Thursday, October 23, 2008
World Series Game 1 Thoughts
As a Phillies fan, I certainly have a bias. toward the team. So take my words with a grain of salt. I try to be as objective as possible, but won't pretend that my Phillies allegiance won't creep out - sometimes without me even knowing it.
That said, I don't believe anyone will defend the McCarver/Buck announcing team.
Let's simply gloss over the opinion that I believe they are openly rooting for the Rays. Between raving about BJ Upton's performance (even though he slug trailed it to first on two double play balls) and anointing Carl Crawford second base in the ninth if he walked because of his "good legs," these 2 couldn't talk enough about the Rays' ability. Never mind they got Coltrained.
No, I'll ignore that due to my "bias." I'm more angry with their inability to call a clean game and generate excitement for two teams playing in the world series. On the flip side, you can read more of my "unbiased" opinion...
What happened during the balk call? Regardless of your thoughts on it, both Buck and McCarver did a serviceable job explaining the rule (can't deceive runner - which means you can't step toward home and throw to first). To me, it seemed as though Hamels kinda stepped in between the two, which them positions it as a judgment call, and no umpire on the field reacted. Over the replays, McCarver and Buck seemed undecided on what was correct. That's fine too - like I said, it appeared to be a judgment call.
What happened when they came back from break however countered their notion. Buck immediately switches his "undecided" position, and goes with, "we're looking at what we clearly think is a balk." Really Joe? It's funny, since a balk can be called by any of the umps on the field (one of the few calls in baseball that has this autonomy) and yet none of the 6 (yes I realize 2 umps are in the outfield) flinched. But to you, Joe Buck, it was clear. Thanks.
Same balk weirdness - cool to hear Maddon and home plate umpire talking about it during the half inning. Maddon kept mentioning something about "reading," and "he's a reader," which is a term I've never heard before. I wasn't sure if it was a baseball term or Maddon was just using it as a description. Buck, in a rare moment of intelligence, apparently thinks the same thing, as he turns to McCarver and asks him about the term. To which McCarver basically ignores. Thanks Tim for your insight on nothing. If you don't know something, admit it. It's more endearing and less assholishness.
One other thing. I get hyping up BJ Upton during his at-bat in the 8th. Tight game, hot hitter (even with his putrid performance in this game up to this point). Totally cool. What I don't get (from a FOX perspective) is why not hype Ryan Howard in a similar situation? I keep hearing about the terrible ratings this match up is going to get, so why not, you know try to hype stars on both teams? You know, for casual fans that have no specific rooting interest? Instead, we hear about how horrible Ryan Howard is performing at the moment, and the fact that the Phillies have stranded the China's population on the bases. Never mind that the Rays couldn't get guys on base - let's not quibble with important stuff like facts. Let's tear down how horrible Ryan Howard is at the plate.
Luckily, I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Other random thoughts about the game:
Rollins at the plate looked terrible, especially the second time he struck out on a high fast ball. Luckily, he's still Baryshnikov out in the field. What a great double play turn to stay out of trouble.
Ditto Howard. Luckily, in baseball you can erase poor performances the next night with great ones.
Thank you Utley.
Rays bullpen looks formidable. The starters don't look bad either. They really look like a good team.
Anyone else notice the shirtless guys on the third base line? Look, if you're going to go shirtless, it's either gotta be really cold (think Lambeau in January) so viewers think you're crazy, or you have to be acting like a mongoose on crystal meth the whole time so viewers think you're crazy. Sitting watching the game shirtless makes you look lame.
The cowbell story (the Rays owner saw the Walken skit online and figured it was a great idea)? I want someone walking behind him all day ringing one of those things in his face.
Even though McCarver/Buck refused to acknowledge it (with producers at least flashing to them in the stands) nice to see Phillies fans representing down there.
Oh and one more thing...