View Full Version : Thanks for the JC Martin interview...

05-22-2002, 08:16 AM
he was the prime catcher (ahead of Gerry McNerty and Duane Josephson) in my first year folliwing the Sox, 1967. He would drive me crazy with all of those outs he made (along with the rest of the no-hit club) and I have it in my mind that he made the last out in the game in which the Senators eliminated us (but that may be my imagination - I was only 10). I also remember Red Rush raving about his glove and arm "Man Alive". Anyway, glad to see that J.C. is doing well and he remains a mainstay in Sox lore (at least for me).

05-22-2002, 08:41 AM
I'd also like to put in a thanks for the J.C. Martin interview. Really well done. I started following the Sox in '68, so I missed most of his days in uniform, but caught his days as Harry Caray's sidekick.

J.C. says Harry was too tough on him, but to be quite honest, Harry was quite right about not putting up with J.C. Remember the night J.C. called the Oakland Coliseum the Oakland Mausoleum? Even for a rookie color commentator he was quite weak.

Of course, Caray had a lot of weak sidekicks in the Sox broadcast booth ranging from Mary Shane to Ralph Foucher to John P. Carmichael. Rich King and Bob Waller were O.K. and Piersall was fun. But of them all I'd have to say that J.C. was the worst.

05-22-2002, 08:54 AM
Hey Cisco, you were the "Johnny Ruffin", the "Scott Ruffcorn" and the "Tex Wortham" of that era. I hope you don't turn out to be the Jon Garland or Lornenzo Barcelo of tha era.

05-22-2002, 09:30 AM
It's an honor being compared to Tex Wortham.

Actually to me Cisco Carlos represents the eternal hope of young Sox pitchers. It seems almost every year the Sox are big on some inexperienced pitcher who did well in one or two games in spring training or in the previous September.

Inevitably, they don't pan out. The ones who do succeed--from Wood to Buerhle and plenty in-between--don't have that type of background.

In the case of Carlos he was 2-0 in '67 with an 0.86 ERA. The Sox (as represented by Bob Elson and Red Rush) predicted huge things for him. But once in the regular rotation in '68 he languished at 4-14 with a 3.91 ERA. That ERA jumped to 5.66 in 1969, when once again he won 4 games. Basically, he's never been heard of since.

As for this year, my guess is Garland will get the Cisco Carlos cup, though I hope I'm wrong. Barcelo doesn't fit the mode because they're not all blabbing about what a great pitcher he's going to be some day once he learns how to throw inside or control a curve ball or a slider (as in the way Ed Farmer and Hawk Harrelson are always touting Garland).

duke of dorwood
05-22-2002, 10:19 AM
A great treat for us Fans from that era. Besides their pitching exploits , both Peters and Pizarro were good hitters and were used in pinch hitting roles at times.

05-22-2002, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by CiscoCarlos
....Of course, Caray had a lot of weak sidekicks in the Sox broadcast booth ranging from Mary Shane to Ralph Foucher to John P. Carmichael. Rich King and Bob Waller were O.K. and Piersall was fun. But of them all I'd have to say that J.C. was the worst.

I think it's a bit unfair to blame all the sidekicks for being weak inside Caray's booth. Caray did NOTHING to mentor these people, preferring instead to spend even greater amounts of time stroking his own giant ego over the air. In fact, I believe Hawk suffers the same problem, bottling up and stepping over Darrin Jackson. Somebody else rightly noted that D.J. is 100-times a better announcer in the Fox network booth than he was with the egomaniac Hawk. Whose fault is that?

If you don't believe me about Caray, look at the case of Jimmy Piersall. Everyone remembers how great those two were together. Yet when the tandem broke up in the early 80's, Caray completely changed his approach for his new masters at the Cubune (NEVER criticizing the players). Meanwhile, nobody would touch Piersall with a ten-foot pole for another broadcast job.

I don't agree with Rich Lindberg on everything, but I definitely agree with him that Caray egged on Piersall. As a direct result, Piersall never got another broadcasting job.

Martin is right; he would have been infinitely better off working with Bill Mercer on the radio side. That goes for everyone else Caray chewed up and spit out in the 1970's, too.

05-22-2002, 11:39 AM
Caray was actually quite open about his change in announcing style after leaving the Sox. In Steve Stone's biography of Harry, he said Caray told him that Cub fans would never tolerate the style of announcing Carau did with the Sox because they didn't want to hear anything negative about the Cubs.

Sox fans were more into the realities of the game (Caray thought it was partially due to having more night games) and Caray said that they demanded a different perspective.

As he was a "fans announcer" it was his job to do what the fans wanted him to do. Stone said it was a rare insight he never forgot. So the abrupt change appears due to the different nature of Cubs and Sox fans, not so much brown-nosing the Cubune. The truth is he did a very good job for both organizations.

As for Caray being hard to work with, I imagine he could be quite difficult. Still, J.C. should never have been hired as a sidekick in the first place.

Mule Haas
05-25-2002, 08:39 AM
Cisco, as bad as J.C. was behind the mic, no one was worse (with or w/o Harry) than Mary Shane. Granted, she was only a part-time sidekick - Sunday home games only IIRC. Her high pitched squeal of "It's just a long strike, Harry" after foul home runs still gives me nightmares.

and BTW, we can only hope that the Cisco Carlos of 2002 is Mark Prior....