Saturday, November 3, 2012

Yeah, I get it, you used to catch Bob SHUT UP ALREADY!...

                       Herb Score was going to be the next Bob Feller; he was young, had amazing stuff and his future looked, as Elvis would say, "bright ahead". Then, during a game against the Yankees, the Cleveland Indians hurler had happen to him what most pitchers fear; a line drive to the face...the blow came off the bat of Gil MacDougal, who, to his credit, said he would retire if Score went blind from it.  Herb actually recovered his vision, but was a little gun shy for a while, and by the time he started to feel better, he hurt his arm.  He would never be the same pitcher and soon retired.
Instead of feeling sorry for himself and quitting the game he loved, he decided to become a broadcaster for the Indians.  It was a job he kept for 33 years. First in T.V., then in radio. After he had called games for a while, a younger athlete/broadcaster asked him for advice, and one of things he said to the young man was something to the effect of, "Don't talk about your playing're an announcer now".  Oh, if only 80% of jocks- turned- broadcasters would take that same advice.

           Listen, I love watching the World series, playoffs, et all...but Joe Buck and Tim McCarver do their best to annoy the ever living shit out of me every time; I actually will go to a bar to watch the game just so I don't have to listen to them talk. 
Firstly, I'll get Joe Buck out of the way; he was not a pro athlete, but he is the son of one of the greatest announcers of all time; longtime Cardinal announcer Jack Buck ("I don't believe what I just saw", "Go crazy folks" and so on...)...Joe's Ken Doll looks and non stop pretentiousness are annoying to be sure, but the worst is when he goads McCarver into talking about his playing days with the Cardinals (there's a theme going on here....the fact the St. Louis has been in the series a lot lately isn't helping), and, more specifically, catching Bob Gibson.

               Bob Gibson was one of the most feared, intimidating and clutch pitchers of his era and McCarver was his catcher for a lot of his years with the Cardinals.  I never count, but I think McCarver brings his name up at least once a broadcast, even when the Cardinals AREN'T playing; when they are, forget about it.  Tim also tries to be clever with people's names and will say stuff like ..."to quote Willy Shakespeare, now is the hour of our discontent"...maybe trying to be as pretentious as Buck, but good ole boy it up a little.  Funny, because Bob Gibson was about as no nonsense as they come; McCarver was a good catcher to be sure, but it's his post playing days that I'm on a rant about...however...

           Believe it or not, McCarver is not the worst athlete-turned broadcaster. That honor goes to a man so bad, that when he was working for ESPN a few years ago (he has since retired from the booth, thank God), there was a website dedicated to his incompetence as an announcer.  The site was ""...Yes, hall of famer Joe Morgan was maybe the worst baseball announcer ever; boring, arrogant, condescending...maybe these traits helped him become one of the greatest second basemen ever, who knows.  What I do know is that the man was torture to listen to.  For all of McCarver's hucksterisms, at least he seems to enjoy himself.  Joe Morgan looked like he wanted to be anywhere else in the world.  Actually, where he wanted to be is on the playing field circa 1976; the man was a fierce competitor who used his diminutive size to his advantage, winning back to back MVP in '75 and '76 for the fearsome "Big red machine" of Cincinnati...

           Morgan had a long, successful career as player; he didn't need to become a broadcaster, I don't think...Score had to, at least if he wanted to stay in the game in some capacity. I'm not saying that "little Joe" should have been hit in the face with a line drive to become a better announcer, but it wouldn't hurt...actually, it would actually REALLY hurt, physically, but you know what I mean.  With the salaries players make these days, I'm amazed anyone would do anything after their playing days.  I myself could retire on the money some of these players make in a year.   It's like that old Steve Martin joke about charging people 500 dollars a ticket so he'd make over a million dollars; "One show....goooodddbbyyee..."

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