jay asks

harry caray kissing hillary clinton

jay asks: Tony, great post. But what’s with the loathing of Bob Costas?


Fair question, Jay. I despise Costas because i worry about the kids.

I don’t want children to see and hear Bob Costas and think that it’s okay to simultaneously nostalgize and sterilize popular sports and culture in such a way that you never want to look at it again for what it is: a child’s game played by immigrants who wouldn’t get a job wiping puke off of porcelain if it wasn’t for an abnormal pituitary gland, or in the case of baseball, defection.

Bob Costas has taken the lively art of calling a ball game and dragged it into the drab dens of middle america mediocrity. He’s as exciting as an acorn, as spontaneous as a tugboat, as lively as a hangnail. if he were a fish he’d be a white fish. a dead, odorless, forgettable one.

In a world of 31 flavors Costas asks for vanilla yogurt in a cup.

He makes Vin Scully sound like John Madden, Oprah sound like Ozzy, he gives milquetoast a bad name, he neither wears boxers or briefs for underneath his clothes are simply wires and switches and tube amps.

The French laugh at Jerry Lewis and Jerry Lewis laughs at whoever the idiot was who put Costas on tv. I’d call him a demon from hades but evil is usually interesting. he’s an antidote to insomnia and the only cure for the flu because not even a virus can stand to listen to more than a hour of Costas droning on about “The Mick” or Stan “The Man”, they wince like children do when their uncles talk about the war or how Hilburn writes about Bob Dylan.

you’ll never see Costas sitting in a dunk tank at a fair because real baseball fans would fake throw and bum rush the tank and ruthlessly drown this ill like a frothing dog.

Bob Costas was raised in the Ozzie and Harriet world of baby booming Brooklyn and embodies every sad stereotype therein. My spite only intensifies when I realize that he grew up blessed to listen to the rickety calls of Mel Allen broadcasting for the Yankees and, if he was smart, Harry Caray broadcasting for the Cardinals on the radio.

I bristle because the Good Lord sent down an angel when He gave us all Harry, a man who could drink beer and broadcast a game and it sounded like a real man drinking a beer and calling a game.

When in St. Louis Harry was hired by Auggie Busch who owned the local brewery famous for Budweiser. Mr. Busch told Harry that he admired his work, that he knew that he was the best baseball announcer in the game, and that all of St. Louis was his and he could work for the Cardinals for as long as he lived as long as he didn’t marry any of his daughters.

Harry shook the man’s hand and promptly married the youngest and prettiest of Mr. Busch’s three daughters and was immediately fired.

Would Bob Costas marry anyone’s daughter like that? Don’t hold your breath.

Harry went on to broadcast all over the midwest, making a home for himself on the South Side of Chicago. Known as the Mayor of Rush Street because he was often spotted drinking with the locals on the popular street known for its taverns.

“Booze, broads and bullshit. If you got all that, what else do you need?” Harry was once quoted. He lived his word. He was not only the keeper of the flame he was the reason for the fire.

If the White Sox were playing and Harry was broadcasting for them and the fans were drunk and the game was nearly over and one of the weak hitting infielders popped up to end the inning, you could hear it in his voice. Like a wind-up toy that needed a few turns. “Ahhh, that wouldn’t a been a home run in a telephone booth,” he’d say, utterly depressed. A fan at the mic! What a concept.

caray and costas

Harry Caray is the reason that we sing the 7th Inning stretch at Wrigley Field with the enthusiasm that we do. In the ’80s, in order to garner more revenue, new owner Jerry Reinsdorf told Harry that they were going to put a bunch of Sox games on Pay-Per-View only. Harry said that baseball was meant for the average fan and most average fans couldn’t afford pay per view for everyday baseball games, so he quit and joined the Cubs.

Would Costas make such a stand? If he did would anyone see him?

Once I saw a Cubs game where Harry broadcasted the game from the left field bleachers. He brought two ice chests with him. One full of beer and the other full of more beer. He had a paper scorecard and two pencils. Where’s Bob Costas’s two chests of beer?

Harry had glasses as thick as a steak. He had a tongue the size of texas. His lips were big and he was shorter than you think, and the first time I saw him he had on a checkerboard suit with a red dress shirt, white tie, white pants, and white shoes. i said are you heading out anywhere after the game all dressed up like that? he said, son, i’m heading out everywhere all dressed up like this. might even make it to your house if the light’s on.”

and he laughed and everyone around him laughed and his breath didn’t smell like booze it smelled of life.

i bet you a million bucks that bob costas’s breath smells like bologna.

harry handed me back my baseball and it said Holy Cow Harry Caray on it.

know what it says if you get NBC’s golden boy autograph on your lucky day?

it says bob.

but the worst thing that Costas has done, jay, is mess up the bell curve. he has made it okay for announcers to be soulless and bland and average and background filler. fakers like jack buck’s son, and harry’s grandson, step children of milo hamilton have polluted the airwaves with a lust for attention and a fear of life. corporations would never hire a man like Harry Caray when they could put their money on dull and hire a Bob Costas who would never get caught closing down a tavern buying a beer for a cop and chasing it down with a redhead.

People say that baseball has lost its edge because of spoiled players and high salaries and greedy owners, but i say it’s because the storytellers only want to read from the children’s library and live the lives of elves.

Rot in peas little man with all the potential in the world but sits on it like so many telephone books used for your pampered ass so you can see over the mic. All the vocabulary in the world but with no backbone to bring the game to life the way one would if chatting about it over a twelve pack in a basement.

That’s what Harry did.

In fact when Harry realized that he had accumulated a ton of cash from being the best there ever was, he and his wife Dutchie (they never divorced) decided that no one would be a better saloon owner than Harry, and they were right.

What would Costas open if he could? A candy store, I bet.

Filled with one flavor of bubblegum.

Questions I asked Myself this Morning while I ate my Frosted Flakes

is it good news or bad news to get an Honorable Mention from The Right Wing News in its The Best Of The Blogosphere poll?

what does sara k smith think that she can learn from grad school that she doesnt already know about writing? she’s easilly the most under-rated least-linked writer out there.

when will mc brown stop kicking my ass?

what’s little kobe waiting for? Christmas?

what if i started a Yahoo Fantasy NBA league, and nobody came? even if it had a live draft this saturday at noon? (private league #3285, password=jules)

why is it that some people can design so well, but then become so uninspired to update their blog? don’t they know that i would kill for such design?

isn’t dawn’s new blog purty?

why must laughing boy be handsome, witty, verbose, and clever And want to steal my traffic? no wonder karisa loves east coast hustlas better.

and finally, where does a. beam get off thinking that she doesnt have to update except when she damn well pleases? does that lil pink cat got her tounge? if theres one thing i hate its when people who kiss my ass stop writing on their blogs.

theres an Press Club event tonight that i had a hot date for but she cant make it. we had something planned for friday and saturday and it didnt work out. on sunday we had something planned, but i was busy so i said, free drinks at the new Standard, whaddya say, im on the guest list, and she said sounds great. but now it’s not so great, so im just thinking about watching the angels game from the comfort of my own home, relieved that the burdon of the proposal is lifted from my shoulders.

but what if the reverse cowgirl is gonna be there? who doesnt like to meet seductive amazonian writer/photographers who dig porn?

what if moxie is planning to attend? who doesnt like to raise a glass to being single in LA with a loveable skinny blonde who drives a porsche?

and what if the girl of my dreams ends up there, spidey senses telling her that her afroboy is nearby, looking for someone to talk to and there i was stirring my baileys mixing in the creame when our eyes met over the little plate of warm cashews?

and what if i passed all that up to twirl my rally monkey in front of a big screen?

ah, destiny, you wicked witch.

ever have one of those mornings?

in ice skating in the olympics you’ll hear the announcer say, “this is the most important routine of Michelle Kwan’s life.” or at one of those presidential conventions they say of the nominee, “Bill Clinton is going to have to deliver the speech of his life,” and while sitting on my couch digging around the bottom of a Ruffles bag i would think to myself, good thing i don’t ever have to have any moments like those.

imagine if this was the most important sentence of my life.


id rather serve a life sentence.

well this morning i finished the secret proposal that i have been hinting to all of you about, and my copy of Dreamweaver decided to give out. and here i trusted that Bejing street vendor who sold me the Windows 2000, Dreamweaver 4, and Lord of the Rings Part II “bundle” for $25 .

dude clearly said that all of the products were “top notch high quality” despite being burned on blank cds that had the remains of AOL 7.0 labels mostly peeled off of them.

friggin black market. and then Blogger Pro wouldnt update.

i took a deep breath and walked outside to the perfect los angeles weather, walked back to my desk and got it together.

this proposal is for my dream job, a career i was born for. a career so good that i refused the armloads of cash that the LA Times Kabul office offered me to roam around afghanistan, pakistan, iraq, and iran and do a man-on-the-street type blog to show the softer side of the war torn area.

i said, two armloads of cash.

they said, fine.

i said four armloads.

they said, a man only has two arms.

i said, find a four armed man and fill his arms with cash and i will do it.

they chuckled and said they’d call me back.

i dont want to work for the la times in kabul.

i want to work for you. here in hollywood. my home.

i told the times that that was exactly their problem. they were so busy trying to tell us what goes on in the world, they forget that we are the world. that hollywood is the center of the universe and that sunset blvd is the mecca that hollywood blvd once was.

they said, shhh, we’re looking for a four armed man.

i said, go to hollywood blvd and you’ll find him. you’ll find anyone there. he’ll be at the popeyes ordering some cajun firecracker shrimp and a peice of dried chicken. i said why arent you writing about not only the four armed men of hollywood blvd, but the two armed women and children who are the future of this town?

i said, why arent you just being a kickass local paper for a town so big and wide that there must be a million stories in this naked city. its the crossroads of the world. its the land that time forgot. its the place where dreams still come true.

they said we found a three armed man in new mexico, hows that?

and sometimes i wonder if this really isnt the sentence of my life.