There are times when a team is inseparable from its broadcaster. Think Jack Buck. Ernie Harwell. Phil Rizzuto. Those golden voices had the rare ability to know when to shut up and when to comment, when to add something to the game and when to let the game be the game.
The truth is: baseball doesn’t need commentary.
Sure, it’s helpful at times and yes, I would be a liar if I didn’t admit getting a kick out of the “OUTTA HERE”s, the “JIMMY JACK”s and “OPPO TACO”s. Baseball, at its root, is game of great sounds: PA announcers and bat cracks and balls slamming mitts. But more often than not, I find myself at great odds with the voices who are currently mucking up my baseball game on television watching experiences.
The White Sox, in particular, harbor the most egregious of all audio-felons. I mean, Hawk Harrelson’s commentary is almost entirely made up of stupid catchphrases that he donned eons ago. And while they may have been cute back then, they are nothing short of annoying now.
Hawk is certainly not alone. There are countless other offenders. Michael Kay. Rod Allen. Bert Blyleven. I have nothing against them, personally, but often the commentary they provide is as mindless as it is boring, and I would like the option to shut them up.
Because MUTE ain’t the answer.
I want to hear the ump’s calls. I want to hear the beer guy in section 113. I want to hear the crowd roar on a go-ahead RBI double.
Back in 2009, SNY — a station that, ironically, has one of the better broadcasting teams in baseball — experimented with something they called “The Silent Sixth”, where they did just that: they shut up. Silence. No talking. But they cranked up the sound on the field mics and I can attest: it was a true thing of beauty. Soon I found myself tuning into lots of Mets games come the sixth inning, enjoying the pure sounds of the game the way they were meant to be enjoyed before egocentric legacy hunters and no-limit-in-yer-face advertising began trashing the game (seriously, does every bullpen move have to be sponsored by Domino’s?).
In this era of technocracy, where I can watch every single baseball game on my television, my computer AND my phone, where I can choose which broadcast I want to listen to WHENEVER I want, one would think that providing the option for silence would not be asking too much.
Baseball titans (King Bud, Joe Torre, whoevs), do me a favor and git ‘er done.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
“KEITH, GET A BUCKET!”
After Jeff and Allen dragged Johanna’s almost lifeless body out of the Lollapalooza bullpen, the RSBS crew sat down to smack down on all-things baseball. Joined midway by special guest, Tim Baffoe of The Heckler and AM 670 The Score, everybody gets in on the roller coaster that is Chicago baseball, Tony LaRussa versus the World, Derek Jeter’s legacy and a hypothetical question involving the conflicting theologies of Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton.
This is some shizz ya ain’t gonna wanna miss!
And make sure to follow Tim Baffoe (aka the Ten Foot Midget) on Twitter. Dude’s got a lock on sports satire!
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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his sweet Undercast. And, also, if you haven’t already, check out the teaser to his film-in-progress and don’t be afraid to help a brotha out!
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Recorded Saturday, August 6, 2011
One reason why I’ll never tire of my inanimate life partner (her name is baseball) is because every time I watch a game, I have the chance to see something I’ve never seen before. Or, as was the case Wednesday night at Sox Park, I might see 18 somethings I’ve never seen before.
The Yankees were in town. My buddy Mike had sweet tickets on the 100 level. And I was craving the sort of breeze only Adam Dunn’s wiff-n-miss bat can provide.
It didn’t take long for the game to get out of hand. In fact, the game STARTED with something I have NEVER seen before: back-to-back bunt basehits, thanks to Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter.
In fact, Jeter went 5 for 6 in the game, only the fourth time he has ever collected five hits in one game (the third being his epic 3K performance just last month) and yes, that’s something I’ve never seen before.
I have also never seen a White Sox pitcher (Brian Bruney) enter a game, record ZERO outs, give up 2 hits and 2 earned runs and still not be the worst performer of the night. Like my buddy Mike said: “When you put Will Ohman in in the third, it’s already a disaster.”
And, of course, nothing spells disaster like the 2011 version of Adam Dunn.
But hark! Baseball games always offer something new; and I hadn’t been to a Sox game all season where Adam Dunn didn’t strike out at least once, BUT, lo and behold, Dunn went 1 for 4 with NO strikeouts! Hallelujah! Champagne for errrrrrrybody!
Dude still can’t hit an 11-run homer though. At this moribund point, I’m thinking that might be the only thing that could save his career.
“Wait a minute! I’m having a thought. Oh, yes. I’m gonna have a thought. It’s coming… it’s gone.”
The only way I watch another CUUBBBBS game this season is if Wizzo the Wizard and his magic cards are involved (I’d go back in time and volunteer for the Vietnam War as well, because TIME MACHINES ARE REAL). Thank you, Jim Hendry, for giving Kosuke Fukudome $48 million so you could trade him for two prospects who will never see a Major League roster to save $750 thousand. You’re something else, Jim, you really are. But… there’s so much more to check out so all is GUUUDDDDD.
Justin Verlander has me in hysterics on a regular basis. He brings some must-see damn baseball every week. 100 mph fastballs being thrown in the 8th inning are… the password is…
How in the hell is he doing that? That’s some Nolan Ryan territory.
The human highlight reel that is Asdrubal Cabrera is doing NASTAYY things out there too. No balls get by him. Nothing. He’s playing that infield like a fine fiddle. Imagine the range of Ozzie Smith but with power. NASTAYYYYYY.
Also, the new team I’ve adopted (The White Sox) still provide daily drama. The constant pillow fighting (and maybe a little pillow biting) between Kenny and the Blizzard of Oz have been fantastic! Plus, pitching coach, Don Cooper, sounds like Buddy Hackett, who should have had a much bigger role in Herbie. (Best sidekick/mechanic ever. He also makes a serious cappuccino.)
And I have Pirates fever!!! I am actively rooting for them to win the Central. They got my old pal Derrek Lee! Ol Pittsburgh hasn’t won a Super Bowl in like… a year, so they NEED THIS. All that aside, I like the Pirates being decent. It’s refreshing. Kinda like running through the woods with nothing on but pink panties and a little mayonnaise.
Also, I keep watching HBO’s documentary on Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit. It was good but not great. I pretty much just fast forward to the parts with Minka Kelly. The password is…
And just one more thing: go back and watch Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy. The movie kinda got killed at the time for some weak acting and plot holes but that’s garbage. Danny Elfman’s score and Stephen Sondheim’s original songs combine to make it a great movie, despite everything else. And Madonna? The password is… wait for it… wait… wait…
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But that stopped around May.
They are just an infuriating lot to watch play baseball.
“All in” my @$$.
Dear Lord Baby Jesus and Taco Bell I’m Playing a Guitar Solo On Top of a Moving Train
In honor of the football lockout ending, I’ve decided to tell the world about the dumbest things in sports. I consider myself a world class dope, and this stuff blows even my face off.
Glasses on top of the hat in a baseball game when it’s sunny.
GUH… Ezequiel Carrera did this Sunday in the Indians/White Sox tilt. Amazing. He had sunglasses on his hat, didn’t wear them and then lost an easy popup in the sun that cost the Indians the game. I understand that the flip-down glasses aren’t cool and you feel like an octogenarian wearing them, but sorry, Eqequiel, you’re stupid. So stop it and wear them or continue to look like a fool and drop fly balls in the outfield and fumble about looking like a drunk college girl at a VH1 summer bash in Cancun.
Touchdown dances that occur before ACTUALLY SCORING A TOUCHDOWN!
DeSean Jackson did this during a Monday Night Football game and foiled the hopes and dreams of about a thousand fantasy owners who were trailing by 4 points or fewer. I WAS ONE OF THEM. He started dancing and gyrating and flipped the ball in the air before crossing the plane, and of course, he dropped the ball. Right then I wished and prayed a vampire would eat him from groin to chin.
Jacking up threes when being pulled.
Guys who ride the pine in the NBA do this constantly and make their coaches go mad. Basically, when a guy sees his replacement come up to the scorer’s table and knows he is about to be taken out, he calls for the ball and takes an awful shot to pad his own stats for the night, with no concern for the team. This makes me have bad-basketball-diarrhea.
Bill Belichick’s weekly undisclosed injury report made up of made-up things about players who are ALWAYS on my fantasy team because god and unicorns have no soul.
I’m reminded of this because EFFFFING FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!
Andrew Luck staying in college instead of PLAYING IN THE NFL
He wants to finish his last year of school. To become an architect. His brain will be mush after large men sit on him before he can fulfill his dream to become the next Gaudi. Real architects work something like twenty years making forty grand a year before they ever get to create anything. They also work 90 hours a week and have no lives. That sounds way more awesome then being a starting quarterback in the NFL, getting tons of action and making MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.
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his brain will be mush after large black men sitting on him before he can fulfill his dream to become the next Gaudi.
Since I enjoy the weekends almost as much as I enjoy watching the sCrUBBIES plummet to 21 games under .500, I better get rid of all this heat-induced angst now, so I can enjoy the next two days in peace. That means y’all better get ready for some STOP ITs!
In the old days, being a Big Leaguer meant being the best you could be. It meant putting forth maximum effort, doing things the right way and positioning one’s self to win. After all, that’s the goal in baseball. To win. Of course, you could also be lame, like a very comfortable Aramis Ramirez, who is more inclined to settle for being a creaky cog in a wheel of crap at Wrigley Field than go somewhere his talents could actually be of some use. He cites his “family” as the reason, but that’s stupid. It’s two months. And you’re a friggin’ millionaire, dude. So STOP IT! Just STOP IT! Go win something. Nothing infuriates me more than talented people wasting their talents.
The White Sox
Speaking of stupid, how long will Kenny Williams & Co. allow the $14 million strikeout machine to clog up any and all paths to winning?!? Letting a marquis player work through a slump makes sense when the slump is… y’know, a slump. But when it’s AN ENTIRE SEASON it’s time to make a change. STOP IT, White Sox! You bombard me with your 2011 slogan of “All In” and the only thing you’re “all in” to is a giant, heaping pile of suck.
I love how we Chicagoans complain all winter long about how cold it is, then when summer comes along people are suddenly surprised they’re frying eggs on the sidewalk. Chicago in the summer is HOT. It has always been hot. So stop acting like you didn’t know this. Same thing goes for baseball players. It’s been hot during the summer for the entirety of baseball history. In fact, the old timers (REAL baseball men) used to wear WOOL UNIFORMS so STOP CRYING ABOUT IT, baseball players. You make millions of dollars playing a game I’d do Precious for to play, so quit bitching about the heat and just concentrate on doing your job.
And, as if all of the above isn’t enough, apparently we here in US America can’t even get our own pastimes right. No, I’m not talking about baseball. I’m talking about pizza.
Yeah, our pizza experience has been outsourced to India too. And, surprise, surprise… they do it better: