Here we are in the middle of a ton of political news with a bunch of GOP wannabes challenging Trump for the nomination, Trump’s four indictments and upcoming trials, the Republicans going after Hunter Biden…and what are we going to talk about today on the Lean to the Left podcast? Rock ‘n Roll, time travel, and baseball.

Great to have Andy Frye with us today. Andy’s the author of the novel "Ninety Days In The 90s: A Rock N Roll Time Travel Story." Andy’s written for Rolling Stone, ESPN and other publications, and currently writes about sports business for Forbes.

Over his career, Andy has interviewed hundreds of rock stars, celebrities and athletes, including Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, Tom Brady, Tony Hawk, and more. You can check out Andy’s sports writing for Forbes by going to

Some Rock N Roll, Time Travel & Baseball HighlightsDuring the episode, Andy looks back at some of the music of the '90s and the movement away from "showy, big Los Angeles record company labels" and from "airbrushed, polished corporate rock stars" to singers and songwriters doing their own thing, "writing songs in their terms, playing their own instruments, writing their own songs, and if they feel like wearing a T-shirt on stage, that's the way it's going to be, and that's the real them."

The music, he says, "was all about authenticity and variety and, really, diversity."

Andy talks about interviewing sports stars and reveals how they often wanted to talk about anything but sports -- like cooking, for example.

He's a huge Chicago Cubs baseball fan and the conversation turns to this year's pennant races, the imbalance between large and small market teams, and the new baseball rules designed to speed up the game, like the pitch clock which has helped slash average game times significantly. Johnny Bench was one baseball star who Andy interviewed and talks about on the show.

We also moved into politics, the Trump indictments, and much more.

"It seems like it's been going too slow for too long," Frye says. "I'm not a super fan of (Attorney General) Merrick Garland. Put a beer in me. I might call him Milktoast Merrick Garland. I think we're all at a place where we fear that democracy's at risk and justice doesn't mean the same thing that it used to.'

Some questions we discussed with Frye:
  • Tell us about your book, 90 Days in the 90s. What’s it all about?
  • What prompted you to write this story? Your first novel.
  • The 90s brought us the Gulf War, a recession, Bill Clinton, the reunification of East and west Germany, the launching of the Hubble Space Telescope from the Space Shuttle, and the birth of the Internet. But what about music?
  • Compare the popular music of the ‘90s to the music of today.
  • You’re from Chicago and you love the Cubs. You work that into your book, right?
  • The Cubs are having a good year…as of today, 65 and 60 for 2ndplace in the NL Central. Will they make the playoffs?
  • You write about money in sports, right? What are your thoughts about the disparity between large market and small market teams and their ability to compete?
  • The Baltimore Orioles are having a breakthrough year after years in the doldrums. It’s happening largely because of young stars bringing athleticism, talent and excitement. But the other day, team owner John Angelos threw cold water on the future by saying the team can’t afford to offer these young stars long-term contracts. Is that a mistake?
  • What do you think of the changes made by MLB, including the pitch clock, ghost runner in extra inning games, etc.?
  • The 90s brought some important developments for the O’s, with the opening of Camden Yards and Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig’s consequitive games record...

Show Notes

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Show Transcript

Rock N Roll, Time Travel, & Baseball

[00:00:00] Bob Gatty: Here we are in the middle of a ton of political news with a bunch of G O P wannabes challenging Trump for the nomination, Trump's four indictments and upcoming trials, the Republicans going after Hunter Biden. And what are we gonna talk about today on the Lean to the left Podcast? Rock and roll, time traveling back to the nineties, plus a little bit of baseball and other sports and some politics. So stay with us. 

[00:00:29] Great to have Andy Frye with us today. Andy's the author of the novel, 90 Days in the Nineties, A Rock and Roll Time Travel Story. Andy's written for Rolling Stone, E S P N and other publications, and currently writes about sports business for Forbes.

[00:00:45] Over his career. Andy's interviewed hundreds of rock stars, celebrities and athletes, including Billie Jean King, Megan Rapino, Tom Brady, Tony Hawk, and more. You can check out Andy's Sportswriting for Forbes by going to sporty S p O R T y frye, f r y Hey Andy, thanks for joining us today on the Lean to Love podcast.

[00:01:10] Andy Frye: Thanks for having me on Bob. 

[00:01:13] Bob Gatty: First tell us a little bit about your book, 90 Days into the 90 s what it's all about and how it got started and all that. 

[00:01:20] Andy Frye: Yeah. I'm a career changer. I guess I was always a writer, but I was unfocused and maybe even lazy for most of my life.

[00:01:26] And so anyway, I worked in the business world for 20 some odd years. I'm 51 now. I'm got Chicago in 94. You always took stabs at writing, and I think when you are a writer, you wanna be a writer. Eventually something comes out, you gotta put pen to paper or maybe even, fingers to keyboard now, I guess we might describe it as, and yeah.

[00:01:44] Back in oh nine, I started writing about blogging about sports and eight of my friends would read it, what I wrote. 'cause I I beg, I guess I begged them probably. Or hey, I wrote this thing about, the thing we were arguing about last week. Yeah. And I just took, Sniff that opportunities.

[00:01:56] I was in sales and business development for a long time when I guess I got enough, I thought I had enough chops to, to pitch some things to editors. When you go from asking people for money to invest or to buy something to an editor, like getting a no email from an editor is not gonna, it's not gonna kill you.

[00:02:12] It's not gonna make you Question the whole thing. I just tried to put some things out there and yeah, in July of 2011, I wrote my first article for E S P N for kind of knocking on the door for a couple of months. And fast forward to there. I think, when you get a chance to publish your writing, you always wanna keep it going and see if you can best yourself and in the background, if you are a writer, whether you write poetry or you write, I don't know, sports nonfiction or who knows, whatever you write about aviation, it doesn't matter. Yeah. You decide that you want, you wanna see if you can write a book. Yeah I can go the details about what 90 days and the nineties is about, but basically I just wanted to write a book about the music that I loved and the 1990s.

[00:02:50] And I've always been fascinated with generations and a little bit with history. I don't believe that time travel. Can actually happen. I'm not a physicist or anything, but I thought, I've had this running joke with my best friend is a writer. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, used to live here.

[00:03:04] He is a short story writer named Doug Milam. And we used to have this joke about just Hey, we should hop on the CTA train and go back and check out Hendricks last concert, or wouldn't it be great if we could do this, do that. So I think probably the 15th time I had that thought in my mind, I was geared up to write a book.

[00:03:21] I was listening to some nineties podcasts and I just literally was walking by the beach up in Traverse City, Michigan on vacation. Just started taking notes on my phone and oh, this would be cool. What about that? I'd have to include this. And I'm I made the deal with myself that day that. Some writers do this.

[00:03:37] If I care about this thing in two weeks and don't get bored, I'm gonna actually try to see if I can write about it and turn it into a book. And yeah, I was still interested at the start of June. I thought I don't know how to write a book, but I'm gonna try it. I think the idea for the story at least sounds fun to me.

[00:03:51] Yeah, it took a while, but I wrote a book about a woman who's a record store owner. She's about my age, gen Xer, nostalgic about a lot of things, and I weaved it in with That she's a, I guess my generation is maybe having our version of a midlife crisis and weaved in with that.

[00:04:05] And she goes back to the 1990s and does a life do-over, but then she's faced with whether she wants to stay back in the good old times if they are really that good or come back in the present, just, deal with her life as it is. Yeah, it's a little John Cusack I guess. But It was fun to write and it's based in Chicago where I live, which is why the train is behind me.

[00:04:22] It's the I guess you'd call it the L train line called the Gray Line. And it's all about music and, maybe making amends and, time travel back to if it was not the, a better period, it was definitely a darn good period. So that's where it came about. 

[00:04:37] Bob Gatty: Okay, I got it. 

[00:04:37] You know what, you live in Chicago.

[00:04:39] Chicago is a wonderful city, wonderful music. I used to I, I had a magazine client that I worked for. I was the I was the editor really of it. But I was not based in Chicago. I was based in Washington, DC and I would travel to Chicago. A couple times a month to get this magazine put together.

[00:05:00] It was a monthly trade magazine, and that got me, that allowed me to to enjoy the city. And I used to really love going to a little club called the Underground Wonder Bar, and did you ever hear of it? I think I've heard of it referred to as the Wonder Bar. I got here in 94, so I'm not sure if we're talking about the same eras.

[00:05:22] Andy Frye: A lot of things closed right after I got here. But yeah I don't, I can't say they've been there. What kind of music were we talking though? It was jazz and blues. Okay. 

[00:05:31] Bob Gatty: Yeah. Woman by the name of Lonnie Walker was a piano player and she owned a bar and her, with her husband. It was just a great little dive.

[00:05:41] It was you had to go down some steps. It was, I guess that's why they called it the Underground Wonder Bar, and, but it's there on around Rush Street and State, I think. Anyway, I just throw that out. It was just a great little place. I don't know if it's still there or not.

[00:05:58] Andy Frye: I'll go I'll go, I'll do a search, maybe I'll walk around. I don't really go down the neighborhood anymore as much ever since the when I moved here, that was tourist bars. Ah, and I was in IT for a while. And we would get these consultants in from, they're always from St. Louis and they're always there to rescue the project.

[00:06:15] If they're there for two or three weeks, by the end, if they're like, we're gonna go down to Chicago. And then what? I was probably almost 30 at the time. And of course they asked like the 20, 20 year old at the company, like, where should we go to, go downtown to Chicago and they tell 'em to go to Division Street where it's like they're gonna get hit on by sleaze bags, they're gonna eat, drink over priced, crappy beer.

[00:06:36] I was like I would always go to them afterwards and be like, don't listen to what that kid said. If you want to go here, you wanna go here? What kind of food you want? Don't go to the touristy place, but things change though. Yeah. For sure. It changed, I'm sure.

[00:06:48] All 

[00:06:48] Bob Gatty: You know your book's about the nineties and about music in the nineties that decade brought us the Gulf War recession. Bill Clinton, the reunification of Eastern West Germany. Yeah. The launching of the Hubble Space Telegra, a telescope from the space shuttle and the birth of the internet.

[00:07:05] Yeah. But what about the music of the nineties? What about the music? What is it about the music of the nineties that captures people? 

[00:07:15] Andy Frye: I think it was so we all if you take a survey of music history in the nineties, whether you're watching C N documentary or. Picking up something, a Rolling Stone or spin published, it's always it started with Nirvana and their first full length albums, nevermind, which was put up by Geffen.

[00:07:32] And the single smells like Teen Spirit. And also, I think you gotta give credit to the video on M T V had a very iconoclastic sort of these kids in a high school pep rally they don't want to be at, and then all of a sudden, All hell breaks loose and they're just like, the kids suddenly the cheerleaders have to have tattoos and Kirk Homemades smash his guitar around and I think there's more to it than that.

[00:07:56] I remember. So I went to college in the nineties, went to high school in the eighties. I graduated in 1990, so in the spring of 1990. Some things were starting to happen, like the Pixies and the cure had been out, so the alternative thing was starting to happen. Madonna's single Vogue was blowing up, so pop was still alive, and it was the first time that Madonna evolved into oh, here's a new thing that she's doing that's, she's not faking and it's.

[00:08:21] It was all about authenticity, I think. And other than guns besides Guns N Roses, the biggest hard rock band in the world was these four black men from New York City called Living Color, who had, dominated the rock charts. So I told you that we were gonna get away from airbrushed, polished corporate rock stars for a while, and the sort of, pseudo decadent.

[00:08:43] Hair metal that was more pizazz. There's some bands with good albums and good songs, but a lot of it was, a lot of it was about show. And I think, I can't really say that a switch completely flicked at one point. We tend to think that it did. So the music went from showy, big Los Angeles record company label.

[00:09:02] Here's what we think you wanna see to, hey, here's three guys in a band, or a woman, lead singer. Doing own thing. Like a lot of marette writing songs in their terms, playing their own instruments, writing their own songs, and if they feel like wearing a, a t-shirt and jeans on stage, that's the way it's gonna be and that's the real them.

[00:09:20] So I think it was all about authenticity and variety and really diversity. And I use that in terms of all kinds of music. Were big in the nineties where you tend to think about it as grunge, but. You had singer songwriters like Lisa Loeb and a lot of smart set doing their thing. You had new evolutions of punk.

[00:09:38] You had, just weird bands that never would've made it. Definitely not now or any other time, like Fishbone or the BC boys coming back and doing their thing. That it was just all about authenticity and I think yeah, it fed off of our sociopolitical system and people just kinda wanted less BS in the nineties, and I think we got some of it. We also got, a life without as much pizazz and glam and corporate stuff shoved down our throat, at least the first. 

[00:10:05] Bob Gatty: Yeah. How would you compare that to today's music? 

[00:10:09] Andy Frye: So I am, I have a 17 year old and I, I live in the city so I can't speak for all Gen Zs, but it seems like they are like us more curious about music. You can jump on Spotify, you can jump on Apple Music right now. And if someone tells you about Sun Ra, oh, he was a jazz artist who, sung about nuclear war. You can jump on and see what that sounds like and see if it sounds interesting to you.

[00:10:31] My kid and his friends I just took my kid to his first real punk show. I saw the The Subhumans at a little club. So there's the old punks were there. I was there. My kid and three of his friends were there, and they're 16, they're 15, 16, 17, and these guys are like 65 and they're flagging off the queen and going off about, Companies that want to just use your labor and not pay you enough, like all the old punk stuff is still there.

[00:10:54] So what I'm seeing from the kids is that there's a curiosity and then so there's a supply demand thing that is happening and that some of it is bands that have been around for a while, like L seven and the English beat. They're still alive. They still have a living to make. They're not gonna put out a record the same way they did 25 years ago.

[00:11:11] They'll tour 30 cities, they'll get people like me to pay 65 bucks a pop to go see them. Sure. And you have bands influenced by them. So I think it's just, it's not in a bad way, a rehash of what we saw in the nineties. Now obviously there's as much gratuitous, empty pop as you want, but Taylor Swift is take taking over the world right now and.

[00:11:31] Of pop band. She a couple weeks, maybe a week ago, she brought in this band that is her favorite band, this band called Hy. It's three women from Southern California who play their own instruments, write their own songs, and I'm not gonna pay a thousand bucks to go see Taylor Swift, but the point is she made, she writes her own songs.

[00:11:50] It's a little different. She plays her own instruments, but she brought out this band that she likes that, is more small scale than her well known, but not as big as Taylor Swift to come out and represent her and say, this is the kind of music that I like, that I wanna share with you.

[00:12:02] They're the real deal. She could've easily had the next I guess wanna be art around grande, open up for her. But I think, authenticity and interest in different things is back. I don't know that music is ever any different than it was before, but it keeps renewing itself and there's a whole lot out there for someone who wants to explore something just besides what they stuck on the radio for you to listen to.

[00:12:25] Bob Gatty: Okay. I wanna move a little bit into, baseball, but before we do I wanna give you a chance if there's anything else you'd like to say about your book. Go ahead. 

[00:12:36] Andy Frye: Sure. Yeah. So 90 days in the nineties is a story about Darby, she's a record store owner. I think like the way that I wrote it, at least I hoped, the way I wrote it was you don't have to be in the same type of mu into the same type of music that I am or the characters are to enjoy it.

[00:12:49] There's a lot. I think I'm just fascinated with pop culture in a way, and I included a lot from various decades so that you don't need to be an expert on, rage against the machines catalog or name even one of their songs to enjoy it. I try to make it really relatable and I think the characters are a little quirky and funny I'll tell you through, there's a couple of movies in the nineties that I saw.

[00:13:09] I'll just pulp Fiction is an example. When you watch Pulp Fiction, you're hanging out with Jules and Vincent. You're not just watching a movie. I'm, I'm not a gangster, but I felt like I was riding in that car with Jules and Vincent after the stakeout. I think before I thought about doing that and writing a book, Whether I, what I discovered it or not was those kind of movies in influenced people in my generation.

[00:13:29] So we're all about the experience and I think what I tried to do when I thought it out was, write this book that you feel like you are hanging out with the narrator who's a little opinionated and the main character and her friends and you're trying to make an experience. So I think if you're interested in pop culture at all, or history or contemporary history, I think 90 days and nineties is, a good fit.

[00:13:49] If you don't know anything about music, maybe it's just a good beach read and, 

[00:13:52] Bob Gatty: I read part of it in prep for this discussion today and I saw that you weave in the Chicago Cubs a lot. 

[00:14:02] Andy Frye: Yeah. If you, the thing is, there are a lot of people who don't care about sports.

[00:14:06] But we all know who's never presence of sports. So yeah, I think when you, maybe I'll relate that to my experience after I, I lived here a couple years and I stopped fighting the urge director as the Cubs were up the street. And that was part of the reason I couldn't park my car 'cause there's no spaces on the street and that Once you even if you don't, I guess unless you're a Sox fan or a Brewer's or Cards fan, you step in Wrigley Field and you just get that you're at an altar for baseball.

[00:14:31] So there's a whole, I guess maybe relating it to my book, there's a whole experience thing. You're not just there for a game to eat popcorn and hotdog and count the strikes like you feel like you're visiting. I don't know, like a place that has a tradition. What I'll say about Wrigley Field is okay, so you don't have to be into country music, but if you visit the grand old opera, you're like, wow, you get it.

[00:14:52] You're like, this is hallow ground. That's what I think Wrigley Field is and that's maybe why more of the reason why the Cubs are involved in the book than anything else.

[00:15:01] Bob Gatty: I have to tell you, I've been to Wrigley Field a couple times and it is been a while since before they actually they built the stands out in left field.

[00:15:11] That 

[00:15:11] are,

[00:15:13] Andy Frye: yeah. The Sheffield Avenue. The, Yeah. Before that. 

[00:15:16] Bob Gatty: But anyway, I felt that way. I felt like I was in some kind of a baseball cathedral when I was there. It was an incredible feeling. Yeah. Good Was the history of that place and the great teams that have played there and the stars from days gone by.

[00:15:31] And the Baltimore Orioles is my favorite team, and they had a pretty good series with the Cubs not long ago. 

[00:15:38] Andy Frye: Yeah. I, even though it's new Camden Yards for what it's worth is designed to be like a cathedral. Yeah, it's only been around, boy, I don't know, 20, 20 some odd years, but they did a better job than Reinsdorf and the Sox did when they just basically threw up some concrete in uncomfortable seats and bad acoustics.

[00:15:54] Yeah. The White Sox stadium. Yeah. So the White Sox fans gripe about that one. But yeah, there's something to be said about going to a place you enjoy being present at should do something you like to do as well. 

[00:16:06] Bob Gatty: Yeah. The Cubs are having a good year as of today. They're 65 and 60 for second place. In the National League Central. Are they gonna make the playoffs you think? 

[00:16:17] Andy Frye: it's tough because if the season end of today I was looking at the standings today that there would be a tie between a t basically we did this a couple years ago where they have one game to figure out who's gonna go to the, get the wild card.

[00:16:28] They'd have to play the Diamondbacks. It's gonna be tough. It's gonna be, they're gonna have to keep winning. They gotta beat teams that they should beat like the Tigers they lost last night and they won a, I guess they won the other day. But yeah, I mean it's really gonna come down there's gonna be no shortage of them playing the Reds and the brewers and everybody else in the division.

[00:16:45] And that really decides it. More than any other sport, when you get to the end of the season, you're not messing around about who should go to the go to the playoffs. It's not like the N F L where the Seahawks got to the playoffs with a seven nine record. I dunno, about a decade ago or so. Yeah, I know they stocked it up.

[00:17:00] They got a couple of decent additions. Seems like everybody's picking somebody off, off after the trade deadline. Off waivers now. Yeah, but we'll have to see. I hope so. It's just, it's gonna be difficult unless they just somehow bowl over the brewers in the next two series that they have with them.

[00:17:15] It's gonna be a squeaker every day. So if they win, they keep winning. So I can't give you prediction. I want to see them stay in it, but we'll just have to see a month from now, yeah. 

[00:17:26] Bob Gatty: You write about money and sports, right? That's what you do for Forbes, correct? 

[00:17:30] Andy Frye: Yeah, actually the vertical's called Sports Money, by the way.

[00:17:33] Bob Gatty: Sports money. Okay. All right, cool. So what are your thoughts about the disparity between the large market and the small market teams and their ability to compete in today's world? 

[00:17:44] Andy Frye: It depends on what sport you're in. How I guess acute it is. I follow English league Soccer too. And a couple years ago Lester City won the league.

[00:17:54] They looked like they were going to keep, they just kept winning and they had a couple stars, but they're beating all the big giants. And it was the whole time that it was happening, everybody kept saying we're probably never gonna see this again. Or not for at least, 20 years.

[00:18:06] This doesn't happen. It's usually the big clubs are the big money that can build a big stadium tomorrow if they want a bigger stadium tomorrow and buy a player from a team in Spain or Germany, whatever. I do, I feel like baseball and primarily soccer are the most capitalistic of sports in that there's not really a salary cap.

[00:18:25] There's a salary cap with teams that you pay a penalty, but it's not like the N F L. And so the other sports where you have, you can only really spend so much and then, sometimes you see teams, particularly small market teams, spend it all on a quarterback. It doesn't work out, and then they have nobody to block him.

[00:18:44] It's, but Chicago Bear, the Chicago Bears have done that too. Like I they haven't really been a major entity since they won the 85. The Super Bowl, the 85 Bears won the Super Bowl, and they're, we're approaching 40 years on that and put a lot of stock into Jay Cutler and they had nobody to block him.

[00:19:00] I didn't think Jay Cutler was, had the best attitude among athletes, but he was getting tackled a lot I don't know. But yeah, there's disparity. But then there's like the Green Bay Packers. Like Green Bay. Wisconsin's not a huge market. Wisconsin is not a huge market, but you've got an owner ownership structure and a tradition and maybe a lot of people with their heart in the right place and.

[00:19:19] The dedicated fans just didn't show up yesterday. They've been there for 40, 50 years. Yeah. You can't say that. They won Super Bowl one and two, so that's set the tone. That was a long time ago. That was 50 some odd years ago. So I think there's gotta be a level of consistency and competence, which is a rarity in any business, much less sports that has to come to play and be consistent and have people who are just not just self interested to really make it work either for a big or a small franchise. Sorry, that's a big, like economist answer. But yeah, for every time one of my friends would say oh, it's unfair 'cause the Yankees and the Dodgers and Arsenal and Chelsea and Man United and the. They always win 'cause they got a lot of money.

[00:19:59] Well, Dallas Cowboys didn't won a Super Bowl since the nineties. And Green Bay has been good all the time. Pretty much. They're, they haven't had bad season here or there, but they're not in a major market. So we can look at it both ways. It really depends on the, who's running the show and how long they've been there, and, How much it 

[00:20:18] Bob Gatty: does depend on running the, on who's running the show.

[00:20:21] Yeah. Yeah. And in the case of the Orioles, I mentioned, they're my favorite team. They're having a breakthrough year this year after years and years of being in the doldrums. It's happening largely because of young stars. They're bringing athleticism and talent and excitement. But the other day, team owner John angelos through Cold Water on the future by saying that team can't afford to offer these young stars long-term contracts.

[00:20:47] Is that a mistake, do you think? 

[00:20:49] Andy Frye: I think so. It's The way that it used to be in the nineties and this has happened more in the N B A than other sports, is that when you wanted to trade a player, you start talking about how great they are if they're end of their contract. I remember the Sacramento Kings just wouldn't shut up about how great Jason Williams was.

[00:21:04] Their point guard. 'cause they wanted to I know, price him to get rid of them. I think the flip side is going on now where you have a lot of owners that really don't wanna spend. You think the whole point of rebuilding was not just to rebuild, but then to continue to build. But yeah, I think, but this, I listened to Keith Oberman who talks about baseball a lot and didn't like one of your announcers just get suspended for saying that The team Yeah.

[00:21:26] Lost against the, a's a long time ago or whoever it was. And, yeah. Yeah, I don't know if this is I don't know much about your team owner. It seems like he's maybe minus the racism he is got about as much competence as Marge Schott does. Some days of the week, it's just at least hire a comms department to speak for you before you piss off fans.

[00:21:46] I would say that's number one. I dunno what it's like to baseball team. 

[00:21:49] Bob Gatty: That's a good idea. What it strikes me is that, A a team like like Baltimore and they're, they've now in, I think their fourth or fifth year of being considered having the best farm system in all of baseball.

[00:22:04] Yeah. Alright. So they've got these young stars that are doing really well and other teams. Would like to have those young stars. 

[00:22:13] Andy Frye: Yeah. 

[00:22:14] Bob Gatty: The owner is reluctant to protect those stars by giving them long-term contracts. So what's to prevent, what's to prevent 'em from trading those kids getting more young stars for them, bringing up the ones that they've got and going through this whole cycle, just churning these people.

[00:22:35] Andy Frye: Yeah the Cubs of the World Series, it was a lot of it was on the strength of some trades, but also the Cubs then had the best farm system. Yeah. We had actually I remember Candalario and, I remember there's a long time ago that Chris Bryant was a prospect, and so we just brought the, the, we got Theo Epstein to come in and bring some people and build up the farm system. I don't know what your owner is doing, but it could be this gamesmanship. He could be trying to say some of these guys who are still in contract, you can't pick up on waivers next year. We might want a deal on them because we, we can't afford to pay them.

[00:23:07] But if you give us a, starting pitcher and seven prospects that we like, yeah, maybe we could, yeah, we could. That's probably what's going. If they make the big assessment that he knows what he's doing. I don't know. I guess the farm systems are, when you build them up and make them you really have some good coaches and you have good players come out, 'em, it's easy to, it's hard to, one or two players isn't gonna break that, but when you just pilfer the whole henhouse, then you gotta start over.

[00:23:35] And that's where the Cubs are. I Cubs were about a year or two ago, so who knows? The thing is, all these owners, if they, they don't talk and share information or they talk out both sides of their mouth depending on what ulterior motive they have. Yeah. Who knows? If it's just one or two or three players, 'cause they want to get something many things in exchange for letting them go before their contract's up.

[00:23:57] I guess that's not, you can second guess that, but maybe that's those are good moves. It really depends. I don't know that any of us can see inside the clubhouse or the farm system enough to know really what's going on. When you have a, an owner who's double talking, does weird things, but I guess we'll see. Hopefully they'll win a bit in the postseason and maybe get the World Series, and that may become addictive. And it's then a matter of, oh, okay, if we have to get rid of somebody, we're priced outta the market to keep somebody, then who do we replace them with? Or how many prospects do we get to keep the system going?

[00:24:29] Yeah, it really is, I'm fascinated with the economics of sports and then how different sports are, but how, Opportunistic baseball is in the farm system and how entrepreneurial NASCAR and golf are. I may, I could probably talk your ear off about all the sort of different underlying things that affect the game that we watch on Saturday or Sunday.

[00:24:48] So yeah, your guess is mine. You got some dice? We'll roll 'em and you make some picks. I guess 

[00:24:54] Bob Gatty: my last baseball question for you is, what do you think about the changes made by M L B like the pitch clock and the ghost runner and all that kind of stuff? 

[00:25:04] Andy Frye: I like them. I think baseball fans are a little bit nostalgic and maybe that's why that's in my book too, but, and tend to be, the average, I think the average age of the baseball all-star viewership, at least last year was like 59 years old.

[00:25:18] So then we think that there's a version, some big aversion to change of anything. I think, I don't, haven't heard anybody complain about the pitch clock. I think it's sped up the game in a good way. It put a little bit of pressure on the pitchers not to. There's been a couple pitchers over the years that have just there's one reliever for the Dodgers who used to take two minutes for between every pitch.

[00:25:36] No. I think Vince Sculley was complaining about it on a broadcast of a playoff game one year. I think it's all positive. Sometimes tension causes the production to be a lot better. You think about you just put constraints on things and sometimes you get better results, and I think that's why it's worked so far.

[00:25:51] And those changes were good. 

[00:25:54] Bob Gatty: Yeah. Okay. That's my opinion. I did have one other baseball question I forgot to ask. What's your prediction for the World Series? 

[00:26:02] Who's gonna be in it? 

[00:26:03] Andy Frye: I think Atlanta's gonna make it again. I don't know, they just seem to be too deep. They've been in first place most of the time in the NL East, the Phillies could come back up. But I think, yeah, I think that the, I think they're probably gonna win. It, the AL is more of a guess because, look at the Texas Rangers record, it's great, but I don't, I just don't think they're gonna. I don't know. I just don't, I, I don't think that the Astros are gonna stay down and let them just have it, and I don't think that, they don't really strike me as suddenly as powerful enough team to get through the postseason unfettered.

[00:26:35] And then I'm still a little scratching my head about why the Orioles are so good and can they hang on for the next say five weeks on that. But then again, you got like an AL East with four of the five teams have a above 500 record and the Yankees in last place are the only ones with the losing record.

[00:26:51] A week goes by and a couple teams do a couple screwy things and all of a sudden it's, the math has changed and the wild card is all over the place. And so that's, it's gonna be like, who makes the wild card? Who wins the division, who makes the wild card is gonna predicate that in the AL but I think Atlanta's probably gonna be the be too tough to beat in the National League.

[00:27:10] That's just my opinion. And I think. I think the Cubs have I want the Cubs to make it the postseason wild card, but it's a tall order. Ask me in three weeks, what I think on that, but they're not gonna get through a plan of this year. All right. 

[00:27:23] Bob Gatty: You've interviewed a bunch of of sports stars over the years.

[00:27:27] You were telling me a little bit a while ago about Billie Jean King and some stuff that she had to say and you wanna share that? 

[00:27:35] Andy Frye: The cool part about writing for a sports business magazine 'cause a lot, it's not like I, I have a Rolodex of agents who return my call two minutes later.

[00:27:43] A lot of times I will get pitches from publicists, and sometimes they're all over the place and out there. But a lot of times they come with particularly with retired sports stars, they are doing things. They have ownership stakes, they got business ventures. So a lot of times it'll be like star X is doing, invested in this business.

[00:28:00] It's, I got a, I got before I talk to you about Billie Jean King I got the, one of the bigger ones of the last couple years was I got an email about Tom Brady. Tom Brady starting an apparel line and oh, here's a, basically the email's here's our press release. We know you're into Tom Brady. Go write an article about it. So I responded with two sentences and they just said, yeah, that sounds great. If I can get Tom Brady on the phone, I'll definitely write an article about it. I thought I'd get blown off, they come back two days later yeah, we can get him on the phone for 10 minutes if if you write about this, and this, and mentioned his brand.

[00:28:30] I'm like, as long as I can talk about football. I'm probably gonna be like, you know what? I always ask them, I ask Bill Jean King. A lot of this is what do you have from the sport that's relatable to what you're doing businesswise or foundation or social activism or whatever. 'cause I'm interested in the competitive mindset.

[00:28:46] So I got to re interview Tom Brady 'cause he was starting a new brand and you, I was like, you were under Coach Belichick. You don't know, I know you don't know as much about textiles as your designers do, so how are you coachable and how do you work with them? And they come up with really great answers that are really gifts as far as a writer goes to, include what they're, what they have to say about why they're doing this.

[00:29:06] So Billi Jean King, she was, she's done a couple things that are socially social activism related, that she's got a gig with Johnny Walker. The. The whiskey brand, the Scotch brand, they put on these panels, they put on a panel during the World Cup a couple years ago and they got me to speak and Billie Jean King was attached to something that they were doing that was similar.

[00:29:26] And yeah, I got an offer to talk to her. And yeah, man, I was associate on the phone with her for 10 minutes and she talks more than I do, and we are on the phone for 25 minutes and here comes people, come on. They're like so she has to go in a minute. And Billy's just no, we're talking here.

[00:29:41] It's cool. And then she's oh, so where are you? And tell me about, she's actually interested in what I had to say about certain things and what my opinion was. And the second time I got to interview Billy Jean King. It was the day, it was the daytime was the Friday of Serena's last ever match.

[00:29:57] 'cause she was gone on that night, so it was like two in the afternoon and she's oh, you here. I was like, what you mean Flushing Meadows? I was like, no, I'm at home in Chicago. She's, oh, it's too bad because we get, get a drink or something and talk about like side talk political stuff and you know how you and I agree what politicians we hate.

[00:30:13] She implies a little bit of that. But yeah, she's a talker. She's hilarious. Unintentionally. She'll laugh a lot during your interview. You see the pictures. I'm looking at a picture of now of her now on my wall here, where she's got a racket. She seems really serious and intense, but she enjoys life.

[00:30:26] She's definitely out there to enjoy life and she'll tell you about it. Some of these people you just have a conversational thing with where you ask them questions, but they. It's just like talking to your cousin you haven't seen in a couple years. And that's what I enjoy about it.

[00:30:38] That it's, it doesn't matter if it's a rugby player or a tennis player or a golfer, like most people just, they just wanna have a conversation with you. If you're a journalist, they want to see that you're not gonna ask 'em a whammy question to try to catch 'em off guard. And then I think they like it when you are just a normal person with them and you're not intimidated by them.

[00:30:57] And. I may have gotten to interview some of the best names in, in sports. Pretty much everybody I've wanted to interview except Michael Jordan, LeBron and Serena and Dick Schapp because he is been deceased for 20 some odd years. I've, all the other people, for the most part that I've wanted to interview, I've got to interview or, pretty close to all of them.

[00:31:16] So that, that's pretty fun. 

[00:31:17] Bob Gatty: That is, that's cool. I had an experience one time. This has, I don't know, maybe a little bit of a, Sidetrack here, but I was I was asked by a client to pick up their main speaker in, in, in a car, in, in a limo. And the main speaker was Henry Kissinger. Okay. Yeah.

[00:31:39] So he's sitting in the backseat of this limo, I'm sitting in the front. 

[00:31:43] And we're, we're talking, we're just going to wherever it was, he was going to the hotel where he was gonna go speak. I think we picked him up at the airport and 

[00:31:52] Andy Frye: he didn't pick him up at the Watergate, I hope.

[00:31:54] Bob Gatty: No. All he wanted to do was talk 

[00:31:56] baseball. Okay. Yeah. He 

[00:31:58] didn't wanna talk about any of this shit that he was going to say before this business group or any of that thing. Yeah. And I'm all prepared to give him, the lowdown on the group and what they want to hear and all that kind of thing.

[00:32:11] He didn't wanna hear any of that stuff. He just wanted to talk about baseball, which I thought was really cool. 

[00:32:16] Andy Frye: Yeah, the first time I, one of the first people I interviewed when I switched over to Forbes, Was Johnny Bench, and it was, long story short in 2018, baseball decided to have every team play on opening day for the first time ever.

[00:32:28] So there's a great commercials, there's a commercial that I saw where Johnny Bench is cold calling baseball fans. Are you gonna be there? Yeah. So I decided that it was like a Thursday, Friday. I'm like, I bet if I find the publicist who's doing this, if I stalk them for a couple days, maybe.

[00:32:42] I'm gonna at least ask him if I can get an interview with Johnny Bench. This is like long before all the people I've talked to you about that. Now I've interviewed like 50 different major sports artists. In the beginning of that, before I had done any of that, I didn't know if I was gonna get a response.

[00:32:54] And they're like, yeah, we can we can get him on. And he is gonna talk, he's gonna talk a lot about barbecue, just so you know. He's gonna talk. And he talked about his like I think he's single again. He basically said I've got my boys live with me. I fire up my grill and he lives in South Florida, and I get my grill as hot as it can be.

[00:33:12] I get the hotdog and burger. So I get my kids out of the way and then I do my steak the way I want to. And he had a special rub and he wouldn't tell me what was in it. He wouldn't even tell me. He wouldn't gimme the recipe, but he wouldn't even tell me what was in it. And then he is talk about how he uses his air fryer for like different sides.

[00:33:25] And I was averse of the air fryer forever. I'm using it to, I just used it to make some mahi tacos for lunch. So I get the whole like, I don't like the word foodie, but. Whether you're into like Italian, like I, I say that the food that I make is peasant food because I don't follow recipes. I like a lot of spicy garlic.

[00:33:44] I'll send you a bottle of my favorite hot sauce. Hot sauce. It's called quanda. It's made by a drag queen in Brooklyn. I like just mixing things up and so when I talk to a Hall of Fame baseball player, We talked a little bit about being a catcher, but we mostly talked about food. That's cool.

[00:33:58] That's pretty awesome. Just talk about tacos and steak. That is cool. I can't really complain too much about, yeah. 

[00:34:05] Bob Gatty: I was watching OS game the other night and on M L B TV and there was an ad with this little old lady. She's she's in her kitchen. She's making a strawberry pie. Yeah. And she says I like helping people. Sometimes all it takes is a piece of pie. And so anyway, I saw this strawberry pie I thought. Think I'm gonna make a 

[00:34:28] strawberry pie. I went online, got myself a recipe. All I needed that I didn't have was some strawberry jello. So I went to the store and got some strawberry jello and some whipped cream.

[00:34:41] Man, I made this strawberry pie. It was fabulous. Nice job. I just finished it yesterday. 

[00:34:48] Andy Frye: I my mom used to get books by the the Charleston Cake lady. I think she goes by the Charleston cake lady. I don't think she's alive anymore, but my mom was doing some, she's a nurse practitioner consultant, and she was in, I wanna say like, wherever she lives, Savannah, or not Savannah, like Columbia or, and she's I'm gonna look up the Charleston cake lady and just tell her I'm a big fan.

[00:35:05] And she met her I think she went to her like her studio kitchen and met the Charleston cake lady who like, talked about their son. They talked about I don't know if you talked about me, but they talked about their sons over a slice of cake, which is like her sh. Her shtick, the Charles and cake lady, so Yeah, someone's famous or accomplished, like you make a connection with 'em, reach out to 'em.

[00:35:25] Like people are just people and Right. I'm, I thought you were gonna tell me that you made that strawberry pie. It didn't work out, but maybe you follow recipes better than I do. 

[00:35:33] Bob Gatty: So actually I did follow the recipe and it worked out 

[00:35:36] Andy Frye: pretty well. 

[00:35:36] Bob Gatty: Don't bake, you gotta follow recipes. Really simple. It is like four steps, not hard.

[00:35:42] And now I'm gonna try to adapt that same recipe to a peach pie. I wanna make, I love peaches, so I wanna make a peach pie, and I'm gonna try doing the same thing anyway. Now, the last thing I wanted to do was to move a little bit into politics. You said you had some thoughts about the, about Russia and Ukraine War.

[00:36:03] Tell me 

[00:36:03] Andy Frye: about that. It's So when I, so I lived in the city, I've lived in the city ever since I was in 1994. And I have a lot of obviously very socially liberal friends. Like I, I was pro-gay rights, not to say like before it was cool, but I, maybe it was generational thing, certain things you just knew that were gonna change.

[00:36:21] But maybe generationally, like we grew up in the shadow of the Cold War. I'm fascinated with the Cold War, but Yeah. It's weird because we can have conversations about this all day long that all the thing that, things that Biden is doing to support Ukraine. If he was a Republican and if Reagan did it or George Bush One, did it, would, he'd be nominated for the Peace Prize, Nobel Peace Prize.

[00:36:42] But it's weird. It's just, I don't know. Maybe this is like me coming back from writing my time travel novel. I'm just like, where, why are we at a place where Republicans are pro Russia or don't care? We have I went to college in Ohio and Kentucky's just over the line and to hear what's the name?

[00:37:00] I call him a Rand Jr. Rand Paul, Senator Rand Paul say that Ukraine's just part of Russia. It just blows my mind that we're there. After, 60 years of nato and, I think it's gonna continue to go bad for Russia. I'm interested to see now that this the, I can't pronounce his last name, but the the head of the mercenary group, Wagner went down on a plane today and I wonder if Putin signed his own death warrant with the loyal members of the brigade may be gonna cause some problems there, but, A lot of my friends are very like, liberal peacenik, war's never the answer. And I agree with that to some degree, but I also wonder if we're at a place where, you know, when this all, if it doesn't go too badly, we don't end up with nuclear war. That we, you have to take have to treat Russia the way that we treated Nazi Germany after 1945. You gotta, I don't know, split up the country or occupy it somehow.

[00:37:50] Or even just, put in some things that are major constraints to keep them from doing it again. And ever since Putin's been in power, Russia's been a threat in small forms and big, 

[00:38:00] Bob Gatty: all right. Last thing I wanted to ask you about is the presidential sweepstakes and the Trump indictments.

[00:38:06] What are your thoughts? 

[00:38:08] Andy Frye: Yeah, Trump indictments, it seems like it's been going too slow for too long. I'm not a super fan of Merrick Garland. Put a beer in me. I might call him Milk toast Merrick Garland. 'cause I don't really think that he's done. Yeah, I agree with you. I think we're all a place where we fear that democracy's at risk and justice doesn't mean the same thing that, that it used to.

[00:38:30] And that, that plays into that when you've got, we're dancing around with somebody who on any given day, we'll say, we need to start doing a civil war. Yeah. But it's interesting to see Trump and the other guys turn themselves in Georgia and have to be booked.

[00:38:43] And I guess we're, we'll see if we get a a mugshot by before the end of the week of Trump. But I think that all the underlings, the other band of the 19 indicted, who's gonna. I'm wondering who's going to plead guilty, who's gonna deal, yeah. If you are somebody that we've never heard of before, you're Jenna Ellis, or you're somebody who doesn't have millions of dollars, how long are you gonna build up legal bills just to stand by? Stand by your man here. So it, that's gonna be the interesting part. And to see who flips and, yeah. I dunno.

[00:39:16] Bob Gatty: They're all bitching. They're not getting any help to pay their legal bills from Trump. 

[00:39:19] Andy Frye: What do you, what did you expect, of course, even really paying. He doesn't ever pay his bills. Yeah, I know. That's the other thing with I love it when, I studied economics in college as a part of my study and I always love it when, first off, when people make this argument that, oh I can't hire workers for a restaurant 'cause nobody wants to work hard. 'cause they don't wanna work for $2 in tips when they get a job at amazon with benefits for $20 an hour. Capitalism is treated like this thing that's only benefiting, I guess wealthy people. Yeah. Same thing with, yeah. It's just, Trump never paid his bills.

[00:39:55] And if you are for small business, why would you ever think about supporting this guy? He's stiffed over 3,500 different businesses that have sued him, and that's not really a way to run a business. And I get back to sports. If you're buy golf properties and you're losing $10 million a golf course a year.

[00:40:11] Yeah. Like he turnberry I'm guessing you probably aren't, shouldn't really be in the golf the, but golf grounds business But that seems like more of a sweepstakes than the presidential thing. 'cause I don't think any of these people are gonna debate tonight are gonna go anywhere. They're gonna be some interesting things out of Chris Christie's mouth potentially.

[00:40:25] And I think Nikki Haley's just gonna be a, a corporate just spout the things that you expect her to say. And other than that, the only thing, other interesting thing is that, Trump's almost 80, or I guess he's what, 78? Something like that. He doesn't look.

[00:40:40] Definitely doesn't look as healthy as you or my dad. What happens if he drops dead in the middle of this? What do we end up with? What weak g p candidates who Yeah. Are gonna say nice things about him and it's you. I don't know. It's just it's so unpredictable, yet we're used to all this drama and craziness.

[00:40:55] Bob Gatty: Yeah. All right, so lastly, where can people find your book and how can they learn more about you? My friend.

[00:41:03] Andy Frye: I go to andy, or if you wanna just check out the book it's on Amazon. Obviously if you're shopping for Q-Tips, you can just type in the name of the book, even spelt wrong and it'll come up.

[00:41:13] If you don't want to get Jeff Bezos more dumb looking cowboy hats and you wanna buy from, I would say buy from your local bookstore. They can order it just like anybody can. Or if you wanna signed copy, just go to 90 days in the I'll sign a copy and send it to you or, You got a friend or a dad or a brother or sister or anybody who's diehard into music or pop culture history, I can definitely it's definitely a good gift I think for that.

[00:41:37] I've had a lot of people buy the book for their, their pearl Jam loving uncle or their, yeah. Okay. Their sister who loves Melissa Etheridge and, they just wanna read about the good old times again. Yeah, I'd say go independent order for me or for a bookstore. But if you're on Amazon, it's there too.

[00:41:51] Just really depends on how you get your books. Okay. 

[00:41:54] Bob Gatty: And don't forget, when you go online and you put in Andy Frye, it's Andy, f r y e. There's an E on the end. So you gotta do that. Yeah. All right, Andy, thank you very much for being with us, pal. It's great talking to you. Enjoyed a lot. 

[00:42:08] Andy Frye: Yeah, thanks a lot.

[00:42:08] Good talking to you.

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