Eleventh in a series.
Broadcast: Toronto Blue Jays on Rogers Sportsnet, Cincinnati at Blue Jays, 6/26/08; Announcers: Jamie Campbell (play-by-play), Pat Tabler (analyst), Sam Cosentino (reporter)
This was another broadcast where the analysis was better than the play-by-play. There was no real flow to Jamie Campbell’s call of the game. It seemed like he was using a lot of words to describe a play when a simple “there’s a fly ball to left field” would suffice.
Then there were the mistakes. In the bottom of the 3rd inning the Blue Jays had runners on first and second with no outs. Alex Rios bounced a ball back to Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez, whose throw to second was off-target enough that shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr. had to leap to catch, causing him to not get a foot on the base for the forceout. Campbell didn’t seem to realize that the runner was called safe at second. I could see it -- umpire Joe West was in the camera’s view -- but it fell upon Pat Tabler to inform us that there were still no outs in the inning.
In the 5th, a Vernon Wells double gave the Blue Jays a 6-1 lead. Campbell, during his call of the play, said, “The Blue Jays are the first team all year to score 4 runs off Edinson Volquez.” That’s true, but they accomplished that two innings earlier when they padded their lead to 5-0.
Later, Campbell nearly made my head explode. He was trying to make a point about families with multiple generations of major league players. Jerry Hairston Jr. is the brother of Scott Hairston, “who plays for, I believe…” Tabler told him it was San Diego. “Oh, is it San Diego? I lost track.” We then were told that Jerry Sr. “I believe” had a brother, John Hairston, and “another brother, Sam…or maybe even a grandfather. So we’re talking about a three-generation family…” He then compared the Hairstons to the Bells and Boones. “You know Buddy Bell and his dad Gus, and his sons Aaron and Brett.” Again, it fell to Tabler to point out that Buddy Bell’s ballplaying sons were David and Mike. Aaron and Brett, of course, are Bob Boone’s sons. The moral: if you’re going to discuss something, do some research.
Tabler wasn't bad with his commentary, including pointing out the many similarities (with help of a split-screen) in the windup and delivery of Reds' phenom Volquez and Pedro Martinez. He also referred to Toronto’s Scott Rolen as “old school” due to Rolen’s sprinting around the bases after hitting a homer, rather than showboating -- standing and admiring the hit, taking an extra slow home run trot -- as many players do these days.
The telecast featured a report from Sam Cosentino before the game, and in the early innings they went to him so often it seemed like he was the third man in the booth. The reports tailed off as the game progressed, however.
There were three times where a 10-second commercial aired during an inning, between batters. It’s a bit disconcerting. I didn’t notice any difference in the number of commercials between innings. Squeezing some extra commercial time into a game? I’m surprised an American network didn't come up with the idea.
Near the end of the game they began showing views from high in the upper deck of the Rogers Centre, even showing a couple of pitches from that distance. Campbell, on one such occasion, called it “a great view.” If I wanted to see the players look like tiny dots and the ball be all but invisible, I wouldn’t watch a game on TV. Grade: C-plus. -- Joe Guckin