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Monday, October 31, 2005

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Jason, If you don't want the World Series on Fox, what are you suggesting ? I don't think any of the big three would halt their prime time schedules and pay billions for baseball. This leaves the cable networks -- notably ESPN. As a baseball fan, I want the World Series to reach a wide base and realize that commentary, graphics, etc will be "dumbed down" for the casual fan. I am OK with this and the Fox network. I do wish they would start the games one hour earlier though and also play day games on Saturday.

If I'm Jeff Zucker at NBC, I jump on it. They have a bad prime time lineup and need to assert themselves back into the sports scene. The last time the World Series was handled in a good way was when it was on NBC with Bob Costas. They do a tremendous job with the Olympics and understand how to create a good storyline. Fox does not grasp that. Fox thinks that if you give viewers fancy graphics and camera work, it will generate the same interest. It's all noise to me.

Why would any of the big 3 want baseball? All programming is moving more towards specific viewership patterns. ESPN is really the only viable outlet.

It's easy to blame Fox for the silly sound effects and cheesy gimmicks, but unfortunately in this day and age, any of the three networks would be doing the exact same thing if they were carrying the games.

i read this entry, the entire time silently hoping you were going to somehow mention veronica mars.

I believe that the switch to late-night WS games in late October, rather than scheduling the games in the daytime in early October, has at last caught up with baseball and the networks as an entire younger generation has tuned out and is involved in other pursuits and interests. The daytime WS literally used to stop traffic, and every street corner in major cities had congregations of fans following every pitch on the radio. It was followed intensely in classrooms all over the nation. Now, who, outside the involved cities, really cares anymore? Whereas we used to follow the progress of the games in groups, now most people watch in the solitude of their living rooms. Baseball has pushed its once passionate youthful fandom over to skateboarding. The ratings now reflect that.

I really miss the daytime games they used to have at World Series time. I remember running home after school to catch the last few innings on TV back in the Sixties.

About Fox, does Tim McCarver ever shut up? Somebody needs to tell him that sometimes less is more! He's as annoying as Chris Wheeler!

There are a number of solutions baseball ignores at its own peril.

1. Start the games at 7:05 or 7:30 EDT. The later starting time benefits no one including the alleged West Coast viewers who at 5PM can be reliably found sitting in their cars on some freeway.

2. Play any weekend games during the day. Yes, there is college football to contend with, but on the weekends there are broadcasts of college football in the evening as well. People who prefer college football won't stay around for more than half an inning of baseball even were the games played in their own backyards!!

3. Use local team announcers. I have said this before. The national announcers are offensive to everyone except their own families. Check that: Tim McCarver may not even be popular in HIS house. The local announcers know the teams better. I'd even be satisfied with teaming up announcers from each team: in NL city use prime NL announcer and AL color guy. In AL team reverse this. Or, keep the teams intact and switch off at the fifth inning. Anything to avoid having to listen to the terminally bland national guys.

4. Kill the graphics. They add nothing but visual noise to the game.

5. Shorten the season by eight games (more or less) and have decent weather more reliably present for the games.

6. Make Sundays, NFL day, a travel day. Why compete head-to-head with football? Baseball will never win that battle.

7. Boycott Fox television, not just at World Series time. Their notion of Fair and Balanced makes McCarthy seem inclusive.

this week on house. house has to amputate a child's limbs and remove their head to massage their brain just to keep them alive.

"7. Boycott Fox television, not just at World Series time. Their notion of Fair and Balanced makes McCarthy seem inclusive."

That's just stupid.

Which part is stupid, That Dude, Fox's relentless distortions on behalf of the Bush Administration or their other principal preoccupation, the shrill smearing of anyone who dares to disagree with them?

Using local team announcers sounds good in theory, but in practice, well, have you ever heard Hawk Harrelson do a White Sox game? And please spare us Fran Healy should the Mets ever make the Series again.

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