On Wednesday and Thursday, baseball fans around the nation got a special treat in the form of a playoff tripleheader.
Living on the west coast, it provided me with the perfect day; baseball starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m.
But with that pleasure also came despair.
TBS is responsible for the divisional series round this season, and they are already getting on my nerves.
First of all, can we please do away with the pitch trax graphic on every pitch?
I’m watching the game, TBS—clearly, I can see where the ball is caught. I don’t need to know the exact inch where it hits. If it’s a close call or an important call, sure, bust out the digitized graphics and let’s get crazy.
But aside from that, I’m sick of having my screen blocked off by this stupid graphic.
It’s like watching Sportscenter, they have become so obsessed with filling the screen with random graphics that it frustrates the viewer.
Secondly, what in the holy hell is going on with the play-by-play guy for the Phillies-Rockies series?
I think it's Brian Anderson, and he is absolutely atrocious. He comes off as some hack who knows nothing about baseball.
His poor performance was only to be outdone by C.B. Buckner's calls in the Red Sox-Angels series.
Overall, Anderson's effort really reflects the whole mentality of TBS. Very funny.
I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of this next one, but have you had enough of George Lopez yet?
Last year they shoved Frank Caliendo down our throats, and we all know how famous and successful Frank is these days …
It’s almost like they want Lopez to fail by running these terrible ad campaigns.
One thing I really want to know about the ad’s; how did they get Obama to be in his commercials?
And more importantly, is Obama a closet Lopez fan?
I guess when the nation is up in arms about health care, just hitch your wagon to George Lopez and all will be forgiven.
If seeing the endless commercials for his late night show weren’t enough, Lopez threw out the first pitch before Game 2 of the Dodgers game. In true form of being an idiot, Lopez wore a jersey that read, “Lopezuela” on the back, with Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34.
And then there’s that Avis.com commercial.
You know the one—“Moonrock….Moonrock….Moonrock”—it’s on at least twice every commercial break. Considering TBS dropped a triple-header on us, that’s a lot of moonrock to handle in one day.
I’m so annoyed and frustrated with these commercials I can’t even say more about them—just experience the pain for yourself when you sit down for the next broadcast.
I’ll have to put this next one as one of the most frightening revelations of the week, but did anyone else notice Dick Stockton’s striking resemblance to Larry King?
And by resemblence, of course, I mean Stockton looks like he died five years ago.
His face is so surgically altered he might as well marry Joan Rivers.
Stockton also seems to think that the Cardinals had devised the most elaborate plot in playoff history; get into the Dodgers bullpen early.
Really? That’s what you worked all weekend to think up?
Dick, we know that it’s the goal of a team to knock a starter out of the game early. You’re not exactly making a scientific breakthrough by notifying us of this approach.
Fortunately for Stockton, he is paired up with Bob Brenly, who really knows his stuff and has been one of the lone bright spots during the TBS coverage.
In the early innings of the Dodgers-Cardinals game yesterday, Brenly made a point to talk about how the shadows will affect the offensive approach of both teams.
When Matt Holliday came to bat in the top of the second, the shadows had almost creeped past home plate, which when it happens, makes things incredibly difficult for the hitter.
Holliday took an enormous cut early in the count and fouled a ball back. Brenly said something about how Holliday was trying to go deep, because he was leading off the inning and time was running out before the shadows became a huge factor, so it would be beneficial to try and drive a ball out of the yard.
Sure enough, with his next Ruthian swing, Holliday connected on a home run.
Brenly couldn’t have been more spot on about the shadows, as in the third inning they finally overtook home plate and made it considerably more difficult for hitters.
And finally, there’s the pregame show …
First of all, Ernie Johnson is just awesome. The guy does a phenomenal job in the studio, whether he is with Kenny and Charles for NBA games, or the baseball crew for MLB playoffs.
He is dynamic, funny, and even brings some good information to the table. Baseball may not be his specialty, but E.J. convinces you that he could replace Peter Gammons in a heartbeat.
Along with E.J., Dennis Eckersley and David Wells do a good job dissecting the game from a pitcher’s standpoint.
Wells had a great segment yesterday speaking about how Jon Lester most likely would have a tough time battling back from taking a line drive off of his knee late in the season.
The Ham-bino talked about a time in his career when he was drilled in the knee, and it took him two or three months to really feel 100 percent again. He also detailed how Lester lucked out, because he was contacted in the fat part of the knee, not the medial side, which is incredibly sensitive to impact.
But it all comes unraveled when Cal Ripken Jr. steps into the equation.
I’m not sure if anyone else caught this, but they setup Cal at a fake home plate, and use the damned pitch trax to digitally “pitch” him the ball.
All we get is a bunch of white lines streaking across the screen towards Ripken, and you can’t even get a feel of how the hitter lined up with the pitches because Ripken is not necessarily the body double for whatever hitter he is emulating.
So baseball fans, try to make it through these next few weeks without flying to Atlanta to attack the TBS executives.
The main thing to remember when watching a TBS broadcast; at least you don’t have to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.