Rangers Announcer Dave Barnett’s On-Air Ramble
The play-by-play man's surreal reference to a base runner "at fifth" and a "botched robbery" got national attention. He is sitting out two games for medical evaluation.
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When Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux went out to the mound to confer with Mike Adams during the the eighth inning of Monday’s game against the Padres, Fox Sports Southwest’s broadcast turned surreal.
Recapping the game situation before Adams pitched again, play-by-play announcer Dave Barnett described the action thusly:
“2-1 game, the tying run at second on a leadoff single by Chase Headley,” Barnett said. “The go-ahead run… is at fifth, on what Adams is insisting on calling it a botched robbery. What actually happened was his henchman took a piece literally out of….”
According to Susy Solis of CBSDFW.com, Fox Sports Southwest engineers turned down the sound from Barnett’s mic at that point, but as Joey Matschulat and several commenters at the blog Baseball Time in Arlington pointed out, there were other issues during the same inning.
Video of the call spread quickly via Deadspin Monday night, and on Tuesday the Gawker sports blog updated its post, noting that Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News said on the Ticket SportsRadio that Barnett suffered from severe migraine headaches.
The Rangers subsequently released a statement, explaining that Barnett would miss Tuesday and Wednesday’s games “after experiencing on-air issues in the eighth inning of Monday’s game with what Barnett believes to be the recurrence of migraine headaches.”
“People don’t really know why it happens but people who have migraines can have neurological symptoms that mimic a stroke and sometimes it can be very, very difficult to tell the difference,” Methodist Dallas Medical Center neurologist Gregg Shalan told CBSDFW.com’ Solis. “A lot of times, the people are fully conscious that they can’t control their language the way they want to.”
As most media outlets noted, the episode was similar to one involving a Los Angeles TV reporter covering the Grammys in 2011.