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Joe's MLB on TV Report - Brewers

Seventh in a series.

Broadcast: Milwaukee Brewers on FSN Wisconsin, Toronto at Brewers, 6/18/08; Announcers: Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Bill Schroeder (analyst), Trenni Kusnierek (reporter – and the second woman on a broadcast thus far)

It isn’t news that every sports broadcast is inundated with advertising. Perhaps the event itself is named after a corporation. Often the stadium or arena has a corporate name. The broadcast might be “presented by” someone. Various stats and graphics will show the logo of a sponsor, and the announcer often will mention that sponsor as well. (After all, it’s not enough for us to have to see the logo, they have to read it out loud as well.)

The Brewers’ broadcast wasn’t better or worse than any other in this regard. It’s just that some sponsors' names are more fun than others, and this was the first one to have Piggly Wiggly as a sponsor. We don’t have Piggly Wiggly in Philadelphia. We have Wawa, we have Tastykake, but we don’t have Piggly Wiggly. The first time I heard the name on some TV show or movie (it might have been “Mama’s Family”), I just assumed it was a fictional store. Little did I know you could actually “shop the Pig.”

This was also the first broadcast that featured an in-game interview with someone in the dugout – in this case, Brewers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux. It was taped between innings, which only made it marginally less intrusive. Speaking of intrusive, there were no less than five reports from Trenni Kusnierek, two of which weren’t game- or team-related. In one she segued from talking about players’ community work into a promo for a new lemonade being sold by former Brewer Robin Yount, with some proceeds going to charity. You’ll be happy to know that she tried it, and it tastes like real lemonade, and that she hooked up the guys in the booth with a few bottles.

Meanwhile, those guys in the booth, while generally competent (if unexceptional), occasionally were prone to odd moments as well. While reading a promo for an upcoming game where the Brewers were giving away Polish Racing Sausage Bobble figurines, we got to see Schoreder and Anderson both holding said bobbles, except Schroeder put a hot dog bun around his, saying that “it came with its own jacket.” We also got to hear about some guy who won lunch with the broadcasters in a contest and amazed them with a display of rib-eating.

Again, we got the typical FSN noisy graphics, but this one went a bit heavy on a particularly loud pop-up in the corner of the screen that told us we were now watching Brewers baseball and that the post-game show was next, whirring and buzzing each time the graphic changed. And there was a video screwup on a play in the 6th inning of Milwaukee's 5-4 win. With Toronto’s Vernon Wells at second with no outs, Lyle Overbay hit a smash that caromed off the glove of first baseman Prince Fielder. The ball was picked up by second baseman Craig Counsell, who flipped it to pitcher Ben Sheets, covering first. But just as Counsell was about to throw, suddenly the picture cut to the baserunner Wells at third. By the time they cut back, the play was over. Grade: C-plus. -- Joe Guckin