In one of the strangest moments of a quite strange 2020 MLB season, Tuesday’s Pirates-Twins game at Target Field was briefly delayed when an unauthorized drone flew over the stadium.
It was an absolutely bizarre situation in the midst of a game between two teams going opposite directions (the Twins are 9-2 and at the top of the AL Central, while the Pirates are 2-9 and have the worst record in baseball), but incredibly, a more bizarre situation was unfolding on the Pirates’ radio broadcast.
While chatting during the delay, as noted by The Athletic, Pirates analyst Michael McKenry brought up the strangest delay he ever experienced as a player to play by play man Joe Block: a hostage situation.
Here’s the full, minute-long clip.
Yes, that actually happened.
Here’s the full transcript of the odd conversation between McKenry and Block.
Block: there’s a first time for everything
McKenry: if you want to get into it, do you want to hear one of the weirder ones that I’ve had of a delayed game?
Block: yes! This is a good time for it, Michael
McKenry: a hostage situation!
Block: well that’s….not a good story
McKenry: nope…uh, how about a wind out?
Block: uh…there was too much wind?
McKenry: there was too much wind. We were playing in Southern California, I was in high-A. There were 65 mile per hour winds. It wasn’t just necessarily because of the wind, but because of all the dust
Block: was this in Adelanto or something like that?
McKenry: it was in Lancaster
Block: ah yes, Lancaster
McKenry: it’s like playing on the moon
Block: yeah, the High Desert of California
McKenry: the hostage situation was in Modesto, California. They had snipers actually in the light towers at Visalia when we went to play. It was WILD.
Block: I can’t imagine such a thing
McKenry: yeah so, you never know. You never know what could delay you: a drone, wind, lightning. I’ve definitely been in a lightning deal
Block: this is the most 2020 thing ever
McKenry: sure is
I couldn’t find a news story from the situation that McKenry was talking about, but it was 12 years ago (2008 was McKenry’s lone season in the California League), so it’s not exactly a surprise that it’s difficult to find stories about it.
But this whole conversation is surreal. The game is in an unexpected delay for an odd reason. McKenry thinks he has a great story, Block shoots down the incredibly inappropriate story….and McKenry goes on to tell it anyway!
If this is what goes on during Pirates broadcasts, maybe I’ll need to tune in.