You've got to sympathize with the lot of the modern baseball announcer, who must fill nearly twice the amount of air time as he did 30 years ago. That's because television and Major League Baseball entered into an unholy alliance to drag out game times to pack in as many ads as possible. This comes, unfortunately, when the American attention span has been reduced to 140 characters, or the length of a ringtone.
And so co-announcers embarrassingly kill time by playing straightmen to each other's jokes (imagine a comedy duo where both men are Ed McMahon), while filling the considerable downtime of games with meaningless statistics. (“Joe hits lead-off doubles in only five percent of second innings that are played on the road.”)
This can lead to some perilous narrative detours, thanks to another pitfall of sports announcing — it fairly brims with unintentional sexual innuendo. I could be wrong, but I believe it was the late George Carlin who did a classic bit filled with gay baseball innuendo — you know, “Jack swings both ways,” “Looks like they're gonna come from behind again” — that kind of stuff. (Carlin also performed the much revered reflection on two American pastimes, “Baseball Versus Football.”)
Friday night's Dodger-Brewers game, called on KCLA Channel 9, however,
sounded unusually frisky, climaxing with Matt Kemp's game-winning
10th-inning grand slam. Prior to his blast, Kemp was being described by
an unidentified announcer in ways that suggested someone needed to take
a cold shower — and fast. The announcer's highlight was this gem, as
Kemp stepped into the batter's box:
“You don't want to get caught in the men's room when Matt Kemp comes to the plate! How hot is Matt Kemp?!”
Everyone found out moments later — and in the bottom of the inning, when Kemp's over-the-shoulder basket catch ended the game.