Denny McLain

Episode 147: He’s Multitalented and Multifaceted! He’s John Smoltz!

John Smoltz

Maybe I would have been the next Lawrence Welk. Who knows?

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • Ah, what might have been for JOHN SMOLTZ and the Tigers! The MLB Hall of Famer from Lansing is our guest!
  • Smoltzie just wants to be doing TV baseball again, but politics and demonstrations have taken over the sports world instead.
  • Will the NFL now let its players stage protests during the national anthem?! Bob wonders where THAT might lead.
  • For all you Caucasians, are YOU now “embarrassed to be a white person?” Don’t laugh! An NBA coaching star says HE is!
  • During a demonstration, what would happen if you caught a punk destroying your car? Well, YOU might be arrested!
  • Producer Brandon McAfee and the boys take a vote: would they watch a big game with no fans to cheer?
  • Ultimate Fighting Champ Conor McGregor retires — again. Eli and Denny yawn: “he’ll be back.”
  • Golf IS back and now you can even use a special cart with a partner (GASP!) — if you’re really THAT worried about COVID-19.
  • Wimbledon? Canceled! The U.S. Open? Probably not, but would it be worth watching without “The Big Three?”
  • Those stories, a listener wants to ask Denny’s questions FOR him on YOUR mailbag segment and much more — right here!

Episode 146: Campy Russell: An American Success Story

Campy Russell

What a career!

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • The boys welcome ex-Michigan and NBA star CAMPY RUSSELL to the show, who says the NBA’S “show” MUST go on!
  • As if COVID-19 weren’t enough of an issue, society’s racial unrest is suddenly tearing apart the sports world.
  • The controversy’s also caused a long-time NBA announcer to lose his job while one NFL coach is trying to hang on to HIS.
  • And will a Florida State football star lose his spot on the team after publicly calling his head coach a — WHAT?!
  • The MLB season is in serious jeopardy over the usual millionaires vs billionaires squabble. DENNY sets a deadline!
  • The NBA and the NHL WILL return — but at this point, how many people even care anymore?
  • And how many brave souls would turn out in the brutal South Florida summer to watch Major League SOCCER?
  • Eli talks with former guest, attorney DAN WALLACH, then says Duke’s Zion scandal will NOT be a big problem. Bob’s not sure!
  • Denny asks why it seems like SO many sports figures are now dying.  Wes Unseld, Pat Dye and Johnny Majors just this week.
  • Lenny Dykstra has lost a defamation lawsuit against an ex-Mets teammate. Why? TRY to stifle your laughter.
  • And YOUR mailbag segment NOW has nearly sent Eli into apoplexy. Those stories and much more right here!

Episode 145: The Remarkable Life of Trixie!

Dick Tracewski in a Tigers uniform

He wore the Tigers uniform fo 28 years…more than anyone in team history.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • The man who wore a Tigers uni longer than any? DICK TRACEWSKI — also Koufax’s roommate in L.A. — is our guest!
  • What NOW for MLB? Well, the post-season’s probably gonna be FRIGID! IF they DO play.
  • Minor League Baseball in a HEAP of trouble but one Florida club has a unique way of making money now anyway!
  • The NBA and NHL resuming? Eli asks how many even care about sports anymore, especially with all the trouble in the U.S.  
  • COVID-19 talk is everywhere and one of the NHL’s top young star’s career may be in jeopardy due to the pandemic.
  • No caddies allowed on the LPGA? MLS at war over when and if it can start playing soccer again? Yet the coast MAY be nearly clear.
  • For instance, Korean MLB could serve as a model for baseball to return. It’s had no outbreaks since resuming play.
  • LOOK! Denny is now ready for 1967 to begin — JUST in time for 2020 as he asks Eli for advice about (GASP!) marijuana!  
  • Detroiter Brad Keselowski has won his second straight NASCAR race. Denny recalls interviewing him when Brad was THREE!
  • How do you go through $44 million and wind up broke? Ask baseball’s Esteban Loaiza AND Mike Tyson among others!
  • Watching the Lance Armstrong doc on ESPN these days? Bob: He’s a lying SOB. NO! Eli to Bob: Aren’t you being a hypocrite?
  • A silly fan’s suggestion in YOUR Mailbag to (GULP!) get rid of BOB and hire — SERIOUSLY?!  Those stories and more right here!

Episode 144: From the Ol’ Farm — to Scoring a Super Bowl TD!

Tom Nowatzke on trading card

The only Lion of that era to win a Super Bowl!

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • Our guest is the bruising fullback, TOM NOWATZKE, on his 1960’s Lions, Colts teammate Johnny U and MUCH MORE!
  • While pro sports leagues FIGHT during negotiations on when and how to start playing again, Eli and Bob repeat: go away til 2021.
  • No sports? No games to gamble on, no casinos to gamble IN! One way or another the city of Detroit may pay an awful price.
  • No football? Not only does Dolphins owner Stephen Ross say we WILL have an NFL season but he has unusual plans for his stadium.
  • Bob asks why Jim Harbaugh seemed so thrilled to recruit only a good, not great, player this week. Is it THAT bad in Ann Arbor now?
  • VERY different opinions among  the boys over golf and last Sunday’s “The Match.” If you watched it, you were NOT alone.
  • The Michigan House has passed a bill allowing college athletes to make extra money on the side — and Eli’s apoplectic!
  • From Denny: the legendary overseas boxing match he actually went to! And does his ex-catcher Jim Price really HATE him?!
  • The latter question comes from YOUR mailbag segment. We’ll have that and many other top stories right here!

Episode 143: Drew Stanton’s LONG & WINDING Road

Drew Stanton in MSU uniform preparing a throw.

Things fell into place.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

A GREAT career as an NFL quarterback wasted as a back-up? Don’t tell that to MSU’s DREW STANTON, our guest!  
  • Today we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for OUR freedoms as we observe Memorial Day.  
  • It’s a special day for another reason: Eli remembers the Ali/Sonny Liston rematch on its 55th anniversary!
  • Bob reminds SOME people (not naming any names from THIS show!) who Brad Keselowski IS and why he matters.
  • Did you like the Tiger/Phil/Brady/Peyton golf outing? Didn’t even bother to watch? No worries. Eli and Denny DID.
  • Philip Rivers has a new job waiting for him: HIGH SCHOOL head coach in Alabama. He should NOT ask Mike Singletary for advice!
  • Prez Mark Schlissel’s not worried about no fans at U-M games. He won’t ALLOW football if no students are on campus!
  • As the NBA plots restarting in Orlando, we pay tribute to the great Jerry Sloan who died this weekend, as did Eddie Sutton.
  • How bad is it for the Wings? They’re officially among the “Stigmatized Seven,” awful clubs that won’t be part of summer playoffs.
  • Racism in hockey? It’s been an issue for a long time and now another black ex-player has come forward with HIS tales of abuse.
  • Those stories, Eli bitching all through our Mailbag segment while YOU enjoy it — and much more right here!

Episode 142: BROOKIE’S Got a LOT to Say!

Tom Brookens

One of the great guys in baseball.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • Small-town boy goes to Chicago — and steps right into Disco Demolition Night! Welcome to MLB, guest TOM BROOKENS! 
  • Eli jumps all over ESPN for televising Korean baseball and — huh? A CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT?!
  • “Now tell me to what room I go to get my reputation back!” The lawsuit against MSU’s Mark Dantonio & others DISMISSED!
  • There’s news out this week on college football recruiting. Michigan fans won’t like it either.  
  • Mike Trout’s rookie card just sold for $900,000! Denny says baseball cards are BACK — they MUST be!   
  • Eli and Denny tell stories of Mantle and Pepitone and why it’s JOE’S pic hanging in The Denny Den, NOT Mickey’s.
  • IF the NFL plays this season, one equipment manufacturer thinks it has a great idea for player safety.
  • Meanwhile, an NFL player is suing over sexual assault. What could a WOMAN have DONE to the macho man?
  • Sad news for we of the Baby Boom Generation? Eli: YES! Bob: NO! EDDIE HASKELL was a two-faced jerk!
  • •Those stories, Eli and Denny KILL the weekend Tiger/Phil foursome, YOUR mailbag and much more right here!

Episode 141: Jimmy Carson: NHL Star to Business Star!

Jimmy Carson playing hockey

“I get to help a lot of families.”

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • “Sorry, we just traded you — for Wayne Gretzky!” JIMMY CARSON, the only OTHER teen to score 50 in one season, is our guest! 
  • So Denny, tell us about, ya know, that OTHER time you were almost arrested — and you had your LIFE threatened?
  • It was a VERY busy weekend for Eli. His beloved golf is back — well, kinda — AND he broke a Michigan law!
  • But Eli’s on edge. So are a LOT of people in Michigan self-quarantining. Now the FAMILY DOG seems to be on edge too!
  • What’s MLB gonna do now? We’re all waiting, while a big college baseball program falls victim to COVID-19.
  • If MLB does play this year, we know who its highest-paid player will be. Trout? Max? JV? NO! Wait’ll you hear.
  • And whither college football? Bob has the SECOND-worst scenario next to NO game: U-M v MSU a controlled scrimmage!
  • The once-beautiful Phyllis George has passed away. Eli and Denny lament but BOB points a finger!
  • Denny STONED for the first time ever? He STILL thinks the Packers will trade Aaron Rodgers to his treasured Bears.
  • And what kind of show would this be if we didn’t run down the NFL’s weekend rap sheet for you?
  • Those stories, YOUR mailbag featuring a certain ex-organ player warbling plus much more right here!

Episode 140: The Greatest Legend in MLB HISTORY?!

Jim Abbott

The No-Hitter in Yankee Stadium was really special.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • How did JIM ABBOTT do it?! Born without a right hand – yet became a star pitcher at U-M AND in MLB?! Jim joins the boys!
  • Sports are slowly coming back — but maybe not MLB. WAAYYY too many money issues, as we’ve reported previously.
  • So that begs the question: do people NEED sports or do MORE people HATE sports? Eli has some passionate thoughts on that.
  • But there’s plenty to do and watch without sports — as Denny found out during an impromptu stroll down Memory Lane!  
  • What about the NFL? Bob details a LOT of issues that may keep IT from opening too. No more TAILGATING?!
  • Not guilty! A judge has dismissed the charges from the Nassar Nightmare against former MSU President Lou Anna Simon.
  • Meanwhile, there’s surprising news about former Spartan star linebacker, the late Mike Labinjo.
  • Ohio State and Michigan SCARED of a football rival? MSU, Penn St and Wisconsin too? Not YET, at least, but maybe soon?
  • Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland (mercifully?) blown out of the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. NOW what?
  • Our producer Brand McAfee makes a SHOCKING confession about his childhood — and STILL can’t let go of it! 
  • YOUR Mailbag may now have a theme song! You, uh, might NOT want to hear it as warbled by DENNY McLAIN, though. 
  • Those stories and much more right here!

Episode 139: The “Spaceman” — on EVERYTHING!

Bill Lee in Astronaut uniform

One of the great characters in sports.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • You wanted to WHAT? BULLDOZE the Rocky Mountains?! It’s the one and only “SPACEMAN,” BILL LEE, on with us today!
  • What’s going on in sports? Almost NOTHING! But Eli, Denny and Bob still make the proverbial chicken SOUP outta chicken BLEEP.
  • Sports leagues planning to start again? Rumors abound every day. But HOW — and WHEN?
  • Human cockfighting had a big weekend anyway, though Eli calls it (and maybe YOU do too) “Ultimate Fighting Championship.”
  • At 53 (and apparently in need of money), Mike Tyson says he’s thinking about a comeback! How would HE do in UFC?
  • Whenever baseball announces it’s ready, is it possible ANOTHER issue could keep its doors closed? 
  • MLB has now cut its draft rounds back due to COVID-19, but will that only help the rich (THE YANKEES!) get richer?
  • Baseball has changed SO much — and maybe not for the better. Denny rants on NOW versus THEN.
  • Cheating in college basketball? Biz as usual. Coach K even cheating?! Bob: “NEVER!” Eli: “Shut up, you Dukie!”
  • Those stories, we check in on Denny’s busy, uh, “social life,” YOUR Mailbag and much more right here! 

Episode 138: NOLAN and FRANK — Oh, MY!!!

Collage of Frank Tanana baseball cards

The best 1-2 punch since Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.

It’s the latest No Filter Sports Podcast with Eli Zaret, Denny McLain, and Bob Page!

  • From booze and broads in L.A. to “rebirth” in his hometown, Detroit’s own FRANK TANANA is our guest!
  • As they used to say: VCR ALERT!!! A THREE-HOUR TV special JUST on the new NFL sked! (Yippee)
  • There ARE certain pro sports underway in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Desperate enough yet to watch them?
  • Michigan and Michigan State football: Who needs EITHER? — as one famous coach seems to be implying.
  • Eli has more on the sex abuse scandal at U-M. A listener asks, “How is a ‘retired’ sports reporter scooping the CURRENT media?!”
  • Pete Rose selfish and reckless for still signing at sport shows? Bob says “B.S.!” Pete corked his bats? DENNY says “BFD!”
  • Eli has a confession: he actually listens to local sports radio “guy-talk!” But he still makes fun of it.
  • NBA issues: WHEN it returns there may be a big drop-off in play AND is K.D. still paid $$$$ if his Nets are not ALLOWED to play?
  • Will ESPN’s “Last Dance” NEVER end?! NOW we go from EVERYONE hating on Isiah to Sir Charles and M.J. hating on each other.
  • Bob details how and why Giants quarterback Phil Simms said an emphatic “NO!” to playing golf with Michael.
  • Eli said “YES!” to HIS golf game with comedian Tim Allen. THOSE stories, YOUR mailbag and much more right here!