Last night, the Detroit Tigers brought in a pitcher named Al Alburquerque. Although Alburquerque played a key role in Detroit’s bullpen during their run to the playoffs, his entry into last night’s playoff game against the Yankees was the first time a lot of TV viewers, particularly those in the New York market, learned of his existence.
Many, upon seeing this seemingly made-up relief pitcher, no doubt had a similar text message exchange as SportsGrid associate editor Glenn Davis did with one of his friends.
Glenn: ‘I have no idea how or why i made it this long without knowing the tigers have a pitcher named Al Alburquerque’
Friend: ‘Hahaha I just learned that also. I cannot believe it.’
Disbelief all around!
As unlikely as it is, though, that Detroit would have a pitcher named Al Alburquerque, many people woke up this morning having learned, accepted, and digested this fact.
Prominent WFAN radio host Mike Francesa was not one of those people.
Francesa, a staple of New York sports talk radio and noted ice cream enthusiast, thought he was being prank-called by a listener when the oddly-named Detroit Tiger was brought up. So he hung up on the caller.
This would mean that Mike Francesa, who prides himself on his encyclopedic knowledge of New York sports, wasn’t paying attention to a key moment in Tuesday night’s Yankee game. Alburquerque was brought in in the eighth inning, just as New York was looking to secure their Game 4 lead. He must have been watching.
Francesa got back on the radio, and cleared everything up.
You see, he was not aware that the caller was referring to Alberto José Alburquerque, the Detroit middle reliever with whom Francesa was certainly familiar with prior to five seconds ago, and who last night’s broadcasters steadfastly referred to as “Al Alburquerque” throughout the entirety of the pitcher’s eighth inning appearance.
To say anything else, you see, would be to admit to a lack of baseball omnipotence. And that is simply something one does not do when one is the host of New York City’s number one sports talk show.
Videos via Jimmy Traina.