August 8, 2018

NESN: Does Dave O'Brien Ever Listen To What He Says? More Importantly, Do His Bosses?

The Skydome roof was closed in the middle of Tuesday night's game between the Red Sox and Blue Jays, but a fog of dumb enveloped the NESN booth for the entire ten innings.

B1: Things began poorly for Dave O'Brien very early. Devon Travis, the Blue Jays' second batter, chopped an 0-1 pitch foul, the ball bouncing maybe 20-25 feet in the air. "Little trickler foul", said O'Brien.

My latest theory is that OB has a list of foul verbs written on tiny slips of paper in a jar. When there is a foul ball, he quickly grabs a piece of paper and whatever is written down is his description of how that ball was hit. It's the most plausible explanation for his often incongruous verbs.

T2: "Looking for Xander to start driving the ball again. And you wonder if facing Toronto will help that hand feel a little bit better because he has five home runs in his last 11 games against Toronto."

Could the Blue Jays pitchers have magic healing powers? If so, why do any of their players ever go on the DL?

T3: "Brock hitting .381 against Toronto this season. He's been skidding a bit with the bat, so he might be seeing the Blue Jays at the perfect time."

If the mere sight of a Blue Jays jersey can possibly heal a sore hand, could it also help a batter's hand-eye coordination? ... Maybe, but not tonight, as Holt went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. I wonder if he needs to see Toronto's alternate jerseys?

B3: "Scooped up by Nunez at the hot corner and he'll set 'em down, but ... the Toronto Blue Jays ... have taken a 2-0 lead and that'll send up Hernandez ..."

O'Brien and Lyons were talking about Pomeranz (he's the "he'll" they are referring to) when Justin Smoak grounded out to third. From the wrapping-up-the-inning cadence of his voice, OB obviously thought the inning was over, but there were only two outs. He awkwardly tries to cover his tracks mid-sentence as the Red Sox are still on the field, throwing the ball around.

T4: "Xander Bogaerts has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games against Toronto, so he likes what he sees against the Blue Jays."

But Stroman did not pitch in 14 of those 15 games, so Bogaerts was facing someone else 93% of the time. Perhaps you think that Bogaerts simply hits anyone wearing a Blue Jays shirt because they are wearing a Blue Jays shirt? OB does. (i.e., If Stroman was wearing, say, a Padres shirt, then X would probably strikeout a lot.)

T5: "Jackie for the year hitting .297 against Toronto. A lot of pretty good batting averages against this Blue Jays team on the Sox's side, that's for sure."

As opposed to, I suppose, a lot of pretty good batting averages against this Blue Jays team on the Blue Jays' side.

T5: "One away for Nunez, 0-for-1, he's grounded out ... and a little four-game hitting streak for Eduardo."

No. No. No! A thousand fucking times No. If you must, then say he has a hit in four straight games. A "hitting streak" should never be mentioned until it reaches at least 10 games. That will be a iron-clad rule when I am Commissioner.

T5: "Brock has always hit well here at Rogers Centre, .330 in his career, including a grand slam. That was back in 2016."

NESN showed the video of the grand slam and Lyons said Holt hit it off Jesse Chavez, who has pitched for the Angels, Dodgers, and White Sox since leaving Toronto. How is this relevant to Holt doing well against Marcus Stroman?

B8: "That's the third time this season that JD Martinez has had a four-RBI game. It's the kind of thing that David Ortiz made his legend on. ... There was so much talk about the guys who could split the MVP vote in the American League. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. J.D. Martinez already with 97 RBI."

OB sounded amazed about JDM's three 4-RBI games. Martinez has been great, but there have been at least 14 batters with four or more 4-RBI games already this season. Trevor Story of the Rockies has driven in four runs in seven different games.

Also, OB seems to be equating RBI with MVP status, which is a teeny bit behind the times. (I've also noticed that OB usually says - clearly enunciated - "94 R-B-I" instead of "94 R-B-Is". He wants you to know that he knows he would never say something that translated as "runs batted ins". At least he had not started saying "RsBI", though that would not surprise me because I have heard him say "slide-in double".)

T9: "The Red Sox really couldn't do anything with Marcus Stroman until he had to leave the ball game after seven outstanding innings due to a blister, allowing only one run, two hits."

They weren't able to do much of anything against Stroman after he left either.

Lyons had his moments, too. In talking about the Blue Jays' third inning, he said, "It's not the home run that kills you, it's the walk before the home run that kills you."

No, I'm pretty sure it's the home run that kills you. That's the way the runs scored. Because walking someone and not allowing a home run would not kill you. And the next pitcher that walks a guy and gives up a game-winning home run and completely dismisses the homer but says the walk was the killer will be the first. ... I sort of know what Lyons meant, but it's a shitty way of saying it - and he's paid to say things clearly.

In the top of the eighth, O'Brien says that the next run Mookie Betts scores will be his 90th of the season. Lyons says that "Mookie didn't have a great homestand hitting-wise, he was just 11-for-40" but he scored eight runs. Betts will score "well over 100 [runs] this season. And that's how you judge a leadoff hitter."

So the success of a leadoff hitter is determined by the (alleged) run-driving-in abilities of a select few teammates who bat after him in the lineup? It's the batting performance of those guys in certain situations that determine if the first guy is a good leadoff hitter? ... Got it.

Lyons also referred to Toronto reliever Ryan Tepera as "Tapella" in the eighth inning.

Shortly after O'Brien noted that the roof was starting to close in the fifth inning, Lyons said that "it costs $2 to close the roof".

Does it really cost only $2 to close that roof? ... No. Of course not!

In July 2015, someone posted online that his brother worked as a Rogers Centre tour guide and said it costs about $100. In October 2015, team officials said (allegedly with reluctance) that it costs about $100. In May 2016, Dave McCormick, engineering manager at Rogers Centre, said it costs about $10.

Did the Jays discover a way to cut their roof-closing costs by 90% or was McCormick fibbing? I have no idea, but Lyons was dead wrong either way. Either he made the whole thing up or someone told him $2 as a joke and he believed it.

1 comment:

Jere said...

"He awkwardly tries to cover his tracks mid-sentence"

Ah, the old audOBle. Like his classic: "the 2-2 pitch..." [pitcher throws to first] "...will not be made."

What? Didn't you know he was gonna say that anyway?