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Joe's MLB on TV Report - Rockies

Eighth in a series.

Broadcast: Colorado Rockies on FSN Rocky Mountain, Cleveland at Rockies, 6/19/08; Announcers: Drew Goodman (play-by-play), Jeff Huson (analyst), Alanna Rizzo (reporter, and woman number three to date)

I’m not a fan of intrusions upon a game I’m watching. I don’t need the roving reporters popping in, especially if there isn’t anything truly pertinent to report. I can make an exception if someone leaves the game with an injury and the reporter has an update. I also don’t need special guests in the booth. I know it’s going to happen now and then, but I don’t like it.

Unfortunately, there were six reports from Alanna Rizzo, most of which ranged from trivial at best (Cleveland’s Casey Blake finished second in a spelling bee in grade school) to advertising at worst (talking about a brewpub at Coors Field). Would it be cynical of me to think that the main reason they went to her so many times to provide so little useful information was because she’s an attractive young woman? Is that also why, in some cases, a woman is employed in that role to begin with?

In addition, the booth was invaded twice. First, the wife of Colorado’s Scott Podsednik spent a half-inning in the booth promoting an upcoming charity fundraiser. Under normal circumstances this is the time where I’d hit the mute button but instead I got to hear that Lisa Podsednik likes golf, and has gotten used to living in her husband’s native Texas. Two innings later the guest was the Rockies’ top draft pick of 2008, Christian Friedrich. There was one funny moment, courtesy of Drew Goodman and a certain grossly overpaid slumping lefthanded pitcher. Goodman asked Friedrich if there was a pitcher he modeled himself after or enjoyed watching:

Friedrich: “Barry Zito, a lot...“
Goodman: “Don’t say that. Pick someone else!”

Goodman and Huson meshed pretty well in the booth. They were both right and wrong on a play where Cleveland’s Grady Sizemore was picked off first base by Colorado pitcher Jorge de la Rosa but beat the throw to second base. Both felt that replays showed Sizemore was out, but it looked pretty clear to me that Sizemore got his foot on the bag before being tagged. However, Huson then added, “You can’t say anything about (umpire) Tim Tschida -- he was right on top of the call” and Goodman agreed.

They were both happy that Colorado rookie infielder Doug Bernier got a start at second base, since he was likely to be sent back to the minors after the game. They spent time discussing Bernier’s long road just to get to the majors for a few days and hoped that he’d get his first major league hit. So it wasn’t too surprising when Bernier, who was hitless to that point, hit a ground ball up the middle and both announcers said “get through!” almost simultaneously. Alas, it did not.

Goodman also briefly directed a comment at Indians manager Eric Wedge, as if Wedge were right there in the booth, or at least tuned into the game). That’s another dumb quirk I chalk up to an announcer trying too hard to display a personality, but fortunately it wasn’t repeated.

Camerawork was fine, with the standard FSN graphic display. So many teams have games on one of the FSN regional outlets that they all look the same. There are minor differences, such as the number of loud pop-up ads. There were few, if any, in this particular broadcast. But that means the announcers make even more of a difference between watchable and unwatchable. This game, a 6-3 Rockies win, was -- despite the many intrusions -- still rather watchable. Grade: B-minus. -- Joe Guckin