Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Zen Dayley: Veni, vidi, vici for Vin

It's a trip, on a December afternoon, to watch Vin Scully speak outlined against the backdrop of Dodger Stadium.

Next season will be Scully's 60th calling Dodgers games, and judging from what he's saying, it could be the last one: "Certainly I'm very aware that the wolves are getting closer to the campfire, and I know that I've spent a lot of yesterdays and I have just a certain amount of tomorrows," he said. "I'm taking it day by day and year and year, so God willing, I will go through 2009 and then we'll just have to wait and see."

It's probably too glib by half to say that he is kind of the broadcast booth's equivalent to Johnny Carson, someone whom everyone knew and respected, even if they didn't tune into him all the time. In Scully's case, he even staked out Southern California 14 years before Carson, since the Dodgers moved west in 1958, 14 years before The Tonight Show.

Hearing Vin Scully string out the word "marvellous" brightens the day, that's for sure (hope this clip embeds properly). Broadcasters have to learn to read and write before they learn to speak (just like writers have to learn to watch and listen), and Scully, in his word, is a marvellous example.

Something is up

The cryptic sentence of the day, from Brew Crew Ball:"The Padres and Blue Jays both might sell for less than the combined contracts of CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett." (Emphasis mine.) What are you guys saying?

Very Brave

Bringing in the veteran Rafael Furcal and having him displace 26-year-old Yunel Escobar at shortstop seems too chancy by half.

Someone was bound to take a chance that Furcal can play a full season. Escobar, who's going to get moved to either second base or traded, drew good reviews for his fielding last season. His .288/.366/.401 slash stats would have looked better if he hadn't gone in the tank in July.

Furcal is the better player if he can play a full season, but that's a big if to contemplate.

This, that and the other
  • Langley, B.C.'s Brett Lawrie is rated as the third-best prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers system. Minor League Ball notes that he was taken down a peg due to his lack of a defined defensive position, but the Brewers haven't done too badly with bringing along hitters and moving them around in the field (Ryan Braun, Bill Hall).
  • If it's any consolation, Rob Neyer didn't like the Yankees giving a five-year deal to A.J. Burnett: "(Burnett)'s not reliable, and the Yankees have pretty obviously overpaid. Too many dollars, too many years. If the Yankees wanted an impressive fifth starter, they probably could have spent a little less money for a slightly better pitcher. But what's a few million dollars to the Yankees?"
  • The Yankees probably still need to sign Mark Teixeira to really challenge in 2009.
  • The best takedown you will ever read of the sportswriters who are lobbying for Jim Rice to get into the Hall of Fame.
  • A six-word argument for why the Blue Jays should not try to trade Roy Halladay: "The Padres couldn't trade Jake Peavy."
  • No word of a lie, Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers' mustache actually has scared small children.

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