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Comment of the Day: enough with the Manny coverage

Jun 21, 2010, 5:12 PM EDT

With all the Manny chatter, did ESPN even know there was a baseball game going on last night?

That incessant Manny-chatter was further proof that nationally broadcast
games are now pitched only to baseball-ignorant audiences who know zip
about the game, the teams, and the history of the game. It makes
televised games virtually unwatchable. Every game has to have a
pre-agreed “story line,” and that’s its context—not the pennant race,
not the real team issues. This game was, according to ESPN, about Manny
Ramirez. It was crucial not to let him get to the plate as the tying
run…that was all we heard. Disgusting, boring, and incompetent.

Jack Marshall, Red Sox fan, perfectly capturing what I think about the direction the commentary so often takes in the big nationally-broadcast games anymore.

Drop the incessant harping on the “storylines,” networks. Thanks to the blogs and the nightly recaps on Baseball Tonight and MLB Network and everywhere else, most of them are old news by the time Saturday and Sunday roll around anyway. When it comes to the game itself, let’s talk about . . . the game itself. 

  1. Joboo - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    A lot of it has to do with the “talent” that the networks hire. Joe Buck has pretty much fessed up to the fact that he doesn’t really like baseball. And the next time Joe Morgan says something enlightening about a player not named Robinson Cano, it’ll be the first.

  2. Cantankerous - Jun 21, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    The same thing drove me crazy during a Mets/Cardinals Sunday night game in April. The storyline for that game was the first time Adam Wainright was facing the Mets since Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. Not only was it three hours of torture for Met fans, but more than three full seasons have passed since. Both teams are significantly different from the ’06 teams, it was still really early in the season, and they had played the 20 inning game the day before. But a game three years removed was the storyline.

  3. malmstorm - Jun 21, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    Speaking of last nights game, I loved Joe Morgan’s comment about why Pedroia does not have a walk-off hit in his career: it’s because of where he hits in the lineup?
    *shakes head*

  4. Xpensive Wino - Jun 21, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Joe Morgan is an absolute idiot and if ever there was a guarantee for me to hit the mute button, just have Curt Schilling open his mouth about anything…….

  5. JBerardi - Jun 21, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    It’s very simple: ESPN does not consider sports to be entertaining in and of themselves. They must always be augmented by storylines, personalities, whatever. Anything to turn the attention away from what’s happening on the field (boring!), and towards whatever male soap opera they’ve artificially grafted onto the event in question. Golf isn’t exciting, Tiger Woods’ personal struggles are exciting! Baseball isn’t exciting, the way that the Fenway crowd reacts to Manny’s return is exciting! Basketball isn’t exciting, Kobe’s relationship with Shaq is exciting! Ultimately, it’s just kind of depressing to know that the people who produce these broadcasts simply do not care nearly as much about Baseball as I do.

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