Sports Animal personality Jim Traber might benefit from the addition of Tyler Media's new sports talk station at FM 107.7 if it makes a bid for his services. Traber, who has been with the Sports Animal radio network for 14 years, said his contract expires at the end of October and he wasn't necessarily looking to make a move. “I'm happy with where I'm at,” he said this week. “I don't know if they still want me or not.”
Last year, Traber, a former Oklahoma State quarterback and Baltimore Orioles first baseman, was ranked No. 66 on Talkers magazine's first ranking of the top 100 sports talk show hosts.
Mike Steely, a Sports Animal morning personality, is expected to join the new Tyler Media station. Steely, who hasn't appeared on the Sports Animal in more than two weeks, said he had no comment when asked if he was leaving the station.
Ty Tyler, president of Tyler Media, said the sports station is pursuing local talent for time slots from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. He said the 100,000-watt station, which will be the flagship station for OU sports, will have the strongest signal of any sports station in the market. Classic Rock KRXO, which had been on 107.7, will move to a 250-watt translator on FM 104.5, a new frequency granted by the FCC.
DAVIS FAVORED TO WIN HOME RUN DERBY
ESPN baseball analysts John Kruk and Nomar Garciaparra rank Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis as the favorite to win the Home Run Derby at 7 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The pair will be join host Chris Berman and reporters Buster Olney and Pedro Gomez on ESPN's coverage team.
“He can hit to all fields, which sometimes doesn't factor into the Home Run Derby,” Kruk said. “The fact that, when you watch his home runs, he doesn't swing hard, so as the later rounds come on, if he keeps advancing, to me he's going to be fresher than anyone else in this thing. I think to me he's the leader in the clubhouse right now to win it, even though Prince (Fielder) won last year.
Garciaparra said Fielder's experience will be a big plus.
“If you talk to a lot of the Home Run Derby participants who have made it to the later rounds, it a matter of how well they really pace themselves to get through the entire round,” he said.
“Kruk makes an excellent point that he doesn't have to swing so hard, but he's also super strong. It's key to be able to last that long, that's a key for Chris Davis.”
— Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, a former OU standout, appeared on several ESPN shows Wednesday, bouncing from “SportsCenter” to “First Take” to “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” Murray said that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is “definitely” worthy of his six-year, $108 million contract extension and joked about how Romo has spent some of that money taking Murray out to dinner a couple times during the offseason. “He will have a great year,” he said.
— ESPN “SportsCenter,” 9 a.m. Sunday, and “Baseball Tonight,” 6 p.m. Sunday, takes a look at the 15th anniversary of celebrities, including Will Ferrell, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Murray, singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during Wrigley Field's seventh inning stretch. Chicago native Jim Belushi narrates the piece chronicling the “Guest Conductors” who've taken over for the late Harry Caray, who began the tradition.
— The NFL Network has hired Dan Hellie, the sports director of Washington, D.C., station WRC the past seven years, as host of the network's signature show, “NFL Total Access.” He will begin work Aug. 5.
— Marking his 50th year in Major League Baseball, Chicago White Sox broadcaster and former All-Star player Ken “Hawk” Harrelson will be profiled in MLB Network's documentary “Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson” at 6 p.m. Thursday. In the hourlong special narrated by Bob Costas, Harrelson shares many stories of his meetings and relationships with famous baseball and sports figures. Harrelson on why he turned down three manager jobs: “My temper is not conducive to being a good manager at all.”