So I'm watching the Phillies games this week on our Comcast Sportsnet station here, and something is bothering me. They're spending an inordinate amount of time showing various features of Citizens Bank Park -- the Rooftop Bleacher section, eateries such as Harry The K's and Bull's BBQ -- and it's really disconcerting. It's not like the park is brand new. The Phils are finishing their 5th season at CBP. We know pretty much everything about it.
It seems like a not-so-subtle way of trying to sell more season ticket plans for 2009, piling on top of the actual ticket ads themselves, and if I were reviewing the Phils broadcast now their grade would definitely go down a notch. With that in mind, I thought that, as a summary, I'd list the final grades for every broadcast I reviewed this year, with a few observations.
Some of what goes on in a broadcast is dependent upon the game being played -- a close, exciting game can limit the amount of artificial chatter between the announcers. Sometimes, perhaps the announcers are just off their game or there might be technical glitches. And with so many teams' games carried by Fox Sports Net affiliates, and others on multiple local Comcast Sportsnet outlets, many of these games look alike -- the graphics, the special features which are "presented" by the same sponsors.
Since the style and presentation of the games are so similar, it's really the announcers who can make or break a broadcast, and since I tend to favor the old-school veterans like Vin Scully and Harry Kalas, it doesn't bode well for my future enjoyment of baseball on television. The old guys will be gone someday, and their replacements mostly don't measure up.
Maybe they'll improve over time. Or maybe they don't need to. Perhaps I'm just becoming one of those grouchy old men who rant about "the good old days." At any rate, the most important thing to keep in mind is that all of this is just my opinion based on one game. Your mileage may vary. So here's the list, with broadcasts with the same grade listed in alphabetical order...
- A-minus: LA Dodgers
- B-plus: NY Mets
- B: Boston, Cincinnati, NY Yankees, Oakland, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Washington
- B-minus: Baltimore, Chicago Cubs, Colorado, LA Angels, MLB on TBS, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Louis
- C-plus: Houston, MLB on Fox, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Toronto
- C: Cleveland, Detroit
- C-minus: Atlanta, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, Florida, Kansas City, San Diego, Texas
- D: Arizona
- D-minus: Chicago White Sox