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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vin Scully on Chad Billingsley: Damocles of the Dodgers

Thanks to Paul Dylan for transcribing “this beautiful moment in Vin’s call”...

es

“We often talk about Chad Billingsley, saying that he pitches ‘with the Sword of Damocles over his head.’ That’s an old Greek legend.

The ruler was Dionysus, and he had a guy in the courtier - in the court – who would always talk about how great the ruler had it.

So finally, the ruler said, ‘Ok. I’ll tell you how great it is.’ - the pitch is high, ball two - and he had a big dinner for Damocles and there at the head of the table was the chair and the beautiful table set up. Damocles sat down and directly above his head was a huge sword and it was tied by one horse hair.

Damocles got the idea. 2-2 pitch on the way is fouled back.

So, of course, any time anybody’s pitching in a somewhat precarious position, I guess it applies: The Sword of Damocles.

And, with Chad Billingsley, with that touchy arm, any time he goes to the mound that’s exactly who he is: Damocles of the Dodgers.

Amarista at second, Maybin at first. This’ll be the seventh pitch to Eric Stults. Chad ready, checks, right-hander deals.

High fly ball to deep center…Kemp going back…a-way back…this one is over the wall!

Eric Stults hits it out over the centerfield fence and it’s the Padres on the scoreboard leading, three to nothing.”

Repoz Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:51 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, history

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   1. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 16, 2013 at 06:51 AM (#4415414)
Vin is awesome; example 3,428,612.
   2. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: April 16, 2013 at 07:52 AM (#4415419)
Last night, I listened to Scully for the first time ever. As a Canadian who has never had cable or satellite tv, my opportunities to listen to him are rare. Anyway, last night's game between LAD and SD was available for free on my iPad MLB app and I decided to go to bed a little later than usual to listen to him. So I sat next to my wife not shuting up about how awesome Scully was (I heard all of his great calls over the years and know his story quite well even though I had never listened to him live), how he had been with the Dodgers forever and at that moment, he started telling that story. My wife, who does not care one single bit about baseball but who has a degree in what we call up here "ancient studies" (Rome, Greece, etc.) was like "What? Did he just tell the story of Damocles to the bunch of idiots who listen to him*? Wow!" And the Stults homered...

Anyway, it was a pretty awesome evening. I fell asleep almost immediately after, however...

*My wife has very little respect for sports fan in general which she regards has a bunch of uneducated idiots who do nont have anything better of their time than to watch grown up men play children games. Yes, I love her nevertheless.
   3. Russ Posted: April 16, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4415486)
My wife has very little respect for sports fan in general which she regards has a bunch of uneducated idiots who do nont have anything better of their time than to watch grown up men play children games. Yes, I love her nevertheless.


My wife grew up not watching any sports... I've been able to get her hooked on American football and ice hockey, but with no baseball team in Montréal, it's impossible to get her into baseball.

However, my 4 year old son has started saying that he wants to play baseball... despite the fact that he's never seen even one full inning. As soon as he asked, I thought to myself "Nature just went yard on nurture."

But to stop the highjack, yeah Vin is the best. Tell the story, but the game always takes precedence.
   4. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4415531)
I like how baseball always waits for Vin to finish his story before the home run happens.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4415562)
#4 - on the A's broadcast last night they said the same. "I know better than to start a story with two outs. Vin Scully is the only guy that can get away with it. If he starts a story with two outs he'll get eight foul balls in a row."
   6. dr. scott Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4415564)
Now I can't get that song from Rocky Horror out of my head... (That ain't no crime..)

Great story. First time I heard vin live was watching a dodgers giants game from a hotel in Bakersfield a few years ago. Lived up to all the hype.
   7. Shredder Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4415607)
Part of me wishes that I could hear Vin for the first time as an adult to truly appreciate what I had missed for my entire life to that point. But a much larger part of me feels blessed to have been able to listen to him pretty much since I was born. I think part of the reason I really can't stand listening to mediocre broadcasting is because I grew up listening to Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, and Bob Miller, all hall of famers.
   8. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4415615)
Happened to be watching this last night. Awesome. I love pitcher home runs anyway, and Vin's story dovetailed perfectly with it.
   9. esseff Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4415655)
My wife, who does not care one single bit about baseball but who has a degree in what we call up here "ancient studies" (Rome, Greece, etc.) was like "What? Did he just tell the story of Damocles to the bunch of idiots who listen to him*? Wow!" And the Stults homered...

Anyway, it was a pretty awesome evening. I fell asleep almost immediately after, however...

*My wife has very little respect for sports fan in general which she regards has a bunch of uneducated idiots who do nont have anything better of their time than to watch grown up men play children games. Yes, I love her nevertheless.


If references to the Sword of Damocles are what it takes to extend her cultural horizons, you might present this clip (advance to 3:20).


   10. boteman Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4415791)
Watched on MLB.tv last night, as well, all the way to t--he--bit--ter...did it end? I don't know, MLB.tv crapped out during the last of the 9th inning.

He also told an anecdote about leaving the ballpark after a game with the Phillies on a very hot day at Ebbets Field. A Dahhhhhdger fan was sitting at a small table just outside the door from the clubhouse to the curb where the team bus was waiting. The fan was handing out slices of cold watermelon to the players as they left to get on the bus. Vin enjoyed his slice on the bus and noted that when Jackie Robinson came out with a couple other players he at first appeared angered as though the fan were baiting him. But he composed himself, accepted an ice cold slice of watermelon on that hot day, and boarded the bus. Vin noted that this was but one of many examples of the restraint that Jackie had to exercise against the kind of pressure he endured, and how that constant defensive attitude could eat away at him to see trouble where none existed.

Now, where else are you going to get an anecdote like that? He was in the right place at the right time and he's the right guy to deliver it eloquently. When he dies I hope they put him in stasis so that he can be revived anew in the future when the technology develops.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4416053)
As soon as he asked, I thought to myself "Nature just went yard on nurture."

Ummmm... there's a gene for baseball fandom?
   12. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4416071)
Ummmm... there's a gene for baseball fandom?


It's not a choice, you bigot.
   13. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4416074)
HAD to go to MLB.TV to watch this. Quite awesome.
Even better still, the story starts with a 1-2 count, 2 out and the pitcher at bat.

"and the sword is wiggling on the horse hair...."

#4 and #5 are awesome, btw
   14. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4416078)
Weird. I haven't heard a Scully broadcast in 2-3 years, but his voice was very clear in my head reading that...and I never read things in other people's voices.
   15. Matt Welch Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:39 PM (#4416084)
I think part of the reason I really can't stand listening to mediocre broadcasting is because I grew up listening to Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, and Bob Miller, all hall of famers.

What's Dick Enberg, chopped liver?
   16. Moeball Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4416086)
I think part of the reason I really can't stand listening to mediocre broadcasting is because I grew up listening to Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, and Bob Miller, all hall of famers.


Amen.

   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4416091)
Speaking of great announcers, Pat Summerall has passed.
   18. Steve Treder Posted: April 16, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4416194)
Summerall was great. Remember that weekly syndicated show of NFL game-highlight clips, hosted by Summerall and Tom Brookshier?
   19. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:08 PM (#4416204)
   20. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4416207)
Dig Brookshier's groovy plaid jacket/red shirt combo in this one.
   21. Steve Treder Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4416211)
Sweet. Those are right in the sweet spot of the years I watched that show.
   22. smileyy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:39 PM (#4416241)
I'll always remember Pat Summerall for Champions of Industry. (Seriously, he did a profile of a company I worked for...)
   23. Rob_Wood Posted: April 16, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4416324)

i loved summerall and brookshier, then when summerall was teamed with madden i realized how bad brookshier really was (didn't brookshier get laryngitis one super bowl?)

anyway, rip pat
   24. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4416409)
I'm simultaneously sad Summerall has died and pretty sure I thought he had already died.
   25. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:21 PM (#4416496)
I think part of the reason I really can't stand listening to mediocre broadcasting is because I grew up listening to Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, and Bob Miller, all hall of famers.
So true. Between Scully and Hearn, Los Angeles had arguably the greatest voices in the history of both baseball and basketball on its airwaves for four decades. (In Scully's case, I don't think there's anyone comparable. He's simply the best there ever was.) It was definitely hard for a boy to grow up in LA and not have been seduced by those voices into loving sports.

RIP Summerall.
   26. KingKaufman Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:45 AM (#4416540)
I think part of the reason I really can't stand listening to mediocre broadcasting is because I grew up listening to Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, and Bob Miller, all hall of famers.


Same here. I too would add Dick Enberg to that list. He did the Angels, Rams and UCLA basketball. Seemed like he was everywhere. Anybody remember Chickie Baby on "Bowling for Dollars"?

Scully, Hearn and Enberg were so great, and Miller was so low-key, it took me a long time to realize how great Miller was. By the time I was 10 I knew the others were all-timers. It wasn't until I was a grownup that I "got" Miller. Less of a recognizable persona, but just so good at actually calling the game.
   27. Shredder Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4416730)
What's Dick Enberg, chopped liver?
I wasn't old enough to remember hearing him do Angels broadcasts, you damn geriatric. I do fondly remember Bob Starr though.

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