Rangers broadcaster to be evaluated after on-air lapse

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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SAN DIEGO -- Play-by-play broadcaster Dave Barnett won't return to the Texas Rangers television booth until at least Friday so that he can undergo a medical evaluation to determine what caused an on-air mishap Monday night that had gone viral on the Internet by Tuesday morning.

He was scheduled to return to Texas this morning to meet with doctors for recurring migraine headaches, which he said might have been the cause for the strange incident at Petco Park.

Radio analyst and former major league pitcher Steve Busby replaced Barnett for Tuesday's late game and will be back alongside Tom Grieve this afternoon for the finale of a three-game series against San Diego.

The Rangers have an off day Thursday.

The club did not comment on Barnett other than a midday news release announcing his two-day absence. Barnett responded to a text message by saying that he feels fine after suffering from a migraine Monday.

The incident occurred in the eighth inning as pitching coach Mike Maddux visited right-hander Mike Adams at the mound. Barnett, 54, started to describe the game situation, but stopped briefly and started to utter a few nonsensical sentences.

"It's a 2-1 game with the tying run at second, a leadoff single by Chase Headley. The go-ahead run ... ," Barnett said before pausing, "... is at fifth on what Adams is insisting on calling it a botched robbery. What actually happened was his henchman took a piece literally out of ... ."

There was a significant stretch of dead air, though Barnett's microphone was not cut off. He regained his composure and resumed with a normal broadcast.

But the sound bite of his gaffe quickly went viral, landing first on the website Deadspin about an hour after the Rangers finished off a 2-1 victory.

It was a popular topic on morning talk shows and on sports-talk stations throughout the day.

Of immediate concern to the Rangers, though, was Barnett's health. By midmorning Tuesday, the decision to send him back to Texas had been made.

While the episode was unusual, it's not without precedent. Serene Branson, a television reporter in Los Angeles, suffered a migraine during a report from the 2011 Grammy Awards that caused her to speak incoherently.

That video also went viral. Branson was hospitalized, and it was determined she has suffered a migraine that presented symptoms that mimicked a stroke.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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