The Reviews Are In, TBS' Coverage Very Underwhelming

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Again, TBS had about 36 hours to put together everything for the Phillies-Rockies game, so I'm not saying it was easy, buuuuuuuut that was some of the most boring Baseball coverage I've ever seen.

Let's get through the bad.......

First off, Frank Thomas. I think Frank is a likable guy, but he is not meant for TV. I remember a comment that someone made when I was on Blog Show. The first thing you need to think about before anything else is posture. Thomas is a huge guy and he just looked small in the seat between Cal and Ernie.

Second, for those of you wanting Cal Ripken to be the next Charles Barkley.....just shut up. That's so dumb it makes me laugh. Cal has never been that outspoken and looked much better than his first night during the play-in game.

Third, I don't know if it was because the games were so boring but these seemed like meaningless games being played in June. There's only energy from a few of the announcers and I started to fall asleep during the Cubs game.

Fourth, enough of Frank Caliendo. Seriously. No more.

Fifth, Jose Mota.......sorry.....you are horrible.

Sixth, I say this every year and I know some of you people love Dick Stockton, but he's past his prime. He called the Rockies Closer Julio Jorge at one point and mixed up a bunch of other details. I love his voice and I know he tries hard, but he just has too many mistakes

Seventh, I do not like the pairings at all. You have a high energy guy in Stone with a boring ass Robinson. It just doesn't work.

Now onto the good........

First, It's not Fox. While the announcing was pretty dull most likely because the games were slow as hell......these analysts seem capable of providing accurate insight. This is unlike anyone on FOX.

Ron Darling and Steve Stone are great. They were about the only thing(s) keeping me awake during some of those innings.

And ummm.......that's about it.

Here are some reader and columnist's comments that I'd like to share as well.....

Frank speaks too fast, doesn't articulate and says absolutely nothing insightful. It's painful to watch the glib and funny Ernie Johnson try to engage them in witty banter, only to hear nothing of use come out of their mouths. These two guys make the stiffs on Baseball Tonight look like all-stars. (Reader SBL)

With a repertoire limited pretty much to "It could be a long night for the Angels and Beckett/Daisuke Matsuzaka/name a Boston pitcher being masterful," Thomas soon had Johnson sounding like a lawyer interrogating a hostile witness -- or a dentist struggling to find some entertainment value in pulling teeth. (CHRISTINE DANIELS- LA Times)

In last night's Cubs-Diamondbacks game, he (Dick Stockton) said the Cubs got Jason Kendall in the Michael Barrett trade? Huh? (Reader SL)

TBS didn't get off to a great start Monday with its coverage of the Rockies-Padres wild card playoff game. In a puzzling move, the network assigned the who-are-they? announcing team of Don Orsillo and Joe Simpson. Considering this was TBS' first big game—in prime time, no less—it should have trotted out its No. 1 crew of Chip Caray, Tony Gwynn and Bob Brenly. (ED SHERMAN- Chicago Sports)

TBS is probably not one of the first networks the sports junkies tune to for their baseball fix, so their marketing campaign was critical. Even ESPN had to work hard to spread the word on their new NASCAR programming. It takes time, so Turner having a seven-year contract will help. (Media Life Magazine)

Dear TBS,

Will you please get rid of Jose Mota as your on field reporter and hire NESN's Tina Cervasio for the rest of the series? In case you didn't notice, Jose made absolutely no sense and at times seemed to be speaking alien. Tina's better looking too.
(Boston Sportz)
_________________________________

All in all I think the only word for yesterday's triple-header is in the title. Underwhelming. This is October TBS.....let's pick the energy up a bit, give Frank Thomas some lessons in broadcasting, and hire some hot chicks to be on-field reporters.

You need to spice it up. First night of coverage's grade......C-. I'm giving them a little leeway because of the boring games.

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 12:00 PM

39 Comments:

"I know some of you people love Dick Stockton, but he's past his prime. He called the Rockies Closer Julio Jorge at one point"

HA! Love it

Oct 4, 2007, 12:47:00 PM  

Holy crap.
If you thought Jose Mota was bad as a field reporter... you apparently didn't catch him broadcast PLAY BY PLAY for an Angels vs. Mariners game near the end of the season on FOX Saturday Baseball.

LeeZy said...
Oct 4, 2007, 12:54:00 PM  

You guys realize that Stockton didn't call the Rockies game, right? At one point, talking about Valverde, he did mention Julio as being with the Rockies, but that was the closest he came.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 12:56:00 PM  

Neither Scooter nor McCarver were around...that equals victory in my book.

La Rev said...
Oct 4, 2007, 12:58:00 PM  

You guys clearly are using Fox and ESPN as the gold standard, TBS' coverage last night was the closest we've come to a Scully/Carey team since Fox acquired the rights, sure, to criticize the broadcast for a lack of marketing and a lack of "name" broadcasters is just patently unfair, I'd rather have this bunch, who actually know the game (Ted Robinson did a fantastic job actually knowing the players), then name guys such as Berman or Joe Morgan, or whoever ESPN trots out these days to cross promote some Disney product.

Also, several innings didn't go to commercial break, how is it not better to have analysis between innings, then a guy like Peter Gammons interrupting a game, or a guy like McCarver ignoring an entire half inning showing how to hold a ball when throwing a two seam fastball?

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 12:59:00 PM  

Mota did play by play??? How?

SCOTT said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:08:00 PM  

frankly if im sitting around watching the game with a few friends or at a bar id prefer the announcer and network input to be minimal. the less witty banter, pointless bleacher interviews, and interest stories the better. all i need is a camera behind the pitcher and lots of instant replay, and tbs has given me the closest to that

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:12:00 PM  

Mota looked like he was struggling to speak English on the sidelines. It was rough.

The Caliendo ads wouldn't have been so bad if they weren't in every god damn commercial break. How about getting ads for any other show on the network, anything else.

Agree with Thomas, he's bigger than Ripken right? He didn't look it. Also, he didn't look at the camera sometimes and instead just read stuff off a paper.

Simon said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:14:00 PM  

Orsillo is good, but it is almost impossible to sound entertaining when you are stuck with Joe Simpson who is so dull that he could be featured in Weekend at Bernies 4. Stone is a quality analyist - I thought Ted Robinson was serviceable. Stockton is ok, I understand his shortcomings, but he is Stockton. Jose Mota on the sideline was absolutely awful - in the postgame interview, his questions were unintelligible.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:19:00 PM  

At least three times in the Sox-Angels game, TBS neglected to return from commercial in time for the first pitch of the next half-inning. In at least two of those cases, the first pitch resulted in an out. Absolutely inexcusable production mistake.

Robinson and Stone were fine; I agree that Mota was awful. He added absolutely nothing to the broadcast.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:22:00 PM  

Is Frank Thomas like 7 years old. Adults don't sit in chairs and swivel side to side. He wouldn't stop. Give him a chair that doesn't swivel. TV pros can handle it. He obviously can't!

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:26:00 PM  

I watch Law & Order on TNT occasionally, and I can tell you from personal experience that it's only going to get worse for Frank TV. During every L&O break, you get promos for The Closer and Saving Grace, and then you get a God-damn annoying insert for each show during every single segment that is even bigger than the Bottom Line on ESPNews. The TBS/TNT people are definite subscribers to the "beat you over the head with it until you can't give in anymore" strategy of promotion.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:28:00 PM  

The most important of the review:

"It's not FOX."

TBS' coverage wasn't good, but it wasn't annoying. That alone makes it much better than the alternatives.

gilbert said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:31:00 PM  

I had never fallen asleep during a baseball playoff game (no matter how much alcohol had been coursing through my veins), but this is two playoff nights in a row I've awakened to see 'Sex & The City' (or whatever's on).
Ron Darling & Steve Stone are great, but everyone else is a talking bottle of Valium.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:43:00 PM  

Am I right about Ron Darling or am I right? He is going places.

And Joe Simpson is a good analyst, but he is very boring to listen to so I don't think anyone really cares what he has to say. I thought he has done a solid job so far.

Luke Halpert said...
Oct 4, 2007, 1:46:00 PM  

Don't get me wrong everyone I would much rather have this group of broadcasters over anyone on ESPN or Fox, but I think they have some work to do.

Orsillo just doesn't seem to be the same without Remy that's why originally thought they should put him with Stone.

Oct 4, 2007, 2:06:00 PM  

it was funny in the pads\rockies game to see orsillo trying to liven things up. paint drying broadcasting. its better than fox/espn...but like on an earlier comment they put you to sleep. one good thing since i have mlb.com. you can watch a camera from center field. showing the pitcher throwing and a dug out cam. at least i can see some of whats going on. and w/ the audio i can listen to the local announcers. its a little better than fox/espn. why i can't watch the games is stupid. the only people watching now are fans of the teams.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 2:07:00 PM  

few things are worse when theres a subtitled program on tnt and all of a sudden a huge kera sedgwick is obscuring what is being said

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 2:18:00 PM  

I happen to like Mota on Angel telecasts, but then again, I was watching with the sound off last night at work.

I also think this is because I've been desensitized. The alternative to Mota on Angel telecasts is the highly annoying Steve Physioc, and compared to him, Mota is a godsend.

Signal to Noise said...
Oct 4, 2007, 2:19:00 PM  

What's all this talk about the games being boring? I watched both the Rox-Padres and Sox-Halos game, and as a fan of baseball they were both very entertaining. Just watching Josh Beckett destroy that Angels lineup with three perfectly executed pitches was a thing of beauty.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 2:23:00 PM  

And yeah, Mota is retarded. When he was interviewing Ortiz after the game, I thought he might have started speaking Spanish.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 2:24:00 PM  

I don't care what the announcers sound like. My HDTV has a PBP, so that I can watch "The Office" and just see the game with no audio.

I did it for the Rockies/Padres. I did it for the Red Sox last night. And I'm doing for the middle game tonight.

PBP rules.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 2:31:00 PM  

Excuse me AA, but did you say Ron Darling was good? Compared to what, a three-month old with colic? And Steve Stone... don't get me started on him. I'd rather listen to myself talk than him, and I have a serious speech impediment(yes, I really do) that makes me sound like a cross between Mel Tillis and Donald Duck with a terminal head cold.
I'd rank Darling and Stone right up there(or down, depending on your take) with Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver.

Bruce said...
Oct 4, 2007, 2:42:00 PM  

Steve Stone used to be fun. My favorite line of his came when he was doing a Mets/Cubs game, and Darryl Strawberry made a nice catch. And Stone comes in and says "That just proves what I've always said, 'Strawberry Fields Forever.'"

(Insert rim shot here)

It actually was funny when he said it. And he didn't use it a thousand times after his first time, like some people we know.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 2:46:00 PM  

Don Orsillo's great, don't knock him. My real worry is that the national audience will so love him by the end of the playoffs a big network will tear him away from NESN. He does everything right, he's always prepared, and I haven't once heard him stumble or accidentally slip and call someone by the wrong name.

I'm underwhelmed by Ripken, there's no energy and no real analysis. I certainly haven't learned anything new from watching the studio segments.

Frank Thomas should probably not be invited back, and I could do without the near-constant Frank Thomas home run highlights. Maybe TBS should stick to showing highlights from the teams that actually made the playoffs.

Jose Moto is awful. On the other hand, my girlfriend totally loved him on screen. "What is he? He's like an alien! I hope they go back to him again!"

And I've got to be honest with you, I laughed at every single one of the FrankTV spots. Every one.

Tom said...
Oct 4, 2007, 3:08:00 PM  

"And I've got to be honest with you, I laughed at every single one of the FrankTV spots. Every one."

Just wait until Friday afternoon. When you've seen each of them for the 159th time.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 3:11:00 PM  

Sorry, "Mota" typo.

Last point:

I could really do without TBS cutting back from commercial late. They missed a great stop by Lowell on a first pitch rocket to third and we had to see it replayed. Ridiculous. You're supposed to be broadcasting the game, so the game should have priority.

Tom said...
Oct 4, 2007, 3:11:00 PM  

Simpson in the pre-game just now (Rockies/Phillies Game 2) said that if Philly loses today "They'll have a huge mountain to climb and crawl out of."

And this is the teleprompter-scripted portion of the program. Sigh.

mike said...
Oct 4, 2007, 3:18:00 PM  

From Mota's Wikipedia entry:

Signature Calls, "Mota-isms"

Mota considers himself beloved in the greater Latin American and Hispanic communities and takes great delight in pronouncing players' names with an exaggerated accent.

Mota excessively uses the phrase, "Raht neow!" to connote great enthusiasm and passion in his play-by-play and in-game analysis.


I already hate him, and I didn't see him yesterday. "He considers himself beloved." That's like saying "Chris Berman considers himself funny." Sheesh.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 3:23:00 PM  

Easy on the long ass diatribes fellas. You can sum up your point in 3-4 sentences.

Was that Jose Mota or Jose Contreras interviewing Papi after the game last night. If I wanted to learn Spanish, I wouldn't have slept through 3 years of it in high school.

GMoney said...
Oct 4, 2007, 3:36:00 PM  

I'm not sure if anyone brought this up, but there was a point when EJ asked Frank Thomas who he'd rather have out there in a deciding game for his team: Lackey or Beckett. For at least 2 full minutes, The Big Hurt REFUSED to answer the question and kept on repeating "they're both great" gibberish. Dude, that's why your there -- give an opinion.

Colin Cowherd got it right this morning on his radio show. You just can't expect current players in any sport to provide any meaningful analysis or criticism of guys they're gonna have to play with or against in a few months. Bring in Barkley!!!!!

Alex said...
Oct 4, 2007, 3:41:00 PM  

Is that the first (and last) time Colin Cowherd got something right?
Side note: Was I the only one who caught Mike Bascik on ESPNews last night?
He was brought in as an analyst and said almost nothing, and when they showed him on camera, I thought it was King Kong Bundy.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 4:42:00 PM  

hey i am watching the number 1 team for the yankees game now...pretty damn good. carey reminds me of joe buck before fe became joe buck.

brett

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 7:39:00 PM  

I have a serious question for TBS. I know a big reason networks get sports deals is the for the viewers to watch the game will get exposed to their other TV shows. Does TBS rrrreally think that "Frank TV" is going to save the network? I mean, I already hate the show. I find Frank mildly entertaining on the FOX Pre-Game, but its to the point that I can't stand the guy now.

Michael said...
Oct 4, 2007, 10:36:00 PM  

No Joe Morgan, Tim McCarver (for now), or Rod Allen....good enough for me.

Anonymous said...
Oct 4, 2007, 10:41:00 PM  

hey i am watching the number 1 team for the yankees game now...pretty damn good. carey reminds me of joe buck before fe became joe buck.

To quote the Geico caveman: "uh, what?" did you here some of his drivel tonight?

In case you missed it these are all Chip Caray quotes:
CC Sabathia gave up a long HR to Johnny Damon.
What does it mean when a pitcher needs to extend?
The Yankees big four (pitchers) made most of their starts this year.
How many times was he going to over pronounce the word "comfortable".
Cabrera had a long HR to right. It landed two rows in the seats.
It’s 9-3, Cleve-land Rocks!!!
Chip is it Rah-FIE-el or Rah-fah-yell?
Borowski’s come into Cleveland and done a magnificent job. His ERA is 5 plus.
If your pitching isn’t pitching well you’re not gonna win.
and if he said (player name spanks one, one more time I'm sending him to a dominatrix so he gets a good spanking.

Steve said...
Oct 4, 2007, 11:50:00 PM  

Frank Caliendo's new show looks awful and is getting way overhyped.

Anonymous said...
Oct 5, 2007, 12:21:00 AM  

I have to give credit to Simpson for one thing, he called Matsui's granny before it happened, which, considering he only hit a few homers all year, was pretty impressive. He said something like, "He's got to be careful to hit his spot here, if he throws it down and in Matsui's capable of hitting it out." Next pitch, down and in, BAM!

Anonymous said...
Oct 5, 2007, 6:30:00 PM  

chip caray is terrible, i dont know how you can get so many facts wrong.....dont you prepare notes before a freaking game??? i cant evne go thru it all but Chip couldnt pronounce Bayonne, and then wanted to tell me the chrysler building in nyc was located in downtown manhattan, which is not true.......

AND TBS got lucky the mets got bounced, that's the only reason they had ron darling, Darling is a pro and hopefully cal and frank take some notes......Darling's not going anywhere btw beccaue he's already the mets analyst along with keith hernandez, i used to work at SNY, darling's a chill dude

Anonymous said...
Oct 17, 2007, 4:31:00 PM  

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