Softball Report: WNYC Gets Some Fresh Air

brian leher Softball Report: WNYC Gets Some Fresh Air

WNYC Captain Brian Lehrer.

Pledge drives finally translated into line drives for WNYC. They scored their first win of the softball season in a nail-bitingly close game against New York. The score was tied 2-2 at the top of the eighth inning before WNYC went on to win 6-2.

New York movie critic Logan Hill said the game had the tension that is lacking in many summer blockbusters. Compared to the “sloppy, overblown movies this summer,” Mr. Hill found the game have an almost Indie narrative arc.

Taking advantage of playing on the small, AstroTurf-covered Walker Field, Freakonomics co-author and recent addition to WNYC’s on-air talent Stephen Dubner hit a homer for the public radio station early in the game.

New York’s Ben Mathis-Lilley’s coaching strategy (“drink more beer, loosen up”) somehow failed to score a win for the weekly. The team, clad in baseball shirts with the Lindsay Lohan-as-Marilyn Monroe cover, was, however, successful in not knocking over their Bud Tallboys as they guarded the bases.

After their win, WNYC debated the origin of the phrase “tallboy” before heading to nearby bar Antarctica to get some refreshments of their own. New York decided some batting practice was in order before joining their opponents for beers.

By the time that New York moseyed over, WNYC was finishing their pitchers of beer. After Mr. Dubner said his good-byes and identified himself, the not-so-jaded New York team acknowledged they were starstruck by the bestselling author’s presence.

Last week did not leave the public radio station in such high spirits. The Wall Street Journal Capitalists pummled them into the golden era of radio, 15-3.

Mr. Dubner clad in a red and white, inside-out New York Times Magazine jersey masquerading as the similarly colored WNYC issue, offered a statistician’s perspective of the loss.

“The other team is better,” said Mr. Dubner, citing the high ratio of WNYC players over the age of 45 as a possible reason for the disparity between the two teams, and jokingly made up an economic explanation on the fly: “Murdoch bought the ump.”

It was a father-son moment for Brian Lehrer of The Brian Lehrer Show. His son, Nathan, who just finished his freshman year at Dartmouth and confessed that he has not listened to his dad’s show since he left for Hanover last summer, replaced his father at first base mid-way through the game.

Much like one’s public radio voice, “it’s very relaxed,” said the young Mr. Lehrer, of having his father as his coach.

“At the end of the day, we go home knowing more about John Cage than the other team,” said Rex Doane, the team’s manager and a promo producer at the radio station. “When it comes to avant-garde music, we have everyone beat.” This is true.

ksmoke@observer.com