by Chris 'Blue Shorts' Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Calling sports talk radio shows can be an easier task for some than for others.

Some pick up the phone, punch in the phone number, speed through the screening process, and deliver their opinions on-topic seamlessly and painlessly — they’re in, they’re out — and then their on with their day.

For others though, the process can be intimidating, and thus, a bit more laborious, with dramatically limited odd of getting through a phone call successfully. God forbid the dreaded shaky voice sets in, which, if it does, is nearly undefeated in sabotaging callers’ potential.

Phil in Alexandria — who called in to Grant Paulsen‘s and Danny Rouhier‘s show on 106. 7 The Fan on Tuesday — falls into the latter category. Although, against common practice for a failed call, he didn’t stumble out of the gate.

No, it was more like everything was flowing smoothly and uninterrupted from brain, to receiver, to radio waves, and then suddenly — magically, almost — he lost his train of thought and the wheels came off during beltway traffic on I-495.

“Even though it’s, on paper, a demotion, I think it’s a genius strategic move,” Phil said, speaking of the Nationals’ decision to move Ross Detwiler into the bullpen.

“I think that um, as … I’m sorry.”

“No, you’re good. So you liked the move?” Paulsen said.

“Oh, he punched out… Wow.”

“Tough break for Phil right there,” Rouhier said. “I mean, I thought out of the gate he had good stuff.”

“I didn’t think we were that intimidating,” Paulsen said. “By the way, he panicked — like horribly panicked — he was actually cruising. He had a first inning where he struck out the side, he came out and threw one ball in the second inning. All you have to do is regroup, take a breath, and just proceed. He wanted nothing to do with it.”

“Grab the Rosin bag, stretch a little bit,” Rouhier said. “Have Zim come in and banter with you or something, I mean Ian Desmond will talk to you. He likes to talk to pitchers. What the Hell happened, Phil?”

Phil would compose himself and call back in, though, for the opportunity to reclaim his dignity.

“Look who’s back, our buddy Phil,” Paulsen said. “Run it back, Phil.”

“Alright, let’s try again,” Phil said. “I think when you play a team that’s notoriously bad against lefties, like the Phillies, and you’re right in a three-game series, if you can bring him out of the pen in the first and third game — even a four game series, maybe going through the lineup on that third time — you have a huge opportunity, and even bringing him in on a spot start, when you have Blevins as a lefty in the bullpen; it just makes total sense.”

Like a great quarterback after throwing an interception for a touchdown, Phil has a short memory. Like a great pitcher giving up the go-ahead run on a home run, Phil shook it off and got back on the mound to dominate.

Like Alex Ovechkin, er, you get the drift.

Listen to Phil’s first and second calls in the audio clip above.


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