The Braves had Tom Glavine in the booth. Unfortunately, the Chip Caray. The Mets broadcasters were clearly A-level: Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, and Ralph Kiner each did color commentary. Between the two series, we Phil Garnered from the opposition's talking TV monkeys a few fun facts and opinions which I have brought to class today (along with my pet frog, Artemus) for Show and Tell. Aside from Darling keeping a running count of Drew Stubb's 2012 strikeouts, there were plenty o' highlights, including widespread praise of Cozart and The Buggywhip, as well as the Overall best glove to have.
BRAVES SERIES:Tom Glavine on Your Favorite Homer:
Bailey is the best in the league at throwing a first pitch strike (37%), but batters are teeing off on it for a .347 average. Tom thinks Homer should be less in the middle of the zone on the first pitch. He thinks Homer is not doing a good job of expanding the strike zone. He is also told that Bailey is stubborn.
DUSTY LOVES DRAINAGE!
Dusty says new drainage system at GABP played a big factor in getting in the games. He thinks it really sucks. This leaves me no choice but to assume Willy Taveras has joined a certain Cincinnati team's grounds crew.
CHIP CARAY, VILLAGE IDIOT
Chip Caray touted the amazing trough in dynamic ticket pricing for Braves fans: "Some outfield seats are as cheap at $14!" He later asked Hernandez and Darling if GABP's propensity to aid hitters will skew voters' opinions when it comes time for Hall of Fame voting. Both former players dismissed the idea entirely, saying that only Coors Field has earned that distinction.
HATE FOR PREDATOR
They compared the Hamilton/Volquez trade to the Milt Pappas/Frank Robinson deal. Not-So-Fun-Fact: Oging into 2012, Volquez won more games in his 17-win season in 2008 than in all his other season combined. Never mind that Pappas went on to have season of success for the Reds, compiling a 1.6 BB/9 in Porkopolis. During Volquez's tenure in red, he averaged 4.9 BB/9.
BOOTH BOFFO FOR PICKIN' PROFICIENCY!!
Hernandez messed himself a little when The Golum caught a thief in the act of base-pilfering. "Look at him sidle!" Then again, they also like Hanigan, and wonder why he isn't getting more playing time.
Darling "Cozart's defense is terrific." (Drink another shot of Kool-Aid, my friends.)
89-year-old Hall-of-Famer Kiner ran into Reds GM Walt Jocketty between games and said, "Hey, I really like your shortstop." Walt thanked him, and let him know that Ron Darling had stopped him earlier to say the same thing. (One more shot of Kool-Aid, please. Blue flavor, if you have it.)
NEWS FLASH: SOME GUY DRESSED IN RED IS RUNNING FAST!!
The booth thinks that Mike Leake and recently-departed Travis Wood are the two fastest-running pitchers in the game. Apparently, they have never seen Chris Carpenter angrily sprint after an innocent toddler to take away the babe's lollapalooza and smash it on the ground. Chris often does this, followed by his squatting on the hood of any nearby car to commit dastardly windshield dookie decoration with a "Harvest Moon."
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(seriously, petey wtf)
Later in the game, they were very impressed by the turn Mike Leake made going around 3B on his way to score. They replayed it with praise, and it DID look impressive. The video crew must have an extra camera or two, as the extreme close-ups and slow-mos were far-and-above anything I've seen this year. They even showed Brandon Phillips hotdogging by bouncing a ball around his arm before playfully snagging it. They had to admit, it looked really kewl. Score one for the Showboat.
SUN DEVILS BE DAMNED
They teased that while Met first-sacker Jason Turner may have been the better pitcher at ASU, when compared to his then-teammate Mike Leake, but the Reds hurler is besting him in batting average. Also, Mike Leake is only the 10th pitcher since 1965 to skip the minor leagues on his way to The Show along with Jim Abbott, Mike Morgan and Bert Hooten-Gluten of the Walla Walla Carb-Loaders.
SWABODA FEVER - CATCH IT!!!
The Mets version of giraffe-killing, road-raging, TwitterPerv™Jim Day was named Kevin, and he was quite impressive. He did an in-game interview with Ron Swoboda. Somebody had recently asked Ron how long he was gonna try to live off of one catch (His famous World Series putout). He replied, "How much time do I got left?"
GLAMOROUS GOLDEN GLOVERS GET GABBY
When Joey Votto was in the on-deck circle, Keith Hernandez was miked up and seated in the front row by the pine tar and batting donuts. Joey said hi to Keith, who chatted and joked with him briefly.
I KINER REMEMBER...
Kiner has tremendous respect for Reds legends Joe Nuxhall, Johnny Vander Meer, and Ewell Blackwell.
Kiner also mentioned that HIS first baseball glove had the name Orval Everall in it, which was quite the good name to have in your glove in those days. Manly-men players sometimes cut out the middle of their gloves to form a "pocket" before gloves were made with hinges and pockets that allowed single-handed catches. Years later, Ralph Kiner was general manager of the San Diego ballclub when Orval's son played for the organization.
There are only 70 primarily-knuckleball pitchers in MLB history. 4 of them were in the Washington Senators rotation during WWII.