Yankees Win, But National Public Radio Strikes Back

FenWestCorrespondent INovember 9, 2009

After a World Series like this last one, we Red Sox fans take a lot of consoling. It's never been fun watching one's sworn enemies' jubilation. 

Where, oh where, can a Boston loyalist turn for some trace of comfort?

Try National Public Radio.

I've just been listening to the latest podcast from Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, the NPR weekly news quiz. It's always a fun listen, finding the humor in current events, and makes a great cure for the  typical, and depressing tone of ordinary newscasts. 

Also, those of you who listen will know that the show's host, Peter Sagal, makes no secret of his Sox fan identity. He tends to report on anti-Yankees news tidbits with special relish. 

This week, though, the World Series was news, and there was no ignoring it. There could be no careful failure to mention how things ended for the Major Leagues, not on a show about news (more or less)...

The solution?

What follows is my transcript of the conversation that made this week's edition of Wait Wait one of my all time favorites. Speaking here are host Peter Sagal, judge/scorekeeper Carl Kassel, panelist Mo Rocca, and the caller. Read, and enjoy, fellow Sox fans. 


Peter Sagal: All right, Lauren, here is your last quote.

Carl Kassel: "Call us anything you want, but you also have to call us world champions."

Peter Sagal: Now that was a man named Brian Cashman. He was laughing off criticism of the team he runs. What is the team?

Caller: That would be the New York Yankees.

Peter Sagal: It would be the New York Yankees . The Yankees won their...

[Pause for extensive booing for a clearly intelligent Pasadena crowd, and from panelist Mo Rocca, who also knows what he's talking about.]

Peter Sagal: The Yankees won their 27th World Series, but that news pales next to the fact that the team's general manager just gave us permission to call them anything we want. So. We worked on this. How about...

Carl Kassel: "A Group of Wildly Overpaid Egotistical Mercenaries Whose Pinstripes Are Actually Artfully Lined-up Steroid Needles Sewn into Their Uniforms."

[Additional pause, as the crowd emphatically approves.]

Peter Sagal: That's one! 

Mo Rocca: Sounds very practical.

Peter Sagal: Don't you think?  Or...

Carl Kassel: "Those Bastards."

[Here, more hearty approval.  Just slightly later in the show... ]

Peter Sagal: Now the World Series was seen as a redemption for Alex Rodriguez. He is the highest paid athlete in the history of U.S. sports, and he historically has choked on the Big Stage. Not this time. But, because of the attention on him this last week, or so, we have learned some great things about him. For example, an ex-girlfriend told US Weekly that he has not one, but two, paintings of himself as a centaur in his bedroom. This is true—she says this. Why do you need two paintings of yourself as a centaur? Well, because in one of them, he is the horse's front...  

Well played, Mr. Sagal. Well played. 

Nah, we didn't get a trophy this year. We didn't get a reprieve from a new infusion of oppressive and cloying Yankee fan cockiness. But at least we got this.

Yeah, it was a lousy week for us Sox fans, in the baseball world. But public radio just gave us a big home run.