I don’t know about you, but I am sick of hearing excuses by Len and Bob. That is, Kasper and Brenly, your friendly Cubs TV announcers.
I mean, come on, call a spade a spade. I know I do when I write these articles. Not to be mean, but to be fair. If a guy does something good, you know the announcers gush all over the place about how great they are. Well then, why doesn’t the reverse happen when a player screws up?
Maybe it’s the Steve Stone fiasco that happened when Dusty Baker was managing in 2004. If you recall, Stone wasn’t shy in his appraisal of the Cubs play and it led to a lot of unnecessary tension. Unnecessary, because Baker should have put a stop to it immediately. After all, Stone’s commentary, as usual, was spot on.
The latest example came in tonight’s game against the Giants. The Giants pitcher, Tim Lincecum, scored from first on a hit in which he had no business scoring. It seemed that Jim Edmonds had trouble getting the ball out of his glove, which Kasper briefly mentioned.
But instead of focusing on the the bad play of Edmonds, the announcers kept talking about how Lincecum made a baserunning mistake by looking over his shoulder instead of picking up the third base coach. Hey, he scored, didn’t he? I’ll take that kind of “mistake” every time. After all, the guy’s a pitcher.
Another example is how they both defended Geo Soto on a missed catch of a high pop-up hit to him, that allowed the fourth run to score for the Giants. First of all, with Lincecum on the mound, that meant the game was probably over. After all, the guy only gives up 2.4 runs a game.
But more importantly, Soto should have made the catch. OK, maybe Ramirez should have taken charge. And yes, I know San Francisco is a tough place to play with the wind and sun. And I realize that Brenly was a catcher, so he would naturally be on the side of the catcher.
Look, I get all that. But I also get that the catch should have been made. Especially in a game where you just can’t give free runs to a team that has a stud pitching like Lincecum.
Oh well, the Cubs continue their poor play while I long for the days when Harry Caray would call it as he saw it. “That wouldn’t be a home run in a phone booth”, he would chortle whenever a Cubs player hit a weak popup in the infield.
I don’t know, it made me feel good to know someone else was watching the same game that I was.
Maybe this goes back to why I never liked Jack Brickhouse, though he’s a beloved hall of fame announcer. That guy could make an excuse for anything. Why, one time I remember Jack defending an error on a ground ball to the Cubs shortstop by saying he “lost it in the sun”. Hey, lose a fly ball in the sun? I can accept that. But a ground ball? Um…no.
I don’t hate Len and Bob. They are knowledgeable and tolerable when the Cubs are winning. But I usually flip on the radio, though there’s no one more non-controversial than Pat Hughes. I like Ron Santo’s fire, even though he couldn’t analyze his way out of a paper bag. But when Dave Otto subs for Santo, no thank you.
A major media outlet like WGN and Cory Provis and Dave Otto are the best they can do?
So it’s 4-1 Giants, not an insurmountable lead normally. But against a guy like Lincecum, that’s a tall order. I hope I’m wrong and the Cubs end up winning this game, as unlikely as that may be. But regardless of the outcome, I just know I’m sick of excuses. A hundred years of excuses is too much, quite frankly. Come to think of it, Cubs fans deserve better.