I lived in Los Angeles for four years. Those are four years of my life that, sadly, I’ll never have back. But there are three things I miss about L.A.: In-N-Out Burger, the Los Angeles Times, and Vin Scully.
Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, I can still indulge in two of those things. I’ll have to wait until my next trip to the West Coast to get a burger.
This being his final year behind the mic, Vin is sure to be feted on every broadcast, newspaper, blog, and grocery store PA system in the land between now and October. His deeds will be recounted with the sort of hero-worship and reverence usually reserved for mythical characters like Hercules, Paul Bunyan, and Prince.
I don’t have any personal stories of the type that will lend Scully’s legacy the sort of gravitas it deserves. I’m just an appreciative baseball fan who spent a few years luxuriating in his dulcet tones.
All I can really do is urge those of you who haven’t heard Scully call a game, or even those of you who have, to go out of your way to listen to him as often as possible this year. I know I was decrying the MLB Network’s ridiculous blackout rules just last week, but Scully alone makes the package a steal.
As sad as it is that Scully is leaving, matters are made even worse because he is also The Last Mohican of great baseball announcers, the announcers who could single-handedly call a baseball game and keep your interest piqued from first pitch to final out.
Having grown up listening to Ernie Harwell call Detroit Tigers games, I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to the three-man booths that are becoming entirely too common these days. This year, the Tigers have been mixing Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris in with incumbent color man Rod Allen to team alongside play-by-play guy Mario Impemba.
For the most part, Gibson sucks. He spends a lot of his time talking about how he coached base running in Spring Training, or getting in petty fights with the dude who chimes in intermittently from the stands to offer tidbits that nobody really wants to hear.
I forget his name, and don’t feel like looking it up. Morris isn’t much better, and this is all I can think of when I hear him talk.
It’s all a lot of noise, without much signal.
This probably sounds like ‘these kids today’-type grumbling, or a Bernie Sanders stump speech, but I miss the old days. I don’t need a constant stream of voices blathering through my baseball game.
I don’t need a former player who took a few announcing classes at DeVry after washing out of the big leagues, and who wasn’t very charismatic to begin with, to spend three innings telling me how cool he was in 1986. Just call the game, relate a couple of funny anecdotes, and make thinly veiled references to the inaccuracy of the umpire’s strike zone.
Also; Get off my lawn!