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October 13, 2015

Six things that annoy me about the baseball playoffs

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 21st 2009 6:02PM
Kate Hudson watching A-Rod at the Yankees-Angels ALCS Game 3No, this is not going to be another post about the shoddy umpiring or spittle analysis or any of the other on-field matters that have been going on in baseball since the playoffs began. No, we're on a TV blog, so I'm going to just talk about the things that have annoyed me about FOX's and TBS's coverage of the ALCS and the NLCS. In no particular order:

1. The Fidelity-sponsored Fox Trak. The pitching tracker, which shows if a pitch actually hit the strike zone or not, has been around for years. But, the flight of the ball has been to this point represented by a red streak and a dot. Now that Fidelity Investments is sponsoring the tracker, the red streak/dot combo has been replaced by a green streak/green arrow combo that mimics Fidelity's "stay on the line" series of ads. What financial guidance has to do with balls and strikes, I'll never know.

Honorable mention here is the part of the Fox Trak that shows that a pitch actually slows down as it approaches the plate. I'm amazed how fascinated Tim McCarver is by this stat. It's basic physics, Tim! Ever heard of air resistance?

2. The TBS pitch tracker. Anyone who's watched TBS's coverage in HD knows what I'm talking about; over on the right of the screen is a box that tracks the pitches from that at-bat. The most annoying part about it is that it never goes away as long as the center field camera shot is on-screen. Seriously, Turner folks, I really don't care whether the first pitch was a strike that was actually called a ball. I just want to see the next pitch. From what I've seen, the view isn't even accurate a good chunk of the time.

3. The Black Eyed Peas ad for DirecTV. It's being shown during every other commercial break, for the entire friggin' game. Considering some of the Yankees-Angels games have gone extra innings, that's five hours' worth of seeing will.i.am in the desert and Fergie as a forest nymph. As hot as Fergie looks in that nymph's outfit, I don't need to see it a hundred times a night. Here's the ad, if you want to be annoyed one more time:

(Just as an aside, the Black Eyed Peas are three-for-three on the overplayed-to-annoyance song front this year, aren't they? First "Boom Boom Pow" made me hate music, then "Gotta Feeling" was co-opted by every network for their fall promos, now "Meet Me Halfway" is infiltrating my brain. So the Peas have either completely sold out or they're marketing geniuses. Trying to decide which.)

4. The three-way batter/pitcher/catcher view on FOX. I can see the catcher call pitches from the regular center field shot. I don't need a close-up of Jorge Posada's White-Out-painted fingers telling CC Sabathia to pitch a change-up. But it's sponsored, so that's why it's there. Both networks would sell the first crotch scratch if they could.

5. Shots of Kate Hudson. We get it; she's dating A-Rod. A-Rod's playing well. Maybe Kate is a good influence on A-Rod. Blah Blah Blah. Honorable mention: Seeing Pat Sajak and Scott Boras in the LAAoA (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) behind-the-plate seats.

6. Chip Caray. Ah, shoot, I can't do it. The poor guy's been blasted enough.

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Allison Solow

Here's another annoyance, Tim McCarver groaning on and on about the miles per hour of a pitch. Oy vey, what a bore. Tim, you keep bringing it up and nobody cares!

The thing about Chip Carey is that his voice is dull. Very dull.

Joe Buck is a nice guy, but he's so clearly rooting for a longer series that he's very annoying. We get it, Fox wants more games. Too bad.

Fox has also been guilty of too many celeb cutaways, but that's typical for them. I expect even more in the World Series.

BTW, the Black Eyed Peas are oversaturated, you're right.

October 22 2009 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm no fan of The Black Eyed Peas, but I could never get tired of Fergie's creamy thighs.

October 21 2009 at 6:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about when it runs over, screwing up my recordings of House and Lie to Me?

October 21 2009 at 6:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I live in Orange County and are following the Angels run and I'm so OVER the Black Eyed Peas commercials.


October 21 2009 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Really?? You dislike Chip (Skip died) more than Tim McCarver?? That guy needs to
retire like 10 years ago, when he was actually old. Now he's ancient.

I HATE him. He's awful, and not even comically awful, just plain bad.

He repeats himself a million times, and explains the most inane
nuances of the game, that a 4 year old could explain, in excruciating
detail. It's why I don't watch the playoffs, because he's so bad, I
just can't stand to hear him blather on about how he rubbed elbows
with Joe Robinson or met Joe DiMaggio before the 1905
playoffs......his experiences aren't interesting at ALL.

Chip at least keeps the focus on the game at hand. Time can't keep
from going off on random tangents about the "history of the game.

October 21 2009 at 6:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Brian's comment


October 22 2009 at 2:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

McCarver is like one of those annoying relatives who gets drunk on Thanksgiving and just sits and talks and talks. And, it's funny what Joel said about him being so fascinated by the pitch slowing down on the way to the plate. Egads, he must also enjoy watching water turn to ice.

October 22 2009 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"6. Skip Caray. Ah, shoot, I can't do it. The poor guy's been blasted enough."

Considering that he died last year....

October 21 2009 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ryan's comment
Joel Keller

Crap, I always mix dad and son up in my head... always.

It's been fixed.

October 21 2009 at 6:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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