Fox chose to feature mic’d up players over the course of Tuesday night’s broadcast of the 2021 MLB All-Star Game. This is always hit-or-miss: These guys are not orators or stand-up comedians; many of them are not even particularly delightful himbos. If you like distracted boilerplate or minimally audible grunting, sure. If you like undistracted baseball or baseball soundtracked with witty discourse, generally you are way the hell out of luck. If what you’re after is an enraged reliever muttering furious compound expletives as he struggles to gain command of his pitches, last night you were in luck: White Sox closer Liam Hendriks, mic’d up for the bottom of the ninth inning, just fuckin’ cut loose:
I assume Hendriks has more individual swears in his repertoire than “goddamn” and “fuck,” but even if he does not he does an admirable job of mixing those basics up into different and effective combinations. He started with a classic, the disgusted “goddammit,” on a yanked 2-1 slider to Omar Narváez, then advanced to what sounds like “god, fuck this” on a bounced 0-1 slider to Chris Taylor. Narváez reached on an infield single but Taylor struck out swinging on a much better slider, so you would think Hendriks might’ve cooled out a little. Not so! He spiked a 1-1 fastball against Ozzie Albies and unleashed an absolutely seething “goddamn fuck this” in response. This could be considered bad behavior for someone who agreed to be mic’d up for a televised event, but Hendriks indicated during a mound visit with amused teammate Mike Zunino that he’d wrongly inferred from the lack of two-way radio traffic that the microphone was not functioning. Oops!
Hendriks was told about the audio goof after the game, which ended with his successful if colorful save, and chose to take a glass-half-full view of the proceedings:
“I would have been a little more conscious of (my word choice) if I had heard them back,” Hendriks said. “And it all turned out the volume was too low. Probably my fault. Probably user error. Makes for some interesting TV, I’m sure. Hopefully the bleeping guy was on point.”NBC Sports Chicago
I can certainly relate to what Hendriks was experiencing out there on the mound Tuesday night, in a professional baseball exhibition showcase broadcast internationally, as I have recently experienced an infuriating run of failure when cooking over-easy eggs in my kitchen each morning. This is more-or-less exactly what I sound like when I go to flip the egg but somehow tear the yolk and the egg fuckin’ explodes all over the pan and is ruined. I don’t understand it. I have cooked over-easy eggs easily in the range of 1,000 times in my life; I am using good pans and good spatulas and plenty of fat, and yet lately I am consistently failing to get the spatula all the way under the yolk, and also failing to notice that the yolk is not properly supported by the spatula before flipping. Wham! Ruined! Goddamn fuck this fucking bullshit fuck! I often will throw a “shit” in there—sometimes as many as seven, depending upon how many eggs I have consecutively ruined—but that’s really an extravagance, when you think about it. When you fail to execute something you have done one million times, which you have committed to muscle memory, and which embarrasses you in front of millions of viewers or one single infant child who has no earthly idea what an egg even is, wow, that is the worst.