Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"The Scooter On The Air Means Fun For The Fans"

Yesterday was one of those days when it's really hard to be a Yankee despiser. Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed every minute of the 12-0 thrashing they received from Baltimore.

But hearing the news about Rizzuto was tough. It was sad to see the Scooter go.

I grew up hearing Rizzuto do the games with Seaver and Murcer. I was too young to appreciate the guy for all he had to offer, but I could tell that the guy created action. He was the most exciting guy in the booth. Unfortunately, as the '90's progressed, Rizzuto got more and more erratic, and became harder to watch.

There are two kinds of play-by-play guys - the fun guys and the professionals. The pros try to stay as neutral as possible, and generally stick to discussing the action in the game, with the occasional anecdote or joke. The best "professional" announcers today? Easily Vin Scully, Jon Miller, and Dan Shulman.

Then you have the fun guys, guys who don't take themselves too seriously. They'll clown around in the booth, and shamelessly root for the home team. Ken Harrelson of the White Sox is a classic example of a fun guy.

And Rizzuto was the same way. Whether you liked the Yankees or not, you couldn't help but like the guy. He had his shtick and was clearly a homer, but didn't think of himself as a professional type of broadcaster. The guy made watching Yankee games fun, and clearly lived up to the title of this post (which I ripped off on an old Yankee yearbook). RIP.

- Rizzuto's approach reminds me of why I can't stand Harold Moskowitz (who later changed his name to John Sterling). Moskowitz wants to have it both ways. He's got his cringe-worthy home run calls for every Yankee, the "Yankees win!" shtick, and will start singing during a 10-0 game. But the guy insists that he's a professional, and not a homer. He sounds pompous and aloof, as if he knows everything about the game. Moskowitz's pompousness will prevent him from ever being as universally loved as the Scooter was.

1 comment:

solopoesie said...