Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What I'm Picking Up on the Dial

Last night, when it was apparent the Giants would NOT be on television I had to reach for my radio dial in hopes of tuning in the San Francisco Giants/San Diego Padre game.

While the Giants on 680KNBR was coming in fuzzy I was able to get the Padres, a crystal clear connection on 1090AM, or as the broadcasters refer to it, "double XX." (Also fuzzy was the Dodger game but it wasn't my intention to listen to the dreaded Dodgers.)

To start the game the first broadcaster I heard was former Yankee star Jerry Coleman. He has some good insight that cannot be taken for granted. For instance, in the 10th inning, Eugenio Velez led off the inning with a single and promptly stole second base. It was Coleman's contention that had Velez slid in feet first he'd have been able to advance to third rather easily (on a ball that got away from the fielder attempting to tag Velez out). But because he goes in face first he gets some dirt in his face and can't really see what's happening around him. Then, as fate would have it, with Velez on second the batter Randy Winn hit a sharp grounder that Adrian Gonzalez was able to spear, step on first and without hesitation he threw a one-hopper to Kevin Kouzmanoff who received the throw and easily tagged out the head first sliding Velez by using his leg to block the bag. Again, Coleman emphasized that had Velez went in feet first he would have gotten over the leg of Kouzmanoff and probably been safe at third.

In a year where the Giants have to be doing the little things this is yet another example of them NOT doing those things to help them win ballgames -not to mention- overcome their lack of home run power.

The announcer who did the brunt of the work was Ted Leitner. This guy really has a flair, almost a Bill Murray like "here we are at Augusta" quality that I swear if I was still in the accompaniment of a bong would have been laughing hysterically. It sure was enjoyable listening to him carry on and it wasn't like he was a homer of the Monte Moore ilk (although Monte is on a plane all by himself in that regard). I mean, if there were two guys named Enrique Rojas, one on each team, you would know which one was the Padre.

Leitner brought up an excellent point. With Scott Hairston batting there was a close pitch Hairston asked the home plate umpire, Tim Timmons, about and the umpire tossed him from the game. Leitner's voice lilted exclamatorily, "you can no longer ask some umpires where that pitch missed. Why? And if you use the wrong tone of voice, what's that? It's see ya!"

I wholeheartedly concur, Mr. Leitner. It's almost as if the umpire being questioned is questioning his own ability to make the call, so he sure doesn't what you questioning him, know what I mean?

Kevin Marquez