During last night’s Dodgers/Padres game, Vin Scully did what he does best. In the top of the 2nd inning, Padres pitcher Eric Stults came up to bat against Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley. Here’s a transcript of the at bat as broadcasted by the Hall of Famer:
“We often talk about Chad Billingsley, saying that he pitches ‘with the Sword of Damocles over his head.’ That’s an old Greek legend.
The ruler was Dionysus, and he had a guy in the courtier – in the court – who would always talk about how great the ruler had it.
So finally, the ruler said, ‘Ok. I’ll tell you how great it is.’ – the pitch is high, ball two – and he had a big dinner for Damocles and there at the head of the table was the chair and the beautiful table set up. Damocles sat down and directly above his head was a huge sword and it was tied by one horse hair.
Damocles got the idea. 2-2 pitch on the way is fouled back.
So, of course, any time anybody’s pitching in a somewhat precarious position, I guess it applies: The Sword of Damocles.
And, with Chad Billingsley, with that touchy arm, any time he goes to the mound that’s exactly who he is: Damocles of the Dodgers.
Amarista at second, Maybin at first. This’ll be the seventh pitch to Eric Stults. Chad ready, checks, right-hander deals.
High fly ball to deep center…Kemp going back…a-way back…this one is over the wall!
Eric Stults hits it out over the centerfield fence and it’s the Padres on the scoreboard leading, three to nothing.”
He’s the absolute best. If I read this transcript not knowing who was behind the mic, it wouldn’t have taken me along to arrive at Scully. How many other broadcasters can work Greek Tragedy into an average 2nd inning at bat? Not to mention having his metaphor pay off with the opposing pitcher hitting a home-run off the struggling “Damocles of the Dodgers.”
There’s a lot of broadcasts out there that sound exactly the same. Broadcasters and color commentators are constantly talking about how a specific player is a “competitor” or [insert generic baseball cliche here]. Nothing sounds like a Dodgers broadcast though and that’s because of Vin’s unique, anecdotal style. You never know what you might learn when watching a Dodgers game and Scully is the perfect teacher – always interesting and informative.