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.