Yesterday, while doinking about on the internet looking for fun SPORTZ stories, I came across two truly fantastic videos.
The first was of San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, who got his own mini reality TV series at the start of training camp. Cueto is remarkably charismatic and entertaining, so watching and listening to him go through his business in Arizona was a truly splendid use of five minutes. I highly recommend it:
Putting entertainment aside for a moment, this video will really make you appreciate how fine-tuned professional athletes are. Just ridiculous.
But back to the topic at hand. How fun was that, hearing him banter with teammates and coaches, and hearing his thought process on certain elements of the game and training? Those glimpses into the lives and processes of athletes are always fascinating to me.
The next video was of Anthony Rizzo, who had a live mic on during an ESPN broadcast of a spring training game between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. Rizzo, as well as teammate Kris Bryant, spent a chunk of the broadcast talking with the broadcasters, while still playing the game, and it was absolute gold. Rizzo had a hilarious moment in which he admitted to having “no idea” what the pitcher was going to throw, before concluding with, “I wish I knew. Someone bang for me.” ZING!
But what really got me was Rizzo talking through his process of what he expected the pitcher to throw, then getting that pitch, hitting it, and giving a play-by-play of his baserunning decisions.
Normally mic’d up videos are just funny, which is great. And Rizzo was, indeed, funny. But actually hearing his thought process, live, as he competed at the highest level?
That’s porn for baseball nerds.
So which Giant would you like to see mic’d up during a game? I’d opt for Cueto or Hunter Pence for the humor, and probably Brandon Belt for the actual analysis. Though if it were possible for Buster Posey to provide play-by-play while putting down the signs, without tipping the pitches, it would be hard to beat that.