Story telling

It’s the storytelling skills that set Scully apart from all the other broadcasters.

Empty the notebook and the crevices of a cluttered mind to finish another week.

This week’s loss of the incomparable Vin Scully took away the best baseball broadcaster I, or anyone else, have ever heard.

His greatest gift?

The ability to weave stories seamlessly into his work that entertained and informed and provided viewers and listeners with great anecdotes to help pass the time.

And we need more of that, we need more storytellers and less bloviators, we need human stories rather than raw numbers, we need fun combined with insight and much less intrusion than we usually receive.

We need it:

Look, I know it’s hard work putting on a long show, and the default position is always stats and what happened in yesterday’s game and the intricacies of the moment. I certainly couldn’t do it and I admire those who can.

I also understand that the needs and wants of listeners and viewers are different today than they were maybe ten years ago, but I refuse to believe that they are better. I honestly think a simpler time was indeed a better time.

But specials can do more and we don’t have enough special people anymore. And no one – before, now or in the future – is, was or will be on the special Scully level.

I can honestly say that there has never been a more successful marriage between the broadcaster and his sport than Scully and baseball.

Great moments? Oh yeah, he knew how to let them breathe too; and no one who has heard this will ever forget it.

Damn. He was the gold standard.

It is obvious that the so-called “trial” of American basketball star Brittney Griner was a well-orchestrated Russian farce and sham, perpetrated with the full blessing and participation of the Kremlin and Putin and designed only to continue having a hostage who can be at the center of the negotiations that Russia gets what it wants from the United States.

I certainly understand and support all calls to bring her back to the United States and hope with all my heart that negotiations for her release will be speedy. But geopolitics is a weird business and now it’s just that – negotiating with a dangerous and intransigent Russia.

Perhaps the result of all this is that a North American athlete will never again play in Russia. That would be the most sensible thing, to me.

Looks like there are a few questions for Ye Olde Mailbag in the inbox, but I haven’t looked too closely to see how difficult or elaborate they are.

I know I have an assignment tomorrow that will eat up a ton of my day so if I can start this afternoon before Friday Patio Time With Baseball Steve that would be great.

So hit [email protected] today and start me on my merry way, please.

Anyone who says they didn’t see that absolute collapse and crisis of Ontario’s health care system years ago is either delusional or a rabid supporter of the most downright evil government I’ve seen in Canada for half a century.

And both are shameful.

Oh, and where is the accounting for every penny the feds GIVEN to the province during the worst of COVID, because we deserve to know how many Ford buddies and supporters got rich from the broken families of so many Ontarians.

Is Novak Djokovic out? Good.

We have rules and they are important and if you don’t want to adhere to them there are repercussions and consequences and they are fine with me.

I remember a time when newspapers, news agencies and TV stations had staff and resources (read: money) and time and space dedicated to the Commonwealth Games, which are ending this week-end ; and the Canada Summer Games, which begin this weekend in the beautiful Niagara region.

It’s understandable in a way that we don’t understand. The staffing levels, the expenses, the overly large reader ‘numbers’ suggests that’s what needs to be cut, but part of me thinks we’re somehow fooling readers and ourselves into not going find good stories to tell.

But I will urge all my friends in St. Catharines and the Niagara area to find a way to see some of the Canada Summer Games if you can. In 10 or 15 years, you might look at an Olympian or a world champion or a star on a professional team and be able to say, “Yeah, I remember seeing her in 2022.”

Yes, the Raptors.

It was certainly cool to meet Kyle Lowry at Nick’s golf tournament on Wednesday and Nick was pretty open about bits of his roster and what they needed to do and I got some good stories from the day because Kyle was really good at answering questions he probably didn’t expect.

I also met a group of friends backstage to catch up – Johnny and Kevvy in the same cart were two of the best in one ride – and it reminded me of what a great job it is.

Just had a week where I was able to talk and pass on the stories of guys like Lowy and Nick and Julius Erving (there will be more with him here on Monday but suffice it to say he’s a huge Nick fan and Vince Carter) and the incomparable Wayne Embry.

I have no idea how long I’ll be able to do this job, but I hope it’s forever because, man, it’s fun.

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