The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Buck’

We turn the page

Posted by keithosaunders on November 2, 2017

Another baseball season has come and gone and even an old curmudgeon like me has to admit that this was a good one.  The Astros won their first ever championship and they did it in dramatic fashion, beating the high-profile Dodgers in a riveting seven game series.  The Dodgers dominated the regular season, as well as the first two thirds of the post season.  When it came time for the World Series, however, the middle of their lineup went into a collective slump, and their metrics-loving manager, Dave Roberts, spit the bit.

The Series was probably lost in game 2 when Roberts pulled his effective starter, Rich Hill after 4 plus innings and began using his bullpen (many of whom will almost certainly face rotator cuff surgery in their near future) with impunity.  Then in game 7, when Roberts should have taken a piss-poor Yu Darvish out of the game before facing George Springer, the hottest hitter in the universe, he left him in to deliver a cantaloupe.  The resulting three run bomb effectively put a fork in the Dodger’s season.

A word about the announcers:  Joe Buck and John Smoltz are a terrible listen.  It’s not that they don’t know baseball, but that they are dull as dishwater and humorless to boot.  Throw in the timber of Buck’s voice, which is akin to an amplified washing machine, and you can go crazy.  It’s as if someone was using a jackhammer outside of your apartment — for 5 straight hours!  I’m convinced that the best way to watch these games is at a bar with a TV and a jukebox.

Onwards.

 

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Bring on the playoffs

Posted by keithosaunders on September 30, 2017

This was a terrible year to be a Mets fan.  The team suffered a barrage of injuries early on, unloading much of the 2015 World Series lineup by the trading deadline.  It appears that Matt Harvey, thanks to overuse during the 2015 post season, is all but washed up. Mea culpa:  I was one of those who supported pitching him during that post season, and I still believe it was the right thing to do.  You don’t get many shots at a World Series ring, especially if you’re a Met.

This was also a terrible year for pennant races.  The National League seemed all but decided by the All Star break, although the Brewers made a run for the Central, and at this writing are still alive for a wild card slot. (although the Rockie’s magic number is 1.) I really can’t get too excited about wild card races, however, especially when the Mets are not in it.

Much to my chagrin the Yankees are good again.  I’m hoping that the upstart Twins can take them out in the gimmicky one-game play-in, but who am I kidding – the Twins are the Yankee’s bitch.

In the junior circuit I’ll be pulling for either the Astros or Indians.  Houston has never won a World Series and has only played in one of them.  It would be nice to see them get through.

In the NL I’ll be rooting for the Dodgers.  I can’t stand the Cubs fans, who I find insufferable, so I’ll be content with their team bowing out.  The Cubs seem to be peaking at the right time, however, and I would be surprised if they do not make it back to the Series. The good thing about the Dodgers going deep into the post season would be to watch these idiot Giants fans up here suffer. (I live in the Bay Area)  Talk about front runners!

Well that’s it.  I don’t have a dog in this race so I’m hoping for some good games and a minimum of exposure to Joe Buck.

Let’s go!

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Monday night baseball

Posted by keithosaunders on August 13, 2017

Last night, while browsing Twitter, I stumbled upon this VHS recording of a telecast of a 1979 ABC Monday Night Baseball game between the Angels and the Redsox.  The recording only contained the first inning and a few highlights, which was fine since the game ended up being a blowout.  It’s a great time capsule, however, and is worth watching for a few minutes.

The thing that struck me the most was how much more pleasant it was to watch a game in those days.  There are hardly any replays, stats are kept to a minimum, and the overall pace of the game is much quicker.

The announcing team was Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, and Bob Eucker.  Jackson was known largely for college football but he did a professional job and was a good listen.  He didn’t get in the way of the game and you can tell that he did his homework.  Cosell, on the other hand, did get in the way of the game – he had a tremendous ego – but was still a much more compelling listen than today’s bland ex-jock color men, or robotic, colorless Joe Buck.

Check it out!

 

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Billy goat begone!

Posted by keithosaunders on November 3, 2016

 

For the first time in my life — for the first time in anyone’s life – the Cubs have won the World Series.  On the way they overcame a  3-1 deficit in games, the last two being on the road, and a delicate genius, hands-on manager who did everything in his power to sabotage his team’s victory.

This was the worst managed Series deciding game I have ever seen.  Joe Maddon is one of these managers, from the Tony LaRussa school, who likes to let you know he’s in the dugout running things.  He pulled starter, Kyle Hendricks, out of the game too soon, attempted a squeeze with two strikes and one out where a fly ball would have scored a run, and had burned Aroldis Chapman needlessly in game 6 so that he had nothing left for game 7 when he really needed him.

Terry Francona, on the other hand, stuck with his starter, Corey Kluber, too long.  Kluber, who has been pitching on short rest throughout the series was running on fumes.  Francona had fresh arms on the bench – Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer — and he chose to stick with Kluber.

Still, it was one of the great Series games, packed with drama and tension and I was glad to have seen it. In fact, I stumbled into a windfall.  When I arrived at my solo gig I found that the game was on their TV.  The owner asked me if I would mind waiting for it to end before beginning to play.  Suppressing a grin I said, “Well…I suppose,” while thinking, ‘Oh baby!’ By the time the game ended my gig was over.  I ended up playing three and a half tunes during the game’s rain delay.

Years ago I had missed the greatest World Series ending of all time while at one of my gigs – the Joe Carter walkoff home run in 2003.  I was prepared to miss another classic, telling myself I could take it and that nothing could be as bad as 1993.  But the truth is I would have been upset to miss this game.  It was a great game despite the momentum-killing booth reviews, the incessant droning of Joe Buck, and the perpetual pitcher-changes.

Now  on to football!

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Annnnnd I’m back

Posted by keithosaunders on November 10, 2013

March 12th, 2011 is the date of my last post.   What happened to me? First of all my laptop died rendering me without a keyboard.  In addition, I have experienced the greatest surge in business in my life and am now gigging 5-7 nights a week, in addition to teaching.  Lest you begin to think that I have become a one percenter let me remind you that this is the music business we’re talking about – specifically the jazz business.  I remain, albeit happily, ensconced in my 500 square foot apartment with hot and cold running   pretzels.

So how about those republicans?  Since I’ve been away they’ve managed, through their batshit crazy hijinx, to put themselves in a position where it will be damn near impossible to win a national election.  But conservatives need not despair for the Democrats have become the new Republicans.  Data mining, wiretapping, and endless war will see to it that we the people remain in a constant state of subservience to the conservative ideal.

On the music front the scene has devolved into asking friends, family, and strangers for handouts to fund  projects such as recording dates, concerts, and by virtue of the tip jar, club gigs.  And it’s not just music I’m referring to.  I’m getting ready to kickstart a project to dress my dog in authentic period clothing of La Belle Époque.  It’s out of control!

In sports replay is all the rage.  How we, as a society were able to endure over 100 years of World Series without definitive proof of the accuracy of umpires calls is beyond me.  No matter, baseball, with its inevitable move to instant replay is hell-bent on sucking the final iota of soul that remains in this once proud game.  Any sport that boasts Joe Buck as its number one announcer would have problems, even sans McCarver.  The addition of interminable booth reviews to the 2014 season could be the tipping point to this fan’s tolerance of post season ball.  The thought of Buck having an additional 20% of air time to fill is horrifying to say the least.

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One for the ages

Posted by keithosaunders on October 28, 2011

Two words I thought I’d never say are:  Poor Texas. 

Game six of the 2011 World Series was one of the greatest games I have ever seen.  Despite poor fielding, porous pitching, terrible managing, and one of the worst blown saves of all time, it was one of the most compelling and riveting games of all time. 

I watched the game with my middle child, Lee, and by the 10th inning we were both screaming and laughing in disbelief and awe.  How could a team be within one strike of winning their first ever World Series and blow it both times?!  Ranger closer, Neftali Perez has got to close that game!  He had two strikes on Freese before grooving a pitch that was hammered deep to the opposite field.  

When I saw the ball hit off the bat I thought the game was over, but Nelson Cruz, the Texas right fielder, either got a bad jump on the ball, or was afraid of running into the wall. 

For all their incessant yammering about meaningless statistics, Buck and McCarver were mute on whether or not Cruz had a play on the ball.  Their intent is to deliver as bland a broadcast as possible, and on that front they are successful.  Either way…triple and tie game.

Some people have been saying that Ron Washington should have stuck with Perez for the 10th, but I disagree.  I’ve seen enough of him to know that he stinks.  So does Ogando, for that matter.  Perez is one of those guys that compiles saves during the season, but when it comes to money time he wilts.  That’s what made Mariano so great — he was (is)great both during the season, as well as the post season.

LaRussa is an ass.  The Cards are winning despite him, just as the Rangers have made it all the way to game seven despite their inept manager.  Last night LaRussa worked himself into a situation where he had no remaining position players by the ninth inning, and had burned through the bulk of his bullpen.  He was even using multiple starting pitchers as pinch hitters.  He pinch hit Edwin Jackson for Kyle Lohse, who was batting for still another pitcher!  What a tool.  What I wouldn’t have given to see a 20 inning game.  He would have had to have used Carpenter!

I would be shocked if St Louis does not have a big lead in game seven by the middle innings.  It’s hard enough to win a game seven on the road, but to expect the Rangers to recover from a gut wrenching loss when they were inches from the crown…that’s asking a lot. 

I can’t wait to watch!

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Can you hear me now?

Posted by keithosaunders on October 26, 2011

Hey Tony, how about another pitching change?

Game five of the World Series was one of the more bizarre and exciting games I have seen for some time.  This entire Series has been a delight, and so far it has gone the way I wanted it to, with Texas in front of a long, hard-fought contest.  It was the first time since 2003 that the Series had been knotted at two — there have been six game series, but only after 3-1 leads in games.  The Series hasn’t gone to a seventh game since 2002. 

I hadn’t realized how universally disliked LaRussa was, but now that his over managing is front and center, the press and media have been all over him.  One podcast host stated that, “LaRussa came to manage in game 5.” 

And manage he did.  He managed to blow the game, that’s for sure.  First of all he had his ace on the mound, Chris Carpenter.   Of course he was removed once the magic 100 pitch mark was reached, and in came Octavio Dotel bearing gasoline.  If that’s not enough, with first base open he has Dotel walk Nelson Cruz.  What is Dotel in the game for if not to get righties out! 

Then we entered the twilight zone.  LaRussa removed Dotel from the game and out from the bulpen came Mr Scrabble, Marc Rzepczynski.  What the?!  A left-hander in to face consecutive righties, one of whom, Mike Napoli,  is the Series hottest hitter.  I sat there dumbfounded as Buck and McCarver, shills that they are, explained that LaRussa sometimes uses Rzepczynski to get righties out. 

One single and a gap double later the score was 4-2 Rangers.  But LaRussa wasn’t done.  He removed Rzepczynski from the game and replaced him with… Lance Lynn!  He had Lynn intentionally walk Kinsler and then…took him out of the game!   At the time I was thinking, LaRussa is out of control — why not have Rzepczynski issue the walk and then change pitchers?

Of course, later on we would discover the reason:  The bullpen phone didn’t work and LaRussa’s pitching coach had the wrong pitcher warming up.  Right…and Paul McCartney died in 1966. 

I don’t believe this cock and bull story for one second.  Before the game LaRussa had announced that Lynn, who had thrown 47 pitches the previous night, was unavailable for work.  Let’s assume for a moment that the bullpen coach misheard LaRussa.  Why wouldn’t he have questioned the move?  Not only that, Lynn sounds nothing like Motte, who was the pitcher that LaRussa said he wanted all along.  Might I suggest a simple text message for future moves?

Let’s face it, LaRussa simply wants to put his stamp on the game at any cost.  He’s not happy unless he is making moves.  At this point it appears his over-managing is costing the Cardinals a Worlds Series.  You can make the case that LaRussa, at this point, is responsible for at least two losses:  games two and five.

Finally, this little tidbit I heard on the radio.  One of the hosts of Slate’s Hang Up and Listen podcast attended game six of the 1977 World Series, the one in which Reggie Jackson hit three home runs. (a game also attended by my best friend, and sometimes guest-blogger, Jeff Mazzei)  The time of that game was two hours and seven minutes.  Amount of pitching changes:  three; all by the Dodgers.

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Cards v Rangers getting great ratings in the East Bay

Posted by keithosaunders on October 22, 2011

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but my son and I are tuning in.[Maxwell Smart voice]  And…loving it! 

Game two was actually tied 1-1 for a few minutes in the ninth inning.  I almost got my wish of a long extra inning game — Nick Punto was even in the lineup.  For those of you who didn’t read my prediction a few posts back, I’m waiting for LaRussa to burn through his entire staff during a long extra inning game.  He actually was down to his last position player last night.  He even took Yadier Molina out for a pinch runner.  What a tool.

Finally, on Thursday night, LaRussa’s over-managing caught up with him.  He has his fireballing closer — Jason Motte — on in the 9th throwing seeds and he takes him out for Arthur Rhodes, an aging, journeyman contact pitcher.  You’d think he would have at least gone to Octavio Dotel at that point, but he didn’t, and two sac flies later the Rangers were up for good, 2-1.

Ron Washington is not much better, he’s just more likable.  How the hell do you remove Colby Lewis from that game.  I’m sure his pitch count was well below 100, and even if it wasn’t, Lewis has shown himself to be a big game pitcher.  I would rather have him out there than Alexi Ogando, who is rapidly turning into this year’s version of Byung-Hyun Kim.

My fear is that since LaRussa and Washington have, for the most part, gotten away with their revolving door style of pitcher management, that other major league managers will begin to copy their style next season pushing the average time of game to four hours. 

But enough nitpicking.  This has been an incredible start to the Series and I could not be enjoying it more.  Well…I guess I could if the Mets were up 2-0. 

What happened?  I was delusional.  Now where was I?  Oh yeah…there has been great pitching, stellar defense, and some clutch base stealing as well.  All of this may yet take away some of the sting of having to suffer through Buck and McCarver.

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