My, oh my ... Miller has his work cut out for him
Our guy Scott Miller has a problem.And, no, it's not because the WDAY broadcaster now has a schedule that calls for him to work 384 days a year. Already the radio voice of the North Dakota State football and men's basketball teams, Scotty took on the additional duties of calling play-by-play for the Bison women's basketball team, hosting the evening talk show Prime Time Sports and becoming the new voice of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.
Between the two Scotts - Miller and Hennen - will anybody else be able to get a word in edgewise at WDAY?
But we digress.
Scott Miller doesn't have a home run call.
That is the problem. Since he's never called professional baseball - he did broadcast Pac-10 college games back in the day - Miller hasn't developed that signature exclamation to lets fans know who's talking.
The "my, oh my" call he uses for football and basketball doesn't translate well to baseball. Too understated.
Miller doesn't have a "Track it down, Marge!" like his RedHawks' predecessor Jack Michaels used.
Nor does he have a "It could be, it might be ... it is! A home run!" like Harry Caray slurred for all those years.
Or a "Holy cow!" like Phil Rizzuto.
If this situation is left unchecked, Scott will take to the airwaves next spring naked as a compensated guest on a Vikings cruise.
We cannot let that happen. So in the interest of holiday giving, I've taken it upon myself to help my golden-toned friend. I've come up with some choices that Scott could use for his home run call.
This advice is unsolicited, of course, just like all the advice I offer in this column. But, as Custer once said, why stop now?
So, after not much deep thought at all, I offer these calls that Scott could use when a RedHawks batter leaves the yard.
If he finds old habits are too hard to break: "That ball is hit high and deep to left, it's way back there. ... Touchdown, Bison!"
If he gets direction from owner Bruce Thom: "Hard hit to right field, has a chance. ... Here's hoping the St. Paul Saints go bankrupt!"
If he decides he's bitten off more than he can chew: "Long drive, back to the track. ... It's gone, and I still haven't had a day off since November!"
If nobody gets the hint: "Long drive, back to the track. ... It's &(&%$# gone, and guess *&%$@ what? I still haven't had a $#@!* day off since (*&%$ November!
If he wants to be honest: "Deep, deep, deep. ... Hey, that'll keep (insert player's name) from having to get a real job for at least another week!"
Ditto: "Deep, deep, deep. ... Get your resume ready (insert pitcher's name), because you're giving up homers in the Northern League!"
If manager Doug Simunic proves difficult to deal with: "Hammered a long way ... Thank you! Thank you! Oh baseball gods, I thank you!"
If, as a "Seinfeld" devotee, he wanted to pay homage: "Launched to deep center, way back there, could be. ... These pretzels are making me thirsty!"
Or: "Launched to deep center, way back there, could be. ... The baseball store called and they're running out of you!"
(Apologies to the 92 percent of all readers who didn't get the last two.)
If he wants to sell his soul and make a few bucks on the side: "Big shot, has a chance. ...Pass me a cool one, it's Miller Time!"
Yes, esteemed announcers like Mel Allen actually used to tie product endorsements into home run calls at the behest of their teams and stations. Might happen again, come to think of it, especially if Thom or somebody at 'DAY reads this.
Sorry, Scott. And happy holidays.
Forum sports columnist Mike McFeely can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 10 a.m. to noon on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5580 or email@example.com