Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Chris Russo had Mike Francesa at 'Pedroia'
In my Sunday newspaper column, Mike Francesa references the pleasant time he had hanging out with Chris Russo at a fundraising dinner Nov. 7.
Click below for much, much more on that topic from my conversation with Francesa last week.
It includes his take on why he has no qualms about referencing Russo on the air and why he gave props to his former partner for being right about AL MVP Dustin ("Dog Got Me on That One") Pedroia.On spending time together at the Safe at Home Foundation dinner:
We had a great time. We laughed, we told stories . . . It was very positive. It was like two long-lost friends getting together. It was very warm. He was discussing his trials and tribulations. I was discussing mine, how things are different, how we do some different things, dont do certain things, do certain things.
"We were kind of comparing notes, had some laughs, told a couple of funny stories about things that have happened to each of us. It was very nice. It was very warm. It was a very nice visit. We got along very well.
On whether it still feels strange, three months after the breakup, or whether he has gotten used to it:
Id say day in and day out, youve moved past it, but I think there are days when you think about what the station was for so long and then you think about the dramatic upheaval that the station has gone through and with my own program, yeah, some days it seems like yesterday and some days it seems like its a million years ago. Its weird. I still catch myself at times where I almost turn to the left and say something because its like a natural instinct.
Ive said Dog on the air many times and referenced him and turned and realized hes not there. Weve been very open about it. We reference each other all the time. Like [Tuesday] when Pedroia won the MVP I said, Dog got me on that one, he won that argument. We had an argument about Pedroia and Cano.
"The first thing he said to me when I saw him that night was, Oh, you killed me on that Manny argument. We had a big argument on Manny and Big Papi. I was on the Manny side. He said, Oh, you slaughtered me on that Manny argument, and I said, You got me on Pedroia. Thats how we opened our conversation.
Its 20 years of my life. Its 20 years of the audiences life. I know that most of the audience is the same audience. Almost all of it is the same audience. So when I reference him, they know what Im referencing. And people will call up and reference him and we dont say, Hey, no referencing him. We act like thats part of our lives. We dont act like he doesnt exist.
On whether it is easier now to look at things positively, given that time has passed:
As it was coming down you had other voices involved, you had all the suits involved and they were all taking sides and all saying stuff, and thats all over now. Its like in a political election where once the election is over all the nonsense stops. Thats how it was. They had to state their case. We had to state our case. Thats all over.
"Now we can get back to being human beings again. Its the same thing. They had a campaign. We had a campaign. Its the way companies choose up sides and you get dragged into the campaigns. The campaign is over. Its like seeing Obama and McCain sit down and they act like nothing ever happened. Now its back to remembering all the good times, more than anything else.
On whether he regrets that the breakup happened:
I dont have feeling about, either way. I dont wish that it had happened, and I dont say, Boy, I wish it didnt happen. I just say, It did happen and move on.
"Its nice we can see each other and sit around and have laughs, which is what we did. We sat around and talked for three hours. We had a great time.