Saturday, October 24, 2009

My season in the sun (photo album)

My baseball season is over. But it's been a great ride. Here are a few snapshots of my year with the Dodgers.

Opening Day in San Diego. The Padres were undefeated when this picture was taken.
He's the best manager I've ever worked with. Joe Torre... who reminds you all to try Bigelow Green Tea.

The Milwaukee Hot Dog racers in a rare relaxed moment.
My work station in the press box. Unlike the stands, very few fights.
If I'm not in the booth I'm here waiting to grab a player for a postgame interview. Only the ones who don't speak English agree to go on with me.
The great Jerry Coleman, Hall of Fame broadcaster and my partner when I was with the Padres. He's in his 80s and he could still kick my ass.
The day of the big Station Fire in Los Angeles. It looks like we've been attacked, doesn't it?
Traveling with the team I got my first glimpse of the Mets' new home -- CitiField. Shea Stadium was demolished but they played there three more years anyway.
Just some of the respected journalists who cover Dodger games.
The KABC studio where I broadcast. As you can see, I'm all about baseball.
Coors Field in Denver. One of my favorite parks.
Two of my heroes -- Hall of Fame broadcasters Marty Brenneman of the Reds and Vin Scully of the Dodgers.
The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Doesn't that cloud formation look like smoke coming out of those smokestacks?
The Dodgers won the division. I got to be right in the middle of it. Some were so delirious with joy they even hugged me.
On to the playoffs and St. Louis. What a surprise! There's a Budweiser sign.
Me and Chip Caray. We were partners in Seattle and I don't care what anyone says. He's a great guy and knows how to call a good game.
Here's how it ended for us. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Phillies have just won the pennant. You'll notice when the other team wins my vantage point is just a tad farther back than when the Dodgers win.
Good luck to the Phillies and whoever they play. I was hoping for a ring but I guess they don't give NLCS Championship Series consolation rings.

During the offseason my partner Josh Suchon and I will be on 790 KABC (and on-line on KABC.COM) every Sunday from 5-8 to talk sports... okay, mostly baseball but we will mention the Superbowl.

25 comments:

Paul Duca said...

Bigelow tea also has Red Sox manager Terry Franconia endorsing the stuff--I saw them running a contest where the winner gets to sit down with Terry over a cuppa.

Baylink said...

Did you have joy?

Did you have fun?

Anonymous said...

Only two teams will have had a better year than the Dodgers. And it looks like no one had a better year than you,

VP81955 said...

If the Phillies repeat, we'll have to discover what tea Charlie Mauel sips. (Particularly after Scioscia and Girardi seemed to play the managerial equivalent of giveaway checkers Thursday night.)

Congrats on a fine season, and I hope like heck you're not the person Frank McCourt is referring to in his divorce deposition against Jamie, where it is alleged she engaged in "inappropriate behavior with a direct subordinate.” This case has all the elements of a screwball comedy from Norman Krasna or Ben Hecht -- but when it involves real people, not characters, it isn't quite as funny.

wv: "innoca" -- something thousands are now doing every day; it's become so familiar the phrase has mutated into slang (the only further mutation on this topic, I hope).

sonderangerbot said...

Number one future Ken Levine feature I'd like to see: "Good places to pick up sweaters"

Also, I see you're a Mac user. Makes sense since I don't think I've ever read a Windows-related rant on your blog...

bmfc1 said...

Great stuff Ken. However, even though he may be a good guy, Chip Carey is a terrible baseball announcer. Not as bad as his father but still a blight on the sport.

Will Teullive said...

Given the way he called the NLCS I thought Chip Caray was Vin Scully's grandson, not Harry's....I wouldn't be surprised if he was wearing a Dodger ballcap while working.

WV: weedso- "Hey everyone I've got weed!". "So"

Patrick said...

Great pics! I don't really have much else to share except that I'm really curious as to wether TBS received an airplane full of negative mail in response to the announcing of the NCLS braoadcasts. I can't tell you how many Phillies fans in my facebook network were just disgusted with the ridiculous coverage. And not even just in Philly. Watching the series in NYC with many die hard Yankees fans, I heard the same phrase over and over; "Who the hell are these idiots?"

Just curious as to whether there is any insider info on the ramifications of so much negative feedback.

Randy 92109 said...

Hi Ken: glad you gave the salute to Jerry Coleman. What a remarkable life he has had. He is so humble, I'm sure most people have no idea what he has experienced and accomplished. By the way, the Padres broadcasts could use you these days...

Jeffrey Leonard said...

Ken...
Isn't it amazing how much Marty Brennaman looks like Stu Nahan in your photo? Stu was another nice guy who LOVED sports.

l.a.guy said...

Thanks for the behind the scenes look. Where's the picture of you posing with Frank and Jamie? That will be a collectors item.

Speaking of Chip Carey... the network announcing seems be getting more annoying every year. I think it's the color guys who feel they have to make some moronic observation every time there's 5 milliseconds of dead air that irritate me most. If you're a devoted fan of a team the network announcers inevitably suffer in comparison to the local announcers who really do know the team. As a dedicated Angels fan it's clear to me that Tim McCarver doesn't know anything more about the Angels than the notes that are put in front of him.

The Dodgers had a great year. I guess Philly finally got payback for 1977 and 1978 when the Dodgers knocked them out of the play-offs.

blogward said...

Know nothing of baseball. Looks like you had fun, so that's good.

I wonder, Ken, if you have any strong feeling either way on P.G. Wodehouse, the creator of Jeeves and Wooster, among others - he was a sort of UK to USA Larry Gelbart of his day (the 1910's-1930's and beyond) but mainly in prose humor, though he did the Damsel In Distress screenplay for MGM. Great with one-liners: http://www.drones.com/pgw.cgi

WV: divid = how they pronounce 'David' in Birmingham, UK.

KEN LEVINE said...

I LOVE P.G. Wodehouse!! Hilarity on every page.

Beth Ciotta said...

Ken,

Fantastic photos and a great peek into your other life! Thanks so much for sharing.

Mary Stella said...

Sorry for insulting your former partner Chip Caray in comments on an earlier post. Maybe it's just that the other two guys are so awful that they overwhelm whatever good Caray might spout.

VP81955 said...

The Dodgers had a great year. I guess Philly finally got payback for 1977 and 1978 when the Dodgers knocked them out of the play-offs.

Actually, the Phils now have a 3-2 edge against the Dodgers; let's not forget 1983 (Garry Matthews Sr. never will). And of course, there was 1950, when Rich Ashburn threw Cal Abrams out at the plate in the bottom of the 9th, and Dick Sisler hit a three-run homer in the next half-inning.

wv: "Mascarp" -- the new rouge, especially for the seafood lover!

@AndyNY2 said...

Good stuff Ken. Comments from Phillies fans about bad TBS coverage (and my own feelings asa Yankee fan) makes me think MLB needs to rethink playoff TV approach. I watch 162 games a year on YES, and get very comfortable with Michael Kay, Ken Singleton, et al. To lose them for the postseason is jarring -- so ANYONE calling the game would sound bad. Couldn't MLB work out a deal with the regional networks to let them produce the broadscasts, and just carry them on TBS, FOX, ESPN etc.? And do two versions (Angel announcers west of Mississippi, YES crew east of Miss., etc.) Crazy?

Joe said...

Living in the South, I have to endure Chip Caray more than those in other regions, when he miscalls Braves games regularly. Let's face it, if his last name wasn't Caray, he'd be working AA games.

Linda said...

You should be able to listen to your local announcers on your local radio. WPHT-1210 (Philadelphia) had their audio synched up to the television transmission and I was listening to the local guys during the NLCS.

That's thanks to us Phillies fans. We were so angry at not being able to hear Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas AT ALL during the 1980 run that we made such a big stink that MLB allowed for local radio broadcasts for championship series.

WV: rewfro: Scooby-Doo's Jewish afro (hey, who knew he was one of us?)

Tom Quigley said...

Ken -- As they used to say in the days of Ebbets: "Wait'll next yeeah!" (Great pix, BTW)...

wv: cincem -- an omen for "next yeeah", as in "Cincemati Reds?"....

wv #2: dersestr -- a tragedy, as in "Wait'll next year! This year's playoffs were a dersestr!"

Matt Patton said...

The guy in the towel--didn't use used to be on THE KIDS IN THE HALL?

leor said...

do you ever get to Toronto in your baseball travels?

Anonymous said...

Go Phils! I didn't have a problem with Chip et al from TBS. They were better than the Fox team we're going to get in the World Series. I can't stand those guys.

Dan Serafini said...

"I don't care what anyone says" always begins a left-handed compliment.

Chip Caray talks like Yoda, but not on purpose.

Terrible announcer is Chip Caray.

chalmers said...

The Chip Caray evisceration has been brutal in New York, where a lot of these decisions are made, so I think there will be a change there. However, the problem goes beyond him.

Die-hard fans watch 100 or more games per year, described by announcers who are there every day.

Then, when the stakes are highest, the national guys parachute in and do what they can with their prep-books and producers.

If you can have Ken Rosenthal miked, and cut to him a few times a night, why can't you do the same with, say, Ken Singleton and Rex Hudler?

Maybe Vlad had a base-running brainlock like he did getting doubled off last night in a July game against Seattle. You can't blame Buck/McCarver for not knowing that, but an Angelcaster would bring it up.

The problem is a little less pronounced for the Yankees, because they get so much attention and so many of their stars have been on the national stage for a decade or more. Still, a YES guy might have a nugget or two about something like Kazmir's extensive history against the Yankees.

In the old days, they'd pair up one announcer from each team. I think network branding has ended that forever, but there are better options than guys whose knowledge is shallower than many of the teams' fans.