AWednesday night game in late July in Kansas City. Does it get any more doggy a dog day than that?
But how about the Orioles telecast? They can't be dogging it there. Just to be sure, your humble observer - I can say that because I have so much to be humble about - was on watch, pen and notebook poised, and I never once knocked over my soft drink.
(Advertisers note how you just lost out because no one has stepped up to be the Official Soft Drink of the media column.)
Jim Hunter and Buck Martinez were on the call for the Comcast SportsNet game, and though the silver-maned duo ventured into Obvious Land - hey, there's a lot of talking to do over nine innings - at least they were maintaining their focus. So Hunter and Martinez don't have to worry about getting a tongue lashing from the Comcast SportsNet version of Sam Perlozzo.
Hunter in the first inning: "If I'm Kansas City, no way I'm wearing the blue jerseys tonight. They wore the white last night and won."
In the same inning, Hunter as Orioles outfielder Brandon Fahey hustles his way to a double, the day after Perlozzo had laid into the team for a lack of effort: "There's a guy who's listening to his manager."
Martinez during the replay of Fahey: "He just puts his head down and he keeps running." Except the replay shows Fahey's head up, looking at the Royals outfielders.
Martinez on Orioles starter Adam Loewen: "The thing about Loewen is he'll breeze along and run into a rough inning and not know how to get out of it."
In the second inning: Hunter and Martinez praise the positioning of umpires who make calls at first (on Corey Patterson's bunt single) and third (on Jeff Conine's slide). Perhaps they would have praised the umps even if the Orioles had been out on those plays.
Martinez in the same inning, after Conine gets caught between third and home on a line-drive grounder: "It seems there's always a double play in the middle of a multiple-hit inning."
This is as close as Martinez comes to sounding annoyed with the Orioles during the telecast. And speaking of how Martinez sounds, I finally decide his voice reminds me of an old rock 'n' roll disc jockey. ("This one is going out to the cool kids at Springfield High - `In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.' ")
Hunter still in the second: "One thing Loewen has to work on is the number of base runners he allows per game." (So glad I wrote that down.)
More Hunter: "You may have noticed Adam Loewen got a haircut in Tampa. Maybe he's thinking it will have a reverse Samson effect."
You know, you have to trust these announcers when it comes to anything to do with hair.
Martinez in the third: "Ramon Hernandez has not hit a home run in the month of July, and that's not unusual, given the wear and tear on a catcher."
Hunter in the fourth, after a replay shows Loewen sticking out his tongue as he delivers: "Hope he doesn't bite down - ouch!"
Martinez in the fifth, observing that the umpires were allowing multiple conferences on the mound without breaking them up: "It's so hot, [the umps] don't want to walk out there."
Umpires supervisor Steve Palermo, interviewed in the booth during the fifth: "It's hard to work when somebody is yelling at you for nine innings." (Yeah, it's probably worse than some guy taking notes on everything you say during a game.)
Martinez in the eighth, after Fahey made an outstanding running catch at the left-field wall: "Everyday he does something that makes you shake your head."
Hunter in the ninth, as Chris Ray tried to close out the game after allowing two inherited runners to score in the eighth: "[As a reliever,] you got to have a short memory."
A short memory? I wonder if Ray ever tried using a pen and notebook.