, December 10, 2010

TORN FROM TODAY'S TICKET HEADLINES -- Who's the Twit Here?

[NOTE:  This post was re-edited 12-11-20 AM to cut out excess verbiage and unnecessary material.  All opinions, even the ludicrous ones, remain intact from original composition.]

First, a gigantic thanks to the incomparable AP for providing Your Plainsman with today's audio and some of the Twitter traffic on the C.J. Wilson contretemps. By the way, AP, that tweet about the other CJ looking at his phone waiting for a call was a real sweet stroke.

I don’t have any better theories about “what happened” than AP himself – I assume AP is a male – which he was kind enough to offer as a comment to my prior post. He writes:

“My take is that Junior was perhaps quick to burn the bridge between KTCK and CJ Wilson with his tweet, and that the fault probably lies with a handler situated between MLB.com and Fernando:

“CJ <-> Agent <-> Handler 1 <-> MLB.com <-> Handler 2 <-> Fernando <-> Musers

“I'm assuming that Handlers 1 and 2 are under the employ of MLB.com, and a game of 'broken telephone' ensued, leading to the accusations of lying by both parties.”

Yeah, almost had to be something like that. Personally, I would not have been so quick to assume that Wilson was being culpably untruthful here. He may have realized right off that there was a screwup and even though he knew he was going to be doing calls that day, he tried to smooth it over by saying that he wasn’t scheduled to do radio that day. Covering for the various intermediaries AP identifies above. But he didn’t think fast enough, because that questionable attempt at diplomacy was quickly punctured when it emerged (via his own tweet) that he was going to do another Dallas show, Ben & Skin.

By the way – I haven’t heard whether he did do Ben & Skin later on. Anybody know?

Has Wilson ever been on the Musers? Does he have a past relationship with any other Ticket showgram?

So what are we to make of this dust-up? . A couple of thoughts.

(1) Fernando/Craig/Gordon May Have Overreacted Even if They’re Right that Wilson Was Being Mendacious. Quite aside from the right/wrong of this episode, was it prudent to make an enemy of Wilson so promptly and on the air? Without any further investigation?  Who is going to win when a local radio station, even one as popular as The Ticket, cheeses off a superstar for a team on the rise, a team where he has lots of pals who The Ticket would like to interview?

And this is taking place against a backdrop of intensified competition from at least one of the local competitors who would only be too happy to call up Rangers PR and say "You know, no one at this station has ever called one of your players a liar on the air."

Look:  I'm all in favor of integrity.  And, as noted elsewhere, we like it that our boys our fearless when dealing with the big shots, including their own bosses.  I'm only musing (!) that sometimes there is a price to pay for fearlessness, and maybe our lads will pay it here.

(2) Maybe There’s Something Else Going on Here.  Maybe this isn’t a Wilson/Ticket issue. Maybe Wilson is having issues with MLB. Or with Rangers PR. And this is his way of gigging that entity.

Or maybe there’s a long-simmering problem between Wilson and The Ticket not directly related to today’s FUBAR. Somebody knows. Somebody will disclose it to Your Ticket Confession, perhaps in confidence.

Or maybe he heard something on the station between the time he agreed to do the interview and this morning that didn’t sit well with him.

Or how about this? (Ooo, this is delicious:)  This was orchestrated between Wilson and Ben & Skin.   As noted, he’s appeared with them frequently, maybe they’re pals. Maybe this was a way to pwn The Ticket (former home of BS) and promote BS.  As Gordon has noted:  in the absence of evidence, the conspiracy explanation must be the correct one.  I was retracing Gordon's LHO Trail of Tears just the other day and I could have sworn I saw Greggo behind the fence at the top of that grassy knoll.

(3) How Important Is The Ticket?  Can you imagine any other outlet being stood up like that and doing anything other than smoothing it over, saying there’d been a mixup or technical problem, and they’d reschedule, and no one would be the wiser? Of course, the fact that The Ticket does not do things this way is one of the reasons we love it so much. And I’m glad they blew up – it’s fun for listeners and website journalists. But there was more than a touch of hubris in today’s proceedings. They called the Rangers’ (current) number 1 starter a liar because they think they can.

(4) How Much of What Happened Today Is the Result of Inter-Showgram Competition?  As you know, Your Plainsman enjoys the sport of listening between the words to figure out what goes on at The Ticket other than broadcast greatness.  It results in wild guesses and probably many wrong ones -- I've had certain people in the know tell me I'm right about a third of the time, and others tell me that I'm amazingly accurate, so who knows; all I can tell you is that I'm guessing.  Here's my guess about this one:

The Musers could not have been happy about being pwn’d by a big-time interviewee which would unquestionably carry with it the prospect of BaD and The Hardline snickering behind their backs. They had to call it out and deal with it right then and there in a way that gave them a victory of sorts.  They had to acknowledge it -- they had to turn disaster into broadcast gold, which they did, which is why Ticket connoisseurs like AP got in touch with me, and I'm writing a big article about it, and P1 Steven and Christy and Scott and Douglas and several flavors of Anonymous are going to comment on it, and take that, BaD and Hardline snickerboys.

I also have a feeling that the brunt of the natural (and healthy) friction between these big-time showgrams is frequently borne by the producers. Which accounts for Fernando feeling particularly abused by these circumstances.

One thing is bloody sure --

(5) We Haven’t Heard the End of This. So let’s get started. Comments open . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . now.

12 comments:

The Plainsman said...

My Gawd, how did I get 1,212 words out of that without a shred of information?

The Plainsman said...

Here are some later tweets from CJ, let's see how they copy over. Need to read from bottom to top if you want them in chron order, I'm too lazy to re-order and it's late:

.@junior_miller sorry man- mlb and the rangers apparently scheduled different times with u guys. I never do interviews that early
about 13 hours ago via ÜberTwitter in reply to junior_miller

.@RobGsrh hey people arranged stuff without my approval or knowledge and then call me a jerk- it's not my fault, not the ticket's fault
about 13 hours ago via ÜberTwitter in reply to RobGsrh

.So apparently rangers PR and mlb ARE scheduling my day for radio...but- I was told to be here at 940 and they scheduled 1310 for 9am. #doh
about 13 hours ago via ÜberTwitter

======

So it looks like CJ is making a fair case that this was a scheduling screwup, despite Fernando's multiple confirmations. In any case, he's being somewhat contrite, not lashing out at KTCK (although he may not have known that he was called a liar on the air at this time).

So possibly I could have made do with say, oh, 800 words.

ap said...

A few notes from my perspective ...

- I believe CJ did do the show with the Coffee-nods, according to Twitter:
http://twitter.com/michael_moore19/status/13288726209761281
Retweeted by twitter.con/BENANDSKIN
Seems like he's a regular guest there.

- Wilson, to my knowledge, has not been on with the Musers for at least the last few years. I believe he has been on with the Hardline recently following one of his spectacular play-off starts
(I'm a little hazy on that, though)

- The Musers rarely talk baseball, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of Fernando's first dalliances with the Rangers/MLB PR staff. In BaD Radio-land, Gribble is regularly kicked in the junk for supposedly failing to book MLB guests reliably, and his response when asked why the scheduled guest isn't on the line is "Don't blame me, you know how the Rangers PR staff is". As you may imagine, Dan McDowell never accepts this explanation, but it has happened enough times to lead me to believe something is flaky on the Ranger's PR end.

- Ian Kinsler used to be a regular on BaD Radio last year and at times, it
sounded like he could give less than a dang about the conversation. Danny Balis was so incensed after hearing Ian's unprofessional behavior during one of the final IK shows that he spent nearly an entire segment on the Hardline ripping Kinsler. Perhaps word of this got back to the Rangers clubhouse?

- I have a theory that Junior Miller has a very short fuse and is prone to acting without thinking first. His treatment of Mike Bacsik and Donovan after the 2009 great game (admitting to hating Bacsik for months after he pitched for the hardline, which was down 10 runs at the time, and accusing Donny on-air of trying to elbow him in the head while sliding into 2nd base) gave me the impression that the wrath of an angry Spank Miller is best avoided.

- Indeed, I am a male P1!

Anonymous said...

Plainsman, seriously. I loves ya, but please... editing! It's a GOOD THING!

I read this and have no idea how to even comment.

-Anonymous B

The Plainsman said...

Anon B, I cannot deny the truth of what you say. As you can see from the first comment I left, I realized my logorrhea at the time. The only defense I have is that I was working against deadline (bedtime) and you know the old saying, after Montaigne: "I wrote it too long because I didn't have time to make it shorter." Editing would have meant actually working on my diamond-hard prose. Too hard.

AP: Although he's one of my Ticket fave raves, I've had the same thought about Junior. Recalling the Dick Hicks internet-stream-adjustment-during-Muser-showgram episode. In this case, though, Fernando got the ball rolling on-air and was by far the more angry. I think Junior's tweet probably preceded Fernando's outburst, however.

The Plainsman said...

PREDICTION: There's a new regime in Rangerland that cares a lot about fan service. It's going to look into this, figure out what happened.

There will be (probably already have been) many phone calls between Ticket and Rangers PR.

End result: (1) Someone at Rangers PR is going to get a severe talking-to; and (2) we will hear CJ Wilson on the Musers laughing about this misunderstanding and talking about off-road racing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've always gotten the feeling the Junior is a bit of an arrogant jacka$$ that takes himself too seriously. It's the main reason I'm not a huge fan of the Musers and kind of cringe when I read loving comments about him here. I much prefer hosts that can take it as they give it.

I will acknowledge that I usually enjoy his tweets though.

The Plainsman said...

Anonymous, why so harsh?

The fact is, that every single host on The Ticket -- each show top-rated, been on for years, launched these guys into some serious coin -- can be accused of a certain degree of ill-concealed self-regard. (Norm? Bob? Dan? Mike R? Corby? Sheesh, come on.)

Junior at least sometimes admits when he's misjudged something, and I can't remember the last time he actually raised his voice on the air. In contradistinction to, oh, almost every other host.

So cringe away if you must, Anon, but among a population of noted radio artists, Junior strikes me as a real talent and an appealing intellect. If he is an arrogant asshole, he's in superb company on the station we both spend a fairish amount of time on.

But I do agree with AP and, presumably, you, that in this instance both Fernando and Craig might have considered alternatives to instant tweeting and on-air analysis.

P1 Steven said...

I believe CJ is buddy-buddy w/ Ben & Skin. In addition, I think Craig might also be quick with the temper now that I think about it. Wouldnt it be more awesome if this is a feud that goes on for years?

Scott said...

Addressing Craig - I too think he is a prima donna, kinda think that about most of the on-air staff. and, if he did not get his way, he is going to lash out. While Dan lashes out at Tom, because it seems like Tom does not take a hard enough stand (though I have heard a few good comebacks), I don't think any of the Musers would treat Fernando with the kind of contempt that Dan has for Tom. So, for a lack of lashing out at a producer, the talent was next.

I also believe 100% that there is still a rift between Rangers PR and KTCK over the incident at spring training with the HL and Royals several years back. On the surface, that incident looked bad, under the surface, I can only imagine the tongue lashing received by Rangers staff. I would be shocked if there are great relations between the tow entities.

Christy said...

Not on topic. Sorry, guys.

Interesting how Corby is the only host to not be even the least perturbed by Tashard Choice's decision to get Michael Vick's autograph after the Cowboys's loss. Bob is somewhat spinning to the side of "this is being overblown", but he was initially not happy with Choice's actions and now is reacting to the over-reaction.

I was on board with the Musers's take, but now I'm leaning towards Bob's stance. All the coverage is giving me tired-head.

The Plainsman said...

Off-topic blasts are always welcome. Never know which way the comment thread will trend.

They also give me some guidance on the things readers are interested in.

So, thanks.