October 2, 2005

Fox Hates Baseball; I Hate Fox

Is Fox Sports on a mission to annoy every single baseball fan on the planet?

Their pre-game coverage is horrifically bad and Tim McCarver is going senile right before our eyes. Worst of all, in the middle innings, they put both the Red Sox/Yankees and the White Sox/Cleveland games in a split-screen format, though the Boston game was in a much smaller box. I have a 27-inch set and I couldn't tell a swing and miss from a foul around the plate (I had to check Gameday).

I found it odd that Fox went to split-screen only when the Red Sox were batting. When the Yankees hit, they got the normal, full-screen treatment. The entire bottom of the fourth had the Sox in a tiny square in the corner of the screen, with no audio. When did Fox return to full-screen? Just in time to see the Yankees jogging off the field after the third out.

After New York batted in the top of the sixth, Fox went to the Chicago-Cleveland game instead of commercials. And they stayed on that game even while the Red Sox were batting in the bottom of the sixth. Fox didn't broadcast Millar striking out for the first out. When they came back, Joe Buck said: "What you missed while you were away ..." Hey, I wasn't away, you incompetent morons.

Let's be clear: Fox demands exclusive rights to show the Red Sox/Yankees game -- and then doesn't show all of it.

The list of Fox's fuck-ups is nearly endless:

They failed to return from commercials quickly enough several times; they had no idea where Manny's first-inning home run went, and they missed Ortiz's leadoff double in the third.

When they suddenly went to the other game for "breaking news," it was to show a routine grounder or fly out.

Later, with Boston trailing by five runs and Cleveland down by only one and rallying in the eighth, they did not show the Cleveland game. Great sense of priorities.

The horrifically bad broadcast quality looked like a fourth generation VHS tape dub.

The super-imposed advertisements behind the plate were so bright that at times they shone through Mirabelli's midsection.

The montage of glum Sox fans with REM's "Everybody Hurts" as accompanying music. McCarver clearly hated the song, because he was moaning and then laughing like a seven-year-old girl. Then Fox started playing it again as Buck was talking. It all sounded like a bad Morning Zoo skit.

Fox is a disgrace. The sooner some other network -- ANY other network -- gets MLB rights, the better.

And guess what. Untrained monkeys were not handling the production duties yesterday. All that crap was by design and we should expect more of it during the playoffs.

Dan Bell, Fox director of communications:
We're doing just what we said we would -- following and updating the games with a bearing on the pennant races. Our job is to provide viewers around the country with every significant play. It's not like we're talking about games with no significance.
But Dan, if I wanted to watch Cleveland, I'd change the channel to that game.

Fox Sports president Ed Goren added:
Look at the score. The Sox are losing and the fans are upset.
So Fox didn't screw up -- Red Sox fans were just grumpy.

The Globe article also states:
A couple of Division Series games are scheduled to be regional telecasts with similar split-screens and cut-ins.
Regional games? Didn't MLB abolish this disaster of an idea after the wild card's first year? That sounds like Red Sox fans on the west coast could quite possibly be stuck watching the Padres instead of their team.

MLB.com lists this guy as handling broadcasting. Write him a letter if you are similarly annoyed.
Tim Brosnan
Executive Vice President, Business
Major League Baseball
245 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10167
Or vent here:


Edward Lee said...

The "Everybody Hurts" bit wasn't half as bad as Fox showing a montage of clips during the 9th inning of Game 4, set to U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". I don't think I'll ever forgive them for that.

Peter N said...

Another Fox mess-up.They don't even broadcast a game of this importance in Hi-Def. They used the not nearly as good 480p instead of 720p. Those are lines of resolution. 6-0 eases the pain, with the Clevland club about to lose too.Oh well, reading the sports page with a smile will be fun with breakfast, unlike today.

Anonymous said...

Fox is evil. I was appalled by the coverage of yesterday's game as well, and the "everybody hurts" thing was just...argh. I wanted to strangle someone. Like last year during the ALCS when they showed the WebMD health update depicting "Broken Hearts" for Sox fans.

Just die already, Fox. That shit isn't entertaining and it isn't funny. Just stop.

flip said...

I'm in Austin, TX, where I didn't even get the chance to be appalled and annoyed by the play on the field and the FOX broadcast. Would you like to know what FOX7 showed from 12:30-4:00 CST on Saturday?

12:30 Get-Rich Quick Infomercial
1:00 Stargate: Atlantis
2:00 M*A*S*H
2:30 This Week in Baseball

I found the last choice especially ironic: how about showing THIS FREAKING AFTERNOON in BASEBALL you douchebags?