I got a wonderful surprise recently when the Cincinnati Reds called me to see if I could fill-in for Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman next weekend.
I feel a bit like one of the PawSox players because it’s a tremendous thrill to get a call to the big leagues.
Marty will be attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (he is a member of its Hall of Fame) and I feel privileged to keep his seat warm.
I’ll work with Jeff Brantley in Pittsburgh May 1-3 and I’m really excited to get another “cup of coffee” in the majors.
I’ve have the good fortune to broadcast about 30 big league games on radio and TV in my career — two with the Toronto Blue Jays, seven with the NY Mets (on the mighty WFAN), and the rest with the Reds (I used to host their pre-game show on TV).
I’ve called two of Ken Griffey Jr’s 613 home runs, as well as HR by Mike Piazza, Chipper Jones, Fred McGriff, Adam Dunn, and Vladimir Guerrero.
I described the only shutout that Danny Graves threw in 518 major league appearances and was behind the mic when Ryan Freel set a Reds franchise record with 5 stolen bases in a game against the Dodgers.
And if Reds fans are wondering if I can bring the team good luck next week, they should consider this: I was the TV announcer on July 31, 2005 when Eric Milton tossed 7 shutout innings in 7-1 win at San Diego.
(Milton was 16-27 with a 5.83 in 3 years with the Reds, so I’m pretty sure I witnessed the best of his 66 starts)
I’m grateful to the Reds for giving me the opportunity and to PawSox President Mike Tamburro for allowing me to go.
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The PawSox are a season-high 4 games over .500 after a 7-4 win at Lehigh Valley on Sunday. It’s was the fourth and final game of Julio Lugo’s rehab stint with Pawtucket and he had 2 hits for the second straight game, including a long double to right field (he also flied out to the wall in center).
While Lugo swung the bat fairly well, he did not display the speed we’re used to seeing. On Saturday, he was thrown out at second base on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Sean Danielson, and the bunt appeared to be OK. On Sunday, Julio hit a slow roller to the left side of the infield that looked like it might be an infield hit, but got thrown out by a wide margin.
Lugo, who had arthroscopic knee surgery on March 17, is likely to be back in the Red Sox lineup tomorrow night.
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Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA is slightly more than one year old, and probably has the nicest video board in the International League.
One of the things it’s used for is to post interesting tidbits about the Lehigh Valley players, including their response to the question “What is your favorite food?”
IronPigs relief pitcher Jake Woods responded with, “Whatever my wife makes.”
If his wife is a world-famous chef that’s acceptable. To specify a specific dish like “my wife’s chicken cacciatore” would have been OK.
But “whatever my wife makes” is definitely worthy of a fine in Lehigh Valley’s kangaroo court.
It will be mentioned every time Woods pitches against Pawtucket for the rest of the year.
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I went with an IronPigs theme today on “Stump Steve.” The game was “2 Out of 3 Ain’t Bad” and the correct answer to all 3 questions had the word “ham” in his last name.
1. I am a current major leaguer who has been an All-Star, the MVP of a league championship series, and the MVP of the World Series.
2. I pitched for the National League in the 1983 All-Star game and gave up the first grand slam in All-Star game history.
3. I spent 13 years in the big leagues with Baltimore, Cincinnati, Colorado, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Washington. I was an All-Star in 2000 when I batted .335 with 106 RBI for the Rockies.
The answers are:
1. Cole Hamels
2. Atlee Hammaker
3. Jeffrey Hammonds
Hyder was only able to get #3, so he falls to 7-6 this season.
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Since scheduled starter Michael Bowden got promoted to Boston and pitched in Sunday night’s game against the Yankees, Clay Buchholz will get the start for Pawtucket on Monday night at Lehigh Valley. Buchholz will be pitching on normal rest since the PawSox had a day off on Thursday.
I hope you’ll join Steve Hyder and me for the radio call beginning with the pregame show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.
I’d love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.