We’re In UR Stadium, Depleting UR Bullpen

Ah, the completely anachronistic joys of getting to watch Vin Scully announce a Mets-Dodgers gam on TV, which is a treat MLB.com allows you only when the Mets visit Dodger Stadium. Vin is going on 80 years old now, and his vocal cords demonstrate virtually no signs of abuse — clean, pristine, with near-factory sheen. Maybe he sounds a little more aged now than when my parents listened to him growing up in the 1950s in Brooklyn, but probably not much more. Apparently he only does home games and a few select games in the Western Division these days, and Charley Steiner and Rick Monday second-banana him on days he doesn’t announce. But is there any doubt there’s nothing in the world like him and never will be again?

The Dodgers these days put him out there all by himself, no doofus ex-player spouting inane “color” like, “Russell Martin, you’ll notice he carries a BAT, and he HAS to carry that BAT, because you know what? Without that BAT, he has nothing to hit the BALL with!” You get the feeling Vin would rather be rolled around in Coke syrup and fed to mosquitoes than have to be subjected to the kind of stupid nonstop chatter the other 29 teams apparently think fans can’t live without. Somehow, Dodgers fans survive without it, thanks. They simulcast him on both the TV and radio feeds, so you get the same Vin goodness on both channels.

Yes, that’s right — he announces the game exactly the same for television as he would for radio, letting you hear the crowd noise, leaving space in your brain to actually anticipate the next happening instead of caulking every possible sonic space with blah, blah, blah. He makes the game about the game, not about how clever and cute he is, although I remain impressed with his ability to pronounce “Napoleon Lajoie,” not to mention his ability to work the likes of Lajoie (lah-zhu-WAH), who played a century ago and never donned a Dodgers uni, into modern game context — and I don’t even mind his silly puns (”Jose is in a Mesa of trouble,” “Butch Huskey certainly lives up to his name,” etc.), which put the hambone-extremitied likes of Chris Berman to shame.

That’s not going to go on much longer, I can tell you that; as soon as Vin steps away from the mic for good, voluntarily or not, you will have witnessed the breed officially breathing its last. Even the Dodgers, I’m sure, won’t be able to resist the lure of turning every broadcast into a frigging circus, assuming every viewer has ADD (hey, I have ADD, but even I can bleeping well remember that I’m watching a game without having to be whacked over the head with it every five seconds) and having a whole team out there to yack it up accordingly. Yeah, I enjoy hearing Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez reminiscing about the old days on Mets broadcasts, but I wish even they would shut up sometimes and just let me watch, just let me take it in. The Dodgers let Vin do it because he’s Vin, and Dodgers fans dig what’s left of the Tradition Thing. Get it while you can.

Speaking of getting it while you can, last night was one of those nights wherein 1) the Mets were poised to score a ridiculous amount of runs for once, and 2) they were going to need every blasted one of them, because Mets starter Tom Glavine had zip-a-dee-doodah. They staked him to a 6-0 lead off the equally pathetic-for-the-night Derek Lowe in the very first inning, and he was leading 9-4 starting the top of the third when he became totally unglued. First He Who Must Never Be Pitched To, Jeff Kent, hit yet another contra-Mets dong starting off the inning (how many does he have now against us, about 200?). Then Glavine proceeded to load the bases without recording an out in such a way that you knew, just knew, that holding a four-run lead was going to be hopelessly beyond him, so in came Aaron Sele for the garbage win. Sele got out of the bases-juiced jam with only one cheap run scoring, gave up only a single unearned run in three innings of work, and if garbage can be earned, then by ABC gum, he earned it.

The Mets actually got off easy in the bullpen department compared to their opponents, though. The Mets used only two other pitchers besides Glavine and Sele — Aaron Heilman and Guillermo Mota — whereas the Dodgers blew their way through four relievers (including two innings by Sunday’s scheduled starter, Mark Hendrickson) after similarly having exhausted their pen the two prior games against the Phillies.

In contrast to the three games the Mets played against the Padres at the Litter Box (c’mon, haven’t you thought of calling Petco Park that?) where other than the middle game they looked half dead, like they’d rather be getting their toenails surgically removed than have to face San Diego in the playoffs, against the Dodgers (whose record is .001 inferior to the Padres’) the Mets looked open for business. Everyone who hadn’t been hitting lately — Carlos Beltran, Shawn Green, Jose Reyes — hit. The Dodgers ran themselves out of big innings — Nomar Garciaparra, of all people, made the third out in that third inning trying to tag up and go to third on a sac fly, and came within a whisker of having it done to him a second time on James Loney’s single in the eighth.

Oh, and Marlon Anderson is back, having been placed on the scrap heap by the Dodgers and scooped up by the Mets. He played left field last night and went 2 for 5 with a couple of RBI. I always did like Marlon. I hope I like him tonight, too. At least they’re giving me a reason to watch, other than Vin. Who, BTW, I especially like because he wouldn’t get the joke in the title of this post in a million years.

Who Wants It Least?

The Game Improves So Much When You Can’t Hear or See It

How Bad Is It?

Son of Ow, Ow, Ow

Ow, Ow, Ow

See No Barry, Hear No Barry, Speak No Barry

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