Monday, October 29, 2007

World Series Disappointment - Part I

I didn't really enjoy the World Series this year, and it doesn't have that much to do with the fact that the team I pulled for barely put up a fight (What the hell Rockies?). I found the Series frustrating, and almost unwatchable (well, at least unlistenable - more on that later) at times. The Rockies were over-matched at every level, top to bottom, everything from scouting to managerial decisions to players keeping their heads in the game (with the exception being Manny Ramirez - more on him later also). My disappointment in this season's final series really came down to these things: 1) Tim McCarver, 2) Lack of anything resembling parity between leagues, 3) Fox advertising and finally, 4) Manny Ramirez.

1) I really do think that Fox announcer, Tim McCarver, is the worst color man in baseball and possibly the dumbest person on television (well, excluding day time television, and political pundits). The man adds nothing productive, whatsoever, to the games. He just blathers on inning after inning about worthless, unintelligible nonsense. I don't think that co-announcer and play-by-play man, Joe Buck, is an idiot himself, but McCarver manages to pull the broadcasts down so far with his moronic comments that Buck has to spend entirely too much time making corrections and covering for his partner's idiocy. Buck has be going crazy at this point and just happy that the series is over. How can he stand that for 3-4 hours (and who knows how long before and after broadcasts)? Normally, it would just be preferable to simply, turn off the sound and just watch the game in silence, but the sounds of baseball really make the game more enjoyable, the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the sound enhances the feel of the game. One of the reasons that sports video games are so much fun is that if you don't like the announcer commentary, you can just shut it off. If it were possible, I would prefer that Fox cut off his microphone and let Buck do the broadcasts himself or even a commentary free feed of the broadcast than listen to McCarver for more than about eight seconds. I knew some people in KC that used to watch the TV broadcasts of the Chiefs games on mute and listen to the commentary from the radio - this doesn't really work in this situation - 1) there's a delay on satellite and it won't match up, and 2) ESPN radio has the same problem with their radio color guy - Joe Morgan - my second least favorite announcer. With Morgan, you can tell that he's an intelligent person and that he knows the game (he should because he played for quite a long time) but his commentary is dumbed down to such a low level you might think the average audience member is under the age of five. Baseball fans are not stupid, and I would appreciate an announcing team that doesn't pander to the least intelligent audience member.

2) Why does the National League appear to be so overmatched in comparison to the AL during World Series and All-Star Games and interleague series? It could have something to do with the salary discrepancy between teams in the non-salary cap style of management the league has adopted. Four of the top five teams in terms of salary are AL teams and six of the bottom seven teams are NL teams. In the World Series, the Red Sox combined player salary was 2.6 times (yeah, that's right, times) that of their counterpart's (Actually, the combined salaries of Manny, Ortiz, Schilling and Drew are more than the entire Rockies team). I wonder why the AL tends to win these games and the interleague games during the regular season. The Royals have a winning record in interleague games during the last two seasons and they finish well below .500 every season. Their team salary is greater than that of the Rockies by more than $10 million, but they have to face AL teams for nearly all of their games, hence the consistent losing record. If the Royals were in the NL, would they contend? Possibly, but I have no doubt that they'd have a much better chance. Anyway, the Rockies were probably overmatched on the field at so many positions most likely because the Red Sox will just buy the best available player to fill the position. They do have some home grown talent, but not like the small market teams. I foresee the Rockies improving with their young talent, but I would find it difficult to believe that any NL team can win a World Series, (without a salary cap) without spending their way to the top. So that would mean that the teams with the best chance of winning a World Series from the NL would be the clubs willing to shell out the big bucks. Teams like the Dodgers, Cubs and Mets, which happen to be teams that have been historically, consistently mismanaged or have been simply inept at winning when it matters. The NL will be facing the Red Sox or Yankees in just about every year for the next decade and there won't be anyone able to stop them.

I think that I'm going to take a break and cover the last two topics in tomorrow's post, so look for Part II then. As for now, my work day is now complete, so I'm going home. Consecutive day 36 is now in the books and the push for 40 continues. Good news though - I got a more positive result on the "side" project this morning and things are looking slightly more positive - it may be that the struggle will end soon. I will know on Wednesday if I get a free weekend, but I'm not holding my breath until I see a clear result. Oh yeah, and my weekend series - "The State of..." is being delayed until next weekend. I got a little behind in what I wanted to get done, but maybe that series will only appear on a bi-weekly basis. What the hell, it's my site, I'll put stuff up when I'm damn ready. Ha!


Gina (Mannyed) said...

I hate W.S. sweeps (except for that time when the Yanks swept the Mets). It makes the off-season that much longer. It just wasn't an exciting series at all.

Color commentary can just get downright annoying (especially if you are Morgan or McCarver). There is only so many stats I can take in an inning. But its kinda fun dissing the color commentators while watching the game.

and Manny Ramirez...don't get me started.

kilax said...

I also found the series unwatchable. In fact, I didn't even watch them this year.

Okay, I am being a smart ass.

All I know is that the Cubs stunk. And that is from listening to office gossip. Andrew, you really need to explain all these baseball rules and lingo to me. I understand how the game works... but that's it!

Andrew Skaff said...

Gina - Yeah, I spent a lot of the series just blasting the color commentary to whomever was watching the games with me. I'm sure you'll like my next post, because I'm going to get into a lengthy Manny rant.

kilax - You didn't miss much by avoiding the World Series this year. You probably got more coverage than you needed/wanted from reading this blog. I'll work on making the baseball lingo easier to understand for the non-baseball fans (also referred to as McCarvering). Oh wait, McCarver doesn't make it easier, he makes it unintelligible - so I'll work on Morgan-eering my site so that everyone can understand. Yeah... that's me being a smart ass right back.

kilax said...

I was being serious when I said that I would like to learn the baseball terminology, Andrew. Don't listen to your brother :)