We all know it's going to happen eventually. That doesn't mean we are going to like it when it does, and we certainly hope it doesn't happen anytime soon. A good five years at least. Maybe more if we are lucky. We all know it's a year to year thing, but there's no sign of it happening, and no one wants it to. But, one of these days, if it dare be said out loud or put in print, there will be Dodger baseball without Vin Scully.
Any possible sign of that happening is met with a gasp, and for good reason. The golden voice is in its 66th season with the Dodgers, dating back long before the Dodgers were in Los Angeles. Scully is 87, and has cut back his travel schedule. For several years, he has not gone with the team when the Dodgers went back east. This year he has eliminated San Diego and Arizona, and will not be broadcasting from the Oakland Coliseum when the Dodgers are there Tuesday and Wednesday. He is also the only television sportscaster remaining who does games in the booth by himself, which is what made this past week a little alarming.
When Scully works (all non-nationally televised home games, at San Francisco, and at Anaheim), he does all nine innings on television, with the first three simulcast on radio. Last Monday against Washington, everything was fine, but Tuesday, Scully did his nine innings on TV, but no radio. That happened again on Wednesday, and with no explanation on the air. When Cincinnati came to town on Thursday, it happened again, and again Friday, and still no radio on Saturday.
To be honest, listening on Monday, Scully sounded a little weird. He seemed perhaps like he had a cold, or at least some kind of malady. Knowing he was on television (radio guys Charley Steiner and Rick Monday said he was there), perhaps he was saving his voice. You do have to talk more on the radio than on television, and that seemed like a good explanation. Officially, though, there wasn't one, and when it happened again on Wednesday, you had to wonder. Was Scully giving up radio or something?
A nice “Vin is under the weather” line from Steiner would actually have been a relief. It didn't come over the air, but Los Angeles Times writer Steve Dilbeck saved the say when he tweeted the information. Scully was back on radio Sunday, and even though it was only for three innings, everything felt okay again. I even drifted off to sleep briefly, awakening just in time to hear “and now for more play by play, here's Rick and Charley.” Those two are much easier to listen to after you know Vin is there for the first three. Let's hope it stays that way for a long time.
Mark your calendars: With out much fanfare (or necessity really), Major League Baseball announced its post season schedule today. It's pretty much the same as last year with the season ending October 4, any possible tiebreaker games scheduled for October 5, the AL Wild Card game on October 6 (ESPN) and the NL Wild Card game October 7 (TBS). The ALDS will start October 8 and the NLDS October 9. One note is that the networks will reverse leagues this year. What that means is no Dodger (or any other National League) games on the MLB Network (in case you are like me and don't get that channel). All potential Dodger postseason games up to the World Series will be on TBS. If there is a World Series Game 7, however, it will be on November 4, equaling the latest end to a season ever.