Bases empty, two outs, a 3-1 game, #8 hitter up. Nothing comes down to this.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Five Calls We Would Like to Hear

This afternoon Yunel Escobar hit his first home run as a Toronto Blue Jay, and first in 424 plate appearances, prompting Jordan Bastian of MLB.com to tweet the following:

Esco-bomb! Genius. John Sterling would be proud.

We here (okay, me here) at Bottom of the Fourth are big fans of stupid puns and wish broadcasters would use them with a ridiculous amount of frequency. In fact, if broadcasters spoke only in puns, the world would be a better place. (This might actually be true with regards to certain broadcasters...)

Therefore, Bottom of the Fourth would like to present its list of five calls (not necessarily home run calls) that would give us (me) great pleasure to hear coming over the airwaves, and could feasibly happen, since they involve players in the game today.

  1. Roy Halladay strikes out any Detroit player, LSU alum, or superstar-golfer-frustrated-by-recent-tumult-in-their-personal-life-looking-to-shake-things-up-by-trying-a-new-sport-a-la-Michael-Jordan:
    "Who needs Siegfried! Roy tames the Tiger!"
  2. Atlanta Braves pitcher Kenshin Kawakami miraculously discovers his power stroke, driving one out for his first career home run. Chris Berman on the mic, finally completing his transition from human to rooster:
    "And it's back-back-back-back-back-buck-buck-buck-buck-bKAW! akami!!!"
  3. David Wright smacks a line drive right back towards Colorado Rockies rookie pitcher Jhoulys Chacin. Chacin, still in the follow-through of his motion, is unable to twist his body quickly enough to escape the rocket, and is struck in the one place that pitchers, fortunately, wear protection. However, the impact is still quite painful, like taking a bullet with a bulletproof vest on. The call:
    "Ooh! Wright in the family Jhoulys!"
    This, of course, could be followed by:
    "I've never Chacin anything like that!"
    In the follow-up commentary, the analyst might note:
    "It's the first time these two have Met, and let's just say it was a Rockie first encounter for the young pitcher."
    Later, while being attended to by the team doctor:
    "Well, there won't be any permanent damage, but you might want to reNew Yo(u)r Konsumption of painkillers; your testicles are a little bruised and disColor(e)do.
    Did we mention we love puns? (Sorry about that last one.)

  4. It's a tie game between the Mets and the Marlins. In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets get their lead-off runner on base via the walk. Pinch-hitter Jesus Feliciano comes to the dish, dreaming of smacking a double off the wall for his first career walk-off hit. Every rookie wants to prove himself by being the hero, and it isn't often that Feliciano is in this situation. But the moment passes, cooler heads prevail, and Feliciano bunts the runner to second.
    "Jesus unselfishly makes the sacrifice."
    Matthew Leach and Mark Bowman of MLB.com, Luke Adams of MLB Trade Rumors and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, all covering the game for some reason, would later go into depth about this play, each offering their own take on Feliciano's motivations and execution, but ultimately coming to the same conclusion: his bunt was the turning point that dramatically altered the outcome of this game.

  5. Placido Polanco, after signing a contract with a new team, gets off to a hot but unsustainable start, fueled by an abnormally high Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP). He even throws in a couple walk-off hits, prompting his hometown fans to undeservedly canonize him as the team's newest superstar infielder who will prop the team up on his shoulders even as they suffer early-season injuries and ineffectiveness to star players. Fans of a divisional rival, having suffered a recent spate of good teams who just can't seem to break through and make the playoffs after an incredible run of success in the previous decade, start to worry that this year will be no different and that Polanco's new team, the two-time defending league champions, will pull off the hat trick, leaving their team as the bridesmaid once again.

    But the sabermetrically-inclined broadcaster of the aforementioned divisional rival sees through Polanco's BABIP magic (this is all very specific, isn't it? Almost as if it's based in fact...) and gives solace to his listeners:
    "No need to worry, fans. It's just the Placido Effect."

Well, hope you enjoyed BotF's Five Calls We Would Like to See. As the late, great Fire Joe Morgan showed us, broadcasters have the potential to provide some of the best laughs in baseball, so this is a feature we'll likely be returning to.

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