In fact, I can count how many times I’ve actually watched the Royals on television this year on your sister’s tits. Yes, it can be difficult to get into the baseball-without-the-visuals world of awesomeness. Fortunately, I’m here to help with the first in a three-part series on how best to listen to the Royals on the radio.
Part 1: Know Your Announcers
|Denny with noted cabbage enthusiast Steve Mingori|
That said, he talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks about productive outs, and the value of bunts and stolen bases, and how strikeouts are rally killers, and pretty much every single non-Sabermetric trope that makes people roll their eyes to death. But it’s not that he’s violently anti-Sabr like Harold Reynolds. He knows Sabermetrics. He understands Sabermetrics. He’ll give the differences between Sabermetrics and “old school” baseball. But that doesn’t mean he’ll accept it part and parcel.
**Denny Matthews sits on a porch at sundown; his rocking chair swaying like the breeze across the prairie his eyes are fixated upon**
“You know what....[long pause]...some people pasteurize their lemonade in order to reduce the number of viable pathogens so that they are unlikely to cause disease and slow spoilage caused by microbial growth by heating it to a specific temperature for a predefined length of time and then immediately cooling it after it is removed from the heat.
“But that’s just not something we do here at Matthews Farms. Because we never have. Matthews Farms. It’s a Really...Good Farm®”
It’s amazing the guy hasn’t succumbed to e-coli yet.
|"A mule bit my friend once!"|
My grandpa’s favorite TV show was Everybody Loves Raymond. I mean his favorite ever. So, he loved to do this thing where he would tell us about what Raymond did the night before. He would get all excited and start laughing even before he was done with the set-up of the joke but he keeps on going and you’re kind of following and then he gives the punch-line and it’s completely wrong so he goes back to the middle of the joke to tell it again and get it right now, but you’re saying to yourself I’ve never really watched the show too closely but Robert couldn’t have delivered a line like that because it’s not in his character, so it must’ve been Frank, right, and you know I think everybody wanted to do Patricia Heaton, right... right guys, right, and Alcides Escobar grounds into a double-play.
Steve Fizzyock is my grandpa.
It’s Steve Stewart, right (??)
Steve Stewart grew up in St Louis and has spent time calling games in his 20+ year career for the Cardinals, the Reds and the Royals. He’s basically the whitest guy ever. But it should be said -- and I say this with all sincerity -- that Steve Stewart could be taken from the Royals broadcast booth and placed into any other broadcast booth in any other city, and the people listening to that game would never be, like, “hey, who’s this guy?” He’s milquetoast. He’s stagnant.
Basically, he’s the Steve you hope Denny throws it to when he throws it to “Steve for the totals”
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Seriously. It could be so, so, so much worse. I once listened to a Cubs broadcast where it took Ron Santo three innings (THREE INNINGS!!) to tell a single story. A story that had to -- HAD TO -- make it to the ears of the North Side faithful. What was the story, you ask? Mr. Santo was enamored enough with god knows what that he told the story of one of his best friends who wore a toupee. And how did his friend wash said toupee? By putting it in the dishwasher. That’s it. That’s the story. That’s what took Ron Santo three innings to tell.
You don’t have to thank your lucky stars that we have Lefebvre. You don’t have to stop railing on him for saying stupid shit. Just remind yourself every-once-in-a-while that you could be listening to Suzyn Waldman for 162 games a year. And just think, with any luck in the next few years, Captain Forehead will be regaling us with his own tales of toupee laundering.
|The Pride of Hays, Kansas|
So, like, out of nowhere there’s Bob Davis on the radio calling the game Thursday at Yankee Stadium. Davis was a broadcaster for the Royals for the better part of two decades before he stepped down this winter, and I gotta say that I did enjoy hearing his voice a whole helluva lot more than I thought I would. But instead of waxing poetic about his past with the Royals, I’d like to -- as a Jayhawk fan -- share with you my favorite Bob Davis call ever. From 2008. (I think you know where I’m going with this)
“Here they come, Collins brings the ball across mid-court. He dribbles right. Oh, he was pushed! GETS IT TO CHALMERS!! FOR THREE!!!! GOOOOOOOOOODD!!!!!!! Chalmers!! Hits the three!! And KU leads against Washburn, 19-2 with 12:45 left in the first half.”
|The Pride of Rex Hudler|
Hud does not ever broadcast the Royals on the radio... and it just now occurs to me that I could have saved every minute that I wasted typing this up by simply letting you know that at the beginning.
Go Guglielmo Marconi! You’re the best!