Tag:Boston Red Sox
Posted on: April 17, 2008 12:12 am

Baseball announcers stand the test of time......

I apologize in advance to anyone I offend by leaving out their favorite, or their hometown guy, etc. I have the dish so I see a ton of games and listen to a lot of play-by-play guys. I'm going to discuss my favorites, my least favorites and some honorable mention guys as well. I'll also have some memorable quotes that stick out over the years. Please keep in mind that I'm not an old man, and I'm not in college either. You'll get a good sense of my experiences based on who is named in this post.   

Let's start with one of the worst moments in baseball announcing history that I've ever heard, nevermind in recent years. This one's actually a two-part answer:

1.)Roger Clemens returns to New York - Ok, so this one touches a bit of a nerve. I've never forgiven Clemens for lying to the fans upon his departure from Boston. It's true, I believe he was forced out by Dan Duquette (and the Duke has basically admitted they weren't bringing him back at any price in later years). But he said he wanted to pitch somewhere closer to home, mainly Texas or Houston. Then he turns around and goes north of the US border and pitches in another country. It was then that I knew this guy was a true mercenary and only cared about the amount of money he made. We all know his travels then took him to the Big Apple, then to Houston and then "triumphantly" back to New York. So Roger was returning? Big deal. If that were Fenway or Wrigley, I highly doubt Harry Caray or Sean McDonough would have had an orgasm in the booth at the sight of The Rocket. Sure, it was a dramatic moment but Suzyn Waldman went way over the top. "Oh my goodness gracious!" is the best she could come up with at that moment?? I have about twenty better lines going through my head right now. And to blather on and on about him returning to pitch like he was bringing World Series rings with him was ludicrous. Enough ranting. You get the point. Waldman gets the gold....and the silver......

2.)Bye Bye Joe - "There's no crying in baseball!" - Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) in "A League of Their Own". Suzyn outdid herself in the clubhouse after the Yankees lost to Cleveland in the 2007 ALDS against Cleveland to put an end to Joe Torre's tenure with the Yankees. With the coaches all misting up because they knew the end an 11 year run was at hand, Waldman audibly teared up on the radio broadcast with John Sterling. Granted it was a somber situation, but come on! You're a professional! Emotion should not interfere with your job and Waldman let it get the best of her. The best part of the whole situation was the attempted transition (and a quite good one I might add) of Sterling, who paused briefly after Waldman stopped sniffling and uttered "Well Suzyn.......in life...all good things must come to and end." Priceless! But no matter how great the line, it was not going to overshadow the previous 30 seconds of emotional breakdown incurred by the worst baseball announcer in all of baseball.

Count me as one of the throng of baseball fans who think games should be called with a heavy dose of unbias. Yes, I hate "homers". Hometown announcers who openly root for their teams absolutely drive me crazy like fingernails on a blackboard. "Hawk" Harrelson is front and center in that group. The White Sox announcer changed his Sox in 1981 when he was "politely asked to leave" by Haywood Sullivan. Ever since, his "PUT IT ON THE BOOOARD....YYYYYYES!!!" home run call has gone up my spine sideways like a meaningless three pointer for a backdoor cover when I've got the favorite. I've never cared for the "homer" announcer and wouldn't want one calling the Red Sox. I think Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy do a good job of bringing excitement to the positive plays for the team they work for, and there are a lot of other duos out there who do it as well or better than they do. It's enough to get you excited about the home team, but it's not overkill and outright rooting against the opponent. And the "we" references always slay me. You're in the booth now Ken, not on the 25 man roster. Act like it. You are you and they are they.  

That's it for tonight. Tomorrow I will post again with some of my favorites and more fantastic moments. For now, those are the worst of the worst in my opinion.......but what do I know?

Posted on: April 6, 2008 9:00 pm

Sunday Night Thoughts

I used to write for my local rag and was an editor in college and I got the itch to write again. I figured posting on the message board would satiate my desire, but it only fueled it so now I'm going to bare my sports soul in this space. There's already a guy who writes for a competitor of this site, but I'm more focused on sports he's not. Sure I'm a Boston guy and I'll have a lot of info on those squads but I have been a writer and a sports fan my whole life. I have a lot more to share.....

Congratulations John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers. All year long the pundits kept knocking them down because they played in a weak conference. The experts said they can't shoot free throws. They would even dismiss the non-con schedule saying in effect, sure they beat some good teams (Olahoma, USC, UConn, Georgetown, Arizona and Gonzaga) but the tournament is a different story. Well, the Tigers had their own idea of a different story, one that ends with them holding up the wood plaque that says "NCAA Div. I Champions Men's Basketball". UCLA was the "in" pick to get to the final tomorrow night against Carolina. We'll get to UNC in a minute. Kevin Love will be a star at the next level, but the one thing that the Bruins don't have, that the other three teams in San Antonio do, is a surplus of athletes that run the floor and work hard in half court situations on both ends of the floor.  It was evident early on in the game that Memphis had more speed and quickness on both ends and that UCLA would have to play a great game just to be in the situation to test the Tigers free throw shooting in the last couple minutes. It never really materialized because Memphis kept Love, Collison and company at arms length all game and shot 86% from the line. Coach Cal has made his team belive that they can win this tournament and that is half the battle. Just ask Bill Belichck. I really think tomorrow night's game will be one of the more exciting finals in history. It has the look of a high scoring, up and down slugfest that will come down to execution and rebounding. I'll make my pick tomorrow.

I honestly didn't think Carolina would get there. I thought Tennessee had the make-up, the ability and the coaching to get past the Heels but that matchup never materialized because for some unkown reason, Rick Pitino can coach in college but will ruin an NBA franchise faster than Derrick Rose can get to the rim. So all four number ones advanced and Kansa came calling. I thought Bo Ryan's Wisonsin Badgers had a good shot to take the Jayhawks out of their game and get to San Antonio but I didn't count on Stephen Curry borrowing Dwight Howard's Superman costume and making the George Mason-esque run to the Elite Eight. The kid can shoot the lights out and reminds me of Reggie Miller with a better jump shot. Some NBA team is going to be very happy and all that pass on him will live to regret it. Are you listening Danny Ainge? This kid could be the spot up shooter the Celtics could use. Back to the Kansas-Carolina game, if you can call it that. Kansas wanted it more than everyone on the Heels except Tyler "get your hands off me bro" Hansbrough. He has more desire than anyone who has ever stepped on a college basketball court. By no means do I think he's one of the best ever, nor do I think he'll have anything more than a journeyman career in the NBA, but you've got to give it to the kid. He won't ever quit.....ever. He does more with less than anyone in history short of Dan Reuttiger. Maybe you've heard of him. Hansbrough is Rudy on steroids. But he didn't count on the rest of his squad leaving their games in the state of North Carolina. This game was over five minutes in. Roy Williams even knew it. CBS caught him hanging his head in disbelief when they got down 20. There are rumors that Hansbrough will be back. He's apparently renewed his lease on his apartment. I think he will come back now that they got bounced. If they had won the title, I think he was a ghost and headed to the NBA. Now he can look forward to sitting on the bench cheering on his teammates. At least he'll be rich.

I am thoroughly convinced the Red Sox are flat out exhausted. They've got to be ecstatic they are coming home. They get their rings tomorrow which will be nice, but I think they'll be even happier just to sleep in their own beds. They've gone from Boston, to Japan, to the west coast, to Toronto and back to Boston in just a couple weeks. That's a long vacation, nevernind a business trip! I've heard Francona say that the team just wants to "get back to the grind of baseball". They've been trotted around the globe as an attraction. They've been part of essentially five opening day ceremonies after tomorrow. It's no wonder Francona and his players just want to play ball and get back to their "normal" lives. Now if they can only get back in the win column.

Well, I've got a lot more on my mind an I'll get to it all, but I don't want to go crazy my first time out, I'll probably be back tomorrow. I hope you liked my thoughts even if you didn't agree with them. Hey, I think this is all the case, but then again what do I know....

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com