Tuesday, June 26, 2007

R.I.P. Insightful Baseball Analysis

This is a little late. I was going to do this Friday, but the events of the preceding night (detailed below) and the anticipation of the upcoming East Coast Pants Party (detailed here and here by my esteemed colleague) kept me astray.

So I'm throwing it up now as a reminder (like you need another one) why Baseball Tonight so fervently, feverishly and fantastically sucks.

Okay, here's the situation. It's late last Thursday, and my girlfriend has just had some bad Chinese that has put her effectively into the tank (my nuclear-like stomach was unharmed). In between checking to see if she's OK, I throw on the tWWL to get some highlights. Much to my delight, the Rockies have finished a three-game home sweep of the Yankees, and the crew (someone who wasn't Karl Ravech or Steve Berthiaume, Fernando Vina and Buster Olney) start analyzing why the Rockies are playing such good baseball.

Do they turn to Olney, he of the stellar insight and fabulous blog that nobody has access to? Of course not! They throw it to yet another painful reminder that Harold Reynolds used to sit on that set, in that very fucking seat. Take it away, Fernando!

"They're a special club. They're doing it with offense, obviously. [Ed. note: the Rockies had just given up five runs in three games to the red-hot Yankees] Matt Holliday should be a starter in the All-Star game, this guy's a special player, he'll hit the ball the other way, he's leading the National League in hitting, .366 with 13 HRs and 58 RBIs, I mean the guy can flat-out play.

Todd Helton, been around for a long time, tremendous hitter, .446 OBP, he's a veteran in that lineup that they really need and just knows how to hit, this guy's been hitting for a lot of years and he gets it done the right way.

Troy Tulowitzki, I mean, the guy's just been a force. [Ed. note: here they show his stats - .270 avg, 3 HRs, 28 RBIs - but, of course, since that game he homered in three of his next four] Not only pickin' it from a shortstop position gettin' it done day-in day-out, but he's hitting .270, solid play at shortstop.

And the pitching: Jeff Francis, I mean this guy's been a great addition to that starting rotation from the left side, hitting his spots, 3.4 ERA, I mean the guy's incredible from the left side. His arm angle, 6'5" comes at you in different ways.

Rodrigo Lopez, guy they got from the Orioles. Good pickup, I mean he's been big. This guy's 4-0 with a two-nine ERA. He's always had a lot of late movement, Colorado's been a good move for him.

And then we go to Brian Fuentes, a closer that's just been lights-out. One-nine-five ERA, 20 saves, I mean this guy's just a special closer from the left side and it doesn't get much better.

So you look at what they're doing and how they're doing it and it's just a team that you've got to recognize and know they're coming up." [Ed. note: painfully transcribed word-for-word off the Idioma at my work from the 12:20 a.m. edition of BBTN, Friday, June 22]

Wow! That's some quality analysis. I now know that a good-fielding shortstop who hits .270 with decent power is a "force," a guy who's 37-30 lifetime with a career ERA of 4.69 is "incredible," and a pitcher who even the Orioles didn't want is a "good pickup" who has "been big."

I'm not shooting down the Rockies here. I think they have a lot of young talent, and if they get a few more arms and another big bat they could do some damage for quite a few years.

But shouldn't the professional on TV tell you that, in detail, instead of blurting out the word "special" and other trite hyperbole over and over and over?

It's time to recognize: that glorious sanctuary of our youth, Baseball Tonight, is not "coming up" anytime soon.


will said...

having no tv in the past six years, i went to visit my parents in california a few months ago and watched baseball tonight for the first time in forever. i immediately asked "did gammons have a stroke or something?!" (oh, brain aneurysm. whoops), and i drowned out the sound of fernando vina by ramming my head against a coffee table. repeatedly.

Business or Leisure? said...

HR is coming back to save us, right? RIGHT?

Phony Gwynn said...

Only if you're willing to read his stuff on MLB.com or wait until you can't get MLBTV in 2046.

Oh, and Will, try last night's show with John Kruk, Dusty Baker and Eric Young. Classic.

And by classic I mean "ear-bleedingly awful."