The family spent a good deal of the weekend watching the Little League World Series, which is really one of the best ways to watch baseball—kids from around the world playing their hearts out, as if every routine pop fly could be the game-winning play. Instead of the multimillion dollar celebrities sunning themselves in the outfield, wondering if they could do a little day trading in the clubhouse between innings, these kids are a great combination of total joy and utter focus.
Which is not to say we cannot find opportunities for mischief.
ESPN, who is generally pretty terrible at sports coverage (but they are learning) for missing plays, showing too-long-replays that miss the next the start of the next pitch, and so on, decided to mike the coaches.
This is admittedly interesting to hear the coaching styles between the various teams and certainly great fun to hear the accents. However, in an effort to be multicultural, ESPN is miking the visiting coaches as well.
Here is how that works. The coach gathers the team on the mound. A lavalier mic captures the coach addressing the team. This is relayed to a truck outside the stadium, in which an interpreter listens in, and translates the language up to the guys in the booth—who finally relay the messages to the audience. So the coach talks to the team, there is an awkward pause, and Karl Ravech suddenly begins telling you what the coach is saying, as if he speaks every language there.
So here is our idea, endorsed by our kids. Have the Japanese coach come up to the mound and call in all the infielders. In perfect Japanese, and with the kids’ knowledge beforehand, have him say something like “Big fish, rolling in the farmland. A toy, heavy with sleep, turns the fire into our left paw. Belt buckles, and skin falls right off. No more ice cream, except when the flowers begin to march.” And as he says this nonsense, he points to third base, mimes a guy swinging a bat, and then nods over to the scoreboard.
Eventually, the interpreter in the truck will stop and wonder what the hell is going on, while the director begins to think that the interpreter is a freaking moron. Meanwhile, Karl Ravech stars muttering about a big fish and farmlands, and the audience bursts out laughing thinking he lost it.
Great fun, easy to do, and best of all, only a few people get fired.
Somebody get this to one of the visiting coaches. But not the Canadian one—that won’t work.