In the past year or so in the who knows how many games I have done, I have encountered some strange things. I have seen 200 foot hockey goals, helmets being knocked off, and even a 6-3-4-2-6-5-2-6-7 double play. (Yes, I actually looked that up in my scorebook before writing this.) Never before though had I experienced what I did on Friday night down in Montpelier.
Now, to preface this just a bit, I was doing color for the Mountaineers/Keene game for our sister station ESPN 1240 WSKI in Montpelier. Kyle Doreau, the play-by-play guy, tends to refer to the "plate" as "the dish". At first I thought it was strange, but as time went on, I grew to enjoy the creativity and hearing something different. Well, there was a fan who doesn't really care for Kyle's choice of words. In between the second and third innings, a fan with a radio hiked up from his seat about two rows behind the plate, and actually yelled at Kyle, "It's the plate, not the dish you moron!!!" Kyle's jaw dropped, and I started laughing hysterically, almost to the point that I couldn't go back on air without somehow composing myself. This was like lighting a match to gasoline. We started having too much fun with that guy's comments.
Out of the break, I made a comment that Curt Smith really needed to be more patient at THE DISH. Also, that the home plate umpire was calling way too many pitches that were off THE DISH. The whole thing then spiraled from there. All of a sudden, the ball was a sphere, the mound was the hill, the base was the bag, and when someone broke a bat, that turned into, "Well, it looks like Cather shattered his piece of lumber and he now needs a new stick." In around the fourth inning, we dubbed the game "Synonym night at the ballpark."
It got worse. The wall was the fence, Manager Russo was "Skipper Russo", and we went on and on. It got so bad that the fan who yelled at Kyle shut off his radio and watched the game in peace. Other fans though were roaring at our diatribe, and after the game a few came up to me and offered other suggestions for terms we could use. The bullpen should be the "warmup area", a bat boy is now a "Small child who carries bats", (Thanks to Jason in Montpelier for that one.) and I got a couple of other ones e-mailed to me, but of course now I can't find them.
Lesson to fans. Don't yell at us for what we say on the air unless we get our facts wrong. I was REALLY tempted to yell at the guy to come into the booth, do our job, and then let us rail on him, but thankfully the brain stopped the mouth before any damage could be done. I think the guy would have pulled a Wally Backman on us and destroyed the booth.....Yes, if you give us ammunition, we will use it.
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