Today before the game Joe Torre took the line-up cards tothe chief umpire himself. Since when does Joe take the line-up card
out himself, except during the World Series? He went on to shake the
hand of every umpire. Except Jeff Nelson.
NOTE: If the NY DAILY NEWS (or anyone else) covers this story, they should credit Suzyn Waldmann for the idea. Anthony McCarron, who was a guest of WCBS Radio booth during the "DAILY NEWS 5th" inning, said he had not noticed when Ms. Waldmann mentioned the line-up card and hand-shaking routine. They discussed yesterday’s post-game report with John Sterling, who calls play-by-play during the game. He said he had been struck by how intensely Mr. Torre repeated the sequence of events that led to the game-ending call by Jeff Nelson.
I enjoyed the game at Yankee Stadium yesterday, my first of the season. We lost to the Angels, but Wang kept us in the game, and Mo closed us out beautifully, 1-2-3. Our bats q up about halfway through, and the slumping players got on base by hit or walk — Cano, Melky, Abreu. A-Rod hit a single and fielded well. Mank…witc (However you spell it — first baseman, #11) got on base and made an incredible stop. Damon pinch-hit a single in the 9th.
Early in the game I joked to Floraine Kay — who got me these 2 tickets for my birthday a long while ago — that John Sterling must be appreciating the home plate umpire, who was calling the pitches expeditiously. (Mr. Sterling can be eloquent and very funny filling time while waiting for the more deliberate umpires to signal "strike" or "ball.") We didn’t know his name at the time, but that home plate umpire was Jeff Nelson.
Throughout the game, we noticed a number of questionable calls which could have affected the score of the game. Having forgotten to bring my radio, we were cut off from what was apparently a lively discussion, particularly at the end of the game.
Links to the YES Network’s Jim Kaat Tributes:
Calling It a Career, and more
- When the YES Network booth crowds up with Kay, Kenny, and Oh-Mercer, and you can’t figure out how you could possibly be missing anyone’s voice, it will be Jim "Kitty" Kaat’s that you are straining for. His sharp, well-timed explanations of pitching strategy and execution has reminded us that baseball is a skill and an art to be appreciated, and that we "pay" all these people because they have specialties the others do not know about.
Time to make it formal. Turn the TV volume off. Turn on John and Suzyn on WCBS AM. The timing will be a little off, but we will know the score and get some analysis at least. Suzyn lacks the insight of a player and could use a mentor like Mr. Kaat. Meantime, she out-schools the bunch in the big Yes broadcast box in the sky.
- We’ll miss you, Kitty. Meow, baby, as Kojak would say. Good luck, and please do not be a stranger. Stop by the WCBS booth if you get a chance.
"It’s a reputation. Every time I come into a new ballpark, it’s, ‘We got _______, it’s going to be a four-hour game.’ I’ve been throwing under three hour games for two to three years now. But I’ve got that reputation."
Hints: Today, August 4, he is 9-4, and he won his last start. I can’t even imagine what Michael Kay would say about him, but last time he faced the Yankees, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldmann could give nothing but compliments about his deliberate pitches, and about how he knows exactly what he is going to pitch to whom.
Check back tomorrow for the answer!
STEVE TRACHSEL NY Mets
In the summer of 2003, I ordered satellite TV for the MLB Extra Innings package, which allowed me to watch every televised baseball game. What a treat. See, I don’t watch much TV. Keeping my eyes open and fixed on a box drains my enthusiasm generally, unless a beautiful or fascinating series of images draws my eyes to it. Radio, now that is more my thing, and unless I am at a ballgame or at Sophie’s bar, I am usually asleep or listening.
On those spring nights back in 2003, I would come home late from work just in time to turn on the west coast games. If I was lucky, I had missed only an inning or two, and distress arose only when I couldn’t find the games fast enough to switch during commercials on what seemed like 500 stations. No MLB Mosaic had they!
At first I figured it just made sense that I would end up watching the Dodgers most often. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I was born and raised a Dodger fan. (Now, STOP NOW. This is not the time. You think it was easy becoming a Yankee fan? I DID my time. 15 years. Without baseball, that is. I couldn’t watch a game for 15 years after leaving LA in September 1981. Not that I didn’t watch the Series that year. I SAID STOP. You’ve got me all upset. Back to the story. OK?)
Soon I realized there was more to the attraction. Dodger Stadium is peaceful, orderly, and beautiful, like a Dodger home uniform. I found myself drawn to the cordial, courteous, grammatically pleasing, and, yes, mellifluous tones of Vin Scully broadcasting to me from Dodger Stadium, unencumbered by company crowded into the sound booth with him. I remembered that voice. When I first heard his voice as a child in LA, I had never heard of Brooklyn, which is where I work now. Isn’t that something? As Mark Gremse would say, "That’s baseball." Remember him? I was his favorite Dodger fan.
Accustomed to the YES (Yankees Ever Superior) Network anchors I call the SuperFriends because they seem to broadcast in teams of 4 or more (Kay, Kitty, Kenny, Bobby–did I leave anyone out? O’Neill?), I was struck by the moments of silence in Scully’s game. No plays missed during the punchline of someone’s joke. No tension waiting for the inevitable interruption by whoever’s slacks are too tight tonight. No anxiety over whether the game is interfering with Michael Kay’s beauty sleep (code word: unmanageable) No patter. No filler. Just the game. Calls. Observations. Questions. Speculations. Analysis. Reminiscences, of Branch Rickey?!. Now that’s baseball.
Now, I have a fast computer and broadband internet connection. What else do I have? MLB All Access and MLB Mosaic. All Vin Scully, any time.
"…and Kansas City will be playing Pittsburgh.
Aside: Someone’ll have to win that game, you think?"
OUCH! And good for you. Besides, if I know you, you’d find a way to savor every minute of it. But still, OUCH!