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Was FOX actually good last night?

Oct 29, 2009, 10:58 AM EDT

There’s not a ton of actual news this morning, so let’s talk broadcasting:

As the game ended last night, I said to myself “hmm, I just watched over three hours of a FOX broadcast, and I’m not annoyed.” I was able to mostly ignore Buck, and, in an unlikely twist, McCarver didn’t say too terribly much to angry up my blood.  Maybe more important, it didn’t seem to me like they were constantly cutting to crowd shots like they have in the past (one of my biggest pet peeves). I may have missed some giant gaffe when I put my daughter to bed or went for a beer or something, but on the whole, it was a good broadcast.

There are at least three more opportunities for FOX to remember all of the reasons we hate having to watch postseason baseball on their network, but until they do, I’m going to give them preliminary credit for maybe finally learning a few lessons.  

  1. Largebill - Oct 29, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    Broadcast was alright. I was IM’ng with my brother in the middle innings and I do remember him complaining about something Buck said, but I can’t remember the issue. Usually I can’t stand McCarver and nothing jumped out at me last night. Maybe I was just drunk enough not to be bothered. Possible.

  2. Crash - Oct 29, 2009 at 12:40 PM

    I found myself trying to get radio reception to listen to Joe Morgan and Jon Miller but there was just too much static. Having read your post, I find that I agree with you. There really wasn’t anything too annoying. But I really am tired of Buck and McCarver, though. What MLB should do is for the first game in each teams home park, have the home team’s announcers do the game. Particularly in the Division Series and the LCS. The announcers in those two series weren’t all that recognizable or that good. I’m also guessing that the technology exists that could allow both teams to hear their own announcers and the rest of the country could hear “national announcers”. This would relieve Buck/McCarver overload. We Phillies fans are getting tired of them during the World Series.

  3. Arendell - Oct 29, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    For now I do not watch the yankee homie station. I can not put up with the sicking Chit Chat. But when thay went to the extream and sickening cheep trick as to place a baseball Icon’s head in an Ice bucket with a couple of bats. That was the last straw!!
    That was class less, sick ETC!! This tv/web group needs to be boycoted!! There sick. Good Bye FOX!!

  4. Dan - Oct 29, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    Was it just me or was every pitch between 86-90 MPH deemed a “cutter” or “cut fastball”?
    My favorite was IMMEDIATELY after narrating a graphic that showed Cliff Lee’s pitches, and the grips he used (‘Spiked Curve’, Change, Four-seam fastball), Lee throws an 85-86 MPH pitch (obviously a change, right?) and they announce: “A little cut-fastball there from Lee!”

  5. mkeryan - Oct 29, 2009 at 12:52 PM

    I actually thought the same thing. tolerably OK. I think the key was to not over hype and over talk. they usually have a problem with silence. Last night they did a good job of letting the game speak for itself.
    One question, though. Since when is the “spike curve” any different than the “knuckle curve”? it’s the same damn thing…same grip. I was waiting for someone to mention it, especially since it was Mussina’s bread and butter.
    Also, I thought the umpiring was pretty damn good. there were a couple batters late in the game where the strike zone suddenly changed (thinking about the last Utley at bat especially), but other than that, umps were consistent and made sure to get the big ones correct.

  6. stephen j. - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:03 PM

    My only complaint about the broadcast was the annoying 3-split-screen with the pitcher, batter, and catcher. It’s too busy on the screen.

  7. jonny5 - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    You know what was total bull? How many times did the camera zoom in on Lee’s grip? 4-5 times? Maybe more??? tell me they weren’t tipping his pitches somehow….. Not once did they zoom in on Sabathia’s grip. Not once. Something is fishy about that…. Excuse me while I go adjust my tin foil hat……

  8. Bob P. - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    My biggest gripe was the Jeter/Pitcher-Batter split-screen they tried pulling off later in the game. Who cares what Jeter says/does out there at short before the pitch is thrown? Just show the damn game as it’s meant to be shown.

  9. jonny5 - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:20 PM

    Joe Buck is from Remulack. I’m pretty sure of it. As a matter of fact Last season he was asked to say something nice about the Phillies after the romped the dodgers and he said.. “What choice do I have? It is as if you have grabbed me by the base of my snarglies! “

  10. Mike - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    Joe Buck was definitely off his game last night. I think he only used the adjective “terrific” less than a dozen times, as opposed to the 50-60 times he usually drops that one in the course of a game (especially when referring to anything Yankee).

  11. Chris - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    Obviously you missed this beauty from McCarver: “The LEFT fielder is generally not responsible for balls hit down the RIGHT field line.” BRILLIANT!!!

  12. CMac - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    I kept getting annoyed by their transitions… “They got him to Chase that one.. and speaking of Chase, how about Chase Utley?”

  13. Dasher - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    Another reason for local announcers is to hear a little excitement when your team does something. Game 4 NLCS, ho hum, ‘ . . .some little guy hits a ball out in the grass and two little guys are running after is, a couple other little guys are running around the dirt. . .” Hearing the local call on the local post game was great! All the networks want to do is “cookie cutter”. I’m a chubby ‘ole guy and I don’t need cookies.

  14. Handwasher - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    McCarver: “I’ve never heard of a ‘spike’ curve.”

  15. NRG1006 - Oct 29, 2009 at 3:20 PM

    I absolutely cannot stand these two rejects. Between McCarver’s ‘twang’ and Bucks’ bias toward anyone but the Phils, it is hard to believe FOX has them announcing (?) the World Series. They also lack knowledge of certain aspects of baseball. It’s hard to understand what McCarver is alluding to in game situations because he is always trying to cover his asz. Broadcast view is worse. FOX seldom shows the defense alignment for the plays. Thankfully, I can turn on the radio to hear a better perspective from the local guys.

  16. Mike Dark - Oct 29, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    Two words: Fox Trak!
    Buck kept trying to discuss the inane speed at the plate, and McCarver had to be the voice of reason, directing him to the overall time in tenths of a second to respond. And just put the damn strikezone graphic on the right hand part of the screen all the time like TBS did.

  17. Jay S - Oct 29, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    Some of you folks are totally clueless… McCarver was obviously being facetious when he said the left fielder is generally not responsible for balls hit down the right field line… and while there are other announcers I prefer to these guys, McCarver in particular has a knack for pointing out a scenario and then seconds later it plays out in the game. I think they are fine as an announcing team. As far as a lack of knowledge, maybe a few of you ought to look in the mirror. McCarver was a long time all star catcher in the majors. For those of us among the fan base that think we know more about baseball than him, get your heads out of the sand. That’s like saying we know more about scams than Bernie Maddoff. Get serious folks !

  18. mkeryan - Oct 29, 2009 at 8:19 PM

    I actually don’t mind the segments showing things like Jeter using noises to hold the runner close. And i agree that i want to see more stuff like defensive alignment.
    the problem is that Fox either drives a topic into the ground or ignores it completely. Show Jeter talking to hold the runner. do it once and move on.
    Show me some alignment and how it changes pitch to pitch, situation to situation. keep letting McCarver talk about nuances like the catcher telling the pitcher to shake his head to throw off the hitter. What i really want to stop are the drama building long shots of managers (happens so much with Girardi) that are supposed to relay the emotional importance and intensity of situations. All those cutaways do nothing to enhance the viewing experience, and don’t come close to being educational. they simply inspire an emotional response.
    Maybe that’s what draws the always sought after “casual fan”, but i personally don’t like it.

  19. shimmerboo - Oct 30, 2009 at 4:26 AM

    Right on!!!! Phillies fan from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. living the beauty of the Palm Beaches which is awesome…hot here yesterday 93 degrees…ouch….my the suntan keeps getting better…..look out ladies here I come….oops!!!!……sorry about that!!!….oh yea Buck and McCarver…..Joe Buck ain’t his Dad and McCarver already ready for thenursing home……go figure….oops….it’s 4:24 AM
    Adios Amigos……Maury is cooked, fried and well-done…..time to flip me over easy!!!!!

  20. Randall C. - Jan 10, 2010 at 1:53 AM

    I admit, I have not been on this blog in a long time… by the way it was another enjoy to see It is such great subject and avoided by so many, even adept. I thank you to advice making people more cognizant of possible issues.

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