FIRE JOE MORGAN: The Kay Paradox


Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

FJM has gone dark for the foreseeable future. Sorry folks. We may post once in a while, but it's pretty much over. You can still e-mail dak, Ken Tremendous, Junior, Matthew Murbles, or Coach.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006


The Kay Paradox

That is the name I am now giving to Michael Kay's groundbreaking work in the area of Announcer Influence over In-Game Events. You might remember a few days ago when Kay, the Yankees' broadcaster, absolutely tore some caller a new asshole on his [Kay's] radio show, when the guy criticized him for "jinxing" a Chien-Ming Wang perfect game by announcing that Chien-Ming Wang was throwing a perfect game.

A WAV file containing a snippet of Kay's tirade can be downloaded by clicking on this here link, also contained in the post below entitled "Idea that Announcer Can Jinx Perfect Game = Holocaust." I highly recommend listening to it. Because it's not often you can hear a respected broadcaster comparing silly baseball traditions to both the United States's sorry history of slave-owning and the Axis's horrifying history of genocide, all in a shrill New York accent.

Now, from faithful reader Anthony, comes this story:

From tonight's Yankees-White Sox broadcast on YES...

Kay was telling a story of how in 1998, during a (very rare) tough stretch for the Yankees, Paul O'Neill said to him something like, "Interview me. Maybe that'll change our luck." After that, O'Neill did every pregame interview the rest of the way, culminating in the Yankees sweeping the Padres in the World Series.

Kay then uttered the following: "You know what the crazy thing is? Paul still didn't want to do the interview, even though he knew it was good luck."

I swear to you, those were his exact words.

So to recap: according to Michael Kay, announcers can't be bad luck, but they can be good luck.

Apparently, interviewing Paul O'Neill to help the Yankees break a losing streak is not as bad as slavery or the holocaust. This is a key postulate in the larger theorem string that comprises the Kay Paradox. We will publish the rest of the findings as soon as they are completed at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

By the way, some of our readers somehow interpreted the previous post as FJM arguing that Kay should not have broken the old rule that announcers shouldn't say the words "perfect game" or "no-hitter" while said events are on-going. Our official position is simply: of freaking course announcers have no influence over the events on the field. I mean, does that even need to be stated? However, baseball is a game of superstitions, which is a part of what makes baseball fun. Who among us has not gotten up to get a soda from the kitchen and had one foot out the door when our favorite player has gotten a hit, and has watched the rest of the inning from the kitchen with our hand on the open refrigerator door, more than willing to let all of the food thaw out and rot if it means continued luck for our hometown nine? Surely not just me, right?

The point being: no, you will not "jinx" a guy who's throwing a perfect game by saying he's throwing a perfect game. But it's fun to play along, isn't it? I mean, why be so strident about this? Why scream and yell that this "intangible" thing is meaningless and stupid?

I don't get it.


posted by Unknown  # 12:46 AM
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