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In praise of Vin Scully

Apr 1, 2013, 5:37 PM EDT

scully ap AP

This is not the almost obligatory “Vin Scully is the best” stuff. I get that and participate in that often, but I almost feel like Scully has become such an institution that people feel like they have to say that, even if Scully isn’t doing anything particularly great.

But today he did something, the kind of thing you don’t notice too often, but which is really the stuff that makes him great. In the third inning of the Dodgers-Giants game, Angel Pagan was on first base, Clayton Kershaw holding him on. Scully talked about Kershaw’s success at holding runners on. A minute later Pagan took off for second and was nailed by A.J. Ellis. The reason he was out mostly had to do with Kershaw messing with his timing.

No, it’s not spectacular that Scully foreshadowed the caught stealing as such. The greatness of it was that, to Scully, there really was nothing more important in the moment than talking about what might happen with that runner on base and that pitcher on the mound. The caught stealing stats weren’t dropped in quickly, as if read straight from the stat sheet. Scully was in the moment, delivering the game to us, not at all distracted by overarching news stories, who he talked to before the game or any of the noise that so often pollutes broadcasters. Scully does not consider himself a reporter at all. He’s a broadcaster, in the purest sense of the term.

Maybe I’m not doing the moment justice here. But that moment, after watching baseball for nearly five hours, stood out as something so much higher and better than everything else because it flowed so naturally with what I was watching and thinking at the time. Scully is praised for his longevity and his stories and his style all the time, but it’s in these little moments where he really shines.

  1. barroomhero80 - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    The absolute best

  2. norcalsportsknowledge - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Come on Craig! There was 2 outs and your lead off hitter on first. Anyone who’s watched a little baseball knew Pagan was going. Of course Clayton was going to try and mess with Pagan’s timing. If Vin gets the players name right, people get excited.

    • davidpom50 - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      I’m glad you’re too dumb to figure out the comments here and posted twice, so that I can give it two thumbs down.

    • aceshigh11 - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      Survey says?


  3. norcalsportsknowledge - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Come on Craig! There was 2 outs and your lead off hitter on first. Anyone who’s watched a little baseball knew Pagan was going. Of course Clayton was going to try and mess with Pagan’s timing. If Vin gets the players name right, people get excited.

    • ikedavisnose - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      You are not a likable person, are you??

    • Charles Gates - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      If Pagan knew that Kershaw knew that Pagan was going, then in all likelihood Kershaw knew that Pagan would know that Pagan would know that Kershaw would surmise that Pagan would be moving on the pitch. In which case, Pagan would know that Kershaw would know that Pagan would know that Kershaw would know that Pagan would know that Kershaw would know that Pagan was going on the pitch. Which all means, simply stated by Scully, ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia’ – but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!’

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:01 PM

        Charles, to summarize, to not love Vinny would be INCONCEIVABLE!!

    • notsofast10 - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Says a jealous Giants Fan! (norcalsportsknowledge)

  4. mrfloydpink - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    “norcalsportsknowledge” — Isn’t that an oxymoron?

    • paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      Was the “oxy” a typo?

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        He just means that the guy is an Ox AND a Moron.

  5. UgglasForearms - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Kershaw just hit his first career homer to give himself the lead 1-0. Vin remained silent for a few moments letting the crowd’s reaction tell the story. Sometimes there eloquence in silence.

    • UgglasForearms - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:19 PM


    • indaburg - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      I saw that moment live, and I got goosebumps. Earlier today while watching the game, I said: is there anything more reassuring than the sound of Vin Scully’s voice? You pointed to a moment when his silence said more.

      • UgglasForearms - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:38 AM

        I was thinking the same thing when watching. We are lucky to have Vin Scully with us.

    • Gamera the Brave - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      As a life-long Giants fan, and feeling lucky to have the great announcers we have here (both on radio and TV) – only an idiot would blast Scully. The man is about as good as has ever been, anywhere. L.A. is lucky to have him.

      norcalsportshomer does not speak for us. Sample size of one dumbass.

      • davidpom50 - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        You like Krukow and Kuiper? I find them to be too excitable and homer-ish. Jon Miller, on the other hand, is spectacular.

  6. thenaturalmevs - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Scully is one of my favorite members of the MLB fraternity/family. None of us are worthy.

  7. nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    I’m relatively new to the Vin Scully fan club, as I didn’t start listening to him until about 1966, so I missed his first 15 years or so. He turned this new kid to America into a baseball fan with his wonderful voice and stories of bygone days. I had previously thought baseball boring and mystifying, a bad combo. Yes, he has shown signs of age in recent years, misspeaking from time to time (we should all be so incoherent at age 85, lol). But I think what I love most about him remains that an enormous byproduct of his working alone is that it always feels as though he is talking to me. With way too many broadcast duos, and all trios, I often feel like they care much more about impressing one another and care very little about their audience. (Among the worst at this, IMHO, is NBC’s NHL crew of Olczyk and McGuire.) Vinny forever!

    • davidpom50 - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:56 PM

      I’ve never experienced with any other broadcaster that intense feeling of “he’s talking to me.” It’s to the point that at least a dozen times a year, I’ll ask a friend a question about the game, and Vin will immediately answer it, like he’s in the room with us.

  8. stercuilus65 - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    The most impressive thing about Vin despite being the Dodger’s announcer you would never know it by the way he calls the game. He always calls it straight never afraid to heap praise on the opposition. He is the anti-homer.

    • normcash - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      I agree…Ernie Harwell, another fabulous announcer, was like that too…what
      amazes me about Scully is that he started his MLB career when I was a toddler—
      this year I qualify for Medicare!

  9. bat42boy - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    He’s just the BEST!! No one doing games today can come close to what he does.

  10. charlutes - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Its fun to read this now because while I was watching the game, my friend and I were talking about how good the commentary was. Right on.

  11. paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    You guys know that I am one critical motherf*cker….but I have nothing but good things to say about Skully. The man makes listening to baseball games a joy, he enhances the experience of watching a game rather than getting in the way of it. He’s smooth and understated. Just being able to listen to him do Dodger games is worth the price of a MLB.TV subscription.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      Are you drinking on a Monday night?

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:54 PM

        I am, but my excuse is that my grandfather is celebrating his 80th birthday.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        I should join you then.

      • paperlions - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:08 AM

        No, well, yes, but that’s not the point.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM

        I know. I was yanking your tail because of “Skully” — and, also, “motherf*cker” when I thought we had all agreed it was “motherfuck*r.”

      • paperlions - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        Man, I had completely forgotten about motherfuck*r. Thanks for the reminder.

  12. jimatkins - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Used to have a book of great baseball writing that had the transcript of Scully’s call of the last inning of one of Koufax’s no-hitters. Read like Shakespeare. The man is a national treasure, and I say that as an Angel fan and a long-time Dodger despiser. Simply the best ever.

  13. halohonk - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    For us SoCal sports fans, we have been blessed to have 3 of the all time best sports broadcasters. Vin Scully, Bob Miller and Chick Hearn (rip).

  14. chumthumper - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    One of the beauties of baseball is “what might happen “.

  15. norcalsportsknowledge - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Didn’t mean to get your panties in a bunch, I’m just saying that it wasn’t great insight by Vin. I’m taking a shot at Craig, not Vin, so relax. SoCalled sports fans are so uptight.

    • davidpom50 - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:32 PM

  16. dasher521 - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    He is the best! He doesn’t fill air time, just to fill air time. He doesn’t talk to show you how much he know (or how much smarter he is than you). He’s not scripted. He is a story teller. He paints a picture.

  17. norcalsportsknowledge - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    I AM NOT MAKING FUN OF VIN. Seriously, I just thought it was a weak article by Craig. I’ll take Vin over Kruik & Kuip, but not Miller. Go Gigantes!

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