Friday, July 31, 2009

If You Listen to Dave Fleming You'll HEAR How the Giants are Doing

As a youth following the Giants it was always about the June Swoon. But as I age, like a fine Boone's Farm wine, it is becoming apparent that the swoon really begins after the All-Star break.

I understand that during every season a team will go through a period of time when the opponents' grounders appear to have eyes on them as they find a hole or take a fortuitous hop over a beloved Giant fielder's glove. Or an individual player will struggle at the plate and get into what most refer to as a slump just as a pitcher will have difficulty doing what he wants to when he throws the ball. But listening to Dave Fleming describe these struggles is painstakingly brutal. In fact, on bad days (and you know we all have them) it's downright medieval (i.e., heads usually roll.).

Fleming struggles with his choice of words by being verbose when the Giants are struggling on the field. And yet, when the Giants are winning, Flem isn't nearly as harsh. For whatever reason, the Stanford graduate-Fleming suddenly empathizes with the Giant players while being concise in his description of their actions. He isn't quite as appalled as when things are going against the orange and black attired hometown nine.

It could make a listener think that Fleming is a bad sport. The way he rants about how the pitcher is "immediately in the stretch" after walking the leadoff batter. Then he groans on how the pitcher just "doesn't have it today" and its the second or third batter in the game!

If you listen, you can't help but notice how Duane Kuiper or JT Snow or FP Santangelo always cut the players some slack. Why? Because they know through experience that the game just is not as easy as some players make it look. When was the last time Fleming played ball?

Players aren't going to make the play every time. The ones who do, well, they are called Hall of Famers. How many players are there in the game and how many make it into Cooperstown?

On a couple of occasions the broadcast crew of Duane Kuiper, Jon Miller, Mike Krukow and Flem urged Jon Miller to do his John Wayne impression of some movie he makes reference to once in a while. So Miller does his John Wayne saying how his mom worked hard to put his brother through college and Wayne hears his brother use the word clum for the word climb.
"Clum? He didn't clum the wall he climbed it. What did you do in school all day, college boy?!" Miller goes on to use a couple of examples to get his point across, all in the familiar tones of Duke-delivery.

In borrowing from that hillarious bit by Jon Miller I would like to say... Can't I just tune into a ballgame and hear what's going on between the lines and NOT how it's seen through the eyes of some college boy?

(much appreciation to Jon Miller)

Kevin Marquez