Thursday, February 07, 2008


Thursday, October 26, 2006

World Series 2006: Ratings are down? I can't imagine why!

Do you want to really know why people are not watching the World Series? For me, it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm not a fan of the Cards or Tigers. I am a baseball fan, first and foremost. I love the game. I love the Mets, and I'll be honest - the fact that the Mets are not playing the World Series puts a damper on it for me. But while there are some great stories going on in this year's Fall Classic, that's not enough for me to put up with Fox's irritating coverage. Anymore, post season television coverage is like this: it's as if Bud Selig presented me with a perfectly lovely chocolate cream pie, then proceeded to throw it on the floor and hand me a fork.

So, here are a few pointers for the folks at Fox and MLB, if you're interested in getting viewers back:

1) Kill some of those commercial breaks, and/or shorten them. Ok, I know that next year you're actually going to INCREASE the commercial time between innings. But maybe you won't have to if you heed some simple advice. If you make the commercial breaks longer, I'll just TIVO the game and start watching it a half-hour to 45 minutes in, so I can fast forward through them. But if you have fewer commercials, you increase the chance that people will actually stay put and watch them. If I know I don't have enough time to go out to dinner, walk the dog, or get a manicure between innings, then I'll sit still.

2) Dump the announcing crew. Fox, you need to face it: more people dislike Joe Buck than actually like him. And coupled with Tim McCarver, who is arguably suffering from early onset Alzheimer's disease, you couldn't ask for a more annoying crew than that. During the playoffs, I'd taken to muting the TV and turning on the XM radio so I could listen to WFAN while watching the game. And why not include an announcer from the home team along with your designated Fox Guy? So many talented announcers are sitting at home during the World Series (Vin Scully is another, as pointed out) and this is just wrong.

3) STOP: extreme closeups, six replays of every pitch, and coming back from the commercial break as the first pitch of the inning is sailing towards the batter (and sometimes after it's been pitched, which is inexcusable). Also, lose that stupid "plate cam" or whatever you call that idiotic thing. You know what I'm talking about. Why not add a camera that shows a view of the pitch from above the plate, or something useful like that?

4) Start the games earlier. For a league espousing so much "it's all for the kids" crap, you don't seem to care that most adults, let alone kids, cannot stay up until midnight watching a baseball game in the middle of the week. If you can't shorten the game by eliminating all the commercial breaks (and we know the game has gotten longer over the years due to managers making 27 pitching changes a game) then at least start earlier.

5) STOP IT with the endless promos for Fox television shows. All they do is remind me that there's probably something far less annoying on another channel.

You all need to face the fact that ratings aren't down because people don't care about baseball. Ratings are down because your coverage stinks so much that most of us, despite our devotion to the game, simply cannot put up with it.

I am really, really hoping that someone from FOX and/or MLB reads this posting, or any of the postings from the myriad of blog sites out there railing against the FOX Network's horrendous coverage of the series. Bloggers aren't doing this for money or influence. Fox and MLB have an invaluable resource on the Internet to help the suits really understand what fans think. Unlike The Worldwide Leader, we have no interest in market share. All we want to see is a ballgame, played in under 3 hours thank you, with decent, intelligent analysis, uninterrupted by moronic plugs for the network's television shows and all the other annoying crap I just mentioned. I just don't think that's too much to ask.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oh, the humanity...

Like most of you out there, I am still in a deeply craptastic mood. I came to work today only to have my pain-in-the-ass boss (who is a Phillies fan) tease me mercilessly. As you might well imagine, the urge to kill him is stronger today than on most days. The only person besides my wife (who is a Yankee fan, and don't ask) who has been nice to me today is my friend Dara, a Red Sox Fan. (She's actually buying me lunch in an hour. Love her.) Anyway, the point of this post is really to point others to better posts, because I just don't have it in me to deconstruct last nights game, or the 2006 season for that matter, anytime soon. I will at some point. I commend Metstradamus for having the intestinal fortitude to post something so soon, as did Faith & Fear In Flushing, and probably several other Mets bloggers. I just can't bring myself to read them all right now. I did read this rather humorous post on ESPN by Bill Simmons, which gave me a much needed laugh or two, so kudos to Bill for that. I love it when mainstream sports guys bash Fox, because Fox needs to be bashed for their crap announcers and crap MLB coverage as often as possible. My one consolation right now is knowing that the Mets will be back and better than ever next year. Now, I am going back to bed.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Two things

Just a quick post for two things: first, I'm happy to see that the Cards won today. It means that Will Leitch's friends can abandon the suicide watch, at least for another night (though, if Houston loses, it's over for good). Now, even though the Mets are going to beat the Cards like red-headed stepchildren come the postseason (if the Cards draw the short straw and have to play the Mets, that is) I'd still hate to see Will T.O. himself and leave deadspin without an editor.

What I really wanted to post about was the Nationals announcers. I'm hoping the guy that runs the Awful Announcing blog is reading this (probably not) but these homers are just pitiful. So get this: Julio Franco comes up for the Mets in the first inning tonight with Beltran and Greene on base. He hits a monster shot to dead center. Now, this wasn't just a home run. Nor was it just a three-run home run. It was a monster shot to dead center field hit by a 48-year old man. It was history making. Ok, I know you're thinking that he already made history back in April when he hit a home run against San Diego at age 47 - but this is new history, because now he's 48. And those asses in Washington don't say a damned thing about it. They don't mention that Julio Franco started his major league career before pitcher Beltran Perez was even born. Nothing at all. Jerks. This is why I hate the Nats announcers. They are homer idiots.

Incidentally, we're in the third inning and Franco has 5 RBIs so far tonight. I envy those of you who get to hear this game on SNY, because at the pace he's going, Franco might break some other record, and I doubt the Nats announcers will pull their heads out of their own asses long enough to notice.

And that's all I have for now. Back to the game....

Edited at 11:32pm to add:
Offense + Momentum going into playoffs = happy Mets Fan

Friday, September 29, 2006

Thinking happy thoughts...

I'm trying really hard not to freak out. It was good to see some hitting last night, though Roberto Hernandez and Billy Wagner tried their best to undo everything the Mets hitters (except for Shawn Greene, dp sucka & LOB King) accomplished. I thought Hernandez was more a setup guy than a middle reliever anyway? I guess Willie just slotted him in because he needed the work. Anyway, on to more important matters:

As as much as I'm distraught over losing Pedro for the entire postseason, the Mets failure to sign another starter before the trade deadline is looming large right now. Of course, I'm not going to second guess Omar, because he's consistenly about 1000 or so steps ahead of me and frankly most Met fans, pretty much all the time. I trust him as much as I didn't trust Steve Phillips (that's quite a lot, by the way. A loooot.) Right now I think most of us are worried about the postseason roster. And I think it's safe to say that most of us are very, very afraid of Oliver Perez. It seems like Willie really believes in this guy, and that he might be willing to give him a roster spot over Dave Williams. And I'm hoping that's just crazy talk on my part, and that it'll never happen. Actually, I don't care if he's on the roster, I just don't trust him with the ball, ever, unless we have like a 15-run lead. Maybe then. It's just that the Mets have had too many headcases on the mound in recent years, blowing it in stupendous fashion, for me to have any faith in Perez when the fate of the Mets postseason is resting in his arm. Last night during the broadcast, even Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez both admitted they'd be "shocked" to see Perez in the rotation come October.

Finally, what ever happened to Brian Bannister? Is he even part of the rotation discussion anymore, or just a bullpen guy? I think I'm just out of the loop where he's concerned. Anyway, I'd personally like to see the rotation go something like this: El Duque, Glavine, Maine, Trachsel, Williams. Everyone else in the pen.

In sum, I'm still worried. Not ready to jump, but sitting on that ledge, on the balls of my ass, as they say.