Monday, June 04, 2007

Hey, Fresh Thread ... and it's on Baseball

Great news, people: I'm not dead. Yes, I've been an absent landlord (slumlord?), but I'm back and better than ever. (Okay, I'm just back ... that'll have to do).

In the two weeks since we last spoke, not a whole hell of a lot has happened, football-wise, at least. But I have come up with some time-killing questions -- kinda like the HSS Book Club, but not as cerebral.

(I know most of you could care less about American League baseball and I can respect that, but humor me.) Last week, I was kinda laughing to myself about all of A-Rod's dipshittery and it got me to thinking: Is there anyone more loathsome in baseball right now? Yeah, I know, Barry Bonds, or maybe if you're at least 100 years old, Ty Cobb. But more specifically, has anyone gone from universally loved to roundly abhorred? (By the way, for me, Barry Bonds isn't even real at this point. And as it pertains to A-Rod, fans have always hated him -- even Pirates fans, so it's not like he public persona suddenly did a 180 just because his head grew to the size of a basketball overnight.)

Maybe it's just my perspective as a Red Sox fan that clouds my judgment. But I know this much: I've actually come to like Derek Jeter primarily because of his proximity to A-Rod. It's weird, but A-Rod does that to people. I was talking to one of my Yankees-loving in-laws this weekend and I wondered aloud if A-Rod just wished he signed for a few bucks less to stay in Seattle. He'd probably be the best shortstop in baseball right now, and more importantly, everybody wouldn't know that he's such a tool.

Anyway, I'm not here to just bury A-Rod -- that's way too predictable -- instead I wanted to throw this out: I have the baseball package, primarily to watch the Red Sox. (Yes, I fully understand that most baseball fans hate both the Yankees and Red Sox equally. I can appreciate that. If I weren't a fan, I'd hate that ESPN tried to shove them down my throat every day too. Just putting that out there.) I'll also flip over to the Yankees telecast just to see if they're losing. Even though I live in DC, I'll never, ever, ever watch a Nationals game. I want to pull for that team, but jeebus, it's like watching junior high school girls basketball without any of the intrigue.

I will, however, watch the Dodgers. Not because I like L.A., or to keep tabs on Nomar, but because of Vin Scully. I love Vin Scully. He personifies old school. Back in the late '80s, when I was in middle school, I'd sit glued to NBC's Saturday baseball telecast, listening to Scully and Joe Garagiola doing the games. Good times.

So now, almost 20 years later, I'll try to catch the Dodgers whenever I can, primarily because of Scully. I've had the Scully conversation with one of my Red Sox buddies and he dislikes the guy for the same reasons I enjoy him: namely, he talks nonstop for nine innings. But for me, that's what makes him so endearing. Unlike, say, Tim McCarver, Scully isn't a jackass. He also works alone, so that, for some reason, makes it seem more intimate. Sure, hearing Scully say something like: "Nomar Garciaparra comes to the plate for the first time this evening. He's batting .305, loves hot dogs, and has never hit into a double play in the first inning of a National League night game, and hales from Whittier, California..."

Maybe it's just me, but only Vin Scully can make hot dogs interesting.

So, with that little trip in the time machine complete, feel free to chime in: who's your all-time favorite baseball announcer? And bonus points for your answer to whether you think A-Rod is the most hated d-bag in MLB.