Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Michael Puts The "Kay" In WeaKness

If you know me or have ever read this blog before, you're probably familiar with my disdain for yankee play-by-play man Michael Kay. I can say with conviction that I HATE Michael Kay the announcer. And the interviewer, and the talk show host. As for Michael Kay the person, I just wish he'd get some therapy already. He has several neurological problems--you know what's funny and weird and sad is that I hear his voice right now, and while I can't hear the words he's saying, I can tell he's gloating. See, I've got the Red Sox on the radio right hear next to me, and between innings I turn it off and can hear the yanks game on tv from the other room. (This wall of sound I'm producing in the apartment is a benefit of my fiance Lys being out at an open mic for the evening.) So I just went to the other room and was proved right; Kay was very happy to see the team he feels he is an integral part of up 3-0 in the first. Actually, I just heard him again. His call of what I think was a three-run double (in April, mind you) was reminiscent of the famous "Oh, the humanity!" line, only in a positive way, if you get my drift.

I used the word "sad" before not just to describe Kay's vicarious lifestyle, but to describe my own near obsession with this man, and the fact that as I started to write out a rant about him, I heard his voice from a distance, sounding much the way it does when I hear it in my head (!)

This rant does have a point, fortunately. Here goes. When the yankees were in Japan, Michael Kay was talking about Hideki Matsui and his days growing up in Japan. He told how Matsui was a fan of a team called the Tigers, I think, as a kid. This is the team that Kay compared to the Red Sox, as opposed to the Giants, who are the "yankees" of Japan, and who Matsui was drafted by. So Kay is telling this story like it's just inexplicable that anyone could PURPOSELY root for the team who doesn't win all the time. He goes on to say that when you're a kid, you don't know the history, so you just root for whoever (your home team, the team with your favorite colors, etc., he meant).

Now this, to me, implies that the Kay method of fandom is: Once you've figured out who the "best" team is, you drop all allegiances, and convert, guiltlessly, to being a fan of that team. (And, of course, act like you're one of the "chosen ones" who gets to "be a part" of this winning tradition.)

For whatever reason, i.e. procrastination, I never wrote out that story, but after what I heard earlier today, I knew I had to tell the story, which now has a perfect ending.

Today on Kay's radio show, he was making fun of the saying "It's better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all." He thought he was so funny (he thinks he's not only a god, but a comedian) when he said, "I'd rather not have loved at all." He went on to say that the hurt is so much greater than whatever happiness had been there. If you know anything about the Red Sox and yankees, you know where this is going. Being a Red Sox fan is "having loved," every year from April to mid to late September, sometimes October...and then immediately having "lost." And while we Sox fans may occasionally feel like maybe we should stop loving, because we always seem to lose, we keep on loving anyway. That's called being STRONG.

Michael Kay is the epitome of WEAKNESS. He's admitted that both in baseball and in life, he'd rather take the path that requires no guts, no heart, no soul, and in fact no love at all, just the one with the slow, steady (band-)wagon, with plenty of cushions inside and LOTS of room, so anyone can jump right on and enjoy the ride. And in those rare times when he "loves and loses," like say, the 2001 season, well, "hey, you know, both these teams won this year, there were no losers. C'mon, terrorists attacked New York, so the yankees are WINNERS, don't tell me otherwise. If Mariano doesn't throw that ball into center field...." If, if, if. Isn't that what they make fun of us for saying? We can say nobody lost the '75 Series because a non-loss is like a win for us, it's all we've got. When you're the yankees, you damn well better get that last out before you go saying that you didn't lose. In fact, Torre said after that '01 Series, "We got to Game 7, ninth inning, with the lead and the best closer in baseball on the hill." Like as if that's all the mighty yankees could ask for! What the hell is that?? (There's a reason to not like Torre, for all of you who say, "Besides the uniform, there's nothing not to like about Joe Torre.) And then last year, with their attitude of, "At least we beat the Red Sox." Which is completely hypocritical of a yankee fan to say, considering they make fun of us for seeming like we feel it's more important to beat the yanks than to win it all.

Yesterday at work I was telling a co-worker about my Fenway trip on Saturday. I told him how despite what Michael Kay said (I saw the replay of the game), there was no "chill" in the air. My co-worker said, "Well he probably wasn't out in the sun. He probably has a special compartment he sits in so he doesn't touch anything the common man touches."

Note: This co-worker is a yankee fan.

Get help, Michael Kay.


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Location: Rhode Island, United States