Joe Garagiola, RIP: An erudite Everyman

Joe Garagiola (right) with (from left) Joe Buck and Harry Caray, not long after Garagiola joined the Cardinals' KMOX broadcast team. (Photo: KMOX.)

Joe Garagiola (right) with (from left) Jack Buck and Harry Caray, not long after Garagiola joined the Cardinals’ KMOX broadcast team. (Photo: KMOX.)

If you’ll pardon the expression, Joe Garagiola—who died at 90 Wednesday—made it necessary for the Yankees to sign Yogi Berra. And, in turn, the U.S. Senate made it necessary for Garagiola to transition from a journeyman catcher to a broadcaster. Which story would you like to read first?

"Cheers? Yer Outta Here!"

There is no justice in Mudville, often as not. On the one hand, Matt Kemp seems not to have been suspended over Thursday’s comedy in Pittsburgh. On the other hand, his manager, Don Mattingly, has been, for two games, in hand with an undisclosed fine. Baseball government got it half right. Nobody should have been suspended except, perhaps, Thursday’s plate umpire Angel Campos.

Officially, Donnie Baseball got his two-game siddown-and-shaddap for—get this—”excessive arguing.” Joe Garagiola, Jr., who serves as baseball government’s vice president for standards and on-field operations, announced it Saturday; the game’s top cop, Joe Torre, who just so happens to be Mattingly’s managerial mentor and former Yankee boss, met Mattingly Friday to prepare him for, apparently, the worst.