On our way home this evening, Hollywood Thoughts tuned-in the Dodger game on the car radio.
Since the Dodgers are in the midst of a five game winning streak, we won't focus our angst on their (continued) need of a big, consistent bat in the lineup... or even for a set of better arms in the bullpen. Nope. We're focusing our whining on two of the guys that sit in the Dodger radio broadcast booth.
Let's make it immediately clear that you will NEVER see a negative word directed towards Vin Scully on this site. The man has always been -- and continues to be -- a broadcasting immortal to us.
We're talking about Rick Monday and Charley Steiner.
An admission: We have not caught much of these guys this season-- so maybe what we're about to write is what scientists call a, 'sampling error.' Maybe tonight was just a bad night for the duo...
We don't think so.
Here's the rub: Steiner did most of the talking-- and most of the talking had very little to do with the Dodgers or the game that was laid-out in front of his perch.
For the last three innings of the game (about forty minutes of airtime), here's what we heard:
*Nine minutes of talk regarding the
current quality (or lack thereof) of base-
ball bats (and how they seem to break
very often these days).
*Thirty-One minutes of talk regarding Roger
Clemmons (and how he played golf yester-
day and whether he'll return to the Astros).
If Steiner had anything to say about the Dodgers -- or the game -- it was limited to giving us the pitch count. As for Rick Monday, his contribution to the airwaves was of the, "Mmmm-hmmm," or, "Riiiight" ilk. It seems Steiner is mostly a one-man band.
We hate saying this as the Hollywood Thoughts gang grew-up loving Monday (he of saving burning American flags in the outfield and playoff clutch hits in Montreal).
Anyway, listening to Steiner prattle on about NOTHING related to the game at-hand reminds us of commedian John Camponera's classic impersonation of Cubs'announcer, Harry Carray(the MASTER of digression):
"The count is 3-0.
Hey, did I mention last night I was in
a hotel room with a naked Samoan? Fouled
away, 3-1. So anyway, he starts chasing
me around the room, long drive, foul. 3-2.
And I'm gett'in scared. One more tipped away.
Count stays, 3-2, and I'm gett'in outta
breath runn'in 'round the bed..."
Ummm... Steiner wasn't too far off from that sorta rap.
God, we miss a nine-inning game called by Vin Scully and his longtime sidekick, Jerry Doggett. Give us Ross Porter, even.
Steiner and Monday should hit the Dodgers radio archives to see how Vinny can spin a story (ABOUT ONE OF THE CHARACTERS IN THE GAME HE'S WATCHING)... or set a mood (THAT DIRECTLY RELATES TO THE GAME IN FRONT OF HIM)... or impart a fun/educational/interesting tidbit of trivia (THAT DIRECTLY RELATES TO THE GAME IN FRONT OF HIM). We guarantee if Scully had been on the air last night, we would have been given some fascinating insight about the difference between Jeff Kent and Duke Snider's bats and how they were manufactured-- down to what forest the wood came from.
What's happened to the Dodger broadcast? How has the quality of the play-by-play and color commentary fallen so quickly?
We realize that because of his age, Vinny can't call the greater chunk of a game any more, but LA fans surely deserve better.