Our Blog

Cleveland sports: Thoughts from local radio hosts

Elk & Elk was a supporting sponsor of Cleveland Jewish News‘ (CJN) recent “Les is More” event at Buffalo Wild Wings in Warrensville Heights. Moderated by CJN sports columnist Les Levine, the event featured a continental breakfast, raffle drawings and a panel discussion with Cleveland’s top sports personalities.Les is More

Andy Baskin, co-host of Baskin & Phelps on 92.3 The Fan
Adam “the Bull” Gerstenhaber, co-host of Bull & Fox on 92.3 The Fan
Aaron Goldhammer, co-host of The Really Big Show on 850 ESPN Cleveland
Jonathan Peterlin, weekend host and anchor at 92.3 The Fan

Most of the morning’s discussion centered on baseball and the Indians, with a healthy sampling of Browns and Cavs talk mixed in. Here’s what Cleveland’s media personalities had to say about various topics:

The Houston Astros

Gerstenhaber: “I hate [what they did] as a baseball fan, but I don’t think it’s a big problem [for the sport]. The Astros being hated across the country – though a disgrace to the game – isn’t a big problem.”

Ways to grow baseball’s popularity

Goldhammer: “Improve technology – let highlights be distributed outside of the Major League Baseball (MLB) app.”

Gerstenhaber: “Mic up the players. Spring training has been great since they’ve done it.”

Problems that baseball needs to overcome

Goldhammer: “When I was growing up, Ken Griffey Jr., Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson were the biggest stars in sports. They all had unique and different personalities. I think baseball has a serious star and marketability problem that is the number one factor.”

Gerstenhaber: “MLB’s efforts – while some are positive – to speed up the game are pointless. There’s no rule you can make in baseball that would significantly change the [length] of the game.”

Peterlin: “[MLB commissioner] Rob Manfriend is a used car salesman.”

Goldhammer: “It doesn’t help that Opening Day is on March 26.”

Why don’t the Indians get more attention?

Gerstenhaber: “Young people have no attention span. Football and basketball are action movies. Baseball is a drama.”

Peterlin: “[In other sports] we keep the conversation going when the games aren’t going.”

Francisco Lindor

Baskin: “The Indians should keep him.”

Gerstenhaber: “[Paul] Dolan is a good owner. The Indians should absolutely sign Francisco Lindor. The only debate is does it make sense to sign a guy to a 10-year, $300-million deal. Lindor is a once-in-a-generation player.”

Baseball in Cleveland

Gerstenhaber: “I don’t traditionally think we’re a baseball town. I hate to say that, especially [here] you probably think we are, but if you go look at the attendance numbers in the years the Indians are outside the playoffs, the numbers are horrible.”

Baskin: “The interest is there. The TV and radio numbers [are great]. ”

Gerstenhaber: “Cleveland as a small-market town is a bogus narrative. ”

Baskin: “Baseball is so regional. I don’t traditionally think [Cleveland] is a baseball town. Every football game is an event.”

The Corey Kluber trade

Peterlin: “[Kluber] will be lucky to have an ERA near four in Texas. ”

Gerstenhaber: “[Emmanuel Clase] could become Aroldis Chapman. I think the best of Kluber is behind us. ”

The panel at Les is More

The panel had spirited discussions about the current sports landscape.

Yasiel Puig

Gerstenhaber: “[Puig still being unsigned] doesn’t make a lot of sense. ”

Goldhammer: “I think [the Indians] are conscious of clubhouse issues. ”

Gerstenhaber: “I had heard that he was fine here … The past couple of years, it’s been a bad offseason for baseball. ”

How will the Indians finish in the Central Division?

Gerstenhaber: “The Indians’ margin for error is slimmer than its been. [Mike] Clevinger, [Carlos] Carrasco and [Shane] Bieber are the three best pitchers in the division. I would predict Twins, Indians, White Sox. ”

Goldhammer: “The Indians have the best pitcher in the division, the best player in the division and the best manager in the division – when you have those three things you should win the division. ”

Gerstenhaber: “The Indians are lucky to have Chris Antonetti, Mike Chernoff and Terry Francona.”

The Cavs

Gerstenhaber: “I wouldn’t watch the NBA at all if I didn’t [talk sports] for a living. ”

Baskin: “[Cavs owner] Dan Gilbert spends money like it’s crazy. He went all in and we won a championship. ”

Goldhammer: “My hope is that Bronny James gets drafted by the Cavs and LeBron comes back.”

Browns fans, the move and Art Modell

Peterlin: “I’ve never seen a football fanbase like this.”

Gerstenhaber: “It’s inconceivable to me that the team could have been moved in 1995. Art Modell to the Hall of Fame should have never been a conversation.”

Baskin (on the team moving in 1995): “We thought we won just by keeping the name and colors.”

Levine (sarcasm): “Modell deserves to be in the Hall of Fame because he fired Bill Belichick and Paul Brown.”

Baker Mayfield

Baskin: “He needs to be pushed. Baker has work to do.”

Peterlin: “I have optimism about Baker. Baker was right in believing he knew more than Hue Jackson and Freddie Kitchens. He never had a chance from jump street.”

Myles Garrett

Goldhammer: “He’ll be the most scrutinized player in the league.”

Peterlin: “Something changed with Myles. He’ll be [officiated] very hard.”

Gerstenhaber: “I don’t think he’ll be [officiated] differently. If we have another incident this year, that’s going to change it.”

The NFL replay system

Goldhammer: “Video replay should only be used when there is an egregious mistake.”

Peterlin: “If you go down that road [where everything is reviewable under four minutes], you run the risk of turning into the NBA where in the final two minutes it takes you two hours to get the game done.”

Gerstenhaber: “Everything should be reviewable. If it’s an obvious error, correct it. If you can’t tell in 15 seconds, move on.”

How to be a good owner in sports

Gerstenhaber: “Be involved but not too involved. Trust the people you hire until they prove to you that you can’t. If the owner thinks he is a general manager, [your team] is probably going to fail.”

Goldhammer: “Trust that the people you hire are going to do their jobs.”