(Ed Note: This post is syndicated from Bloguin's national MLB blog, The Outside Corner.)
During a press conference this afternoon, MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced that the two one game wild card playoff games would be broadcast by TBS. As part of the agreement, two of a potential 20 division series games will be shifting from Turner to MLB Network. Turner also retains the rights to any "game 163" playoff tiebreaker games.
“The new format will create two compelling Wild Card match-ups for fans that will begin our Postseason with unprecedented pressure and implications,” said Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We are confident that TBS will provide outstanding coverage and promotion of the games. I am also very pleased that this arrangement allows for MLB Network to air Postseason games for the first time. MLB Network has done a remarkable job with its live game coverage and I am certain that its extraordinary work will continue as it produces Postseason games.”
Ever since MLB announced the addition of an extra wild card in each league this offseason, the fate of the wild card playoff games remained in flux. Turner initially assumed that the games would be included as part of their contract to air any division tiebreaker games, but that apparently wasn't the case, and MLB forced a negotiation for the games. Ultimately though, Turner won out.
Last month, I discussed where the two games would ultimately end up. I thought that the MLB Network was the favorite, with Turner coming in second in my rankings. Turner got the games, but with MLB Network potentially airing a pair of LDS games, they were a winner in this situation too.
Ill admit it, this years close games are just not as nearly exciting without GUS on the mic. He HAS to come back next year, just doesnt feel right.
In retrospect, the best thing that could have happened for Gus Johnson fans would have been ESPN taking over the Tournament. ESPN would have rolled out the red carpet for Gus, and they have a lot more room for Gus to find his place than either CBS or Fox, as well as not having a single signature announcer, with the fossil Brent Musberger probably coming closest. I could see everything from occasional NBA assignments to baseball to ESPN's myriad of miscellaneous sports, possibly even all the way to getting installed on Monday Night Football (think of it as a positive version of the same phenomenon that gave us Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser).
Outside of whatever contract issues they were having, one of the reasons CBS could afford to let Johnson leave was because of their partnership with Time Warner. Correct me if I'm wrong, but without the addition of Albert, Harlan and the like, CBS would have been a little short on announcers.
As for his style, I'm a fan of Johnson. And I think it's a great skill when you can take an already exciting game and add even more excitement to it.
And the ratings are up without Gus Johnson. Odd.
I guess some fans feel the GAME is actually exciting enough without someone acting a fool on TV.
CBS dumped Gus Johnson. The Knicks dumped Gus Johnson. FOX keeps trying to force-feed how cool and hip he is to an audience that doesn't know any better.
You are right. Craig Bolerjack is excellent. He sounds a lot like Gary Bender. In fact both used to work for CBS. Bender was the heir apparent to Summerall as lead CBS announcer until the young Jim Nantz came along. Bolerjack used to do college football and basketball as well as an occasional NFL game. He left CBS on his own volition to cut down travel and it is still great to hear him do spot duty on CBS every now and then. Nantz is THE CBS guy and as long as he is, there is no room for Gus who has stated that his aspiration was to be that guy. No thanks.
Yeah, I thought all the announcers were okay, at least. My least favorite was Brian Anderson. His style just seems more suited to baseball. Also, they should really cut either Len Elmore or Reggie Miller. Miller straight-up sucks, and Elmore is getting long in the tooth. Too often, Kevin Harlan has to referee a disagreement, so to speak, when he's stuck with those two guys. At least Harlan and Dan Bonner had a good chemistry working: Remember the Kansas/Northern Iowa game from a few years ago?
It should be the game first and the announcer second. There is an easy way to tell the difference. Are we getting a clip of the play or a clip of "Flavor of the Month" announcing the play.
And even without MNF, ESPN can offer Gus substantially more prominent college football assignments than Fox gave him this past season.
@Ghostface Marcus Harlan was already doing NFL and March Madness games for CBS before the CBS/Turner patnership. Granted, without that partnership, I don't know who CBS gets to fill Gus's spot (if not replace him) instead of Brian Anderson.
Not sure how you are tying the ratings in either direction to Gus Johnson. But I'm pretty sure you can attribute them to this being the second year of the Time Warner partnership that put EVERY game on in it's entirety.
One other point: If an argument involves anything related to James Dolan making a decision, it's automatically thrown out. lol