I don’t get stuck watching ESPN’s Baseball Tonight too often anymore with how awesome MLB Network is, but I found myself sucked into it last night. And, just my luck, Bobby Valentine was calling the Top 5 web gems of the night.
In case you’re not familiar with Valentine the analyst, because I’m not about to assume any of you have watched a second of Baseball Tonight in the past year, he was added to the Baseball Tonight crew a year ago when Steve Phillips’ transgressions were starting to leak. Valentine’s role was sparse at first, but he’s since taken on more duties here in 2010. While I don’t doubt for a second Valentine possesses more baseball knowledge than your ordinary baseball analyst, he has a tough time spittin’ it out coherently, which is, kind of, sort of, an important skill set to have as somebody, you know, who tells the viewers what’s going on. The bright side of it is that it always makes for laughter and gives me something to share with all of you:
5. “Well we’re dealing with it… when you see this play at the plate from first, you’ll go, we’re going to have a little lesson in short hops.”
“Short hops is where you want to catch the ball if you can’t catch it on a long hop.”
“As this throw comes in to the cutoff man, he catches it on the short hop. Then the throw comes into the catcher and he catches it on the short hop!”
“That means the ball just hitting the ground and he catches it as soon as it comes off the ground. Boom!”
4. “Greg Golson here in left…in right field, catches this ball, and he’s not worried about just catching it so he catches it flat footed.”
“But he has a gun from this, uh, short position and he throws it and A-Rod! Catches it on the short hop.”
“The short hop is when the ball just hits off the ground and comes right off the ground and you’re making the catch in the easy fashion.”
3. “Gordon (pause) Beckham here… does the little flip, it’s a backhanded flip. You don’t exchange it to your hand, just glove-to-glove…”
“That’s our number four… number three play” (He made a pretty spectacular play seem routine with the way he called this one).
2. “Curtis Granderson goes into right field and when you dive you have to dive low. Here is, very low!”
“Close to the ground. Catches it. Slides. He’s not in there, he’s there/near the ground.”
1. “And Dan Uggla, there in short right field turns on his knees.
“Makes the throw from his knees as though he was on his feet.”
“Great (????) Gaby M… Gaby…. makes the catch at first.”