We Deserve Better!
Okay, baseball fans, I've bottled this up long enough.
I'm tired of listening to the moronic patter from the bottom of the barrel during the post-season.
The people who run Major League Baseball constantly let other people make their decisions. Opening day? Sure, ESPN, feel free to destroy a 100-year-old tradition and put a game on Sunday night, the day before the regular opener. Sure, FOX, want to put two LCS games on at the same time? Whatever you say. Hey, we're just baseball; it's not like we own the product or anything. Pass me the lube!
And does anyone in MLB's New York offices even care that dopey, stumbling goofballs are responsible for representing the game on television during the post-season?
During the division series, we got Chris Berman, who sounds as if he last paid attention to a baseball game in 1977, on ESPN. Sometimes we get Gary Thorne, who never saw a player's salary that he wasn't jealous of. And let's just pretend, shall we, that we've never had to sit through Rick Sutcliffe.
And then there's FOX. During the just-completed ALCS, we were again treated to #2 play-by-play man Thom Brennaman, he of the constantly modulated, hyper-dramatic delivery and the almost stunning ability to reverse-predict events (pay attention sometime; he'll knowingly predict one thing only to have the opposite occur).
Brennaman has already embarrassed himself this year with his antics, both in insulting a legally blind fan during the Mets/Dodgers NLDS and, over the weekend, with his tired anti-Moneyball shtick.
And this maroon is Fox' choice to announce the American League Championship Series? We've sat through all your damn ads for "'Til Death," so how do we not deserve better than Thom Brennaman?
Until just recently, Brennaman had been paired with Steve "Psycho" Lyons, a ticking time bomb who went off once too many times this post-season.
After his guffawing go-along with the Brennaman let's-make-fun-of-the-blind-guy at Shea Stadium, Lyons was on thin ice anyway, and his cloddish buffoonery concerning Lou Piniella's Latino blood on Saturday at Comerica Park sealed the deal; Fox fired him that day.
My question is not why Lyons was fired. It's why FOX would have expected this guy to be any different than he's always been.
It's only up from here, to the #1 team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver!
Let's dicsuss the "color man" first. McCarver is glib, occasionally witty, and had an excellent playing career. But he seems to be less incisive every season as he gets further away from the booth; it's been several years since he was on any club's broadcast team.
His jokes are increasingly wince-worthy, and the guest analysts in the booth for the LCS--currently, Luis Gonzalez--regularly outshine McCarver concerning knoweldge of current players.
McCarver has been, for years, partnered for many years with Joe Buck. Jack's son, a Cardinals TV broadcaster, has been the top dog at FOX for several years; he's inoffensive, well-spoken, and handsome.
But that ain't enough!
Shouldn't baseball's prime showcases--the All-Star Game, the Division Series, League Championship Series, and the World Series--demand THE BEST BASEBALL ANNOUNCERS IN THE WORLD?
Is there anyone in their right mind--even a Cardinals fan--who could righteously swear, on a stack of Gideons, that Joe Buck is the best baseball announcer in the world?
We deserve Vin Scully. Or Ernie Harwell. Or Harry Kalas. Or Dave Niehaus. Okay, so you need to go "younger" and "hipper"? Get Bob Costas, or Josh Lewin, or Scott Graham, Dave Flemming, or even Dan Shulman. Someone preferably who doesn't, like Joe Buck, have the NFL on his mind and Holiday Inn commercials on the brain.
And while you're at it, fellas, get us a color man or two who can really add something to the broadcasts. Bert Blyleven, Mike Hegan, Ken Singleton, Ray Fosse, and Larry Dierker, among others, are playing golf right now. Like I wish Thom and Tim were.