Okay, here’s me whining a bit about an argument I got into last year that’s still unresolved in my mind. Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game last year and I listened to the play-by-play of the final out as rendered by Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, the White Sox’s color commentator. As far as I was concerned, that moment was frozen in time by Harrelson’s ecstatic cry as the final out rolled towards shortstop Alexei Ramirez (“Alexei?!?! YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, HISTORY!”) I thought, apparently alone in the world on this one, that this perfect game call was a thing of beauty. Many earnest baseball fans directly called me an idiot for thinking this, and opined that Harrelson’s home-town rah-rah stuff killed the moment for them. They also explained to me, patiently, that for a good perfect game call, I should go to the likes of Vin Scully, an announcer I have long believed is as dull as socks.
Okay, so Roy Halladay pitched a perfect game yesterday. The Phillies TV announcers, to my chagrin, treated this as if it were mildly interesting, rather than something only 20 pitchers in all of baseball history have done. About the most enthusiasm they could work up was to note that Halladay had retired “alllllllll” 27 batters. (It was almost as if they added an extra syllable to the word “all” to try to work up any kind of emotion at all…listen and see if you disagree!) I was utterly unimpressed.
This page contains both the matter of fact call by the Phillies TV announcers and the far superior effort of the radio announcers, who went the “Hawk” route and were appropriately jubilant at Halladay’s accomplishment.
A point to be made…even the TV guys for the team Halladay beat, the Florida Marlins, did a better job of indicating that this was a special moment than did the Phillies announcers.
Maybe we can send them Hawk for a re-education seminar?