As some of you may have picked up on, Major League Baseball, the Fox Television Network, and Turner Sports agreed to a new television agreement on Tuesday that will continue Fox's reign of terror on baseball fans through at least the 2013 season, and allows them to broadcast the All-Star Game, World Series, odd year ALCS, and even year NLCS. The deal also increases Fox's Saturday package from 18 to 26 games. The MLB.com article does not state the value of the deal, although that is simply because it is like state-run media. Do you think Tass, the Soviet media wing would announce the rebellions in the Baltic states? Of course not, this crap just paints everything as rosy. The deal is actually worth more than $3 billion, according to real media.
Now, aside from the obvious problems with this deal, like Joe Buck being an annoying sellout and Tim McCarver being a complete moron, there are many other reasons this will be bad for baseball.
First on the easy parts. Joe Buck is the worst announcer in baseball, football, cockfighting, whatever he is calling. He simply is not talented. He rode piggyback off of his father to get to where he is now. He is a constant sellout, to FOX, to Holiday Inn, he will gladly relinquish any integrity he has whatsoever for an extra buck. Did you ever seen Vin Scully selling himself around like this guy? No, because Scully came from an era where this crap wasn't as rampant. Aside from that, hearing Joe Buck's voice makes me want to punch a wall, it is just irritating. That self-righteous crap he pulled a year and a half ago over Randy Moss still disgusts me.
And then you have his partner, the most senile and idiotic commentator this side of Joe Morgan. Just because you were a good player does not mean you will be a great coach/manager/front office executive/broadcaster/politician. The fact that this man has been able to hold a job on television for as long as he has is about as logical as Chuck LaMar retaining a job for ten years. He simply is not very educated when it comes to baseball.
And the worst thing about it is, both of them may be joined this season by Lou Piniella, who besides being misguided in much of his pro-veteran baseball thinking, is just the most inarticulate man I have ever heard. He sounds drunk whenever he gets up in front of a mic, like when he was on the Rays Pregame Show back when he managed, and when he called the ALCS last year on Fox. He is simply not a very good announcer.
There is some good news however. The fact that three announcers as massively incompetent as Buck, McCarver, and Piniella have been allowed to keep their jobs shows that Fox Sports would be an excellent employer.
Another reason Fox just simply is horrible for baseball is the delivery. I hate watching games on Fox, FSN, or any over the air affiliate which televises games produced by Fox. There is simply too much flashing crap on the screen. The score overlay lights up and moves, and changes after nearly every pitch, and the bottom line on some of these things is just too distracting. Ever see the FSN Final Score? Yeah, they have two freaking news tickers and a rundown going at once, so annoying. And Scooter? Yeah, thanks for unleashing that hell on us. The thing talks to the viewers like they are all children, all the while not adding anything to the broadcast. Fox is simply a horrible network, and is bad for baseball. It isn't innovative, just terrible.
Less Games on Network
Another part of the deal that is bad for baseball is the deal with Turner Sports. Starting in 2008, Turner, which encompasses TNT and TBS, will no longer be a Superstation for the Atlanta Braves. It will now be a national baseball network which will carry a Sunday afternoon package and the Division Series.
Now, first of all, let's get to the Braves point. I am not an Atlanta fan, I never have been. I hate the Braves. But this change is simply not good for baseball. TBS will televise 70 games next year, and although that is down from the past, 70 games is still a nice chunk of games. And even though those 70 games featured the Braves and another team, for the most part, it gave me a chance to see most, if not all NL teams in a year, and that is important for me, living in an AL city. Combined with the Marlins on FSN Florida, the Rays covering the AL, the Sox on WGN, and the Cubs on WGN, I saw a fair amount of baseball, even though it might have been one-sided for a particular team.
However with the death of the Braves on TBS comes a new Sunday afternoon package. TBS or TNT, whichever, will televise 26 Sunday games starting in 2008. Now, you may be thinking 'This is great, I can see more teams in more places. The Rays have a chance to get on national television more!' Don't kid yourselves. Look at the key passage in the entire article.
The network has the opportunity to choose one team up to 13 times
Now, do the math. Twenty-six games, times two teams equals 52 possible teams on Turner per season. So theoretically, one-fourth of all slots could include the Yankees. One-half of all slots could include the Red Sox and Yankees, and so on. And if you don't believe they will use every possible opportunity to televise those two, you obviously don't watch ESPN or Fox's coverage. Don't be blinded people, this won't "expand coverage", it simply cuts the amount of games available on national TV, and allows the Yankees and Red Sox to get more air time. It is just another way they are screwing you over.
This season, all three Braves-Rays games were on TBS, do you honestly expect the Rays to get anywhere close to that many games under the new deal? I think not.
Once again, the greedy, socialistic commissioner gets his way. Selig saw the $$$ signs right in front of him, and instead of standing up for what is right for baseball, he took the cash. Geez, I am so shocked.
The fans are being screwed over, just like they have been at nearly every juncture during Selig's reign. He is a cancerous, greedy patsy for the networks and anyone else who will shove a few bucks up his rear end. And although the other LCS deal to televise the games opposite Fox has not been completed, you can bet it will be the highest bidder, no matter if it hurts the fans or not.