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The Worst Radio Call Ever

Yes, over the past week, one of the worst play-by-play calls in baseball history came across the tube. Amazingly, it didn't even involve shoddy home run depth perception by Yankees radio man John Sterling.

During the ninth inning of a tight game between the Dodgers and Padres, Los Angeles radio announcer Charley Steiner, he of ESPN laughing fame, completely botched the end of the bottom of the ninth inning. While Steiner called the eventual third out of the frame as a game ender, the game actually went on for another four innings, with the Dodgers pulling out a 7-6 win in 13 innings.

The full backdrop of the play-by-play debacle can be found on this excellent post from the Los Angeles Daily News' Tom Hoffarth, but Steiner's unfortunate mangling of the incident is too awkward in an amusing and humorous way to pass up posting in its entirety. I'll leave in the accent marks Hoffarth made himself to emphasize Steiner's excitement, because they really push the scene over the top. Click past the jump to get the whole thing, it's well worth your time.

Ok, so here's the aforementioned Steiner debacle, as it played out in real time:

"Broxton gets the sign. There go the runners, here comes the pitch ... (crack of the bat) ... Swing and a ground ball up the middle, INTO CENTER FIELD FOR A BASE HIT (crowd roars) ...

"Venable scores ... and a throw to third base ... OUT AT THIRD BASE ... AND THE DODGERS WIN! Edgar Gonzales, trying to come home, then he stopped short, and then tagged out a third ... AND THAT IS HOW THE DODGERS WIN THE GAME!

"Wait a minute, two runs are in. Out at third base was Venable. The Padres in fact HAVE TIED THE SCORE, scoring five in the ninth inning.... My mistake ... In to score was Gonzales ... ALFONZO is out at third base. And we will go to the 10th inning ... UNBELIEVEABLE. ..."

Yup, that's pretty unbelievable, particularly when you contrast Steiner's call with the one made by legendary Dodgers TV pro Vin Scully, who make perfectly good sense of the entire scene without a flaw.

Maybe it was just a bad day at the office for Steiner. Everyone deserves to have a few, we just hope he doesn't forget about other runners on third anytime soon.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 9, 2009; 12:22 PM ET
Categories:  Dodgers  | Tags: Charley Steiner, Dodgers, Vin Scully, media, play-by-play  
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