NBC Sports Chicago

Don't overlook role Jason Benetti played in Bill Walton's wild night calling baseball game.

By Jimmy Traina
August 19, 2019

1. If you were on Twitter over the weekend, you know that Bill Walton gave us one of the sports highlights of 2019 when he called Saturday's White Sox-Angels game for NBC Sports Chicago. (God forbid the MLB Network would've simulcast the game to the entire country. Why should we all be treated to something that would be fun and generated excitement for the sport, but I disgress.)

My colleague, Michael Shapiro, came through with a full recap of Walton's surreal evening in a baseball booth. My two favorite moments were Walton going nuts over a routine fly ball and Walton being blown away by a bunt base hit.

Anyone who follows college basketball was not surprised by Walton's highly entertaining performance on Saturday. The man is nothing but positive energy 24/7. This was also made clear during his appearance in January on the SI MEDIA PODCAST.

While Walton deserved every single bit of praise he got for making a random White Sox-Angels game extremely fun, full credit should also go to play-by-play man, Jason Benetti.

Not every broadcaster would be willing to put their own ego aside in order for a guest analyst to come in and shine. Benetti did just that. He also deserves accolades for being a perfect straight man for Walton.

When you have a guy like Bill Walton, who is totally unfiltered and out there, you let him go. You let him do his thing. You don't try to mock him or hinder him from saying whatever he wants to say. You play it straight and you help set him up. Benetti did that beautifully.

When Walton wanted a triple play even though there was already one out, Benetti didn't rip him. He just explained the situation at hand. 

When Walton talked about not needing help to get high, Benetti just dropped a simple, "Well, that's true."

So thank you to Bill Walton for a memorable game and thank you to Jason Benetti for playing a vital role in the enjoyable night.

2. To no one's surprise, The Rock even gets married in a cool way. Kept it a secret, did it in Hawaii, sends out great pics on Instagram. Congrats to the bride and groom.

3. *BREAKING NEWS*: Bill Belichick made a funny today.

4. Alex Rodriguez made some statement during Sunday Night Baseball about the problems with eSports.

Yes, this is the same Alex Rodriguez who did an interview with SI.com in 2017 to promote the fact that he's AN INVESTOR IN AN ESPORTS COMPANY.

5. The Yankees have shunned fun for many years, but this season has been different. The "Savages" are now embraching #LetBrettBang and #BangGang on Twitter in honor of veteran outfielder Brett Gardner, who now bangs his bat on the dugout roof when he's mad at umpires.

And now Aaron Judge is imitating Gardner whenever he gets on base.

What a time to be a Yankees fan!

6. Ed Werder, Dan Le Batard, ESPN/Politics, The Ringer, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Larry Sanders Show & Eddie Murphy were all discussed on the latest SI Media Podcast wtih author, writer, reporter, James Andrew Miller. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: One of the greatest rock songs was released on this date 39 years ago.

Here's AC/DC performing a stripped-down version of You Shook Me All Night Long on the Howard Stern Show in 1997.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

IN CLOSING: This is the last Traina Thoughts until next Monday. There will be a new SI Media Podcast out Wednesay with ESPN's Chris Fowler, so make sure you follow me on Twitter or subscribe to the podcast to get that delievered to you. 

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