Fourteenth in a series.

Broadcast: Los Angeles Dodgers on FSN Prime Ticket, Atlanta at Dodgers, 7/7/08; Announcer: Vin Scully

Except for a brief pre-game spot by the post-game show announcers, it’s all Vin Scully, all the time. The Hall of Famer works alone (when he works, that is; these days Scully doesn’t travel east of Denver). It makes for a unique, almost surreal viewing experience. There’s no back-and-forth chitchat with someone in the booth, there are no reports from someone in the stands, and most of the time when a replay or graphic had a sponsor’s logo attached, he never even read the name of the sponsor.

Essentially it’s an old-fashioned radio broadcast, but televised, and Scully has long since mastered the art by now, having joined the Dodgers in 1950. He is a non-stop stream of information — team stats, individual player stats, biographical information, anecdotes, out-of-town scores — smoothly weaving everything into his play-by-play call without missing a beat. And it’s mostly relevant and/or interesting. (Did you know that Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar defected from Cuba and was one of 30 people on a boat in shark-infested waters on his trip to freedom?)

Fourteenth in a series.

Broadcast: Los Angeles Dodgers on FSN Prime Ticket, Atlanta at Dodgers, 7/7/08; Announcer: Vin Scully

Except for a brief pre-game spot by the post-game show announcers, it’s all Vin Scully, all the time. The Hall of Famer works alone (when he works, that is; these days Scully doesn’t travel east of Denver). It makes for a unique, almost surreal viewing experience. There’s no back-and-forth chitchat with someone in the booth, there are no reports from someone in the stands, and most of the time when a replay or graphic had a sponsor’s logo attached, he never even read the name of the sponsor.

Essentially it’s an old-fashioned radio broadcast, but televised, and Scully has long since mastered the art by now, having joined the Dodgers in 1950. He is a non-stop stream of information — team stats, individual player stats, biographical information, anecdotes, out-of-town scores — smoothly weaving everything into his play-by-play call without missing a beat. And it’s mostly relevant and/or interesting. (Did you know that Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar defected from Cuba and was one of 30 people on a boat in shark-infested waters on his trip to freedom?)

If there’s a downside, it’s that there isn’t a more detailed analysis of some of the finer points of the game — a hitter’s swing, a pitcher’s grip for his various pitches, etc. There are things that come from a former player’s perspective that are missing when there’s no one else in the booth. Then again, considering the lack of real insight provided by so many players-turned-broadcasters, perhaps we’re not really missing much.

This particular game came close to being another historic moment in Scully’s career. Dodger pitcher Hiroki Kuroda retired the first 21 batters he faced, but the Braves’ Mark Teixeira doubled to begin the 8th inning and end Kuroda’s bid for a perfect game. An inning earlier Atlanta’s Gregor Blanco tried to bunt for a hit but was thrown out on a fine play by third baseman Blake DeWitt. For Scully it brought to mind a no-hit attempt by Dodger Carl Erskine, which was ended on a bunt single by Cincinnati’s Gus Bell. Scully said that some people thought it was wrong of Bell to bunt to break up a no-hitter (shades of Curt Schilling!) but a bunt single is the same as a line drive. He is, of course, correct.

If only this game didn’t have the typical Fox graphic presentation…and, by the way, there was an error in that department. Prior to the 8th inning they flashed Kuroda’s game stats and pitch count. Unfortunately, they showed his totals through 6 innings instead of 7. Grade: A-minus. — Joe Guckin

Don't forget to share: