Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Barry Larkin is pissing me off

There is nothing quite like the College Baseball World Series. The kids on these teams play hard, and every year, there is a great story. This year is no different: the UC Irvine Anteaters, a school that didn't have a program in 2001 is doing their best "The Spaniard" impression and just... not... dying. They are currently playing the Oregon State Beavers, who are attempting to become the first back to back college baseball champions since LSU did it in 1996-97. The only problem is ESPN is entrusting the commentary in part to Barry Larkin, who just cannot stop talking about himself.

This afternoon during a UNC-Rice game, he literally talked two full innings about how he thought he was a "Bubble" Hall of Famer. While this is a viable debate for a given forum, I can guarantee you that the forum is NOT during the CWS, where the story should not be Barry Larkin, but the play on the field. This is the worst part of having athletes do color for games: they have this urge to describe things that happened to them, like they think we give a shit. The reason you are there is to use your expertise that you gathered being a ballplayer, and apply those timeless principles to today's game. Orel Hershiser, who is also on-site in Omaha, is doing a fantastic job of doing just that, and his career is certainly one that will end up in Cooperstown. He gets it though, he realizes that people aren't watching for him, but for what he has to say about the game.


It then hit me: this must be a Cincinnati thing. For 11 or so years, we have listened to great yarns spun by the one and only Joe Morgan about the Big Red Machine on Sunday Night Baseball, sometimes ruining Jon Miller's call, one of the great play by play men in the game today. Folks, there is a reason why a lot of the great radio voices that broadcast baseball hand-pick their color men: because in all honesty, the best thing a color guy can do 95% of the time is shut up. There is a reason why these greats-- Vin Scully, Jack Buck, Marty Brennaman-- choose to split innings with their color men, instead of having them traipse over their calls for 9 innings.

I can guarantee you that Mike Patrick is pulling his hair out in his hotel room in Omaha because he has to work with Larkin this week, where he thinks he is the story. And this is the guy that spends his Winters with Dick Vitale.

1 comment:

Ghost of Carl Monday said...

Marty Brennaman is too busy going on bataan death marches to care about the CWS.