Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Back Back Back! (Away From the Microphone)

Chris Berman is in a world of his own. He’s had that same home run call for 20 years, and doesn’t realize that people are tired of it. Berman is so powerful at ESPN that he can name what broadcasts he wants to do. The Home Run Derby is easy, high profile work. The point of the whole home run derby is to hit home runs. Over the course of the evening about a hundred home runs are hit. Berman acts like he is broadcasting a game and is surprised that the hitter hit a home run. Drives me crazy.

Last night someone on ESPN said the American League lineup was full of Hall of Famers. Mike Trout, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Jose Bautista, David Ortiz, Adam Jones, Joe Mauer, JJ Hardy, and Matt Scherzer. All have a long way to go, even triple Crown winner Cabrera. Trout is in his second year. Cano was dominant, but his production has fallen off. After struggling in Texas, Davis is just getting going. Bautista, Jones, and Scherzer have a long way to go. Ortiz plays in Boston but is a DH. As a catcher Mauer may have the best chance, but he’s playing first base and DH-ing more and more. The Orioles aren’t bringing JJ Hardy back next year. Being voted into the Hall of Fame is no easy thing. Just ask one of the most dominant players of the 80’s: Dale Murphy.   

After the Derby I stayed up and watched the Celebrity Softball Game. Jennie Finch has become an annual attraction. Most of the women who play do not contribute much to the game or broadcast, but Finch does both. King of Queens Kevin James stole the show, sliding headfirst into second base. The former Mets and Yankees (Gooden, Strawberry, Piazza, Franco, and Bernie Williams) added to the game. Annual invitees Fred Lynn and Rickey Henderson need to be replaced. Henderson did play for both New York teams, but sported an Oakland cap in the game. Rollie Fingers is another regular that could stay or go. Chicago was represented by Frank Thomas and Andre Dawson.

One great addition to the Celebrity Softball game has been the addition of the Wounded Warrior players. They have made great plays in the field, at the plate, and on the bases – even though they are missing limbs. Last year in Kansas City one team almost turned a triple play.   

ESPN has run two nice features recently:

1.The 7th Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field (narrated by Jim Belushi and featuring Chip Carey). Once Mike Ditka was late for his appearance, and had to run up to the press box. Then he quickly sang the song in a polka style, and was out of breath when he finished. NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon said “Hello Wrigley Stadium!” and couldn’t figure out why the crowd booed him throughout his song. Will Ferrell does a great Harry Carey imitation. My favorite singer is Bill Murray. who gives it everything he’s got, screaming “LETS!...GET!...SOME!...RUNS!” at the end.

2. Top Ten Worst First Pitches included Mariah Carey in high heels, Michigan QB Dennard Robinson, the mayor of Cincinnati, and Bill Murray throwing the ball over the Wrigley Field backstop into the Opening Day crowd.

Ceil brought the mail in last night, saw your letter, and opened it as usual. She saw the stamps and squealed with delight. Then she checked the envelope and said “That’s all that’s in there. It’s only stamps!” I told her to check who the letter was sent to, and she understood.

On the way home yesterday afternoon I cut through Bishop Lake Road, not far from our house. I enjoy going that way because the houses built around the lake and the winding narrow two lane road make it look like you’re in the mountains. It looked like some recent thunderstorms had knocked down several trees in that area, about a mile from our house.

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