Nobody took 2012 harder than radio broadcaster Scott Franzke, whose meltdown became something of a confirmation that people employed by the team were feeling it as well.
So difficult was the transition from “perennial contender” to “tepid, luke warm baseball puddle” that Franzke was forced to flee the area with his spouse during the month of October, choosing the sparkling lights of Paris and sinful pleasures of Cancun over watching somebody else play as the NL East champion.
We all had similar reactions. Only instead of “Paris” it was a “therapist’s office.” And instead of a “therapist’s office” it was “under a bridge, demanding tolls from passing school children.”
But Franzke, like everyone else, is gearing up for a 2013 season that will in all likelihood be an awful experience. No, that’s a bit dramatic. We have a few weeks before we can confirm that “awful” is the word to use to describe Michael Young while he’s lying face down in the infield dirt as a soft grounder trickles into left field, which is then somehow mishandled by Dom Brown as a confused Jeff Francoeur stops at second base, out of breath and shaking his head at his third base coach who is frantically waving him around.
So yeah, Scott is now forced to address that without a great team to celebrate orally, he and Larry Andersen are forced to turn the microphone on themselves.
“Larry and I always joked that when the team struggled we’d get our true test as broadcasters… From a broadcasting standpoint it became a different challenge because we couldn’t sit back and let the game be the story all the time. We had to get creative and maybe dig a little deeper.”
What could possibly go wrong when people are forced to look deep inside themselves?
- Franzke admits through a curtain of tears that L.A.’s antics intimidate and scare him, and walking into the booth every day is like walking into a wall of knives.
- Franzke confesses, suddenly with a sinister British accent, that the reason he hates Scott Hairston so much is because he thinks that by eliminating everyone else named “Scott,” he will be the most powerful Scott in the world. There is rigid silence as the crowd groans because Michael Young is somehow face down again.
- L.A. insinuates that he’s been operating under the impression that everyone in the dugout can hear him through his microphone, and thusly he has been controlling the team’s actions. It wasn’t until he screamed “APPEAL IT” from the booth last year that he realized this was not the case.
- Franzke suddenly un-represses the memory of watching Chris Wheeler win a knife fight and frame Ray Lewis.
- During an impressively uneventful 2-0 loss in which Cliff lee notches 19 strike outs, Franzke and L.A. do a table read for the pilot episode of their intensely sexual HBO cop drama.
- They both accidentally leave their mics on as they discuss in grisly detail a hunting trip with Roy Halladay in the Alaskan wilderness in which they were forced to eat Kyle Kendrick to survive.
- L.A. spends four full innings discussing how he has prolong, lucid dreams about punching John Lannan’s face.