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Joe's MLB on TV Report - Preview

The KISS rule -- Keep It Simple, Stupid -- can be applied to many things. For me, the telecast of a baseball game is something where this rule should be mandatory.

The baseball telecast I like sticks to the basics. I guess I’m old-fashioned this way. I don’t need an overload of graphics that clutter the screen. I hate the sound effects -- whooshing noises and bleeps and explosions -- that often accompany said graphics. I don’t need a ton of statistics, just the numbers that are relevant to the situation. I don’t need fifteen replays of a play, especially if it’s not a close or controversial play and if the replay doesn’t actually clarify whether, for example, a runner is safe or out at the plate.

I don’t need in-game interviews with anyone -- whether they’re with players or coaches in the dugout or celebrities in the stands -- and I don’t need the roving reporters who do those interviews. In fact, I don’t need more than two announcers, period. Three in a booth is one too many. Add the person running around the ballpark to that and you have a bunch of people trying to talk at the same time, often repeating the same things.

I want a good play-by-play call and analysis that correctly describes what happened and why. I don’t mind a team’s announcers showing a little enthusiasm for their team, but they shouldn’t go overboard into out-and-out cheering, and they should be critical of their team if warranted. I don’t mind broadcasters showing their personality, but I don’t want them to be obnoxious or overbearing.

With the "help" of the MLB Extra Innings package, I’ve decided to check out every team’s broadcast and critique each one. I may end up doing the same with the national telecasts on ESPN, TBS and Fox. My intention is to get to each team’s broadcast this season, time permitting. My first report should be up in a day or two. -- Joe Guckin