Tim McCarver, Marc Rzepczynski, and Elton John

Marc Rzepczynski of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the top of the seventh inning during Game One of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 19, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Since the end of Game 1 of the World Series, I haven't been able to get Elton John's Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word out of my head.

No, I'm not crazy. (Okay, just a little bit.)

Remember when Tim McCarver said this during Game 1?


Just before Joe Buck awkwardly described Cardinals reliever Marc Rzepczynski as having a lot of letters in his last name, he was telling viewers that Rzepczynski's nickname is Scrabble. Like the board game where players are rewarded for making words with a lot of letters. McCarver then said: "It's a five-letter word: S-T-R-I-K-E." 

Strike is a six-letter word.

I'm pretty sure I know how McCarver came to call strike a five-letter word on national television. You see, the letter K in Scrabble is worth five points. It's also, of course, the symbol for strikeout in official baseball score books. That's led St. Louis Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold to tweet after each strikeout by Rzepczynski:

Scrabble_medium

I'm guessing that McCarver heard Goold or others talking pre-game about the five-point K for a Rzepczynski strikeout and, as if often the case, McCarver mangled the concept during the broadcast. 

But I digress.

Back to Elton John. 

After Game 1 was over and we'd all had lots of laughs on Twitter about McCarver calling strike a five-letter word, I started singing the words "strike seems to be a five-letter word" to the tune of Elton John's Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word. I don't know why this happened. Some things cannot be explained. 

What I do know is that 36 hours after the conclusion of Game 1, I sat down and wrote this song to the tune of Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word. I'm hopeful that McCarver will record the song for his follow-up CD to Tim McCarver Sings Selections From the Great American Songbook, which you can purchase on Amazon by clicking here.

Here's an old BBC video of Elton John singing Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word. The lyrics to Strike Seems To Be a Five-Letter Word are just below the video. Sing along, to yourself or out loud. And picture McCarver singing with you. These are, after all, his words.


 

 

What have I got to do to make you like me

What have I got to do to make less gaffes

 

 

What do I do with calls of strike three

 

 

When Joe sits quietly and laughs

 

 

 

 

 

What do I do to make you like me

 

 

What do I do when Joe’s a bore

 

 

What do I say when innings over

 

 

Strike seems to be a five-letter word

 

 

 

 

 

It’s sad, so sad

 

 

It’s a sad, sad situation

 

 

And it’s getting more and more absurd

 

 

 

 

 

It’s sad, so sad

 

 

Why can’t Joe talk it over

 

 

Oh it seems to me

 

 

Strike seems to be a five-letter word

 

 

 

 

 

[Instrumental interlude]

 

 

 

 

 

What have I got to do to make you like me

 

 

What do I do when Joe’s a bore

 

 

What do I do with calls of strike three

 

 

What have I got to do

 

 

What have I got to do

 

 

Strike seems to be a five-letter word

 

 

 

Wendy also writes about baseball at HangingSliders and FanGraphs. You can follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.

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