Memo To Michael Kay: Please Stop Talking

Wednesday night’s game had that special feel that is typically reserved for playoff games, no-hit bids, and four hour affairs against Boston. Derek Jeter had notched two hits in his first 3 at bats, and came to the plate in the 7th inning with an opportunity to tie Lou Gehrig. He singled to right and tied the record, and the crowd erupted around him. In the 8th, the crowd roared as he batted with a chance to claim the record for himself, but worked a walk against the aptly named Grant Balfour. For those in the Stadium, it must have been an exceptionally thrilling moment. For those of us watching at home, it was a great experience that was slightly diminished by the incessant babbling of Michael Kay.

During both at-bats Kay assailed us with prepared statements, kitschy lines, and inane platitudes about the greatness of Derek Jeter. Once Jeter notched the tying hit, it became obvious that Kay had scripted his reaction, as he launched into a lengthy speech that drowned out the reaction of the crowd. There was nary a moment of silence from the booth during either at-bat, despite the fact that the crowd was excellent and could have done most of the relevant talking.

The mark of a great announcer is knowing when to let the ambient noise speak for the moment, rather than interfere by imposing their own narrative upon events. Michael Kay frequently fails in this regard, talking over the crowd when he should be describing the play and then letting the picture and the crowd speak for itself. With Jeter’s record breaking hit sure to come over the next few days, I have one request for Michael Kay: Please stop talking.

0 thoughts on “Memo To Michael Kay: Please Stop Talking

  1. JGS

    agreed, but keep dreaming. He has had two whole days to think on this (and depending on the weather he may have even longer) and is determined not to let Jeter steal his moment.

  2. scott l

    Kay is what he is and that is not very good. I wish we had someone better to listen too. His act and stories are getting very old.

    • The other Chris H

      90% of the broadcasters doing baseball are 10000x worse than Michael Kay…. Listen to Steve Phillips and Joe Morgan do a game and cry until you turn on Michael Kay… at least he talks about the game unlike NESN any time the other team is up to bat, and at least he isn’t a complete homer on the air like the Rangers broadcast who in the bottom of the 9th losing by 9 actually said “get ready for a big Ranger comeback”. Michael Kay knows baseball, he actually likes baseball and he isn’t a jack ass about liking the Yankees.

  3. dlogan

    Great point. I like Michael Kay a lot. However, I don’t need to know all the accomplishments of Jeter during the at bat…All-star game MVP, 4 time world champion, etc. etc.
    ….and we’re going to her it all again tonight.

    He should not say a word during the at bat. When he gets the hit he should say that it breaks Lou Gerhig’s record (for the YES networks trailers) and then not say a word.

  4. djmd14

    I do not like Michael Kay at all. He is completely full of himself, and he calls a lousy game. As knowledgeable as he may be, it doesn’t matter. He makes me yearn for the day that you can turn the commentary off and just listen to the sounds of the game. One additional note to Mr Kay: learn the correct meaning of the word ‘ironic’. You always misuse it, and it makes you sound as if you never really went to Fordham.

    • steve

      you used to be able to do that ? turn of commentary ?

      • djmd14

        No, not completely. But hopefully someday you will be able to. It’s not unthinkable, technically speaking. In fact, if you receive a 5.1 broadcast you could just mute the center channel and that would just about do it.

        • The other SteveS

          Would it be possible to have the SAP channel broadcast just the stadium mikes? That would be too cool.

  5. Joe O

    I remember seeing the Mets 1986 WS clincher and as soon as they won the announcers stopped talking the camera panned the whole stadium for a few minutes and then the announcer said something the effect of “if a picture is worth a thousand words you’ve just seen a million”.

  6. Michael Kay sounds like a whiny child. I cannot stand him.

    • dlogan

      I don’t know who people think the perfect announcer is.

      Vin Scully? Please, people think he is the perfect announcer but he never shuts up and doesn’t even work with a color man…how pompous.

      • Moshe Mandel

        Scully is excellent. Go watch some replays that end with walkoff home runs or things like that. He describes the play and then lets the crowd do the talking. It seems like he talks a lot because he is the only guy in the booth.

        • dlogan

          Why is Vin the only guy in the booth? Because he wants to fill up all the air with his voice. I agree that is his only good point that he does not talk over a big moment.

          …other than that I don’t need the media guide read to me over the air.

  7. The other Chris H

    I disagree but then again what else is new? I hate dead air time… I hate hearing the crowds reaction… What do I care if one of you guys are some fat guy or whatever is screaming because Jeter got a hit, how does that help me enjoy the game? One of the biggest detraction’s of going to baseball game is sharing it with retarded drunk idiots who yell in your ear and scream profanity the whole time… Yes I have been to many games and in one I even had the opportunity to watch a little girl cry as the man in the row in front of us scream as many curse words as he could slur while drinking beer and then challenged to fight everyone who tried to get him to calm down. What does inaudible screaming, yelling or even clapping add to the game on TV? Nothing, nothing at all, and in fact one of the worst parts of watching a game on TV is listening to the ooooh’s and ahhhhh’s every time someone hits a pop up to CF because everyone in the stands thinks because the ball was hit it’s a HR… ever listen to a game in Boston on TV? Terrible, every strike of the ball from a ground out to fly out you would think was a HR by the crowd reaction. dead air and dead air so you can hear the crowd is stupid! Michael Kay may not be the greatest broadcaster on TV he is much better than most… and if I had to have the choice to hear “SEE YA!” Over “HE GONE” every time there is a strike out, I’m taking Michael Kay and See ya.