Without dragging Shakespeare through any of this, Vin Scully tried to say in so many words that what transpired Saturday night and into Sunday morning was much ado about nothing.
But then again, what’s that other line Scully always uses about the best-laid plans of mice and men?
The city of Los Angeles tosses and turns in their restless slumber when Scully’s future is fodder for conjecture. The 82-year-old was placed uncomfortably again in that situation when the mosquitoes of misinformation began buzzing round, implying that the voice of the Dodgers was all but ready to tell us that he might finally turn off his microphone at the end of this season.
There wasn’t much resolution from a cryptic press conference that had been called for 10:30 a.m. at the Dodger Stadium press box on Sunday morning. No one would confirm Scully’s decision, even as an ESPN Radio program began to do a retrospective of his career and all but give the impression that it knew what was coming.
Finally, after a commercial break, the nationally-beamed show came back on the air at about 9:30 a.m. and reported from a press release that had just been sent out by the team: Scully planned to return for his 62nd season.
Mind your speech a little lest you should mar your fortunes.
So now, Scully was put back into the position to be the calm voice through the storm of more panicked media speculation, which unfortunately has become an annual event.
“First of all, I’m terribly embarrassed, this is the last thing that I wanted, though I see you ever day, and it’s nice to see you every day, I am very embarrassed,” Scully started in a rather quiet voice to the dozens of media members tried to get the truth straight from the Hall of Fame vocal chords.
“The last thing I need is attention. I’m not kidding you when I tell you that I’m really overwhelmed. . . . I apologize if I put anyone through a ringer, wondering ‘Is he, isn’t he.’ It is the nature of the situation, but even so I’m very uncomfortable with it.”
Saturday night, Scully confirmed to a Los Angeles Times reporter that there would be a decision announced the next day about his plans. Scully thought proper etiquette was for the team to disclose it.
To him, a one-sentence note at the end of the team’s daily press information sheet would have been plenty.
But things aren’t that simple when you’re talking about the most talked-about person in Dodgers history.
Scully said he picked up his Sunday edition of the Times and “halfway through the story I thought I’d retired,” he joked with his TV crew when he arrived at his broadcast booth 10 minutes before his press conference.
On the Dodgers’ FSW pregame show, Scully, in true character, took blame for how the message was delivered.
“I guess it was my fault, really,” he said, referring to how rumors of his retirement started a year ago during another conversation with a Times reporter.
“I shouldn’t have said that,” Scully continued about agreeing that 2010 would be a good guess as to when his run might end.
No apology necessary. Please. The mea culpas should come from those who attempt to make your stay here, 50-plus years removed from your Brooklyn foundation, as comfortable as possible.
Unless things change between now and then, Scully’s schedule for 2011 will be as it was for 2010: All home games and road trips for games this side of Denver. All nine innings solo on TV, three innings of simulcast on radio.
Again, it’s come down to consultation with his wife, children, grandchildren and a quick prayer.
Scully said his wife Sandy told him: ” ‘You love it, do it,’ and so I love it and I’m going to do it.”
A 1982 Hall of Fame inductee, calling all eight of the World Series that the Dodgers have played in going back to 1953, conveyor of 19 no-hitters (and three perfect games) says personal accomplishments aren’t what drive him.
“I just love it so much, it’s like a very good marriage, and when push came to shove, I just did not want to leave,” he said.
He admits he still gets goosebumps – “that’s my barometer” – like the other night when Colorado second baseman Eric Young Jr., threw a Dodger out with a behind-the-back toss as he charged the dribbling grounder.
“I’m thinking,’ Holy mackerel,’” said Scully. “I had goose bumps like it was the first big league game I’d ever seen.”
We still get goose bumps when he describes it. He takes the words right out of our mouth, and makes them sound all that much better.
“I’m just blessed,” Scully. “I’m going to try to do the best I can.”
“And please don’t ask me anything about after next year,” he told the reporters. “I’m lucky to look for tomorrow morning.”
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.