Dear TBS Sports,
Why do you hate sports so much?Â What did it ever do to you?Â Did the Rafael Ramirez/Bruce Benedict Braves teams of the ’80s sour you so much on sports that you have to try to torture innocent baseball fans all over America?
Because, to put it elegantly, holy shit does your baseball coverage suck ass.
Then again, how could it have not.Â Look at the stable of “talent” you assembled for your little role in the month long postseason baseball tournament.
It’s a veritable “who’s who” of talentless jerkoffs.
You had to find four play-by-play guys for the first round of the playoffs.Â You scoured the earth and came up with the comatose Brewers’ play-by-play man Brian Anderson (and assigned him to work the Brewers series) and the human Sominex that is Don Orsillo (often confused with Otto Pilot from Airplane!
You even arranged for Dick Stockton to work again. Which, logistically had to be tough:
And, of course your “lead” announcer, the supposed “start” of your broadcasts is none other than Chip Caray.
Harry Christopher Caray III.Â I can think of no greater insult to Harry Caray that this complete douche has his name.Â For seven seasons, Chip babbled his way through hundreds of Cubs’ games, and we were forced to listen to it.Â For better or worse, your team’s announcers are your conduit to the club.Â Ours was making it awfully tough to watch.
His style hasn’t changed, and that’s the problem.Â His affected voice, the constant need to talk and talk and talk and talk and not really say anything.Â His inability to stop talking is his greatest, and most annoying weakness.Â But for all of that narration, you don’t learn anything.Â He’s just bleating, loudly, for no apparent reason.
He’s never figured out two basic concepts that good announcers understand innately.Â First, the game is televised, we can see it.Â Just complement the action, don’t overwhelm it.
Second, stop guessing what’s happening, wait another half second and comment on what’s happened.Â This is a skill that is completely foreign to Chip.Â His constant need for attention, his unquenchable craving to fill every silence with his own voice will never allow him to be good at his job.Â He can suck the life out of any sequence in any game because he’s constantly guessing.
And his hyperbole machine is always running at full capacity.
Every flyball is “towering.”
Every line drive is a “rocket shot.”
His home run call is a mangled mess, and it often starts with “swung on, belted!”Â It’s a call he stole from his old Seattle Mariners’ partner, recent Ford Frick Award winner Dave Niehaus (who is also a bloviating gasbag), who stole it from the Indians’ Tom Hamilton.
It’s almost perfect that you hired him, though.Â It’s just another example of a television network with no clue what sports’ fans actually want.
What we want is Vin Scully and Jack Buck.Â When NBC had the World Series they just called Vin and he stopped by and did the games.Â He was used to working alone, but if you put him with Joe Garagiola he was just fine.Â He’d have been better without Joe, but Vin was a pro.Â Still is.Â He’s 80, and he’s still the best.
As a Cubs’ fan I should hate Jack Buck because, for no other reason than he was the Cardinals’ announcer for…ever.Â But I didn’t.Â Jack, like Vin was just great at his job.Â No schtick, just him telling you what’s happened.
Back when CBS bought the World Series away from NBC critics and fans panned the broadcasts.Â But it wasn’t because of Jack.Â It was because of the stream of inanities coming out of Tim McCarver’s mouth.Â They still are, and now he’s working with Jack’s smarmy and condescending (two things his dad never was) son.Â And Fox’s telecast sucks, too.
Vin Scully is 80 years old, and Jack Buck is dead.Â So we don’t really want them.
But we want to go back to the way the games were announced back then.Â Less was always more.
Nothing sounds better than the background noise at a baseball game.Â The stir of the crowd, vendors shouting, a little organ music.Â That’s baseball.Â More than whatever you are trying to pass off as it, is.
Then again, fewer and fewer parks ever let you hear the background noise anymore.Â Every pause in the action is filled with recorded music, or ads.
But we’d never know it anyway, because your announcers won’t shut the hell up.Â Ever.
That’s what we already miss about the Cubs’ absence from the playoffs.Â Nothing sounds more like baseball than Wrigley.Â Game one was a great example.Â There was an excitement in the air as the game started, then a raucousness to things as Mark DeRosa homered to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead, and then, complete panic and awkward silence the second that James Loney hit the grand slam.
But nobody watching on TV had any idea.Â Dick Stockton was babbling away, Ron Darling was trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about and Tony Gwynn was just eating very loudly too close to the mic.
The crowd was telling the story, and you all missed it.
Your baseball coverage is abysmal.Â And you know what, without a team to root for, it’s just not worth it to try to slog through it.
Thanks for continuing the ruination of the most important time of the year of our favorite sport.
I hope you all get hit in the face with a big bag of syphillis.