Unless you live in New York and your favored team has the clout to buy its own network, you can’t expect much from your basic cable regional network broadcast team. Case in point: Fox Sports Net Midwest, the Cardinal’s flagship cable channel which broadcasts about 150 of their regular season games. Sometimes we get to hear (literal) favorite son Joe Buck call a game, which is fine with me; he’s got the voice and St. Louis roots, and he tends to remain inoffensive and impartial for most non-Randy Moss-related issues.
Otherwise, the everyday line-up consists of play-by-play man Dan McLaughlin, somehow more vanilla than Buck; and Al Hrabosky, a well-meaning but mostly useless color commentator who was a decent reliever but was mostly famous for getting all histrionic on the mound. Just like every other player who has played baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, he can do no wrong when he is within the St. Louis metropolitan area, and he even has the requisite restaurant. He’s also kind of dumb. Mike Shannon at least has the rambling, hilariously senile angle on the radio, but Hrabrosky is just bad.
So any night I can catch one of the Cardinals’ games on FSN Midwest, I will try to transcribe some gem of Hrabosky’s that really made me writhe. Let’s inaugurate this piece, son!
I’ll tell you, what sets the Cardinals apart from a club like the Brewers is that the Cardinals, they find a way to win.
He said this as the Mets were dishearteningly beating the Cardinals for the second night in a row. We were getting shut out by a guy who might well be 49 years old. Meanwhile, the Brewers were winning their second game in a row against the Dodgers, a team many picked to win the NL pennant.
Keep this up, Al, and we just might have to revoke your credentials as the Mad Hungarian. Or as a broadcaster.