Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"BYE BYE BRIAN!" Is The Master moving away from theater references?

John Sterling last night celebrated Brian Roberts' first Yankee HR by exclaiming, "Bye Bye Brian."

This presents a new challenge to Sterlingologists everywhere.

"Bye-Bye Brian" could be seen as a tweak of "Bye-Bye Birdie," another more than half-century-old theater reference. Or it could be simple alliteration or rhyme, as John invoked with "Kelly kills it!" and "John Ryan sends one flyin'."

The new crop of Yankee home run calls has been difficult to analyze.

Though John sings "Solarte, whoa-oh," for Yangervis, his "Ellsbury buries one... a jake from Jacoby" steers clear of musical cross-reference. (One of our commentators wanted "Ellsbury Fields Forever," a brilliant idea, but, unfortunately, the reference might be too recent for The Master. I don't John ever truly accepted the British Invasion.) Is "McCann can" simple wordplay, or is it a reference to the "Can-Can" dance? And we're still trying to figure out Carlos Beltran's call. It would be nice if Carlos hit a home run now and then, so we could get a better fix on it. Right now, I don't know. I cannot pretend to know. You can't predict baseball. And you can't always fathom Sterling.


Gil said...

There's a buried Sammy Davis connection here--two degrees of separation. The music and lyrics of Bye Bye Birdie were written by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, who also composed the music for the musical 1964 musical version of Odets's Golden Boy, starring none other than . . . Sammy Davis.

For the historically curious--or those who share The Master's devotion to the Broadway Songbook--here's a video of Davis and Strouse peforming one of the songs from the show:

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Is "McCann can" simple wordplay, or is it a reference to the "Can-Can" dance?

It is a reference to the "Can Can" dance. I listened to the game last Saturday and Sterling actually broke into the song when referencing it. I know he's thought of as "The Master" in these parts but, personally, I almost ralphed.

As a minor aside, many of us who grew up in NY Metro back in the day are unable to wipe the image of those old Shop Rite commercials, played during their "Can Can Sale", when various animated cans of corn linked arms, showed a little skin, and kicked up their legs while singing the song. Those searing images will be with me years from now when I sit on a park bench, toothless and sockless, wondering where my life went, and why the Yankees never seem to have enough young talent.

el duque said...

Frankly, I think it's good news whenever John sings. One of these days, I'm going to compile a mix tape: The Songs of The Master.

KD said...

be careful, duque. MLB probably has all those ditties copyrighted.

PS I live in NJ and shop rite still runs those Can-Can ads. only nowadays they have a little Frenchie guy with multi-racial dancing girls.

Gil said...

As for "bye bye Brian"--it's an odd call, since it's the ball that's leaving the premises, not Brian. This leads me to believe that the call is an allusion to Bye Bye Balboni--in that case the "bye bye" was addressed to the many balls that Balboni sent over the left field fence during his brief tenure as a Yankee. If this is true, then Roberts enjoys the dubious distinction of being "elevated" to the stature of the Yankee great Steve Balboni.