Monday, April 23, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: Keith's Not the Only One Who's Crazy

I got to see some of Friday night game--the moment Moises Alou broke up Tim Hudson's no hitter.

That made me slightly mad.

Then Cablevision decided to reset my cable box over the weekend, meaning that I got neither Ch. 11 game on tape.

That made me crazy.

And now Keith isn't working the Rockies series...which I'm okay with. I'm only getting to see about an hour of it total, so at least I won't miss any Keith goodness. And I just got to see a great Carlos Beltran catch!

So those of you who did see Keith this weekend, did I miss anything good? Let me know in the comments. (UPDATE: Check out Keith's love of spring and dogs in the comments. Thanks Theresa!)

Lastly, I will be going to D.C. Friday to see two out of the three games of the Nationals series, so the blog will be kind of quiet until next Monday.

UPDATE: Zoe at over at Pick Me Up Some Mets has some nice Keith visual aids to share. She's also on top of Keith's Tootsie Pop fixation.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: I'm...Well, You Know...

Another blowout, another weird collection of thoughts from our hero...

--Keith's moustache 1, Borat's moustache 0
(Gary notices that Borat has been wiped away from the background on the Marlins scoreboard)
Gary: "You think somebody somewhere said something?"
Keith: "Maybe."
Gary: "Was it you?"
Keith: "No."
Gary: "But, you know, you're Keith Hernandez."
Keith: "No..."

(A minute later, third base umpire Bill Drake said someone at the plate didn't check their swing)

Keith: "He doesn't like that call."
Gary: "Hate the drake"

--Medical terms aren't as simple as they used to be
Gary: "Here's Aaron Boone. He replaced Miguel Cabrera. He was removed earlier with what's being called [Gary chuckles] a 'tight right torso.'"
Keith: "That's pretty...vague."
Gary: "I've never heard that term before."
(Both laugh)

--Keith likes the comic page in the Daily News
(Gary points out a guy wearing a bizarre mask in the crowd)
Keith: "He looks like Beetle Bailey. (pause) I'm not being contemporary with this am I? Well, what I remember in the paper was Blondie on top of the paper and on the bottom was Beetle Bailey."

--Keith doesn't like Randy Newman
Keith: "I'm six feet tall--and these days everyone's taller than me. I don't like that."

--Pressure? What pressure? Tangent? What tangent?
Keith: "There's no pressure in this job; I don't have to be on the field. If I get ripped in the paper in a review for what I say, it's not like I went 0 for 4 and left 15 men on base."
Gary: "I've been reading the reviews."
Keith: "What reviews? We're under the radar here."
Gary: "Well, they're all good."
Keith: "Well, thank you."
Gary: "See, that's how you can chew on that lollipop and why you're so footloose and fancy free..."
(A couple of seconds go by)
Keith: "To get back to the game...we kind of went on a tangent there..."

Kind of?

Weekend Preview: For the first time since Mike and I finally wrestled Zisk online two plus years ago, we're both unable to blog about the Mets. Mike is wrapping up his spring tour and won't be home till Sunday. I'm out marking my best friend's birthday Friday and Saturday and Sunday I'll be upstate visiting my family. It looks like Friday night's game will fall through the cracks, but I plan on taping Saturday and Sunday's games and boiling down the highlights into a neat package Sunday night.

First place feels good, doesn't it?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: The Maine Event

John Maine was pursuing a no-no tonight, while Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez were pursuing the mystery of the Marlins scoreboard. Each picture of a Mets hitter was placed in front of a Times Square background...which for some reason had a picture of Borat.

Gary: "Why does Carlos Delgado have Borat with him?"
Keith: "I have no idea."
Gary: "It's like where's Waldo?"

(The conversation continued after a couple of pitches)

Gary: "I loved that movie, but what's Borat doing in Metsville."
Keith: "I'm aghast."

Borat wasn't the only film referenced in tonight's game. As Jose Reyes was trying to get his fourth hit of the night, Keith mentioned that when you're a hitter having a hot night in a blowout, you don't want to give up an at bat that easily. Gary then took it home:

Gary: "As a hitter, you wanna be Gordon Gecko."
Keith: "Yes, a Mike Douglas special."
(then a few seconds of silence)
Keith: "Um, Michael, yeah."

What I wouldn't have given to hear Keith going on and on a tangent about that week John and Yoko were co-hosts.

On a final note about Maine's six hitless innings: Gary made a comment about the only person who would have been disappointed tonight with a no-hitter--Howie Rose. The usual WFAN play-by-play maven was calling the Islanders-Sabres game back on the island. Gary said Howie would have "slipped into clinical depression" if he hadn't been on site to witness the first Mets no hitter.

And you know what? If it ever happens and I'm not watching it, I just might join Howie in the looney bin.

On a personal note: The fuckers at Cablevision still haven't agreed to carry the Extra Innings package because of the deal the In Demand collective made with MLB to carry the new Baseball Channel in 2009. I don't care that Cablevision is offering to pay for MLB.TV; my computer screen is meant for looking at this blog and some high class porn, not squinting at a shitty TV stream.

And as if my call to Cablevision today wasn't frustrating enough...Mark Buehrle had to come along and rub salt in my wound. Last year, I would have seen the last inning or even more.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: A Fun Novella

"I think you're actually having a good time tonight." --Gary Cohen

"I am--I'm just so cold." --Keith Hernandez

Those two lines summed up the return of the three man booth tonight on SNY. Another Mets blowout, another chance for Gary, Keith and Ron Darling to get goofy. And with a game played in a wind chill that was below freezing and lasted three and a half hours, there was a whole cheese steak worth of goofiness in Philly.

--Tom Glavine, who racked up win number 293, gives ex-players nightmares of being at the plate
Keith: "Glavine would give me fits. I'd be yelling at him."

--Sometimes even having a multiple highlighters to keep score isn't enough
Gary (after a rundown play on a botch suicide squeeze): "That's 2-5-6-4 if you're scoring at home."
Keith: "I'm not not."
Gary: "Yes you are!"
Keith: "No, I protest."

--Keith loves, Keith hates
Keith: "These are the games you love on getaway day; the games you love to hate."

--Keith doesn't nap during games...and doesn't like promos
Gary: "With the wind blowing in from left tonight you can't doze."
Keith: "I don't doze--why don't you read your promo. (Gary laughs) Do you want me to read your promo?"
Gary: "Sure"
Keith: (Pause after grabbing card) "Wow, that's a long one." (Keith proceeds to read the entire promo about watching games via, then lets out a huge sigh) "Whew, my goodness, what is this? It's a novella!"

--Keith isn't a fan of the Ask the Booth feature
Gary: "[This fan] asks, 'Keith, do you think Jose Reyes could hit 30 home runs, steal 60 bases and hit 30 triples?'"
Keith: "Well, if he hits 30 triples, I'm the future King of England."

On the non-goofy side, we also discovered that Gary's favorite announcer was Marv Albert, Ron loved listening to Johnny Most doing Celtics games, while Keith was partial to Lon Simmons growing up.

(I think you know who my favorite announcers are.)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: I'm Having Withdrawl!

I've had a tedious day at work, where writing stories about David Bowie and Lindsey Buckingham has seemed as difficult as rolling a boulder up that hill in I hated running up in Prospect Park. When it hit 6:30 I thought I would just flip on SNY, do the rest of the odds and ends that have piled up and spend a few innings listening to Keith talk about how cold the booth was at Shea. No such luck--he's off this weekend, so it's only Gary and Ron.

Well, at least we always have the animated version:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Crazy Keith Corner: Hey, Are We Lost?

Keith and I just aren't communicating well this week. I saw him throw the first pitch Monday afternoon, but couldn't hear him because it was a day game. Tonight I could see and hear him but only for part of an inning, as I had to switch over to Lost because...well...I'm three seasons into this maddening show and I can't give up now, dammit! (And I was taping it for a friend.)

(Co-blogger's note: Filling in for one of my co-workers while they're on vacation is making my days a whole lot longer and has cut into my time to make progress on the new print edition of Zisk. With Mike going on tour starting Friday and then yours truly being out of town two weekends in a row, I'm starting to think our announced publication date of May 7th for issue # 14 might be a bit unrealistic. If I was a betting man--and everyone knows I am--I'd say not to look for it to hit your mailbox until just before Memorial Day. But trust me, it will be worth the wait.)

I digress. Let's get back to Keith. In the third of the inning I did see he said nothing funny at all, which sent a bit of chill up my spine. Then I looked at the score and heard Gary Cohen mention that Aaron Sele had given up a couple of runs over two innings and I knew there was nothing funny about this game. In fact, Ron Darling made the only joke, saying no one could ever take umpires dressed up in goofy winter hats seriously. Yup, if we did a Ron blog it would die a quick death.

Tomorrow night I'll only get to see Keith's work (and most likely the return of the pimp fur) because of a gig. I hope to catch up with some Keith wisdom over the weekend.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: Napping is Good

Keith Hernandez and I had something in common over the weekend--we both napped during a Mets game. During Sunday's game Keith mentioned the great job SNY director Bill Webb did working on the FOX telecast of Saturday's Mets-Braves contest. Then Gary Cohen, who seems always be looking for a way to egg Keith on, chimed in:

Gary: Did that keep you interested the whole time?
Keith: No, I feel asleep.
Ron Darling: Hey, those 4 p.m. starts are prime nap time.

Right after that comment, I fell asleep. I woke up at 9 a.m. (with only 4 hours of sleep under my belt) with a painful muscle spasm in my calf, so getting some nap time seemed more important than the rubber game of the series. (And I missed the second loss to Braves this year, so I felt better about my nap when I woke up at 4 p.m.) I did write down one more great comment from Keith about the shift the Braves employed while Carlos Delgado was up.

Keith: That hole there, you could drive a whole panzer division through there.
Gary: Um, how many tanks is that?
Keith: Um, a lot?

(FYI, a typical panzer division had about 250 tanks in it.)

I won't be able to listen to today's game because of the daytime start, but at least Keith's visuals kept me entertained. When throwing out the first pitch to Howard Johnson, Keith had his number-17 jersey tucked into his suit pants. Who does that?

UPDATE: I mean, look at this...what was Keith thinking:

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: The Sounds of Silence

Since I knew I would miss most of the opening game of the Mets-Braves series last night, I set my VCR (yeah, no TIVO yet) to record the game so I could play it back this morning searching for more nuggets of Keith wisdom. Alas, when I got home in the top of the eighth I discovered that my cable box had reset itself and was turned off. This did not make me happy. But at least the Extra Innings package should be available starting next week, so I won't rail against Cablevision too much. Yet.

I did learn one thing from what I did see live in last night's thrashing of the Jones boys--Keith is not a member of the AARP. Gary Cohen mentioned something about it (gotta love what they talk about in blowouts), which inspired this conversation:

Keith: No, I didn't join them, even though they keep sending brochures.

Gary: That's okay, you're not a joiner. You're still a kid

Keith: I'm like Peter Pan, a kid a heart.

Gary: I can't picture you in green tights.

Ron Darling: Keith's like Groucho Marx, he doesn't want to belong to any club that would have him as a member.

(Then Keith seems to realize a game is still going on)

Keith: Hey, what did Alou his last time at bat? I got confused writing it down.

Today is a FOX game (oh good, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, awesome), so the next dose of Hernandez comes Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: Hey, I AM Keith Hernandez

Tonight's AFLAC trivia question was name the last Cardinal first baseman to win a Gold Glove before Albert Pujols did it in 2006. And right after Gary Cohen read that question, Keith chimed in with, "Wait, is that me?" Gary and Ron Darling couldn't contain their laughter at our self-aware hero.

Keith wasn't only aware of references to himself, he knew how damn cold it would be at the new Busch Stadium. So after being in cold storage for a year, Gary announced in the top of the 7th that is was time for "the unveiling of the Keith Hernandez Fur Collection." The jacket that many of the people in my office enjoyed last April was back in all its pimp-hand glory. Keith told the story about buying it after seeing it in a store display for a week. He went on to admit that it was quite an expensive purchase, but since it was November of 1986, he decided to go for it. Keith went on to say that he always lived by his dad's old expression about money, "You can't take it to the grave."

Lastly, in the 8th as the Mets started pounding relentlessly on the 2007 edition of the Cards, Keith said something that I think all Mets fans were thinking:

"Wow...what a way make a statement."

Indeed. Bye-bye Redbirds; enjoy the fall from your lofty and very lucky perch of last year.

An off day tomorrow, which allows me to ponder this statement from tonight's game. As Gary and Ron started throwing out words for fights, Keith chimed in with, "I like brew ha-ha. And after the game, you can have some brew ha-has. Ha ha!"

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Crazy Keith's Corner: This Confused Moment Brought to You By...

New season, new things to discover about Mr. Hernandez tonight. The first SNY broadcast of '07 (with snazzy new graphics) shed some light on our favorite analyst:

1) Keith likes his lollipops
In the top of the third Gary Cohen mentioned that he knew a new season was upon us because "Keith is about to chomp into his first Tootsie Pop of the year." Keith went on to say he started on it in between innings, but now that they were back on the air, he was all business. "When I'm broadcasting, I have to be professional. I can't have chunks in my mouth." When asked by Ron Darling how long one Tootsie Pop would last, Keith said four to five innings. Gary wrapped up the culinary conversation of the evening by saying, "they're not supposed to last that long."

2) Keith still loses track of the game
In the top of the 4th Carlos Beltran got tagged out by Scott Rolen on a ground ball hit to third. It was unavoidable and at least Beltran made sure there was no attempt at a double play. As the replay rolled Keith commented, "A rare base running error--oh, wait, it's first and second. I'm out of my mind."

3) Keith still has a certain way with phrases
As Gary talked about rookie reliever (and former Brooklyn Cyclone) Joe Smith being nervous in his first major league appearance Sunday night, he asked Keith, "How do you stay calm [on the mound]?" Not missing a chance to make people in the five boroughs crink their necks and think, "Did he just say that," Keith replied, "If you're scared, get a dog." And in the bottom of the 7th, Keith described a Cards home run by stating, "Rolen was on it like a rash."

4) The Keith Hernandez dictionary knows no bounds
While describing one player's swing, Keith said the guy was "bunching up." After some laughter from Gary and Ron, Keith mentioned how the SNY producers keep saying to not use the same words over and over. "So bunching, it's one of my new words."

5) Keith is still looking for more things to an ad man
Not satisfied with just Just For Men, Keith seemed ecstatic that there were new sponsor for certain moments in the game. After Gary read yet another sponsor billboard, Keith gleefully remarked, "We have so many new sponsors this year--it's exciting." Gary, who has to learn all this new copy, sighed and then with the driest deadpan ever said, "It is." And as if to prove not all the kinks are out of SNY's system, Keith was analyzing a pitch in the bottom of the 8th when two sped-up highlights from earlier in the game were shown on screen. After a pause, things felt just like last year:

Gary: "That was the Keith Hernandez Confused Moment of the Night."

Keith: "I was going to ignore that completely. I was doing my Sergeant Schultz impression."

Ron: "If we had a new sponsor for that, we'd have one every night."

With all of that Keith goodness and another seemingly non-stressful win, it feels like 2006 all over again.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Player of the Game: Tom Glavinetin?

Perhaps it wasn't actual baseball games I've been missing. It could be I just missed spending my evenings with the Mets broadcast combos of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and/or Ron Darling and Howie Rose and Tom McCarthy. This year on Zisk I'll be writing about Keith Hernandez and his crazy comments on SNY and CW 11, but since this was an ESPN game I chose to turn down the sound and listen to Howie and Tom. (And just like the past 10 years, Joe Morgan sucks. When he started rambling about Jose Reyes being able to follow in his footsteps during Baseball Tonight, I wanted to shoot my TV. These guys know what they're talking about.)

By the 3rd inning it seemed as if Rose and McCarthy were in mid-season form. Howie said he was excited to be reunited with his broadcast partner, a man thoughtful enough "to call me on a cold winter's day and let me know that there was a Three Stooges marathon on A&E." Tom already showed off his psychic ability, correctly predicting Tony LaRussa would do a suicide squeeze and that Willie Randolph would not call for one in a similar position. Add in comparing Moises Alou's stopping ability to that of a Hanna-Barbara character, how appropriate that the Bowling Hall of Fame is on Dick Weber Lane and that the player of the game was "Tom Glavintin; why not combine the efforts of Tom Glavine and Jose Valentin" and you've got all the ingredients for an entertaining broadcast. Glad to have you guys back. And with the Islanders tanking without goalie Rick Dipietro, Howie will miss only a couple more Mets broadcasts.

Oh, and the Mets won too. That was good. The defense was sparkling all night. It seems that sloppy play of spring training got left back in Florida. I guess this team can really turn on the focus when they need it.

162-0 anyone?