Monday, May 11, 2009

Well, I feel like a shit

In my first post I said that Dennis Eckersley was doing a good job as color guy on NESN. I like Rem-Dawg okay, but Eck is good.

That post was only a day (maybe two) before the story came out about Remy's cancer surgery and subsequent complications, and that was just bad timing on my part. I've enjoyed Jerry Remy on NESN for years. I hope he has a speedy recovery and returns to the airwaves soon.

I do, however, stand by my kudos for Eck. He has a good voice, a dry sense of humor, and comes up with insightful and often funny comments of the type that you rarely hear on either local or network games.

When I lived in Baltimore in the 80's one of my neighbors was John Lowenstein, former Orioles outfielder and color commentator on WMAR-TV Channel 2. He had a sense of humor similar to that of Eckersley. The Orioles in those days relied heavily on the 3-run homer and rarely - if ever - bunted or stole a base. In one game against Texas the O's had a 6-run lead and Eddie Murray stole second. Lowensein said, "Well, that was a well-timed move. You want to have that nice 6-run lead before you start taking a risk by stealing."

Back to Eck. He was the most vocal person on Extra Innings when it came to telling it like it was at the time about Manny. After Manny fell down and rolled over the ball in left field, then got up and started laughing about it while Angels were circling the bases (cut to a shot of Theo in the stands with steam coming out of his ears), Eck said the way Manny treats the game is "bothersome." Of course, he wanted to say " bullshit" but we all got the point.

Did you know that Dennis Eckersley coined the term walkoff? It didn't refer to the guy who hit the home run, though. It was about him. When interviewed after Kirk Gibson hit that 9th inning game-winning pinch hit home run off him to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series he said, "It was a walkoff situation." Meaning there was nothing for him to do but walk off the mound. Like Tim Wakefield had to in the 11th inning of Game ACLS Game 7 in 2003.

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