When I first met DodgerTalk co-host Josh Suchon, we were covering the Giants as reporters in 2002. He had been covering the team for several years and was a beat writer when Barry Bonds hit his 73 homers in 2001 (I was covering the Dodgers at the time for MLB.com). To get myself up to speed on the Giants that winter, I read Soosh’s book, This Gracious Season, and one of the underlying themes was that his “laptop was down” whenever Barry was hitting. That is to say, he and another writer realized that they might never get to see someone hit the way Barry does and therefore, whenever he came up, they stopped writing, surfing the net, or doing whatever they were doing and they watched the at-bat intently.
Last night, ironically in a game against the Giants at AT&T Park where Bonds has stopped by the night before, I found myself thinking the same thing about Vin Scully. And I wondered, what is the equivalent of having your “laptop down?” Unlike Bonds, Vin is on for three hours a night and the gems he comes up with can come at any point in the game. Like the way he can show Bengie Molina blocking a ball and matter-of-factly say, “I can hear Campanella talking about getting the glove turned over.” Or the way he referred to Russell Martin framing Broxton’s pitch as “larceny,” in reference to the fact that quite obviously, he stole a strike from the home plate umpire.
There are a number of websites that have sprouted up that pay homage to the best that there has ever been in this business, which is pretty cool. But I know how much Vin hates the hooplah that goes along with having perfected your trade better than anyone that came before you. He’s as humble as anyone I’ve ever met and so we honor his wishes by not going over-the-top with things (though it sure was awesome to see him throw out the first pitch on Opening Day).
I just hope that everyone finds the time whenever they’re watching a game to appreciate his story-telling ability night in and night out. I consider it an honor to work with him, listen to him, and learn from him every game.
On a completely unrelated note, Andre Ethier was profiled in the Daily News today for his food passions and he promises me he’ll post a new blog soon for Dining with ‘Dre. As long as he keeps getting game-winning hits like last night, it’s hard to get on his case too badly!
Tonight’s lineup has Juan Pierre batting ninth…
According to Elias’ John Labombarda, the last time a Dodgers pitcher did not bat 9th was August 15, 1965, when Don Drysdale batted 7th vs. Pittsburgh.
That day, catcher John Roseboro hit 8th (1-for-4) and shortstop John Kennedy hit 9th (0-for-2, BB, K).
The Dodgers lost 4-2, and Drysdale went 0-for-2 with 2 strikeouts before being pulled after 6.0 innings of work.