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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Tonucci Swings ...
2007-01-28 22:31
by Jon Weisman

Follow this link to former Cheers writer Ken Levine's greatest home-run call when he was doing play-by-play for the Syracuse Chiefs. (Levine used to juggle both jobs, believe it or not.) I would have used the big finish in the headline, but I didn't want to spoil it.

Follow this link to more funny moments from Levine's broadcasting career - or just check the whole blog out. As I've said before, Levine's blog has become one of my most eagerly awaited reads each day.

Update: From the Wisconsin State Journal:

Charles Littleton, 22, was tasered by police after refusing to remove his Los Angeles Dodgers cap at a Saginaw, Mich., City Council meeting, despite a rule banning hats for men inside, and then resisting police when they tried to remove him from the meeting. "It means more than just a hat," he said of the cap. "It's like my crown. It's like asking a king to remove his crown."

Comments (75)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-28 22:55:05
1.   Bob Timmermann
Just think if Levine covered a game with Tom Mastny pitching...

2007-01-29 01:07:45
2.   Xeifrank
Ahhh, Cheers. Back when network TV actually had some good shows. My college roomate and I after a tough evening of studying (more likely an evening of pickup basketball or tennis), would sit down and watch Cheers reruns even though we had seen what seemed like each episode 20 or 30 times. Oh, this is the one where Sam tries to pickup that chick and coach or Woody does something stupid, and don't make any bets with those guys from Gary's Old Town Tavern (unless you can get Kevin McHale to play for you).
vr, Xei
2007-01-29 01:44:51
3.   Marty
It's interesting that Levine mentions Steve Kemp going back to the wall. I played little league with Kemp.
2007-01-29 05:34:22
4.   Bumsrap
I wonder how many days school is open when one could be exploring Sabah, Sarawak, Kalimantan and Brunei with its rich wild life, beautiful beaches, rainforest, famous national parks, jungle adventures, ...?
2007-01-29 06:25:21
5.   Sam DC
LA Observed on one of the Apple Pan counterguys.

2007-01-29 09:19:10
6.   katysdad
I once provided color for a minor league playoff game, Erie at Jamestown.

Kevin Mitchell, Keith's younger brother, crushed a drive to deep left. Our play-by-play man, Mark Soliday, was really playing it up: "There's a drive to deep left. It could be ..."

Then I jumped in and blurted out: "He hit that ball far! That's the longest home run I ever saw." Not a great catch phrase, I admit.

After the inning ended, Mark turned to me and said "Don't ever (explative deleted) interrupt my (explative deleted) home run call again." I could hear the engineer laughing throught the headset.

Play-by-play men do not like having their calls interrupted.

2007-01-29 09:26:31
7.   Greg Brock
"Geronimo Sanchez strikes out looking. And boy is he hopping mad. He's yelling at the umpire, and…I think he's yelling in Hebrew."

Ken Levine is my new hero. Also, the finishing line that we are not spoiling is my new catchphrase.

2007-01-29 09:31:36
8.   Bob Timmermann
RIP, Barbaro.
2007-01-29 09:34:29
9.   Greg Brock
Wow. The Barbaro saga comes to an end.
2007-01-29 09:41:51
10.   Jon Weisman
7 - You can spoil it in the comments. But the whole Barbaro thing takes the fun out of it.
2007-01-29 09:47:53
11.   Bob Timmermann
Sorry for being a buzzkill.
2007-01-29 10:04:50
12.   Jon Weisman
Oh, it's not your fault. It's just life.
2007-01-29 10:09:44
13.   D4P
BTW: How does the Barbaro story (and others like it) affect the feelings of "People who go to the track for entertainment purposes"...?
2007-01-29 10:11:54
14.   Daniel Zappala
Bummer. I was listening to an NPR report this morning on my way to work, and they said he seemed to be recovering well from this latest surgery.
2007-01-29 10:15:08
15.   D4P
My wife is taking the Barbaro news very hard. She grew up riding horses, and has a particular affinity for them. She was followed the story since day one, and I dreaded the day he had to be put down. Very sad.
2007-01-29 10:16:17
16.   Bob Timmermann
I think it would bother me more if I saw it in person. But as it is, it's sort of abstract.

I can tell you that, oddly, I felt a lot worse (in the very short term) about having my cat put to sleep than having my parents die, mainly because I didn't have to make an appointment to do it.

Putting an animal to sleep seems very clinical. When a human passes away, it's far more emotional.

2007-01-29 10:16:45
17.   Marty
The Deadspin boys have a different attitude about Barbaro.
2007-01-29 10:19:30
18.   Bob Timmermann
My father was a farmer before he moved out here. For him, the cows were just #1, #2, #3, etc. My mom grew up in the city and when she moved out to the farm, she gave the cows names and she took it much harder when an animal passed away.

She missed the cow.

My dad looked at it as lost income.

2007-01-29 10:23:29
19.   D4P
having my cat put to sleep

Casey, or another cat?

I hate it when pets die. I haven't any really close relatives die yet, so thus far, my pet deaths have been much more traumatic.

I'm pretty sure that if I had to gather my own food, I'd be a strict vegetarian.

2007-01-29 10:28:27
20.   Marty
I've lost both parents and a brother. Just me and my two sisters left. I'll bet the percentages say I'm next. But I'm planning on sticking around for awhile longer.
2007-01-29 10:30:35
21.   jasonungar05
Hey have any of you guys seen Pan's Labyrinth or Children of Men? Not to make this movie talk but i saw both this weekend and wow, both were excellent.
2007-01-29 10:31:02
22.   ToyCannon
2007-01-29 10:35:20
23.   D4P
Ugh. Human beings are really despicable. We force other creatures to do our bidding, largely because we like money. And we don't let a little thing like their health and well-being get in the way.
2007-01-29 10:38:03
24.   Greg Brock
22 Yeah, I RealSports did a report on greyhounds a few years back. It made me pretty sick.
2007-01-29 10:39:27
25.   ToyCannon
Saw Pan's and thought it was the best movie I'd see in a while. Not sure how Sergi Lopez isn't getting any accolades.
2007-01-29 10:50:23
26.   Andrew Shimmin
ToyCannon's animal cruelty links are less fun than mine.
2007-01-29 10:51:06
27.   madmac
22. hey I saw Racing Stripes, it's every horses dream to be a racing horse.
2007-01-29 10:56:37
28.   Greg Brock
Thinking of Ken Levine's blog and the sad news about Barbaro inevitably brought me to this...

2007-01-29 11:01:05
29.   dianagramr
Barbaro .... sigh.

After the horse's initial injury, I had the following letter published in the NY Times.


2007-01-29 11:02:12
30.   Benaiah
Those two movies, along with Confederate States of America, are my favorite movies of the year. I have seen most of the Oscar favorites and I like those better. Though The Departed, which I think will win, was a blast to watch. The best dialogue I have seen in a long time. How about that one long shot towards the end of Children of Men? I have seen Russian Ark (which has no cuts over an hour and a half) and Children of Men uses the technique for more effectively.
2007-01-29 11:02:13
31.   Sam DC
For nate (from

Roland (Tampa): Jerry, pulling off the 'stache aint easy, who's got the best one in baseball right now? Don mattingly was always my favorite.

Jerry Crasnick: (1:54 PM ET ) Roland,

This was a lively debate topic during one of my chats last summer. I think the consensus opinion was that Jose Valentin of the Mets has the best porn star mustache in the game.

2007-01-29 11:25:56
32.   Bob Timmermann
RIP, Gump Worsley.
2007-01-29 11:30:16
33.   dkminnick
Off topic: I may try to make a trip to Vero Beach around March 15 to see Dodgertown before the team moves to AZ. Can anyone offer any tips about condos to rent there? Any other helpful info would also be welcome. I'd be bringing my two sons - 7 and 10. Thanks! Doug
2007-01-29 11:39:24
34.   Andrew Shimmin
Bob's RSS aggregator must be severely depressed, today. Isn't there any happy news at all?
2007-01-29 11:41:53
35.   bhsportsguy
Saw this note in Buster Olney's Insiders column from the New York Baseball Writer's dinner and I am wondering if you will have the same reaction I did.

"Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson and Dodgers knuckleballer Charlie Hough, whose paths crossed when the Yankees' Jackson took Hough deep for his third homer on three pitches in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, were presented with the 'Willie, Mickey and the Duke Award' for players forever linked. Hough joked that the mammoth shot by Jackson was aided by the wind and that the Yankees had someone with binoculars notify Jackson that the pitch would be a knuckleball.

Funny, my first guess at the three pitchers involved are Happy Hooton, Elias Soto and Hough and Hough would have been the hardest for me to remember.

Part of this is the fact that the Dodgers lost this Series to the Yankees so my memory is fuzzy anyway (I have more bitter memories about the 1978 series since we were ahead 2-0 and if not for Nettles' glove and Reggie's hip maybe we would have won that series) but if you were to say to me Reggie Jackson/Charle Hough, I would have not immediately come up with that moment but maybe its just me.

2007-01-29 11:44:48
36.   Marty
I always think Reggie Jackson/Bob Welch
2007-01-29 11:48:57
37.   Sam DC
Now that's happy!
2007-01-29 11:49:58
38.   bhsportsguy
36 One thing for me to remember, it was a New York Baseball Writer's award.
2007-01-29 12:02:14
39.   dianagramr
OK ... here is some (possible) happy news ...

Steve Sax turns 47 today ...

2007-01-29 12:06:58
40.   Jon Weisman
39 - Nope. Depressing.
2007-01-29 12:07:24
41.   Uncle Miltie
I think I jinxed the Bruins. Here's what I posted the night before.
"Unlike the other teams in the conference, Stanford actually has academic standards, so it's much harder for them to recruit top players. Lawrence Hill is like another Josh Childress and the Lopez twins are making a big impact as freshman. Stanford is a very well coached team, and I'm worried that UCLA might have some trouble with them tomorrow."

I just saw that they killed Barbaro :(

2007-01-29 12:10:32
42.   Jon Weisman
41 - I think if anything, that would have jinxed Stanford.
2007-01-29 12:12:02
43.   D4P
I just saw that they killed Barbaro

Video : Radio Star :: Avarice : Barbaro

2007-01-29 12:12:26
44.   Andrew Shimmin
Two words: nose trumpet. (it's an mpg file)

2007-01-29 12:18:32
45.   Jon Weisman
Just added an update to this post - see above.
2007-01-29 12:20:53
46.   Sam DC
That's some update Jon. If there's not some awful backstory, I think Josh R. ought to send that guy four tickets when the team is in Miluawkee (or wherever would be appropriate to the guy's home) and have some fun with it.
2007-01-29 12:21:24
47.   Sam DC
I'm not even going to correct that.
2007-01-29 12:22:24
48.   Sam DC
Stolen from comments on another blog (a poltical one so I'm not linking):

"Your etymology moment: a 'pig in a poke' was a suckling pig sold sight-unseen in a burlap sack, which could easily be substituted for a wriggling cat. On opening, the cat would then be let out of the bag, leaving one holding the bag."


2007-01-29 12:24:50
49.   Andrew Shimmin
46- I'm sure the Brewers security team would appreciate that. "Really, bring all the nutcases you want out to the park. Why don't you get them liquored up before game time, while you're at it? And you know, we don't check everywhere for weapons and fireworks. . ."
2007-01-29 12:26:19
50.   Bob Timmermann
The guy in the update lives in Saginaw and it took me four days to hitchhike from there.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-29 12:28:42
51.   Greg Brock
50 Nice.
2007-01-29 12:33:34
52.   Bob Timmermann
That's the second time I tried that joke and it finally worked!
2007-01-29 12:37:51
53.   overkill94
Speaking of SNL skits, I'll have to give Bob the Debbie Downer award for today.
2007-01-29 12:38:06
54.   Midwest Blue

I was going to say that you posted the exact same joke after I posted the link to the hat story a few days ago.

(I still don't get it.)

2007-01-29 12:39:29
55.   Greg Brock
2007-01-29 12:42:37
56.   Jon Weisman
52 - Only the second?
2007-01-29 12:42:46
57.   Bob Timmermann
Don't forget Lefty Frizzell's classic song "Saginaw, Michigan"

I was born in Saginaw, Michigan.
I grew up in a house on Saginaw Bay.
My dad was a poor hard working Saginaw fisherman:
Too many times he came home with too little pay.

I loved a girl in Saginaw, Michigan.
The daughter of a wealthy, wealthy man.
But he called me: "That son of a Saginaw fisherman."
And not good enough to claim his daughter's hand.

Now I'm up here in Alaska looking around for gold.
Like a crazy fool I'm a digging in this frozen ground, so cold.
But with each new day I pray I'll strike it rich and then,
I'll go back home and claim my love in Saginaw, Michigan.

2007-01-29 12:43:49
58.   Jon Weisman
If anyone, anyone at all, can find my Division II Softball College World Series notebook from the Daily News, c. May 1991, they'll find that joke there as well.
2007-01-29 12:43:54
59.   Midwest Blue

Oh, thanks.

I guess when it comes to references to Simon & Garfunkel, I am a rock.

2007-01-29 12:47:04
60.   dianagramr

but you are not this person ...

2007-01-29 12:47:13
61.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers new farm team in Midland isn't far from Saginaw.

Saginaw is not the garden spot of Michigan, but I've been told it's better than Midland.

2007-01-29 12:47:37
62.   Greg Brock
58 I think it's under the couch...I'll check.

Also, nobody had deigned to spoil the Ken Levine line yet. Bravo, people.

And in-service days are the greatest thing ever.

2007-01-29 12:49:07
63.   Bob Timmermann
My Daily News database goes back only to 1995.
2007-01-29 13:24:07
64.   Daniel Zappala
60 Oh, wow. That was ... really bad. I liked it.
2007-01-29 13:44:41
65.   Midwest Blue
Touche ;-)
2007-01-29 13:44:45
66.   Sam DC
I've mentioned the Post's local sports blogger, Dan Steinberg, a couple of times. Very funny guy, very crisp writer. Anyhow, he toured the Nationals Ballpark construction site today with a few of the players, and got this quote out of Nook Logan:

"I can go deep in this ballpark," Nook pointed out. "There's no walls. I can hit it and just run."

Hah! Also, one of the construction workers said that he once saw Mickey Mantle hit an Inside The Park Home Run at Griffith Stadium. Good stuff.

2007-01-29 13:47:07
67.   Benaiah
Here is an earlier quote from Levine:

"The Dodgers vs. the Angels – The Dodgers have Vin Scully. The Angels have a better team, a better owner, a manager, a comparable ballpark, more rabid fans, comparable attendance. Do the math. The Dodgers counter all of this by still listing the Angels as "Anaheim" on their out of town scoreboard. Whoooooooh, that'll show 'em."

It is from Dec 3, 2005, if you want to look it up on his blog.

2007-01-29 13:49:20
68.   dianagramr

Good stuff indeed ...

Here is a Nats ballpark construction webcam (for those who are into that sort of thing)

2007-01-29 13:53:17
69.   Bob Timmermann
But at least the Dodgers, now list the Angels as "LAA" on the scoreboard!
2007-01-29 13:57:21
70.   Benaiah
69 - We don't even have that... I think he forgot about beachballs and Dodger Dogs. Plus, we have sweet memories of Paul Lo Duca.
2007-01-29 14:02:25
71.   Greg Brock
66 HOK is building the Nats stadium, both New York stadiums, and the new Twins ballpark.

Heck, they build 'em all.

2007-01-29 14:03:14
72.   Jon Weisman
New post up top. Brevity month continues.
2007-01-29 14:03:17
73.   Sam DC
So, using webly-available resources, how would I find if Mickey Mantle ever hit an ITP HR at Griffith Stadium?

Rather than just tell, please feel free to teach me to fish.

I have found that Mantle hit 6 total ITPs and 39 total Griffith Park HRs.

2007-01-29 14:09:04
74.   Benaiah
Alright, if I told you about player who is well into the decline phase of his career, playing the least challenging position on the field, whose OPS dropped 100 points two years in a row, whose home runs have been cut in half in two years and to top it off, he has spent his entire career in the best hitter's park in the majors- now, suppose his salary over the next five years is equal to higher than the 11th highest payroll. Is that something you would be interested in trading for? Maybe for slightly younger 3B with more than 90% of the OPS last year, a promising reliever and two stud pitching arms?
2007-01-29 14:10:54
75.   Benaiah
74 - Obviously should have proof read.
"equal to higher than" = "higher than"

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