Give the kid a break. Rookie Jonathan Schoop, filling in for Manny Machado at third base yesterday for the Baltimore Orioles, had a terrible fourth inning, committing two throwing errors that led to two unearned runs by the Toronto Blue Jays – the only two runs of the game, which the Orioles lost.
It was depressing to watch. It was also depressing to read to the bottom of the ESPN written account of the game and read that Manny Machado “will get two at-bats in a simulated game Saturday but will not run the bases.” Never does time move as slowly as when you’re waiting for your favorite player to return from an injury. (Oh, wait, that’s not true: time moves even more slowly waiting for a baby to fall asleep in the middle of the night, as my daughter will attest.)
Anyway, I needed something to collapse time and make my Oriole anxieties “all better.” Albert Einstein, who knew something about collapsing time, wasn’t going to do it for me. I needed to hear the reassuring voice of Chuck Thompson (1921-2005), the radio voice of the Orioles-of-my-childhood.
Chuck Thompson not only called the Orioles’ games, but the (football) Colts’ as well, and the fact that both the Orioles and Colts were both very successful franchises during my childhood meant that Thompson’s voice is strongly correlated in my memory with things turning out well.
When Chuck Thompson died in 2005, NPR’s Frank Deford, who grew up in Baltimore, did a lovely three-and-a-half minute tribute that has been posted to YouTube. Deford mentions both of Thompson’s signature expressions “Go to war, Miss Agnes,” and “Ain’t the beer cold,” which if you don’t know what they mean only marks you as culturally deprived.
The YouTube clip has some pictures of Chuck in his younger years that make him look pretty decent looking. In fact he was quite homely, which only added to his charm. I recommend that you meditate on this photo before listening to Deford’s tribute, which I am semi-embarrased to say, brings tears to my eyes.