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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oh no he didn't!

Perhaps I'm overreacting here. It's been known to happen. Or perhaps not. Whatever, I'm not very happy with Bob Carpenter right now. I thought he took a serious cheap shot on the air last night.

Backstory: By the time soccer finished and I got in the car, the Braves were in the midst of their big third inning. My XM kicked in just in time to hear the bases-clearing double. So I got home and took my book upstairs and turned on the game for background noise. I'm reading Don Felder's account of life in The Eagles, Heaven and Hell. My first real date with my wife was to see The Eagles (Jimmy Buffett opened) and we saw them again for our 25th anniversary. They've aged better.

When Langerhans hit his triple, I put the book down and decided to pay attention.

During the eighth, they went to Debbi Taylor and I can't even remember her subject. I know she used the word "disseminate" and when they went back to the booth, Bob said, "Now, Debbi, do you know what 'disseminate' means?"

I about croaked.

To her credit, she gave a definition and said, "I learned some vocabulary in college." I hope after the game was over she went up and smacked Carpenter. Hard. And then smacked him again. And again. And then said, "Disseminate THAT."

Maybe this is a running joke between them and I've just happened to miss it every other time. Maybe there were references earlier in the game that I missed. It's still weak. To me, it came off as insulting, condescending (I do know what that means) and worse. You can't assume your viewers are going to know your history, if there is any. You have to consider every remark as a stand-alone. Some dude with a blog may be listening.

Suppose Debbi didn't know the definition? How bad does Carpenter make her look with that crack?

I was so mad I turned off the game.

I know Carpenter is a lightning rod. He's never really bothered me. I don't mind that they brought him back. I wouldn't have minded if they didn't. Long as they leave Charlie and Dave alone, I'm OK. I've never met Bob Carpenter, don't know if he's a jokester or a surly SOB or what. He may be the greatest guy on earth. I do know there are certain things you never do on the air, and putting one of your partners in a spot where they can look bad is A-No. 1 on the list. He violated that. With only 9,000 viewers, though, at least the damage is limited.

Unrelated, I admit I did not get 100 percent on the quiz in Chico the Writer's Nationals Journal on the first basemen. I got five right away and could not for the life of me think of the sixth. I'm actually proud of myself for blocking him from my memory.

Only good news out of last night (besides a 3-0 VCU victory in soccer) is the Nats moved a step closer to winning the Strasburg Cup. I'd still rather see Manny field a competitive lineup.


Chris Needham said...

There's no chance that they've even got that 9K at this point in the season!

I wonder if Bob knows what 'hack' means?

MikeHarris said...

The money I would have paid to hear Debbi come back with THAT one. Priceless.

An Briosca Mor said...

If the first baseman you forgot was the same as the first baseman I forgot, then I'm totally with you, man. Amazing how fast he slipped from our minds, isn't it? Guess the Nats won't be bringing him in for their first old-timers game in 2025, will they?

Now, for your next quiz, name all of this year's left fielders. See if you can remember Lopez as well as LoDuca. God, it's been a terrible year right from the start, hasn't it?

And welcome to the Hotel Carpenter. You can check in any time you want, but you can never leave. (Capacity 9,000 of course.) This is not the first time I've heard Carpenter make "the little woman" kind of comments to or about Debbi Taylor, but all the others were much more benign. Perhaps he'd rather be working with Amber Theoharis up in Baltimore? She seems like she'd tell him what's what post haste.

But do you also notice that Sutton finally seems to be warming up to Carpenter in the booth, even needling him a bit every now and then? Of course, I'd much rather be paying attention to good baseball than to stuff like this, but what are you gonna do? Watch the O's?

MikeHarris said...

I'm sure it is the same guy - I'd like to forget the other half of the duo, too, but every time Marco comes in to pitch I get the shakes. If they ever sign a pitcher named LoDuca I may have the big one.

Left fielders. Wow. There's been like 200, right? A Wily and a Willie. Kory and Ryan and Paul *** Elijah. FLop. I'm sure I'm missing 80 or so.

My old company would have Bob in for some sensitivity training. That would have taught him.

Mama B said...

Plug Time...While all you Nats fans are drowning your sorrows in beer or whatever, the Potomac Team is playing for the championship. They start on the road on Monday, but play at home Thursday, and if needed, Friday and Saturday.

Attendance is never great, but it would sure help team spirit if there were more fans in the stands. The last two games at home were exciting baseball and this round promises more. Come see the Nats of the future - ones who can play baseball and win.

More info at the team website -

jonlongstrider said...

As a member of the 9K club, I once watched them look up the meaning of "disseminate" on the air, after reading the end of game legal boilerplate. It has been a "in-joke" for them since.

MikeHarris said...

Disseminate is part of the boilerplate.

My advice to them is to keep their in jokes off the air, though I'm glad to hear he wasn't being quite the douchebag I thought originally.
I still wish she'd come back with Chris' question.

An Briosca Mor said...

Even in jest, Carpenter should need the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball to make comments like that on the air.

MikeHarris said...

Apropos of nothing, Brian McCann is slower than I am.

Hendo said...

I got five out of six right too... I said Orr instead of Casto.

Not to diss Casto at all. Or Orr.

It's not too late to rotate 'em through all the positions, not excluding pitcher.

MF said...

It's a running joke between the three of them. Of course it's not particularly funny.

MikeHarris said...

As I said above, I'm relieved to hear it is a joke and he isn't that much of a clown. But that's also why "inside" jokes are inside - no one else knows about them or gets them. So keep them off the air.
Of course, with a stable of only 9,000 viewers, it probably wouldn't cost too much to print up a guide to the inside humor of Bob-Don-Debbi and disseminate it to all.

Crash said...

Yes, just to help confirm, it is an inside joke. I think that Bob Carpenter and Tom Pasciorek began discussing that two years ago.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I feel sorry for Bob and all of the Nats broadcasters, they have to help make these terrible games more entertaining, not an easy task to be certain. So if Bob makes a little inside joke to Debbi Taylor that some of us obviously DO get, we should keep in mind how difficult it is for them to try and keep these broadcasts watchable.

For the record, Bob's a very nice guy and I'd be stunned if he actually demonstrated thinly-veiled hostility towards anyone, much less one of his coworkers during a live broadcast.

I think that this is much ado about nothing, but your concern is admirable, Mike.

MikeHarris said...

You have a Hall of Famer in the booth in Don Sutton, so let him tell his stories. Don an extremely good and entertaining story teller.
And I live to be admirable! Good that SOME of you do get the wisecracks - Bob needs to realize that his small audience may not be as small as he thinks.
For the final time: Good to hear he isn't a clown. Still not a good comment.
I met a young woman in Seattle who knew Bob and Debbi - she apparently went on a side trip to one of the islands with Debbi while they were there.

And Crash - don't hate but when I first saw your name, I thought it said Clint. Sorry.

MikeHarris said...

Now they're making fun of fans - classy. I'm sure that's an inside joke, too.