Pat Tabler Thinks (Player Name) is So Strong

You’ll have to excuse me, but I feigned interest in last night’s game pretty quickly especially after Cito Gaston called upon Brian Tallet.

And has anyone noticed that Tallet has transformed into the yellow canary the Blue Jays send into the mine? Odds are if you see Brian Tallet on the mound, something has or is about to go horribly awry.

Instead, I was entertained by the musings of the Blue Jays colour commentator Pat Tabler. As a former Blue Jay himself, Tabler has a pretty solid understanding of the game and the organization as a whole. But there’s one thing he keeps mentioning during the broadcast that drives me nuts. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

“(Player Name) is sooo strong”.

We didn’t even get out of the bottom of the first inning before Tabby throws out his go-to phrase. Jeff Francouer muscles a single out to left field and Pat Tabler thinks he’s “soooo strong”.

Then in the top of the third, Nelson Cruz hits a double to the right-centre field gap and once again Cruz was “soooo strong”.

Vladimir Guerrero is the very next batter and Pat Tabler proceeds to drool over the sight of Big Bad Vladdy Daddy and gives him every compliment in the book BUT mentioning that he’s “soooo strong”. Tabler comments how Guerrero’s arms are sooo long and his hands are sooo quick.

And just in case you thought the compliment was only bestowed upon position players, Tabler threw one out to the Rangers starter Derek Holland commenting that he was “big and strong”. Notice how Tabby didn’t use that extra adjective “sooo” in front of it.

I realize as a broadcaster you have to think very quickly and fill lots of airtime, but if you use a compliment like that every other inning, the lustre of it wears off pretty quickly.

It hasn’t quite gotten to the point where we need to develop a drinking game in Pat Tabler’s honour just like Buck Martinez (courtesy of Drunk Jays Fans), but it’s pretty damn close. Very soon, “sooo strong” may lead to fans getting “sooo drunk”.

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

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  1. Mattt

    September 9, 2010 - 8:22 pm

    Yep. That and lots of wheezing by both Pat and Buck. Listen for it, it happens a lot.

  2. Ian H.

    September 9, 2010 - 8:32 pm

    Mattt, I can almost recite a Jose Bautista home run call for you word by word.

    "There's a long drive, deep left field, and this one is OUTTA HERE! Home run Jose Bautista, his (insert number here)."

    I will definitely keep my ears peeled for the wheezing too.

  3. Mattt

    September 9, 2010 - 8:47 pm

    I guess to some degree everyone in any business will develop a working formula. To be honest, dispite his lack of polish, I prefer Sam Cosentino(sp?) for the change he brings. He actually has something to say.

  4. Ian H.

    September 9, 2010 - 10:56 pm

    Mattt, I also like SamCo for his stories in between Buck and Tabler/Mulliniks commentary. He kinda reminds me of Jamie Campbell a little bit.

  5. sadp

    September 10, 2010 - 4:21 am

    This is why I prefer Alan Ashby's commentary on the radio.
    I'd advocate the smarter, wittier, and more enthusiastic Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby be on TV…but then I'd have to pay to hear them.

  6. Matt_CC

    September 10, 2010 - 2:48 pm

    I have been thinking of buying one of these for some time.


    When they let Jamie Campbell loose, I thought I'd give Buck a chance. I think I will own one of these by the start of next season though. Ashby and Howarth are just sooo strong in their broadcast that I can't resist.

  7. Ian H.

    September 10, 2010 - 3:34 pm

    sadp, maybe it's just the nostalgia factor but I love Jerry Howarth's home run call to go along with the airhorn at the Rogers Centre. I'm sure both he and Alan would do a fantastic job of television, but unfortunately they can't do both the radio and TV broadcast at the same time.

    Matt, I've never tried that before – I think the TV is about 2 seconds or so behind the radio, but it would be neat to hear Jerry and Alan do the play by play for TV.

  8. Roll Fizzlebeef

    September 10, 2010 - 4:37 pm

    Apparently, one of Pat's favourite players of all time is Sooo Taguchi.

  9. Ian H.

    September 10, 2010 - 5:42 pm

    Roll, Sooo Taguchi is SOOO STRONG.

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