For A Good Time, Call The New York Yankees Ticket Office

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Google search for the New York Yankees ticket office returns a toll-free number that now connects to a phone sex hotline.

A Google search for the New York Yankees ticket office returns a toll-free number that now connects to a phone sex hotline.

It sounds like something out of an old “Seinfeld” episode.

But it actually happened.

A toll-free telephone number previously used by the New York Yankees for their ticket office now directs you to a phone sex hotline.

The New York Post discovered that if you Google the term “Yankees box office phone number,” the very first number that comes up is 800.913.9793 – and it’s listed as a link to the Yankees’ official website.

Meanwhile, when you click on a link on the Yankees’ website (bottom right) titled “Yankee Stadium Ticket Office,” it directs you to an “A To Z Guide” in the “T” section – yet there’s no information on tickets listed under “T”. There’s “Taxi Stand” and “Television and Radio Broadcasts” but then it goes right to “Tours Presented by MasterCard.”

There was also a previous dustup with that same telephone number back when it was fully functioning. No word on when the line was actually discontinued, but the Yankees currently have two local numbers listed (on the same page) as their “ticket office” numbers: 718.293.6000 and 212-YANKEES.

The Yankees aren’t the first sports team or figure to be unknowingly promoting a phone sex number. A phone number listed on a box of cereal modeled after then-Cincinnati Bengals wideout Chad Ochocinco potentially led some people (even kids) to dial up a sex hotline. And nearly a decade ago, the Charlotte Bobcats, in their expansion season, had a listing in the local yellow pages for basketball tickets that had been mistaken for a sex chat number.

It’s bittersweet that such a snafu was uncovered as the Yankees are mired in a 1-3 slump to start the 2013 campaign. It’s like an old “Seinfeld” episode come to life.

Fox To Air A Whopping Five Yankees/Red Sox Games In 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fox will be carrying a grand total of five New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox games during the 2013 MLB regular season - and Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will likely be working all of them.

Fox will be carrying a grand total of five New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox games during the 2013 MLB regular season – and Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will likely be working all of them.

Fox has released their schedule of MLB broadcasts for the 2013 season. This includes nine Saturday primetime games, as well as the annual All-Star Game on July 16.

And just when you thought Fox had scheduled way too many New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox matchups, think again.

The network will carry five, count ’em, five Yankees/Red Sox games this year – which is actually up from four games over the last two seasons.

By the way, during the 2010 season – the year the Yankees defended their last world championship in vain – only two Yankees/Red Sox broadcasts aired on Fox.

It’s no secret that there is a bitter rivalry between these two teams, and that will likely translate into some ratings magic for Fox.

But heading into a year where the Yankees are expected to have a vanilla offense, with their biggest stars, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, coming off injuries and/or steroid buzz, and the Red Sox are fresh off firing their manager after one season, one would argue that there would be less Yankees/Red Sox games shown on Fox, at least for the 2013 season (after all, it was done just three years ago).

So how did Fox and MLB manage to muster an additional matchup? The network usually carries at least one game of the annual regular-season “Subway Series” between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, with Fox carrying one Saturday contest from each series at Yankee Stadium and CitiField for at least the last two years. But since MLB decided this year that they would shoehorn two three-game “home and home” weekend series into a four-game weekday slate – Fox doesn’t carry regular season MLB games during the week – that frees up more options, and more teams to be spotlighted on Fox.

In fact, guess which two teams, other than the Red Sox, are scheduled to make a maximum of nine Saturday appearances on Fox? If you guessed the Washington Nationals and the Cincinnati Reds, then you likely cheated and read Fox’s post in full before reaching this point.

Still, the fact that there is going to be even more Yankees/Red Sox action on Fox this year than usual, given the hardships and changes that both clubs will be facing this season, just proves my point that Fox really likes the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.

They like it a lock.

Mike Francesa Rips Bully At Yankee Game (Audio)

WFAN’s Mike Francesa complained about how he went to a Yankee game days after his infamous sleep-inducing interview, and endured a heckler harassing him “for nine innings… He rode me the whole game.”

The high point of 2012 for Mike Francesa was being named the number one personality on the first-ever “sports talk heavy hundred” list compiled by Talkers Magazine, which presents its popular “heavy hundred” list of regular radio talk show hosts each year.

And without question, the lowest point of the year for the WFAN/New York late midday/afternoon drive host was when YES Network cameras caught him sleeping during a segment.

Despite the clip going viral, and now fielding crank calls on his radio show jibing him about it on a regular basis as a result, Francesa still has his head held high and continues living his life off the air in the public eye.

On his radio show on Thursday, he confessed of an incident stemming from his big sleep, that lasted as long as a Yankee game.

In fact, it took place during a Yankee game.

Francesa recalled going to a game at Yankee Stadium, just days after his schmooze-and-snooze interview with Sweeny Murti, which would place him on the weekend of September 14-16, when the Yankees hosted the Tampa Bay Rays. (We’re guessing it was the Friday night game, when the Yankees lost; Francesa can be home team kryptonite.)

“There was a guy three rows behind me,” Francesa said. “He killed me for the whole game… He gave it to me for nine innings… He gave it to me… He rode me the whole game.”

Given the unique confrontational style that we’ve come to know from Francesa, one would expect him to react to the fan at the Yankee game – which could possibly turn into a bigger story about him than the one a few days before.

But Francesa took his lumps like a man, not once turning around to look at his heckler, or send his friend/driver Julio over to straighten him out.

“It comes with the territory,” he said. “It’s part of the deal, if you’re a public person.”

He also made it a point to be as conspicuous as possible during that week in September, just so he can put the fallout over him falling asleep behind him.

“I purposely didn’t go hide that week,” Francesa revealed to listeners. “I went out, because I said, ‘You know, I gotta get this over with.’

“That was an easy one,” he said of his decision to go to a Yankee game, and the vulnerability it presents after having fallen asleep during a tet-a-tet with Murti, WFAN’s resident Yankees reporter. “I knew it was gonna happen.”

Francesa added that it would be a different situation if the fan got testy with the host, or if members of Francesa’s family accompanied him to the game. “I don’t think my kids should be subjected to that,” he said.

And considering how he fell asleep on the air again in recent weeks, there’s not as much of a buzz as there was with the original. Now, had he exploded on the taunting Yankee fan, people might be looking at that second on-air snooze a little differently.

Hear the entire three-minute diatribe here:

And once Mike Francesa confessed about the time he was heckled at Yankee Stadium, the first thought that came to a lot of people’s minds was: How come no video of the fan heckling Mike Francesa exists?

But if Francesa says it, then it must be true… or is it?

Baby Boom For Michael Kay

Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay is going to be a father. His wife Jodi Applegate broke the news on her husband’s radio show that she is en ceinte with the couple’s first child, a girl, due in January.

There’s a little one in the on deck circle of Michael Kay’s family.

The New York Yankees play-by-play broadcaster on YES Network who moonlights as a talk show host on WEPN/”ESPN 98.7″ in New York welcomed a special guest on his afternoon drive radio broadcast on Tuesday afternoon – with some special news.

Jodi Applegate, the anchor of the 10 PM newscast on WPIX/New York who married Kay in February 2011, revealed that she’s expecting.

“Got a little baby ready to join us in January,” Applegate said during a “game” Kay and his radio cohort, Don LaGreca, played quizzing the males on who knows Applegate best. Hear the audio of the segment here.

“We kind of kept it quiet for a long time,” Applegate told listeners. “But now it can be told. We can’t wait.”

The gender of the child was confirmed to be a girl later in the show.

And yes, he’ll be ecstatic even if his child grows up to be a Mets fan.”

“I don’t care what team my kid roots for,” Kay said.

Congratulations to Michael and Jodi on their new arrival.

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” Jodi Applegate told her husband.

To which Michael Kay replied: “Literally.”

We can only hope his attention to his own kid will be completely different to the attention he gave a kid on Twitter not too long ago.

Audio: 66 WFAN Starts On 101.9 FM

This aircheck consists of the end of the alternative music format on WRXP (“New Rock 101.9”) – the final song being Jeff Buckley’s “Last Goodbye” – and the start of the simulcast of Sports Radio 66 WFAN, via a CBS Radio local marketing agreement with Merlin Media.

http://www.1027wnew.com/WRXP_Becomes_WFANFM.mp3

Trivia: The first voice heard on WFAN on FM was… Steve Somers, at three minutes to midnight, bringing Suzyn Waldman on the phone, so that she can be the first official voice of the station on the FM dial. “Didn’t we do this once before?”, she joked. After a drumroll, she gave the first ID of the simulcasting stations (the legal ID would follow later). Afterward, Somers asked Waldman, the color commentator of New York Yankees radio broadcasts: “I haven’t heard you on the radio since October; I wonder what happened.” Waldman says that she, like many others in Westchester, have no power as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which the two went on to talk about for a few minutes. So the first topic discussed on the new 101.9 FM WFAN was – not the Yankees, not the Giants, but Hurricane Sandy – which forced the postponement of what would have been the first-ever game played by the Nets in Brooklyn. It does not, however, appear to deter the running of the New York City Marathon on Sunday. Waldman called the thought of people “celebrating… with little numbers on your chest” during the race “appalling.” By the way, “Mo from Brooklyn” was the first WFAN caller in frequency modulation. (As you’ll hear, two out of the first five calls taken on FM are dropped calls.) And toward the end, you’ll hear the first new WFAN jingle.

More trivia: The songs preceding “Last Goodbye” on the old format were Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”, Semisonic’s “Closing Time” and the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” (which may have been a good song to enter the new format with, had the Nets won their home opener – had it been played on Thursday night).

Download here:

http://www.1027wnew.com/WRXP_Becomes_WFANFM.mp3

Video: Tim McCarver Mocks Locks Of Love

Fox's Tim McCarver may be in locks of trouble after making fun of Locks Of Love during a Yankees/Red Sox broadcast. The cancer charity was mentioned because former Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald, upon joining the Yankees, cut off his dreadlocks.

If you were watching the Yankees/Red Sox game on Saturday night, you may have caught quite a conversation out of left field.

During coverage of the game as part of the final night of the first season of FOX’s “Baseball Night In America”, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver (what were you expecting them to call, the Rangers/Twins game?) were so mesmerized by the dreadlocks of Yankees outfielder Darnell McDonald – the team claimed him off waivers from the Red Sox and he happened to be making his debut against his former team – that the duo somehow sauntered into a discussion about Locks Of Love.

Here’s what happened: Buck discussed how McDonald’s had to take his dreadlocks off, because, of course, part of the Yankees dress code is no facial hair below the ears. When the Fox crew showed a photo of McDonald’s dreadlocks in a Ziploc bag, McCarver could clearly be heard laughing. Hysterically, I might add.

“What in the world are you going to do with those,” McCarver asked? “He said he might sell them to charity — what charity would buy that?”

At that point, Buck started schooling McCarver about Locks Of Love, an explanation that was derailed by a passed ball by the Red Sox, advancing Yankees runners on base.

After the play, Buck just said, “Locks of Love, I would imagine, is going to get the bag of hair from Darnell McDonald.”

Anyway, since Buck failed to elaborate on the charity’s  mission, I will: Locks Of Love, according to their website, “is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.”

Diagnoses like, you know, cancer.

I bet if McCarver had any idea whatsoever, he wouldn’t have laughingly wondered, “How much business does Locks Of Love have?”

And a news flash to Joe Buck, who I’m sure had to be biting his tongue during this uncomfortable exchange: according to the Locks Of Love website, dreadlocks cannot be accepted. “Our manufacturer is not able to use them in our children’s hairpieces. We also cannot accept wigs, falls, hair extensions or synthetic hair.”

Now that’s funny, Timmy!

By the way, at the top of the fifth inning, McCarver apologized for his ill-informed comments – and laughter – regarding Locks Of Love a few innings earlier… Here’s full text of McCarver’s apology: “We were kidding about Darnell McDonald’s locks earlier, and we talked about the Locks Of Love. We were by no means — I was by no means taking that wonderful organization lightly. It is a terrific organization that does a world of good, furnishing hair for cancer patients.”

Note how after talking about how “we” talked about McDonald’s dreadlocks, he went on to say “we were by no means,” then quickly caught himself to say, “I was by no means…” Of course, it should be noted that the word “sorry” was never uttered.

Was Tim McCarver out of line? Watch the video and judge for yourself.

And just for good measure, here’s some instant Twitter reaction from dozens of viewers upon hearing McCarver mocking Locks Of Love.

FANning The Flames For A Move To FM Once Again

There is new speculation that WFAN, the premier sports radio station in New York that recently ceelbrated its 25th anniversary, could be migrating to an FM signal, possibly 102.7 FM, the former WNEW. It would mean a return to the frequency for Richard Neer, who hosted a WFAN-branded morning show on the frequency ten years ago.

A few months ago, back when ESPN Radio (WEPN) in New York formally announced that they would be migrating to the FM band at 98.7, after just over a decade at AM 1050, I wrote an extensive piece speculating that, in conjunction with the station’s 25th anniversary, WFAN should make a similar move, with a silver anniversary gift in the form of an FM signal – perhaps at 92.3 FM, a sister station of WFAN with a CHR format that’s still not as highly rated as its established rival, the legendary Z-100, which you can argue is to late-20th-century “hit radio” as WFAN has been to the sports talk radio genre.

Alas, that piece was unfortunately wiped away with a SportsRantz.com server upgrade, which was scheduled right around the time I posted it.

In retrospect, the loss of that article in the shuffle has made me look like a genius, because: A) July 1 has come and gone and WFAN still does not have an existence on the FM dial; and B) there are new inklings – inklings that serve as the basis of this post that you are reading right now – suggesting that WFAN will indeed add an FM signal by the time the station turns 26 – and the intended target is not 92.3, as myself and many others have long suspected it would be, but 102.7.

For the uninitiated, CBS Radio/New York owns three radio stations on the FM band, as well as the the AM band. Media companies are allowed to own up to five FM stations in a market; however, as previously explained here, CBS Radio also owns two TV stations in the New York DMA. Mind you, one of the TV properties was just recently purchased, so they’re maxed out in Market No. 1. Which means that if CBS were to migrate WFAN, or either or both of the all-news AM stations they operate, to the FM dial, it would have to be at the expense of one of the three FM music stations they own in the market.

The three FM stations are: 92.3 FM, WXRK, the aforementioned CHR station known as “92.3 Now,” whose callsign is a holdover from its glory days as a classic rock station with Howard Stern in morning drive. According to the May PPM’s (6+), they’re garnering half as much ratings as its opponent, Z-100. Note that WFAN currently broadcasts on the HD-3 channel of 92.3 FM. Then, there is 101.1 FM, WCBS-FM, which this weekend is celebrating its own anniversary: it was on July 7, 1972 that they started airing the format originally known as “oldies”, which has been referred to these days as “classic hits”. (I don’t think they’re counting those two years in the mid-2000’s when they ran the “Jack FM” format, which was a radically different form of classic hits.) Currently, WCBS-FM is a solid number two in the PPM’s. Last but not least is 102.7 FM, the former WNEW-FM, currently in its fifth year under the identity of “Fresh 102.7” with the call letters WWFS. In the latest PPM’s, their rival, the perennial ratings leader “106.7 Lite FM,” has nearly three times as much ratings as “Fresh 102.7” has. (The June PPM numbers are expected to be released on Monday afternoon.)

In late April, when ESPN Radio (1050 WEPN-AM at the time) announced that they would be leasing the signal of WRKS-FM (then known as “98.7 Kiss-FM”) so that they would become New York’s first sports radio station on the FM band, speculation began – in places such as this one – indicating that the ball was in WFAN’s court as far as making a move to FM is concerned. At the time, WFAN executives confirmed that they would be staying the course with their 50,000-watt blowtorch signal, and so far, they have.

What appears to be reigniting this WFAN-to-FM rumor is a conversation that Media Bistro New York media columnist Jerry Barmash had with a person identified only as “a former CBS Radio employee who asked to remain anonymous.” The unidentified person suggests that at some point, WFAN will take over 102.7 FM, with the station’s current AM 660 signal that they’ve been occupying for the last two dozen years, being transformed as an outlet carrying the new CBS Sports Radio, whose 24/7 component debuts the day after New Year’s Day 2013.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if CBS uses 660 as a clearinghouse for the CBS Sports [Radio] Network, while 102.7 maintains a local angle,” the ex-CBS staffer prognosticated.

Supporting this prediction is the recent appointment of Jim Ryan, program director of “Fresh 102.7,” to similar duties at WCBS-FM, upon the departure of that station’s PD, Brian Thomas, to Tampa Bay to run the CBS Radio cluster there. Ryan, who had programmed “106.7 Lite FM” for a dozen years, was hired by its rival “Fresh” just last year. “Therefore,” Barmash writes, “in an effort to ‘keep the seat warm,’ once a move is decided, WFAN can easily take over the 102.7 spot.”

Another factor in WFAN gunning for an FM signal is one of the main reasons that prompted its rival, now known as “ESPN 98.7”, to grab an FM signal of their own: Both the Yankees and Mets’ radio broadcast contracts expire at the conclusion of this season. Both teams’ games are currently heard on CBS-owned AM stations: the Yankees on WCBS-AM since the 2002 season, and the Mets on WFAN for much, much longer. Interestingly, last year, WFAN extended their relationship with the Mets for just one more year, coinciding with the expiration of the Yankees’ WCBS-AM contract.

“If anything,” the former CBS Radio staffer suggests, the Yankees “will go to The ‘Fan or WEPN-FM. Whoever doesn’t get the Yankees will get the Mets, but there is a chance WFAN could try for both and clear the Mets on 660 and the Yankees on FM.”

Which means the Mets’ long relationship with WFAN, going back to the WHN days, could indeed continue in 2013 – albeit on a signal which will now be consisting of virtually no local talent (WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” morning show could be syndicated via CBS Sports Radio). Usually, sports radio stations that carry play-by-play of their local teams are accustomed to hosts breaking down the game, immediately after the game. For the Mets to pick a WFAN-AM that would be a hollow shell of the local sports radio station that it once was, as opposed to a WEPN-FM, would be quite a hard sell. Does anyone honestly think that the Mets would pick an AM sports station, knowing that there would be two FM sports stations to choose from? And considering the Yankees sign a new deal to have their games heard on WFAN, with or without the FM signal: does anybody think the Mets are going to want to do business with CBS Radio at that point? Why wouldn’t they hightail it to ESPN 98.7 after being shunned by their flagship station for about three decades? The Mets realize that they’re going to get sloppy seconds after the Yankees dot their I’s and cross their T’s, one way or the other, but for the Mets to choose an automated AM 660, whose CBSSR host could be flapping his or her gums about the Yankees game as soon as the Mets game is over, they would just be suckers for punishment.

Especially considering the “interesting numbers out of the gate” that ESPN Radio/New York had once moving to 98.7 FM – in fact, they nearly doubled their previous rating when they were only on AM 1050. This shows that listeners – mostly, new ones – are finding “ESPN 98.7” and listening to them for an extended period of time – mind you, without any Yankees or Mets play-by-play – at the moment, anyway.

“FAN still has a huge advantage in New York,” the unidentified ex-CBS employee continued, “but there will come a point where an FM signal may be needed during rights negotiations with sports teams. More and more teams are moving to FM across the country, and the Yankees may be attracted by WFAN if they had an AM and FM.”

One thing to take into consideration is that, while the 6+ PPM numbers may be very good for WCBS-FM and not so much for WWFS, billing numbers may prove otherwise. In fact, there is speculation that WCBS-FM, currently celebrating their 38th, er, 40th anniversary, could be replaced by WFAN. “From a demographics standpoint, they are the most as risk versus Now and Fresh,” writes member “mluper”. “I think WCBS-FM fans should be worried.” A subsequent reply suggests that a WFAN-to-101.1 FM move may not happen, since the frequency is “short spaced to 101.1 Philadelphia, creating reception issues in Central New Jersey.” And besides, CBS-FM listeners have been down this road before with the upheaval of 101.1 to “Jack FM” seven years ago. “Then again,” as another member replied, “stranger things have happened.”

It wouldn’t be strange to hear WFAN on 102.7 FM. Ten years ago, when WNEW-FM was in the waning years of its hot talk format – this was right after the station fired Opie & Anthony following a stunt encouraging sexual intercourse in public places, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Richard Neer, one of the “rock jocks” under WNEW-FM’s previous album-oriented rock format on the frequency until 1999, who had remained with CBS’ radio division (then known as Infinity Broadcasting) as a sports talk show host on WFAN (and to this day, still does), hosted “The ‘FAN In The Morning”, which was basically the same kind of show he would host on WFAN on weekends, but weekday mornings on 102.7. His update guy was Harris Allen, another WNEW-FM alum who, yes, can still be heard doing updates on WFAN today. The main objective was to program a morning show that would not step on Don Imus, WFAN’s morning host at the time, as well as the aforementioned Howard Stern on WXRK.

How ironic would it be that “The ‘FAN In The Morning” – a mere experiment on 102.7 FM – would be a mere precursor to WFAN broadcasting full-time on 102.7 FM a decade later.

And if this unknown former CBS Radio employee’s premonitions come to fruition, does that spell a need for CBS to find an FM home for WSCR/”670 The Score” in Chicago, with the purpose of turning AM 670 into a CBSSCBS Sports Radio outlet? And what about markets such as Boston, Washington, Pittsburgh and Cleveland – would CBS be shopping (that is, if they’re not maxed out) for AM signals with the intent to clear CBSSR in these markets in which they currently operate local FM sports stations?

I suppose we’ll find out once the first shoe drops – which would likely be before the end of baseball’s regular season.

Let the games begin.