Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wait Til Next Year

I'm going to paraphrase here.

Last night, I walked into our living room, where Dr. Mrs. The Sportsthodoxy was on the couch playing Threes on her iPad. The television was on in the background; it was set to MLB Network, which meant the late-night game between the Dodgers and the Braves. And Dr. Mrs. The Sportsthodoxy saw me, and said, "Honey, you have to hear this announcer!"
I listened for a minute. It was, of course, Vin Scully. I said, "That's Vin Scully. He's the greatest announcer in the history of baseball."

She said, "He sounds like someone's grandpa," in a way that suggested that this was not at all a bad thing.

I said, "He's 86. I'm pretty sure he is somebody's grandpa."

"Ah. So he's supposed to sound like somebody's grandpa."

And we talked a little more, about how it was only Vin in the booth - no need for a color guy when he was up there telling stories about Evan Gattis' odd jobs on his way to the majors - and how he'd been doing this since the days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and how many games he called a year, and how he'd been there for Ozzie Smith's playoff homer (Dr. Mrs. The Sportsthodoxy is a recovering Cardinals fan). Meanwhile, the game went on in the background and Vin talked about Ryan Doumit's ungodly list of injuries and Aaron Harang's art school background and called a pretty good game while he was at it.

It was a good thing.

And so I posted the exchange, in abbreviated form, on my Facebook page, because it occasionally amuses me to post bits like that when our lives suddenly turn into movie dialog, and one of the comments that came back was from an old friend in the tabletop gaming industry. He said, and I quote here, "Vin Scully is every Dodger fan's grandpa."

Truer words, never spoken.

My wife eventually went up to bed. Shortly after she did so, the Dodgers played an adorable short video featuring Hyun-Jin Ryu, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner announcing, in their respective native languages (Korean, Spanish, and Surfer, respectively) that Mr. Scully would be back for another year in the booth in 2015.

The stadium roared its approval.

So did one guy on his couch in North Carolina.

And Mr. Scully, with his trademark grace and humility, thanked the guys who did the video and then said "let's get back to work now".

Look. There's a lot of stuff in sports - a lot - that deserves criticism and sarcasm and active outrage at times. A lot of what gets written here focuses on that, whether it's stadium land grabs or bad behavior by players or owners, or dumb rules decisions or whatever. That being said, when something good does come down the pike, that's worth sharing, too. 

And celebrating. 
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