Tag:Harry Kalas
Posted on: December 3, 2010 2:10 pm
 

Love Letters: Readers on broadcasters

Few people get into the hearts of baseball fans the way broadcasters do. I wrote a Thanksgiving column about this, and primarily about the passing of legends Dave Niehaus (Seattle), Harry Kalas (Philadelphia) and Ernie Harwell (Detroit), and about the heart scare with Bob Uecker (Milwaukee), and the reaction follows.

Before we get to that, though, Cubs play-by-play man Pat Hughes, as a labor of love, has spent his past five offseasons producing CD audio tributes to several legendary broadcasters. The latest CD features Niehaus. Others available feature Uecker, Kalas, Marty Brennaman, Jack Buck, Harry Caray, Bob Prince and Red Barber. They're great items, and if you're interested, you can get more information here.

And now, on the sad day that we learned of Ron Santo's passing, here are a few readers telling their own tales following Giving thanks for the great voices in baseball. ...

FROM: Jeremy D.

Scott,

Great article, especially this time not only for the giving of thanks, but [for writing this while next season] is still a ways away. I am 33 and have been a Phillies fan for most of those years. Harry, as we call him around here in south-central PA, still holds the most memorable call in my many years as an avid sports fan: Mike Schmidt's 500th home run. When he passed away last spring, I, as many others were, was devastated. It was like losing a close, long-time friend. I have spent more time listening to Harry than I've spent listening to many of the friends and relatives I know personally. I still love to hear Vin Scully call a game, as well as Jon Miller on the radio, and Marty Brenneman. Some of the newer guys have promise, but Scully's voice flat-out IS summer. Thanks again for the pleasant cold-November-day read.

One more great thing about these broadcasters that come into our lives: Unlike certain relatives, they don't show up uninvited for the holidays!

FROM:
Jim W.

Thank you for that great story on the voices of summer. I moved to Seattle in 1993 and I will always remember Edgar's double and Griffey scoring from first to beat the Yankees in the 1995 Divisional Series. It was the year after the strike, and Dave's call is the reason I love baseball again.

The great ones can do that for us, can't they?

FROM: Rob

Great article! XM radio is the best thing to happen to baseball and the MLB app is great with the ability to hear both radio feeds.

Love XM. What a perk it is to be able to sit on my back patio on a Saturday in the summer, Cheez-Its within reach, clicking around the satellite radio dial listening to broadcasts from each city.

FROM:
Keith B.

I think you are right on with your column about the great baseball announcers. I became a big fan in the summer of 1962 listening to Harry Caray, Vin Scully and Ernie Harwell. I lived in Rapid City, SD. After dark I could pick up the various stations that carried MLB games. Sometimes it was not very clear but I could hear enough to know what was going on. My great grandfather & I would listen to Vin Scully on KFI out of Los Angeles. Happy Thanksgiving.

South Dakota, Michigan (where I'm from) ... one great thing about the Midwest is the flatlands allow strong radio signals to carry unimpeded for hundreds of miles. I could listen to the Tigers, Reds, Indians, White Sox, Cubs. ...

FROM:
Dan L.

Dear Scott,

As a fellow broadcaster and Michigander, I was blessed as well to grow up listening to the National Treasure that was Ernie Harwell. I was lucky enough to do a 20-minute interview with him on my radio show a couple years ago and felt like I had lived some of the moments that Ernie described to me from an era that I was not even alive during. He just helped make you feel part of something special, and through the sharing of his experiences throughout his amazing career, I kept thinking to myself just how lucky we are to have had Ernie be a part of our lives and us a part of his. I think CBS is very lucky to have you writing for them and I would love to stay in touch and have you on my show in the future. Keep up the great work!

Very kind. Thanks.

Posted on: October 18, 2010 2:17 am
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Posted on: October 18, 2010 2:16 am
 

Andres the Giant not so giant

PHILADELPHIA -- The most painful part of Sunday's 6-1 loss for San Francisco might have been watching the continued struggles of leadoff man and center fielder Andres Torres.

After fanning four times against Philadelphia starter Roy Oswalt, Torres now is 3-for-25 this postseason with 12 strikeouts.

He's whiffed six times in nine at-bats in this NL Championship Series.

Suffice it to say, if only for his own good, the Giants are going to have to make a move with their lineup for Game 3 Tuesday in San Francisco.

"It's obvious his timing's off," manager Bruce Bochy said. "This kid has had a great year for us. He's a big reason why we're here."

Not only did Torres help the Giants take off once Bochy installed him as an everyday player by the end of April, he made a gutsy comeback from appendicitis a couple of weeks earlier than doctors expected. Stricken on Sept. 12, Torres was returned to the lineup Sept. 24.

After never having played more than 75 games in a season, Torres appeared in 139 for the Giants this season. His 570 plate appearances more than tripled his previous career high of 185 in Detroit in 2003.

"There's no question he's struggling, but other hitters are, too," Bochy said. "He's fighting it a little bit.

"He got here early and was working on some things. But you get in a rut like this, you start battling yourself a little bit. I think that's the case with Andre. He's certainly a guy who makes us go when he goes. It would be nice to get him going, no question."

As for whether Aaron Rowand might replace Torres in the lineup, or even whether Pablo Sandoval could play third instead of Mike Fontenot -- who had a rough day defensively Sunday -- in Game 3, Bochy was not prepared to address that in the immediate aftermath of Game 2.

"These are things we'll talk about on the flight back," he said. "Facing a left-hander [Cole Hamels], you'll see a couple of changes."

Likes: The late Harry Kalas on the Citizens Bank Park big screen leading the crowd in "High Hopes" after a Phillies win. ... Tim Lincecum's reaction to the whole wolf-whistle thing in Game 1 in Philadelphia on Saturday. He handled it perfectly -- with humor. ... Looks like Texas and the Yankees is going to be quite the shootout. Both the ALCS and NLCS are setting up very well for those of us who like lots of drama. ... The cheesesteaks at Carmen's in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal. ... Glad to see Michigan State remain undefeated, fun to see highly ranked Ohio State and Nebraska go down. What a great Saturday in college football. You just never know. ... Another great run Sunday along the Schuylkill River on a gorgeous fall day. Fun cruising by the blues band that was playing in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum, entertainment for a charity walk raising money for breast cancer.

Dislikes: Aw, terribly sad to see June Cleaver -- Barbara Billingsley -- pass away over the weekend. One more harsh reminder of time marching on.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Here comes my baby, flashin' her new gold tooth
"Here comes my baby, flashin' her new gold tooth
"Well she's so small, she can mambo in a pay phone booth
"Now flip, flop and fly, I don't care if I die
"Now flip, flop and fly, I don't care if I die
"Ah, don't ever leave me, don't ever say goodbye
"I'm like a Mississippi bullfrog, sittin' on a hollow stump
"I'm like a Mississippi bullfrog, sittin' on a hollow stump
+I got so many women, I don't know which way to jump"

-- Big Joe Turner, Flip, Flop and Fly

 

Posted on: October 15, 2009 7:25 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2009 10:15 pm
 

Dodgers in divorce court?

LOS ANGELES -- Who gets Tommy Lasorda in the Frank and Jamie McCourt split?

Los Angeles is buzzing about the bust-up of the Dodger owners, who were named as the area's "Power Couple of the Year" in 2008 by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

The repercussions could be immense, and the great fear is that the split will affect the Dodgers much the same way the Padres went down the commode with John and Becky Moore's divorce.

Though the timing of the public confirmation was inconvenient, to say the least, with the Dodgers set to open the NL Championship Series against the Phillies, those connected with the Dodgers have known for much of the summer that there's been trouble in paradise for the McCourts.

So as far as any immediate distractions, forget it. The only thing that's changed for the Dodgers is that knowledge of the McCourt's separation now has extended beyond the inner circle.

"It's a very private thing, and I respect that. ... It's not going to affect anything we do," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "My players and myself, we have a job to do, and whatever is going on there is certainly not going to affect what we do here. As I say, it's unfortunate and I feel badly, but it's one of those things that happen in life."

"I've experienced no difference in how we do our business," general manager Ned Colletti said. "On a personal level, I'm saddened by it."

No divorce papers have been filed, so it's premature to know for sure what it going to happen. But California is a community property state, meaning, couple split their assets 50-50 in divorces. That simple fact alone seems to spell big trouble ahead for the Dodgers -- just as it did for the Padres -- unless the McCourts reconcile.

Because if they don't, sources say neither one likely is financially liquid enough to buy out the other one.

Meantime, though Frank McCourt's lawyer told the Los Angeles Times that Frank is the sole owner of the Dodgers, that seems disingenuous because if the couple divorces, Jamie would be entitled to 50 percent of all assets failing a pre-nuptial agreement.

"Speculation about a potential sale of the team is rubbish," Grossman told the Los Angeles Times. "Frank McCourt is the sole owner. He has absolutely no intention of selling this team now or ever."

Aside from the sole owner stuff, he has no intention of selling the team ... ever? Ever? Really?

Colletti could be most immediately affected by the split because his contract is up after next season and, after building the team that finished with the best record in the NL this season -- 95 wins -- he should be in line for a multi-year extension.

Now, who knows?

"I'm fine," Colletti said when asked about the contract issue before Game 1 here Thursday. "I'll always be fine. I'll be wherever I'm supposed to be."

Colletti maintained that whatever is going on with ownership, Los Angeles is still the place he wants to be.

"I've made it known that I'd like to stay," he said. "We've had four good years here as a group. We've been to the postseason three times. We have the best record in the National League today. We struggled with Manny [Ramirez] being gone for 50 days.

"We have an investment here in time, energy and effort. Not just me -- everyone."

Likes: Philadelphia making its pitching up as it goes along. ... Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy writing the other day of Boston's Game 3 loss to the Angels that, before that day, closer Jonathan Papelbon's ERA was the same as John Blutarsky's grade-point average: 0.00. Fabulous line. ... A new Nick Hornby book to read: Juliet, Naked. Always a good thing when Hornby writes a new book. High Fidelity and About a Boy remain among my favorites. ... Great morning run Thursday morning around the Rose Bowl and through Pasadena's Arroyo Seco. Terrific.

Dislikes: Sure wish legendary Philadelphia broadcaster Harry Kalas were with us at this NL Championship Series. ... No sellout in Los Angeles?

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"We'd been living together for a million years
"Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
"But now it feels so strange out of the atmosphere
"Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
"And then the jukebox plays a song I used to know
"Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
"And now I'm staring at the bodies as they're dancing so slow
"Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah"

-- Greg Kihn Band, The Breakup Song

Posted on: April 13, 2009 5:53 pm
 

A modest proposal to the schedule-makers

As the final batch of home openers is played this week, please join me in a standing ovation for those in Cleveland who braved that entire fiasco on Friday.

All 500 of them.

In case you somehow missed it, the Blue Jays beat Cleveland 13-7 in the Indians' home opener on an afternoon that included a 3-hour, 47-minute rain delay.

So for the few hundred fans who made it through the ninth inning -- out of a first-pitch crowd of some 42,000 -- score that a 7-hour, 12-minute opener.

Biggest reason they didn't call the game? Toronto was making its only trip to Cleveland of the year.

Which is exactly the problem. It was shades of Seattle playing Cleveland the first week of the Indians' home schedule two years ago, when a blizzard killed four games and sent the Indians' and Mariners' schedules into chaos.

I thought the schedule-makers would have learned their lesson then, that lesson being: In cold weather cities, early-season opponents should all be clubs that will make two or three visits to that particular city during the season.

But the schedule-makers are a stubborn lot.

Look, I'm not jumping on them, because they've got a tough, tough job. And I get tired each year of listening to the whining about how the cold-weather teams should all open on the West Coast or in domes.

Yes, it makes sense on the surface.

But in the big picture, you're going to tell the Indians, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and others that they can never open the season at home? And deprive those fans of ever getting the first game of the season at home?

And furthermore, possibly put other clubs at a competitive disadvantage because, if the eastern teams always open the season on the road, then they're going to get an inordinate share of home games later?

Sending the eastern teams west, or to domes, early in the season is not as obvious an answer as it seems. Bottom line is, it's baseball, it's outside, and in April there's going to be some weather. There was a 51-minute rain delay Friday night in San Diego, of all places.

But to send Seattle or Toronto to Cleveland early, when the Mariners and Blue Jays don't have a trip there the rest of the season (and, thus, no easy way to make up postponements), the schedule-makers have got to find ways around that.

Likes: Love all of the day games this early in the season. Wish there were more later. ... San Francisco coach Tim Flannery hitting fungos during batting practice, bouncing one final grounder to second baseman Emmanuel Burriss and shouting as he hits it, "I've got a 100-game hitting streak on the line!" -- and then running to first base to challenge Burriss as he fields the ball. ... Boston outfielder Jason Bay, a class act. ... The Rally Monkey video in Anaheim in which the primate plays the Tom Cruise role, dancing to Bob Seger's Old Time Rock and Roll. ... The chicken parmesan pizza at Spirito's in Carlsbad.

Dislikes: If the start of this season gets any sadder, we're all going to need extra boxes of tissues. First Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart is killed in an auto accident, and Monday Hall of Fame Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas is found passed out in the broadcast booth in Washington, D.C., roughly 30 minutes before the start of the Nationals' home opener. Sleep well, Harry. You're already sorely missed.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Lazy stadium night
"Catfish on the mound.
"'Strike three,' the umpire said,
"Batter have to go back and sit down.

"Catfish, million-dollar-man,
"Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

"Used to work on Mr. Finley's farm
"But the old man wouldn't pay
"So he packed his glove and took his arm
"An' one day he just ran away.

"Catfish, million-dollar-man,
"Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

"Come up where the Yankees are,
"Dress up in a pinstripe suit,
"Smoke a custom-made cigar,
"Wear an alligator boot.

"Catfish, million-dollar-man,
"Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

"Carolina born and bred,
"Love to hunt the little quail.
"Got a hundred-acre spread,
"Got some huntin' dogs for sale.

"Catfish, million-dollar-man,
"Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

"Reggie Jackson at the plate
"Seein' nothin' but the curve,
"Swing too early or too late
"Got to eat what Catfish serve.

"Catfish, million-dollar-man,
"Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.

"Even Billy Martin grins
"When the Fish is in the game.
"Every season twenty wins
"Gonna make the Hall of Fame.

"Catfish, million-dollar-man,
"Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can."

-- Bob Dylan, Catfish


 

 
 
 
 
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