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Home » May 2009 Game CommentsMay 2009 » Flashback


Game 49: May 29, 2009
Red Sox3
L: Tim Wakefield (6-3)
28-21, 1 game losing streak
WinBlue Jays
W: Casey Janssen (1-1)
H: Brandon League (2)
S: Scott Downs (6)
28-23, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: Rance Mulliniks filled in for Jerry Remy. Like Remy he was a slightly above average player who debuted in the mid-70s and has reemerged as a baseball analyst. A third baseman, Mulliniks had more power than Remy, but Remy trumped the former Blue Jay in the speed department. Mulliniks’s career petered out just as the Blue Jays won their first world championship. He wasn’t on the playoff roster and was granted free agency after the conclusion of the 1992 season. For Mulliniks, Flashback Friday uniforms aren’t a way to recreate an all-but-forgotten past for new fans but a living memory of his last season as a ballplayer.

Don Orsillo and Rance Mulliniks played dueling analysts for nine innings. A Rogers Sportsnets employee, he knows the Toronto roster backwards and forwards, and didn’t hesitate to volunteer this knowledge. He always did so with a polite “excuse me” if he talked over Orsillo, but he definitely wasn’t catering to his audience.

In contrast, Jerry Remy is able to adjust his approach if he is on a national broadcast for Fox or if he is in his regular NESN gig. Mulliniks is rather new to the color analyst shtick, so he has yet to learn how to adapt to a different viewership or dole out his analysis across the entirety of the game.

He did have a Kevin Millar anecdote to share, but then again who doesn’t? Millar got a free pass from Tim Wakefield in the second and while the designated hitter stood at first Mulliniks talked about how Millar got fired up and emotional when he saw a replay of Dave Roberts’s steal. Orsillo mentioned that Millar was the one who kept the clubhouse light during the 2004 ALCS and that it was Millar who said, “Don’t let us win tonight.”

“He says a lot of stuff,” said Orsillo, “and some of it sticks.”

“Yes it does. And some of it you can say on the air, not all of it,” quipped Mulliniks.

He did introduce me to a phrase I’ve never heard turned before: buzzard’s luck. David Ortiz is a classic example of buzzard’s luck last night: his deep fly to end the first could have been a home run if the roof were open and his rope to right could have been a double if Lyle Overbay hadn’t gotten a glove on it.

The Blue Jays’ loss this past Wednesday against the Orioles had buzzards picking on carcass. Had they played the game at home Aaron Hill’s two-run homer would have been the end of Toronto’s futility. Instead, they waited until last night to end their nine-game losing streak and even up with the Red Sox in the win column.

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