With Spring Training officially in session, it’s time for one of my favorite past times. Yes, I do enjoy baseball, but this is not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about Spring Training play-by-play.
As a fan of the Kansas City Royals, I spend most of the summer months listening to play-by-play men trying to make the Royals sound interesting. This is one of the hardest jobs in sports. Unless the Royals get into a brawl, there is very little to talk about. (Fun fact: The Royals have only had four winning seasons in the past twenty years and one of those was in a strike shortened season!)
Since the Royals are consistently bad, the announcers are forced to come up with small talk that, miraculously, is usually entertaining. This is, of course, in the regular season.
Spring Training is another story.
It’s hard to find something to say about players that are bad enough they won’t make the Royals. Yet, they are forced to talk about these players for three hours at a time.
This can lead to some dull moments. Here are some examples of the topics discussed during today‘s broadcast:
-Whether or not Angels’ pitcher Ryan Braun is the son of Steve Braun (We do not know the answer).
-The mispronunciation of Kila Ka’aihue by the stadium announcer. They can’t repeat how he said it, but it was funny.
-Whether or not the Buck Night promotion is really better this year (We do not know the answer).
-The lack of attendance at Spring Training games (This was actually good practice for midseason games at Kaufman stadium).
-The number of umpires at the game today (It’s usually three during Spring Training, but there are four today).
-The height of Angel’s outfielder Peter Bouros’s socks.
This was just in the first five innings.
Before you think I am criticizing the announcers, I am not. Ryan Lefebvre and Denny Matthews are terrific. They just have nothing to talk about.
That’s why I am calling on the Royals, as a team, to make the game more interesting for these men. I want Billy Butler calling his shot. I want Jeff Francoeur to argue with every umpire he passes. I want Bruce Chen to set a record for most batters hit by a pitch.
The other option is Lefebvre and Matthews making things up. We’re not there. We don’t know what’s happening. Maybe a lion gets loose on the field. Maybe Zach Greinke shows up long enough to get in a fist fight with Sluggerrr. Maybe Sluggerrr realizes his name has too many r’s and sinks into a deep depression. We can’t prove it’s not happening. Go ahead and lie to us.
Either way, it’s still better than listening to Joe Morgan.