With my return to Minnesota fast approaching I will soon be blocked out of mlb.tv due to blackout restrictions, which means I will soon be forced to suspend my wildly popular* "Clash of the Talking Heads Series". However, once I return to Minnesota I will be able to see games in, you know, person--so I think it turns out as a victory for me.
(*by wildly popular I mean my mom has told me she likes it)
But while sputtering internet connections are still my best chance to watch a game let's welcome two more contestants to the PfH Talking Heads Battle Chamber!
Tonight's Contestants: Ryan LeFebvre and Paul Splitorff of FS-Kansas City.
Credentials: Splitorff was 14 year veteran pitcher with the Royals with a reputation for being a "Yankee Killer" helping the Royals beat the half-Vampires in a couple of games over four different playoff series (which means he has done something our own pitchers can only dream about doing--if they don't wake up with nightmares first). Meanwhile LeFebvre is part of a baseball dynasty and has links to Minnesota as a former Gopher and erstwhile contributer to Twins broadcasts...also his name means "The February" So...that's pretty cool. (Note: Frank White occasionally calls games in place of Splitorff...and this statue of White might be one of the best baseball statues I have encountered in ball park travels.)
Analysis: Competent, solid, steady. These guys aren't going to set your toes-to-tapping but if you get used to them I imagine they would be pleasant enough to spend a season with. Their biggest problem is that they occasionally sound like they're reading off stock quotes rather than calling a ballgame. There's little to no enthusiasm, even in a tense extra-inning game like tonight's, which is hardly surprising when you remember that they are, after all, announcing Royals games. After so many losing seasons, it's a little difficult to feign faith. Still, they share the booth well, and remain positive, avoiding hoary cliches, catch phrases or the kind of jingoistic vitriol we encountered in Chicago. All in all, pretty good.
Best Quote (the most excited they got): LeFebvre: "Hey look, that guy caught a foul ball but gave the souvenir to the kid behind him, if we had a fan of the game, it'd be that fella there"
Splitorff: "Don't know what his date thought of that though, I think she wanted it for herself."
LeFebvre: "Doesn't she have the same pink hoodie you have, Split?"
Splitorff: "I prefer the baby blue, that's more my style, I think."
LeFebre: "That little boy's smile is the biggest one we've seen tonight"
Rating: 3 Blylevens (competency alone makes them the best team I've heard this year, the intangibles of a Yankee Killing pitcher, a Fountain man statue and Mr. The Feburary bump them up another .5 point...if the Royals ever give them something to get excited about they could actually be fun)