During Monday night's game between the Rangers and San Diego Padres, Barnett described a play in the eighth inning. But something clearly was not right with the Rangers on-air broadcaster.
"Go-ahead run is at fifth...on what Adams is insisting on calling a botched robbery. What actually happened was his henchman...," Barnett uttered.
Fifth base? A botched robbery? A henchman? Not exactly familiar baseball terms.
Following the strange description, Barnett's microphone went silent for a few seconds, a possible move by producers to check on Barnett's condition. The announcer eventually recovered and resumed his activities. The brief rambling can be viewed below.
The incident scared viewers, some of whom thought Barnett may have been having a stroke. On Wednesday, the Rangers organization attributed the incoherency in Barnett's broadcasting to migraine headaches, and Barnett will miss the next two games as he is examined by doctors.
Barnett's episode brings back memories of a similar recent event. Serene Branson, a CBS reporter, was giving a live on-air report about the Grammy's in 2011 when her speech became slurred. Unable to piece together understandable words, Branson appeared visibly shaken. Her experience was also attributed to migraines.
"As soon as I opened my mouth I knew something was wrong," Branson told The Hollywood Reporter. "I was having trouble remembering the word for Grammy. I knew what I wanted to say but I didn't have the words to say it."
Doctors speaking to ABC News believe Barnett and Branson both suffered a form of aphasia, an impairment of language caused by a stroke or head injury. Migraines can have the same effect, as they can limit blood flow to the brain. An aphasia can come in the form of creating sentences that have no real meaning, as with Barnett, or in a slurring of the speech resulting in garbled words, as with Branson.
Whatever the cause, those who suffer from such a case should immediately seek professional treatment to rule out more significant problems. Aphasia could be a warning sign for a stroke or even brain tumors. According to the Aphasia Hope Foundation, more than 80,000 new cases of aphasia surface every year.
Barnett, a former ESPN play-by-play man, joined the Rangers radio broadcast team in 2009 before moving to television in 2011. He lives in Texas with his wife and two children.
Video Source: YouTube
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons