Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In a pickle

Pickles are great on sandwiches. Pickle was one of my favorite games to play as a kid.

Describing a pickle in a baseball game is not easy. It's one of the hardest, in fact, and I've been thinking lately it's the ultimate test of a baseball announcer's skill. They don't happen very often, and they usually end quickly .. well, at least in the majors.

In the minors, sometimes they take awhile and don't end so well for the defense. We had back-to-back pickles in the last two games.

The first was Monday night, when Eric Young, Jr. was caught between first and second base, and Travis Becktel made a dash home ahead of the throw. Everybody was safe.

The second was last night, when Cole Garner was caught between first and second base, the Bakerfield infield -- no doubt thinking about the previous night's play -- butchered it again. This time, the lead runner stayed at third base, and Garner was safe at second.

Upon further review, I ended up getting wayyy more critical than I usually get. Hope it wasn't overboard, but figure the audience needed to be told the truth.

Overall, I don't love or hate my calls on those. Consider them acceptable, but think it displays that I'm still not exactly where I expect myself to be at handling these plays.

Next came an example where my journalistic background helps me. A botched rundown is an immediate storyline and I wanted to go with it. So I said the standard, "let's see if the Nuts can make them pay" line, and sure enough, they did.

A two-run single by Young. Then a two-run double by Chris Nelson. Then an RBI double by Justin Nelson. Another RBI double, this one by Jeff Kindel.

Then I took a light-hearted approach, saying "I was just being optimistic" about making Bakersfield pay for the mistake. In all, the Nuts scored seven runs in the inning, led 8-0, and rolled to a 15-2 victory.

Earlier in the game, nearly nailed the call of Young scoring from second base on an errant pickoff throw. I've quickly learned to always expect Young to take the extra base, and proud of the way I saw this play developing. But at the beginning, I accidentally said the pickoff throw to first base -- instead of second base -- and had to correct myself.

P.S. Yes, in case you're wondering, now that I finally know how to post audio clips, I have gone mad in posting a lot of them. A record nine in this post!

No comments: