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WFAN call on new afternoon team gives ‘Mad Dog’ pause

Chris Russo’s big issue is Bart Scott being part of group replacing Mike Francesa.

Chris Russo at a SiriusXM Town Hall hosted

Chris Russo at a SiriusXM Town Hall hosted by Chazz Palminteri at SiriusXM Studios on July 6, 2017. Photo Credit: Getty Images for SiriusXM / Cindy Ord

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is not a fan of the FAN’s new afternoon team, which is expected to be announced on Wednesday and feature Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott.

Well, Russo mostly is fine with Carlin, his former producer on WFAN’s old “Mike and the Mad Dog” show, and Gray. It is Scott with whom Russo took issue on his SiriusXM Satellite Radio show on Tuesday.

Russo, who left WFAN in 2008, called the choice of Scott “dubious.” He criticized WFAN for not coming up with a more inspired cast after having had plenty of notice that his old partner, Mike Francesa, would leave after this year.

“It’s obvious that WFAN does not feel comfortable,” he said. “It’s hard to believe, to be fair. They knew this was coming down here for a long time. I mean, Mike announced this three years ago. I mean, this is not something that just all of a sudden dawned on him in the last two weeks.

“I mean, they’ve had all this time to figure it out and the guy that they’re going to throw at you is Bart Scott? I’m being fair. I know that sounds a little harsh, but I mean, you have to be honest. They’ve had two years to figure this out and the guy that they’re going to decide that is going to be the host of afternoon drive in New York, the first time they’ve had a big host there in three decades, a different one, and the guy they have decided to hand the baton to — and I’m not knocking Carlin — is Bart Scott, who has no radio experience whatsoever and has very little New York experience?

“He’s not from here. (He’s from Detroit.) He doesn’t know anything about New York. You have to be honest. You have to be fair. I should keep my mouth shut because I’ll get in trouble here. But there’s a lot of talk show hosts who have New York roots around the country. You’re telling me you couldn’t get someone in there and give him a shot?”

Russo said he thought Gray will “do a good job” and said “you can’t go wrong” with Carlin, who “knows what he’s doing.” But he did question whether Gray, Carlin or Scott would be able to adequately analyze New York baseball, a longtime staple of the station.

“Carlin likes the Texas Rangers, for crying out loud, so he doesn’t count,” Russo said.

As for Scott, a former Jets linebacker, Russo said, “I have to hear Bart Scott break down Yankees and Red Sox in a big series in June before I can take this seriously. I have to hear that.”

Russo also noted that Scott at times mistreated members of the media during his playing days and now will be a media member himself.

“To me, it wasn’t out-of-the-box thinking,” Russo said of the new team. “It was, let’s be safe, let’s be relatively conservative . . . If I say anything bad it looks bad. I’m just giving you my opinion. I thought it wasn’t as enlightened as it could have been. That’s my thought on it.”

New York Sports