Late Night Sports Radio

Everyone Gets a Go

Everyone Gets a Go
Credit: "Baseball Cards, New York, 1955," William Klein

3:38 a.m.

I returned home yesterday from two weeks in Brooklyn. Summer became fall while I was gone. Our windows are open and tree frogs and crickets sing through them. The cicadas seem to be gone. My wife sleeps beside me. I switch on WFAN and plug in my ear buds. Tony Paige is hosting.

Rob in Bayside: “I have a friend who moved to North Carolina and every day he texts me or emails me saying, ‘Why can’t Teixeira hit to the left side when they put that shift on him?’ All he has to do is hit a grounder to the left side, Tony.”

Tony: “In boxing terms, you’d tell your fighter to take what the opponent gives you. Let’s go to a break.”

The first ad is for Duchess Restaurant. “Get the delicious Long Dog for $5 at 15 Tri-state locations.”

The next ad is for Boomer Esiason’s voice reads, “If you love books but can’t find time to squeeze it into your busy schedule, go to and listen to great books while you commute or work out. Download Moneyball for free during your 30-day trial.”

Esiason led the Maryland Terrapins to a comeback win over the North Carolina Tar Heels in 1983, breaking my heart. I was in 10th grade on the coast of North Carolina at the time.

On Sunday I went to the Brooklyn Book Festival. One panel I attended with a friend who was moderating. In the green room I met a novelist who was accompanying a panelist, so we sat together down front. She figured I was in the literary field, given whom I was with, and she inquired accordingly. I said I was a writer long associated with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (which is in Durham). She said, “I was in Raleigh last year. What a weird place.”

Literary small talk is intended to establish common ground as quickly as possible. So maybe her comment didn’t mean anything. I let it go. But I wondered what she would have thought of Raleigh 30 years ago. I also wondered if the rise of the “southern fiction” genre, with its emphasis on distinctive southern traits, had influenced people in the northeastern literary set. I didn’t see many writers from the south in the Brooklyn Book Festival lineup.

Rob in Bayside’s friend, who can’t stand that Teixeira won’t try to hit ground balls to the left side, probably gets along just fine down here, going to local breweries to watch games, sitting down the right field line at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park when the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees are in town.

Maybe that’s what I like about late night sports radio. It levels things in a different manner.

Tony Paige comes back on the air.

Phil in the Bronx: “The Yankees have a maximum of 19 post-season games, Tony. With Nova pitching the way he is Burnette won’t have to start a game.”

3:48 a.m.

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