My parents watch TBS approximately three to five hours a day. They enjoy the network's programming, which includes reruns of Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, King of Queens and Friends. This starts the annual two to three weeks per year when they find something else to watch.
That seems as good a way as any to point out why the MLB's deal with TBS to televise most of its postseason is a strange one. The network is simply not associated with sports. Three weeks of the MLB Playoffs hasn't done it, the NCAA Tournament (and eventually college basketball's championship game) won't do it. It isn't even the better known sports network within its parent company, as TNT's NBA coverage has long trumped it, in both quality and legitimacy. The NBA is a signature property at TNT all season long, whereas with baseball, it's almost as if they just remembered they have it by the time October shows up.
Let's start this off by saying something nice: TBS appears to have gotten the studio show correct this season. Did active player Mark DeRosa put one person too many on their panel? Probably, but Keith Olbermann as a baseball studio host is something that should've happened years ago. He puts an already interesting cast of analysts (Dirk Hayhurst, Tom Verducci, and the lovable Pedro Martinez) in a position to succeed and make interesting points without either droning on or yelling. The studio show has been a bit of a mashup of people who haven't quite panned out, so to see them immediately get it right upon making the change is quite nice.
They also have a couple of decent voices in the parks. Ron Darling is smart and always very honest in his analysis, though as a Met fan, I do feel as if he's had just a little bit of his power taken away without Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez on SNY. Brian Anderson is a fine play-by-play man on TBS' 'B'-team. Cal Ripken has gotten better as he's gone along as an analyst. I expect good things out of the Don Orsillo/Buck Martinez/Dennis Eckersley team that will debut on the Detroit/Oakland series on Friday night.
However, things just seem to snowball in the wrong direction for TBS. Problems all night with sound on the Tampa Bay/Cleveland game, where I actually had to switch off the high-definition broadcast so I could hear the ball hitting the catcher's glove at the correct time I saw it on the screen. Missing outs during the Pittsburgh/St. Louis game. Barely showing any of the pregame atmosphere in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Dick Stockton sounding like baseball is a bit too fast for him. TBS flat out had a bad couple of days from a technical perspective on Wednesday and Thursday including the mystery of the missing ad behind home plate.
This is, frankly, inexcusable given the amount of October baseball they have the rights to. They get the weekly Sunday afternoon game (though no one watches) to get everything fine tuned for this, and every year something seems to go haywire. From The Steve Harvey Show interrupting Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS, to the graphics department forgetting how to spell Cal Ripken's name, to the problems of this year's postseason, the network simply hasn't found a way to get it all right in October.
MLB's partnership with TBS is, more or less, necessitated by ESPN having Monday Night Football. Otherwise, you know The Worldwide Leader would have all (or most) of the postseason. But the inability to program on Monday nights (and, let's face it, Saturdays with college football, too) without moving to ESPN2, and Fox's disinterest in having the LDS round wreak havoc on its primetime schedule is what has forced this arrangement. TBS simply isn't a sports destination, and it doesn't seem like the right destination, given the tone of the network, for baseball.
The next TV contract will show off the disparity even more. Starting in 2014, ESPN will take one of the Wild Cards, and Fox Sports 1 will take half the Division Series. Those networks do a considerably better job on baseball than TBS, and it will show off when they go head-to-head. Even if you don't like some of their personalities, ESPN and Fox both have reputations for putting the game on the air and televising it the right way.
Fox Sports 1, to me, is a huge element of this deal. If the MLB Playoffs not only helps them grow as a network, but continues to drive viewers there (it'll pretty much be the first big-time major sports event for them) MLB may get to a place some years down the line where they give FS1 the entire playoff contract. Or what about an arrangement similar to the NBA? Where FS1 takes the weekends and Mondays, but ESPN gets games the rest of the week?
The truth is that MLB on TBS isn't working. The network is getting good ratings, but what's the point? Baseball fans aren't going to come back for Big Bang Theory reruns, and vice versa. Conan O'Brien's show hasn't exactly been a ratings dynamo despite getting massive promotion during October baseball. It'd almost make more sense to put the postseason on TNT, to make that network a more natural destination for prime sporting events, and give them a month of free reminders that the NBA on TNT is back. Just give my parents their Seinfeld reruns back.
The commercial during the World Series which would be Viagra which tells people that it gives you an erection and if it lasts for four hours see a doctor well my family was watching the World Series game one and this commercial came on didn't think nothing of it until my 9 year old daughter came up to me and asked what is an erection and why does it last four hours well I didn't know what to say and my wife turns the television off. We fight about this for hours. I want to ask anybody why do you put a commercial like that on the air during an event that's family orientated like the World Series where good families with kids of all ages watch this event. The children look up to the players and watch to see them play then to see a commercial about an erection more than once during the entire coarse of the game. Is this appropriate for our children to see or should it be taken off the list of commercials played during a World Series or any family event. Should are children be asking questions like that at such an impressionable age when our family and I'm sure many families get together and watch the greatest sporting event of all THE WORLD SERIES I hope I'm not the only one that feels this way. Please advertising people some of you must have children you wouldn't want the innocence of our children be exposed to this during such an event as this. I'm not saying take the commercial off the air or anything like that just please a little common sense from the MLB people. I know this blog will probably not change anything I just wanted to voice my opinion that's all please if anybody else out there had the same thing happen or understand what I am saying please comment thank you for reading
have had the same with the dodger st. louis games.notice it takes 3 broadcastyers to do the job that vin scully does alone.his broadcast are not one sided either.
Give a little credit to the Cardinals....they obviously know what it takes to be in post season. Give what is due!
@RedSox_Data eso es lo malo de vivir en sur América, me toco a mi ver en español por que no tuve internet, hoy podré verlo en inglés.
These announcers doing the Detroit vs Oakland game are absolutely the worst I've heard in a long time. Games 1 & 2, they were bad, and now the same. Should not be on TBS if this all they can produce. Cable should be banned from post season games.
Orsillo is a blabber mouth of the worst sort. He just won't shut up. A good analysis knows when to say something of value and when to keep quiet. Orsillo has no clue in that regard. He just goes on and on and on in that annoying voice.
Couldn't agree more with you about the camera work and the constant pics of Joe Maddon. MLB must have gotten some cut rate pricing on this contract with TBS as they got cut rate announcers and camera men. However, I did tune in early yesterday looking for Redsox/Rays and heard the familiar voice of Don Orsillo who was doing a fabulous job for the Tigers/A's game. Don is our local Boston Red Sox announcer and really knows how to announce a game. Does excellent play by play, and not a lot of nonsensical commentary. I watched that game for a bit and their camera crew was significantly better than the one RedSox/Rays had. Night and day difference in both announcers and cameramen. No excuse for the shoddy handling of RedSox Rays games. MLB should be ashamed of what they put on the TV for RedSox Rays games.
The announcers for the Rays/Sox games were HORRIBLE. They were clearly in favor of the Red Sox. They clearly knew nothing about the Rays and at one point even got the name of Tropicana Field wrong, by calling it The Thunderdome, a name it hasn't had in 15 years. The camera work was shoddy as hell also. And as much as I love Joe Maddon, if they put the camera in his face one more time, I was going to scream.
@WesBarger a roider had a huge homer in yesterday's game for the Tigres if you are gonna go that route
The announcers for the Braves/Dodgers games were awful indeed!
Monotone mania! I almost fell asleep and it was a good game.
I went out the garage and turned the TV there on mute and listened to Vin Scully on my car radio. Even though it was not in sync, it was just so much better!
In each of the last two games, when Andre Ethier came to the plate, this should have been a big deal! #16 is one of the best loved by Dodger fans. They didn't even announce his presence unit after he took a pitch (both games)! How about looking in the on deck circle one in a while!
They seemed to be really slanted toward the Braves. I thought they were actually going to cry when we got a peek into the booth right after the game. Certainly didn't reflect my exuberance! Hey TBS, did you know that half of the audience is rooting for the Dodgers?
Camera work was OK but directing was bad. Replays didn't happen when they should have and real time action didn't always get the play.
Just plain BAD !
Blue Crew 48
I do find Brian Anderson really boring. Maybe he is better with the Brewers in a 2 man booth, but I don't get the praise.
Boring announcers, do not provide info such as who is at bat or details of plays. But I found the camerawork on the Sox Rays games the absolute WORST. Cameras do not follow the ball and zoom in to outfield. Do not follow base runners. Spent lot of time on Joe Maddon. It bothered me so much during game 1 that during game 2, I counted how many times they zoomed to Maddon: 10 times vs 3 for Farrell. I could care less about managers, but I do object to the poor coverage of plays. Did they hire amateurs for the cameras as well as the announcing?
I think that MLB should have at least lobbied to get on TNT. A lot of cable providers give less bandwith to TBS because of their 24/7 sitcom format. At least tnt has adequate bandwith because of NBA and hd movies. You might actually get a few more casual viewers. The demos of TNT seem to coincide with baseball a little better than TBS.
I disagree that Fox would've done things correctly right off the bat. As it stands, the talent pool for MLB at Fox is so watered down that in the last year or two, they've resorted to using local broadcasters to fill their second and third-tier broadcast teams on an almost-weekly basis. Also, the fact that Fox doesn't send its own production trucks to MLB games like they do for NFL and CFB, and instead leaches off the local FSN broadcast trucks with inferior production capabilities (just look at the difference in graphics quality and animation between their NFL and MLB games) tells me that Fox hasn't been that vested in its MLB coverage in several years.
I expect them to start caring more about MLB coverage when FS1 ramps up its coverage next year, but honestly, Fox has a lot of talent and production building to do ever since they starting neglecting MLB somewhat after they lost the bulk of postseason rights to TBS in 2007.
I'm honestly quite happy with the product that TBS has put out there lately. It's a huge step up from their blunders in the Chip Caray era. Overall, most of their talent is good now, Stockton aside, and the production quality is quite solid. Yeah, I will admit that the AL Wild Card game's audio issue was horrible, and their glitch where they accidentally blacked out the NL Wild Card web/mobile stream was even worse, but things have been pretty solid since the Division Series round started, and their coverage overall has been solid since 2010 when they rearranged the talent, although the studio show hasn't been tolerable until this year when they finally removed the babbling and uninformative David Wells.
@Joe_TOC Can't we just sweep this one under the rug? :(
Not sure what "good things" you were expecting from the OAK/Det crew,but I hope they start showing up in game 4. At least a dozen times in game 2 they misidentified the team and at least 3 or 4 time referred to Verlander as Scherzer.
I agree. I watch hours of TBS normally and listen to my Tampa Bay Rays station for the games. The announcers are boring in tone to listen to as well as so biased. They even said that "Tampa had put together a good little year". Bull ! 90 something wins is not just a good little year.
I think TBS is doing an adequate job with what they've been given. With rain delays and extra innings mean they have a much harder job of dealing with overflows. MLB Net its even harder because they don't have sister channels like TNT to TBS to work with.
@JohnMarecek the announcers are by far the worst in the business. Absolutely pitiful.
@sixersfandre Man I'm old enough to remember TBS airing NBA games along with TNT
i watch baseball and block out the politics etc. Why would they use Oberman as a host. there must be some qualified people out there besides a political hack. this is as bad as the NFL pregame show that featured rush limbaugh. keep politics out of sports
What? Olbermann? He's an idiot of the first order. Clearly, he would like to be hogging the mike full time dispensing his diarrhea of the mouth. He is a jerk and a nonentity at the same time.
The announcers today for game 6, A's vs Detroit are once again having their usual love fest with Boston. As a Detroit fan, it gets tiring listening to their one-sided positive commentary on Boston. The only facts they seem to report on Detroit always seem to end with a negative tone. The Tigers have had their problems but hey dudes, how is it that they made it this far? C'mon, if you really try, I think you can turn this around and start talking up my beloved Detroit Tigers! I wish there was another station to watch or maybe I should turn you off and listen to the game on the local radio, I can barely stand listening to your bull!!
@RandyBrown1 He's also not an "analysis" [sic] or analyst. He's the play-by-play. He does add an extra sentence or two when he gets excited, I'll grant you, but overall, he is on point, knows when to turn it over to the color men (He and Eck are hilarious on Red Sox broadcasts), and has a unique voice that doesn't sound like the mass-produced Joe Buck or Matt Vasgersian (who is dreadful) types.
@RandyBrown1 Orsillo was not a blabber mouth yesterday; he was very crisp and a big improvement of what we were subjected to for RedSox/Rays game last night.
@elantiq Oh well that makes sense! Orsillo is a Red Sox announcer! No wonder he showed so much bias towards the Red Sox... they should not have the regular announcer of ANY team that is playing post season and certainly not of their own team's game! Congrats to the Red Sox ! but this biased coverage was not fair to the Rays fans
@tweutr All of us Red Sox fans had the opposite opinion. The announcers were clearly in favor of the Rays, and even called the Rays "we" (as in "and we score another run" or "the games we won with Price on the mound") multiple times in Game 3. The reference to the Thunderdome was just using a nickname. And both Simpson and Anderson seemed to have deep and broad knowledge of the Rays' players as individuals. The Twitter and Facebook feeds were going crazy for two nights in New England with references to the Tampa bias.
@Blue Crew 48 too bad we don't have a choice,notice no real pregame either don't neeed four guys sitting in a studio bull shitting.would preffer to see the pregame field activities.
@EricfromClt You guys have to be kidding. Either these comments are a running joke or you are literally and truly all effin' morons. How can the announcers in each game be simultaneously biased against each team to such a degree that those fans (but only those of the team in question!) can "clearly" hear a bias. This is like a psychological test that the human race just failed.
I don't get it w/ the networks either. Every carrier has TBS. Who gives a s__ as long as you can find the games? And EJ / Olbermann are way better than fox or espn studio hosts (admittedly espn could have Olb too).. I've heard enough of the yuks from Kruk and Sutcliffe for the year. And god bless ol' Tim, but the idiot savant act has lacked the second part for a few years now. Buck is the most overrated, mediocre sports announcer possibly at any network.
@SpringRubber A good chunk of FS1's regular season schedule will be reappropriated from Fox-owned RSNs. Don't get your hopes up. Also, Fox WANTED to lose the bulk of postseason rights so as not to disrupt its primetime schedule so much in October.
@scook1956 Yes especially since the Rays have been in the post -season 4 times in the last 6 years! They get so excited everytime it looks like the Red Sox on top, no enthusiasm for the Rays!
@TruthsBySimp @JohnMarecek Yes, they are terrible! Brian Anderson is the best but not enough of him to go around to broadcast all the MLB games.
@timdogg98 I remember when TBS aired NBA games and TNT didn't exist. I remember when TBS aired EVERY Braves game.
@azcarboy Exactly right! Why not have his buddy Obama tell some more lies to follow up Keith's inaccuracies?
1) Detroit didn't play the A's yesterday
2) Assuming you're talking about the ALCS against Boston, the whole series has been on Fox, not TBS.
@Joe_TOC I'll think about it.