Sports are back! But for how long?
A VPN that keeps you private and lets you access content from around the world? Yes. Please a VPN. That watches what you're watching and logs data. How about? No that's why HMA VPN is proud to be the only donkey themed VPN with no data logging whatsoever a prestigious honor. We assume get HMA VPN now with seventy five percent off and see what we're talking about go to HMA VPN DOT com slash deal. To recode media, the're Kafka that's me. Taping this in Brooklyn. Because it's twenty twenty that's that's what I do and twenty twenty things in Brooklyn. Sports are back. So this is a recode media special pandemic sports addition. Baseball started last week. The NBA Starts Today we're delighted to have sports leagues. I'm delighted have sports. It's important for the media business advertisers desperately craves sports, programmers crazy sports audience is wanted of, but sports is weird NBA's being played in a bubble which kind of sounds good ed bubbles and Florida, which is not the best place to be right now speaking of Florida half of the Florida marlins tested positive for covid. So that team is not playing baseball and the whole question of whether we're going to have a baseball season is sort of unsettled. Work in progress. I don't know if you've watched a game they're they're they're weird because there are no fans of the stance. It's baseball and basketball and real sport is a weird experience to watch it without without a crowd there even when they pump in fake crowd noise. I guess we'll get used to it because we've gotten used everything else like not leaving our house or. Hugging our friends and family. What a bummer. Okay. But the show was great. It's a good show we've got a bunch of different guests. You'RE GONNA enjoy hearing from all of them. For stuff we've Brian Windhorst from ESPN. Last recode media guests I interviewed in person. Some of you may recall that up Ryan I talked hours before the NBA shutdown and the rest of the country shutdown that was back in. March. Lindsay Adler covers the Yankees in baseball athletic. And then we'll talk to Tanya Dan Guli covers the Lakers for the La Times and she is in the bubble. So we're talk to her about bubble life. He's good chance you're GONNA like him. So let's get right to them. First up. Is Brian Windhorst? I Brian Nice to chat with you. The last time we talked it was in person you were the last person I interviewed in person at Fox media. headquarters. the second week of March because after we talked the world shut down. So Nice Chat with you wish we could do it in person you know I went back and listen to that podcast yesterday and I think it was either that night or the next day that the NBA shut down it was that night we talked in the afternoon you said I don't think the NBA is going to be able to finish the whole season, but maybe they'll get. Done and we were debating whether it'd be the playoffs or not, and you said something along the lines of one thing I know for sure is the only player gets sick gets tested positive the whole league shots and then hours later Rudy Gobert. Shut down the week but I remember. I said well, you know this might cause a pause a four to six weeks a little offs. Little off on that one. Well, here's the thing everyone was off and we've done many many. Takes of who got what wrong immediate got a lot of stuff from but it was natural at the time in early March to look at places like China and say, well, they've they've got it SORTA under control in their opening up sports again in the US should be able to do that and in truth that is kind of what has happened around the rest of the world We all know what's going on in the US what I wanted to do. Is Talk to you bit about of what the State of play is with basketball today, and then we can talk about how we got there. I think people who pay attention as podcast pay attention to sports no that the NBA's restarting that it's all happening in Disneyworld in Florida a bubble there. What else should we know in general about what's happening with the NBA? Restart. Yes. So there's twenty two of the thirty teams that have gone to play why twenty two. While because part of the way, they were able to convince the players to do it. was that they agreed to. Give them back salary. You know the you the Union contract with the League Headey Force Majeure clause in it and right there in black and white it says that in the event of an epidemic. The word epidemic is in there and I know that's interesting because there's a lot of other insurance in other contracts that don't have that they can cancel it and not pay the players and. So to convince the players to to actually go do this to submit themselves for potentially up to three months in the bubble, you make it all the way to the end. It's going to be around three months being in there they had to. Basically, save enough television money to make it worth the players wile and so they couldn't do all thirty because they were just a little bit worried about handling that many people and they they negotiate it back and forth for a while but by bringing twenty two teams in. They will play eighty going to hopefully play eighty eight regular season Games where television revenue will be able to be collected, and they will be able to save six, hundred, fifty million dollars in salaries for players that otherwise would have been lost, and the deal is, is that even if you're not on one of the teams. went to Orlando you get your paycheck for those eight games. So it additional eight paychecks. So if I'm one of the, if I'm one of the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, my miserable team. I'm still going to get paid in some way even though I'm not in the bubble. Yeah I. said there were some teams that were very disappointed that they couldn't go but there were other teams that were like I don't have to take the risk of going and I still get my eight eight game checks It made a you know there was a lot of people who said, Hey, this is actually not so bad of a deal. there were a handful of players who opted out and said, I'm not going to come, and if you were not excused in other words, you didn't have a pre existing condition or he didn't have an injury and you just said, Hey, listen I just don't WanNa play you didn't get your paycheck for for those games. Let's sort out the money part. So you have the players you have the league, you have the networks and the advertisers. Is All the money that advertisers had committed to spending down the NBA is that still going into NBA? As, well, the mummy, the NBA was expecting collect from from programmers like Turner and ESPN or are they still getting that or or is all this sort of pro? So the key a huge Ke was a seventy games so Most of the television local television contracts. Have clause in them that says you you have to be guaranteed seventy games the normally there's eighty two games and the other which means that you can you can get up to twelve games a year that national television can take from you. Not Put on your air but you're guaranteed seventy in the case of New York teams MSG is guaranteed seventy. Yes. Is Guaranteed seventy. Most teams had played between sixty two and sixty five games so. These eight Games for these twenty, two teams all for almost all of them, not quite all of them will get into that seventy number and guarantee that they will get their full local television money, and in some cases, it's millions of dollars per game or millions of dollars in you know it's hard to say that you're saving the money earning the money because this is basically. Capturing money than otherwise wouldn't have gone out the door. So by playing these eighty eight regular season games satisfy a majority of teams local television deals and also returned six, hundred, seventy, six, hundred, fifty, million that would have been lost, and so the overall you know the overall savings is it's a billion dollar moved to be able to play just these eighty eight regular season games and then the playoffs. So when you say savings are not not saving money where you're retaining money. Got Up your closing the window as the money's flying out the Cova window you know the thing about this is though They're not playing Disney world for free. You know Disneyworld is. Owned by Disney obviously also owns a ESPN ABC. The primary sponsor. So there was a working together and it's costing the NBA About one hundred, seventy, million dollars to use Disney world for these three months to use. Multiple resorts to use their facilities. Now to get food to get a entertainment to get other things. Now, I have no idea what. The actual value of of renting if you were meet Peter called up Bob idea and said, hey, how much to rent throughout three hotels and three arenas for three months? I'm not sure what the cost would be but I'm sure that there was some arrangement done. But the point is is in this endeavor is costing the League money, but they're doing it. To retain. Other. Money was going out the door and also. Like you said, it's also from Disney right? Like Disney has has a very vested interest in having televised basketball. Both in terms of the actual revenue, they would get from one of those games and also there's nothing else on TV, as we all know. Everyone has except for Netflix's everyone has run out of content there's no new programming coming There's no live sports and so in theory, the value of of any kind of sports goes way way up. For Disney and everyone else over the next few months. Yeah. So the first Major League baseball game out of the shoot, which was the defending champion nationals the was against the Yankees last week over the weekend Yup it got four million viewers and get rained out in the sixth inning so You know there were probably some viewers on the west coast. You didn't get to watch it but than four million viewers, which was one of the highest rated regular season telecasts. I don't remember what the notes were, but it's been a long time since four million people watched a game on cable and so there's an entire slate of NBA Games? Amend the playoff games coming up on ESPN TNT and they are hoping for ratings in that in that range. But in the short term here in one of the things that set up with these arenas. If you watch a Trail Blazers Grizzlies game. If the trailblazers are designated as the home team. The trail. Blazers local. Sponsors they've sold will be. Shown on the boards around the court. Some of the local trailblazer sponsors are but In. So they've they're doing everything they possibly can to retain. Every. Single dollar that they can. To providing the fans with something to watch I, know baseball has changed some some of the rules of the game and again baseball's a whole situation. Maybe baseball is not going to happen after all. But they've they've changed the designated hitter rule they've changed they're going to put a man on second base and extra innings to make the game go faster any changes to the way the game itself was actually going to get played or still basketball the way we were watching it last week no There's there's changes to like how they're going about. It know the players are now socially. Distanced on the bench there's all kinds of one hundred pages worth a rules of how they have to operate wall in that that bubble environment. But in terms of what's going on out there on the rectangle the court it's going to be regular basketball still posting up and dunking banging into each other all of that. Yeah, and it is a little absurd Peter I will say that That you can go out there and sweat against an and bang into a guy at the middle of the lane knocked a guy on his backside and all that stuff and you know they're not supposed to be really slap and fives, but they are. And then you go over and you say, no, no. No. I have to sit five feet from this. You're six feet from the style on the bench. It's a little. It's you know it's a little bit absurd but they're doing the best that they can and You know we haven't had a a release of tests in a week but the last time the NBA released testing information they had zero positive tests in the bubble. It's been incredible success thus far. But of course, it's so fragile right? Everyone's crossing their fingers and what happens if we do have an outbreak again we're seeing that in baseball right now. As speaking what is the contingency plan? If a bunch of the Lakers get sick, what what happens is they have not been clear. You know there's one hundred one hundred, thirteen page document that was produced at extraordinary effort by the League I mean they took months to research this and they they consulted so many different experts and but they they purposely left vague what what what it would mean. We know what would necessitate them to stop and I think that they will know it when they see it I will put it this way they have prepared for positive tests. It will not be one. The last time we spoke it took one to shut down it will not be one it will not be too and my guess is will not be three. You know the one of the things that in talking to executives in the League they wonder if there'll be a different standard applied, for example, if three wizards players test positive, will the wizards be asked to leave if three Lakers players test positive they say go into quarantine and we'll see in two weeks. You know. Being that you will. You don't WanNa, say goodbye the Lakers but you have no problems right? You want to keep Lebron James he wanted to the La Market what do? So you're not, you're not in the bubble was at your choices that ESPN's choice. Yeah I mean I I. I can't say what my bosses would have done but they came to me a while ago and so that you interested in I said no You know, I have a two year old and. The concept of being down there you know for months and the other thing is that. Way The NBA has done the technology You know you can really be it active medium member from from your home. I can attend these press conferences that they're having a virtually I can ask questions. I may not always get my question through because you have to go through a Q. and if you you know Lebron is only taking six questions at the end there's twelve in the queue I may not get it but I, I'm talking to people in the bubble every single day whether it's Like everyone else you can. You can do remote work and we're hopefully talk with Tanya Gan Guli who's covering the Lakers and the only times that is in the bubble. But what I have been reading is that the people who are down there are very restricted in terms of what they can do. So you can't seidel up to a player at practice or something, and then get some one on one time So there maybe even less benefit to being there in person what what do you think of? The product is it looked like basketball to you is I mean obviously there's if anyone's watch hasn't washed an NBA game and check it out it's it's weird. There's there's a sort of simulated fans, simulated cheerleaders. It's not as weird as baseball I think it. Kind of reminds me of like going down to YMCA and watching a game kind of looks like a a small court. Have you noticed any change in the actual product was really worried about this Peter because the players have been off for four months? And it's typically I to- out of their routine, they weren't able to do norther normal off seasons although. It's very clear if you watch all the teams, it's very clear that some teams may have been practicing with each other and others not That's one of the. It's one of the things that's being whispered amongst executives. But I don't know but the NBA. was of secret practice facilities you know and there were some cities where the players all all you know. The Nets next quite frankly from what I understand most their players left New York. Whereas the Lakers in the in the in the clippers love their players stayed in La. Some of it was just the idea that where physically you were, you know the up the raptors, for example, where north of the border, all of their players I believe. So for one or American. And so they all came back to home. You know. So some of it was a matter of your market but so was concerned about the quality of play. It has been better than I thought it is not great. The playoffs start August seventeenth and so you know these next couple of weeks will be games. I don't know I. Think it will be a little bit of trial and error but I I think you'll. You'll like what you see. The NBA did not want it to feel like a completely empty environment. Now baseball is limited they have A. They have these stadiums with forty thousand empty seats. It's a little bit difficult. The NBA has basically surrounded these these courts with video boards and they use the video boards in many different ways they put the team logos on there to make the home the quote unquote home team feel like it's at home they can use it for advertising like I said, and one of the things that they are that they are doing is they are letting fans come in to. In real time allegedly real time sitting in front of their webcams and they can be. Unlike baseball where there's cutouts, you can actually have live fans in a matrix along around the court. You know if it's a if it's a war if it would say raptors, Home Game Raptors fans if it's a jazz home game jazz fans and then they will be able to cheer as a you know somewhat collective now whether that technology is actually GonNa make any sense the NBA experimenting. The other thing is the broadcasts are experimenting with fake crowd noise I think we're gonNA hear a wide range of opinions on that I think between now in that playoff date, the broadcasters maybe doing some experimenting to. So when we spoke in March, we were you know we had our early March information and and lots of what we know about corona virus in covid is chain has changed is changing and so all of this is a big asterix. But right now, as it stands, it doesn't look like we're going to be able to have anything approaching normal sporting events in America. For many many many many months you know maybe next spring. So as the NBA is would like to have another season this year right? They WANNA cerise start the next season of the end of two, thousand twenty. So the timing right they're hoping to. Yeah. So do they imagine they bring back the bubble? Then what was the current conversation? So this is this is something that is while everybody is focused on Orlando the. Business asked the business operations of the rest of the League is obsessed with the question that you just asked. What is the best thing to do do do they start up again basically right on the heels of this, take a month off, take November off and come back in December and have the finals and everything next summer as normal does this bubble work and if you're not gonNA have fans anyway you look at. another bubble environment or multiple bubbles because if that's the only way to execute the games or with the you know the the belief in the hope about a vaccine do you just delay? Do you push next season off and you take another four or five months off and hope that you have vaccine not only for the safety of the players but for the concept that you can breed fans in because Peter about forty percent of the NBA revenue is derived from the people in. The building not just the FA ticket buying and the beer buying but you know the sponsorships and not just the sign edge that you see but also a huge huge weight teams do money. Now with naming rights, they have all of these gloves and their lexus buys this BMW by club and and that's all gone The Golden State Warriors who have this brand new arena was completely built onto squeezed every dollar of this new arena and for them about eighty percent of their revenue. Is based on that arena based on fans coming to that arena and so you know. So the the thought processes, which is the best path, and we can sit here in July. And Guess, but we may not know until, October, we made what's is there one school of thought that has the most momentum or has the most powerful folks pushing for it or is everyone sort of shrugging their shoulders? This wants then we literally don't know. Yeah, I think. So they're working on scenario ABCD whatever I think the idea that I would. You know the thing is I I think. There's never going to be a one-size-fits-all, Peter because. we're going to have markets where they're probably going to allow fans like. You know they seem to be very aggressive in states like Atlanta in Florida it's very possible that the Atlanta Hawks will be allowed to have five thousand people in their building or or seven thousand, five hundred people in their building, and they can sell tickets whereas the Golden. State. Warriors. In La, Lakers cannot and so do you go forward from that and and then you have to make a deal with the players because while teams revenues are now obviously going to be going to fluctuate mostly fluctuate down. Players contracts are guaranteed. Contract, in two thousand, eighteen for four years it says what I'm supposed to get paid in two thousand and twenty one well. You know they're going to have to come to an agreement the players they're going to have to basically reduce their contracts. That's actually already happened the players right now since since May have been taking a pay cut every player is getting. About ten or fifteen percent less. So that's all got to be worked out but so we're looking at the spectacle of millionare's negotiating with billionaires an and and and the fans themselves won't have a lot of sympathy for it. But I think that one difference there is that I think pretty much everyone in America. Right now has at least some degree of empathy for the idea that no one really knows what's happening where all unfortunately making up as we go any anyone who's got kids who are supposed to go back to school. Knows about this kind of uncertainty. So I guess, and this is the worst kind of journalism go. We'll wait and see but we will wait and see. So maybe we can come back and talk to you in a few months how it's all going yeah, and I hope that. Everything I said here didn't prove to be foolish. Gamble I don't I credit you forgetting mostly right last time out we'll. We'll see we'll see how this up Brian thanks for your time. Thank you. Peter Take Care. Thanks again to Brian for coming on. Always makes feel smarter. Next up. We're GONNA hear from Lindsay Adler from the athletic. But first, we're going to hear from a fine sponsor. A VPN that keeps you private and lets you access content from around the world? Yes. Police a VPN that watches what you're watching and logs or data. How about? No That's why HMA VPN is proud to be the only donkey themed VPN with no data logging whatsoever prestigious honor. We assume yet HMA VPN now with seventy five percent off and see what we're talking about go to HMA VPN DOT com slash deal. I remember I used to have a history teacher back at UCLA WHO said to us that there are times when you could feel the pfister history tightening around you fuss about that. She was talking not long after nine eleven but this is another one of those moments. It is a hinge moment in the American democratic. Experiment. The entire globe is being battered by the current virus. We're dealing with some of our oldest moons in this country on top of entirely new technologies. It is a crazy time. I'm client host of Poncho PODCASTS, and what we're trying to do right now is understand our time and find some the ideas that might help us chart away out of it. The best you months we've talked Thomas. Coats about why the protests made him actually hopeful tomorrow through Kado about the ways in which economics profession has misunderstood the concept and his measure, the concept of value to Elizabeth Warren about her plan to combat the coronavirus trust outfit about whether or not American societies become decadent. He's have all been great conversations and there are so many more i. hope you'll join me every Monday Thursday to stay informed and maybe you get a sense of is well subscribed show on apple podcast spotify or wherever you're listening to this right now. I'm speaking with Lindsay Adler from the athletic normally covers the Yankees in an ideal world. She'd she'd be traveling around the country this summer following the Yankees but right now that's not happening. Welcome Lindsey. I WanNa talk to you about about your job and what you're doing and but I want to start off with sort the state of baseball recording this Wednesday morning things can change by time people hear this and a day, but tell us where where we are baseball today it seems like we're continuing on with baseball even there's a well-publicized outbreak of covid with the Marlins I would describe it as. Currently contained chaos if they Sunday through Tuesday where Berry intense the. Marlins outbreak as of Tuesday was up to fifteen players in two staff members and it. Sixty sixty players. Thirty players. yet math is the math is not in their favor there, but it bound up canceling games for for teams it rearranged can for the Yankees Orioles in the marlins are now shutdown until next week. So the Marlins are not playing the Florida Marlins So obviously, the the game they had scheduled, other teams are not happening and our other other teams are, are there other games that are canceled? That are not marlins related. So it really kind of set off. A chain reaction the. Marlins. On Sunday had four positive cases that morning and then they played against the phillies and so then the Marlins were supposed to go back to Miami for their home opener in the Baltimore Orioles we're going to go play them and the Yankees headed to Philly to face them Monday and Tuesday. So you have these two series with these four teams. And when the MARLINS got. Another bigger wave of positive tests on Monday they shut down the marlins orioles game and the. Phillies. Game. Out of precaution, and then the phillies players were retested on Monday those. Samples, it's the saliva based test where they spit in a tube. Those animals were taken to rutgers university. Tested but since those test results did not come back until Tuesday morning the Yankees Tuesday night game in Philly was postponed as well. and. So it really kind of set off this. You know really big fear. You know this is this is the first big outbreak and it's bad. It's it's seventeen people. So it's kind of been a whirlwind so you have this cascading effect. We saw I was talking to Brian Win Hurst from ESPN and we all remember what happened way back in March when bear tested positive new that crazy scene with the arenas being cleared. No one in the nose going on and you know you could cut the NBA little slack because they weren't really ready for this. But baseball has had four months to prepare for this. They're supposed to have a system that that allows for. The idea that people are going to get sick over the season. So what what happened at something go wrong or is this actually the plan is this actually baseball baseball's is this thing's working to plan. I believe that the League is working pretty hard to find out to to the best of their ability where this outbreak started with the Marlins but the thing to understand about baseball versus basketball is basketball played in a bubble whereas baseball's protocols. You know they're very extensive and they make a lot of sense, but they are very reliant on personal accountability. Ideas the teams are traveling from Stadium to stadium like the normally would they're playing in an empty stadium so that that's their version of they don't have a bubble they're just supposed to take care of themselves and and travel. Yes. So I'm not sure that we will publicly ever get. A real answer with what happens with the Marlins I'm not sure if there's privacy concerns. Things like that but. MLB seems to. Be. Hoping depending on how tests for the PHILLIES comeback over the next couple. Of. Days. Hoping that this is contained to the Marlins and Everyone else all other twenty nine teams are able to proceed. Normally maybe with A. Heightened sense of accountability and taking precaution. So the idea is MLB wants to believe this is a one off event that this is unfortunate that half of a team got got sick and at the other, this won't happen at the other twenty nine teams and they can proceed as normal carry on. Helpfully. I'd never met you. I'm looking at you through a video screen. You seem to have a skeptical face or at least you seem to be treating this proposition ethically what do you what I mean? I can't predict the future but what do you think happens to baseball this year? Do we get through the regular season into the playoffs without another sort of major catastrophe? I think the issue is there's no actually well-defined. Limit for what ends the season or what shuts it team down. There is no specific number. You know if five players on the Marlins test positive than their shut down for four days. There's there's nothing like that in the choice to end the season is left to the. Discretion of the Commissioner. And So it's it's subjective and the kind of threshold the the league gave this week was. Getting to a point where maybe a team is not competitive which I would say having fifteen of thirty players test positive is noncompetitive but. You know you mentioned Rudy Gobert and that was. In Tampa, during Yankees Spring Training that night I was watching on TV in it very much feels to me like a you know. A where were you situation? You Know I. Packed up my stuff and flew back to New York quickly. and. I would say that Monday, and Tuesday definitely felt like Rudy Gobert situation but now sport presses on so. It's an interesting test of how this is going to work. So speaking of interesting you, you're a beat writer, you covered baseball, you cover the Yankees your job is to cover the INS and outs of the Yankees and be aware of the League in general you. Now I guess have to add amateur epidemiologists and infectious disease specialist to your list of attributes. How much your time are you spending sort of? Thinking about your health and safety health and safety of the league versus. Who's WHO's pitching? Well, I would say that I have approximately zero brains face left for anything that is not baseball and coronavirus in baseball. It's it's complicated. It's something that I think about a lot because there are a lot of fans who. I mean, it's been a bad year watching baseball is enjoyable. You know even knowing off the risks when I have been watching games at home I've really enjoyed it. So there's a lot of people who do just want to read about the pure baseball side but. I want to make sure that you know if I look back in five to ten years coverage reflects what this was actually like so. I'm thinking about it a lot and I'm trying to find the balance in in terms of my safety. The League has pretty. Well defined media protocols we don't get tested like the players in staff do I know that in the NBA bubble there the reporters are getting tested every day for not getting tested. We get temperature checks. There's a limit on how many of us can be in the press box, and fortunately the press box inky stadium is very large. It's Open Air I. Don't think that I've really come within ten feet of anyone in the. I don't know ten or so times that I've been there since training camp start. So I feel okay. But I do feel that I have a lot of personal responsibility to decide. Am I going to drive three states away to. Watch this for or is it better for me to stay home? Do you have the option of I can and kind of have to do my work remotely although I'm actually going to the office today for a couple of hours but but I this is I'm working from home indefinitely Do you have the option of covering the Yankees from? Oh Yes my editors have been very. Firm none of us have to go to the ballpark for not comfortable with it. I am still kind of trying to figure out that balance for myself but you know there there is the option I, would say, really. At home I have access to the pre and postgame zoom media availabilities I can watch the game. It's just for me when I'm writing about it. It's just a little bit different for me to see it in person so. I would like to continue doing that I do think that if I'm not talking to players one on one in the clubhouse round, the fields seeing the game for myself hopefully enhances. Coverage for readers, but it's a constantly evolving like cost benefit analysis of it. Say. So before we started recording, you told me that you were supposed to go to Baltimore but then you realize you couldn't go to Baltimore because when she went to, Baltimore, you'd be quarantined when you came back to new. York. It never once occurred to me that that this this was an issue for I sports reporter in two thousand twenty but of course it is. Had you sort of thought that through in advance or is this something that just sort of popped up for you as well? It's really strange because. I. Really. Feel that I rely on not just those. In person things that I can pick up, you know what I mean. It's just different on a broadcast. I can't necessarily see every defensive alignment. I can't see every weird thing going on in the dugout or on the fields and. Really, you know those in person interactions with players in staff a really what's important but I am all safety I I will I will sacrifice talking to players from ten feet away. MEANS THAT EVERYONE STAYS SAFE This is not how I expected to spend the season I. Think everyone would be happier if we were not in the situation. So is your plan than to travel with the team when you can I guess you'd have to sort of. Hope that they're playing in states that New York allows travel from, which is I think not that many right now. I had expected. So the Yankees were scheduled to play in Philly Monday and Tuesday and Garrett Cole was supposed to pitch on Tuesday. So I was planning on just kind of making it a long day trip from New York. Just drive out there in the morning drive back at night. I. Don't know really if that's in the cards and. I it. As the number of like states now have quarantine restrictions when you re enter New York State, I think that's kind of going to set the parameters for me but I'm not getting on an airplane, the season I'm not going anywhere near Florida. So. I was kind of thinking that I would just stick to the Philly Baltimore. DC kind of Selah corridor. And let's talk a little bit about about the actual games in in the product I watched a little bit of just sort of had it on a background a few days ago was the as Game I. Guess Probably Opening Day and I got a Gig a of the funny cutouts in the stands. Listening to the play by play was interesting because there's a lot of discussion of black lives matter which is also very different in two thousand twenty. It seemed like the baseball was baseball I think there's a couple rule changes that are mainly around the is anything I mean does it look like baseball look like lasser hit looks like baseball but it looks like, sloppy, baseball. I would say the three. Three Games. The Yankees played against the Washington nationals. Games on Saturday and Sunday they were. They were pretty sloppy for both of them and. A. I think a lot of players that are really good job of like staying in Game Ready Shape whether they're pitcher or a hitter, but I think having a very short spring training two point. Oh, mostly intra squad games like. Guys just aren't really tuned up to the flow of it so it's It's definitely baseball ended his definitely still kind of triggered that lake. You know part of my lizard brain that's like your strikeouts in home runs. Great Just hope. I think over the next couple of weeks it'll just tighten up a little bit and what was the Audience Reaction People Are Star for sports right. There's a whole theory that the stock market is being influenced because there's people who normally be watching sports and betting on sports and they're betting on stock instead Are they flocking back to watch baseball in record numbers just because it's there or something else? Had the. The Yankees a nationals opening day game on Thursday, which was eventually shortened by rain ESPN a release it was like just an absurd number of viewers kind of record setting for them. There was a lot of interest there. I am not sure in terms of general television audiences. I have felt that more people have been reading my work engaging with my work you know kind of. It's kind of reverting back to the natural dynamics where I can just. tweet about you know someone state play or something, and there are five people who agree with me strongly in five people who disagree with me strongly and I'm like okay. So this is just this is just how it works premium and. Yes. Well, I mean we'll take normalcy in any whatever version we can get it. If you had to bet today on whether we finish a season and get through a world series. What would you think the odds are? I would say that when I am in the ballpark. It feels like we're GONNA. Get through the season, and then when I am sitting at home reading a reporting the news, it does not. I would say this Marlin situation kind of. Influences on but I think it's still fifty fifty just. It's too hard. To gauge where this is going because it was a dumb trick question but I I appreciate that you you answered it the. Fifty. Fifty is always the right answer right? It could happen I mean I have no expectations anymore after this year. And predicting. Things. I just look at it to you. I'm looking at the thinking of the dog sitting and everything flame picture. This is fine. That's I got three text messages from people with the Yankees with the this is fine. Dog yesterday so. That is that is that the name says it will. Let. You get back to work I. Appreciate Your Time Lindsay Adler Athletic thank you. Thanks again to Lindsey. Now, we're going to chat with Tony Guli who live in the bubble in. ORLANDO. I'm speaking with Tania Congruity, she covers the Los. Angeles Lakers for the Los Angeles Times and she is in the bubble in Orlando will come on. how long have you been in the bubble got here on July twelfth so I think this is good. Rochard test I think some people. If you said, you are either going to cover basketball you're going to go to Disneyworld and do nothing but either play basketball or watch people play basketball for up to three months. Some people would say that's great. Sign me up and others would say I want no part of this I need more going on my life it's job so you have to do it but how was it going? It's going pretty well, I think sort of fall in the middle of what you're talking about I it's it's just such a cool opportunity to be able to cover this experiment here. So it was important to me that I got to do it. But also there is the fact that like I'm not GonNa, I'm not gonNA see anybody. But like these reporters that are here an NBA people and like the teams that are Miranda I'm not going to see like anyone from any other part of my life until I'm out of here in September. So. There's a little bit of both I mean I think it has been really fun to see the basketball close into. Be there for the practices an end to be in the arena for the game it's a totally different experience from what I understand watching it on TV because you can hear so many things and you're so close to the action. So that's been really fun but I do I mean there's plenty of that I. Miss for being on the outside it's like being deployed in the army right accepted. You're going to Disney world for three months in are you in for the duration or are you there as long as the Lakers clippers are there? So I am going to be there's there's a point during the there's a point during this process that the NBA has loud news outlets to switch a person can only be done one time for the most part So I'M GONNA be switching out with a colleague of mine in early September and then I'll I think I'll the plan is for me to come back if the Lakers are in the finals not to inside the bubble but to the second tier that's right outside the bubble as well still to experience it a little bit but. I'll be in here at least for a little over another month. So the players been practicing in scrimmaging and now the official season kicks off the remainder of the officials season kicks off on on Thursday. When this podcast is out I want to hear what their life is like I want to get a sense of what your day is. do you have? I think we were going back and forth and you sure what your schedule was because you hadn't heard from the NBA. It seems like a lot of your days of dictated by what the NBA is telling you should and shouldn't do or what you can and can't cover what's an average day for you right now. So they asked us to give them our requests two days in advance. So want to interview someone. So where I WANNA go see this game I want to go to this practice I want. To Go to this game for Thursday. Night's games for the opening games they they asked US yesterday. So today's Tuesday. They asked us three days in advance because he wanted to sort of get ahead of things. So that's part of why it's hard for me to to say what my schedule is going to be like a week from now and I've been talking to some other reporters about this is because we're all getting a lot of podcast radio requests and some some stations they think they're being. By I mean, I think everyone thinks they're being considered by giving us much advance warning as possible. Would it gives so much anxiety because we're like I have no idea what like my day is going to be like in two days because they haven't told me yet if I'm approved for this or. I'm approved for that practice or that game. So we find out we find out the night before everybody gets their approvals the night before, and then you plan your day accordingly, it can really be any time I mean, they don't like the it's not like they're doing the west coast teams a favor and letting them practice later there everybody's everybody's practicing at whatever time the NBA says they will sometimes that's nine am sometimes that's six pm who can say. and. So they're assuming that you don't have autonomy in terms of like you don't get to walk wherever you want to go that. You're sort of have to. Badger get badged in your approved for this. But not that when you're not at a at an approved practice or game or whatever you're at, are you allowed to move around the campus or do you have to sort of go back? To the hotel room and sit there. Now, we can move around but it's a very limited area that we can move around to. We can't go to any of the well so far we have not been allowed to go to any of the restaurants a think they're planning a time of day like a time of the week when they're going to allow us to maybe use some of the restaurants. They just have figured out a golf schedule where they've said like we can go play golf at these certain certain specific times What they don't want is for us to run into coaches or players who are trying to play golf out there I've noticed over the last few days there's been seeing the security seems to be a lot more aggressive in making sure people aren't going whether or not supposed to I'm not sure who else is in. The category that we reporters are in, which is the I. Would I think we had the most restrictions on us through the few places that we can go, but it's it's not just I know it's not just us but I'm not quite sure who all it is the team people, the players and the people who are here with the teams they can go anywhere. They want went around roam around. Yeah, and they can even like visit other hotels. That can visit mean everybody's here right now there's a lot of there's a lot of warning to catch up with people so like you know, Frank Vogel Lakers coach is telling me yesterday that he he's thinking of a going to visit with the Pacers staff that's those people the coach with for very long time. The Pacers have had a lot of continuity. So he you know he used to coach there and he's like maybe all goes say hi. To them and hang out there a little bit So there's there's the opportunity for a lot of for them to see a lot of different things in terms of reporting the craft of finding people that you WanNa talk to getting them to tell you interesting things I assume that as a very different operation for you right now because you're you're so constrained, you can't sort of seidel up to someone after practice and get five minutes alone with them. How and it seems like in some ways, you'd be better off not being in the bubble you could. You could. Call people in you'd have freedom of movement. How are you compensating for those restrictions? Well, it's actually I actually disagree with that characterization because it's it's actually from a reporting angle. It's been pretty good I mean there's there is an opportunity. Still if you know someone, there is an opportunity still to talk to them because they might come up to you where they. Walk by you, and if you say something, they'll they'll be willing to talk to you. If you're someone that they know one I think that also what's also possible? One on ones are are possible here they're allowed. You know a lot of it's a little bit more rigid in that you'll have to you'll have to set that set it up with a PR person. In but I've been to the live teams. When, I'm not at the Lakers or clippers, most of the other teams don't have very many people at their practices and so you go to Orlando Magic practice for example, like their will they'll they just what do you need Houdini to talk to I didn't I didn't set up anything in in advanced but I was still able to get to one on ones with. With the coach with two players in the coach. The pelicans very similar I. mean there's there's just there's so few reporters here and the Lakers clippers command a lot of attention because there's to beat writers from Los Angeles runs a new other city has that no other team has sat. So if you go outside of of the La Market Media Starve markets are those guys are happy to talk to. And then and then in terms of actually producing work that the your your editors want from you that your readers want from you I'm assuming you you knocked out. The print version of our discussion multiple times already, right like here's what life is like inside the bubble. And then what I mean. Now you're now you're just treating it like a normal NBA season and talking about performance in who can't be what, what, what are you not doing that you would be doing if this was a normal NBA season in your in Los Angeles it's I think it's just a much more focused environment and I did as you were talking, I was also thinking about my answer to the last question because I didn't WanNa make any WANNA leave the impression that the Lakers clippers aren't helpful I mean. Also been easier than on we're back in L. A. because because there are fewer. Physically there you're not getting I'm not getting crushed by people trying to talk to Lebron James, which is what would always happen in the pre cova days But yeah, I have written like you said I have written what's happening here what's this been like repeatedly repeatedly, I'm probably going to be writing another one coming up soon. was. A little, bit. With a little bit more, a little bit more color from things that I've learned over the last couple of weeks. I have found that people been really interested in even like things that are that unlike that's just normal thing that's happening in my day it's not is not interesting to me but like. But. It's also like this is such an experiment like no, this has never happened before and so I think there's a lot of curiosity about how they're doing in to work a lot of curiosity. Starved for any kind of sports information, right because we just haven't had sports for months. And you're right in the middle of it. So for the players again, follow the tweets and initially the people were complaining about the food, but the food turned out to be okay and. I think everyone would sorta wants the story about the players behaving badly or or wrecking a golf cart or you know sneaking a substance onto the into into campus what's your sense of how they're adapting to it or they sort of have they adapted? They've been here for about three weeks right now at this point, it's not that much longer than like a long road trip have been So I, think we're going to really start to see the impact of of being here and sort of. The opportunity to go stir crazy. I think we're GONNA see that in the next few weeks. But if you're looking for the crash golf cart drunk player story that wait a week or two. Well I, think one of the. Someone was saying yesterday that I to David Griffin Pelicans you the saying that that there's he feels like it was really like the. Sort of the monotony of being here and being here and having to do the same things every day like that, he could see wearing on people but once they started playing games or actually he called it like a shot in the arm because he said like that really helped because finally after four four and a half months, teams are able to play against other teams, and so that was thous- useful for them and he thinks soon, things to break up the monotony will be helpful in players continuing or. Players not being not. Well, for lack of a better way to put it like not popping the bubble you know. Creating a situation where they're gonNA be dealing with something like baseball dealing with right right and then what's how are the Games themselves for the players? Obviously you can't recreate a a a pack, even half full arena, and so what is it like for them playing for? Basically just themselves with themselves and other other players and not for an audience the Lakers are to some degree kind of enjoying. Creating their own atmosphere they've been the loudest team here like in I've haven't watched every team play but I've watched several teams play and in different arenas and I've watched the Lakers in different arenas. They're so loud like they. It's not just it's it's the way they talk to each other on defense. It's the way that they cheer for each other from the bench. The trash talk, you can hear it. There is a very vocal team, and so I think that they are a team that feeds off of their crowd and there are Laker fans at almost every game. They will they play like not just at home on the road going the here the here. Cheer when. They're winning a game in some hot. Some arena you would think would be hostile. So they do feed off of that but I think there's a realization to that they're gonNA have to do it themselves here and they. Really. Like each other like this is a team that somehow like they just have just very get along very well more than a lot of teams do and that's part of what's helped them as part of what's helped them like get through some of the things that they've dealt with this season so. Think either enjoying kind of making fun of now making fun of the atmosphere. But like like joking around about like bill, they'll come out during warm tonight pointed the point at the seats where there's like there would be a crowd normally but there's no crowd and they'll go handed out like that. Just Kinda goofy with them. How do you think that works by the time we get to meaningful games and playoff games and finals games were that sort of atmosphere is is part of the game and and will be gone it's going to. Be Strange. It's going to be strange for them and their I don't think that at that point I don't think you're going to be seeing as much of the joking as much of the like You know. I think I think they'll still have fun with each other but I think the tone is going to be very different. So yeah, it's it's going to be really strange thing for for Lebron who's been to so many finals and who's very comfortable with the tension of a final series he's not going to have that. And sort of when you when you take away away from someone sometimes that's great and sometimes it unbalances them I know this is a long way away. But in theory if the bubble works and this all works and they get to have finals. The NBA is going to be trying to figure out what to do for. End of the year when the new season supposed to start our anyone talking about that who you're bumping into like we might have to repeat another version of the bubble. A few months from now why? Yeah. I asked a few people about that yesterday because because of what happened with the Marlins with all their positive tests relation and if the NBA tries to start on time, they might be trying to. Do something like what baseball is doing and it seems pretty clear that the travel element is what has made their process difficult is what has made their process not a smoothest. The NBA's seems to have been of course, the amid does have problems too but It's nothing like what you're what you saw baseball so. I think that's a big unknown right now I think they're going to see how this goes and get through this but they're gonNA start they're gonNA to have to start planning even before the finals end war next season because it's not gonna be that long after after that weighing on players minds or they're like look I got I got three months of. Of of of games hopefully that I've got to get through and I'll deal with everything else later I. Think it's that I think that's the mentality right now that like how like they have very little control over this and yes, they're worrying but they discerned trying to put it. Yes. They wonder about that but they're trying to put it out of their minds. I apologize for being one of the. People call you up and ask you what life is like in the bump since you have to go. Right. But I appreciate you making time. Good luck be well. Thank you. Thank you. We're done with our sports tripleheader. Thanks to our advertisers. Thanks to our guests. Thanks to Gilani and Joe who make the show and thanks to you guys for listening. We'll be back soon.