Good morning and Happy Wednesday! It would be a lot less happy had the A's managed to give away the game last night, wasting my new favorite player, Brandon Allen's two homeruns at Yankee Stadium (seriously, go to Dan's recap and watch the first one, if you haven't already.). But they didn't, and McCarthy notched another win and Bailey sort of got the save (he probably should have turned it back in and just have been glad to escape with the team winning).
Just for fun, I have a link to Tiger Tales, where they have calculated the top 15 infields of all time, using WAR (Wins above replacement) based on this criteria:
Basically, what I did was sum the WARs for the four most commonly used infielders (one each at first base, second base, third base and shortstop). I required that each of a team's infielders to have 400 or more plate appearances and to have played at least half of his games at his primary position. This guaranteed that each qualifying infield would have four regulars. For example, an infield with a star first baseman, second baseman and shortstop and group of marginal players sharing the third base spot would not qualify.
You'll be pleased to know that the household names of Stuffy McInnis, Eddie Collins, Frank Baker, and Jack Barry of the 1913 Philadelphia Athletics came in first, and the infield of Jason Giambi, Frank Menechino, Eric Chavez and Miguel Tejada from the 2001 Oakland A's came in sixth. Apropos of absolutely nothing. I just wanted us to win something.
I found a piece written by Will Carroll earlier this month about Jon Sciambi, who left his position as the Braves play-by-play man to take a full-time job with ESPN. According to Carroll, he's "the closest thing to a sabermetric radio call as we have now".
After Carroll takes his obligatory shots at Moneyball the movie (okay, his cross between Hoosiers and Seabiscuit is pretty funny), he goes on to say:
Unfortunately, they'll learn the Hollywood-twisted version of advanced baseball statistics, the same way that NFL fans saw a brilliantly written book about offensive tackles turned into a Sandra Bullock tearjerker. If there's a real chance for the truth -- the real heart of the story -- to come out, it won't be on the big screen. Instead, it's going to happen on the dial.The voice of sabermetrics right now isn't Bill James or even Billy Beane, but a guy they call Boog.
I now want to listen to Boog and see the different between the ESPN that I mock, and something new and different. Does anyone yet have an opinion on him? I like my broadcasters to be the opposite of Joe Morgan, or subtly making fun of Joe Morgan. I enjoyed Bill King; I love Ken Korach, and I don't care if I loved the White Sox more than life itself, I still don't think Hawk would be endearing.
Here's what I want:
- I want to have the game described to me where I can see the plays in my mind's eye. I don't want to be surprised when a ball goes over the fence when your soothing voice tells me it's a lazy fly ball. Likewise, don't scare me on a routine fly ball.
- On that note, your voice must be soothing. I should recognize you while spinning the radio dial in the vicinity of where your station is supposed to be.
- Be funny. Wry, dry and subtle is hilarious.
- You can have a signature call, but "IT'S POSITIVELY SWISH-A-LICIOUS!" might be going a bit too far. (Okay, I have a hunch I might find John Sterling endearing as a Yankees' fan, but no, I still have no use for Hawk. Phrases like "chopper, two-hopper" and "he gone" grate on everyone's nerves.)
- Know what WAR means (you don't have to calculate it). Likewise, know what WHIP means, and never tell me about Wins as if they have any bearing on the pitcher's performance.
- Never use "gritty", "clutch-y, or "plays the game the right way". I mean, never.
- Never have the same player play more than one position in the game; likewise, he should not occupy more than one base at the same time. Ghostrunners are confusing. (See: Buancast for a complete breakdown of the rule).
- It's okay to admit a) you didn't play in a historic game that you happen to be talking about and b) that you weren't really scouting the pitcher before the game the night he would pitch a no-hitter.
So, what do you like? Who do you like? Who has been your favorite historic broadcaster and why? Who would be your favorite AN broadcaster if you could pick one off the site?
We do it again in New York. I LOVE BRANDON ALLEN!
Athletics lead the series 1-0
WP: Brandon McCarthy (7 - 6)
SV: Andrew Bailey
LP: Bartolo Colon (8 - 8)
|6 - 5 win|
|Thu 08/25||10:05 AM PDT|