Sunday, August 05, 2007

Historic Day

Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on his 500th home run yesterday at Yankee Stadium. I have heard the play-by-play calls of Ken Singleton (I watched it live on YES) and John Sterling (on WCBS-AM) and I guess the trajectory of the ball didn't convince either of them that the ball was going out. So their calls are less than bombastic (did I just say that about John Sterling?). I did not hear the Royals radio call, but will try to eventually. New hall of famer (that is, the most recent winner of the Ford Frick Award) Denny Matthews might have made the call on Royals radio. I'm sure his call was fine as well.

Furthermore, kudos to the Yankees for not turning the moment into some kind of a sideshow, complete with fireworks, clowns, flyovers, and Mr. Met parachuting to home plate to present A-Rod with a set of steak knives.

Oh how things have changed though. I have no problem with A-Rod's reaction. He didn't show anybody up, but he did clearly show emotion. Mickey Mantle, upon hitting his 500th in 1967, sheepishly ran around the bases.

Later on Saturday night, I watched Barry Bonds tie The Hammer with his 755th in San Diego. Much is being made of Bud Selig', but what was he to do? Again, parachute to home plate? So he didn't clap, so what? He made it very clear - at least to me - that he wasn't thrilled to be doing this, considering his friendship with Hank Aaron but more importantly, that Bonds is tainting this record.

Much has also been made of the San Diego fans, and their reaction. What were they supposed to do? People LIKE to be a part of history. It is why fans will begin to root for the opposing pitcher to throw a no-hitter or perfect game. (Note - I was at Yankee Stadium as Bartolo Colon flirted with a no-no against the Bombers. I was not rooting for Colon. Sorry - too loyal) These San Diego fans - at least the ones who applauded - now get to say, "Dude! I was there the night Bonds tied Aaron." Besides, many of them are likely San Francisco fans who came down to "the greatest city in the world."

For the play-by-play, I heard Dave O'Brien and Orel Hersheiser on ESPN. O'Brien is a solid pro with good pipes, and his call was professional. Not Scully-esque, but darn good. I just listened to the Giants radio audio (at least I think that's what I heard) and I think Dave Flemming got the honor of the call. If so, he did a good job, though talked too much to describe the action. I would have liked a moment of silence to hear the crowd. That's the broadcasting teacher in me talking.

I had a feeling that when A-Rod got to 500, Bonds would take the spotlight away. Such is baseball.

Good luck to Tom Glavine tonight as he goes for 300 on ESPN. Glavine is a good guy and one who is tough to root against.

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