Friday, June 15, 2007

At Least The Sidebar Stuff Was Interesting

Yes, Our Washington Nationals have beaten Jake Peavy, John Smoltz, Johan Santana and Cole Hamels. Some would say "The Best of The Best". Well, tonight that success came to a SCREECHING HALT (and not because of My Best Friend Screech!!). Former Cy Young Award Winner Roy Halladay was terrific. And Our Starter, Mike Bacsik was not.

Not much joy in this ballgame. Toronto simply beat us in a ballgame Our Washington Nationals never had a chance. When you face a top thrower--you have to be at your best and get a little lucky. Unfortunately even in Canada, our Nats experienced no such fortune in The Great White North. The Montreal Expos' former TOP RIVAL--The Toronto Blue Jays--handily beat Washington 7-2 tonight. Nothing to be ashamed of. Just a loss against a Fine Pitcher. Halladay is one fine talent. Too bad he plays for the middling Blue Jays right now.

You can mark this one a defeat when Ryan Zimmerman throws two tosses to first base away. Cristian Guzman can't decided what to do on a routine double play ball and misses an underhand toss to second; Dimtri Young returns to his shaky fielding at first base; and Winston Abreu throws a ball four in the dirt that skips not five feet away from Brian Schneider, but still scores a run from third on a wild pitch. When all this occurs, you have NO CHANCE to win.

Time to forget about this one.

But, at least the sidebar stuff was interesting.

Game Notes & Highlights:

At one time, The Toronto Blue Jays had some of the nicest uniforms in baseball. A gorgeous Blue Jay with Canadian Red Maple Leaf on a Royal Blue Cap. Combined with a Double Lined "BLUE JAYS" across the chest of the home uniform. The colors made for some extremely beautiful threads.

So, who in world inside The Toronto Organization decided that Silver, Black & Blue combined with an Ugly Beak Blue Jay Logo was nice? The current Toronto Blue Jays Uniforms are UGLY!!!! I am sorry. Toronto plays in Canada. Display The RED MAPLE LEAF. Be Proud of Your Heritage. The Oakland Raiders Look just does not work there.

In the top of the 3rd, Ryan Langerhans walked, but Home Plate Umpire C.B. Buckner called Langerhans back to the plate--claiming it was just ball three. Ryan began to argue his case. Eventually, Our Manager Manny Acta came out to add his feelings on the Buckner's mistake. When Umpire Chief Joe West walked in to give the final decision, Don Sutton on MASN actually said: "You got to feel for West, C.B. seems to have this problem at least once per game." And, when West ruled Langerhans had walked and Buckner had made an error--you could only wonder--HOW BAD IS C.B. Buckner as an Umpire. His Crew Chief over ruled a decision he really should have no part in. A Hall of Fame Pitcher and current Nationals Broadcaster had called him out as a problem Umpire. I've been racking my brain for an incident at RFK Stadium involving a Bad Call by Buckner. I know its happened, but I can't recall the moment. Joe West and Don Sutton had just confirmed my worst fears though. Later Buckner removed himself from the game with illness. Interesting.

In the top of the eight-with the ballgame well out of hand, Ryan Langerhans powered out to centerfield a solid Two Run Homer off Halladay to make the game 6-2 Toronto. Langerhans continues to impress of late. To Halladay's credit, he was visibly pissed at himself for allowing Ryan's blast--despite the large lead. If you love the game, you have to appreciate the fact that Roy Halladay cared.

Then, in the bottom of the 8th--Greg Zaun laced a liner at Langerhans playing left field tonight. Ryan made a nice diving catch to his left. Although The Blue Jays Aaron Hill would score from third on a sacrifice fly for the 7th and final run of this game--Ryan Langerhans catch was The Defensive Play of This Game.

At the start of the bottom of the 5th on MASN, the programming returned from Commercial with the sight of two former Montreal Expos Fans wearing Blue "EXPOS" batting practice jerseys, but Red Curly "W" Caps, enjoying the baseball game. Having lost My Washington Senators in 1971, I could appreciate their gesture and effort. For me, it was the Visual Moment of The Night.

I am getting really tired of Bob Carpenter. Tonight, when Greg Zaun doubled off Winston Abreu and the Lighted Scoreboard in right field at SkyDome (Rogers Centre is just not right), Carpenter blamed the sponsored board for hindering Austin Kearns attempt to catch the baseball. Come on BOB!! If Major League Baseball truly believed that scoreboard affected the game--that lighted board would not be there. I work in television--ON TV lighted objects look brighter than in actual appearance. I know this, for a fact. Being a cameraman for living, really, I know. Bob, please stop making excuses for Our Washington Nationals. Your protective cover is not appreciated.

Don Sutton went after Winston Abreu tonight. During Winston's not too impressive 2 and 2/3rds innings, Our Hall of Fame Announcer openly stated how Abreu consistently opens up his hips so far on his delivery--he has no control of his pitches. And, when Our Number 63 does throw a strike--he is, many times, getting lucky. "Look at all the hanging breaking pitches he's getting away with," claimed Sutton. "You can't live up there too long. You are going to get hammered."

I love Don Sutton. The Man tells it like it is.

In the top of the 9th inning, I also thoroughly enjoyed Don Sutton's remarks concerning Toronto Blue Jays Pitcher Jason Frasor. With a 5 run lead and one out, Ryan Zimmerman on second with a double, Frasor walked Austin Kearns. Sutton's reply: "A guy throws 96 miles per hour, with a five run lead with one out in the 9th--and he throws a 3-1 slider. That's the reason I don't wish to be a pitching coach today. Players have no understanding of the game." Sutton went on to describe a host of other jobs he would rather hold, than Pitching Coach of a Major League Team. Don's point was correct. His alternate work choices--downright funny.

Finally, driving home tonight late from work--the game began while I was still in my car. So, I was enjoying Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler on WTWP. As Cristian Guzman stepped to the plate to leadoff the game, Charlie begins to talk about how "The Guz" and Felipe Lopez have switched places in the Batting Order for Our Washington Nationals. I will swear that Charlie, in describing the change by Our Manger Manny Acta, said: "He (Manny) has flipped FLop in the order." The Comment brought a HUGE SMILE to my face while stopped at a traffic light. Surely, Charlie Slowes said "flipped flopped", but I couldn't help but enjoy the moment. Charlie--did I hear correct? Did you do that just for me? If only BangTheDrumNatly was with me. No one more than him, enjoys each and every time I yell out "COME ON FLop!!!" Or, "Lets Go FLop!!, Lets Go FLop!!"

Tonight's InGame Photo--(CP) Frank Gunn


fav61 said...

SBF: I agree, tomorrow is another day...Halladay is tough, but I predict our Nats will prevail in tomorrow's matinee..

mszimmy said...

here's hoping the nats bounce back today against the blue jays. shawn and i are leaving in an hour or so to head up to toronto for the game (from buffalo). i can't wait! no worries, we'll cheer hard for everyone!

Jim said...


You're a must read every day and I enjoy stopping by after the home games for a quick pass-by comment. I'm wondering though, what the obsession is with Bob Carpenter. It's almost as if you and Chris over at CP can't seem to let an entry pass nowadays without somehow mentioning the guy.

What leads me to comment on this is that you've taken Carpenter to task for both covering for the Nats' players, AND for not lavishing enough love on them. (The affront at Carpenter claiming that if Rolen couldn't get to a ball, nobody could.)

Both you and CP hit him for constantly referring to his time in St. Louis. I'm not sure what experience he's supposed to pull from except the one he has. He surely refers to games he's been a part of in his short time here.

It may be that since we watch nearly every game, each little idiosyncrasy can nag at us. It could also be that Sutton has been so enjoyable that less than that level of expertise is more noticeable. But it seems as if you're really a bit overwrought about the local play-by-play guy. Not a big deal, but I'm curious as to the outrage. He's not particularly bothersome in my book.

Who do you like as a play-by-play announcer? Who do you consider ideal, and who do you consider acceptable?

See you in 320!

paul said...

On the radio, Dave was tough on Abreu, too, especially regarding his failure to cover home on the wild pitch. The evening was not a total loss, however. The Orioles managed to turn a 3-0 lead into a huge deficit in the blink of an eye.

Anonymous said...

Also, dude, give Bucknor a break. He had the flu. People make mistakes, and a walk here or there last night was not going to make a difference in the outcome of the game. Just. . . simmer.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Jim: Thanks for the good and fair comments. What I don't like about Carpenter is that he does not appear to understand the game and all its nuiances. For someone that has been broadcasting baseball for some time he should know the game better. Yet, he does not. He does not understand strategy. Its great to pump up the home team guys. I find that important to do. But, It just bothers me that whoever makes a mistake for Washington, Carpenter seems to try to make an excuse why the error was made. Sometimes, I would like him just to say--Such and Such, Blew it. That' s all. No one is perfect--he should not act like they are.

My favorite Play-By-Play person, by far--is Jon Miller. Loves when he was with The Orioles and if he's on ESPN or DirecTV I would immediately turn to that game. Miller builds excitement to the game, but can also be critical about anyone. And, still be homer for the Home Team. All good things in my book.

Sutton is really good, far better than I ever thought. I also enjoy Joe Morgan as a commentator. He and Miller to me are the best two in the business.

Its funny, I almost put in my "FEELING SORRY" post that since Jon Miller was not rehired by The Orioles a hex called "The Curse Of Jon Miller" has hung over that Franchise since that day. Sometimes, I really believe it.

Others I enjoy--ALL OF Yankee Broadcasters on the YES Network--especially Jim Kaat & Ken Singleton. Bob Brenly also good on color. George Grande in Cincinnati, Vin Scully (Of course). Jerry Remy & Sean McDonough (?) on NESN. Duane Kuiper & Mike Krukow on Giants Broadcasts. And, Rex Hudler on Angels broadcasts.

At times I find Pete Van Wieren funny on Braves Broadcasts. I actually enjoy Chip Carey more when he worked Cubs games. Less so, for some reason, now doing Atlanta Games. Not sure why, but he doesn't seem as interesting.

But, I am not a Big Fan, at all, of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. I don't find them interesting. Too smug, and always speaking down to viewers as if the are idiots. No sport more than Baseball has so many educated fans.

Anonymous--My comments on CB are directly passed on by Don Sutton. I am not the only one to see problems with his Umpiring Skills--sick or not. He has some problems that need to be addressed.

JayB said...

Hey SBF,

Seems like nobody, even you is being allowed to have a critical eye, no matter how reasoned. Not really a good trend.

Jim said...


Good stuff. Thanks for your run down.

JayB: Everyone's allowed the critical eye. I was just asking what in general was prompting it, and examples of who SBF thought was good with play-by-play. It's okay to ask someone, "Why?" when they're critical, right? If not...that wouldn't be a good trend.

Enjoy the game!

Screech's Best Friend said...

Any Night that Jayb comes to MY DEFENSE is a GOOD NIGHT INDEED!! (Its all in fun--I am smiling writing this) And, its OK to question anything I say. I always listen to every persons opinion. That differing thought many times allows me to look at a angle I never realized. That's all good to me.