Monday, August 31, 2015

Say It Ain't So Vin Scully!

Deep down us die hard Dodger fans have known that this dreaded announcement of sorts would come from the greatest baseball announcer of all time, Vin Scully.
This past Friday evening it was announced that Mr. Scully would return to the Dodger announcer's booth for a record 67th season. And on Saturday, in the most understated way, Mr. Scully made it clear that it will probably be his last season.
Mr. Scully has nothing to prove. It's just that he loves what he is doing. Who would not want to do what he is doing? To someone like Mr. Scully, it is a job yet he makes it so, so effortless. For a man pushing 88 years old, and he does not seem it. He is sharp as a tack.
One thing that people forget about Mr. Scully in the television age is that he started on radio at a time when one had to not just announce the game but make you be there and feel like you are in the stands with the actual fans on site. That is why unlike today's announcers, especially on television, overly depend on the so-called "color" commentators.  Mr. Scully still announces games as if he is on the radio and does not need to have a second banana.
Of course on occasion Mr. Scully is not as quite on top of a game but again, for 87 years old, he does a superior job compared to people half his age.
Unfortunately, many of us Dodger fans have had to miss the calm, cool and collected voice that is Mr. Scully due to new ownership and a greedy television deal.
The Dodgers television broadcasts are now on a Time-Warner cable station called SportsNet LA. Because it is on pay television, deals had to be worked out with multiple distributors including DirecTV, which is what your humble blogger has. The reason most distributors did not want to carry the Dodger station is that Time-Warner and the Dodgers wanted the cost passed to the subscribers and most did not want to do that for it would be a rather substantive one. One hopes that since Mr. Scully has indicated 2016 would be his last season, something can be worked out to maximize distribution.
There are so many memorable moments that Mr. Scully was a part of but the one that sticks out is when Kirk Gibson hit his dramatic, bottom of the ninth inning, home run to defeat the Oakland A's in game one of the 1988 World Series. That was the last World Series the Dodgers were in and won.
I think that it is worth watching again, don't you?
The understated allowing the crowd to be the story is so awesome. So amazing. No shouting. No hollering. One could tell how Mr. Scully was admiring such an effort as a fan and student of the game.
The other aspect of Mr. Scully that is so important is that he has never, ever been a homer. That is he calls a game pretty down the middle. If the Dodgers screw up, he'll tell you. If the other team does something great, he will not tell you in a discouraging way but again, down the middle.
Most sports announcers are known for giving a little extra 'atta boy!' towards the team that employs them. But not Vin Scully.
Is there any one out there that can shine the shoes of the longtime Dodger announcer?
And the successor should not even try. Who ever succeeds Mr. Scully needs to develop their own style and repertoire. That person needs to go out on their own, so to speak.
Although I am sad that in 2017, there will not be Vin Scully saying the immortal words, 'it's time for Dodger baseball", a part of me wants to see who succeeds the immortal Mr. Scully. But that part of me will still ask, say it ain't so Vinny!

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