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Vinny to Soothe the Troubled Mind

September 1st, 2015 · No Comments · Baseball, Dodgers, Drugs

So, giving more thought to the phenomenon that is Vin Scully

The secret to his popularity, I believe, lies in two areas.

–His voice. It is a pleasure to hear. Well-modulated, mellifluous. Never shouting, never mumbling, easy to understand, easy on the ear. The voice of a natural storyteller.

–His words. Scully uses proper English and generally it does not leave a person of average intelligence at a loss for what he is saying. That is, he is a great communicator, and a great describer of scenes and actions. He shifts seamlessly from an anecdote about a player’s collection of stuffed pandas … to said player banging the ball off the wall in right-center and beating the relay throw to third. At no time are we confused about what’s going on. Instant understanding.

And that’s what we love about him — that voice and the words. Well, along with his modesty and consistency.

To listen to him is to relax. Unwind. My grandmother went to bed with the Dodgers on her radio. I mentioned this to Scully and he said, “I’ve put a lot of people to sleep.”

But the point here?

Tape recordings of Vin Scully could be used to great advantage in circumstances where people are under stress. In every case where we hear that classical music can be of aid … Vinny would be too.

For starters, I would pipe in Vinny describing ballgames in every prison in California. A nonstop loop. (And if you need a reminder of Vinny being Vinny, here is 10-and-a-half minutes of him describing a rhubarb between the Dodgers and Padres. This is so typically Vinny, calmly describing a bench-clearing brawl.)

All those people in small cells, unable to go outside, separated from friends and relatives, anxious and stressed … they can hear Vinny speaking. “Popped up to shallow right. Lopes goes out, Reggie Smith comes in and it’s Smith for the catch. Two down, and Montefusco holds at first.”

I would also pipe Vinny into hospital operating rooms. Into the halls of courthouses. Into medical and dental waiting rooms. Subways, buses, retirement homes, hospices. An FM station could be devoted to Nothing But Vinny, for agitated commuters.

What we do is get tapes of Vinny — and I hope the Dodgers have been saving these for decades — and then edit out commercial breaks as well as the innings Vinny’s sidekicks got.

What we are left with is Vinny talking about baseball … forever. And we all chill out. When we want to listen, we can let him paint a picture through his words. When we have to focus on something else, the steady sound of his voice calms us without our even noticing.

People who use sleep aids pertaining to taped noise — pounding surf, chirping birds, the sound of rain … Vinny talking Dodgers baseball would be the same sort of thing, except with occasional bits of Shakespeare dropped in.

“Top of the second, and the Cubs will send up Kessinger, Becker and Santo to face Koufax, who is yet to allow a hit …”

Vinny talking us down. Vinny leaving us mellow. Better than drugs.


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