New York Yankees broadcaster extraordinaire David Cone may have been literally perfect on the mound one fine day in 1999, but perhaps the most untainted performance of his career to date came in a brief cutaway on Monday’s spring training telecast.
We’re used to polish and professionalism from our broadcasters, their soothing voices taking us through the play-by-play with ruthless efficiency and beautiful-sounding word salad.
We’re also … well, all going through it right now, and maybe forever, as the ongoing pandemic hits one year in length.
A quick (and probably unexpected?) cutaway to Cone’s home broadcast station brought his facade of elitism crashing down around him on Monday, and really made us all feel a lot better about ourselves, too.
For, you see, the down-to-earth Cone isn’t “better” than anyone. He’s not sitting masked up in a big, fancy production truck riding out the final spring before mass vaccination.
He’s been shoved into some far corner of his home next to the sink, and his YES Network background is only barely big enough for his single body.
This is what peak male performance looks like.
We haven’t experienced this level of joy in response to Cone since he slipped an Aroldis Chapman poop pants reference into an otherwise sleepy late-season broadcast.
If the camera had drifted even a few inches to either side, viewers would’ve been treated to the staples of every suburban home.
A black globe perched next to a sink. An overflowing trash bag on the counter instead of … anywhere else. A poster of a generic man in a tuxedo, which appears to have been stolen from the wall of a local tailor?
Oh, and a mind-bending tissue blocking out Jumanji.
No, not the Rock film. The actual board game.
As if it could’ve been more of a jungle inside Coney’s corner.
Once the Yankees head back north, Cone and Michael Kay will be sharing a booth at the stadium again, with a protective plexiglass layer between them. It’ll be back to 65% of old times.
But you know what? I, for one, will really miss the reveal of Cone being placed gently in front of a canvas built for his exact specifications, stuck in a basement the world was never supposed to see. That is how I’ll remember the late stages of lockdown.