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This Weekend With The Diamondbacks: Catchers and The Wiggles

Garagiola with Joe Torre
Garagiola with Joe Torre

If you're intrigued by catchers, this weekend promises to be a bit of feast for you. Fox Sports Arizona is having "Catcher's Weekend", which kicks off at 4:30pm this afternoon with Behind The Mask, which will instruct viewers about what it takes to play the catcher position in Major League Baseball. In addition, the Diamondbacks catcher will be mic'd up for the game, which should be interesting - let's just hope nobody takes a shot to the testicles, or the producers will have to be kinda quick on the cutoff switch.

The color analyst for the broadcast will be Joe Garagiola Sr. He himself is a former catcher, though as he describes himself, Garagiola "wasn't even the best catcher on my street", growing up as he did in an Italian-American neighborhood in St. Louis, just a few houses away from Yogi Berra. Garagiola will be the subject on Sunday of the latest In My Own Words program from Fox Sports Arizona, which is broadcast at 4pm and 10pm. You can see a couple of clips of the show - Joe talking about whether he considers himself a TV icon, and also discussing his wife of 60 years, Audrey.

To quote Todd Walsh, "For a handful of generations of us baseball fans, Joe was the one who was front and center for the biggest moments and the biggest games, providing us the best insights, the proper amount of drama with a perfect blend of respect and reverence for what was then truly our national pastime." And even for those who grew up elsewhere, Garagiola has become part of the fabric of Diamondback broadcasts. The color commentators are part of the family - Grace the slightly-disreputable seafaring cousin, Candiotti the science teacher uncle, and Garagiola the occasionally irascible (don't mention smokeless tobacco!) but eternally lovable grandfather. This show should be fun.

And then, on Sunday, it's The Wiggles. Look, it'd be easy for me to mock this show, but I'm not going to risk incurring the wrath of the international media behemoth which is The Wiggles. Seriously. From 2006-08., they were named the highest earning entertainers in Australia - beating out Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Kylie Minogue. Worldwide, they've sold 24 million DVDs and eight million CDs - so truth be told, they're probably the biggest act ever to play after a Diamondbacks' game.

Of course, not possessing a small child (I managed to bypass that entire era for SnakePit Jr. and the Snakepitette, by the cunning ploy of being on another continent) I was completely unaware of what The Wiggles actually do. Basically, imagine a singing version of the Power Rangers - by which I mean they're color-coded and apparently interchangeable [Yellow Wiggle had to be replaced in 2006, due to illness]. Apparently, Kylie Minogue is the honorary "Pink Wiggle." I have quite a few potential responses to that piece of information, but none of them are exactly G-rated, so I'm going to show unusual restraint and withhold them.

Anyway, Wikipedia says the group work on the premise that their target audience "has a short attention span, is curious about a limited number of objects and activities, loves having a job to do and is thrilled by mastering basic movements." Hey, sounds like a perfect fit for the Giants fans in attendance! Anyway, please see the video below for an example of what this means in practice. Thanks to that clip, I now have The Banana Boat Song running through my head on repeat. I do not see why I should be the only one so affected.

[The post-game concert will take place on the field following the 1:10 p.m. game on Sunday and is free with a ticket to that day’s contest.]