Diane Pucin’s live commentary on how Fox is handling the Angels-Yankees Game 5 telecast
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Ken Rosenthal and John Lackey, heard not seen
And that was good enough. After Angel win Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal asked Angels pitcher John Lackey about the ‘walk’ to Jorge Posada in the seventh inning. Before Rosenthal could finish the question Lackey said, ‘It wasn’t a walk. Let’s be honest. It wasn’t a walk.’ As McCarver and Joe Buck had said when they saw the replay, it really wasn’t a walk. But we could only hear the voices of Rosenthal and Lackey. Didn’t see either of them. Turns out, we didn’t need anything but the sound.
Tim McCarver not a Mike Scioscia fan right now
Fox analyst Tim McCarver made the strongest criticism any analyst has made against a manager in either the ALCS or NLCS. After Scioscia pulled starter John Lackey in the top of the seventh and the Yankees ended up going from 4-0 down to 6-4 up, McCarver said, ‘Obviously we’re surprised why Mike Scioscia removed John Lackey. We can well understand Lackey’s thinking on that, he’s the best pitcher the Angels have. They don’t really have a dominant closer and that’s why, in my view, it was very surprising to see Mike Scioscia remove John Lackey where, in a situation where he gets them to hit a ground ball at somebody, he gets a double play and they get out of the inning.’
No one is John Lackey’s friend
When he was pulled here in the seventh by Angels manager Mike Scioscia, lip readers could tell what Angel starter John Lackey said would not pass the newspaper censors. We can translate it into family-friendly language by paraphrasing: ‘Are you kidding me? This is mine?’ Now he doesn’t want it any more.
Fox Trax not Fieldin Culbreth’s friend
By all accounts, digital and verbal, John Lackey should have had strike three against Jorge Posada in the top of the seventh, but home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth called ball four. ‘I guess that pitch was called low,’ analyst Tim McCarver said. ‘It was not inside. It was very very close.’ Joe Buck added, ‘Our unofficial look at it called it as a strike. It’s ball four. What will that lead to?’ Hopefully not Angora. Or Anguilla. Or even Andorra. It did eventually lead Lackey to the dugout. And the Yankees into a 6-4 lead.
In talking about Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, a pitching prospect, Joe Buck referred to the place where Chapman has begun living as ‘Angora’ as in a kind of sweater. Not Angola, the country in Africa. But, wait. On second reference, it became ‘Andorra which is, if you don’t know, a small island...’ Did Joe mean Anguilla? No. Finally we had the correct answer, ‘Andorra, a small country between Spain and France,’ Buck dropped into the conversation. Geography is not Joe’s friend.
My Cox cable high def feed is almost three batters behind. Noticed some Twitterers from Angel Stadium mentioning Kate Hudson admiring Alex Rodriguez’s double. Yet I was seeing lead off hitter Johnny Damon. That’s a lot of lag time. And I’m in Tustin, not much more than 10 miles from the stadium. Shouldn’t take the signal that long. Unless it’s being run over by Vlad Guerrero.
Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, they kick, don’t slide
After Fox returned from an NFL commercial break, analyst Tim McCarver said the promo reminded him Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders ‘do not use slide steps, they’re all high kickers.’ Joe Buck quickly intercedes: ‘Reminding us? Reminding you.’
What’s fiercer?The curveball John Lackey just used to strike out Robinson Cano or the grimace on his face as Lackey went to the dugout? Both = scary.
Replay not Dale Scott’s friend either?
To end the top of the third, Yankee third baseman Johnny Damon seemed to have beaten John Lackey to the bag at first and earned an infield single but was called out by first base umpire Dale Scott. But, as Joe Buck said, ‘He was safe, called out,’ after watching the replay. Analyst Tim McCarver said, ‘It has been a dreadful postseason for umpiring crews. Two blown calls by Tim McClelland, a blown call by Dale Scott at second base with Nick Swisher diving back.'Now Buck and McCarver are discussing the future benefits of a replay system. As Buck said even a couple of weeks ago he wouldn’t have been in favor. His opinion has changed.
Coughing on cue
Just as Joe Buck said Derek Jeter was ‘battling a cold,’ the Yankee shortstop turned his head and coughed. Jeter did cover his mouth. But if you get the chance, shaking hands with Jeter might be a bad idea.
Crowd should have listened to Fox pregame show
That’s where analysts Eric Karros and Mark Grace predicted the Angels would hit Yankee starter A.J. Burnett hard.
Crowd needs jolt? Not now
Fox play-by-play man Joe Buck noted that the timid Angels pregame crowd, ‘May need a little jolt tonight. This place is awful quiet.’ It’s suddenly noisy. All those Angel bats hitting baseballs hard. ‘That crowd that was apprenhensive and quiet coming into that stadium is anything but now,’ Buck said. A quick 4-0 lead will noisy-up a home crowd fast.
You can follow Mike Penner’s live in-game updates here.