Thursday, February 12, 2009

More about Kay's radio show

Mike Francesa apparently went on a rant about how he will rule the world until the end of time. (Or he suffers some sort of Diet Coke-related injury, whichever comes first. That one is off the board in Vegas, by the way.) Neil Best then decided to reach out to Michael Kay, Francesa's "competition" in the afternoon drive-time market, for a response.

"I'll take the high road. I'm very happy with my life and my standing and find no need to lash out at others."

  • OK, that's nice. Short and sweet. Oh, there's more?

"I leave that to those that are seemingly less content with what they've been blessed with."
  • Didn't you say you weren't going to lash out? First you try to say you are above insecurity, then you make a statement that was definitely caused by said insecurity. Also, what exactly have you been blessed with? A good face? No. A good voice? Double no. Good job, yes. But that's a curse to so many others, you selfish jerk.

Don't worry, Amateur Hour Spring Training games are only a few weeks away.

Friday, February 06, 2009

CBS Radio does a public service

Michael Kay has daily talk radio show on ESPN Radio 1050. Masochists presumably constitute a large percentage of his audience. In the past, he has done the show from Yankee Stadium on gamedays and then gone right into the YES booth for his telecasts. Not anymore! CBS Radio, which owns the radio rights, has put the kibosh on that. Kay says: "There is nothing I gain from doing the show in the stadium other than for me personally it’s easier."

First, that's hard to believe. Second, good to CBS for providing a little inconvenience to Kay. Maybe it will keep him off the radio airwaves once or twice a season. Everybody wins that way. Except Kay and his masochist fans.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Here's a word from our friends"

Game 35: May 7, 2008 - 7:05 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium, New York, N.Y.
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: David Cone, John Flaherty

Bot 1st: Kay: "If you have a WHIP under 1, then you're an outstanding pitcher."
Cone: "Even 1.5..."
Kay: "Yeah, even 1.5 is good."
  • Umm, no, it's not. The Major League average WHIP last season was 1.41. So apparently to Kay, below average means good, probably the same way that as a terrible broadcaster, he's a great one in his head.

"Here's Derek Jeter. Three-game hitting streak he carries into the action."
  • I wonder if Jorge Posada was close to getting a medal for his two-game run before he went on the disabled list.

Bot 5th: On Hideki Matsui's line drive: "Lined on...uh, not one hop. Caught in the air by Cabrera. One away."
  • And Kay's autopilot misfires once again. Damn that unconventional game play!

Top 6th: Heading to break: "And now here's a word from our friends at the FOX Business Network."
  • That's twice we've heard about YES' friends at the FOX Business Network tonight and we've also twice heard about YES' friends at J&R Music and Computer World. Either the advertising people at YES are suffering from writer's block or Kay is grasping for any sort of friendly contact he can muster.

Bot 6th: With Matsui up with 2nd & 3rd and two outs: "Crowd into it for the first time tonight."
  • Apparently the raucous cheering going on while the Yankees had two on last inning is all but a distant memory.

Bot 9th: Of Cliff Lee and Chien-Ming Wang: "Last time two guys, 5-0, against each other? 20 years ago."
  • Too bad Wang came in at 6-0 or that might have been a relevant statistic.

"So the Yankees loese their second game in a row..."
  • See, Kay has trouble with even simple words. I would have represented the way he pronounced "lose" (very long 'o') with an 'h,' but that would have just brought up images of Kyle Lohse.

Can't be that displaised

Game 34: May 6, 2008 - 7:05 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium, New York, N.Y.
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: David Cone

Bot 1st: "Babe was a great pitcher, but he turned into even better as a pitcher."
  • Yes, that makes all sorts of sense.

On Derek Jeter's groundball: "Grounded up the middle. Nice play there by Peralta, from his knees, fires! Not in time. Infield single for Derek Jeter."
  • If Kay hadn't gone on autopilot, his keen powers of observation would have noticed that the tumbling Jhonny Peralta didn't make the throw from his knees, but rather a knee and a foot.

"All things considered, Carmona, who spikes the ball, can't be that displaised."
  • That's right, sometimes Kay doesn't even bother speaking English.

Bot 2nd: "Betemit was on the DL with conjunctivitis, which is a nice way of saying pink eye."
  • Maybe it's just us, but "pink eye" sounds a lot nicer to us than conjunctivitis.

"Here's Damaso Marte."
  • Don't you love it when left-handed Pirate relievers magically get at-bats for the Indians?

Top 8th: Joba Chamberlain walks Grady Sizemore leading off. "Not what you want to do because Sizemore now is a threat to steal, and Joba, being a hard-throwing right-hander, is slow to the plate."
  • So if Chamberlain were a soft-tossing right-hander, he'd be faster to the plate?

"That's the 12th sac bunt for the Indians this year as they try to create any kind of run-scoring ability."
  • ability (n.) - The quality of being able to do something, especially the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something.
    So the Indians are trying to create the quality of being able to score runs. Got it. Can you work on trying to create the quality of being able to do a halfway-coherent broadcast?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The man they call Kay


Game 32: May 3, 2008 -1:05 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium, New York, N.Y.
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: Paul O'Neill

Top first: "Wladimir Balentien hits ninth and Yuniesk--, I mean hits eighth."
  • How hard is it to read the the lineup properly?
"Miguel Cairo is just one of the players who knows what to do at the plate."
  • Pretty easy to know what to do in order to have a career 75 OPS+. Let me just take this opportunity to congratulate the Mariners on having Willie Bloomquist and Cairo on the same team. That is also impressive.
Bottom first: Kay points out that even though Hideki Matsui is in the middle of a 12-game hitting streak, his average "has actually gone down."
  • Ironic that Kay would make that observation. He is the king of pointing out random four-game hitting streaks. My goal is to hear him point out a two-game hitting streak soon. Maybe if/when Robinson Cano gets one.
Top second: Kay quotes Cone and says that Mussina's 11-10 record despite mediocre stuff last season "tells you something."
  • Yeah, it tells you even someone who sucks can have a .500 record when a team scores 968 runs, even a pitcher who loses his rotation spot because he pitches so poorly can have a record above .500. Mussina has enjoyed a nice recovery in his last few starts this season, but that doesn't change his atrocious effort last year.
Bottom second: For the second time in two innings, Kay refers to Felix Hernandez in exactly these words: "The man they call King Felix."
  • Nothing says Kay is on his game like once-an-inning repetition.
Bottom third: "Today is the anniversary of Joe DiMaggio actually breaking into the big leagues."
  • But when is the anniversary of his just plain breaking into the big leagues?
Bottom fifth: First Kay is singing the praises of Cairo. Now, in ripping the Mariners offense says, "They're protecting their best hitter with Miguel Cairo." Too true.

Top sixth: O'Neill is worried he didn't read the spots well enough in Friday's game.
  • Believe me, Paul. You are worlds better than Kay. We're sure YES is more than happy with your performance.
Bottom sixth: "King Felix certainly not a king today," after Hernandez gets knocked out.
We would have preferred "King Felix dethroned" or "King Felix desposed." Kay takes the unoriginal and obvious route.

Top seventh: Jeter makes a throwing error trying to complete a double play. Giambi may have overshot the ball with his lunge, but the error still goes to Jeter, OBViously. Equally as obvious is Kay's tale of Jeter's woe. Jeter bounces more balls to first than any other shortstop in baseball, and that includes David Eckstein. He should just be thankful he doesn't have 40 errors each season. No one need feel bad for him.

Bottom seventh: Just a strange play call on a Melky Cabrera double: "Grounded fair, inside first, down the right field line. Cabrera cuts the bag, picks up the coach, rounds second and stops right there."

  • Who says "cuts the bag"? Also, "the coach" has a name, and it's Bobby Meachem. Most announcers, in a 6-1 game, would have toned it down a little bit.
Top eighth: Apparently Mariano Rivera calls Kay "Cabezon," which means big head in Spanish.
  • If it's possible to like Rivera anymore, I do right now. O'Neill calls Kay "big head" in English. That also falls into the awesome category.
Top ninth: "Charging Ensberg, FIRES, got him."
  • Got to get that in there before the game is over.
"The Yankees used Farnsworth, Chamberlain and Rivera last night, and today they have used Hawkins, Ramirez and Veras. So the only pitcher in the bullpen who hasn't appeared is Ross Ohlendorf." Minutes later, "They also haven't used Jonathan Albaladejo." Still later, "Paul, I forgot another pitcher, Chris Britton."
  • Way to know the roster. I know the Yankees are carrying 13 (!) pitchers, but you are with the team every day. Well, not quite. But when you call a game, you should know who is on the roster.
Final score: Yankees 6, Mariners 1
I owe Juan Rivera an apology: Miguel Cairo is good, Mike Mussina really showed the Yankees something last season, Derek Jeter is infallible, Jonathan Albaladejo isn't on the team, Chris Britton isn't on the team.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Welcome back, Bobby


Game 31: May 2, 2008 - 7:05 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium, New York, N.Y.
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: Paul O'Neill and Bobby Murcer

Just so everyone knows, we love Bobby Murcer. Not only we are sorry that he had brain cancer, we're sorry that he has had to work with Kay for all these years. This is a great broadcast team. Well, two thirds of it is.

Bottom second:
Again: "The Yankees won't lose that much defensively with Molina behind the plate."
  • Two more days on the disabled list didn't make Jorge Posada a good defensive catcher.
Abreu ground out to first. Kay says "He tries to pull an outside pitch."
  • This is on other broadcasters as well, but how does Kay know Abreu wanted to pull it? Maybe Abreu was just off-balance and ended up hitting it to the right side. Besides, Abreu ended up pulling it, so why not say, "Pulls an outside pitch?" Stupid.
Top third: "Past a diving Jeter."
  • Isn't it obvious to Kay that Jeter has no range? Maybe we could get a comment on it. Or is he as blind as he is fat?

Commentators graphic goes by without Kay identifying himself.
  • First time for everything.
Bottom fourth: Cabrera grounds out to third. "Beltre fields ... across the diamond ... two away."
  • You know he wanted to say FIRES, he just wanted to.
Top fifth: Kay goes through the players traded to the Orioles for Erik Bedard. After naming them, he says "Sherill and Adams are with the team now. Adams is the center fielder."
  • That's Adam Jones. You did see him two weeks ago.
Bottom sixth: Paul O'Neill reads the J&R Computer World spot, a brilliant move. Kay suggests that O'Neill gets a free TV for reading the spot, so Murcer tries to grab it out of O'Neill's hand and he reads it. Kay proceeds to kill the joke by reading the spot a third time.

Bottom eighth: "Michael, I interrupted you, what were you talking about?"
  • Never apologize, Paul.
Kay doesn't know the capacity of the New Yankee Stadium, and Lonn Trost, the Yankees' chief operating officer has to come into the booth to tell him.
  • That's embarrassing
Kay gets lazy in the ninth. He says Mike Winters "rings up" Jeff Clement. But it was only the first strike.

Final score: Yankees 5, Mariners 1
I owe Juan Rivera an apology: Jorge Posada was good at defense, Adam Jones' last name is Adams.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When I think Michael Kay, I don't think Hall of Famer


Game 29: April 30, 2008 - 7:05 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium, New York, N.Y.
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: Al "Talkalot" Leiter and John Flaherty

Missed the first inning and a half, but John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman do get Kay points for saying that Andy Pettitte's rookie year was 1996.

Bottom second:
Raving about Alberto Gonzalez's defense, Kay says that the Yankees were so high on him that "when they knew the Jeter injury would only be a day or two" they called up Gonzalez when "Wilson Betemit could have just played those games at short."
  • I don't recall the Yankees knowing it would be a day or two, considering Jeter missed six games. And, they didn't think it would only be a day or two either.
This questioning is getting ridiculous. Leiter asked Flaherty if, when he was filling in for a star, if he tried to do more than he could. He even prefaced it with a "Let me ask you this." We won't have any trouble replacing Kay

Bottom third: "There's not a person in baseball who doesn't love John Flaherty!"

  • There's not a person in baseball who likes Michael Kay, who is clearly envious of the lovable catcher.
Top fourth: Kay hosts a roundtable discussion on Hall of Fame credentials since Gary Sheffield is up. Kay goes on and on about "tighter baseballs, lower mounds" as reasons why evaluating today's hitters are different. "Some people you look at you just feel are Hall of Famers. When I look at Jim Thome, I don't think Hall of Famer."
  • If only there were a stat that allowed us to compare eras. Oh wait, there is. It's called OPS+. Sure it's not perfect. But all this is 500 homers enough and other such silly questions won't help anyone.
Bottom fourth: On bases: "Back in the old days, they were just pillows, and they weren't anchored to the ground."
  • Right, they just blew willy-nilly all over the field. Second base is in right field? Crap, better get over there quick!
Jose Molina ground "to Guillen. Steadies, fires, got him." Are you serious? With Molina running?

Top fifth: "Here's Guillen, who made that strong throw to end the third."
  • I know this game is going a little fast, but try to stay with it.
Bottom fifth: Here we go. Kay starts talking about Jeremy Bonderman and how he was profiled in Moneyball as not a "Billy Beane type of player." Doesn't mention why -- because Bonderman was a high school pitcher and Beane didn't want any high school pitchers. Then Kay tells of the trade that sent Bonderman to the Tigers -- and conveniently leaves out that the Yankees were involved in that three-way masterpiece. Oh, Jeff Weaver, where have you gone?

Top sixth: Kay's love for Bob Feller and reruns rears its ugly head when he told for the second time in five days about how Feller throws batting practice to fantasy campers. He also wonders earlier if Bob Feller's no-hitter at Yankee Stadium was on Opening Day. It was not. Leiter suggests that Jack Morris threw an Opening Day no-hitter, but Leiter is wrong. Most people know Feller's no-hitter was the first and last on Opening Day.

Top seventh: Curtis Granderson pinch-hits, but Kay doesn't mention it. Maybe Granderson really is invisible. He moves to second on a groundout but YES takes the yellow mark off the basepaths diagram.

Bottom seventh: Granderson now in center, doesn't get a mention, even after he makes a play.

Top eighth: Is Kay blind? A ball soars out to to left field hit by Placido Polanco. Johnny Damon jumps, the ball hits the net above the retired numbers. Kay waits about three seconds, then finally sees the ball and says, "See ya!" Textbook.

We have a "Past a diving Jeter"!

Final score: Tigers 6, Yankees 2

I owe Juan Rivera an apology: Derek Jeter only missed a day or two, bases in the old days blew all over the field. Not a bad day for Kay; the game went too quickly for him to make a complete ass of himself.

Monday, April 28, 2008

"No, that's risking the job."

Game 27: April 28, 2008 - 7:05 p.m. ET
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: David Cone

Top first:
"Melky Cabrera with good numbers against the Indians."

  • Because I have and Kay apparently does not:
Lifetime: .277/.341/.396 (average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage)
vs. Cleveland: .270/.304/.446

Kay said Bobby Abreu has the highest personal winning percentage of active players. Not sure how that's possible. Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter each broke in around 1996, the same year Abreu did. They have never played on a team under .500 and have played on a 114-win team. Abreu was on a 65-win Phillies team and a 77-win team. I have no concrete evidence to prove Kay wrong, except that he is Kay.

"Yankees lose very little defensively" with Jose Molina behind the plate.
  • Um, how about they gain defensively? Posada is not winning any Gold Gloves.

Top second: "Indians had to make some roster moves because of the double-header they had in Cleveland."
  • That's Kansas City.

Top third: Cone is killing Posada for not "being honest" about his injury. He said he was going to start Game 1 of the 1997 playoffs "right here." He also said he was going to start Game 5, but Dwight Gooden had to fill in.

Game 1 was in New York. Gooden started Game 4. Remember, Kay did the games on the radio. Does Kay remember? No.

Bottom third: Kay said in the open that "a big crowd is expected." Now, given the abundance of people dressed like green chairs, he has revised the statement.

"There's that AWFFFF-speed pitch."
  • Nothing's worse than someone without a good voice trying to inflect like he does have one. Michael Kay and Vin Scully have two things in common. They both went to Fordham and they both call baseball games. The sooner Kay realizes that, the sooner everyone will be happy.
"He can throw anything he wants here, as long as it's a quality pitch."
  • Thanks David.

By the way, Mussina needed to get four outs because Derek Jeter made an error. How many times was that mentioned? Zero. How many times would it have been mentioned if Alex Rodriguez had done it? 10? He did belabor it when Robinson Cano made an error in Baltimore.

Top fourth: On the New York Smokers' Quitline trivia question. Cone: "I can't say the answer, right?"
"No, that's risking the job."
  • If you are allowed to stay on the air, I think Cone would somehow be able to get away with telling the audience the answer a half-inning early.
Top sixth: "David, I've been getting used to your face the last seven games."

Great, because we're not not used to yours.

Paul O'Neill missed this series because his son is going to prom. "Anything to get out of work."
  • Say that from Tampa, and maybe I'll listen.
Middle eighth: "Let's take this baby to the eighth."
  • I still love it when he says that.
Bottom eighth: "Our award-winning coverage doesn't end with the last out."
  • Does it start with the first pitch? Can award-winning coverage end it doesn't begin?
Final score: Yankees 5, Indians 2
I owe Juan Rivera an apology: Bobby Abreu has a better record than Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. Posada is a gold glover.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"What, to get picked off?"

Game 26: April 27, 2008 - 1:05 p.m. ET
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: David Cone

Talking about the "beautiful pitching matchup" says it's the "Cy Young Award winner against the runner-up. Chien-Ming Wang is the runner-up."
  • That's half right. Sabathia did win. But Wang was not even close to second; that went to Josh Beckett. The Taiwanese righty did come in second in 2006. Great start.
Top first: "Let's take a look at the umpires for the game tonight ... this afternoon."
  • When the sun is out, it's daytime. When it's dark, it's nighttime.
Bottom first: "Let's take a look at the Jeep Pi-- no, that's later. Let's look at the Indians starting lineup."
  • Kay meant Jeep Pitcher's Scouting report, but he isn't the smoothest guy on air.
"Here's Hafner. He's got a four-game hitting streak."
  • Does Kay even read past the first line of each player's bios on the team's press releases? Who cares that he has a four-game hitting streak? Kay could talk about Hafner's bloop hit yesterday or about his expensive-looking contract or his nickname or anything. Instead he decides to tell us that a player hitting .230 has performed close to that expectation over the past four games.
Top second: "That's the first out that Sabathia has recorded on a first-pitch strike that a batter has swung at."
  • As opposed to those outs on first-pitch strikes that batters don't swing at.
Bottom second: Another reference to Grady Sizemore's 382-game streak. "So if he doesn't make it into the game today, Cal Ripken can put his feet up and breathe easy and say, 'I got it for a little while longer."
  • Sizemore is now almost 14 seasons (2,250 games) away from breaking the record. Somehow I don't think Ripken is sweating it.

Bottom fourth: Pretty lazy question-making by those in trivia land. Friday's question asked for the last Indians 20-game winner (Gaylord Perry, 1974). Today's asked for the last Cy Young Award winner (Perry, 1972).

Top fifth: Just to prove everyone is asleep in the truck, Kay again calls Wang the runner-up in the 2007 Cy Young Award race. Jeez.

Cano gets picked off -- caught stealing, technically -- by the lefty Sabathia. Cone suggests Cano's running on the first move was called from the bench. "I think it was a set play."
Kay, with an extra sense of incredulity: "What, to get picked off?"
  • Wow. Even for Kay's standards, this is embarrassing. Does he really think that Girardi told Cano to make out on the bases? Sometimes runners do go when a lefty pitcher picks up his right (front) foot. If you had paid attention during your years [shudder] in baseball, you'd know that. Kay doesn't even think about how stupid he sounds sometimes. Show some pride.
Bottom fifth: Yankees are actually familiar with David Delucci. He actually played for them in 2003. He actually played in that World Series. In 2001, he actually played against them for the Diamondbacks.
  • Actually? ACTUALLY.
Top sixth: Two outs, runner on third, two strikes on the hitter. What better time to reveal your identity to the audience?

Also, no matter how many times Kay says Wang is the runner-up, it won't change.

Bottom seventh: Kay finally corrects himself about Wang's status as the runner-up in the Cy Young race last season. "He was third." Minutes later. "John Lackey was third, Wang was sometime after that." I guess not getting a vote meets that description.

Bottom night: "Sabathia may fall to a hard-luck 1-4."
  • Hard luck with a 7.88 ERA.
Final score: Yankees 1, Indians 0.
I owe Juan Rivera an apology: Chien-Ming Wang was second in the Cy Young Award voting last season. The game was a night game. Joe Girardi asks his players to get picked off base. Chien-Ming Wang was third in the Cy Young voting. Chien-Ming Wang got a vote in the Cy Young voting last season. C.C. Sabathia deserves to be 5-0.

One-day reprieve

One day without Michael Kay is almost too much. Special thanks to Tim McCarver -- "Chris Duncan" -- and John Sterling -- "Diving grab by A-Rod. What a play! Robbed Hafner of a hit. Quad and all, eh? Oh, that's Ensberg, excuse me." -- for helping us all get through it without withdrawal symptoms.