Now that we have baseball back …
Tim Conway Jr. fooled me back on Feb. 18 while driving through Redlands on my way to a boys’ basketball playoff game between a couple of “San Bernardino Strong” teams — Aquinas and Indian Springs.
KFI’s Drive Time/Prime Time host (KFI 640) from 6 to 10 p.m. was on a rant.
He was taking on the “Little League” dad. About time, I thought. It’s terrible, I thought. Rant on, I thought.
Stay tuned, though. I wasn’t thinking, I thought. He had a deeper point to make.
Tim Jr.’s dad, famous comedian Tim Conway, Sr., had long spent time in the backyard with his boy.
“My dad would play catch with me.” Never used the excuse that he was too tired, either. “Any time,” said Tim Jr.
Tim Sr. never ran roughshod over Tim Jr. that he had to bloody himself — translation: Overtrain at all expense — to reach the pros.
Dads, he seemed to be saying, overwhelm their own children.
“I remember we had Jim Gott, one of the ex-Dodgers, on the show one time.”
Gott told Tim Jr. how he’d hired a private coach for his two kids, just so he could protect the relationship with both his sons.
Tim Jr. kept advancing his case.
Dads have to get their kids to the pros. Think of the money. The fame. Winning a Stanley Cup. An NBA ring. A Super Bowl trophy. Or, in this case, a World Series. All that pressure. Extra hitting. Extra lifting. All that extra running.
At the championship trophy presentations, noted Tim Jr., those guys “Thanked their mothers on TV.
“Why do you think they thanked their mothers?” Tim Jr. asked.
He answered his own question: “Because the dads ruined their relationship when they were growing up.”
So where was Tim Jr. going with all this?
Was this a shakedown on all youth sports connecting dads with their kids?
Or was it a “my dad is better than your dad” type of rant?
Was this his way of bone-crunching modern-day dads into being more humane to their kids — any sport — by backing away from their own lost dreams of making it to the pros?
I kept listening. That Aquinas-Indian Springs game can wait, I thought. Tim Jr. had me intrigued.
Tim Jr.’s point was suddenly about to become clear.
All that high-pressure might’ve come from age 8 on up through the ranks — youth ball, practices, games, extra workouts, travel ball, high school, even college — was the price you had to pay.
Tim Jr. finally revealed his hole card. This was all about 2017.
“When the Houston A-Holes cheated the Dodgers out of the World Series ...”
A lifetime of preparation and sacrifice came crashing down to that. Stealing signs, which I thought was a time-honored tradition in baseball, got a little too far away from acceptable standards.
Tim Jr. played on Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner’s meritorious rip on baseball — all those Astros’ shenanigans, plus MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s assault on the World Series trophy.
Turner expressed himself well. Manfred got caught in a war of words, calling the trophy “a piece of metal.”
Argued Tim Jr.: “Those guys might not ever get another chance to win the World Series.”
This was great radio.
Tim Jr., who’s not a regular sports talk radio host, in short, out-commented that regular sports talk radio crowd — all of the slick guys from Colin Cowherd and Dan Patrick in the morning to Roggin & Rodney in the afternoons, plus everyone else in between.
Tim Jr. may have gotten to the bottom of it better than any of those pro sports commentators. Showcased it much brighter.
All those sacrifices made by each Dodger player — Turner, Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Cody Bellinger, manager Dave Roberts, an entire roster — were knocked off by electronics and a trash can.
Listening to Turner’s rants, which Tim Jr. played, was far more effective than just reading Turner’s biting words in the print media.
Great prep. Well-organized. Better than TV. Got you right to the gut of that whole wacky cheating scheme.
As for me, I’m perfectly willing to let Tim Jr.’s rant speak for my own feelings. No wonder this guy's a star in broadcasting.
This was one of the best examples of all.
When I walked into Aquinas’ tiny-but-packed gym that night, I was pumped.
Got a sports tip? Want to talk sports? Hit me up at obrown@redlandscommunitynews.