9:05pm I just got back up to the set, in case there’s a rain delay (no, that’s NOT any sort of jinx!) and when I told the studio guys that the gum story about Paul was in the Blob, I was reminded that it was Chris Luppe (Looper) who gets credit for a Mo-like save…unable to get to my office for a new piece of gum, Looper was kind enough to dip into his own gum stock and give me a new piece. Meanwhile, Paulie wandered off to another part of the studio while I continued to berate him about what a bad teammate he is and what a great teammate Looper is…Ah, good times!
By the way, Flash’s comment during the game about me being very familiar with sports bars was very funny, even though Michael painted it as taking a shot at me…Let’s just say Flash has spent enough time around me to know that, if I was in a sports bar, I would not order plain chicken fingers and a tall soda!
A great Friday night to ya…Because of the potential of a rain delay and a longer night for the crew here in the studio, Italian food was catered in…(thanks to whoever pays the bill at corporate!)…I threw down some Caesar salad, penne, a few chunks o’ sausage and peppers, and a little bit o’ grilled chicken. But I saved the best for last…a sweet, delicious, lightly dusted cannoli! When I go back upstairs for the 4th inning cut-in, I’m gonna check to see if there are any left…and if there are, God help anybody whose fingers are anywhere near those things! Because I will consume those along with anything else that’s in or near the box.
On a related note, I just heard Paul O’Neill say there’s a fight for carrot cake in the media dining area at the Stadium…no match for the cannoli here and the bodily harm I might do if there’s one left and someone else making a run for it!
Now for the Gum Story Two nights ago, I went up to the set early to pre-tape a segment of the Pregame show…now, this might sound a little weird, but usually I chew some gum prior to doing something like that…freshen the breath, loosen up the ‘ol jaw, I guess…and because I believe in conserving and economizing…I might just pop the gum onto its wrapper (I chew Stride), tape the segment of 4 or 5 minutes, then retrieve the same piece of gum from the wrapper and “re-purpose” it. It’s still fresh, isn’t it?
Anyway, that night I put the gum way off to the side of the top of the anchor desk so it wouldn’t be seen on the wide shot. But it could still be seen. So Paul Ferrigno, the man on Camera 3, hopped over and tossed the gum into the trash. (INSERT SOUND OF CAR WITH BRAKES SCREECHING AND THEN CRASHING INTO A POLE HERE!) I looked at Paul and said in mock anger, “Dude! Why did you throw out that gum?! You didn’t even ask me! You just threw it out!” There was momentary concern and confusion on Paulie’s face…either that, OR he was tuning me out and thinking hard about what to have for dinner that night…but there was a pause and a look of concern. However, he quickly realized that I was kidding (I, like Will Ferrell, a fellow Trojan, believe that mock anger makes for good comedy). Anyway, I think the rest of the studio crew got a few good laughs out of me dogging Paulie. Still, I’m gonna make him buy me, like, a $100 worth of gum. He just doesn’t know it yet, unless he reads this!
Let’s Go To The Tape A somewhat kinder, gentler moment came the same night when I walked out to the set and noticed a fresh piece of tape on the set next to the microphones I wear on my lapel. (I wear one wireless plus another hardwired one as a backup). The small square of tape, usually about 2 or 3 inches square, is to secretly secure the two mike wires inside my suit jacket so they don’t pop out on camera…that would be unsightly, ungentlemanly and very un-GQ…I asked aloud, in a delighted tone, “Hey, who gave me the new tape?” It could have been Paul, or Cam 2 operator Chris Luppe, or even lights out light man George Greczylo…or perhaps even prompter operator Terry Drugan, Esq., if he’s feelin’ frisky…But the answer was none of the above…it was audio man Jim Rankowitz. Good job, Jimmy! And I was so delighted that, do you know what he did the next night I came in? There was a fresh piece of tape (like yellow duct tape) on which Jim had written “Fresh Tape”. That’s a pro…good stuff. I see a tin and gonic, his favorite…courtesy of the Blob, in his future.
OK, amigos, that’s it! Throughout the pregame today, and then after the ballgame on the postgame, I referred to the place the Yankees and Indians played as the “new” Yankee Stadium. But no more. The final out is in the books for the 1st official game, the 1st official WB Mason Postgame is in the books, too. So, starting tomorrow (pregame at 12:30 p.m., only on YES!), I will refer to it only as Yankee Stadium. Because it is what it is…and I’m just guessin’ here… they aren’t going back to playing any games at the OLD Stadium!