Beyond the Bleachers: Are We All Just Leacherous Creatures…When Catcalls Becomes Society’s Downfall

My passion as a kid was Baseball. From the moment the weather changed from from frigid cold to acceptable to grip a ball…I was out there. If there was no one around, a wall a chalk outlined rectangle & my imagination was all I needed to hone my pitching technique. From the CYO Leagues at St. Scholastica to Rosedale Park Summer League, to West 7, my summers were filled with Baseball Nirvana! 

Then I discovered girls! Not just any type of girls mind you…this was somewhere around 1975-76. Now the guys my age can relate because if you remember back then, (& I still do) it was a great time to be a hormonal teenage boy! Aside from Baseball Game of the Week, & This Week in Baseball being on TV, we had…Love American Style…& The Love Boat teaching us all about sexual orientation on TV. Afternoon Delight was the hit song on the radio, as well as the Stones telling us how we can’t get no “Satisfaction”. Furthermore…& like my father before me, I was taught the “Catcall”. For those of you in the dark on this…I’ll clue you in. A catcall is when you do “that” whistle to/at/towards a woman…typically with the intent to compliment/get their attention/….but thirdly often harass. 

  Now…I know I’m relatively new to blogging, & despite the fact I’ve only like 5 followers at this point…3-4 of you might be wondering why I’m choosing to go off topic. Especially the day after Jake Arrietta threw his 2nd No Hitter in his last 11 regular season starts (between 2015-2016) 

Jake threw his 2nd No-Hitter Thursday Night to beat the Reds 

  Nor did I miss the fact that Alex Gordon (KC Royals) went “gap-robbing” against Justin Upton & Detroit Tigers & ran a country mile to rob Upton of a sure extra base hit. Gordon, to the amazement of all of Kauffman Stadium covered 123 feet tracking the ball with a route efficiency of  97.5% at a top speed of 18.6mph!!!  

 
Or….I could wax poetic about Clayton Kershaw introducing an eephus pitch at 46mph⁉️ Are you kidding me?  

 

 No…my desire to write my semi-unusual sports blog has been interrupted by a ear & eye opening conversation I had with my Daughter the other night. Stay with me here now…cause I’m gonna bounce back & forth here for a bit. My love for MLB can only be eclipsed by the love for my Wife & Daughters (& Son). So when I hear of something affecting them negatively…it stops me in my tracks & I take notice…& like most Husbands/Dads…I react! 

Before I became a husband & a dad…I was just like most teenagers growing up here in the States. Baseball consumed my every waking moment until the summer of 75. Suddenly Beth Young became the girl of my dreams…as was Sandy Winters, Cathy Guidot, & well you get the idea. As a stumbling uncool (new to game) teen…the only way I knew to convey that I found these girls pleasing to the eye was…to catcall. You know…the wolf whistle. It’s as old as flirting is to Grandma Moses. You see it exemplified in movies typically with construction workers & pretty secretaries. The guys whistles…the girls blush…it’s all supposed to be innocent fun…..right? That’s what I always did…every time I saw a pretty girl…it was “my” attempt of saying….” Wow…I think you’re hot/attractive/(insert adjective here)…& I want you to know I appreciate your look!” As I got older, I admit I would still whistle at woman…albeit not as demonstrative as my younger self. Never did I consider the recipient….not until the phone conversation I had the other day (are you still with me…like I said,I know I’m bouncing). 

During the conversation with my Daughter the other night, she begins to tell me about how a car with 2 guys “slow roll” alongside her for like 3 minutes all the while catcalling & carrying on like fools. As she said…”3 minutes in real life seemed like an eternity”. My Daughter, (Bless her Heart) stood her ground & angrily responded back with questions back to them…”Would you treat your Mom…or your Sisters this way?” They continued to harass her for about 3 minutes until she could affect an escape. This was not her first encounter with this type of harassment, as a matter of fact…it’s a quite common occurrence. As she stated to me…on this particular day, she was not “anything to look at”. She works at a Pre School so she normally comes home covered in cookie crumbs & kiddie fluids….plus it was like 90 degrees that day. Yeah buddy she gave “hot” a whole new meaning!! The point being, this was an example of pure harassment…nothing more…nothing less. Suffice to say, I’d like to find these guys & use their heads to play a little pepper….but that’s for another story. 

After listening to my Daughter & her dilemma, she told me what she plans to do about this situation. She went on to tell me that her generation (millennials) have the rep of just living with their folks (she moved out at 16) & not doing anything…about anything. Basically she was going to do what I always told her to do with her life….”Take a Stand & Make a Mark”. It was the family credo & she was taking up the challenge! Granted some of the things we discussed bordered on civil disobedience (I read too much H D Thoreau to her) but at least she has passion! 

  Hours after we hung up, I kept coming back to the conversation in my mind. I couldn’t shake not only what happened to my Kid, but she really made me stop to think about all the times I whistled at a girl/woman. Granted there is no way I was never as bad as the 2 guys she encountered the other day…but after listening to her point of view….? It doesn’t really matter. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not really into this new PC world we live in per ce, but after listening to her…guys there’s gotta be a better way….the only way….end it! 

  Once upon a time things were simpler. 2 Divisions in MLB, no Wild Card…simple. Beer was on tap or in bottle or can, non of this micro-brew IPA crap…simple. Men held the doors open for woman…guys would never harass woman in public…men had honor….simple. 

  I sit here in da Box Seats aghast at what I see at what is happening in society…beyond the Bleachers. Most of us that love MLB are men…fathers, husband, brothers, sons. We all have connections to woman that are so very close to our hearts. This post is personal plea from me to all that takes the time to read this: The next time you think about “catcalling” a woman….put your wife/mom/daughter in place of that woman….& then ask yourself if you’d want them treated the same way? Bottom line guys….it’s insensitive as Hell & just plain wrong! 

Thank you so much for letting me go so far off topic. I promise to return to more topical content with my next installment. As always thanks for spending some time with a View From da Box Seats!

#Baseball #MLB #Cubs #Royals #Dodgers #Kershaw #Arrietta #Gordon #catcalls #catcalling #socialchange #socialjustice

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Every Season Tells a “Story”, Don’t It? 

The 2015 MLB campaign was called by many as “The Year of the Rookie”, with the advent of players like Chicago Cubs (Rookie of the Year NL) Kris Bryant & (AL ROY) Houston Astro’s Carlos Correa. However 2015 was stacked heavier than usual when you add the likes of Joc Pederson & Corey Segar both with the LA Dodgers, Matt Duffy (SF Giants), Noah Syndergaard (NY Mets), from the National League. From the American League; Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians), Miguel Sano (Minnesota Twins), Robert Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays), & Delino DeShields (Texas Rangers). Each player named came up to “The Show” ready to prove their worth to their team…& the determination to stay. Each year brings a whole group of new players, most young just hoping for that chance for that call-up. 

  First off, in order to understand it properly…theses are the basic rules that define what “makes” or qualifies a player for Rookie status. This particularly applies to players that come from Japan or Cuba etc who have played in another Professional League. They would still be considered a Rookie…as in the case of Ichiro(Seattle,NYY,Miami) when he entered the league. 

In order to qualify as a rookie in Major League Baseball, a player has to have had fewer than 130 at bats or fifty innings pitched in the majors, and also fewer than 45 days on the active rosters of major league clubs. 

The most wonderful thing about being a MLB fan is, if you watch enough games (like I do) you will see something new happen almost every day! At least that’s the excuse I tell me very patient wife! I must interjected here & say how thankful I am…in 2009 an equally debilitating & wonderfully occurrence fell upon our house! People that are close to me are obviously thinking of my right leg being amputated….however it may fall into the debilitating column…wonderful…🤔🙄…no. I’m talking about MLB Network! Since its inception MLB Network is on from opening day until the end of the World Series! Thankfully & I know how truly lucky I am that my wife has become a MLB fan as well! She also has become extremely knowledgeable & intuitive for the game as well! What can I say…she is “my” MVP!…but I digress….where was I….seeing something new. So if 2015 was the “Year of the Rookie “, why then is everyone going crazy about this years crop of talent? 

  For the first time in MLB history 2 Rookies earned “Player of the Week” Award in each League, for the first week of the Season. Tyler White (Houston Astros) in the AL, & Trevor Story (Colorado Rockies) in the NL. White went 10-18 (.556) with 3 HR & 9 RBI’s in his first week. This guy was a 33rd Round pick-up by the Astros. A Walk on at Western Carolina who had to prove to everyone that he could play. Welcome to the Show Kid!  

 Trevor has quite literally written a new chapter of MLB history his first week! Trevor wasn’t even due to make the Opening Day Roster. The Rockies had traded their Franchise Cornerstone & All-Star SS Troy Tulowitzski to the Blue Jays at last Seasons Trade Deadline. In the exchange they received SS Jose Reyes. However, a Domestic Violence incident on Oct 31 2015 is still under investigation by League Officials (under MLB Domestic Violence Policy) which opened the door for Story. After hitting 2 HR’s in his MLB debut…(1st MLB player ever)…over the next 3 games he goes deep again…(again 1st MLB player ever)…& then becomes the fastest MLB player to 6 HR’s (4 games) & fastest to 7HR (6 games)…his 7th hit in the Show was a measly single!! Last night, in Cincinnati he did it again & hit his 8th round tripper  

 
After receiving his POTW award, Tyler White was given this sage advice from his Manager A J Hinch….”It’s all downhill from here Kid”. Wow! Kinda depressing don’t ya think? Sad thing….he (in the vernacular of Yogi Berra) couldn’t be righter! Maintaining a Batting Avg. (BA) of .556….well that’s video game numbers! Trevor Story’s Manager Walt Weiss….well his jaw is still dropped in disbelief…& unavailable for comment. 

Hot starts by Rookies in MLB are not uncommon. They happen often & unlike last year, seldom do they sustain the season. In 2013 when Yasiel Puig joined the LA Dodgers in the early part of the season, he came out of the gate like gangbusters posting a .391/.422/.616 slash line (Batting avg/On Base %/Slugging %) with 8 HR & 19 RBI’s. His 2nd half of the season….meh by comparison. Baseball is a game of adjustments, & while the Pitcher is making changes & adjustments, the key to success in the Show is if you can adjust to the game as well. Puig has continued to rise & fall above & below either…they love or hate Puig in LA. Last year in Arlington, the Rangers had “The Legend of Joey Gallo”. Another Rookie that came outta the gate very strong. Hit a HR on his first AB. He then went 3-4 that day (June 2) being the 1st Ranger in franchise history to record 4 RBI’s in his MLB debut. Since he was their #1 prospect in the Farm System, the local media created “The Legend of Joey Gallo”. On June 5th Joey ( The Legend) earned his first Golden Sombrero (4 Strikeouts in 1 game). Earning him more Legend status as he was the fastest in franchise history to earn that lowly (ahem) honor. By June 30 he was optioned back to (AAA) Round Rock.  

 
Ten years ago, & kinda like Trevor…Chris Shelton wasn’t supposed to be on the Detroit Tigers Opening Day Roster. An injury to Carlos Pena forced Manager JimLeyland’s hand to call up Rule 5 Draftee (kinda like the scrap heap player) Chris Shelton to man the 1b duties. Shelton, or Red Pop (nicknamed for his power & a local soda made by Faygo) took Detroit by storm! Shelton’s “story” or to be more precise, “Red Pop” realistically only gave us a few pages…of a chapter…that became an all to familiar sad “story” around MLB. In that first week of the 2006 campaign, the young red headed native from Utah hit 5 HR, had 9 RBI’s & has a BA of .583 (in 4 games)….before playing a home game!!!! No wonder the Tiger’s fan base gave him a huge reception when he stepped into the Batters Box at Comerica Park for the first time as a Tiger. During the next week of that homestand Shelton hit another 4 HR in 4 games, for a total of 9 HR’s in 13 games! Like Story, Shelton made history with his achievement. No AL player had hit 9 HR in this few games to start a season. Not even Ruth, Mantle, or Greenburg, had started this fast. He did join members of the Senior Circuit (National League) with this accomplishment, as Mike Schmidt, Larry Walker, & Luiz Gonzalez all have equaled this feat. 

  Nobody knows for sure what happened after that 2 week period. Remember what I said about this game being a game of adjustments? The League adjusted to Red Pop…& well, Red…he just popped…lost his fizz…& yeah…got flat! By May Shelton’s star barely twinkled in the Motor City’s sky which prompted the Tigers to acquire Sean Casey from the Pirates. Red Pop was sent to (AAA) Toledo. Thanks for nothin Chris… 

 
Only time will tell what the future holds for the likes of Tyler, Trevor, & for that matter last years ROY’s Kris Bryant & Carlos Correa (not to mention the plethora of Rookies from 2015 too numerous to list). It is up to each of them to “write” their own chapters in MLB history. Sometimes the chapter they write, like Shelton’s is short…with a somewhat tragic ending (Chris was out of MLB by his 29th birthday). Other times you have players with fast starts that go on to stellar MLB careers (see Miguel Cabrera). Whatever the outcome for these 2 standouts of 2016…at least they both know that they shined bright & had their moment in the sun…& as a player…that’s all you can ask for…..& years from now when they’re old & have grandkids…it will make for one Hell of a story! 

Until next time…thanks for joining me…in da Box Seats! ⚾️👍🖖.

#Baseball #MLB #Rockies #Rangers #Tigers #Gallo #Story #Puig

The Intentional Double Play…How the Utley Rule has Made us Question Intent 

 

Welcome to another view from “The Box Seats”. We barely had a chance to settle into our seats, Red Hots in one hand, overpriced beer in the other. The mitt is resting on my knee at the ready…for the errant foul ball. Yet 3 games into the young season & The Utley Rule has unleashed fury upon the league. “The Utley Rule”…like “The Posey Rule” before it…cause MLB loves to name rules after its players…was the result of a collision between LA Dodgers Chase Utley & NY Mets Ruben Tejada at 2nd base. Utley slid in hard to break up the double play…& Tejada broke his leg during the play. This happened during the NLDS for all the MLB fan base to see. MLB had been looking at the double play…the take out slide…& most of all player safety. A month earlier Pittsburgh Pirates 3rd Baseman Jung-ho Kang broke his leg on a similar play, ending his support for the Pirates playoff push. 

  With the start of the 2016 season among other new rules & initiatives The Utley Rule was, as expected to be the most scrutinized. They broke it down into 4 parts: He begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base;

He is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;

He is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and

He slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder. 

 

With those new rules set, last Tuesday night down in Tampa Bay, Edwin Encarnacion steps in…& hits into what first appears to be the game tying & go-ahead run by error hit…but is then (& here’s those words) upon further review is ruled a game ending double play! When the 3rd baseman started the double play, he threw the ball to 2nd (what’s on 2nd?) 🙄 Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista slid into 2nd but the replay showed Jose not maintaining control of the base…(& attempting to grab the 2nd baseman’s foot) which turn the result into a game ending double play! Now what is overlooked in the replay…is the initial reaction by the Tampa Bay Dugout during the play…after Bautista slid into the base, & the ensuing overthrow…NO reaction by the Coaching Staff for a replay review!? 

 A similar fate happened to the Houston Astros on Friday Night against the Brewers in Milwaukee. With Colby Rasmus on 1st & Jose Altuve batting…an over-slide by Rasmus also violated the new rules causing the game to end in a double play. 

 Both games caused the twitterverse to explode with comments…mostly from players questioning the rule itself. The main thing to remember, the rules was designed to protect players & to keep the best product on the field. Much like last years “Transfer Rule” many are asking for a review of the rule. The great thing about this game…its ability to adapt. I believe it will be harder to transition to this rule than the Posey Rule before it. There are more chances for double plays than plays at the plate during the game, also a player has been taught a “take-out” slide since they were in Little League. The Utley Rule is supposed to prevent the “need” for a take-out slide…yet defensively your job is to “prevent” a double play from happening? MLB also eliminated the “Neighborhood Play” which previously allowed the defender at 2nd be just “in the neighborhood of the base while in possession of the ball”. Simply put…ya don’t have to be on the base with the ball…to save your body from a take-out slide. Tighten a little here, change things over there…Perfect Storm for controversy! 

 Although the wording of the rule seems to be as clear as a Wrigley Field sky…the application therein is as cloudy as Kahlua! Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre is one of the men tasked with dealing with the blowback from the league. After the Astro’s/Brewers game, NY Yankees Manager Joe Girardi called his former skipper for clarification on the call that ended the game. As he saw it (as so many did as well) it shouldn’t have been a double play because there was no chance to get Altuve at 1st regardless of what Rasmus did or did not do! This excerpt from an article from the NYPost 04/09/16 George King III…Girardi called Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, because he believes the language in the interference rule has changed.
“We asked about it this week and they said in the eyes of the umpire it has to impede with him turning a double play. If there is no chance we aren’t going to call it,’’ Girardi said. “Now it changes.’’

Huh? What? So you wonder why this is gonna be confusing for all involved? When you are asking the Umpires to judge/rule/adjudicate intent during the course of a play…maybe what you end up with in the field of play…is an Intentional Squawk! 

 Either way we will keep an eye on this & report any relevant or interesting stories that may come up. Until next time, thanks for keeping me company…hope you enjoyed the “View from The Box Seats”.  

#Baseball #MLB #UtleyRule #Astros #Brewers #Rays #BlueJays

On a Clear Day in Michigan you can See Vin Scully: The Woeful TWC vs LA Population Cable Dispute

 

Greetings & welcome to another view from “The Box Seats”….grab your Cracker Jacks, cause it’s about ready for game time. I’ve got to tell you, I’m angry. No….mad…? Naw, I’m pissed off…& yet I’m enjoying every minute of this time. Are you confused…betwixt…befuddled? Well friends, I am too which begs for an explanation. (Lost my thoughts cause Tigers were mounting a rally against the Pirates…see I really do write this from “The Box Seats” view)

I was telling this story to my one Child that’s not a sports fan (where did we go wrong?) & she saw no sense in this oddity. Which leads me back to my Aunt Jill who lives in LA County, just happens to be a LA Dodgers fan. In order to see the Dodgers play on TV the local fan/Time Warner Cable Subscriber has to pay an average of $ 4.90 more a month. In order to sign up, TWC & SportsNet LA would also require the subscriber to sign up for an extended period…up to 6 year contracts! In most big markets (LA,NY, Boston, Detroit, et. al) your local teams games are included in your basic cable subscription. This year though, this year…well friends, let me tell you a story about saltines, a glass of milk, & a red headed kid’s love for Baseball. We know him today as Vin Scully…& after 67 “wonderful” years broadcasting games for the Dodgers of NY & then LA. This is his final year…& here I sit in The Motor City & I’ve seen Vin more than my Aunt & most Los Angelenos! Can you see now my conundrum?

Imagine that you’re 22 years old, & just out of Fordham College. You’re first job is working in the broadcast booth for the Brooklyn Dodgers behind the Legendary Red Barber & the occasionally tipsy Connie Desmond (less a legend than Red)…& naturally you are constantly reminded you are #3. Nonetheless, Vin kept his head down & his ears open that first season…as his on-air time was limited. The Dodgers season was as challenging as Vin’s in 1950, as the Phillies (known as The Whiz Kids) led Brooklyn by 9 games in mid September. The Dodgers went on a 12-3 run to get within 2 games of the Whiz Kids with 2 games to go in the season. Brooklyn took the first game & all they had to do was win the last game (ironically for this writer on Oct 1) to force a 3 game playoff. Well…wouldn’t you know it, that even today Vin still can recall that game vividly? Vin recalled this in an SI article written by David Halberstam:
In the bottom of the sixth, the Dodgers were trailing 1-0 when Reese smacked the ball to deep rightfield. “Resse’s shot bounced on the five inches of the concrete at the base of the screen and just stayed up there,” says Scully, who remembers the game perfectly. “It was the most miraculous home run. The ball sat there at the base of the screen. It was the most unbelievable home run I ever saw. You could see the rightfielder, Del Ennis, plead for it to come down. There was nowhere for it to go. It just stayed there between the edge of the concrete and the base of the screen. There were only five inches up there, if that.”

In the bottom of the ninth with the game tied 1-1, Brooklyn squandered a couple of tasty chances to score the winning run. With first and second and no one out, Snider lined a single to center. Cal Abrams was on second and raced for home. “Instead of hitting the inside of the bag at third, Abrams, a New York kid, rounded third by the way of the coach’s box and he failed to score,” says Scully. “Centerfielder Richie Ashburn threw him out at the plate. Later in the inning, the Dodgers had the bases loaded with one out and Carl Furillo fouled out.”

In the top of the 10th Dick Sisler hit a three run homer for Philadelphia, giving the Phillies a 4-1 win and the pennant.
After the game, while Vin was leaving the ballpark he ran into Furillo. In those days, if you were the goat (not GOAT see Willie Mays) & trust me Furillo was…fans would run you outta town. Vin sees Furillo loading up his station wagon & offers up what men of their age did in that time. “Tough Luck” said Vin…Furillo looked at Vin & responded “You either do, or you don’t”. As Vin recollects “That was it…it was the most professional approach & because it was my 1st year, it stuck to my ribs. “Vin replaced another legendary broadcaster who was tired of Red’s overbearing personality inside the booth. Another future Ford C Frick award winner & a man that is very dear to my ears…Ernie Harwell. He swapped booths for the rival Giants before eventually finding a home in the Motor City as the voice of the Detroit Tigers from 1960 thru 2002 (save for the 92 season when he broadcast for the California Angels). Over the next couple of seasons, Vin continued at #3 in the booths hierarchy until Dodger’s owner Walter O’Malley gained controlling interest in the team & moved them to the West Coast at the end of the 57 season. Due to contractual problems the Dodgers shed themselves of Barber & Desmond. Now Vin was finally given the airtime & freedom to develop his signature style.
It’s hard to imagine for a young man, born November 29, 1927…who’s greatest joy as a child was to sit underneath the family radio with saltines & a glass of milk, listening to football games…”to study the broadcasters”….would at age 29 would be picked over 2 radio legends to assume the duties as “the” voice of the LA Dodgers! Yet Walter O’Malley did just that, & Vin did not disappoint. From 1958 until 1961 the Dodgers played at the cavernous LA Coliseum. The venue was so big that fans brought transistor radios to listen to the play-by-play, & Vin was their ready companion. Little did many of us know that a relationship was being forged that would follow Vin & fans of Big Blue for more than half a century! When the Dodgers moved to their new stadium (Dodgers Stadium) at nearby Chavez Ravine in 1962…the fans…& their transistor radios followed.
Over the years that followed, Vin’s popularity soared in the broadcasting world. Besides being the “voice” of the Dodgers, Vin has lent his talents to calling NFL games, Tennis, & Golf, as well as teaming up with the late Sparky Anderson from 1979-82 doing the play-by-play for the World Series.
In 1976, he was voted as the ‘most memorable personality’ in the history of the franchise by the Dodgers fans.
In 1982, he was the proud recipient of the Ford Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
He received the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award for Sportscasting.
He has been inducted in the Hall of Fame by American Sportscasters Association, National Radio Hall of Fame, NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame and California Sports Hall of Fame.
He has thrice been named as the National Sportscaster of the Year in 1965, 1978 and 1982. Furthermore, he was 29 times named as the California Sportscaster of the Year. The American Sportscasters Association named him Sportscaster of the Century in 2000 and Top 50 Sportscaster of All-Time in 2009
In 2009, he was conferred with the Ambassador Award of Excellence by the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

One of the things that makes Vin so unique, is that he works solo in the booth. No side-kick needed for Vin. He learned over time…that less is more. “Let the moment breathe”…Vin is know to say. Where most announcers feel dead air space is taboo…Vin feels it adds authenticity for the fan. Sometimes saying something completely innocuous…can have amazing results!
In what was one of MLB’s most historic moments, yet again Vin was at the mic. It was October 15 1988, Game 1 of the World Series between the LA Dodgers & the Oakland A’s. The A’s had the lead 4-3 in the 9th. Vin doing the play-by-play for NBC makes a comment on air as the camera pans the dugout that Gibson was “nowhere to be found”. Gibson, watching the game in the clubhouse below hears this & informs Manager Tommy Lasorda that he (Gibson) is available to Pinch Hit. After retiring the first 2 batters Oakland’s Closer Dennis Eckersly seemed to be in control. Lasorda had Dave Anderson in the on-deck circle as a decoy….3000 miles away I’m following my usual Friday night routine. I was on a Mixed Doubles Bowling League with who would end up being my first wife. They say you never forget where you were when…& boy is that not true for this! We just happened to be on lanes 15-16 that night. Dead center of the lanes which allowed us to hang at the front counter in between our times to bowl. I was talking with the Manager of the place (Indian Lanes), Aaron…who bore a strong resemblance to Alan Trammel. He had the World Series on the main console. I asked him to plug it into the available screens…it was at that time I heard Vin say: “And look who’s coming to the plate”? My sooner to be wife, then later my ex…looks up & says…” He’s gonna hit a Home Run”. Aaron & I look at her in disbelief? “Are you crazy? Look at him…he can barely walk”! I say. ”
” All year long, they looked to him to light the fire, [Scully began]

and all year long, he answered the demands, until he was physically unable to start tonight—with two bad legs: The bad left hamstring, and the swollen right knee. And, with two out, you talk about a roll of the dice… this is it.” After Mike Davis stole 2nd, Gibby worked the count to 3-2, the camera moved to Steve Sax in the On Deck Circle….
“Sax waiting on deck but the game right now is at the plate.

High fly ball into right field, she i-i-i-is… gone!!”

Scully said nothing for over a minute, allowing the pictures to tell the story. Finally, he said,

“In a year that has been so improbable… the impossible has happened!”

I think I decided that night…I was gonna marry that girl who called Gibby’s Homer. Years later I’d be traded for a PTBNL (player to be named later) & cash considerations!

To many Vin is known as the “Soundtrack” of Summer. The voice of Baseball, an institution that is synonymous with Dodgers Baseball. Due to his age, he only broadcasts home games & the occasional West Coast games like with the Dodgers arch rivals SF Giants. Consequently in this, Scully’s final year with the cable wars preventing so many fans from seeing & hearing Vin’s last season. TWC tried to market Vin’s last season in order to entice more fans to sign up. This did not sit well with Scully, as he always felt the game was bigger than he, or one man.

When I think of Vin Scully, I’m reminded of the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm”. After 67 years…how can he sustained such greatness? Before Friday Nights game between the SF Giants & LA Dodgers, Tom Verducci asked Vin just this question. His answer…? He loves the sound of the crowd. If you listen to many of his iconic calls…he drops out & lets the crowd feed you the story. The second thing he points to…learning things about players that he can use in broadcasts. Earlier this week he was excited to learn that the Arizona Diamondbacks had a player named Socrates Britos, & how much fun he could have with that! His ability to be humble enough to let the big moments shine brighter than himself, & his insatiable desire to keep learning….that’s where his enthusiasm comes from!

When the season ends, it will be the first time the Dodgers will face a new future in the broadcast booth. After 67 years it’s time for a change…although if you ask most fans, they would like Vin to be like the California summers….endless. Be that as it may, Scully will move on after this season. Last week the street Dodgers Stadium resides on was renamed in Vin’s honor & from now on will be:Vin Scully Ave. You would think, with all this…TWC would acquiesce….if not for fair play…but “For Love of the Game.” (Movie starring Kevin Costner with Vin Scully playing himself). Like I said at the beginning, this whole thing is maddening. For the fans, for Vin, for me….& I’m gonna do my best to enjoy every damn minute!

#Baseball #MLB #Vin #VinScully #Dodgers #TWC