Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A Busy Wednesday

One of my stops tomorrow (Photo courtesy Flickr)
Hi, all.

Forgive the short post tonight, as I have found a few minutes between items to do.

I called Hamden Hall and Brunswick today in a big baseball contest in the FAA.

I archived it and went to WGCH to leave a computer for tomorrow night's Clubhouse show (7 p.m.).

Then I went to Mount Kisco, because that's where The Clubhouse takes place and I need a place to park my car tomorrow. I'm heading into New York City for the day and wanted to make sure finding parking would be easy in the morning.

I'll be up and out early tomorrow morning to go to New York because I'm the moderator for a Hunt-Scanlon Conference. I get to do this a few times a year and it's a very enjoyable day.

Then I have to get the train back to Mount Kisco to join The Clubhouse broadcast at Grand Prix New York.

Then I'll get the computer back.

Then I'll go home and (hopefully) sleep.

Thursday and Friday await.

Watch this space for some more interesting news. Not Earth-shattering, but interesting nonetheless.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Better Late Than Never

Proud
I played baseball in Mahopac for the Mahopac Sports Association from 1977-1987.

Other than bowling, I didn't play sports at Mahopac High School.

But when it came time to get my class ring, I elected to have a baseball player engraved on one side. As much as I loved being the captain of the bowling team -- and I'm still very proud of that -- I knew that I most-identified with baseball as a sport.

As teenagers are wont to do, I got mocked for doing so. Who was I to put baseball on my ring? I wasn't on the team. To be very clear, I didn't imply that I played baseball at MHS. It was just a baseball player figure.

Still, me being me, it bothered me. Maybe I shouldn't have done it. I wasn't trying to misrepresent anything.

Thirty-one years later, I finally began a relationship with Mahopac High School baseball when I called a few of their games on Robcasting Radio. I carried that into 2019.

Today, for the first time, I called a road game as the Indians played the Somers Tuskers. At the game, head coach Myckie Lugbauer presented me with a Mahopac Baseball Under Amour hoodie.

I can't stress just how happy I was to receive it, and how proud I'll be to wear it.

This is to take nothing away from my Mahopac Hockey hoodie, but hockey wasn't a thing at Mahopac when I went to school there.

I wanted to play baseball. I went out for the sport as a freshman (same with football) and didn't make it (ditto).

I never went back. I got talked out of it.

I'm not a part of Mahopac baseball now. I'm not at practices. I'm not a coach. I don't ride the bus. I don't sit in the dugout. I don't know the players.

But I do know the coaches, and I consider them friends. They've allowed me to be a part of their team, if even only from a distance. They've closed their door and trusted me in the way that other coaches have.

And I guess I'm maybe the...er...Mahopac baseball broadcaster.

It's been a wonderful experience. One that I'm grateful for.

I texted a picture of me wearing the hoodie to a friend.

"That one is special, I bet," came the reply.

"Indescribably," I said.

So maybe, over 30 years later, I've earned the right to have a Mahopac baseball logo on me.

*****

No matter what, I tell broadcasters to stay true to the craft. The game will always be the thing. It's not about the cute one-liners or anything else. It's the game.

Above all else, getting that game on the air is what matters.

I pulled into Somers a good 90 minutes before first pitch. I waited for the Somers AD to help get me electrical access before it seemed like it wasn't going to happen. So I went on about my business. I gathered lineups from both coaches, picked up my hoodie from the Mahopac coaches, and went back to the right field corner.

I scrawled down the lineups and prepared a backup system to call the game off my cell phone.

Then the AD showed up. The first pitch was thrown while we ran the power. I kept a mental scorecard and caught up as I set up. I was finally on the air with two out in the bottom of the first.

My view was unique.

Who cares? I was there. The game got on the air. And other than my telling the stories, nobody knew or cared.

Some of my brethren get so high and mighty about this (and other things). I had to call a game well over in foul territory in right field. Friends said I was in the "Uecker seats."

I was there. That was the best we could do. Somers was nice enough to have me there and help me.

Sometimes we have to manage our expectations. The perfectionist in me wanted to be on the air for first pitch. The listener just wanted the broadcast. All we can do is be honest and explain.

I called the game, did my best, and went home.

It's not about us.

It's about the game.

Mahopac lost 2-0. I'm likely no longer a good luck charm.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

On The Podcast


I realize I have not produced my podcast in a few weeks. I'm sorry for the few who care.

I actually starting recording a new one a few weeks ago -- without a script -- and I just wasn't happy with it.

So we're in a bit of a podcast lull, I guess.

I'll get back to it. Inspiration will hit and I'll crank some shows out.

For one thing, I have to do what makes me happy, given few people listen to it, and it's not intended to make money.

So if I want to work off a script, I will.

If I want to ad-lib, I'll do that also.

If I want to talk to Mike Hirn, Phil Giubileo, Paul Silverfarb, or any of the other good people who have volunteered to come on, I will.

If I want to drop in a Doubleheader-style episode or play an interview from my archive, well, you get the idea.

I have to remember that, first, it's my project, so I have to be happy doing it.

It's the same as the blog or even Robacsting.

As this is not a job, then it should be a release for me. It should be a joy for me.

Then, hopefully, it becomes enjoyable for you.

Then we can tweak it.

But I needed to remind myself that it's OK to be a little selfish.

I hope that's OK.

*****
Staying in sports broadcasting (as that's what the podcast is supposed to be about), I came across an article about Vin Scully's movie appearances. Of course, his most famous is in For Love of the Game, where he was absolutely magnificent as the (unscripted) play-by-play announcer. I couldn't find his quote at the end of the move, but this is pretty eloquent.


But that's not why I'm talking about Vin. Every now and then I stumble onto something I've actually never seen, and the article in question from the LA Times led me to one. The movie was called Wake Me When It's Over, and it's from 1960. Our Vinny is listed in the credits as "CBS Reporter," and the scene is actually online (though recorded off TV).

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Natural


It's one of those nights when TV has a few options.

I'm certainly into the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and am keeping a close eye on the Blue Jackets/Bruins game. I respect the Bruins (the one Boston team that I sort of like), and Greenwich's own Cam Atkinson plays for Columbus.

But I also spotted that The Natural is on. So I'm switching between breaks in hockey.

My God. That movie.

The thing is, we've had a little bit of a history between us, The Natural and I have.

I first saw it on our Panasonic VCR in probably late 1984 or early 1985. Yes, that means I did not see it in the theater. To be honest, I still don't remember why.

But I was soon mesmerized by the story of Roy Hobbs, a one-time baseball prospect who meets a strange fate with a mysterious woman, only to reappear out of nowhere as a power-hitting outfielder.

OK, the movie is flawed. So so so so so flawed. There are references aplenty to other baseball moments, with an imitation Babe Ruth just part of the mix.

(I suppose I should state here that there are spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution)

But it is also the magic and mythicism of baseball. It's about the flaws of humanity. The very highs and lows of life, with baseball serving as the definitive star.

So yes, I loved it. Especially when I first saw it.

Then I read the book.

I know. The book is different than the movie. But I guess this is the first time it had ever happened to me. The book blew me away. It was fantastic.

And nearly completely different from the movie.

So I've come to treat them as two different entities, in the way that some try to view The Shining. I realize The Shining is likely light years better than The Natural, but The Natural is very much me.

It takes place in 1939. Babe Ruth has only just retired four years earlier. Lou Gehrig will let the world know how lucky he is that summer. Joe DiMaggio is dominating. Ted Williams is only beginning to show his greatness.

Baseball was America at that point.

We're not in war yet, and we're working our way out of The Great Depression.

The movie is an enormous fantasy. It's not gritty like Major League or Bang The Drum Slowly.  It's not Field of Dreams (another movie I have a strange relationship with).  It's not The Bad News Bears.

It still produces a strong emotion when Hobbs, played by then-46-year-old Robert Redford (who could have also played Mickey Mantle if he wanted to) strolls to the plate in the ninth inning of the playoff game with the Pirates.

Randy Newman works our hearts with that fairly-iconic music.

And then? Goodbye, Mr. Spaulding.



Even the cynic in me suspends reality for a moment to deal with how ludicrously over-the-top the whole thing is.

But the romanticism of it all works. Those uniforms (I still want one). The old stadium (using Buffalo's now-gone War Memorial Stadium). The use of the radio announcer, calling the play-by-play serving as a narrator, but also adding to the nostalgic feeling.

Then I read the book and felt like I had been punched in the gut.

Say it ain't so, author Bernard Malamud.

That magic moment isn't so magical after all. It reads like the NCAA has a say in the aftermath.

*****
In the movie, there's the moment where Roy is in the hospital, and he allows himself a pause to look at his beloved Iris and let his emotion flow, if only briefly.

"I wish Dad could have...," Roy says, his thoughts trailing off.

"God I love baseball."

Wow.

Indeed. I love this game.

By the way, the Yankees won their fourth straight World Series in 1939.

That's baseball for ya.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Bridezilla

This picture is a gift that will keep on giving
Let me start by saying bachelor/bachelorette parties have become stupid.

Sorry. But I've said it.

Yes, I was married once. My "bachelor party" was at my brother's house. He brought in food, as I recall. People made fun of me, we laughed, and it was over.

By certain (OK, most) conventions, that would be lame. Sure, I'd take a day of golf, or a ballgame, or (frankly) nothing.

I realize I sound like I'm "a drag at parties."

I probably am.

Anyway, I'm seriously burying the lede.

You've probably seen the outrage by bachelorettes in Nashville over the NFL Draft being held in Music City this weekend.

Because, you know, events happen in big cities. I mean, call me crazy.

I also have a tendency to check events when I travel.

But Nashville has become "Bachelorette City" also.

Which probably means I'll never go to Nashville, so OK.

“We come here to listen to country music, not hang out with football boys,” bride Cara said, according to the story.

They better not go to Vegas, like, ever.

Especially not next year, when the draft will be held there.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Havlicek Stole The Ball

(USA Today)
I don't have a lot tonight.

I could have gone with the NFL draft. But, yawn.

Then I saw the news break that John Havlicek has died.

Obviously, I immediately thought of the late Johnny Most, who made the famous call from Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals.


"Hondo" was an all-time great Celtic, whose number was retired and remained revered in Boston. The Celtics held on to win the game, 110-109.

They knocked off the Lakers in five to win the NBA title.

A legendary career.

RIP, Hondo.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Top 10 New York Yankees Pitchers

Getty Images
Somebody asked on Twitter tonight if CC Sabathia is a top-10 pitcher in Yankees history.

Hmm...well, let's find out.

1) Mariano Rivera. Seriously, is that one hard to argue?

2) Whitey Ford. He sort of wrote the Yankees' pitching record book, as well as the World Series record book.

3) Red Ruffing. A Hall of Famer. If WAR is your thing, he's fifth all-time in Bombers' history with 46.5. Won 231 games, which is second all-time. Also a World Series champion.

4) Lefty Gomez. Somewhat interchangeable with Ruffing.

5) Ron Guidry. Gator's biggest mistake is that he didn't become an impact pitcher until he was 26. Then he put together one of the finest seasons ever seen by a pitcher (1978: 25-3, 1.74 ERA, 16 complete games, 9 shutouts).

6) Mel Stottlemyre. If you don't include him in a top-10, it's simply because you're ignoring him. Those were mostly bad Yankees teams, but Mel was a bright spot.

7) Andy Pettitte. Yes, I've gotten down to 7th before including Andrew Eugene. Too many items to discuss with him. Yes, the steroids. Got it. But the cap pulled down over the eyes meant it was about to be a long night for someone.

8) CC Sabathia. So here he is. Not top 10-in wins, but seventh in games started and fourth in strikeouts. Certainly a big part of the 2009 championship. This might be too high, but as I sit here (and he pursues 3,000 career K's), I was truly curious if he's top-10. At first glance, he is.

9) Goose Gossage. I realize George Brett made his life (and mine) miserable. But man was Goose good. I realize Dave Righetti and Sparky Lyle could also lay claims to the next relief ace in Yankees' history. The difference is Goose is in the Hall of Fame. He also has a lower ERA as a Yankee than Mo.

10) Waite Hoyt. Look, the 1927 Yankees weren't just offense. Murderers Row also had arms. Hoyt is ninth in WAR, ninth in wins, eighth in innings pitched and games started. In 1927, "Schoolboy" went 22-7 with a 2.63 ERA. He had 23 complete games.

** I realize I could have added Mike Mussina, Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds, Bob Shawkey, Herb Pennock, and a lot of others. I don't think the top seven are debatable. I'm still on the fence on CC and Hoyt, but probably not Goose.

Anyway, there's my list. Thanks to Twitter for giving me the idea.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

No-Hitter Alert

Joseph Henry of Brunswick (picture courtesy of Brunswick School)
Joseph Henry of Brunswick threw a no-hitter today.

He struck out 11, walked three, hit two, and won 15-0 over St. Luke's of New Canaan.

I was the broadcaster.

As far as I know, it's the fourth no-no I've called, after Chris Visone of Windsor blanked Greenwich in the CIAC playoffs in 2002. The two other no-hitters came in 2015 -- one in softball and one in Babe Ruth baseball.

There are scoring decisions that can impact a game, and then there is the mercy rule. It takes a full game and shortens it based on score limitations.

That's what happened today. Brunswick rolled through the first inning, sending 18 men the plate and scoring 12 runs.

You had a strong suspicion that the game would be over after five.

Simply put, Henry dominated.

Despite hitting the first two batters he faced, he struck out the side in the first. He walked two to lead off another inning and proceeded to shut St. Luke's down again.

I'm not one to talk no-hitter until the middle innings of a game. Oh sure, I'll take note of it mentally, but I see no need to make a big deal about it.

But there would only be five innings in this one, so I needed to make a decision on how to call it.

In the end, I played it low-key. The 15-0 score and five innings impacted that, but I also had a St. Luke's mother who decided to stand just a few feet from me. I'm a firm believer in sportsmanship and not embarrassing anyone. This is high school sports after all.

So I called it straight and saved everything for the postgame.

Joseph was incredible. It's a no-hitter, and that's what matters. Whether it was five, seven, or nine innings, Joseph Henry pitched a no-hitter for Brunswick today, and that can never be taken away from him.

Watch it here.


Monday, April 22, 2019

This Was Bound To Happen


It's April 22.

This is the 112th consecutive post of 2019, along with two at the end of 2018. Obviously, the math isn't that tough.

But I've hit a bit of a wall.

The last two -- three, even -- seem to have missed the mark, and that's OK. The views were fairly low, although that's not why I do this.

Criticism, or even questions about the posts, is fine. That's why we're here.

The last thing I look to do is hurt. Think? Yes. Hurt? No.

I'm not implying that I did, but just taking everything into account makes me wonder if I should just post some pictures, videos, or whatever to keep "the streak" alive. Maybe just take it easy on commentary.

Take a day off, without actually taking a day off.

It worked for Cal Ripken, right?

It might be time for some reflection and, to do so, maybe a Rule 55 stretch is needed.

I'm not doing this for attention, or to beg for the "please keep going" comments.

Anyway, we'll plunge onto tomorrow.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Remember: Keep Smiling!

"I'll deliver the Technicolor hen fruit for ya!"

I know. It's Easter. Passover has just ended.

Faith. Hope.

OK.

Thus the message is short today. It's hard to be so optimistic when looking at the news.

So I'll leave you with two Easter Rabbits in the picture above.

Hoo-RAAAYYYY.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

4/20


It's April 20th.

4/20.

Four-twenty.

It apparently began because five high school students in San Rafael, CA met at a statue to smoke pot at 4:20 p.m. and the term spread via High Times magazine (that's the short version of the story).

It then grew into being a counterculture celebration on April 20.

So enjoy, I guess if that's your thing.

It is not mine and has never been.

It may -- or may not -- come as a surprise, but I've never tried it. As in, never.

Not as in the "I never inhaled" bull that now-innocent-looking former President William Jefferson Clinton once said*. Never. Touched. It.

* The Clinton years are just a wee-ol' Camelot now, no?

I'm not here to condemn, though if it's breaking the law in your municipality, well, that's for you to debate with your personal Jesus or whatever.

Obviously, if you hang out in the right world, you get the opportunity to try certain things. I can assure you I've never tried any of it.

I've been offered it (at Yankee Stadium, during a World Series game) and declined.

I had a point, maybe around 30 or so, where I said that maybe I should try it, and a friend immediately shot that down.

"No," he said. "I'm proud of you for never doing it. Stay that way and don't start."

I took the words to heart, and I've had others say it to me as well.

I realize I'm an anomaly in myriad ways. I wasn't trying to figure out how to drink and party in my teens. I'd actually go to a party and tell my parents. They'd tell me to use good judgment and be careful.

Then I'd come home, tell them what happened, and feel good that I didn't let them down.

I get it. I know I come off like a geek or whatever unkind term you want to use. Yet I'm OK with it.

I realize most people in my life have tried it (and inhaled). I also do know a few who have never tried it. Keep in mind I'm also a serious non-smoker.

I also -- frankly -- prefer to not have it in my life. But there are other things that I feel that way about.

I'm no angel. I assure you that.

Anyway, you do you and enjoy.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Fear For deHair

Jacob deGrom, back in his "Fear deHair" days
First, you might want to make sure you're prepared for this one.

Next, I promise I will focus on my team, but given I talk sports, I figure this is likely fair game.

Now. Ready?

I'm bummed about the news on Jacob deGrom.

I'll allow you a moment to compose yourself.

The logic is simple: deGrom is good for baseball. Rivalries are good for sports. When you root for a team, greatness on another team -- rival or otherwise --is the equivalent of a "black hat" in a western.

I loved Johnny Damon on the Yankees. Loved his effort and his style. I also talked to him (briefly) a few years ago and he was great. But I loathed him in Kansas City. Oakland. And, of course, Boston.

I will never be a Mets fan. That's probably safe to say. But my hatred probably isn't quite what you think. Oh, I rooted for the Red Sox in '86, and I won't apologize for it, because my logic was as sound then as it is now (I like history, and the Sox had more history, plus -- at least at that time -- I liked Red Sox fans).

Simply put, the Red Sox were old-time baseball.

The Mets fan has long been the loudmouthed little brother. The funny thing is they don't need to be.

That's it in a nutshell.

I'm not talking about Dave Torromeo or Eric Scholl or even Chris Kaelin (whackadoodle that he might be). It's the ones who "would rather see Al Qaeda win before the Yankees."

Yes. That's a quote. Sad, right?

Anyway, that aside, the news (or potential news) about deGrom is bad. Players like that are fun to watch. They're fun to root against. They're fun to see in person.

Again. Good for the game.

There's no question this is concerning news, as players aren't "sent back to New York" for the laughs of it. Now the question is: how bad?

And what's next?

Plus the Mets aren't known for having the greatest track record with player injuries. Has it gotten better? Probably, but you can understand the panic in Metsies Land.

The Mets fan is viewing this as potentially catastrophic, and with good reason. The early returns from the 2019 season had been largely positive, but they knew that deGrom was their star.

With him out, they continue to beg and plead for a deal with Gio Gonzalez (about to become a former Yankee without ever joining the big club) and Dallas Keuchel, the free agent who continues to wait for a big deal and doesn't have one for some completely logical reason.

The story will be interesting to watch, but one thing is for sure: deGrom needs to get well soon.

Then he can return for one of the oh-so-painful Subway Series farces, in which the "rival" Yankees can greet him rudely.

Such is sports.

*****
By the way, what is the Mets fans' obsession with the Washington Nationals? Shouldn't the Phillies be a bigger concern right now? See, the Mets fan is constantly reminding the Nats that they've never won a playoff series. Which, OK and all, but it's not like there's this incredible success in Queens either.

It's all about winning World Series, right? The Mets last won ' '86. They won in '69. The Nats have never won one. This isn't exactly a lopsided rivalry.

The Mets and Nationals were exchanging tweets over the use "in the books," with NY radio voice Howie Rose saying "Put it in the books" when the Mets win, and Nats voice Charlie Slowes saying "Put a curly W in the books" when D.C. gets a win.

Is this a modern day "Holy Cow!"? As in Phil Rizzuto versus Harry Caray?

Just confusing.

Anyway, carry on.

I'm going back to "focusing on my team." Who stinks, by the way.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Not Today

A happy group of Mahopac Indians
Like everyone, I have thoughts about the hot topic of the day.

No, I really don't prefer bat flips, but I get that it is the popular thing in baseball today. We're in a "me" era, and the pitcher simply needs to get the batter out.

Oh, that wasn't the hot topic of the day?

As has been established, talking politics serves little purpose, given everyone just wants to yell, and nobody is reasonable. I also see an almost-sickening obsession with Donald Trump at times. Just nothing good will come out of discussing it. Let's just say everyone won.

Or lost.

I'd rather just post the crazy Clarkstown North/Mahopac baseball game that I called today. Calling that game was a complete escape.

Sean enjoys the reclining chair in the back of the press box/coaches room
I got what I wanted. I got to go to Mahopac -- with Sean (shockingly) -- and call a baseball game. The Indians had to rally in this one, and it nearly wound up a tie game due to darkness. So listen and enjoy. I've scoped out most of the between-inning breaks for your convenience.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Have a Day

Don't you ... forget about me! (Don't! Don't! Don't! Don't!)
Sometimes the world tells me that I'm sort of OK.

In the past week, I've been told that the mood and theme of a broadcast, and an entire booth, changed for the worse after I left.

I've been told that people 1) missed me on a broadcast when I wasn't available, and 2) actually consider staying home to listen to me as opposed to going to the game.

I've been told that a decision I made was "inspired" and "saved a program."

I also heard of jealousy because, essentially, a show I did made someone feel threatened (as in they were somehow competing).

This, naturally, will not inflate my ego. If anything, it reminds me to keep grinding away.

One can't get too high off things like this, because there's a knife behind someone's back. Somewhere. Always.

It's very easy to feel threatened when someone occupies the space that we normally have. The nature of what I do is very transient often (at best). So it's human to feel good when you get told that not only were you missed, but your replacement was "robotic."

Job security, short of having a contract, is quite dicey in what I do. I'm comfortable believing that I'm wanted back on Greenwich football this fall, for instance, but who's to say? All it takes is one person who walks in with oodles of money and says, "I want to be 'The Voice of Greenwich Football.'"

Don't believe me? Trust me. It happens.

And has happened.

To me.

Money good.

Quality be damned.

So to hear these really kind words, and be reminded that, to some, quality does matter, is quite important.

And I guess that's all I can say about that.

There's a lot of tongue planted in cheek here, and I'm sure that's not coming across. Anyway, back to the ol' grind tomorrow.

Please note the use of the above picture is simply comedy and satire and does not condone the behavior of Kevin Spacey.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Searching For Frank

That's me, back row, 2nd from right in the suit. Frank is to my left (2nd grade)
It's an annual tradition.

Every year, ever April 16, I reach out to an old friend.

I think I first met Frank Viggiano in second grade at Austin Road Elementary School in Mahopac. We were in Mrs. Clarizio's class.

I don't really remember how we hit it off, but we became brothers.

I'd be at his house. He'd be at mine. We -- me, Frank, John Vaughan, Brian Power, and Chris Guiney -- were inseparable sports nuts. We were all Yankees fans. We'd go to games together.
Me: Top row, far right. Frank: front row, left. Chris: front row, center. John: front row, right. (5th grade)
We had differences in football (Cowboys, Steelers, and Giants among us, as I recall).

We'd play basketball, and they utilized my height, even if I didn't know the sport that well.

There was some interest in hockey also (more so with Brian and Chris). They were bigger on the pro wrestling scene than I was, and Frank -- ever "The Italian Stallion" -- also appreciated boxing.

The summer was full of all of the above.

We talked about everything. Music, TV, video games (I can still see Frank's Colecovision), and movies. Frank had a Betamax, because of course he did.

There was a feeling of "The Sandlot" to us because we weren't afraid to take on any comers. Just name the sport.

We were the tough guys who would ride our bikes to Rodak's deli for sandwiches (oh those meatball wedges), then take over Mahopac High School's football field.

We'd go back to Austin Road and just do dumb things. We might have climbed on the roof once, but I think that the statute of limitations has expired.
Frank: top row, left. Me: top row, fourth from left. Brian: third row, far right. (7th grade)
Frank's family moved to a different part of Putnam County, and he'd go to another high school. Eventually, as is known to happen, the five of us split up. We'd still see each other, but girls and other friends and jobs and, well, life took over. Times changed. We changed.

I continued to stay in touch with Frank as best as I could, even going to see him at his new house.

We did a good job of staying close during the latter part of the '80s. He went off to a baseball college in Texas, when the phone rang one night. It was Frank, just wanting to hear the sound of a friendly voice as he fought homesickness.

He, frankly, was among the best ballplayers I had the pleasure of knowing. We won championships together in the mid-80s as a part of coach Lou D'Aliso's team.
Back row: Mike Fanning, Frank, me, Steve Adamec and our 1986 championship team
The last time I remember seeing some of the guys was at my dad's wake. I remember sobbing at them coming out to support my family, and hugging Frank tightly.

Then ... life went on. I moved on, married, divorced, etc. As for Brian and John? I have no idea. Sadly.

Chris is a Facebook friend and seems to be doing well. We still talk Yankees every once in a while.

If I'm happy for social media for any reason, it's that.

As for Frank, I was invited to his wedding in the late '90s.

I last saw him in 1999. I went to his house on Long Island and watched the World Series with him. A few nights later, we went to Game 4 and watched our boyhood team win a title together.

Every year, I'd still reach out to wish him a happy birthday. Around the same time my marriage broke up, I called him to do my annual routine.

He no longer lived there. His ex-wife was kind enough to call me.

"You were always so nice to him," she said. "I felt you deserved to know."

She gave me another phone number to reach him.

We connected again, and he caught me up to date.

We're Facebook friends, but he doesn't seem to use it anymore.

I knew he was involved with teaching and coaching sports on Long Island, and I had often mentioned how great it would be to broadcast a game of his. I liked being able to do such things for friends, just as I did on Staten Island in 2014.

Sadly, he's never met Sean.

I still have that number. I could try him.

But it just feels like there have been too many years of unreturned calls.

I know his brother died just before the wedding back in the '90s.

So I guess I began to wonder if he was just content to leave Mahopac alone and move on.

I've prided myself on staying connected to my old friends, so it bums me when I can't find Brian or John or Dan Kaplan, or I go years without talking to Frank.

I miss these guys.

I still wished Frank happy birthday today on Facebook.

Some things never change.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Upgrade Cardinal Stadium. Now


The press release from Greenwich Public Schools hit hard.
Superintendent of Schools Ralph Mayo has announced that the Greenwich High School Cardinal Field home side bleachers are closed effective immediately pending repair to bring them up to current code and/or replacement as part of the Cardinal Field development project.
To say this is overdue is simply understating the issue.

The Cardinal Stadium bleachers (and press box) are laughably outdated.

Let me count the other issues there.

No restrooms (I've used porta potties there for almost 20 years). A brick concession stand shell that hasn't been used for years and is now a storage shed. So, therefore, food trucks (outstanding ones at that) are brought in.

If they want to use the locker room, teams have to basically head to Cos Cob, where they might as well grab a bite at Caren's Cos Cobber while they're at it.

Lights? Haha, I say. First, they're not very strong. Second, they've got a bit of a ... er ... problem with a neighbor.

PS: Do NOT play the music/PA system too loud.

(Incidentally, the neighbor in question still has an invitation to discuss all of this with me on WGCH, and will not)

At this point, Cardinal Stadium has two things going for it: 1) the turf. 2) the scoreboard.

People come to Greenwich and marvel at how woeful Cardinal Stadium is. Yes. You've read that correctly.

My mother is 82 years old. Once in a rare while, there's an idea of her going to a game to watch me in action. But no dice. There's no elevator. There's no ramp (!). The bleachers -- the old, crumbling bleachers -- far predate the Americans with Disabilities Act and thus are grandfathered. Indeed, when the press box got a touch up a few years ago, why do you think it wasn't rebuilt?

Correct: It wouldn't have been ADA compliant. Thus the bleachers wouldn't have been.

The wonderful (interim) Greenwich superintendent Ralph Mayo says in the press release: “We realize this is an inconvenience for upcoming athletic and ceremonial events, however, we will not compromise the safety of our staff, students, families or visitors to our schools. The high school is working on alternative plans for graduation and athletic events and will issue details as soon as they are available.”

Yes. Safety first. Absolutely. That should have been a topic years ago.

So now what? In a town that can take a ridiculous amount of time to allow so much as the aforementioned concession stand to get built (let alone the lights fiasco), I can imagine there will simply be a patch job to make it safe.

Indeed, graduation is approaching, but the spring season is likely lost. Enjoy sitting in the visiting bleachers, which might not be a huge hardship. Or standing on the perimeter of the field. But in football season? Oh hells-to-the-no.

As opposed to, you know, actually upgrading Cardinal Stadium the way that it should be.

I'm not a Greenwich townie, as you probably know. People have been kind to me in the 22 years since I first arrived at WGCH. But I do know a thing or 22 about Greenwich. I certainly know a lot about Cardinal Stadium, having spent so many hours there, and actually considered trying to stay there once due to being snowed in (I know I wouldn't have been allowed, but it is heated after all).

Besides, after 22 years, I still don't have a key to the place.

But in the name of safety. In the name of graduation. In the name of the myriad events that take place there, it is time to do it right.

Don't piecemeal it.

Greenwich is seen as being the gateway to the "gold coast" of Fairfield County. There is money for these projects. Plus the Greenwich Athletic Foundation would like to help (I'm not speaking for them, of course, but just reading the "tea leaves").

New Canaan has a nice facility. So does Darien. Staples also.

How about Greenwich?

Indeed. How about it, Greenwich?

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Tiger's Time

(Phot: CBSSports.com)
Unless you live under a rock, you know Tiger Woods won The Masters today.

Well done, sir.

Truth: I was rooting against him. I've basically always rooted against him, or just not cared.

It's not a question of not liking him. He and the hype surrounding him have never been my thing.

But it was appointment TV. Starting with a rare 9 a.m. "Hello, friends" on TV, I was off and running, watching with amazement.

The simple fact was Tiger had never done this before. Never played from behind and won. Oh, but once he smelled blood, it was on.

Jack Nicklaus, watching while fishing in the Bahamas, told the Golf Channel that he thought the tournament was over that when he saw occasional leader Francesco Molinari sink his shot in the water on 12.

I thought the same.

Is Tiger similar to other dynasties? Obviously, I'm a pretty big fan of two of them (Steelers and Yankees, naturally) so I don't know if that's where I get turned off. I know that, unless you're invested in said dynasty, it can be easy to root against them (HELLO, Patriots!).

Still, never let it be lost that Tiger hasn't exactly been the most wonderful person at times. His behavior caused ex-wife Elin Nordegren to go all "9 iron" on him back in 2009, for instance.

The post-win reaction has been predictable, as Madison Ave (looking at you, Nike) is falling all over itself.

There were moments of humanity in it all, and well-framed by CBS. Jim Nantz gave the winning moment a simple call ("The return to glory"), then got out of the way for shots of Tiger hugging everyone, especially sharing a sweet moment with his son, which was then compared to Tiger hugging his own dad at Augusta back in 1997.

Nantz had a moment of schmaltz as well, telling viewers that we all needed to feel similar emotions, especially fathers.

Sorry, Jim. I did not.

But keep in mind Augusta National isn't always the most charming place in the world. Broadcaster Jack Whitaker was banished from Masters coverage (only ... on CBS) after referring to the crowd (or, as Augusta National MAKES you say, "The patrons") for using the term "mob scene." No, seriously.

Then there's Gary McCord. Let's just not go there.

But I have to admit: I thought he was done. I didn't think it would happen. So I'm more than willing to admit that I was wrong.

So now begins Eldrick Overkill (which sounds one of an enormous collection of band names). If you're not already sick of him, you will be. Soon.

Still, before you think that I was in full Clint Eastwood mode ("Get off my lawn"), let me assure you that my emotions bounced between straight-up apathy and wonder. It was a great sports moment, punctuated by many calling it the greatest comeback EVER.

Let's let it sink in first.

For today, enjoy that it was a great Masters Moment. A great golf moment.

A great sports moment.

*****
Thanks, Mike (Mike Hirn photo)
I meant to give a shoutout to Mike Hirn for sending this picture along from Ohio. He was listening to me caterwaul through a portion of 23 innings yesterday at Yale. I really appreciated that. I'm aware that there was a little ol' technical snafu, especially with the second game, so unless you knew where to listen (and some of you do), then you likely didn't hear it.

All I can say it I knew that the game likely wasn't being heard and as I'm not really in charge of the engineering of the broadcast, there wasn't much I could do. So I continued to stay professional and call the game, given basically the press box at Yale was likely the only audience I had. Check out last nights post if you want to listen to it.

Or not. Chances are you didn't miss much.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Lots Of Baseball


I was glad to be asked to call baseball today in New Haven, as Yale hosted Columbia for a doubleheader.

The numbers are pretty crazy:

Two games...23 innings (the first went 13, and the second went 10). The first game took nearly 4.5 hours. The second game took three and a quarter hours. Yes, I was on the air -- alone -- for close to eight hours. I could count the pitching changes, missed opportunities, hits, strikeouts, pitches, and add it all up, but nah. You get the point.

My friend Eric Scholl was on the PA. I sat on the other side of the press box talking my little heart away.

The recaps from Yale are here.

After an early rush of nerves (strange press box and people I don't know), I found a groove. I started being, well, me. Not having a partner didn't bother me at all, but given the way I roll, I made my way home in total silence.

I'll leave you with the broadcasts.


Friday, April 12, 2019

The Wallet

(Not the actual wallet)
I was part of a group text from my mother just after I got off the air today. She was going through some belongings when she found my father's wallet. She didn't say anything about any other contents, but she told us about the pictures in it.

One was of his (then) three grandchildren in a group photo. Then there was one of each grandchild individually, with the oldest (Laura) having two pictures in the collection. Lastly, there was this.


That's a future blabbermouth, taken in 1986.

I turned away from my WGCH colleagues. I was stunned. It meant a lot that my senior picture was still in his wallet on the day he died.

I don't know that I have much more to add than that.

*****
Please note that tomorrow's Columbia/Yale baseball doubleheader will NOT be on ESPN/ESPN+/ESPN3/ESPN8 "The Ocho." It is an audio-only broadcast, via Yale Athletics Facebook page. Hope you join me for the call. I'm scheduled to go live at precisely 11:28 a.m.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Matt Brown Interview


My schedule is often a pain in the neck.

I try to get to WGCH to do Doubleheader when I can, but I get games thrown at me a lot. Sometimes those games are offered to me either the day before or the day of.

(Did I mention I'm calling Columbia/Yale baseball Saturday at 11:30? Not sure if I did. Yes, I know I did.)

So scheduling interviews can be tricky. That's why Doubleheader is often just me yapping.

But interviewing Matt Brown was a priority. It was also an opportunity to use a new mobile system that I can utilize for phone interviews.

Matt is a survivor. He's an inspiration. His story is real, and in his book (Line Change -- please buy it wherever books are sold, including this link at Amazon), he doesn't sugarcoat it.

I read the book last night into this morning, and the person I first met over the phone is 2011 has grown up into a remarkable man.

The basic story is this: Matt was on the ice when he took a legal hit and slammed into the boards awkwardly. He couldn't move and has been paralyzed since. He was taken to Boston's Children's Hosptial before being moved to Atlanta and finally coming back to his Norwood, Mass home.

(WBZ-TV interviewed Matt last September.)

His story, frankly, is multifaceted. My heart ached at times. I laughed at others.

I first learned of Matt via Rich and Rit Spezzano in Greenwich. They came on my old national talk show and we interviewed Mike Brown, Matt's dad. Eventually, a charity hockey game was held at Webster Bank Arena and I was invited to be an honorary assistant coach along with Chris Kaelin and my son.
Assistant coach Sean with his assistants Big Kitty and Milk Dud at the Matt Brown charity game in 2010.
Mike Brown has since become a Facebook friend, and you just know that, even from a distance, their home is always open for a visitor. Mike, Sue, and their daughter Kelley are wonderful people. They demonstrate what family strength is all about.

This book is absolutely worth it. Don't shy away from it because you're not a sports fan or a hockey fan. Read because you're a fan of life. It will uplift you.

Don't believe me? Listen to the interview from earlier today.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

After 20 Years

The old WGCH banner
The fascination with play-by-play began as a little boy for me. By my teens, I had decided I wanted to make that my vocation.

I had practiced. I called games in my yard -- football/baseball, and often alone.

I called games off TV. I took a cassette player to an all-star game and played around with it there.

Still, by the '90s, I hadn't quite figured out how to get a foot in the door.

Then came a strange offer. Out of nowhere, during a softball game that I was playing in.

"They want you to broadcast the championship and all-star game," Dave Ruvo said to me. Dave, one of the best players in the history of that league: Philip Morris/Kraft (later Altria/Kraft), was a man of few words.

Harold emailed me not long after. It was the beginning of a 24-year friendship.

Maybe I'd found my calling, as Miguel Villafane and I called that 1995 championship series. Still, these games weren't running on TV (although they did air on the in-house TV's) or the radio.

By 1996 I was at WREF Radio. By early '97, it was closed. Still no play-by-play gigs, though I continued to call PMKF Softball, even after departing the company in late '96.

I joined WGCH in 1997 and by late '98 had ascended to the role of lead board operator/studio host. Then-sports director John Connelly asked me to join him on Jan 28, 1999 to do color on a hockey game between Trumbull and Greenwich. To be honest, I was in over my head, but I faked it well enough to survive, I guess.

The Greenwich baseball team started 1999 with a doubleheader. John decided to call the early game with Russ McCarroll. I stayed in the studio and ran the board.

He gave me the lead of the second game. Russ would do color and call the middle innings.

Baseball. Officially/professionally my first play-by-play call.

Twenty years ago today.

Was I nervous? You bet. Was I good? Probably not. I raced over to the field from the studio, scribbled down the lineups, and then proceded to call Port Chester Rams "the Tigers."

Ugh.

But no matter what, I could now say I was a radio play-by-play announcer, and I loved it as much as I hoped.

Another 1219 games have come and gone and I'm still enamored. Through the politics and jealousy and criticism and lousy equipment and breathtaking highs and demoralizing lows, I still love it.

I've been blessed with partners on the air who have become friends off. I've been blessed with some ability (I hope). The "booth" (often a misnomer) has been my safe place. I've been parts perfectionist and complete jerk as I've stressed "the right way" to call a game.

I've also made enemies, though I never meant to, and I'm sorry for doing so. I realize I'm not often the most popular guy in the room.

It hasn't made me rich, but basically, this is what I've also wanted to do.

It began in the fascination of a little boy in the '70s. It really started in August 1995. But professionally it began 20 years ago today.

Thank you all for listening, reading, and supporting. I hope I've honored the profession I love so dearly.

This is what that first game sounded like 20 years ago -- April 10, 1999.

As luck would have it, I got to call a game today (via Local Live). So this is what it sounded like 20 years after that first call.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Maybe Vin Would Be Proud


It was Nov. 12, 1949, and Vin Scully was cold, but nobody knew it.

Red Barber needed a broadcaster at Fenway Park for a college football game between Maryland and Boston University.

There were over 40,000 people on hand as the Terrapins beat BU, 14-13.

Scully called it, relaying information to Red Barber on CBS as part of the college football roundup.

But there was something Barber didn't know. Scully foolishly left his jacket at his hotel, thinking that he was going to sit in a comfortable booth.

That didn't happen. Vin stood on the roof and froze but he never said a word.

A day later, Barber received a call from an embarrassed staffer apologizing for not giving Scully the proper facilities. As the story goes, Barber was so impressed that he hired Scully to join him in Brooklyn Dodgers' booth beginning in 1950.

I wish I could say I've always been that good. As part of what I do, I've often explained the location of the booth/setup. Not to complain, but it's part of telling stories. Listeners have told me that they always appreciated that piece of info.

Today, I withheld.

I taught at Connecticut School of Broadcasting before driving down to Greenwich for baseball between King and Brunswick. As I was quite early, I sat in my car and listened to David Tennant's fascinating podcast.

Maybe a quarter of a mile ahead, I noticed traffic beginning to back up. Thinking it might be something, I kept an eye on it. When I got out of the car, I noticed smoke rising. Something was up.


Two small buses had collided. Ten people (at the last report) had been taken to the hospital. King Street -- where the Brunswick baseball is located -- was closed. I walked down to it, stayed five minutes, and left.

A few minutes later, while transporting equipment and beginning to set up for the broadcast, I slipped on the small hill that leads to the field.

I know I heard something snap or even crack.

I stayed there, on the wet, dirty ground, for a few minutes before getting back up. Nobody had seen me, and I could still walk.

I made my way to the two dugouts, some 300 feet away. Talked to the coaches. Got the lineups. Made my way back.

But with a bad limp.

I called the game and stood for over two hours. And it rained. Hard.

We were done in the fifth inning, to save equipment, as we were getting soaked. They ultimately played six innings and Brunswick won.

We packed up, I got Joe Early back to his car (which was parked in a lot down the road due to the detour), and dove home.

I feel sort of dumb telling you the story now, as I'm home and resting.

But I never said a word on the air.

What would Vin do (#WWVD)? He wouldn't have said a word.

So neither did I.

*****
Speaking of college sports, I'm heading back to Yale this Saturday for a doubleheader with Columbia. The first game starts at 11:30 a.m. My friend Eric Scholl will be the public address announcer.

Oh, and CSB wants me to put a play-by-play workship together.

More baseball! Less...whatever.

Monday, April 08, 2019

On Basketball Night, Let's Talk Hockey?

NHL.com
The National Championship is going on between Texas Tech and Virginia as I begin writing tonight.

Baylor knocked off Notre Dame for the women's title last night in an enjoyable game.

There is sports news aplenty, including the Yankees losing to the Astros a few minutes ago.

In high school sports, there's been plenty of chatter about the Ridgefield baseball field fire, and the story has reached the national level, as Sports Illustrated and others are writing about it.

I'll hit on all of that and more tomorrow on Doubleheader at 3 p.m.

How do I know? I recorded the show tonight.

Thus you won't hear me talk about the National Championship unless I record another segment tomorrow morning or late tonight. Both scenarios are doubtful.

Mick suggested I write about the soon-to-begin NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Which, fine. I'm not sure that's a strong suit for me, but he's excited about his New York Islanders, so OK.

My concern for the Islanders in their opening round meeting with the Pittsburgh Penguins is...well...they're the Pittsburgh Penguins. Yet the Islanders have a Vezina Trophy finalist in Robin Lehner. I'll take the Islanders.

They'll meet the Washington Capitals in the second round, as I think the Carolina Hurricanes -- a "darling" team due to their postgame on-ice celebrations -- won't be able to get past the defending Stanley Cup champions.

On the other side of the Easter Conference bracket, I love Cam Atkinson (Greenwich's own), who set the Blue Jackets' record for goals in a season, but the Tampa Bay Lightning have been otherworldly. It's their playoffs.

It would have been fun to see the Toronto Maple Leafs make a run, given how long they've gone without a Cup, and see the John Tavares hatred play out. But, no. The Boston Bruins will finish them off.

That will setup Bruins/Lightning. Nope. Lightning. As for the Islanders and Capitals, the magic runs out and the conference final will be the Lightning and Captials. I know President's Trophy winners often falter in the playoffs, but this team feels different. The Lightning leave the East as the conference champions.

On the Western side, here comes Vegas again. They'll beat the Sharks in the first round to meet Calgary, who will knock off Calgary. I'll take a stab at the Dallas Stars as a darkhorse, beating Nashville. Lastly, the Jets will beat the Blues.

Then it will be Vegas over Calgary and Dallas will sneak by Winnipeg.

Vegas will go to their second straight Stanley Cup Final.

Again, President Cup winners don't win the Stanley Cup, but I've felt the Lightning have been unbeatable. It's not exciting, but I'll go with the Tampa Bay Lightning to raise Lord Stanley's Cup.

Or I could be wrong about all of it.

Drop the puck.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Podcast Episode 4

Red Barber
I'm sorry to say that I've missed the previous two weeks of the podcast.

A friend reminded me tonight to not wear myself out doing these. I'll say it again: this is a work in progress. I'm still feeling the whole thing out.

For tonight, I decided to revisit recreations. Sadly, I've only found one broadcast on the interwebs. It's a 1939 broadcast called by Red Barber of the Yankees and Reds in Florida.

The spring training game doesn't have the bells and whistles of many recreations of the day. No sound effects -- save for the teletype in the background. Yet Barber is a master.

I include a lot of the game in this one, so sit back and enjoy it.

Tell your friends about the show, and pass along suggestions for future topics (and any audio you discover)!

Saturday, April 06, 2019

The Blog Thing


"You're a broadcaster? Oh, that's cool.

"You write also? Where do you write?"

"I write a blog."

"Oh. That's nice."

This wasn't a real conversation, but it could easily happen. Unless you're, say, Jeff Pearlman (or a writer of equal regard and respect) the blogger is often seen as a bit of an outcast.

We know the stereotypes about mom's basement and so on. We don't have the training and journalistic chops, etc.

There are blog writers who have earned a level of acceptance, but it's still easier said than done.

Look, I get it. I work in an industry where anyone with some money (or someone willing to fund them) can get equipment and a website and start broadcasting games.

You know, thus taking work (and food) from me.

By the same token, anyone can try to write, and many have.

I started this nearly 13 years ago. I refused to do it unless I could do it right. I'd like to believe I've earned some respect. Yet there's still that negative connotation about blogs.

But I'll tell you right (or "write") now. Find a print journalist. Ask them -- off the record -- what they think of a blogger. Heck, you can use me as an example.

Wait. Don't do that.

There might be a rolled eye.

Most of the time, I don't call this "the blog." I make up names for it. Out of shame? I guess so. Most likely just because I'm ... er ... me.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I realize there are those who look down on blogs.

Sometimes that's a shame.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Jealous Guy

Found via iTunes
I was just going to post a video and call it a night. A straight "Rule 55," founded when I didn't have the right words to say something.

But that won't do.

For some reason, the song "Jealous Guy" by John Lennon from the Imagine album jumped into my head tonight. Unflinching in its apology and rawness, Lennon addresses mistakes he's made with Yoko Ono.

The song was originally written in 1968 as part of the "White Album" sessions (aka "The Esher Demos") inspired by a lecture by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India. The song was to be called "Child Of Nature." Ultimately, a Paul McCartney composition -- "Mother Nature's Son" -- wound up on the album.

Lennon reworked the track a few years later as what we've come to know today. It's one of his most-loved songs, which is saying a lot.

To watch the video might seem cringe-worthy, depending on your take. Yoko, and by extension, John, are both polarizing to an extent. But one thing that I can't dispute is the amount of obvious love there is between them. I respect that a lot.

Look, John was tough. The "Lost Weekend" was John at his craziest before he settled down back in New York with Yoko and, eventually, son Sean. Those were his best years.

Then John was gone on Dec. 8, 1980.

Just a jealous guy.

If you ever need to apologize, or just bare your soul, go with this.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

The Tank Is Empty


Some nights, I'm simply drained.

Tonight is one of them.

I called the Ossining/Mahopac baseball game today, and it was wonderful. Mahopac had a 1-0 lead before the Pride took a 5-1 lead. The Pac cut it to 5-2 on a balk before they exploded for five in the bottom of the sixth.

Final score: Mahopac 7, Ossining 5.

It was enthralling, not due to any rooting interest, but due to pure excitement. There weren't a ton of walks, and there were only two errors (by my scorecard). There were clutch hits and mostly solid defense.

I truly enjoyed it.

It got windy and colder and I didn't have a heavy enough jacket on.

The five-minute ride home was also a huge benefit.

But I'm worn out.

So I'm just going to post the game and call it a night.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

It's Not All Bad

Back at Mahopac tomorrow
The one promise I've made to you since day one has been to be honest and (mostly) open with you. I've lived my life that way.

Yes, common sense dictates that I don't say everything, and I certainly went through a stretch when I didn't write at all.

But I've otherwise bled here. I've spoken about some deep lows emotionally. I've spoken of depression and mental health and, well, a lot of things.

The news continues to not always be good.

But I'm a survivor, and the world hasn't won yet.

I'll be back on the microphone tomorrow for baseball, and that could carry into Friday and Saturday if things work out.

Baseball, of course, makes me very happy. So do a lot of sports. Simply being on a microphone and working pleases me.

I guess what I'm starting to try to clumsily say is that, despite hardships, I'm blessed.

I'm sure in the midst of reading my thoughts on a daily basis, some of you might be tempted to say "get over it."

But I know all of the good; the most obvious being Sean. I have family, friends, a roof over my head, meals, and basic needs. I have people in my life that will do a lot for me.

I'm struggling for survival, and that's absolutely true. But I'm still here.

I suppose I just wanted to take a moment and say, "I get it."

That's the thing with being an open book. I give the good and the bad.

Tonight, I wanted to remind you that I realize there's a lot of good.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

The Worst Play-by-Play Ever?

Brian Collins and "Boom Goes The Dynamite" might have company
Maybe you've seen it. Maybe you haven't.

In the play-by-play world, we've all seen it and heard it.
Yes, Barstool had found a new victim, who was largely able to stay anonymous. Until...

Was it the worst ever? Well, to be honest, no it wasn't very good, but we've all dealt with our first call. He just picked the wrong game for his first call to be a walk off.

The energy was dry. No question. That being said, he didn't overdo it. He didn't call it GINORMOUS! He didn't say "SANTA MARIA!"

Yes, some of the phrasing was awkward. No question about that. "Swung" ... "out to the field" ... "is running" and so on. It's rough.

It's the 2019 version of Boom Goes The Dynamite. Surely you remember that...

So it appears Zach Flickinger is just a guy who intends to be in print journalism, loves the Denver Broncos and pro wrestling.

 He's a dude who got thrown into a broadcast, and it was his first broadcast.

And it made national news. Sort of.

So if he did it on a lark, then so be it. We wish you well, Zach. Carry on and go be great.

If he intends to stay in play-by-play, we're offering our services. Realize that if you don't know who's running, don't lose control of the call. Just focus on what you see. Get a little excited, but don't let anyone tell you how excited to get.

We can help, Zach.

Beyond that, thanks for being a good sport. It was good to see you laugh at yourself. Incidentally, recreating calls can be a tough thing also.

But know this: it wasn't the worst play-by-play ever. Heck, I've heard worse just in our own area.

Just remember: this could happen to any of us.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Just One of Those Nights

Found via Google search
It's a Monday night.

There are topics. I'll sometimes sketch a few ideas down, then I'll decide if I want to attack it.

I plopped down in my chair tonight with the Yankees on and drifted off.

For what it's worth, they won

But I was feeling total exhaustion. Meaning I'll be up all night (or part of it).

So despite having things that are worth writing about, I'm just not feeling it.

High school baseball is back, and that's great. I'll get my first call on Thursday when Mahopac hosts Ossining. At one time, it would have been a matchup of Indians versus Indians, as is the case when John Jay of Cross River meets The Pac.

When I covered an Ossining football game in 1999 (calling it from a science room, looking from top to bottom), they were also the Indians.

Early in the 2000s, Ossining succumbed to the pressure of political correctness by announcing a change to their mascot. They tried using "Riverhawks" because, er, their location on the Hudson River and they liked hawks?

Either way, the name didn't stick and they soon started using no mascot (just going with "The O"). It appears, at least for now, they've settled on "Pride" as their name.

Personally, I'm glad Mahopac (and John Jay Cross River) have stuck with being the Indians since that's what we were when my siblings and I each went to MHS. Our hometown is also very proud of the Native American ties, with Mahopac meaning “The Lake of the Great Serpent” in Algonquin.

Anyway, I'm sort of babbling. That game is Thursday at 4 p.m. on http://mixlr.com/robcasting-radio/.