We all love to watch the Home Run Derby, don't we? In fact, most people would rather watch that than the All-Star game, despite the fact that the latter determines home field advantage in the World Series. So although I probably won't watch the All-Star game tonight, I certainly made room in my schedule for the Home Run Derby last night, and I got a treat.
Josh Hamilton setting a first-round record with 28 Home Runs. A surprising if not-altogether-exciting finale. And getting to see a ton of upper deck home runs, courtesy of the short right field in Yankee Stadium. But I didn't notice that, I noticed the god-awful announcing.
This was ESPN, so nothing was unexpected, but boy did they pull all the stops on this one.
Who was there to announce for our pleasure?
Chris Berman, aka That Guy Who Likes To Give Nicknames. The only man at ESPN I like (besides KC Joyner), was the "head announcer", one could say. His main duties? To not embellish on the little he knows about current baseball and say "back, back, back" every couple of home runs. I was almost hoping he'd sort out all of these other announcers with another rage-filled tirade.
Joe Morgan and Jon Miller, aka The Reason Incest Is Illegal. The combined IQ of these guys must be 90. Joe Morgan is a lesser-appreciated version of Tim McCarver, although even he can make McCarver look like a master thespian at points. Notice his grand revelation in this video, for instance. Jon Miller isn't quite as stupid, and probably takes up at least 80% of those 90 IQ points, but he's an enabler, and we all know you can still get jail time for accessory to murder. But anyways, today was just filled with too many comments to possibly unleash upon you all at once, which can (probably) cause a heart attack. The one that first comes to mind was when Joe Morgan called an upper-deck Home Run from Josh Hamilton "another out". Is he faking? No one can be this stupid.
Rick Reilly, aka The Least Funny Man In Sports (aka The Whitest Man in America). Sorry to some people yesterday, whom I told that Joe Morgan had gone on an anti-white tirade yesterday. It was actually Rick Reilly. That's right, Reilly, the man who tries so damn hard to be funny and yet he fails miserably. Thought that perhaps serious journalism was his niche? Think again if you choose to watch that video. To be fair, he injects his own humor into that tirade, comparing the Home Run Derby this year to the Kiwanis Club (of which he's probably a member). A couple of the names he mentions might make sense for the Derby, but he goes on and ruins it with Miguel Tejada (who has 10 HR this year), and Manny Ramirez, who is 8th in HR among Left Fielders! He also mentions Griffey, who has all of 12 Homers this year.
Steve Phillips, aka Satan. I didn't really decide to write this blog until I realized that last night, Steve Phillips was the most sane announcer there. Can I repeat that? Steve Phillips, the man known as one of the biggest dbags on this planet, who cheated on his wife while the GM of the Mets, who is incredibly biased against pretty much every team in baseball at one point or another, the guy who early in 2007 said the Reds were condoning drug use for acquiring Josh Hamilton in the Rule 5 Draft...That man was the most sane person at ESPN last night.
There were more people there, I think (or assume), but none were as notable as these other compadres. I mentioned some of the more interesting moments in last night's broadcast, but by no means did it stop there.
As most of you probably know, Josh Hamilton his 28 homers in the first round, a few in the second, and the final came down to him and Morneau. Morneau hit 5 in the final, and Hamilton hit just 3, losing a "heartbreaker". I say that because many of the announcer's hearts truly were broken, as by this time they were openly rooting for Hamilton, or damn near. After Hamilton failed to mount a 9-out comeback, I heard a toneless voice say "Morneau wins", and also had the chance to watch Hamilton receive the far majority of attention after the Derby. What the hell is this supposed to tell people? Being a former druggie and losing the Home Run Derby is better than being a class act your whole life and winning it?
But that's a tad bit off topic, as Erin Andrews (the "field reporter") is not worth covering today. My point was to give a bit of the announcing recap of last night, give a few of my insights, and question the moral fiber and integrity of today's sports announcers. Whatever happened to the great announcers? Phil Rizzuto? Ernie Harwell? Vin Scully? Where are you, Vin!?!?
Now we get guys that have entire websites devoted to their incompetence, like Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver (I think Steve Phillips has one as well). Can you imagine someone making a website devoted entirely to slandering Vin Scully, let alone it becoming popular? Me neither.
Hell, last year was brutal. I learned that TBS can't host a playoff game to save their life. Listening to Tony Gwynn was like having your faced burned with a hot iron, and he was biased towards the Yankees! And there were also those Dane Cook commercials where he would talk about the "passion, excitement, intensity" of the playoffs in that cracked voice of his, like he just hit puberty, but that's for another blog (where I talk about how much I loate Dane Cook). Last year it was the dynamic duo of Tim McCarver and Joe Buck in the World Series. Thank God it was just four games, for He can be merciful, on occasion.
Well, that's about it for today. I'm spent. Maybe I'll go to a quiet room and wonder about the days when an announcer wasn't as retarded as a pile of monkey feces.