Friday, April 11, 2008

Welcome back, Michael


Game 11: April 11, 2008 - 7:05 p.m. ET
Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: Kenny Singleton and David Cone

Michael Kay makes his triumphant return to the booth. He tells the viewers that he spent part of his time off doing "research" looking up Jason Varitek's numbers on his birthday, which is today.

Some early game highlights:

YES doesn't have the game Saturday -- it's on FOX's air. Damn it! Promoting the pitching matchup, YES tells its viewers on a graphic "Postgame after the game."
  • Is that when a postgame is? Man.
"Chien-Ming Wang has faced the minimum nine Red Sock"
  • Red Sox is plural in almost every form, but Kay decides to make it singular here. Bizarre.
Kay calls Bill Buckner a borderline Hall of Famer.
  • Now, Kay was right when he said that Buckner was unfairly made a villain after that ball rolled through his legs in 1986. But he was a one-time All-Star and had a career OPS+ of 99. That makes him below average offensively, and he played first base and the outfield, not positions where people are supposed to be below average offensively.
Mike Lowell is on the disabled list, robbing Kay of his favorite story: "The Marlins ACTUALLY FORCED the Red Sox to take Lowell. He's been saying this since the deal happened.
  • How does Kay fill the time? He's moderated roundtable discussions about aluminum and wooden bats, where to ride on the team plane and the grammatical correctness of the New York Smokers Quitline question. What's next? Asking Kenny if he wants Obama or Clinton -- or McCain -- to get elected?
For 1,000 years, Kay has told us that Fenway Park opened on the same night the Titanic sank. Not quite. April 14-15 was the Titanic; April 20 was Fenway. He makes no mention of the "coinciding" events tonight. Maybe he read up on that when the team was in Kansas City. This has made us and others wonder, how many other stories are Kay fabrications?

The Red Sox hit four fly balls in the fifth inning, one of which goes out for a home run. After the fourth, which was the third out of the inning, Kay says, "Well, about ... a mile of fly balls that inning."
  • A mile is 5,280 feet. If each of those balls traveled 400 feet (generous) that amounts to 1,600 feet. Now, maybe Kay has watched Shawshank Redemption too much ("500 yards ... Justy shy of half a mile") but that doesn't add up.
Great television from YES here, in all seriousness. They show Clay Buchholz shake off Varitek while pitching to Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez gets a hit, and Varitek gives a "told-you-so" look to Buchholz. Kay says it's the same kind of look you get from your parents when they tell you not to touch the stove, you touch it anyway and end up getting burned.
  • How many times do you think Kay touched the stove as a kid? Five? 10?
YES puts up a Mike Timlin graphic next to Bobby Meachem. Nice.

In the seventh, David Ortiz is up. "Grounded to third. First, I mean. Three in your scorebook."
  • Wake up Michael! It's only 9:15! You've had three days off!
Kay goes on and on about how brave people who wear Yankees apparel in Fenway Park are. "Everyone is looking at them and hating them right now."
  • A feeling Kay has had many times, no doubt.
"So Matsui reaches on a fielder's choice. So he's been on base all four times"

"Saturday's game is on FOX. Once it ends, BOOM, turn over to YES."

"He picked the right pitch there and bottom just dropped out of it. Speaking of bottoms, we're going to the bottom of the eighth."

"Got to give some props to Jose Molina."
  • To quote Sean Combs' character in Made, Michael Kay is not in a position to dis, give props or whatever [his] Real World sense of decorum tells [him] to do.
Joe Suck and FOX have tomorrow's game, but he's been known to say some dumb things. ESPN has Sunday's game. Rough weekend for Kay.


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