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“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” was Leonard Cohen’s cheeky way of saying that every baseball team no matter its record will have their posterior handed to them at least once during a season.Teams try to hide behind their records and try to insist, pointing while chuckling at their position player pitching, this is all in good fun and actually this is fine, yet the whoopings do not abate.

The team’s broadcasters know all of this. They are also all human. As the metaphorical clocks are cleaned on the field, the literal clocks up in the booth do not stop. Particularly on the radio there is nowhere to hide, no opportunity to let the visuals of the ballpark fill the space and time.

I went back and found each MLB team’s biggest margin of defeat in 2019 and listened in to their local radio broadcast from the start of the 8th inning until its welcomed conclusion. For teams like the Pirates who lost by 13 runs four different times last season, I picked the bludgeoning closest to the middle of their year, since early losses could go down too smoothly, and late losses are easily assuaged with the upcoming offseason in a warmer locale. (Cleveland was the lone exception: they lost 13-0 on back-to-back late June nights in Baltimore somehow — the second game would just be remarks on coincidence, and ultimately not helpful in this important study.)

The exchanges and soliloquies into the void were edited for clarity. Pitch and ball in play descriptions were begrudgingly, yet dutifully, preserved when they did not completely derail from the conversation for a long time, since it is part of the music of this unique forced small talk. Anonymity was granted, but it is not guaranteed. Different games, broadcasts, and exchanges were divided by ***; as always the string of three stars does not indicate a rating of any kind.

We are hearing exclusively from National League broadcasts today. We listened to the American League yesterday.

R.I.P. My Scorecard

“I might have run out of red ink.”

“It’s alright Larry. I think most people have run out of interest.”

***

“When you have this many runs and hits and RBIs you’re gonna come up with some mistakes.”

“You mean on your scorecard?”

“Yeah yeah.”

“How many you got? Next pitch swung on popped up near the first base dugout, giving chase is Beaty and he goes sliding into the railing in front of the Phillies dugout, he couldn’t come up with the catch. Again I doubt anybody, I don’t think the MLB authenticators are coming for your scorebook.”

“It’s alright.”

“Yeah I mean … who’s gonna check your work?”

*sigh* “Well, probably nobody.”

“0-2 and he fouls one off.”

‘Probably’? Heh. This just has not gone well.”

***

“Second baseman Gerardo Parra on deck.”

“Thank you Dave. It’s important to know that.”

“Indeed.”

“Although, he was third baseman also.”

***

“Well they told us the changes were straight up with Dominic Smith when —”

“Oh no.”

“— Keon Broxton entered the game but —”

“They’re not … ”

“But I figured they were just a bunch of liars —”

“Hahahah.”

“— because Smith is batting now where McNeil was, so Smith went into the lineup for McNeil, Broxton went in for Alonso, and Dom will lead off the top of the 8th inning with the Mets down 14-3. Jerad Eickhoff still pitching for the Phillies, this will be his third inning of work. Odúbel Herrera is now in center field, Aaron Altherr shoots to right, and now here’s Howie.”

“Do they think wite-out grows on trees?”

***

Jeff Brigham comes in to pitch this top of the 9th inning, and the Dodgers have Turner, Bellinger and Negron coming up…no they don’t have Bellinger, they will have…I think that became the pitcher’s spot…no they do have Bellinger, because he stayed in the game in center field. 11-1 and Turner’s had a part of it, two run homer in the 7th, he’s 1 for 2 with a couple of walks. And the pitch and a called strike. This would be Russell Martin, where Justin Turner was batting, finishing 1 for 2 with two walks, and Martin up for the first time.”

***

“My scoresheet is wrecked, first pitch is fouled back.”

Wrecked.”

We thought that Kyle Farmer would be leading off. Everybody in the park thought that Kyle Farmer would be leading off. Instead it is José Peraza. So Peraza batting in the spot previously occupied by Eugenio Suárez apparently. It’s 1-1 now on Peraza. I guess by process of elimination that means Farmer is batting 6th.”

“Scoresheet looks about like a spring training scoresheet now. Those are not exactly works of art.”

***

“I’ve been calling this guy Rodríguez during the half inning and I thought, ‘He really does look like the guy who pitched last inning’, and that was Chris Stratton, and I’ve got news for myself: it is Chris Stratton. Two balls and a strike … very similar. Line drive left center, that’s going to fall in there for a base hit. It’s hard to fool me boy.”

Talking About Other Sports

“What’s next for the Islanders, who would they play in the second round?”

“I think it’s Washington right? Assuming Washington goes on to beat Carolina? They’ve done such a goofy thing with this bracket system in the NHL, it used to make perfect sense and well, that was then and this is now. Let’s take another call! The pitch to Davis — taken low and outside ball one. They are under eight minutes to go in the third period, wouldn’t that be something? The only downside to that would be they don’t get to play another playoff game in the Coliseum this year, they’d have to play it at Barclays. Be better off playing at P.S. 205, it’s more suitable to hockey. Here’s the 1-0 -—fastball in for a called strike, and the count 1-1.”

“Why don’t they just let them play at the Coliseum?”

“Uh dineros? Whatever words for —”

“Moolah?”

“— synonyms you want to use for money.”

“Scratch?!”

“Yeah … whole different set-up. 1-1 on the way — breaking ball is low 2-1 to J.D. Davis. Nassau Coliseum for a playoff game is an absolute madhouse. Barclays Center in Brooklyn relatively speaking is a library. Plus it’s a terrible building for hockey, and the fans don’t want to go there. Other than that it’s great.”

***

“The Hurricanes don’t look too bad tonight apparently.”

“Oh is that what you’ve heard?”

“That’s what I heard. That’s the rumor. Saw it on the ticker.”

***

“On the WCBS Mets record uh Mets radio network — 3-1 Islanders — driven by your Tri Honda dealers … ”

***

“Saw some news pop up on my phone here. Not baseball related but … Andrew Luck’s retiring?”

“That seems bizarre …”

“A little bit.”

***

“I don’t know that I’ve come across anyone that has met Kyle Farmer that has anything bad to say about the guy. I mean he is such a likable and engaging guy.”

“Yeah I got something bad to say about him: he’s from an SEC school.”

***

“I’ll just to be clear right now, just to let everybody know — I’m just kidding about the SEC. I don’t care that Kyle Farmer went to Georgia and he’s an SEC guy. I love this guy. You know what college football starting up, SEC people might —”

“SEC, ACC, it’s got your blood boiling right now.”

“It really does.”

“Speaking of there’s an SEC-ACC matchup tonight in college football is there not?”

“There absolutely is! And I heard that the 4th quarter is about to start, and it’s a close game, the SEC team is winning 17-13.”

“Florida moved ahead of Miami.”

“Yes.”

“Oh my.”

“Too many penalties man. “

“Here’s the 2-2 — and a swing and a miss, down on strikes, Farmer. Two men out in the 9th inning and it is up to Derek Dietrich to extend the game.”

“Too many penalties, you got to hold onto the football. It’s like as a pitcher, too many walks will kill you. The walks usually end up scoring, and tonight, three of the four walks by the Reds pitchers have scored.”

Framing the Phanatic

*Thump* “Who’s that hitting our microphone?”

“Probably the Phanatic.”

“Tell that person to stop.”

“Get out of here.”

Blaming the Engineer

“It’s all Jim Jackson’s fault. He takes credit for these wins and he gets credit for the losses.”

***

“These umpires don’t care what the score is either, do they?”

“No.”

“They call them as they see them. Just like Jim Jackson does: he pulls these plugs, plugs them in, pushes the levers, buttons …”

***

Jim Jackson is still here but he’ll be — what’s the name of that dog? Huh? Ruckles?”

“Ruckus.”

“Ruckus. Big strong German Shepherd. The pitch …”

Converting Fastballs Into Puns

“I mean that’s just rearin’ back and firing away, good old fashioned hardball right?”

“Letting that fastball eat.”

“Let it eat — we call that ‘He just got Linda Ronstadted’. You know who Linda Ronstadt is?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Blue Bayou.”

“Gotcha.”

“Uh huh.”

***

“Not too much subtlety from Mr. Rainey. Just rears back and gives it to you 98 miles an hour and ‘See what you can do with it.’”

“Yeah he really brings the thunder doesn’t he? … No?”

“Yes. Yes I’m sorry, I lost my concentration there for a minute.”

“Trying to see weather… you got that or not.”

“Yeah yeah rain, thunder.”

“Yeah ok yeah. It’s 13-0 in the 9th, that’s when I get allowed to do that again.”

“Well heheh I should be trying harder to be with you.”

“It’s been a challenge tonight.”

Is This an Episode of I Love Films?

“What do you think is the most realistic baseball movie ever made in regards to the play on the field? Do you have a favorite baseball movie?”

“I don’t know how many are actually realistic.”

“Where the actually baseball action in the movie looks okay.”

“I think Bull Durham, some of it looked realistic. For the Love of The Game, Kevin Costner.”

Love of the Game, that is underappreciated in my book.”

“It really is, it really is.”

“2-1 is inside, three balls and a strike.”

“You could even say Major League, there was a lot of good natural baseball in there, and of course —”

“Up until they tried to make a third.”

“Yes they overdid it, but Bob Uecker was a gem in all of those.”

“Oh yeah, he made them.”

“For sure.”

“The 3-1 pitch — low and outside ball four.”

“But I can tell you none of those three that I mentioned are my favorites.”

“Do you have a favorite?”

“I do, but I’m gonna have to pause a little bit and let you think about this — Eight Men Out is a good one, that’s a good realistic one. Field of Dreams is pretty realistic, the baseball there. But of course my all-time favorite is … The Sandlot. 100 percent The Sandlot.”

“Good movie there too; they’re all good.”

A League of Their Own was fantastic too.”

“I’m trying to think of baseball movies where the action did not look good. Little Big League?”

Little Big League.”

The Rookie was, as good of a movie as that was —”

“That’s the one about Jim Morris?”

“Nonono.”

“Oh Rookie of the Year!”

“Yeahyeahyeah. Rookie of the Year. The Rookie. That’s the one with Jim Morris.”

Angels in the Outfield: not realistic.”

“That was pretty bad. As a kid you know you loved the movie but…yeah.”

“And what was the one when the kid became a manager?”

“That was Little Big League.”

“So there’s a few hokey-pokey ones.”

It’s Trite

“I suppose it would be trite to say there are lessons in this for some of the young inexperienced Marlins. There are, but they are difficult for people to deal with right now.”

Remembering the Time I Wished for Death

“I didn’t go down to the clubhouse Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, or today.”

“I went Friday …”

“Hahahah.”

“Only because I hadn’t heard about the stomach bug going around the clubhouse, and when I got down there — 2-1 pitch is fouled off of Mejía, 2-2 — Andy Green actually broke the news to me, ‘Hey by the way you might not want to spend too much time in there…’ And he told me about it. And I said, ‘I do wish you would have told me this a few minutes ago, thank you’. I left and I haven’t been back since.”

I understand that. I really fear that because I got it a few years ago in September. I was then doing an Aztec football game several days later and I thought, when it hit me during that game, it was one of those ‘I gotta die to feel better’ routines. It was amaaaazing.”

Definitely Sarcasm

“He’ll get Segura who just comes up limping across the bag. And he is hobbling his way back —”

“Great!”

***

“We knew of course the Giants don’t hit, don’t have any power, and they come in here and now they have their second best game of their entire year. 14 has been there best, now they have 13 runs. 17 hits has been there best, now they have 14, just like everybody predicted. Yeah.”

Hopefully Sarcasm

“There was a time in a game like this J.P. where somebody down in the dugout would be saying ‘Okay somebody loosen somebody up here. Let’s see somebody go down.’”

“Yeah you’re spot on with that Dave, you know that was actually what I was thinking. That first pitch Austin missed in at 95 in off the plate that went to the backstop, and I thought ‘Alright maybe there’s a little action’, I wanted to see the follow-up after that. But you’re correct. I mean, how many times do you let these guys just take that kind of swing and stay upright in the box?”

“Yeah, and I’m not necessarily for drilling somebody, but you could knock somebody down; you could send a message, make them move their feet a little bit, and uh, and if they have an issue with that so be it. Because if you are a Marlin on the mound, you might want to take issue with the way the Dodgers are swinging their bats heh.’

***

“Gyorko is going to try for two and he’s going to be out. He is out at second base. There’s a big baserunning blunder. Trailing 12-1 and he gets thrown out at second base. That is a real boner there. The left fielder into the corner gets it throws it to second base and he’s out by plenty down there. Not a good play at all.”

***

“You’re spot on though Dave honestly, in this situation it’s 14 runs, they’ve just been taking aggressive hacks, there’s just got to be some kind of uncomfortableness.”

***

“They’re their harshest critic. As a pro, you never take a game like this – they’ve got to feel like they’ve been on defense for possibly 75 percent of the game. I just wish there was a little bit of a message sent.”

Facing One’s Mortality

“You know when I first realized I was out of it? On the music, and I really love music, I love all types of music, but some of the modern stuff I don’t follow as much — ground ball second base on the overshift way out there at second base on the grass is Panik, he’s got it, this well send Mejía to third, and two gone in the bottom of the 9th. Postgame show is coming up, boys are down 13-2. Because I hear all the walk-up songs and I think ‘I don’t know who that is’ heheheheheh, that’s when you first think ‘You’re hip?’ you know? You’re on the cutting edge no matter what you’re age is, they always say ‘Age is just a number’, and they’re right. But with the modern music I’m just not into it. And it fascinates me because when I was, and Jerry wasn’t, I would tease him hahahah. Jerry, I take it back.”

The Dream is Really a Nightmare

“If this happened at Nationals Park could you imagine? If he walked out to the mound and ‘Baby Shark’, if that was his walk-in music to come in to pitch? The crowd would be buzzing.”

“The team down 11-4? Well we’d leave that part out.”

“Uh yeah.”

***

“So Tennessee — so when you and Kyle were talking about Tennessee, and you had even alluded to that nasty pitch the knuckleball, there was no mention of: R.A. Dickey.”

“That’s because I had nightmares about him. I had to catch him Opening Day, and I had a few passed balls that Opening Day in 2013 with the Blue Jays and they told me I wouldn’t have to catch him anymore and I’m very thankful for that.”

“Tough to catch, tough to hit — it’s a nightmare. One ball and two strikes on Christopher Negron, he’s 0 for 1 since taking over the Pollock spot.”

“It’s also no fun when you’re having to pick up the ball off the backstop and have fans screaming at ya and I’m going ‘I would give you all my money right now in my bank account if any of you guys can catch this ball, because it is really ridiculously tough.’”

Food and Drink

“Ever have a bratwurst before?”

“Oh yeah. Had one last night. This is the place to do it man there’s some good stuff up here. You could really eat well in Milwaukee.”

“It’s not all real healthy but it tastes great.”

“Exactly. Better know what you’re getting yourself into.”

“Fingers moving for Swanson on the end of the bat as the pitch comes calling, check swing at a ball down and away did he go? No he did not.”

“I think that’s a must though — you come here and don’t have a brat that’s like going to Disney World and not seeing Mickey Mouse.”

“Right.”

“It’s just what you do.”

“What’s the must when you go to Atlanta?”

“Oh man.”

“Grits?”

“I’d say some Southern cooking.”

“Sweet potatoes.”

“You’re speaking my language right now. Mac and cheese, fried chicken —”

“Payoff pitch breaking ball strike three called. Good pitch. Locked up Swanson for the first out of the 8th inning. That’ll bring up Freddie Freeman. When you go to New Orleans you gotta have beignets, when you go to Milwaukee you gotta have a brat.”

“Right. When you get to Atlanta, or the South in general, Waffle House is a good place to start.”

“Go to Chicago you gotta have deep dish pizza.”

“Go to San Francisco and get out of there as quickly as you can.”

“I can’t say having the thing to have in Atlanta is grits or sweet potatoes because believe it or not — despite living in the South most of my life I don’t like either one.

“Really?! Well that’s more for me then.”

“Hahahah. Yeah you could have my portion … ”

“Well Atlanta has become — and I’ve lived there for eight years — in the eight years I’ve been there the restaurant industry in Atlanta is really really impressive — we got some great world class restaurants. Just great spots. And for everything that you’re looking for in terms of what you’re in search of.”

This is Actually Fine

“You know you hate these lopsided games with the Brewers leading the Braves 11-1, it does allow you though as a manager on both sides to get some of the big boys out. Get them off their feet a little earlier than normal, a chance to get guys like Camargo some at-bats.”

***

“If Dozier pitched every day there’d be no pace of play problems.”

***

“You have to imagine at some point it’s challenging, quickly down 11 runs in this game – they were down 11-0 in the 4th. The Pirates are going to fall to 7-28 since the break. Here’s the 2-1 — and it’s low, three and one. Human nature there’s…you’re a professional, you go to work every day, you realize the place you’re in, but still I mean there’s pride, and I’m sure there are times it becomes difficult to perform at an elite level — here’s the 3-1 pitch, and it’s inside ball four. So Stallings will work a two out walk, and that’s the fourth Pirates baserunner since the 3rd inning. We’re in the 8th, and Pablo Reyes will bat. But that’s the challenge —”

“Hahahah.”

“Just like it’s a challenge when a team is in the playoff hunt right? How do you stay focused so that you don’t let all of the distractions of everything that’s on the line get to you? It’s a similar notion, I suppose.”

***

“If you’re looking for some solace … and aren’t we all right now … in their last 11 games the Giants have scored 90 runs — it is the most runs in 11 games since the Giants moved to San Francisco 61 years ago.”

Denial

“They’re not holding Murphy on with the 15 run advantage. High again, it’s 2 and 0. Biggest comeback in baseball history is 12. The Cleveland Indians in the 2001 season beat the Mariners in extra innings after being down 12, they were down 14-2 in the 5th inning, and won it 15-14 in 11 innings. Foul ball to the right makes it two and one. Black’s next pitch high ball three …

“3-2 lined into right field that’s a base hit. Murphy will hold up at second. Tapia 2 for 2. Well why not have a 15-run rally? Even better a 16-run rally. What do they say about records, Jack?”

“They were made to be broken.”

***

“And the 18-run rally begins with a walk.”

Acceptance

“And the last base hit for the Pirates was that one that got Joe Ross out of the ballgame, that was the last baserunner.”

“They’ve had three baserunners tonight. One was a hit by Montana DuRapau.”

“And the other was off the body of a defender and Bryan Reynolds had the solid double.”

“It’s not good when you could remember all of the details of all of the hits that the team has recorded.”

***

“It’s been one of those games where you think you’ve seen just about everything and you have a game like this and you realize you haven’t.”

Canada, Bobby Bonilla, and America

“On this July 1st we wish our friends north of the border a happy Canada Day, and of course to all the Mets fans out there happy Bobby Bonilla Day. July 1st every year is when he gets his million whatever dollars for the buyout that took place what, 19 years ago now?”

“Good management.”

“1-2 is tipped and held by Posey that is a strike out, sixth of the night for Samardzija, two down here in the bottom of the 8th inning. Yeah the Mets in 2000 bought out Bobby Bonilla for $5.9 million, and instead of cash they paid 8 percent interest from 2011 to 2035, so he gets $1.2 million every July 1st until 2035. He has not played in the big leagues since 2001. It’s not the only contract out there by the way, it’s just sort of the most famous because it’s the Mets, and it’s their kind of thing, and Bobby Bo is a pretty big name. The Braves are still paying Bruce Sutter, heheheh, who by the way was terrible in Atlanta at the end of his career, but he took a lot of deferred money and that is still going now. He signed with them before the 1985 season. Two outs for Franmil Reyes, Garcia at second, Padres down big here to the Giants, fastball outside one and oh.”

“Those Diamondbacks did that when they first started — huge backloading and deferred payments to Jay Bell and Matt Wiliams and Steve Finley and all those guys they had early on, and it was a great investment then because it got themselves to a division title in their second year and a World Series in their fourth year, and they’re still sending checks to a lot of those guys.”

“1-0 rifled foul the other way. One and one to Franmil.”

“Those of you going to work in the morning to really do a job and work, sorry. We know how you feel. It’s just the way things are in this country, just bizarre, in terms of entertainment, music, sports, versus actually work, the entertainers get a whole lot of money, more than the workers. Bizarre.”

“Even Bobby Bo.”

Remembering the Time I Had to Give Umpires Alcohol So They Wouldn’t Hate Me

“I got a little funny story about this. We were in Seattle one time and we had a runner on second base, and the left-handed pitcher crossed me up. So I had called a breaking ball, and he threw a fastball, he was throwing like 95, and I ducked because I got crossed up and it hit the umpire square in the chin — and I’m talking about the ball falls in front of me — I’m worried about how now the umpire is upset at me, I’m scrambling to try and pick up the ball, the other umpires are coming in like ‘What the heck was that?’ and I’m apologizing. He had blood coming from his chin and I thought ‘Oh my goodness, I’m never going to get a strike again.’

“He stays in the game, and you know we’re talking and I explained to him what happened, ‘Hey it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault.’ During the game I asked him, ‘Hey, what’s your favorite beverage of choice?’ He says, ‘‘Well, I drink Michelob Ultra’, or whatever his beer was.”

“Sure.”

“And I was like, ‘Okay, cool.’ So during the game I went and told the clubhouse manager, ‘Make sure there’s 24 of these beers waiting for them on ice in the clubhouse’, and so sure enough the next day, we came out — because the rest of that game the umpires were kind of giving it to me like, ‘Hey tomorrow you’re not gonna let that happen to me right?” and this and that, and so the next day came, and I go out there in the 1st inning and they all look at me and they all tip their hat and it was like ‘Alright, I’m back on the good spirits with the umpires.’”

“It’s amazing what a cold case of beer will do to help your baseball career. It’s amazing.”

Hello Little Brother

“The attendance: 31,777, and they’re not all here. A lot of them went home. The 1-1 pitch — swing and a miss, one and two — and many of them are probably listening to us in their cars on their way home. Thank you for that. I think the containership Dave moved a little bit.”

“It did, we could see the lights at the Coliseum. That makes me happy.”

“And that ballgame is almost over with, between the A’s and the Mariners — and the pitch is low, two and oh. A’s are leading 6-2, in the 9th.”

“So do you think when your brother finishes that game, he’ll get in his car and he’ll put us on?”

“Absolutely he’ll be listening.”

“So we’ll have to remember to say hi to him.”

“Absolutely. 2-0 pitch here it is — swing and a high foul, out of play. He just had a birthday this week. I don’t know how many it is to be honest with you.”

“Well you’re the older brother, you don’t have to pay attention.”

“Yeah you’re right.”

Technology Fails

“By the way in a very crucial time, maybe it’s coming back, I’ve lost everything on the ol’ iPad here, but it’s coming back slowly. Here’s the pitch low and inside. Because this is one of those nights when the iPad comes in handy when you’re trying to account for 11 runs on 13 hits.”

“Blessing and the curse of technology?”

“Yeah.”

***

“Locastro’s gonna hit again right?”

“He is, he’s coming in in the 9th inning to lead off. I wonder what the record for most hit-by-pitches in one game is.”

“I don’t know. Here’s the 1-1 pitch — swing and miss, one and two.”

“He’s been hit three times, so four might be a record.”

“Wait a minute I’ll ask Siri.”

“Did you know that you can … you can ask Siri if you want to.”

“Alright let me just see if that works. Hey Siri, what’s the record for most batters being hit in one game in the major leagues? *four seconds of dead air* Okay, that didn’t work.”

“She didn’t say anything?”

“No.”

Regional Dialects

“And that one is gonna land right on the dugout roof. Or as people say in other parts of the country: ruf. It bounces into the stands the count is 1-2.”

“Where do they say that?”

“I know that Wayne Hagin used to say it. And I know that I had a teacher way back in elementary school who tried to tell us that was the proper pronunciation.”

Ruf.”

“Yeah I don’t know anybody who said ruf. The Phillies used to have Darren Ruf.”

“Yes they did. Where’s Hagin from?”

“I think he grew up in California? San Jose? San Diego? 1-2 pitch — fastball inside 2-2 to Altheer.”

“Well San Jose, that’s NorCal. And San Diego is SoCal … ”

Ruf.”

“Yeah, people would say ruf. Instead of roof Not on our watch they don’t!”

“It’s like saying pop instead of soda.”

“Well that is regional I know that. That what you guys say in Chicago?

“Yes.”

“Gimme a pop?”

“Yes.”

“2-2 pitch – fastball inside, three and two. Walk up to someone in New York and say, ‘Can I have a pop?’ you’d get punched.”

“Hahahahah you’d get the real thing.”

“Yeah you’ll get popped alright.”

“Just be ready to duck.”

Slap Happy

Dovydas Neverauskas. No I’m not angry, that’s just somebody’s name. Dovydas, a right-hander going to work on Kris Bryant in this 9th inning, and Kris will take a fastball strike. It’s a very cool name, very distinctive.”

“Very long name.”

“I’ve got just daughters, but boy if I had a son … Dovydas gives up a single to Kris Bryant. See now Zach Zaidman at some point in the future you might very well become a father.”

“There you go.”

“And I think if you combine part of my name which is Virgil, with Dovydas, and added Zaidman at the end, you’ve got something.”

“That’s straight eye chart right there.”

“VDZ?”

“I’ll slap a 20 on you Zach if you ever do that.”

“I’ll just slap you if you do that …”

“A whole 20?! A crisp 20?! Thanks Pat.”

“Alright two 20s.”

Screw It, Let’s Just Describe What’s On TV

”I’m Tired”

“It’ll bring up… César Hernández.”

“I couldn’t tell. But I got awfully sleepy.”

***

“Again back behind home plate. Doesn’t Altheer know there’s a day game tomorrow?”

“All of that for a fly ball to left, and we still don’t have a hot dog hat.”

***

Michael Feliz on to pitch for the Pirates here in the 8th inning —”

“Thank you haha.”

“— with the Nationals leading 11-0.”

“That’s my job, thank you Joe I was daydreaming.”

***

“So Davis picks up a save for Jon Gray, well no save beg your pardon, not a save situation by any stretch …”

Jinx

“This left-handed batter is hitless — fly ball to left, pop up to third, and a line drive to left. Brice to the plate with a fastball and it’s down and in and it’s one ball and one strike.”

“Somebody had to get out today … ”

Wei-Yin Chen had an awful two innings. Here’s the pitch — and this ball is clobbered. High in the air deep to right, Anderson back at the wall looking up and that’s into the bullpen, the Dodger bullpen, and they lead 11 to 1. Six home runs tonight, this one off Austin Brice.”

“Spoke to soon?”

“Wow. I mean …”

“Gosh.”

“They’re relentless.”

Position Players Don’t Throw the Baseball As Hard As Pitchers

“Well Dave I’d be concerned here — he’s going over his head with the fastball, but not with the slider. He could be tipping his pitches.”

“Yeah they probably went over that in the hitters meeting.”

***

“And Roman Quinn has his first career strikeout. And they are gonna take the ball out and Roman Quinn will I guess keep that as a souvenir.”

“Yeah.”

“Swing and a fly ball down the left field line out of play.”

“It’s kind of like me keeping my bat after my first AB.”

“What happened? Nothing?”

“Firewood.”

***

“86 mph. Might not be available tomorrow.”

“You don’t want him to get hurt.”

***

“Slider at 69 mph —”

“It’s not a slider.”

“— says the board.”

***

“Escobar is going to bat right-handed too.”

“So do they think he’s throwing a knuckleball, Dave?”

“I don’t know. He’s just lobbing it in there.”

“Maybe they just don’t want to mess up their left-handed swing.”

***

“Tried to blow that ball by him — that one hit 75 miles an hour, all the rest have been 54, 55 — he could smell the strikeout.”

***

“The players always talk about ‘Oh you should see Reynolds’ knuckleball’ Don’t know if we’ll see it or not but, it’d be cool if it happens and — I think he threw it there to Buster Posey and hit Posey with it. “

“I think that was it too.”

“The computer is calling it a slider. I don’t know if that’s … I think that’s just Mark throwing his best pitch that has some movement like a slider, and slider velocity …”

The Position Player Pitching is Not Fun

“You know people used to ask me: How do position players get outs in the big leagues? This is the worst at-bat, this is the worst at-bat possible for a major league hitter. It’s a lose-lose situation. If you get a hit your teammates tell you that’s messed up, if you get out they laugh at you, really the only thing you can do is kind of walk and even a walk is like ‘Come on dude, you’re walking off a position player?’

“You know what you’re thinking too as a hitter right here is as soon as you get two strikes your thought is ‘Do not strike out.’ If there’s one thing you don’t want to do against a position player is strike out.”

***

“When you see something like this with Hernán Pérez and others who do it — it looks easy sometimes because guys are going up there, they’re not trying to make outs, they want to hit a guy like this, because it’s Hee Haw time kinda. When you go up against an infielder and he gets you out? You don’t live that one down. Not that it stays with you forever but, you know you’re hitting against an infielder, and he’s getting you out. There’s heh, there’s a little stiff straight leg kick he went up into the air with that one he’s changing some of the stuff now he’s —”

“He was trying to do Alex Claudio’s motion in the first two pitches to Brian Anderson, now he’s doing kind of a Bronson Arroyo.”

“Getting a little style -— swing and another pop-up. This…this doesn’t make sense.”

We’re All Dust in the Wind

“Something tells me Dave we won’t be talking about this half inning here for years to come.”

“It’s not going to make This Date in Nationals History next year.”

“I think it’s going to be like that challenge the other night, with the replay, where they didn’t overturn it because they couldn’t see through the dust. This one will be in the dust.”

“It’s kind of like the giveaway with the sand storm in the snow globe.”

“You can shake one of those over this whole game.”

Remembering Some Guys Really Well

“Way back in the 3rd inning I asked you the Pirates last world championship in ‘79, only one team had a winning record against Pittsburgh during regular season play — what team was it: the Phillies, Reds, or Expos? And you said … B. Cincinnati. You want to stick with that answer?”

Immediately said B. Cincinnati —”

“You did.”

“— and I’m sticking with it.”

Curt Casali will pinch hit now for the pitcher.”

“Drumroll please …”

“This is what we call a dramatic pause.”

“Yeah. You’re killing me, Smalls.”

“Breaking ball low, 1-0. Staying with it, final answer: B?”

“FINAL.”

“The answer is B!”

“Yessss. Yes!”

“Here’s the 1-0 —”

“I knew it all along!”

Figurative and Literal Sighs

“It’s gone from bad to worse.”

“I wonder how many…it doesn’t matter it’s a moot point.”

***

“Turner hasn’t even made it to first yet, he’s standing alongside Rhys Hoskins, about 40 feet, 45 feet up the baseline.”

“Oh boy.” *sigh*

***

“And another run is home, and it’s just a mess.”

A Reminder We’re All Alone

“You’re on your own out there, Mr. Leone. Nobody can help you.”

Synonyms for ‘We Got Killed’

“But the Brewers tacked on a couple more, and they have run away and hid from the Braves tonight.”

***

“Well after the 4th inning, the Pirates have done very good work but the horse was out of the barn.”

“Yes. It was a runaway mustang tonight.”

“5 liter.”

***

“And this one is over. Wow. Miami hangs one on the Crew tonight. It’s like gassing a spaceship — 16-0 Miami. *clicks tongue* Wooh.”

***

“Mike will have the wrap-up show after the ballgame. Not much to say after this one.”

There’s Always Tomorrow

“Yeah it’s just not going well tonight, but you know the good thing about baseball playing 162 games in six months is you play almost every day and tomorrow is a new day.”

“Right now the Phillies are just trying to find a way to end this day, alright?”

“Pretty much.”

“Kind of like you and I on the golf course today; trying to find our way out.”

***

“Strap back on and get after them tomorrow.”

***

“See if the Reds get it out of their system in this game.”

***

“It’s one of those nights. Nothing you can do about it. Get’er done and come back tomorrow.”

Thank you for reading

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