I was just reading Mark Newman’s article on MLB.com about the upcoming ALDS and the announcers who’ll be covering it. I found myself saying out loud, “Why do these games have to be on TBS?”
Never mind that I dread having to sit through promos for comedy shows I wouldn’t watch in a million years. What bothers me is that the playoffs are baseball’s premier sporting events and TBS hasn’t exactly established itself as a premier sports network. Their cameras are rarely in the right place at the right time and their announcers always sound as if they’ve parachuted in from another galaxy. Having them cover a game is like letting the Food Network do it.
Handling the play-by-play for the Yankees’ series will be Chip Caray.
He seems like a nice enough guy, and he certainly comes from an impressive lineage of broadcasters. But when Derek Jeter steps to the plate, do I really want to hear the story of the scouts who spotted him as a skinny kid and said, “He’s gonna be a star someday?” Or how Mark Teixeira signed with the Yanks because he idolized Mattingly as a boy? How Mo is a future HOF-er despite only throwing one pitch during his entire career? Oh, and how the Yankees have the highest payroll in the history of life? Don’t Yankee fans already know all of that?
Their color analyst will be Ron Darling, the voice of the Mets on SNY.
He’s a smart guy, having gone to Yale, and knows his baseball, having been an elite pitcher. He also knows New York, so we won’t be subjected to: “Golly, this is a big city.” I can live with him, as opposed to Buck Martinez.
If there’s a more irritating voice on television or radio, I haven’t heard it.
(Warning: Do not listen to the entire video or your ears will explode.)
Buck sounds like he’s wearing one of these, doesn’t he?
I realize that no broadcaster alive has the magic of Vin Scully. I also understand that TBS is reaching out to a national audience. Would I have preferred that the MLB Network take over the games and put Bob Costas behind the mic? Sure. But since it’ll be TBS or nothing, I’m hoping that they’ll do their homework this year, give us truly in-depth coverage that tells us stuff we didn’t know before, and avoid the following:
1) “Very Funny” promos that aren’t.
2) A zillion close-ups of Dr. and Mrs. Jeter, any Steinbrenner and Kate Hudson.
3) A discussion of whether or not Joe Girardi will be fired if the Yankees don’t win the World Series.
4) The Joba Rules.
5) The sentence: “Sabathia is a horse.”
I can’t ask for more than that.
Since tonight’s Yankees-Rays game was rained out, I decided to muse about my trip to New York (I leave Thursday). I’m getting jazzed about all the cool things I’ll be doing in the Apple.
Well, there’s one thing I’m not looking forward to.
As anyone who’s read my book may remember, I’m not wild about flying. If there’s turbulence I tend to guzzle too much plane wine and end up like this.
With any luck, my cross-country flight will be smooth and uneventful, and I’ll arrive at JFK on Thursday night with all my faculties.
On Friday, I’ll be doing my weekly segment on “The Natural,” the New Jersey-based radio show where I joust with host Greg Marotta about the Yankees. (He thinks Joba should be in the pen. I don’t. Not anymore.)
But the rest of the weekend will be family time. I haven’t seen my mother in a while, so it’ll be great to visit with her in Westchester.
(No, that isn’t my mother. I just felt the need to put a nice lady up there. Hopefully, my actual mother will be wearing the Jeter jersey I bought her. She has lots of opinions about the Yanks and should be good She-Fan Cam material.)
After resting up at Mom’s, it’ll be on to the city for some serious media scrutiny about my book.
Are you ready for this? Barbara Kopple, who won two Oscars for her documentaries, is interviewing me for the doc she’s shooting about the Yankees. It’s scheduled to air in the fall on ESPN. For all I know, I’ll end up on the proverbial cutting room floor, but it was exciting to be contacted and I’m looking forward to meeting Barbara.
No clue what she’ll want to talk about for two hours, but I guess I’ll find out. I did love her two Oscar winners:
“Harlan County, U.S.A.” about the coal miner’s strike in Kentucky…
and “Shut Up & Sing” about the Dixie Chicks’ crusade for freedom of speech.
A little later that afternoon, I’ll head to the YES Network’s production studio to tape a segment for “Yankees Magazine,” the weekly show hosted by Bob Lorenz.
I’ll be sure not to mention that I regularly rip Michael Kay on this blog (gently).
Wednesday will be the best day of all: my first trip to the new stadium for the Yankees-Nationals game. I can’t wait to see the Yanks in action. I’m also dying to sample all the food everyone’s been talking about. Watching this MLB video about the Food Network concession made me really hungry, although I could do without the fried pickle.
I’ll be sitting with my husband and my friend Patty from the New York Times. We’ll be up in the nosebleeds (section 323) but behind home plate. If anybody’s going to the game on the 17th, please stop by and say hi.
Also….this is still to be confirmed, fingers crossed….I’ll be having a signing for my book before the game, from 4:30-6, right outside the one-and-only Stan’s Sports Bar across the street from the Stadium!
Stan’s is an institution in Yankeeville. Its owner, Louis Dene, who happens to live part time in Santa Barbara, has managed to keep the place hopping for years. If you’ve been there, you know that it’s wall-to-wall Yankee fans.
I’m hoping we’ll be able to sell books right in the middle of all the craziness, with the help of Denise, the community relations manager at the Bay Plaza Barnes & Noble in the Bronx.
The main thing for that night is…IT CANNOT RAIN!
I think I’ll start my anti-rain dance right now.
Whew. I’m a little dizzy and those feathers made me sneeze, but it was worth it if it keeps the rain away.