It Takes Two: A Look At MLB Duos

  • Thursday, February 3, 2011 10:36 AM
  • Written By: Andrew Simon

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SI.com’s Joe Lemire had a fun piece the other day about ballplayers’ at-bat music that naturally got me to daydreaming about my own hypothetical walkup tune for my professional baseball career. It’s a no-doubter for me:



Just one great song in a brilliant catalogue, which is why yesterday’s news is such a disappointment.

But this is a baseball blog, not a music blog, so in honor of The White Stripes, here is a little something on duos in baseball.

Duos in history
There are so many good ones. Gehrig and Ruth. Koufax and Drysdale. Mays and McCovey. Trammell and Whitaker. Bagwell and Biggio. Those are just a handful. And then there were the pairs whose actions went above and beyond the game, like Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson.

That new/old duo down in Florida
The Rays recently signed former Red Sox Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez. You may remember them from such hits as, “Unnecessary but oh-so-awesome diving cutoff of a throw from left field.” Their introductory press conference indicated this could be a fun year to follow the Rays, for reasons other than the AL East pennant race.

The duo that makes the mute button your best friend
There are lots of terrible baseball announcers out there, but there is something special about Joe Buck’s mayonnaisesque style combined with Tim McCarver’s complete lack of insight and special ability to talk to you like this is your first baseball game.



The double duo
The 1-2 starting rotation punch is a valued commodity, and the Phillies got one at the 2009 trade deadline when they acquired Cliff Lee to pair with Cole Hamels. Then in the offseason they changed duos, swapping Lee for Roy Halladay. The duo became a trio at the 2010 deadline with the acquisition of Roy Oswalt, and then in this offseason, the team resigned Lee as a free agent. Most franchises would be thrilled to have a duo made up of any two of those four pitchers, but the Phillies don’t have to chose. Much has been made about where this rotation will stack up historically, and it’s certainly one of the big storylines of the upcoming season.

The duo that thankfully does not exist
Vin Scully and …. anyone else. The one-man broadcast booth is a thing of the past, but fortunately not in LA, where Scully continues to be the best. And he doesn’t need some mouth-breathing former player to sit next to him reliving his glory days and criticizing the guys today for not being “gamers.”

The duo that should be readily available in every baseball stadium
There are certain distasteful truths you must accept when attending a baseball game. You are going to have to take out a second mortgage if you want to buy a beer. At some point, the PA is going to start blasting Ke$ha or some other form of lyrical diarrhea. There might be some idiot behind you yelling in your ear, and he might even blow chunks all over you. I don’t like it, obviously, but it’s the price of spending a day at the ballpark. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask for every stadium to carry grilled Hebrew National hot dogs (the best) and deli-style brown mustard (not that neon yellow crap). If I’ve got a quality, appropriately condiment-topped meal, I can deal with everything else -- except maybe the vomiting.

The most entertaining duo in baseball
This is a tie between Ozzie Guillen and a microphone, Ozzie Guillen and a video camera, and Ozzie Guillen and a tape recorder.

A duo that doesn’t make much sense
It’s a famous one from the famous song that happens during every seventh-inning stretch. But why do you say, “Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,” when cracker jack already include peanuts? Why would you want both? This has always puzzled me.

The duo that is a godsend for any baseball fan
An RSS feed and Twitter. No more having to filter through junk looking for pearls of baseball wisdom. Technology gives the baseball hype a needle of the pure stuff straight into the veins.

Duo that needs to shut up and go away The McCourts. We’ll let the Stripes speak for Los Angeles … play ‘em out, guys.



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risolo
Good call on Vin Scully. Are there more than three people who even remember that Joe Garagiola was in the booth when he called Kirk Gibson's home run?