Tagged: TBS

Now We Know: We’re Going To Arlington

But where, exactly, IS Arlington? Yes, I’m aware that it’s in Texas, but where? I figured I’d better check since our boys will be flying there.
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OK, so it’s not in the Panhandle. And it’s not near the Mexican border. It’s not even in the vicinity of Austin or Houston or El Paso. It’s kind of close to Texarkana, which is an actual place not a country-and-western song, and is, therefore, practically in Arkansas, home of Cliff Lee, as well as A.J. and Moseley. What’s it like in Arlington? According to Wikipedia…
Arlington is a city in Tarrant CountyTexas within the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the seventh-largest city in Texas and the 49th largest city in the United States.[3]


OK, so it’s not that small, and our Yankees will find plenty of places where they can amuse themselves.
Located approximately 12 miles (19 km) east of downtown Fort Worth and 20 miles (32 km) west of downtown Dallas, Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark in ArlingtonCowboys Stadium, the International Bowling Campus (which houses the United States Bowling CongressInternational Bowling Museum and the International Bowling Hall of Fame), the headquarters for American Mensa, and the theme parks Six Flags Over Texas (the original Six Flags).
Cool. They can go bowling if they need to get away from it all, not to mention hop on a roller coaster.
According to the American Lung Association, Dallas has the 12th highest air pollution among U.S. cities. Much of the air pollution in Dallas and the surrounding area comes from a hazardous materials incineration plant in the small town of Midlothian and from concrete installations in neighbouring Ellis County.


Uh-oh. So they won’t be able to breathe. And the last thing CC needs before he makes his start on Friday night is to be exposed to hazardous materials. He’ll have enough trouble staying away from the BBQ joints. But the real hazard, as far as I’m concerned, is Lee and we don’t have to worry about him for awhile. I was hoping we’d play the Rays and we’re not. So we’ll have to get used to the following:
* Relentless close-ups of Nolan Ryan.
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* Vlad Guerrero swinging at balls on the ground, in the air, off the top of his head.
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* Replays of Josh Hamilton winning the Home Run Derby.
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* Neftali Feliz’s “cheddar,” as David Wells and Dennis Eckersley dubbed his fastball.
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The Rangers are an excellent team and I congratulate them for winning their series. But just like the highly anticipated new FOX show “Lone Star,” they should prepare to be cancelled after just a few episodes.
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P.S. Now that our opponent is known, it’s a good time to enter the Crumbs cupcakes contest or amend your predictions. Click here for details. The deadline for entering is Thursday at midnight, PT.
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Why You Can Throw Out The Regular Season

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Not to discount everything that happened before the playoffs started, but I was thinking about all the Yankees “truisms” – comments the media kept pounding into our heads that turned out not to be true in the ALDS. For example:
* The Yanks have trouble beating lefties.
* It’s harder to win on the road.
* Jeter’s not hitting.
* Mo is showing his age.
* Hughes doesn’t win at home.
* Andy’s rusty.
* Berkman’s power days are over.
* The Twins are hungry while the Yankees are fading.
When I look over that list, I have to laugh. What happened to all the conventional wisdom?
* The Yankees beat Lefty Liriano and Lefty Duensing.
* They won two games at Target Field.
* Jeter had four hits in the series.
* Mo notched two saves.
* Hughes won at home in convincing fashion.
* Andy gave up two runs in seven innings.
* Berkman homered and doubled.
* The Twins may have been hungry but the Yanks were hungrier.
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I wonder what the pundits will say when the ALCS gets going. There will be story lines galore – the TBS guys have all that time in the booth to fill – and I can anticipate some already.
* Posada can’t throw out runners.
* Posada can’t catch A.J.
* Posada is too old.
No, everything won’t be about Jorge, but we’ll be hearing about him for sure. You can also cue the “Girardi could be managing the Cubs next year if the Yankees don’t win it all” blather. And: “Cano is having a fine year but Josh Hamilton is the MVP.” Oh, and brace yourself for the Payroll Conversation; it’s a given. All that being said, I cannot wait until Friday night. If this week is a taste of what life will be like once baseball is over, I don’t want any.
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P.S. A quick reminder about the Crumbs Yankees Cupcakes Contest. We’ll know our opponent by the end of the day tomorrow, so be sure to answer all the contest questions, make your predictions, and enter to win six scrumptious cupcakes. Click here for details.

Why Can’t TBS/FOX Have One Local Voice?

I was getting excited today thinking about the start of the playoffs tomorrow night – planning my game menu, making sure my lucky clothes were clean, vowing not going to panic if things don’t go perfectly (fat chance). And then I remembered that YES wouldn’t be doing the broadcasts for any of the games and I’d be listening to “strangers” for the duration of the postseason. And it bothered me. Why do these generic announcers for networks that don’t cover us on a regular basis have to parachute in every year? OK, I know why. They have contracts. But couldn’t they at the very least include one local guy from each playoff team? Would that really be so difficult? It would certainly improve the quality of my fan experience. And apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way. No sooner did I rant about this to my husband than I read Raissman’s column in today’s Daily News. Seriously, Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling and John Smoltz doing my team’s games? When Bud Selig asks his committee for suggestions about improving baseball, how about somebody mentioning a mistake that’s so easy to correct? Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that the Yanks are even in the playoffs; Dr. Phil could be calling the games and I’d be fine with it. (Not really, but you know what I’m saying.) I just wish we didn’t have to listen to stories we’ve heard a million times and “analysis” from people who don’t especially care. 

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New York Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay is relegated to pre- and postgame duties as a national broadcast team takes control o
f the play-by-play for the Bombers.

Near the end of the Yankees‘ loss toBoston Sunday in the regular-season finale, Michael Kay, in a funereal tone, said the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network would be turning postseason coverage of the team over to “the network.”

This was not the first time a YES voice has lamented the fact he would be turned into nothing more than a hood ornament on the Bombers’ playoff sedan. You cannot blame Kay, or any other mouth, for feeling blue.

It’s cold being turned away at the door when the party is about to start.

YES‘ cast of thousands does six months of heavy lifting, then another broadcast team parachutes in, landing on prime playoff real estate. It’s even worse for Yankee voices. Don’t ever forget the regular season is relatively meaningless for the Bombers. The “mission statement,” often repeated on YES (it’s written in blood and locked in a safe), is that anything short of World Series victory is failure.

In April, year after year, it’s presented as a given that the Yankees are guaranteed a postseason berth. Making 15 trips in the last 16 seasons validates the mantra. These cats mean what they say. So now after regular season hors d’oeuvres have been served by YES voices, TBS’ crew comes in to work the banquet. YES mouths do get to sweep up. They are working pre- and postgame shows.

There use to be a time, many moons ago, when a network with postseason TV rights would add a local voice to its broadcast team. Not only would this lend some educated insight, it also would be of great appeal to fans in the market.

That all changed when the money got big. Fox (NLCS/World Series and TBS (LDS/ALCS) are paying Seligula & Co. a combined $3 billion in baseball’s current TV deal that runs through 2013. Both outlets also air regular-season packages but the bulk of the dough is spent on acquiring postseason inventory.

For that kind of cash, TBS and Fox suits (besides praying each series goes the distance) do their own thing. They want their baseball brand to be “pure.” That means using theirvoices, the guys they are totally invested in. Under this philosophy, there is no room for one of the participating team’s voices, even if it might rid the booth of a perception problem.

Not only do fans believe these national crews don’t have intimate knowledge of their squad, they swear they are rooting against them. Of course, this is nonsense. No matter. It happens every year without fail.

As they did last fall, some Yankee fans will be pointing fingers at TBS’ booth. Ron Darling, the Mets‘ SNY analyst and a regular on TBS’ Sunday afternoon baseball cablecasts, will be working Yankees-Twins along with John Smoltz and Ernie Johnson.




How To Improve Baseball

In a previous post, I offered a few ideas for Bud Selig’s advisory committee, which is meeting in January to discuss ways to improve the sport. Tonight one of our regular commenters, John (aka carrollj27), served up a few ideas of his own. I thought they were so sensible they deserved the spotlight.
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Here they are:

* No weird off days during the playoffs – my own suggestion is that we

go back to 2-3-2 for 7 game series and 2-2-1 for 5 game series, with

the off days being where the dashes appear.

* No charge for MLB.TV since it never works right anyway – AMEN!!!!  I

actually am on the road a lot – to the West Coast in fact – for

business and if I don’t pay for FOX at home, why the heck should I need

to pay to watch the Yanks on FOX on my computer???  If they’re on YES,

lemme log in and verify that I am a subscriber…

* No red caps on Yankees – not on Memorial Day, July 4th or any other

day.  OMG YES!!!!!  Do we put blue caps on the Concinnati Reds?  I

THINK NOT!  Case closed…

* Fox/TBS required to broadcast pre-game ceremonies during playoffs. 

Absolutely.  Since I was 7 yrs old this is still one of the best parts!

Come on people, get with it!!!!

*Have at least one and optimally two World Series games during the day

again. These should be weekend games as I understand that it wouldn’t

make financial sense during the week.  However, it bugs the heck outta

me that today’s 10 year olds can never see the end of an epic (or most

any other) WS game…we are turning the next gen of fans into “casual

fans”…

*Re: instant replay – starting with ALL postseason games, have an extra

ump in the booth who can look at replays that we all see and buzz down

to the crew chief when he needs to converse with the crew/overturn a

call.  Doesnt have to take long.  For the atrocious calls we saw this

past postseason, most of us laypeople could figure out within 2-3

minutes what went wrong.  A pro ump wouldnt need even that long. 

Ultimately expand to reg season games as well. Would be a great job

for recently retired umps…

*Have a 15-20-25 (whatever the right time is) second clock between

pitches.  Exceeding it would be a balk.  the amt of time between

pitches is ridiculous.

*Go back to just home and away uniforms.  If you wanna have a different

BP jersey that’s fine. However, it bothers me when I turn on the TV

and cant figure out who I’m watching fairly immediately.  I understand

that SOME people buy those obscure fifth jerseys that look like an

undeveloped negative of the real uniform…but again I think that for

short-term gain we are losing some basic identification with our teams.

If I were a Met fan, I’d expect to be able to describe what their

uniforms look like…I defy any Met fan to do so today for all

combinations.

*Somehow, some way, reduce ticket prices!!!!!  Esp in today’s economy,

we are pricing tomorrow’s fans out of the game.  Sure, the “suits” go

to games on the company dime, but half of em arent paying attention

anyway.  And the notion that I’m gonna pay a grand to see a Yankee reg

season game, even if I am sitting in a recliner 20 ft from the field,

being waited on, being fed grapes and having my feet massaged between

innings and God knows what other “amenities”, it’s just not worth it.

I’d love to hear reactions to John’s ideas – especially the suggestion about day games. Even though they’d start at 10 o’clock in the morning here on the East Coast, I’d still be in favor of them. It’s ridiculous that kids have to stay up past midnight to watch America’s pastime.



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Apropos of nothing, has anyone seen “The Hangover?” My husband and I rented the DVD last night and thought it was really dumb…and boring….and long. The tiger part was sort of funny, but that was about it. What a waste of time. We should have watched the DVD of the 2009 World Series.
P.S. To all those in the path of the snowstorm, stay warm and be safe!

On the Postseason Roster: Caray and Darling

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?”
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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.
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Handling the play-by-play for the Yankees’ series will be Chip Caray.
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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?
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Their color analyst will be Ron Darling, the voice of the Mets on SNY.
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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.
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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?
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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.