"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

False Alarm

We say it numerous times every year–“I’ve never seen that before.”  It is one of the constant pleasures of following the game.  Well, last night offered one of those moments when, with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, fans at Comerica Park stood up and calmly started leaving the park.  The equally calm Yankee announcer, Ken Singleton, explained what was happening.  None of the players left the field and soon we learned that a fire alarm had been pulled.  The fans returned to their seats and almost had something to show for it as the Tigers scored five runs in the ninth inning, including Curtis Granderson’s three-run home run against Mariano Rivera.

But it wasn’t enough and the Yankees won, 8-6.

Joba Chamberlain pitched his best game of the young season, working out of trouble in the third inning when he walked three batters, gave up a single and a sac fly while allowing just a single run.  Miguel Cabrera, the best hitter in the league, came up with the bases loaded and two out and he took some good swings.  The count went full and Chamberlain struck Cabrera out on a sharp-breaking curve ball, the first curve of the sequence.

Nick Swisher hit home runs from both sides of the plate, Hideki Matsui smacked a three-run double, Johnny Damon had a couple of hits, and Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 16. 

Until the ninth inning, when Jonathan Albaladejo struggled so badly that Rivera was called in, it was a breezy game.  Singleton and David Cone, teamed together for the entire series in the YES broadcast booth, were a pleasure–informative, jocular, funny and intelligent.  Cone’s improvement this year has been noticable, don’t you agree?

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1 PJ   ~  Apr 30, 2009 8:51 am

[0] "Cone’s improvement this year has been noticable, don’t you agree?"

What's the over/under for penis references during his next telecast?

: )

2 Rich   ~  Apr 30, 2009 8:58 am

I'm a little concerned about Mariano, and I wish Girardi would have used Robertson instead of Alby.

3 ny2ca2dc   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:17 am

Cone's definitely better this year, pretty good even. Why can't Kay be lost in a cornfield somewhere.

4 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:34 am

I think Cone was this good last year. I think he made the improvement early last season.

Rich, agreed on Robertson, though I guess Mo did need to work out the kinks having not pitched since Friday.

5 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:34 am

Its a much more enjoyable broadcast without Kay.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:41 am

I've liked Cone since he started. One thing that comes through is how much he enjoys the game. You really get the impression that he followed the Royals and MLB closely when he was growing up, which allows him to add a fans perspective to his player's voice. The only thing I don't like about him is his refering to Singleton as Singy.

Right now, the Yankees have a lot of talent in the YES booth. Unfortunately, however, they insist on cramming Kay (who I really like as a radio sports talk host) down everyone's throat. I really wish YES would do some polling of its viewers.

7 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:45 am

I really miss the days of Singleton and Kaat. I think those two with Leiter, Flaherty and Cone cylcling in as the third guy would be the perfect booth.

8 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:46 am

[3],[5] Yeah, it was a n'okay broadcast... >;)

9 bp1   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:51 am

I like Cone and I really like Flaherty. When either of those guys are in the booth, it makes the broadcast more enjoyable. Flaherty is really good, I think. He is smooth, insightful, a little self deprecating - the whole package.

I miss Bobby Murcer the most. (sigh)

10 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:51 am

I really think the best booth is Singleton/Kay/Cone. I'm no lover of Kay doing play-by-play (although I liked him with Sterling, and really enjoy his show on 1050) but I think its important to have a non-ex-player in there.

I tried convincing myself for a long time that I liked O'Neill just because its Paul O'Neill but he really doesn't bring a whole lot to the table. Leiter and Flarhety are just "meh" to me, they can be better used in the Pre/Post studio show.

11 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:54 am

[10] I can see the logic in a non ex-player, but the repetitive stories and horrible jokes Kay brings are just grating.

12 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:54 am

[6] "I really wish YES would do some polling of its viewers."

I cannot think of one person associated with the Yanks corporate hierarchy who's ready to admit they are wrong about anything, except possibly Hal (and that took a nation of millions to force that discount)...

13 ny2ca2dc   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:57 am

I also really like Flarhety; O'Neill and Leiter are pretty good. Give me Singleton, Cone, and Flarhety almost every night please. I don't even think of Singleton as an ex-player, I think of him as a broadcaster. That's got to be some kind of compliment (to his broadcaster self).

14 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:58 am

[10] I also really liked the Kay/Sterling team (I would turn the TV down on a very good MSG team), but apart their respective egos swallow the broadcast. As a team, they seemed to keep each other in check. I also really like Kay's 1050 show. The problem with Kay as a play-by-play guy, however, is he too often seems like he is doing Center Stage. He tells the same tired stories and asks the same cliched questions. He also becomes immersed in frivolity...on more than one occasion, Flaherty has tried to reign him. It is often couched in sarcasm, but I think Flaherty really does get frustrated by Kay.

15 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 30, 2009 9:59 am

[14] There was a time I could tell Jonny Gomes life story off the top of my head, because Kay told it twice a game 19 times a year.

16 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:01 am

[13] I'm with you on the best YES three man booth, although I like a two-man better. If I was calling the shots, Singleton would be there for 162 as the p-b-p with Cone and Flaherty each taking half the schedule.

The funny thing about Singleton is he was a very good player and is a very good broadcaster, but probably doesn't get enough credit for either.

17 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:03 am

The game Singleton called by himself in Toronto was one of the best YES Broadcasts ever.

18 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:03 am

I mostly enjoy Kay's thinly veiled hatred of Mike Mussina, and his casual on-air sexual harassment of Kim Jones. You just don't get that kind of dedication anywhere else.

19 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:03 am

Also, I guess I'm the only one that likes Leiter.

20 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:03 am

[10] Yeah Rage, I agree about the non ex-player factor, but there's got to be better than Kay. He should have stuck with Sterling on the radio (they were a far more interesting tandem than anyone else Sterling's been paired with); I mean they both either host or make numerous appearances on YES enough to not have to endure their shtick during a ballgame. Maximizing a talent isn't always about exposure (rather over-exposure as is the horrific modern rule of thumb in TV and journalism).

21 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:05 am

I think we can all agree that anything, and I mean ANYTHING, is better than what we watched for 20 games a year on Fox from '99-'01. I literally felt pity for Murcer on those broadcasts.

22 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:06 am

[15] Heart attack on Christmas...Kay told the story so often, I was completely de-sensitized to it.

Even more annoying than his stories is when he’ll say “for those new to a game, when a batter bunts with two strikes, he is out on a foul ball”.

23 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:07 am

[22] And the best friend in the car accident.

24 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:07 am

[10] !! You should wash your mouth out with soap for even mentioning that, bleah-bleah! >;)

25 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:08 am

[24] umm, that was for [21], my bad.

26 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:08 am

[17] I agree...although I thought it was Baltimore.

[18] Kay is on record as intensely disliking Mussina, so at least there is full disclosure. He definitely allowed it to color his broadcast.

[19] I like Leiter, but he can be a little too hyper. He also fixates on "executing a pitch" on other pitcher's speak.

27 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:13 am

[26] I always wondered what the origin of that was, I can remember it coming through as far back as '01. Probably shot down an interview request or something.

It was pretty great when the Torre book came out and Kay let loose on his radio show, you just know that had be fermenting since the "Rona Barrett" incident.

28 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:13 am

I miss Murcer .... in and out of the booth. Sigh indeed.

Perhaps someone can start a "FireMichaelKay" website ...

Kitty is great .... Singleton is good too.

If Cone ever had to work with Erin Andrews .... :-)

29 benvolio   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:19 am

[26] If I recall correctly, Olney detailed the Kay-Moose contretemps in Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty. Moose did a radio interview with Kay and was snippy, or sarcastic, or something that hurt Kay's feelings, and was therefore dead to him thereafter.

30 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:19 am

[27] He's explained it a couple of times. Basically, he asked Mussina to do the Kay corner and he huffed and puffed about it. Kay then told Mussina he would never "bother" him for an interview again, even if he pitched a perfect game. As we all know, Moose almost threw a perfecto, and Kay said he was prepared to have someone else do the interview.

31 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:21 am

[28] I actually thought about it (it's available), but I don't have the necessary level of person dislike to do it. I don't want Kay to be fired...I want him returned to the radio where he belongs.

32 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:21 am

I KNEW I remembered a similar "siren" issue at a game in Cincinnati!

33 51cq24   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:28 am

michael kay is annoying, but how can we get rid of him when it's so ironic that his last name sounds the same as a strikeout notation??

34 RIYank   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:31 am

In theory I like the idea of having someone (like Kay) who never played, but this year I have enjoyed the Singleton/Cone combination a lot more without Kay.
[21] I actually preferred the Red Sox team to the Fox team for Yankees/Red Sox games. That's saying something.

[33] Hey, where have you been this year?

35 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:37 am

[33] You could team him on the radio with Marty McFly?

36 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:38 am

I cringe every time I hear that jewelry store commercial .... "Every kiss begins with Kay" :-P

37 51cq24   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:39 am

[33] sometimes here but when they're losing the negativism is less comforting than it used to be

38 51cq24   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:39 am

i meant 34

39 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:43 am

I like to think my negativity has a kind of charm to it

40 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:44 am

[36] Imagine how Paul O'Neill must feel...

[37] sad, but true...

41 RIYank   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:45 am

[37] Yes, I sympathize (I stayed out during the Boston series, e.g.).

[39] Ah. Man, you need a degree in sub-atomic physics to keep up at Bronx Banter.

42 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:45 am

[39] see [40] >;)

43 elgato83   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:46 am

Not sure if anyone saw the Cone "jerking off" comment from last night but that was another doozy by him: http://www.noyoureatowel.net/2009/04/video-proof-of-cone-incident.html

44 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:54 am
45 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 30, 2009 10:55 am


Someone may want to alert Paul Dickson that he should update his "Baseball Dictionary" to include that phrase ... (no, I'm not volunteering) :-)

46 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Apr 30, 2009 11:18 am

Yeah, when Cone first started doing color commentary I could swear he was intentionally slipping one dirty phrase into every broadcast. I wish I could remember them all now, but with baseball, it's not that hard to do (as Devo would say).

47 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 30, 2009 11:27 am

The best Cone reference was when he claimed that Ian Kennedy was jerked off by the Yankees before that rain delay in Kansas City last year.

48 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Apr 30, 2009 11:37 am

I'm pretty sure he likes to say a batter "has two balls on him" though I could be making that up.

49 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 30, 2009 4:52 pm

[46] You mean slipping in (get it, get it?) off-color into the color!


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