So last night I was watching the Orioles lose to the Blue Jays, and some pitcher named Ty Taubenheim, when out of nowhere Michelle Wie is in the Announcing booth with Jim Hunter and Jim Palmer. (Apparently she is finally playing in a Women’s tournament) This was close to the most funny combination of personalities to ever be assembled.
You could argue that the ESPN football combo of Patrick, Theisman, and McGuire takes that honor, but with them you knew what you were getting. I can’t even begin to explain the awkwardness that is Michelle Wie, let alone put her in a random MLB Team’s booth with one of the biggest egos ever, and the most over-excited announcer.
Jim Palmer started every question in the interview, as always, by relating a question to himself. “I grew up idolizing the Yankees and Micky Mantle, who did you admire?” “I pitched in a World Series at 19, what makes you so poised and mature at 16?” Add in Jim Hunter freaking out with every O’s hit (yes they had THREE singles in a row), Michelle Wie barely talking into the mic (at one point she muttered something that sounding like this “Tippie Tah ha tip tah”), and you have the most awkward conversation ever. I myself was praying for an inning ending double play.
But the highlight came when Jim Palmer repeatedly brought up her scores from the U.S. Open qualifier. “So I saw the highlights, and you didn’t fare so well in the later rounds. You shot 143 for the tournament and were 5 shots away from the cut.” Now this wouldn’t really bother me, but he mentioned it about 4 times! Seriously, I don’t think Wie is worth all the media attention and I think she should be concentrating on winning maybe ONE tournament against her peers, but give the kid a break.
But the ultimate comment came when Jim Hunter sort of came to Wie’s aid. Hunter asks, “So Michelle had a 68 in the 1st round I bet you never shot that low” and to the shock of the world Palmer throws out this Gem……
“Well once with Jack Nicklaus I shot a 66.”
There has never been an athlete with a bigger ego and now he’s transferred that over into commnetating. Which brings me to the quote of the day. Earl Weaver (ex-O’s Coach and one hell of a sound-byte) would get on Palmer all the time. Palmer would go to the media with weak comments like, “I don’t want to win my three-hundredth game while he’s (Earl Weaver) still here. He’d take credit for it.” (he only won 268) and “The only thing Earl (Weaver) knows about big-league pitching is that he couldn’t hit it.” Well Earl one day had enough and threw this Palmer’s way…….
“The Chinese tell time by ‘The Year of the Horse’ or ‘The Year of the Dragon.’ I tell time by ‘The Year of the Back’ and ‘The Year of the Elbow.’ This year it’s the ‘Year of the Ulnar Nerve.’ Someone once asked me if I had any physical incapacities of my own. ‘Sure I do,’ I said. ‘One big one – Jim Palmer.’ ” – Earl Weaver
We all know how you feel now Mr. Weaver. The only problem worse than watching an Orioles game as a fan is listening to the Great James Alvin Palmer (Cakes) call the game.