Saturday, May 03, 2008

Plaschke on Scully

The World’s Best Sportswriter on the World’s Best Sports Talker

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ radio and TV announcer Vin Scully is 80. For 59 years his has been the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers. His current contract is up at the end of the year. The Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke speculates about whether it will be renewed, and if so, on what terms will it be negotiated.

In part:

Let Scully announce only the home games. It's not ideal for Dodgers fans who still wish he worked every inning of every game on both television and radio, but it's better than the alternative.

A half of a season with Scully is better than a full season with anyone else.

Now, more than ever, the drought-stricken Dodgers need him.

Now, more than ever, a city with few sports or civic leaders worth trusting needs him.

Vin Scully has the only sports voice in this town that really matters, doesn't he?

Vin Scully is this city's last civic treasure that everyone still believes, isn't he?

This is why I reacted so swiftly to his innocuous quotes. This is perhaps why we all should listen to Scully the way we've never listened to him before.

He apparently won't retire after this year, but one day he will, and it will come sooner than we think, making every syllable worth cherishing.

Did you ever wish that a batter would foul off a couple of more pitches so Scully could finish telling a story before the end of the inning?

Did you ever hope the TV cameras would leave the field and capture a malted-milk-stained child in the stands, just so Scully could say something sweet about the kid?

With Scully in their ear, Dodgers fans are the only ones in the country who wait for their baseball games to turn into a history class or a Hallmark card.

And when something truly spectacular happens on the field? The next day at work, isn't somebody always asking, "How did Vinny describe it?"

Like nothing the Dodgers do is real until we hear it from him?

So we can relax now, he says he's staying. But make no mistake, he's also leaving.

His recent comments remind us that the voice of the dawning of baseball in Los Angeles has become a deep, glowing, wondrous sunset.

We need to sit still for a while and stare at it, embrace it, cling to it in hopes of keeping it there forever.