Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Boondoggle by the Bay

The home plate umpire in yesterday's game at Colorado (9/3/07) had zero consistency while calling balls and strikes.

Players, coaches and managers don't ask for much they only want consistency. And really, as far as jobs go, how tough is it to follow the rules you were hired to adhere to and be consistent in your judgments.

I have this feeling a lot of umpires have this misunderstood attitude and or belief that if a player was deemed good enough to play in the major leagues that they can hit any pitch, any where, as long as it's near the strike zone.

These same umpires have no idea how a missed pitch here or there is often times the difference between a win and a loss. These are the same attitudes in need of adjustment who act as if they never make a mistake or have a bad day and that it is everyone else who falls victim to such unpreparedness. Sort of a godlike approach to lesser beings, if you will.

But what really makes all of this rub me wrong is an announcer like Dave Fleming, of the San Francisco Giants (KNBR/680AM).

I know listening to 2007 Giants' baseball is a bit of a boondoggle but it's a way of passing the time for a guy like me whose way around is either by foot or public transportation. Still, to endure Fleming's Wally Cleaver impersonation is a horripilation of a price to pay for not having cable television.

Whenever the game reaches a point, in Wally's mind, uh I mean Dave, he'll recap the scenario and almost on cue will emphasize how through all of this the opponent has only scored one run and just like that the opponent will burst through with a crooked number.

(I guess you could say he's a jinx, but I'm not blaming him for that superstition because it may just be a coincidence that keeps reoccurring.)

In fact, I think the painful realization of how bad Giants' pitchers have been when they are ahead in the count is so dreadful because of golly gee man Fleming. His insistence on informing his listening audience on such trivial things as to what type of pitch it was that was thrown further emphasizes ones annoyance when the opposing batter hits one back to the wall and it's GONE!! comes out of the mouth of Fleming.

Every other Giants' broadcaster is more than tolerable, they are the reason to tune into Giants baseball despite the teams' penchant for finding ways to lose. A good broadcaster lets your imagination flow and I like to imagine what might happen next based on the picture sketched by each broadcaster, except for Dave "Wally" Fleming.

Because when it's David B. Fleming's turn to announce all you need to do is call to mind the worst possible case scenario for any situational hornswoggle "Wally" is articulating to his audience and more often than not you will be accurate in your assumptions.

Kevin Marquez