Let’s get to ready to rumble!
Fighting out of the blue corner, a mixed martial artist, hailing from Rhode Island but claiming to be a Phillies fan, it’s Angelo Cataldi!
And fighting out of the red corner, a freestyle brawler, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it’s the King! Howard Eskin!
I’m here for this.
It may be contrived bullshit, just like many things Angelo Cataldi says or writes, but this certainly caught my eye on Wednesday morning:
In response to his insulting tweet yesterday after my entirely true story about the Bryce Harper negotiations, I must tell the truth about Howard Eskin. He is a hopeless lapdog for any local sports organization that will pay him any attention. It’s war, Howard. Screw you.
— Angelo Cataldi (@AngeloCataldi) February 27, 2019
Damn! Round one goes to Angelo, 10-8.
But we require context before continuing, so here’s what Cataldi reported on Tuesday afternoon regarding Bryce Harper Watch 2019, after the jump:
Phillies are in a staredown with agent Scott Boras over Bryce Harper’s demand for a three-year opt-out in the 10-year, $330-million deal. What do you say, Philadelphia? Should the Phillies say yes?
— Angelo Cataldi (@AngeloCataldi) February 26, 2019
Angelo believes that’s the deal on the table: 10 years, $33 million per, with an opt-out to coincide with the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.
I’m looking for the “insulting tweet” that Angelo is talking about, and this is the only thing I see that would be remotely close to “insulting”:
What is the hang up with Bryce Harper and the #Phillies. Now that everybody in Philadelphia has whined all day about what was reported as the holdup with a deal, I can tell you for a fact, and by a rock solid source, it has nothing to do with a 3 year opt out or any opt out.
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) February 26, 2019
In typical Howard fashion, the tweet uses incorrect punctuation and grammar, and while it’s not aimed at Angelo specifically, he is disputing the idea that both sides are held up on the three-year opt-out, which is what Cataldi reported in the morning.
At surface level, this is just a “your source is wrong and my source is right” kind of situation, but as we dissect this further, let’s analyze the following Eskin claim made by Cataldi:
“He is a hopeless lapdog for any local sports organization that will pay him any attention”
Angelo is not wrong here.
Howard does one radio show per week, on Saturday mornings, while also appearing every so often during Joe Giglio’s 6 p.m. hour. He no longer anchors at FOX 29, and his main gig is being the sideline reporter during Eagles radio broadcasts. Despite working what amounts to part-time media hours, he still shows up at any press conference he can make, cuts off other reporters to ask his questions first, and doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. Then, after he asks those questions, he doesn’t use the quotes for anything. He doesn’t cut the audio for broadcast. He doesn’t write for 94WIP.com. He shows up, puts himself in the front row, asks his questions, and then leaves to go do whatever he does.
It is about seeking attention, as Angelo says. You may recall Howard asking Gabe Kapler about coconut oil masturbation at his introductory press conference last year, which had to be one of the dumbest and most ridiculous things I’ve ever witnessed, however delightful. Howard wants to be in the front row, he wants to go first, and he’s playing by his own rules while everybody else just deals with it.
But let’s not pretend like it’s anything different for Cataldi, who just says shit that I suspect he doesn’t even believe. He’s been acting and performing and entertaining for years now, and while he’s certainly great at it and brings in a ton of money for 94 WIP, I get the sense that he’s just cruising through his final contract.
Both guys are closer to retirement than relevance, which makes me think that this was just some ploy to remain above water:
I'm sure you'll report on it @CrossingBroad, but the "feud" between @AngeloCataldi and @howardeskin is manufactured, right? Two old blowhards doing everything they can in an attempt to remain relevant.
— Dan Hilferty (@DanHilferty) February 27, 2019
But whether or not we write about it, Angelo will still be winning in the mornings and Howard will still be in the front row, speaking over other reporters who actually have the microphone and are trying to be respectful of the people around them.
It is what it is.