Bill Plaschke of the LOS ANGELES TIMES breathlessly reports today that Vin Scully will likely retire after the 2011 season.
(Little low on the Omega-3s?)
Here’s the quote Plaschke
beat out of received from the greatest baseball announcer of all time:
And then retire?
“Yes, that makes sense,” he said.
Do those comments really merit Plaschke spending a whole piece specifically mapping out exactly what the Dodgers’ tribute plans should be for the Hall of Famer?
I spent 9+ years as a major- and minor league baseball announcer and I can assure you, listening to Scully nightly here in L.A., that he’s still very much at the top of his game. So part of me would like to see him go out that way. Especially after hearing L.A. Lakers broadcasting legend Chick Hearn limp to the finish of his on-air career.
But selfishly, I rue the day that Dodger Owner Frank McCourt is entrusted with hiring Scully’ replacement. (Hiring Charley Steiner after the Yankees canned him for Suzyn Waldman? Thanks Frank!)
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, as Scully’s comments to Plaschke were far from rock solid. “Probably” and “leaning” don’t merit the way Plaschke ran with Scully’s remarks.
I’ve seen it too many times. A desperate, hack columnist is fishing deep for ideas for his daily piece, so he goes back to the local-legend-storyline well for the umpteenth time.
As a guy who has worked on-air with more than one local, venerable legend - Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame announcer Denny Matthews, Larry Munson at Georgia and Bob Fulton at South Carolina - I promise you that these guys rarely ever *retire* until their bodies and minds severely break down. It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle for guys like that.
I’d like to think that Scully will be different, but I seriously doubt it. Especially considering his astonishing tenure and G.O.A.T. status in the industry. (Not to mention the radio advertising revenue the Dodgers wouldl lose when he let’s go.)
So for the rest of the week, we’ll be watching and hearing Plaschke banging pots and pans on various outlets to let everyone know that HE broke the Scully retirement news.
But the truth is, this *news* was probably just as much generated by a columnist short on ideas as it was Scully’s genuine desire to turn off for the last time.