Recent Comments by Motown Mike

Galarraga robbed of perfect game by blown call on last out.

In the ideal world Selig would grant Galarraga his perfect game. Then again, in the ideal world Joyce actually makes that call.

Also, in the ideal world the commissioner wouldn't be Selig but...well, anybody else.

posted by Motown Mike at 07:39 AM on June 03

The Man Who Revolutionised Cricket Dies

So, basically, this guy was the Bill Veeck of cricket?

posted by Motown Mike at 11:03 PM on December 27

Turn Out the Lights, The Party's Over

The real MNF news is that ESPN can change the games scheduled for the second half of the season thus insuring (or at least helping) we get games worth watching. No, it's NBC's Sunday night package that's getting the flexible scheduling. ESPN's matchups will be locked in place like always. No flexible schedule, no Super Bowls or playoff games, no season openers, no Thanksgiving games...and ESPN's still going to be paying double what ABC did in their last contract.

posted by Motown Mike at 11:00 PM on December 27

God Bless Ye Merry NFL

I always thought it was funny that the first time the NFL ever played games on Christmas Day (1971) one of them turned out to be the longest ever played: the epic, double-OT playoff thriller between the Dolphins and Chiefs. What the hell. If baseball and golf can play on Easter Sunday (theologically a far more important event on the Christian calendar), I don't see why Christmas football is so terribly inappropriate.

posted by Motown Mike at 11:01 AM on December 27

Turn Out the Lights, The Party's Over

I still think Keith Olbermann would have been a great addition to "MNF".

posted by Motown Mike at 10:52 AM on December 27

WS Ratings suck! Thank you, FOX!

I can't help but be a little amused at the fact that baseball just can't seem to win in this department. If the Yankees and/or Bosox were in the Series, it'd be: "Not *those* teams again! East Coast bias! No competitive balance! Baseball sucks!" But without those teams, it's: "Oh, no! Who cares about *these* teams! Flyover country! No national appeal! Baseball sucks!" Maybe the bottom line is that a lot of contemporary Americans would simply rather watch Terrell Owens prance around in front of a goalpost with a Sharpie in hand than watch baseball of *any* sort. Their loss, I say.

posted by Motown Mike at 08:45 PM on October 29

Friday Night Football

Green Bay beat Minnesota on a Friday last year. Ah, yes...the Christmas Eve game. I'd forgotten about that one. I'm curious what the other Friday games (and their circumstances) were, though.

posted by Motown Mike at 07:19 PM on October 20

The Astros Win the Pennant

Hal Incandenza: It's interesting to note that in 2003, we (as fans) were robbed of what would have been a truly epic World Series- Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago Cubs, one of those matchups that was literally "apocalyptic" joke fodder before 2004. While this year's matchup is nowhere near that level of crazed fandom and history-steeped baseball lore- as insomnyuk wryly notes with his "tv executive's eye view"- it is nevertheless comforting for beleagured fans everywhere that this year, yet again some team will end its long-time suffering. The White Sox haven't won since 1917, and haven't even been in a World Series since 1959; the Astros of course have never even been in the World Series before in their 44 year history as a franchise. This is the World Series in which both participants have had to wait 40+ years to make a Fall Classic appearance. In the entire history of the event, the only previous Series that even came close to such a matchup was 1948 (featuring the Indians and Braves, who at the time were quenching respective pennant droughts of "merely" 28 and 34 years, respectively).

posted by Motown Mike at 02:14 PM on October 20

Astros win 18-inning epic battle in breathless fashion,to advance to the NLCS.

The longest postseason games in the major U.S. pro sports: NFL December 25, 1971 - Miami Dolphins 27, Kansas City Chiefs 24 (2 OT) NBA March 21, 1953 - Boston Celtics 111, Syracuse Nationals 105 (4 OT) NHL March 24, 1936 - Detroit Red Wings 1, Montreal Maroons 0 (6 OT) MLB October 5, 2005 - Houston Astros 7, Atlanta Braves 6 (18 innings)

posted by Motown Mike at 12:29 PM on October 10

Playoffs don't need Berman's embellishments

I can't understand how or why that oaf makes ESPN's postseason coverage, while Steve Stone does not.

posted by Motown Mike at 12:24 PM on October 10

Voices of the game

tommysands: I was in Pittsburgh when Mazeroski hit the home run to win the series against the Yankees and I don't remember listening to Chuck Thompson. Thompson did indeed call that game for NBC Radio, along with Jack Quinlan who was the Cubs' radio guy at the time. Bob Prince and Mel Allen, respectively the voices of the Pirates and Yankees then, did the NBC TV broadcast. Of course, it's possible that the Pirates also did their own radio broadcast of the Series, so maybe you heard whoever was doing that call.

posted by Motown Mike at 10:52 PM on July 29

Voices of the game

gregy606: fox has consistently put together the worst baseball coverage ever, i want to blow my brains out every time i hear jon miller talk... Jon Miller is an ESPN announcer, it's Joe Buck who's the main Fox guy.

posted by Motown Mike at 10:43 PM on July 29

Playing While White

geekyguy: We are more alike than we are different and most of the differences are cultural if you can look past the superficial. ... This just in: Men and women are different. We need to celebrate our differences more and bitch about them less. Leaving aside the apropos-of-nothing switch from race to gender, which is it? Our differences are superficial and need to be looked past, or they're intrinsic and need to be celebrated?

posted by Motown Mike at 10:27 AM on June 17

Boom -- Madden Joins NBC

bluekarma: Tell me you would rather have geeks(like Costas and Michaels) who never played or coached the game at a professional level doing all the announcing and commentating?? Actually, I would rather have professional broadcasters who know how to speak cogently and articulately on the air than idiotic, self-aggrandizing ex-jocks. Guys like Fox's Brian Baldinger are the absolute worst, but Madden demonstrates some of those qualities from time to time as well.

posted by Motown Mike at 10:14 AM on June 16

Boom -- Madden Joins NBC

yerfatma: (L)ike Greta Garbo, Michaels wants to be alone. ABC will never let him do that, but they will let him work things like the NBA Finals. Plus, even with a little NFL, NBC still seems like a second-tier sports network (not in the same league with ABC/ ESPN, CBS, Fox). Well, I've also gotten the impression that Michaels considers cable to be beneath him (note that he's never done baseball or hockey--sports at which he excels as an announcer--on ESPN), which means these might be the options he's weighing: - ABC: NBA playoffs (plus a handful of regular-season games), maybe some regular-season college football and basketball. - NBC: Sunday night NFL, couple of Super Bowls, Olympic Games, Triple Crown horse racing (a sport Michaels happens to love). I think that Peacock is going to look very attractive to him, and I also think that Dick Ebersol is looking to make as many splashy, headline-grabbing talent acquisitions for his new package as he can. Maybe I'm wrong, but my hunch is that Michaels and Madden will be boothmates again come 2006.

posted by Motown Mike at 10:09 AM on June 16

Boom -- Madden Joins NBC

Now it's just a question of whether or not Al Michaels will be joining him. I'm betting the answer is "yes".

posted by Motown Mike at 03:40 PM on June 15

World Series Game 3

Fox interviewed "Leon" in the stands? Leon from the Bud commercials?!! Thanks, you've removed the last shred of self-doubt I had about leaving the TV off and following this series via radio. Jon Miller is doing his usual superlative job, btw.

posted by Motown Mike at 10:38 PM on October 26

Is anyone else sick of Tim Mcarver?

BTW, Miller and Morgan *are* doing this World Series - on ESPN Radio.

posted by Motown Mike at 07:53 PM on October 26

Is anyone else sick of Tim Mcarver?

Until the mid-'70s or so, NBC (then the perennial WS network) would have a local announcer for each of the participating teams involved in its coverage. I just watched Game 3 of the '75 Series on ESPN Classic this afternoon. Along with the NBC regulars (Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek), the Reds' Marty Brennaman was in the booth as a color commentator and did a couple of innings of play-by-play. When that series shifted back to Fenway, Dick Stockton (then the Bosox' regular announcer) worked with Gowdy and Kubek. I would dearly love it if Fox revived this practice.

posted by Motown Mike at 07:52 PM on October 26

World Series Game 3

That tune is the old Budweiser jingle ("When you say Bud, you've said it all..."). The Cardinals have been using it since Gussie Busch owned the team, and at one time it was their seventh-inning stretch tune, although like all the other big-league ballparks I believe they've switched to "God Bless America". Is it just me, or does it seem like a rather subdued crowd for the "greatest baseball town in the country"?

posted by Motown Mike at 07:37 PM on October 26

Is anyone else sick of Curt Schilling?

psmealy: To those that think the curse makes us Sox fans feel special about ourselves, and our team, you simply don't get it. We want to win this series more than anything, and when the curse ends, so fucking be it. If they never have another winning season, I will still be a Sox fan.... and if they win it every years, I won't take it for granted. That may well be the case for your regular, Joe Sixpack Bosox fan. But I don't think you can overlook the fact that there's a cottage industry that's sprung up among many of New England's media and literary types, built around the idea of Sox fans as nobly suffering Calvinists. Earlier this month--I think it was during the Sox/Angels series--one of the networks did a brief interview with Stephen King, and he pretty much admitted that if the Sox won it all, a lot of what makes them special for him would vanish. He mentioned the Phillies, and the fact that they became "just another team" after their 1980 WS win. If the Sox win it all, I suspect that people like King, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, and (it goes without saying) the CHB will be *extremely* bummed.

posted by Motown Mike at 02:10 PM on October 26

World's oldest man is cheering for beloved Red Sox

yerfatma: How do you not know NOT to interview old people on live TV? That was f'in painful. She didn't want to talk to him and all his questions suggested it was impressive she wasn't drooling on herself. But then, isn't that also how Fox seems to regard its viewers, regardless of their age?

posted by Motown Mike at 01:58 PM on October 26

Now That the Media's Got the Matchup "Everybody" Wanted,

rocketman: The problem with radio coverage is that it's often not as comprehensive as TV. Example: I've missed about half of the playoffs so far because my local ESPN radio affiliate doesn't want to carry all the games (instead, we get Jim Rome and high school football). I don't have a TV, but out Fox affiliate is carrying all the games. Unless you're in a large market, you probably can't get good radio coverage of anything but the local sports. Yet another good reason to get satellite radio. Both XM and Sirius carry each and every pitch of ESPN Radio's coverage.

posted by Motown Mike at 03:56 PM on October 11

Now That the Media's Got the Matchup "Everybody" Wanted,

I figured out a long time ago that baseball is better on radio, and that was true even when the TV coverage was halfway decent (i.e., the '80s). Not only doesn't radio give you all of Fox's distractions and irrelevancies, but the medium's "theatre of the mind" really makes for a more vivid, involving experience for the fan.

posted by Motown Mike at 01:12 PM on October 11

taupe: "(B)aseball culture is no longer even concealing its insecurity about its place in American life vis-a-vis the Super Bowl and football in general." This is a fair point, and I suppose I'm a little guilty myself of "fooball envy"; I wouldn't have enjoyed Caple's piece (or Boswell's) as much if I wasn't. Here's one baseball fan who argues that the diamond game should realize how lucky it is *not* to be the NFL, and proudly embrace its niche status.

posted by Motown Mike at 11:26 AM on February 05

Did anyone

The New York Post's Phil Mushnick, who's sort of the Robert Bork of sports TV critics, weighs in on the incident. Funny how a guy who claims to be so appalled at the coarsening of the culture has no problem working for a Murdoch-owned tabloid, but anywho...

posted by Motown Mike at 12:17 PM on February 02

Did he list the 1 reason why the Superbowl is better than the World Series? lol...No, he didn't. Maybe Caple is so disdainful of the SB that he doesn't know or care that this year's is actually XXXVIII.

posted by Motown Mike at 09:06 AM on January 30

From that VH1 page rcade linked to: [i]"The supposedly final meeting proved the turning point, as Tug finally saw himself in his teenage son and finally realized that he needed to be a part of his life. "[/i] McGraw is the third guy who played in the 1980 World Series to die of brain cancer, the others being the Royals' Dan Quisenberry and Ken Brett.

posted by Motown Mike at 02:53 PM on January 06

On the other hand, scheduling two games and putting the lesser game on ESPN might expand the overall viewership. Perhaps they should dump the Sunday night game in favor of this. Isn't that robbing Peter to pay Paul? And what happens if they actually luck out and get two decent games at the same time? Then you're forcing viewers to choose, or flip back and forth. I say keep things the way they and ESPN (or whatever network has the are until the current TV contract runs out. Flexibility for the Monday night (and Sunday night) broadcasts can be written into the next network pact.

posted by Motown Mike at 10:04 AM on December 12

Walter O'Malley

"(Y)ou cannot swing a cat by the tail anywhere in America without conking on the head someone who swears that he or she spent his or her formative years in Brooklyn's Ebbets Field and that the cup of joy was forever dashed from his or her lips when the Dodgers went west. But if all the sentimentalists who say these things had really passed through the Ebbets Field turnstiles a tenth as often as they say, the Dodgers would still be in Brooklyn." - George Will

posted by Motown Mike at 09:12 PM on October 12

It only took 95 years.

billsaysthis: Actually, since the NL is guaranteed to have a 'never won the WS as a manager' managed-team and the AL will if the Yankees don't make it (HA!), I wonder if this is a first, or at least a first since there've been more than, say, 20 WS. Neither Jim Leyland nor Mike Hargrove had won a WS when their teams met in '97. Leyland hadn't even managed *in* a WS. Some others that come to mind: 1986 - Davey Johnson, John McNamara 1983 - Paul Owens, Joe Altobelli 1980 - Dallas Green, Jim Frey 1975 - Sparky Anderson, Darrell Johnson

posted by Motown Mike at 07:22 PM on October 07

I would've ranked Bernie Carbo's pinch-hit dinger in Game 6 of the '75 Series higher than #42. For my money, that one was even more dramatic than Fisk's.

posted by Motown Mike at 06:51 PM on October 07

Is baseball the ultimate bloggers' sport?

Er...this is rather embarrassing, but I actually meant to post this in the Baseball section. Would one of the friendly site administrators be so kind as to relocate it for me, s'il vous plait?

posted by Motown Mike at 03:43 PM on September 12

NFL Network

One thing that would be nice is if they showed some actual vintage game broadcasts from years past. For some reason ESPN Classic has never been allowed to do this, like it is with other sports. The NFL Films specials are nice, but how cool would it be to see a '70s "MNF" game with Frank, Howard, and Dandy Don? Or an early Super Bowl with Curt Gowdy or Ray Scott?

posted by Motown Mike at 08:55 AM on August 07

"Harder, Daddy, harder''

I think this is a growing trend in sports-talk radio, the shift to more of a frat-boy/"Man Show"/Maxim magazine type of a sensibility. The stations are trying to attract that coveted 18-35 male demographic, and they apparently figure ratcheting up the raunch is a good way of accomplishing that.

posted by Motown Mike at 10:41 AM on July 28

Joumana Kidd on Monday Night Football?

Can anybody remember when the last time was that ABC went two consecutive seasons without at least one major change in on-air "MNF" personnel? I believe it was sometime during the Reagan administration, wasn't it?

posted by Motown Mike at 02:29 PM on May 24

In other baseball broadcasting news, SI's Fritz Quindt has a piece this week about an interesting experiment conducted recently by the Seattle Mariners' cable affiliate. The middle innings of a game were shown without graphic embellishment of any kind, and viewers were asked to voice their opinions. A solid majority responded that they preffered to retain the graphics. Now, if they'd only try giving us a few innings without incessant close-ups of players' faces during crucial game situations...

posted by Motown Mike at 02:26 PM on May 24

As good as Buck was on baseball, I still tend to associate him more with the radio side of "Monday Night Football". Those two sports are so widely disparate that you can't help but be impressed when an announcer can not only do both but do justice to both (like Buck, and Gowdy, and Al Michaels, and I suppose Buck's son Joe, although the latter has a considerable ways to go before he reaches the old man's stature, and may never get there if he has to keep working with a third-rate outfit like Fox). If you ever get the chance, try and hunt down a copy of Curt Smith's Voices of the Game. This out-of-print book is the definitive look at baseball broadcasting and makes for fascinating reading.

posted by Motown Mike at 12:35 PM on May 23

I like Miller and Morgan as well, guess it shows how subjective these things can be. Gowdy definitely showed some rust the other night, but considering that he's 83, hasn't worked the sport on a regular basis in two decades or more, and had to share air-time with self-promoting schtick merchant Berman, I thought he acquitted himself very well. And of course, he had some wonderful stories about the old days. I can't get that excited about Keith Jackson's appearance. Not only has his announcing declined in recent years, but he was really never that great on baseball to begin with. ESPN is planning to name additional guest announcers later in the season. Hopefully we'll see appearances from the likes of Vin Scully, Herb Carneal, Bob Murphy, Dave Niehaus, Bob Uecker, etc.

posted by Motown Mike at 11:19 AM on May 23

For what it's worth, I can't say as I really ever notice the cell-phone wavers on TV. I'm too busy doing watching the game. But then, maybe I'm simply not as easily distracted as Mr. McCreary. ;-)

posted by Motown Mike at 07:15 PM on May 09