Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Ms and Zs

I have missed hearing Dave Niehaus for several years now, as I currently reside several time zones away from Seattle, so I finally broke down and paid for their radio feeds this season. Given the hiatus since the last time I got to listen often to the Ms broadcasts, I was shocked at two different things at about the same moment during last night's exciting collapse against the Twins.

First, while Ron Fairly is white noise for me (sure, he's an idiot, but one that fades into the background and may be easily ignored), Rick Rizzs has transmogrified into my least favorite M's announcer of all time, Ken Levine. This was nowhere more evident than in his first inning call of Richie Sexson's double, when he interrupted his partner's commentary with a dramatic "swung on and belted...," only to sheepishly end with "that'll reach the base of the wall...", etc. I should say that I've never really disliked Rizzs before, but he's also not good enough to suffer through if he's not going to pay sufficient attention to the game.

By contrast, the other noteworthy element of the game was the incredible buzz audible over the radio broadcast during and after that first inning. I submit that the excitement was more than just what a game during Opening Week might produce, or what playing against (and at least early on, hammering) reigning Cy Young winner Johan Santana could be expected to generate. Instead, it seemed to me (at the vast distance from which I comment, transplanted Ms fan that I am) that there is a genuine effervescence in Seattle that would not normally be warranted by a team that lost 99 games last season. Did the Beltre and Sexson signings really revive the Seattle fan base? (Or, equally likely I suppose, was Wilson Valdez's entire entourage of friends and family at the game?)

Either way, pretty electric. Disastrous 2004 and all, it's good to be an Ms fan. Now if they'd just find a way to exorcise Levine from Rick Rizzs's body....


At 9:05 PM, Blogger Tad said...

Rizzs gets a little worse every year methinks. Another 5 years and he'll be in Hawk Harrellson territory. The Rizzs-Hendu combo is the worst of the M's pairings.


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