I wish I had not been startled by the words. Alas, the modern announcer has been trained to be inoffensive above all.
Seldom is heard a discouraging word, at least about the home team. Tell it like it is, unless it might upset team executives or players.
Not that Charley Steiner or Rick Monday, the Dodgers' radio broadcasters, much care. The Dodgers were getting routed by the Atlanta Braves in the first game of their recent showdown series, with Lance Lynn surrendering a grand slam and then another home run within the span of three batters.
The Dodgers' pitching coach, Mark Prior, visited the mound.
"I don't know what he's going to say," said Steiner, the play-by-play guy. "Perhaps he's going to deliver a condolence card."
Monday, the color guy, suggested what Prior ought to say to Lynn.
"Don't leave fastballs down the middle any more," Monday said bluntly.
That painted a clearer picture for me, a listener without a television, than the generic "missing his location." Maybe Steiner tickled your funny bone, maybe not, but "deliver a condolence card" conveyed the gravity of the moment better than the similarly generic "going out to settle him down."
Baseball is supposed to be fun. Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. wears a bright yellow elbow guard, arm wrap, ankle guard, batting gloves and cleats. Monday said Acuña "looks like a mustard commercial."
"You could see him from the moon," Steiner said.
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