Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Matty Might Leave and I'm Not Crying Wolf

By Nick McCann

Sports video games have to be real. They market themselves every year as being more real than the last. This year, the baseball video game that is approved by MLB and the Players Union, The Show 08, decided to put this ad forward as their statement of where the game is currently standing:


The Padres 163rd game of last season left every one with a bad taste in their mouth to the point that questions about Trevor Hoffman’s stability have dominated most Padre fan conversations. Hoffman’s sub par start this season has made things worse, and last night, going into the season opener against the Rockies, the end of last season was what was on everyone’s minds. Was Hoffman going to pitch? Was Hoffman going to get shelled? Was Hoffman going to strike back in the best way possible when you lose a big game at the end of a season and get to face your opponents the next year when the stakes are lower?

None of these questions were answered.

It is interesting to see the way fans relate to new players on their team. After last night, Padre fans will officially consider Randy Wolf to be a solid guy. He was brought to San Diego to be the fourth, or possibly third, starter in the rotation and so far he has been everything he was supposed to be. Last night he almost pitched a no hitter, and people will probably remember this all season. Already having had a few quality starts, this is the first game where he stood out. The game was never really in question after the Pads six run fifth, but after the sixth inning, the fans in the stadium, and the fans at home-with the help of the broadcast team-eventually started to take notice of what was happening.

Watching a no hitter is a beautiful thing, and it is hard not to root for the individual pitcher until he either gets it done or blows it, because he is giving you a chance to watch a piece significant history. Unfortunately, Wolf gave up a single in the seventh and it was over. However, Wolf got the win, Hoffman didn’t ruin anything, and the Channel 4 Production team, headed by Mark Grant and Matt Vasgersian, were successful at building the situation up with out blatantly mentioning it. They didn’t want to jinx a possible new Padre star, because they are great at what they do.

Without a doubt, the most valuable players the Padres have are Matt Vasgersian and Mark Grant. Sure, they aren’t players on the field, but they do play a huge role in making the overall product the Padres offer completely watchable when they are together. In fact, the element they form when they are together is arguably better than any of our players are at anything they do.

Grant will be employed until he chokes to death on a rib at the Valley View Casino Buffet, but Vasgersian will probably leave. This is a huge problem that seems to be brewing with Padre Fans. Vasgersian is nationally considered to be a rising star in American Broadcasting and he knows it. When the off-season comes around and he has a chance to leave, Padre fans should care more about keeping him then signing anybody. He is worth it, and the Padres should understand this. Instead of signing a has-been (like they do), they should put real money up for this guy because he makes everything they do (including Grant)-good and bad-completely entertaining.

Watch the video at the top again and ask yourself what feels more real: watching a digital Trevor Hoffman give up a homerun based on perception of what he really is, or listening to Matt Vasgersian’s voice sell something that isn’t the best baseball team in San Diego.



Joe said...

I don't know man. I once heard Matty say "Light the Lamp" after a Tom Lampkin HR in the 8th inning of a Padres loss.

tkf said...

It is a corny genre.

Red said...

I love Matty. I'm kinda surprised he stayed around this year, but I'm very glad he did. You're totally right about Matt and Mudd being the MVPs of the Padres broadcast (I also love Weisbarth and I don't care who knows it).

Also, word on the street is Dallas is to blame for Wolf blowing the no hitter. I'm just telling you what I heard.