It’s More than just 10:30 p.m. First-Pitches

10 10 2007

The only thing that kept the first round of the 2007 Major League Baseball playoffs from lasting for the absolute minimum amount of games — 12 — was an impossibly far-struck shot by a one-handed swing from the Yankee’s Johnny Damon in Game 3 of the Yanks-Indians ALDS series.

It was a cruel, cruel home run.

This has been a postseason best presented concisely, due directly to the manner in which TBS has delivered it to our televisions. Turner’s cable flagship, for whom syndication is the sinew, has ventured headlong into live, very national TV. And that was a tragic, tragic mistake. Not only have the games been stacked on top of each other all day long, to the point where great portions of the working world are excluded from watching these games (two Phillies games started at 3 p.m., other games started at 9:30 p.m. or later), almost every voice involved in the broadcast detracted from the game. Maybe you can’t do much about the scheduling (outside of, say, staggering the games as much as possible), but you can work with the second part.

Even the New York Times weighed in on the particularly awful job that the announcers, with this truly compendious dissection, a must-read (at least for the purposes of this post).

Yes, they broadcast the Braves. Yes, they do have that show “My Boys” that seems to appeal to people who enjoy getting slapped in the face by punchlines.

Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Frank Thomas — these ex-players all could translate their truly astounding talents on the field into behind-the-microphone careers. They’ve been good, at times.

But TBS, these guys, aren’t ready for primetime. They’re ready for Atlanta. Maybe Milwaukee. But bringing this show to the stage is like a fast-tracking a middle-school musical onto Broadway. Cute. But deeply flawed and just terribly embarrassing.

You should let kids watch this broadcast when you want to teach them the value of silence. Let them know that noise isn’t always necessary, that sometimes the situation speaks for itself.

Or, perhaps, use it as a parable to let them know that, given the choice between saying nothing at all versus a string of things not true, intelligent, insightful, researched, helpful or at least minimally thought-out (like, say, the outright lie that “The Yankees led the world in home runs”) don’t say anything at all.

And please, don’t say it twice.

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3 responses

10 10 2007
Lipka

I object!

First of all, the games have always been spread out throughout the day, regardless of network. They do it so they can all theoretically be watched. I remember being at cross country practice during the 1998 Division Series and hearing that Mo and Nomar both homered in a drubbing of the Indians. Yet I didn’t see it, and the Sox lost the next three, depriving me of any postseason joy. So, while that sucks sometimes, you can’t blame TBS.

Secondly, I agree with many points about the announcing, including the Times story. But I think the studio work has been outstanding. I’ve really enjoyed Ripken, and Ernie Johnson is the man. And honestly, I’d rather listen to the guys that did the Sox series on TBS than who we’re getting in the next round. Two words: TIM MCCARVER.

So, I respectfully disagree. TBS put the games in HD, which was nice, and with the brutal state of announcing everywhere, I don’t think this was, comparatively, all that bad.

10 10 2007
scheity

When has a game between two East Coast teams started at 9:30 in the past? Has this really happened? Have I just not been paying attention?

Also, the FOX team was bad. Pretty terrible. Chris Myers’ interview with Steven King was more gruesome than most of King’s books. McCarver said things already obviated by the game. But Joe Buck, as much as people hated him, knew his stuff. I’m not asking for a Do You Believe in Miracles broadcast every time, just the facts. This is, after all, journalism in some regard.

10 10 2007
Magnus

Gentlemen, I believe you are missing the point that tbs is trying to make. You, like me, are supposed to ignore work completely and watch the games at work thanks to the beauty that is tbs Hot Corner.

Sorry, it hurt quite a bit to say that.

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