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Cardinals fans get what they deserve
Chip Caray being terrible at his job is finally going to work out in our favor
Cubs fans are a pretty varied bunch and we agree on a few things but really not that much. However, one thing over the years has been pretty universal.
Chip Caray sucks.
He poisoned the airwaves doing Cubs games from 1998 to 2004 with a soft rock deejay voice that never stopped yapping from the first pitch to the last. It was exhausting to hear him babble his way through games, and though he was getting lots of reps, he never got any better. Every flyball was sure to be a homer until it fell harmlessly in the glove of a centerfielder who had to run in a few steps to catch it, or it landed nine rows back, behind the third base dugout. Every line drive was a “rocket shot” even if it eventually fell to earth and rolled to the second baseman for an easy putout.
Chip’s most annoying habit (and he’s got many) is still in tact. He refuses to wait for things to happen before he tries to describe them. His constant attempts to be ahead of the ball are what leads him to be wrong so, so often.
Here are a couple of his most famous calls.
The best part about that second one was that during our Remember This Crap on the 2001 Cubs we talked about this famous game (it not only featured this wild ending, but also an egregious missed Angel Hernandez call (go figure) and then Steve McMichael threatening to beat him up during his seventh inning stretch stint), before Hernandez threw Mongo out of the game.
As we talked about the ludicrous finish, I dialed up this video and though I hadn’t seen it in decades I was certain that Chip blew the call. Granted it wasn’t a real stretch, but then we heard it and of course he did. Chip called Ricky out before he was safe.
We break down that game starting at 45:16 of the pod (44:04 left) pod. It’s worth it. That game was amazing.
Chip babbled his way out of the Cubs booth for good after the 2004 season. That year featured one of the most talented Cubs teams of our lives and they choked like dogs (with an especially crucial choking cameo by Ryan Dempster) in the final week. The end was miserable, and depressing and completely frustrating, but then after the finale, Chip announced he was leaving for Atlanta and somehow it was all worth it.
So why is Chip suddenly a hot topic?
Well, the Cardinals recently fired their TV play by play guy Dan McLaughlin, who has an interesting hobby where he gets shitfaced and then drives around in his car.
The Cardinals were rumored to be hiring Seattke announcer and former St. Louis resident Aaron Goldsmith, but apparently Goldsmith decided he’d like to continue broadcasting in a city where shoes are required attire.
So the Cardinals turned to…
Holy shit. That’s fantastic. The worst, least self-aware fanbase in sports now has the worst, least self-aware TV announcer.
And, of course, Cardinals fans thought this was going to upset Cubs fans.
Maybe Cardinals fans will like Chip. I mean they worship Yadier Molina, so they’re used to fawning over guys who aren’t good at their job.
I’m just glad that Harold Christopher Caray III gets to return to the town he grew up in. Maybe he’ll tell the story of the time he was playing little league and his world famous grandpa was there to watch another kid and had no idea who Chip was. It’s one of my favorites. Never a dry eye in the house when Chip tells that one. I mean laugh crying is a thing, right?
Another of my favorite Chip moments was during a game the Cubs were playing an American League park, and the Cubs pinch hit for their designated hitter. Chip was apoplectic about the move. He explained to us that the Cubs would now lose the designated hitter for the rest of the game, and have to bat their pitchers in that spot.
That, of course is wrong. You lose your designated hitter if that player needs to enter the game to play a position. You are allowed to freely pinch hit for your DH at any time.
The best part of this was that Chip was the play by play announcer for three years from 1993 to 1995 of the Seattke Mariners…of the American League. Why would he have ever bothered to learn the rules?
I wish Chip and his imaginary family well. I hope he spends decades in St. Louis just being himself and sucking at his job. Cardinals fans totally deserve this.
Only one player made the Hall of Fame this year on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot.
And it was…Scott Rolen?
Oh, for fuck’s sake.
Scott was a good player. He was Rookie of the Year in 1997 for the Phillies. That was such a deep year for rookie talent in the National League that Geremi Gonzalez finished ninth and Kevin Orie 11th. Really. Kevin Orie. He tied with Neifi Perez.
Rolen won eight Gold Gloves, one Silver Slugger and made seven All-Star Teams. He had almost as many career homers and RBI as Aramis Ramirez, and he had almost as high a batting average and slugging as Aramis, too. And if, like Aramis he had played the bulk of his career with Bob Brenly carrying out a weird, super aggressive agenda against him, he probably wouldn’t have made the Hall of Fame, either.
But hey, at least Rolen had a bad back and missed a shitload of games.
You know what, that’s not fair. Let’s relive one of Rolen’s greatest moments.
Whoops. No, that was Aramis.
Let’s try this again.
Damnit. Did it again.
OK. Here’s one of Rolen.
Whoops. Ahh, never mind.
Do I think Aramis should be in the Hall?
No. But if you’re going to put Rolen in, well, maybe he should be.
There is little doubt that the 2023 Hall of Fame class of Fred McGriff and Scott Rolen are in for two reasons. The writers assume they didn’t use steroids and Harold Baines’ horrendous 2019 induction has lowered the bar for many more “pretty good” players to stagger into the Hall.
Anyway, the most important thing to take away from Rolen’s Hall induction is that…
Aramis Ramirez was the balls.