Tuesday, October 7, 2008

But, Seriously; You Suck, Michael Kay

As recently established on this site, there are lots of reasons to tell someone he sucks. Sometimes, you say it because you mean it. But there are also times when you say it ironically. Or for fun. So, just to avoid confusion, I wanted to state for the record that, when I tell Michael Kay he sucks, I am in earnest. 100%.

There are a number of way in which Michael Kay embodies the essence of suckiness. He asks asinine questions. He is pompous and self-obsessed. He cheers for the other team too much. But, at the moment, none of these are the reasons why I feel compelled to tell him he sucks. This time it’s because he had to go and open up that big, fat yap of his. About Torre. Again.

What he’s saying isn’t new. That Torre just happens to stumble into postseasons—thirteen in a row, for a refresher. Apparently, he did it twelve times on the steam of a great team that Buck Showalter put together, once on the steam of a former Chowda power hitter. Some guys have all the luck.

As I said, this isn’t the first time that Kay has had something less than glowing to say about Torre—St. Joe, as he likes to call him. (Though, he swears that’s not meant to be cutting or condescending.) Just a few months ago, Kay took issue with the fact that Torre had called Jorge Posada to inquire about his injury. According to Kay, as the manager of the Dodgers, it was inappropriate for Torre to check on the health of a player for the Yankees, even if that player happened to be a guy he had managed for twelve years. Apparently, a manager is only supposed to take a fake interest in his players and only for the duration of time for which he is under contractual obligation to do so.

It’s sort of funny that, of all things Kay should take issue with, it would be Torre’s loyalty to former players. That actually sort of contradicts some of the other things about Torre that Kay has taken issue with. For example, Kay once said, “There are things about Joe Torre, if I wanted to come out and say, would show how cold and calculated he really is… Joe Torre is for Joe Torre. … The graveyard of Yankees coaches is loaded with bones of coaches Joe Torre did nothing about.”

OK. Let’s leave aside the weird dead body imagery for a second and consider the rationale behind this assertion. If Torre’s so self-interested, why is he calling former players to inquire about their health? For some secret, selfish reason that I just can’t wrap my brain around because I’m a baseball outsider? And if Torre has such a bad rapport with his coaches, why would he have brought Mattingly and Bowa along to L.A. with him? Better yet, why would they have agreed to go? Is it just me, or is Kay’s logic a little unsound?

Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time.

As some of you may remember, a couple of years ago, Kay became completely unhinged over complaints that he had interfered with a Chien-Ming Wang no-hitter by announcing it as it was happening. It is, of course, an old baseball superstition that you should never, ever mention a no-hitter in progress, lest you jinx the pitcher.

Now, do I believe that someone can affect the outcome of a game by what he or she says? Well, no. Obviously. But I also can’t affect the outcome of the game because I did or did not wear my hat to the stadium, nor can Jason Giambi by growing or shaving a mustache. Or wearing a gold thong. And, yet, we do these things because silly superstitions have always been a part of the age old tradition of baseball.

But Kay doesn’t buy it.

When a fan called into his show to complain, claiming that Kay had breached what was universally considered to be “baseball etiquette,” Kay went all kinds of Mike Lowell in a dark alley on him. He told the caller he was “infantile,” “asinine,” and “cretinous,” yelling “That was a stupid, stupid thing to say.” Apparently, though, Kay was worried that he wasn’t being explicit enough. He decided to analogize. He went on a tirade about how lots of things used to be considered “etiquette” that are no longer tolerable. Things like slavery and “putting people in ovens” in Nazi Germany.

No, you read that right. He said, “putting people in ovens.”

The issue of whether or not it’s appropriate for a broadcaster to mention a no-hitter in progress is debatable. On the one hand, there’s Michael Kay’s argument—the one he managed to spit out in the midst of his on-air meltdown. What he said was that it wasn’t his job to aid Wang in his attempt at a no-hitter; it was his job to report that it was happening. On the other hand, tradition is tradition. And you would think that, if anyone was going to understand a long-standing baseball tradition, it would be, well, a baseball broadcaster. It is ultimately up to Kay to decide if he wants to adhere to the unwritten no-talking during a no-no rule. But it hardly seemed necessary to make his caller out to be the Second Coming of Hermann Goring just because he happened to have strong feelings on the subject.

But I am not trying to convince you that Kay is off his rocker just because I want you to ignore what he has to say about Torre. There is another reason to do that. You shouldn’t listen to what Kay has to say about Torre because Torre once embarrassed Kay inside the Yankees’ clubhouse, and Kay has had it in for him ever since.

It was way back in 1996, Joe’s first year with the Bombers. Kay questioned Torre about a managerial decision, and Torre got upset with him for making inquiries that could be damaging to the clubhouse atmosphere. Some say that Kay felt Torre had humiliated him in order to rally his team together and that Kay has never gotten over the resentment. To add insult to injury, Torre dubbed Michael Kay the Rona Barrett of the clubhouse. Rona Barrett is an old-timey gossip columnist. To call Kay Rona Barrett was basically tantamount to calling him a nosey Nellie. Presumably, Kay didn’t love that too much. After all, he does sort of pride himself on, well, himself. All this was only compounded by the fact that Torre, who never appeared on Kay’s radio show, was a frequent guest on Mike and the Mad Dog—Kay’s major competition.

So, nothing against Michael Kay, but his beef with Torre sort of appears to be more of a case of sour grapes than anything else.

I mean, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Torre is a sham who lucked into twelve Yankees postseasons. Maybe it’s a coincidence that the first year that the Yanks have failed to make it to October just happens to be the first year that Torre is no longer managing. Maybe Manny did singlehandedly lead the Dodgers to the DS. And to a sweep of the Cubs—the universally acknowledged favorite for that series. Maybe all this is true. Or, maybe, it’s like Chris said, and Joe just got a little hand from a farm animal and some indie kid. Whatever the case, as far as the Cubs are concerned, all that I can say is, sorry guys, but for this year, it’s not gonna happen.

It doesn’t really matter how Joe got there because, at this point, he remains my only rooting interest in what is panning out to be a really stupid postseason. Friggin’ ChiSox. And, man. What are the odds that the only game that the Angels would have taken against the Red Sox would have been the game that Beckett was pitching? Oh, well. I truly don’t care when or how the Chowdas get eliminated. If it happens early, it’s more humiliating. If it happens later, Chowdas Heads suffer more of a crushing defeat. Either way, I’m happy. Either way, Boston sucks.

And, either way, you suck Coco Crisp.

I will never be silenced on the subject.


Ousizch said...

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From: Ousizch

Anonymous said...

It's true Michael Kay does suck something fierce.

Anonymous said...

wow, that previous comment is anything but complete english sentences....just sayin'. You are dead on about Michael Kay, that guy is always over the top pretentious and at his best rises to some lower level of insipidness (I think I just Bushed that one up). Kind of like the only time J. Sterling is any good is when he is utterly flummoxed by something waldman just said (well suzyn...as in life...all good things must come to an end). As for your conclusion, we chowders will rise again like the phoenix, coco is having a productive, important to his team, J. Lackey is a predictably sore loser who will murder his middle infield in the next few days, and in toher breaking news, Derek Heter just shot a 8 over par

1RonBurgundy1 said...


1RonBurgundy1 said...

Great post overall, I have a LONG response so bear with me, even if it is 8 years late. I have heard a ton of Michael Kay's YES Show during the day. The show is half gossiping and arguing and bullying the sidekicks such as Ruocco, Rosenberg and Rothenberg, who are all less informed than Michael Kay himself. The other half of the show is ALL HYPOTHETICAL CONVERSATIONS. Mike Francesca as arrogant as he is, his ENTIRE SHOW IS FACTS, and he knows his stuff. Michael Kay and Don LaGreca both start every opinion with "What if he was to do this? What would you think about that? Then mix in a semi-opinion, then back to another hypothetical, "What if he would have done this!!" Just STATE YOUR OPINIONS and don't worry if the YES network fires you. Don LaGreca just rants and raves and drones on for 5 minutes finding exhaustingly-long ways to say simple things.

The biggest problem with Michael Kay is that he is so overly loyal and subservient to the Yankees that his entire being is devoted to them, and within minutes, his talk always inevitably comes back to "The Yankees" no matter what. As a Yankee announcer, Kay says the word "Yankee" literally every 5-10 seconds, even when it is not needed. I can understand when he has to read promos but he incessantly uses the word Yankees CONSTANTLY which YES loves.

What you are describing about him criticizing Torre and A-Rod in recent years, I am almost positive, is only a way for Kay to NOT appear a Yankees figurehead and a**-kisser. He spends soooo much time promoting and building up the Yankees organization in a million ways, that he uses these weird little criticisms of Yankees players or coaches or whatever to not appear overly obvious. I doubt Kay even believes anything he has said about Torre or A-Rod. His entire being is focused on "Don't screw up my Yankees thing" His YES show and CenterStage both are super-focused on the Yankees REGARDLESS of whether or not it is a Yankee network. Every single thing Kay does, says, thinks, feels, he is just a pawn in promoting the Yankee universe, despite how much he disagrees with this on-air.

His show is not the worst out there, but it is only mainly good for gossip and light sports-talk. There are wayyy better sports talk shows around with hosts who have an ACTUAL OPINION, unlike Michael and Don and their clueless sidekicks they cycle through.

Without the Yankees needing Kay as a YANKEE PROMOTER to BUILD HYPE, God knows where Michael Kay would be, and I doubt he would have any legitimate sports talk show.

EVERY SINGLE SPORTS TALK HOST on NY1 which probably pays nothing, are wayyyy more knowledgable about sports than anyone on Michael Kay show.

I have nothing against Michael Kay and find some of his thoughts on life interesting, but I don't need to hear Yankees hype come out of his mouth every 10 seconds and it would help if he had an ACTUAL OPINION on something once in a while. He can't have an opinion because he is too afraid to be fired by the Yankees, which would mean, every gig he has. He works hard but he also is clueless about sports compared to most hosts on WFAN, NY1, FSNY, MSG.

And all his supposed opinions or criticisms of Yankees are ONLY WAYS to blind people to the fact that his bread and butter is PROMOTE YANKEES PROMOTE YANKEES. So many people more deserving of his job, money and career