Reader contributor Ted Cox put me on to a rumor this morning that Steve Stone would be replacing Chris Singleton as Ed Farmer’s partner in the Sox radio broadcast booth this season. Then he e-mailed me: “It’s true! It’s true!“
And truly, this is cause for rejoicing. Chris Singleton is a nice enough guy, but paired with the garrulous, wandering “Farmio,” they were a hopeless broadcast team. Here’s just a reminder of what Sox fans have had to suffer through the last few seasons, a transcript that Ted took for his sports media column at the Daily Herald (unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be available online).
Ted had received an e-mail from a reader, Bob Belke, who astutely complained, “I can’t take it anymore. These guys make Santo sound informative. All Farmer offers is where every major-league player went to high school, or what he did 20 years ago.”
That about nails it, as the transcript from the top of the third in a June 20 game against the Florida Marlins shows:
Farmer: Treanor, 31 years of age. Makes his home in Coral Springs, Florida. The last three years he’s been with the Marlins. In fact, he signed with them and played right here in Kane County.
Singleton: I was going to ask you about Marlins starter Sergio Mitre, makes his home in San Ysidro, California. Where is that? Gotta be in southern-central or southern Cal.
Farmer: “It’s down toward San Diego. They’ve got a border stop there too. That pitch down and in for ball one.” (No, you haven’t missed it; Farmer hasn’t named the batter yet.) “And you know when you drive back to Los Angeles from San Diego that you’re gonna have to make that stop and sometimes it takes you 15, 20 minutes to get through there. . .
[Next, a tangent on eye black.]
Singleton: Looking at some of the eye black, I guess you’d say, that the Marlins have on. They look like Dale Torborg, one of the strength coaches for the White Sox, when he’s doing his wrestling in the off-season. The eye black’s not just a strip. If you look under Amezaga’s eyes, it’s almost like a rock band, there are all kinds of jagged edges to it. Several of the Marlins players have that going on.
Farmer: You can’t put that on and touch it. You have to leave it alone. That’s hard to do. Uggla takes that one in the dirt for ball one. You fool with that or guys’ll come and, you know, without you knowing, say, “Hey, nice going,” you know, give you a little tap on the cheek, they’re moving that eye black around. Cal Ripken used to wear his, he had the stick-on stuff. Did you ever see that over there with Florida?
Singleton: Oh, yeah. That’s what I used. Just a little peel, that little strip. Yeah, those go on and come off easy . . .
Take my word for it, this is wholly representative of just how bad the team of Farmer and Singleton was. I’d find myself yelling at the radio, “What’s the score?! Tell us the score!” Stone, the longtime Cubs announcer, can be overbearing and a bit pompous sometimes, but there’s no question he knows his stuff. Of course, there’s still the problem of Farmer . . .
John Rooney, any interest?
UPDATE: Ted Cox’s Herald piece on the move is up now.