The TBS coverage of the baseball playoffs is far superior to anything that Fox has done. Even the commercials are better.This guy, Frank Caliendo, who impersonates John Madden, Jack Nicholson, George Bush and others, is really good. His Madden is so good, if you are in another room and you hear it, you really believe it is Madden speaking.
TBS used a wide assortment of announcing teams. Ted Robinson worked with Steve Stone; Don Orsillo with Ron Darling; Chip Carey had Tony Gwynn and Bob Brenly in the booth with him.
They all had one thing in common. They were infinitely easier to listen to than the annoying Fox team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. They actually allowed you to watch the game, rather than constantly being reminded how smart they were (which is the favorite trait of McCarver).
One thing that TBS could do without is Craig Sager and his silly looking outfits. A grown man who wants to be taken seriously as a sideline reporter really should not wear pink suits or purple slippers as his favorite garb.
Sager must have worked previously as a circus clown.
The umpiring continued to be abysmal, something that Bud Selig has to address. Instant replays would be a nice way to start. What difference does it make if the umpire has to check the replay in order to tell if a ball down the line is fair or foul? Getting the call right is the first priority.
Bruce Froemming is finally retiring after this season and it could not happen soon enough. Froemming blows more calls than anyone in the game and then he gets mad when he is questioned. They should have put him out to pasture long before this.
And the strike zone of the umpires all appear to be different. While Froemming only calls it a strike when it comes down the middle, Dan Iassogna will ring up almost anything that the catcher can get his mitt on.
The different strike zones have got to be infuriating to pitchers.
One humorous note was the report of the tee-shirt that Cleveland's designated hitter, Travis Hafner, often has on under his uniform. It reads "I may not be the smartest guy here, but I can lift very heavy objects."
Looking at Hafner, you sort of have to believe the message is true.
The Angels' Chone (pronounced Shawn) Figgins and Mets' manager Willie Randolph are dead ringers for each other. Figgins has a little more hair, because he is 20 years younger, but you put a Mets' cap on him, he could bring the lineup card out to home plate and it would take three or four looks before someone would realize that he was not Randolph.
While on that subject, it was wise that the Mets quickly assured everyone that Randolph would be back next year as their manager. Willie was not the one who blew the season for the Metsies. Can you say Tom Glavine?
What a surprise when Glavine chose to decline his $13 million option with the Mets for next year. After his performance at the close of the season, he wouldn't dare show up at Shea Stadium again, at least not in a Mets' uniform.
Glavine HAS to be the weakest 300-game winner in the history of baseball. His stuff is non-existent. Unless he has an Iassogna-type umpire, who will call a pitch that is four inches outside a strike, Glavine has absolutely no answers.
While some 40-year-olds, like Glavine, should hang up their spikes, others such as Kenny Lofton appear to have aged very little. Lofton is still one of the best post-season spark plugs around.
He never seems to allow the bigger stage to bother him. In fact, he revels in it. He may not be able to cover as much territory in the outfield as he used to, but Lofton is still a pest when he comes to the plate or when he is on the base paths.