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Mike Francesa has never heard of Al Alburquerque

Oct 5, 2011, 3:01 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Al Alburquerque reacts after called for a balk which scored New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez during the fifth inning of Game 4 in their MLB  American League Division Series baseball playoffs in Detroit Reuters

There are a times when a guy I’ve never heard of shows up in a box score. I try to cover every team as much as possible and that hurt’s one’s depth of baseball knowledge, so it happens. I don’t know every fourth outfielder or fifth bullpen arm in the game and if a dude has split time between the minors and the bigs in a season and hasn’t otherwise made headlines and/or played for an NL East team, no, it’s not likely that I know him. Just one of those things.

I’d like to think, however, that if I was covering one city’s teams and one of those teams was in a playoff series, that I’d know the opposition’s roster fairly well.  But maybe that’s asking too much.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Ouch, that’s pretty embarrassing, even for a blowhard like Francesa.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

      Oh, and this really clears it up

      First time he has ever seen him pitch…even though he gave up the Slam to Cano in Game 1. LOL.

      • bigleagues - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        OMG – he was better off saying nothing else than trying to explain that he only knew him as Alberto Jose Alburquerque and that he never saw him “pitch” before the other night.

        Further proof The Sports Pope is never wrong and can never admit a mistake.

        BTW, his name is spelled and pronounced differently than the City.

  2. citifieldurinal - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    “Although to be fair, that kid Mike Rotch looked really good in relief for Detroit last night. Neva heard of him before yesterday though.”

  3. bigleagues - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    That’s nothin . . . Francesser didn’t realize there is a team in Tamper until 2008!

    • phukyouk - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      Edit Function?

      • bigleagues - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        NO Edit Function – I spelled it like Francesser, The Sports Pope, says it! Tam-PER.

  4. halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Mike Francesa says Cliff Lee to The Yankees is a ’99 percenter’

  5. cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    I hadn’t seen the worthy Mr. Albuquerque till last night. He can really throw some heat. Given that handle, his strong arm, and his spot on the roster of Jim Leyland’s team, how do you not at least of heard of the guy? Am I better informed than Mike Francesa? For that matter, who the eff is Mike Francesa? I’ve never heard of him.

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      Mike Francesa works for WFAN in NY. Afternoon talk show host. Has been there forever.

      • dexterismyhero - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:16 PM

        I thought they were talking about Alburque Al Unser…..Oh well

      • cur68 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        I live in the frozen tundra o Canuckistan. I’ve never heard of him, nor he of me I bet. But I at least know who “Al Albuquerque” is. And no one gives a crap about my baseball opinions (nor should they; my opinions are wildly inflated by my tendencies to bloviate), but they phone in and ask this guy stuff? Homey, please…

      • yankeesfanlen - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        cur- wait a minute,wait a minute,wait a minute.You’ve never heard of Francesa?
        And Al Albuquerque sounds like a bubble in a bathtub.

    • bigleagues - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:01 AM

      He and his former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo formed the most successful sports radio tandem in history. Russo bolted for his own channel on SiriusXM a few years ago and Francesser (somehow) maintains the top rated sports show in the NY region. He is also simulcast throughout most of the country on YES.

      He has always been known as a holier than thou (thus The Sports Pope nickname beset upon him by sports-media critic Bob Raissman) pompous know-it-all, I’m-right-you’re-always-wrong Yankees homer who hangs up on callers who confront him with facts.

      He knows the games he talks about most (football & baseball) but knows a lot less about basketball – even though he’ll never admit it.

      Ironically, this all makes him an icon and even after 20+ years I can’t stop tuning in either.

  6. protectthishouse54 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    If you’ve ever listened to Francesa you’d know that his appeal is not his deep attention to detail. He offers a very broad perspective on NY sports and prefers discussing the drama in the clubhouse rather than the drama on the field. So this is not surprising.

    • clydeserra - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:06 PM

      I get that. I do. But for pete sake, if your job is to talk about sports…you should know one of the better set up guys in the league and as craig points out, a player who will play a big role against the team you are covering in the playoffs.

      My team is not in the playoffs, nor in the AL central. But I know who he is. Can I have a talk show now?

      • bigleagues - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:35 AM

        He also had a well covered bromance with Tuna. They were just a couple of guys gay with gluttony.

    • bigleagues - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:33 AM

      Discussing the drama in the clubhouse is easy, any schmo can do that. I guess it was easier when his boy, Torre was in charge. But learning the players is hard – for Mike.

  7. uberfatty - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    The explanation video that comes up after that one is even better. Repeats imself approximately 15 times, and admits he must not have seen Cano’s game 1 GS.

  8. arrabin56 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    And it’s not like Francesa doesn’t watch the Tigers. I’m pretty sure he’s familiar with Brandon Inge.

  9. bigleagues - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Seriously though, the best part of that clip is the fact that The Sports Pope is correcting someone else pronunciation of a word, when there are few people in broadcasting that butchers more words than Francesser himself.

    The second best part of that clip is the fact he thinks he is getting pranked (which occurs far more often since Russo went to Sirius and started appearing on Howard).

    Granted the name Al Albuquerque sounds like a character from a Warner Brothers cartoon, but I agree with Craig – you got to at least know the names of the regulars – especially a guy who was border line ridiculous out that pen for the Tigers this season.

    But then The Pope is the same guy who can’t be troubled to know minor league prospects – even for his beloved Yankees.

  10. jackkoho - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    I’d never heard of Mike Francesca before this post, and I absolutely knew who Al Alburquerque was.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      Hey, Craig just tweeted that comment attributing it to “commenter”. Does that make you feel all warm and fuzy inside?

  11. xmatt0926x - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    For those who have never heard of Mike Francesca, just imagine the arrogance and self-importance of Mike Lupica in a 275 lb body. He’s just brutal.

  12. 18thstreet - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    It’s the obligation of everyone who cares about sports to know when a name like Al Albuquerque emerges on the stage, and to root for him to have a long career.

    When I was a kid, I hoarded the baseball cards of a player named Israel Sanchez who had a class-A mustache.

    Isn’t this what we’re supposed to do when the games aren’t on?

    • 18thstreet - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:37 PM

      (I should mention that I’m Jewish, and in 6th Grade Hebrew School, this was the height of comedy. Well, that and Spaceballs.)

  13. sdelmonte - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    So clearly he made a wrong turn at Alburquerque.

    • jimbo1949 - Oct 5, 2011 at 5:55 PM

      While enroute to the Coachella Valley and the Carrot Festival therein.

  14. foreverchipper10 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Didn’t he get plunked in the head during batting practice by a fly ball this year? That definitely made headlines.

  15. franklapidus316 - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Imagine if the caller pretended there was some OF on the Brewers named Corey Hart. If there’s one thing you can’t Punk Francesa on, its 80’s pop music.

  16. skipperxc - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I want to summon outrage over this but that would require surprise that a sports talk radio host has powerful dumb opinions and a God complex and I just can’t muster it.

    Does a good sports talk host even exist? I’ve listened to a handful of the ESPN ones and they’re varying degrees of okay, and the local guys I’ve ever heard aren’t even that good.

  17. Detroit Michael - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Meet Al!

    Al has not allowed a home run all season. Oops, never mind. Al has not hit a batter all season. Oops again. Al has a last name that is hard to spell.

  18. silverdeer - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    It doesn’t surprise me that some talking head from NYC has a ego that surpasses his knowledge. No offense to those that live in NYC (and I am not quite sure how to put this without offending) but it seems that the media there seems to think that the entire world revolves around NYC. It’s a great city and have been back a few times as a tourist since I worked there, but Francesa is an idiot. For someone in his role, you would think that he would research the roster so that he could talk intelligently about the Yanks opponents.

    • bigleagues - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:06 AM

      Are you a Bubba listener per chance?

  19. Jason @ IIATMS - Oct 5, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Mike Francessa and the FAN are the reasons why I willingly pay for XM satellite in my car to get MLB on XM. They are the embodiment of the NY fan that everyone mocks and hates and envisions.

    Let the Francessa hate flow.

  20. buddaley - Oct 5, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Nobody remembers his farcical explanation of the term “fungible”?

    A few years ago, he mocked the notion that the Rays might contend in the division. His reason? He had never heard of most of their players.

    • bigleagues - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:28 AM

      The LAWR of fungibility: what scientists at St John’s determined to be the cause of the odoriferous funk emanating from Franesser’s pants at the end of each 5 hour show.

  21. jimbo1949 - Oct 5, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Mike Francesa has never heard of Al Alburquerque.

    I wish I could say the same thing about Mike Francesa. AKA Fatso of Fatso & Froot Loops.

  22. cur68 - Oct 6, 2011 at 12:34 AM


  23. bigleagues - Oct 6, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    Where are the comments?!

  24. purnellmeagrejr - Oct 6, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    What’s the big deal? Francesa expects players to check in with him before entering the game – this guy forgot to.
    By the way has anybody noticed how he gravitates towards big immoble sluggers – he loved Nick Johnson, loves Texiera and would LOVE to have Prince Fielder – if only there were nine first bases in baseball he could have an all Francesa look alike team!

  25. Jeremy T - Oct 6, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    So if I comment, then I can see other people’s comments? Because this is one I was looking forward to seeing people’s reactions on.

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