The Criticism of Commentators Is Getting out of Control

Chip StevensonCorrespondent ISeptember 26, 2008

I realize that my last couple major posts (October Just Wont Be the Same and You Know What I Don't Like) have been filled with more complaints than Prince Fielder made when the Brewers stopped offering donuts in the post-game spread. Still, I really need to get this last pet peeve off my chest: I cannot stand when people complain about announcers.

I understand that listening to Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, and the White Sox announcers isn't as easy on the ears as your favorite Hannah Montana jam, but c'mon... you watch the games to watch the games, right? Who cares that the announcer maybe got a player's name wrong or didn't think a particular pitch was a strike only to have ESPN's K Zone prove him wrong? We're all human, man. Relax.

The most egregious case of bad announcing I have ever seen came during an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast of a Tigers game. Joel Zumaya was on the mound throwing his usual cheese. He was hitting 100, 101, and even 102 on the stadium guns, which have been known to enhance a pitch's speed to make it seem like the pitchers are throwing harder than they actually are.

On this particular night after one pitch registered 101 mph, Joe Morgan questioned the reading. He couldn't believe that Zumaya could throw over 100 mph so he said, "No, I don't think he was throwing 101. Maybe 100."

Obviously Joe Morgan, or anyone else for that matter, can't detect the difference between a 101 mph pitch and a 100 mph pitch with the naked eye. Everyone understands that so everyone should have just simply let it go as a stupid mistake yet he got absolutely obliterated on every Tigers' forum I've seen. (For the actual transcribed exchange, click here.)

That was one tiny little exchange between Joe Morgan and Jon Miller on probably a 3+ hour broadcast, but I'm sure that the vast majority of people watching that game remember Morgan's gaffe and not who won that game. To me, that's sad.

Clearly, every announcer says something worthy of making fun of every now and then, but I've watched way too many important games that have been completely compromised by an annoying array of "This announcer is soooo bad!" "I can't believe he still has a job!' "Did he really just say that?" all while I'm biting what's left of my fingernails as Magglio Ordonez comes up with the bases loaded or the final seconds tick off the clock as the Lions stupidly win a game that costs them the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Some of these announcers have been broadcasting 100+ games a year for as long as I can remember- of course they are going to repeat stories, of course they are going to forget a player's name, of course they are going to sound stupid sometimes, but do we really need this blog or this one or this one to rub the mistakes in their faces and put all the gaffes on record?

Again, I'm all for some good natured ribbing when a guy screws up, but it's just gone way too far. Watch the games for what happens on the field, not what happens in the booth.

Mute Button 4 Lyfe

-Chip S.