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Reds legend Johnny Bench offers impromptu play-by-play during interview

May 8 (UPI) — Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench showed off his play-by-play announcing ability Tuesday during the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets game.

Bench, 70, was doing an interview with SNY’s Steve Gelbs in the stands of Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio during the sequence.

Gelbs asked Bench a question and the catcher was responding during Scott Shebler’s third inning at-bat. Shebler hit a ground ball to Mets pitcher Jason Vargas.

Bench seized the opportunity immediately, turning into a color commentator as soon as the baseball found Vargas’ glove.

“Back to Vargas. What a play! First base, it’s out,” Bench said. “And then we go back to the interview.”
Bench then talked about the Reds, saying they “are just miserable this year.”

The Hall of Fame catcher wasn’t done after the Shebler at bat. Bench took the reigns once again later in the inning when Eugenio Suarez smacked an RBI double to right center.

“Fly ball right center field, back goes Bruce,” he said. “It’s off the wall. Come on, we’re going to throw him out at the plate. Oh no.”

Bench then considered coming out of retirement to help the Mets after catcher Tomas Nido failed to make an out at home plate on the play.

“Wait a minute, get me a glove,” Bench said. “Oh my god! That would have been an out at home.”

The Reds led the Mets 4-2 after six innings.

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