Friday, August 20, 2010

August 20th: Mets vs. Pirates

Hagin has said many, many inane things in this game, but he just let loose with a certified Wayne's Whopper™ during the top of the 4th: After a brief mention of A.J. Burnett, he said (with his usual air of faux-gravitas), "And when the Yankees signed Burnett, that's about the same time the Mets signed R.A. Dickey."

The point he was making, of course -- although he didn't actually get around to explaining it -- is that Dickey, who has a very low salary, has arguably been a better pitcher this season than Burnett, who has a very high salary. It's a little bit of an apples/oranges thing, because Dickey didn't join the Mets' big league roster until May 19, but the basic point is clear enough: Sometimes a low-paid, unknown pitcher can be better than a high-priced, flashy pitcher.

Just one problem:

• Date that Burnett signed with the Yanks: Dec. 18, 2008.

• Date that Dickey signed with the Mets: Jan 5, 2010.

Well, he was only off by a whole year -- not bad by Wayner standards. Fire Wayne Hagin already!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17th: Mets vs. Astros

Sorry for the lengthy silence, but I've been out of Wayne-range lately. Did manage to catch a snippet of tonight's game, though, which was enough for some primo Haginicity. It happened when Johan Santana struck out Brett Wallace on a changeup, prompting the Wayner to breathlessly exclaim, "That's the best changeup he's thrown all night!"

Sounds straightforward enough -- until you realize this was taking place in the 1st inning.

Pathetic, as usual. Fire Wayne Hagin already!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 11th: Rockies vs. Mets

So I'm out on my bike last night, listening to the game on my bike radio (yes, I have a bike radio). With one out in the top of the 2nd, Howie Rose says, "Phil Cuzzi, the home plate ump, has a rather thimble-sized strike zone early on in this game." To which Hagin replies, "A lot different than Ed Rapuano last night." Simple enough -- no problem there.

Now skip ahead to the bottom of the 2nd, one out, Luis Castillo up. It's a half-inning and about 10 minutes later. Here's the sequence that almost made me crash my bike:

Rose: Pitch is taken inside. [Chuckles.] Phil Cuzzi's not giving these starting pitchers any help at all, is he?

Hagin: No. Not one bit. And it's gonna be an offensive-minded game if it continues.

Rose: 2-1 pitch -- fastball, high.

Hagin: Case in point was the Brad Hawpe last at-bat of the game. Remember the 3-1 pitch, a big curveball? And he called it a strike.

So you can see what happened here. The Wayner was still referring to the previous night's game, even though he didn't say so. And he was still referring to Rapuano, even though he didn't mention him by name. Instead he just referred to him as "he," and chalked it up to a "case in point." But when 10 minutes have gone by, that's NOT a case in point -- it's a total fucking non-sequitur.

This guy is such a waste of space. The team is a laughingstock, the season is in shambles, and on top of it all I have to listen to Amateur Hour on the radio every goddamn game. Couldn't the guy at least have the courtesy to come down with laryngitis or something? Fire Wayne Hagin already!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 10th: Rockies vs. Mets

Even when I don't listen to him -- even when I can't listen to him -- Wayne haunts me. It happened at last night's Mets/Rockies game, which I attended along with Phil Hecken and Dan Cichalski.

First let's set the scene: One of the many little gimmicks at the ballpark is this promotion where they slowly reveal a name or phrase on the jumbotron one letter at a time, Wheel of Fortune-style. The first person who can figure out the answer and text it to some predetermined number wins, I dunno, a roll of Mets toilet paper or something.

So last night's secret name/phrase was two words, both five letters long. As they began revealing the letters, it quickly looked like this:

W _ _ _ _
H _ _ _ N

"Wayne Hagin!" yelled Dan. And sure enough, that turned out to be the answer. We all laughed for a second and then, realizing that the moment needed to be documented for posterity, began fumbling for our cameras. Alas, the scoreboard changed to something else before any of us could snap a photo.

I'm not sure who runs that texting promotion, but just in case that person is reading this, here's an idea for a phrase to use at tonight's game:

_ _ R _
W _ _ _ _
H _ _ _ N
_ L _ _ _ D _ !

Hell, why not use it for every remaining game this season? Fire Wayne Hagin already!

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9th: A Picture's Worth 1000 Words (or maybe 30,000 of Wayner's)

Screen shot 2010-08-09 at 9.36.26 AM.png

"I blame YOU for sucking away whatever little joy was left in Mets broadcasts," says Phil Hecken, who produced the (fictional, alas) images you see above. "Now I'm constantly focusing on how awful Hagin is. I always thought he sucked, but I never realized HOW MUCH he did until you pointed it out." Welcome to my world, Phil.

Phil also reports that Wayne had a choice tidbit during Sunday's Mets/Phils game. "They were talking about how the Rays, who'd already been no-hit twice this year, were having another no-no tossed at them. And out of nowhwere, Wayne says, 'If the Rays get no-hit today, they're going to have to go back to being called the Devil Rays.' No explanation as to WHY they might have to do that. Howie didn't touch it."

In Wayne's world, being no-hit = bad, and the devil = bad, so those two things are, y'know, synonymous. Hey, it's self-explanatory!

In the words of Bugs Bunny, what a maroon. Fire Wayne Hagin already!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4th: Video Killed the Radio Star Wayner

The bad news is that I was out eating crabs at Clemente's tonight, so I missed the entire Mets/Braves game and have no new Wayne-isms to report.

The good news is that I have something better: an old commercial featuring the Wayner! It shows him endorsing some sort of personal putting green product. Not sure of the exact date, but the clip identifies him as the "Voice of the St. Louis Cardinals," which means it's from somewhere in the 2003-2005 range. Can Wayne make as many mistakes in a commercial as he does when broadcasting a game? Let's see:

Not bad. I love how he says, "What it has done, probably more for me than anybody else…" In other words, he's saying the product works great for him, but your mileage may vary. Great sales pitch, Wayner!

Even better: After spending half a minute extolling the product's virtues, he misses the putt at the end of the clip. Kinda sums up Wayne's on-air persona in a nuthsell, am I right?

That video led me to another YouTube clip, this one an amusingly low-grade segment humbly entitled "The Amazin' Mets-terpiece Theatre VLOG-tacular." To get to the Wayner-related content, skip ahead to the 3:25 mark:

Succinct, no? And let's give credit where it's due: This guy was beating the anti-Hagin drum more than a year ago, while I was too lazy to set up this blog until last month, even though I've been doing a slow Hagin burn since about May of ’08. That's really my only regret regarding this whole project -- that I didn't start it sooner. But better late than never. Fire Wayne Hagin already!

(Special thanks to Jordan Guthmann for bringing the putting video to my attention.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2nd: Mets vs. Braves

Even a blind squirrel occasionally stumbles across a nut; even a stopped clock is right twice a day; even K-Rod sometimes has a clean 1-2-3 inning. So the law of averages tells us that the Wayner will eventually have a gaffe-free game.

This was not that game.

Once again, I only had time to catch a small portion of the game (about an inning and a half in this case). And once again, that was plenty of time for Hagin to make a fool of himself. It happened after Jose Reyes led off the top of the 5th with a single. With Angel Pagan batting, Wayne put on his best more-self-righteous-than-thou voice and addressed his broadcasting partner Howie Rose thusly:

"I know you love pure baseball, and I think you'll be [pause] as, uh, disinterested and not happy by what I just saw at first base."

He then went on to critique a rather unprofessional shared hand gesture between Reyes and first base coach Razor Shines. Hagin's point here was well taken -- or it would have been, if he hadn't already undermined it by saying Rose would be "disinterested" in the proceedings. Earth to Wayner: "disinterested" means NOT INTERESTED.

I suspect Wayne was trying to invoke the word "disdain." But as usual, his mouth and his brain weren't operating on the same frequency. The pause and the "uh" indicate that he realized he'd once again blundered his way down a verbal dead end, but by then it was too late. And as is so often the case, the mistake was magnified by Hagin's emphatically righteous tone, which just made his misstatement all the more glaring.

I'm getting tired of saying this, but it bears repeating: This is minor league stuff, one-horse town stuff, the kind of stuff no alleged professional should be doing at the big league level. This is, yet again, a guy who's long on mouth and short on talent, a guy with a heavyweight assignment and a lightweight skill set, a guy who's horribly overmatched by his job on a daily basis.

It's tough enough to see this season go down the tubes without having to listen to this nonsense. Fire Wayne Hagin already!

August 2nd: By Popular Demand

Several readers have insisted that I mention one of Wayne's most consistent tropes. If you listen to the Mets on the radio, you know one of their sponsors is a health insurance company that promises to manage "all your health care needs under one roof." But when Wayne reads their ad, he always pronounces "roof" as "ruff." Always. ALWAYS.

Now, I know there are parts of the country where "roof" is pronounced as "ruff." And I don't want to pick on someone just because of his regional dialect or accent. That's why I haven't mentioned this particular Wayne-ism until now (although I'll confess to having gone out of my mind when the Mets were in Arizona and Wayne kept talking about how "the Diamondbacks have the retractable ruff shut tonight").

Okay, so now I've mentioned it, but I still wouldn't want an entire entry to be devoted to this. So I'll include something from Sunday's game that I forgot to mention in yesterday's post: During the top of the 4th, when an Arizona player hit a foul ball in back of first base, Wayne said, "Ike Davis, angling back on an angle..."

Yes, he really did say that. Fire Wayne Hagin already!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1st: Diamondbacks vs. Mets

Thankfully, I only caught a small portion of today's game, a 14-1 drubbing at the hands of the D-backs. But I heard the entire 3rd inning in my car, and that was enough time for Wayne to have me screaming at my car radio. Here are his latest lowlights:

• Top of the 3rd, 0 out, Stephen Drew batting: "Swing and a fly ball hit down the left field line, and right there is Jesus Feliciano. Drifts over into foul ground [crowd cheers] and makes the catch! That ball tailing just ever so slightly away from him. He was already positioned almost on the line for Stephen Drew, and as that ball continued to carry on him, he reached into it and [slight pause] powdered his right shoulder right into that padded wall as he made the catch. Very good play by Jesus Feliciano."

Note how this began as a routine play -- Feliciano was "right there," a proverbial can o' corn. Then Feliciano was "drift[ing]" a bit, and then somehow the play morphed into a circus catch, as Feliciano "powdered" his shoulder into the wall. Nice job, Wayner. Just how does one "powder" one's shoulder, by the way?

• Top of the 3rd, after Daniel Hudson grounds out to end the inning: "Great pitching by Niese. Also great pitching [very slight pause] and defense behind him."

Yup, that pitcher sure had some great pitching behind him. The great thing here is the tiny pause, indicating that Wayne realized the mistake as he made it, with his inner Homer Simpson no doubt emitting a loud, "D'oh!" Bet that guy gets paid a lot of overtime.

• Bottom of the 3rd, Jon Niese batting, 3-2 count: "Swing and a miss, as Niese went after a pitch shoulder-high, and that is the second strikeout of the game for Daniel Hudson. Tell you what: David Wright and now Jon Niese have both struck out on high pitches. It must look very inviting, but that ball exploding on them."

Oh, Wayner. You just said yourself that it was only Hudson's second strikeout of the game. If he really had such an inviting put-away pitch, wouldn't he have notched more than two Ks during his first time through the order? Secondly, Wright's strikeout was two innings prior to Niese's -- those are pretty distant dots to connect. And most importantly, Jon Niese is a pitcher -- he can't hit for shit! How can you make any inferences regarding a pitcher's stuff based on how the opposing pitcher fares against him?!

And you thought Ollie Perez was the one stealing money from the Wilpons. Nuh-uh -- it's Wayner. Fire Wayne Hagin already!

July 31st: Diamondbacks vs. Mets

I didn't catch this game (was watching Sonic Youth whilst surrounded by approximately 18 jillion very enthusiastic young people), but Adam Friedman did. His report:

Professor Hagin was discussing how impatient hitters like Chris Carter are trying to learn not to swing early in the count. And he says, "It's a fine line between being aggressive and really waiting for your pitch." No, dumb-ass, it's not a fine line at all. They are diametrical opposites.

Nice one. Fire Wayne Hagin already!