Tuesday, March 18, 2008



March 18, 2008 - 3:15 p.m. ET
English Field, Blacksburg, Va.
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: Bob Lorenz (!)

Open: We could make a joke about how the real tragedy is that Michael Kay has been the television voice of the Yankees since 2002, but that's probably in poor taste. With that in mind, YES did itself proud to get up to English Field and put on a broadcast indistinguishable from its normal ones. Kay and Lorenz -- why did YES not send a real color guy? -- wear suits, and their ties almost match Virginia Tech's colors of maroon and orange. Just so you know, Kay varied from his foolish routine and said, "When we come back, we'll have lineups, the first pitch, the whole bit." Good job!

Top first: The Yankees waste no time scoring a run, but Jason Giambi hits into a double play that Kay is sufficiently moved to bestow a "pretty play." Off to a flying start.

Bottom first: Kay goes back to the double play turned by Virginia Tech and says it was a "pretty major-league play."
  • Did he mean it's close to a big-league play but not quite there, or does he mean that it's a nice-looking major-league play. The first is insulting, the second is annoying. He just said pretty in the top of the inning. Turn off the repeat setting.
Top second: In describing the stadium, which seats 5,000, despite Kay's declaration a day earlier that it held 10,000, Kay says, "field-wise, it's a major-league field."
  • Hmmm. Announcer-wise, Kay's a bad announcer. What he meant was that the dimensions are similar to those in big-league ballparks. Or at least I think that's what he meant. It's so hard to tell these days.
Kay gets all excited about a Jason Giambi fly to right, but he takes his foot off the gas pedal just in time. "That one is CLUBBED to deep right. On the TRACK, Bumbry makes the catch."
  • If I wanted to hear gross exaggerations, I would have tried to hear John Sterling's call on the radio.
Top third: Alex Rodriguez is in the dugout with the Virginia Tech players. Kay: "Not to sound hokey ... no pun intended."
  • Not to sound obnoxious, but no pun intended? Of course not. Hokey is a word bandied about by everyone. He would have used it even if the school's mascot wasn't the Hokie.
Bottom fourth: Jeff Karstens drew the short straw had the honor of coming up to Virginia to pitch this game. Kay says: "I'd say his only shot to make the team was as a long reliever."
  • Clearly Kay has not seen what I have seen during Karstens' trips to the batting cage and catching other pitchers in the bullpen. He has a great shot as the backup catcher or as a pinch-hitter.
Bottom sixth: Kay says it wasn't that long ago when Kimberly Jones -- ugh -- was a student at Penn State. Kim will be 40 next year. That means she's nearing her 20th reunion. Congrats! And, 16 or so years is a long time.

Later, Bob Lorenz casually mentions that Phil Hughes went to college. Kay says nothing.

End seventh: Before I can find the remote -- I know, I know, I should have it at the ready -- Kay says, "We'll be back from Blacksburg, Virginia. Southwest Virginia to be exact."
  • "I need some directions."
    "Where are you going?"
    "Blacksburg, Virginia."
    "OK, take Interstate 81 to U.S. 461 and you can't miss it."
    "Yeah, but will that be in Southwest, Virginia?"
Oh, what a play!: 0-for-0

Fields, fires!:

I owe Juan Rivera an apology: Letting Lorenz's comment about Hughes slip by was pretty bad. But Kay kept the blatant errors to himself.


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