Friday, April 04, 2008

The Rays and Kay, A Rare Combination


Game 4: April 4, 2008 - 7:05 p.m. ET
Yankee Stadium, New York, N.Y.
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: Kenny Singleton and John Flaherty

Three games into the season is apparently too soon for Michael Kay to take his typical Rays series off. Tonight he's joined by Kenny Singleton and John Flaherty. We join the action in the bottom of the first, and Kay gets off on the right foot. He quotes Baseball Prospectus, which he describes as "... a respected ... [long pause] publication among baseball people." Given his usual backhanded criticism of all things sabermetric, this is a step in the right direction.

Top second: Singleton points out that Nathan Haynes is a nephew of the Pointer Sisters (ouch). He gets in two Kay-esque jokes about "Jump (For My Love)" and "I'm So Excited." Can't be sure, but it sounded as though Kay was punching the wall of the booth that he didn't get those in himself. Those jokes are the kind of prep he does before the games. Then he rips Kenny -- outrageous! -- for only knowing two Pointer Sister songs. If Kay knows more, he should be ashamed of himself.

Bottom second: Kay says people have come up to him in the last "day or so and said, you know, the Yankees are really slumping."
  • Oh, Michael, living the life, walking down Fifth Avenue shopping for double-breasted suits and having people start conversations with him and telling him how worried they are about the Yankees' offense.

Top third: Carlos Pena at the plate. Everyone forgets that the Yankees had control of Pena in Triple-A in 2006. Kay is part of everyone. "Before last year, he had really bounced around. He had been with five different teams." Luckily Flaherty saves the day by pointing out that one of those teams was the Yankees.

Then Kay says that Pena took control and "wanted to stay" with the Rays. That's why he signed the three-year deal worth $24 million. If not for Pena's desire to stay, according to Kay, agent Scott Boras would have "shopped him around."
    • Now, I know Boras is a good agent. But please get back to me when he can get a player to be a free agent before his service time qualifies him. Pena still has two years left of arbitration eligibility and won't be a free agent until after the 2009 season. Just details to Kay.
Bottom third: Fun with accuracy: Jose Molina hits a ball off the base of the left-field wall. According to Kay, "he missed a home run by two feet." That's a short wall.

Two booth identifications in half an hour! It's also two in an inning. Who's calling this game again?

Bottom fourth: Credit where credit is due: YES plays Hank Aaron's 714th home run -- complete with Milo Hamilton's call. Kay, telling the famous Alexa Rodriguez story, but calls it a red hawk instead of a red-tailed hawk. Guess he's not an ornithologist.

Top eighth: Tampa Bay leads, 7-4. Second and third. "This becomes a very big batter in the game. 7-3 Rays. If it becomes 9-4 -- 7-4 Rays I should say -- 9-4 Rays would be a lot tougher."
  • Kay's been taking a nap through most of the game, which is a favor to his viewers but has made writing this post a little tough. He later adds "Rays lead 7-4" to reassure everyone he really did know the score the first time.
Not too many gold mines for Kay in this one. He laid out and let Kenny do his thing and Flaherty make his obvious comments. I wasn't too interested in watching LaTroy Hawkins and Co. throw batting practice in the eighth and ninth innings, so if Kay said anything stupid, someone else is going to have to tell you about it.


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