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Buster Olney Bobblehead Night? Buster Olney Bobblehead Night

Off all the talking heads who cover the MLB for ESPN, I would have to say my favorite would be Buster Olney. He doesn’t have a grating personality, he doesn’t make moronic comments (like many of his colleagues) and he seems to know his stuff. That is why I was very pleased to know that tonight, Buster returns to his roots as he will be back in Vermont to make an appearance at Centennial Field, home of the Lake Monsters, the short-season A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. To pay tribute to Vermont’s native son, not only will Olney be throwing out the first pitch, the Lake Monsters will be also be giving out Buster Olney bobbleheads to the first 500 fans in attendance.

As you might recall, last month the Sportress had a story about Tim Kurkijan and his very own Bobblehead Night where I made the following comment, which now appears to be quite the astute observation: “Still, I know a lot of you out there are terribly disappointed about missing your chance. Dry your tears, friends. I am sure there is a Jayson Stark or even a Buster Olney Bobblehead Night on a minor league team’s schedule sometime, somewhere. Dare to dream, folks, and it can become a reality.”

I’m like the Paul the Octopus of ESPN personality bobblehead night prognosticating or something.

Video of Dana Jacobson’s interview with Buster Olney’s bobblehead from First Take as well as Olney’s thoughts about throwing out the first pitch and how he just might be overthinking himself into total failure and humiliation follows.

That’s some of the best interviewing Jacobson has ever done. Good work, lady.

And now, from his blog, here are Buster’s thoughts about what he shouldn’t be doing when throwing out that first pitch:

1. Don’t ham it up. Don’t pretend you’re Juan Marichal, with a big, windmilling windup. Don’t imitate Satchel Paige. There is no need to complicate the situation. Don’t bend over and pretend you’re looking in for the sign, because the only thing you can really throw is the ol’ gravity pitch, and in any event, the player assigned to catch the ceremonial first pitch probably just wants to get it over with. Just step and throw and hope for the best.

2. Don’t try to impress anybody. Because if you could impress anybody, you’d be wearing a uniform. And I think “Back in Black” was No. 1 on the hit charts when I last time I wore a uniform.

3. Don’t bounce it — but don’t be too careful, either. The only other time I was asked to throw out a first pitch was in Nashville a couple of years ago, and I was so concerned about ricocheting a pitch off the catcher’s shins that I generated what could only be described as a parabola. The ball looked like it had a parachute attached, mostly because of fear of failure.

4. Stand on the mound. Look, if you’re Yogi Berra and you’re 85 years old and you’re in the Hall of Fame, you have a pass to do whatever you want to do. Throw from 5 feet away, underhand it, overhand it — whatever suits you. But my Hall of Fame dreams ended at age 15, so it’s important that I go to the mound and keep it simple and try to throw the ol’ gravity ball from the full 60 feet and 6 inches.

Jeez, man. If he’s thinking about all of that stuff while trying to throw a measly baseball into a catcher’s mitt, if he’s anything like me, I can only imagine what is going through his head whenever he addresses a golf ball. Yikes.

And still, Jayson Stark gently weeps…and waits.

Rules to open with [Buster Olney Blog]
Buster Olney Appearance At Centennial [Official Site of the Vermont Lake Monsters]
(previously at the Sportress: Tim Kurkijan Bobblehead Night? Tim Kurkijan Bobblehead Night)