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It's going to be a looooong postseason on TBS

Oct 7, 2009, 8:55 AM EST

I have preferred the TBS playoff coverage to the FOX coverage over the past couple of years for two reasons: (1) Unlike FOX, TBS’s producers don’t appear to have ADHD and can keep to a single camera shot for more than a half second, resisting the urge to cut from closeup to closeup to closeup between pitches; and (2) in the grand scheme of things, Chip Caray + Ron Darling > Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Based on last night’s game, however, these assumptions may no longer be operative.

The direction in the Twins-Tigers tilt was practically seizure-inducing. If there was a woman in the Metrodome stands holding her hands together in prayer that the cameras didn’t cut to in between pitches I’ll be utterly shocked.  Also, Tigers’ third base coach Gene Lamont needs to give his publicist a raise, because whatever it is he’s doing to get his client more camera time while he sits uncomfortably in his too-tight uniform in the dugout while the Tigers are in the field is obviously working.  Between the fan shots and Lamont-o-vision it was rare to actually see a catcher give the signs and the pitcher come set in the late innings.

Caray has reached a whole new level. The one everyone is talking about today is his call of Nick Punto’s “Line drive! Base hit!” to left in the 10th inning. It was the first line drive base hit I’ve ever seen result in the batter being out and the runner being killed at the plate following a tag-up. But that wasn’t Caray’s only delightful moment. Every foul ball was “fisted”. Every fair ball was a “hot shot!”  In a game where there was no shortage of organic drama, Caray tried to infuse every call with instant phony drama rather than let the game speak for itself. By the time we were in extra innings, Ron Darling was spending more time trying to cover for Caray’s screwups than he was offering analysis. Which, while entertaining in its own right, almost makes one pine for Buck and McCarver. At least we’ve had more practice tuning them out.

There are three games today, all on TBS.  The only saving grace is that Chip Caray can only call one of them.

  1. Andy L - Oct 7, 2009 at 10:07 AM

    I agree with everything you said, and I was watching when he made the “Base hit!” call. I didn’t think that much of it at the time, because I guess I was thinking about what it would be like if I called a game – I might make the same error. But then I remembered – Carey has done play by play for baseball games for a long time. What is his deal? Did his vocabulary shrink? Did he lose his ability to wait for a ball to hit the ground?
    Or is he a playoff choker?

  2. Brian - Oct 7, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    Don’t worry, by the end of play today you’ll have forgotten all about Chip Caray and instead you’ll be plotting a series of horrible accidents to befall George Lopez and whoever at TBS thought that he should not only get a late night talk show, but that it was worthy of more attention than anything since, well, Frank Caliendo’s TBS show…

  3. George - Oct 7, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    I’ll pine for Joe Buck, but not for McCarver … that man NEVER stops talking.

  4. CG Hudson - Oct 7, 2009 at 12:20 PM

    My personal fave; his referring to Porcello’s ability to “blaze the baseball”. Has anyone in the entire history of humanity ever uttered that phrase like that before Chip did last night? I think not.

  5. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 7, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    Some of my friends in college might have, but I assure you it was not to discuss a baseball game ;)

    Which, while entertaining in its own right, almost makes one pine for Buck and McCarver

    Umm, never in a million years!

  6. Josh in DC - Oct 7, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    Chip Caray has no idea what any statistics means. None. He’ll say things like, “Mauer’s been intentionally walked 11 times this year,” and then make NO mention of whether that’s a lot or a little or if it even leads the team.
    I would guess that at least once per half inning, Caray says something that BEGS for a follow-up — calls someone a hard-thrower, or very difficult to strikeout — and NEVER brings ANYthing to back it up.
    As far as Chip Caray is concerned, these games are being played in Lake Woebegone: All the players are above average. And all the managers are geniuses who deserve a lot of credit for what they accomplished this year despite facing a ton of adversity.

  7. Andy in Braves territory - Oct 7, 2009 at 6:12 PM

    Having listened to Chip Caray call many Braves games on TBS back in the day, sometimes even in tandem with Skip, his hilariously dry-humored father, I am always annoyed by how over-the-top he is with everything.
    If only Skip were still with us, I’d say give us the old TBS tandem of him and Pete Van Weiren over Chip/Darling or Buck/McCarver any day.

  8. Night Sweat - Feb 8, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    There usually obviously a lot to know about this. I think you produced some really points in Features also. Preserve working, fine job!

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