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MLB and Masters coverage hit embarrassing new lows


I’ve been writing this column for a long time, 40 years. Well, not this column, but many thousands before it. Anyway, I have never witnessed anything like what we were asked to endure last weekend.

Let’s start with this exclusive production airing on Apple TV of the Mets’ second game of the season on Friday at the Nationals – a train wreck colliding with a shipwreck, a total betrayal of baseball and its increasingly disgusted and bereft fans. their rights according to Rob Manfred’s eagerness to serve as MLB’s madam, his fans like Johns.

That it was a “the first ones are free!” come-on made no difference because it was worth less than nothing. That Apple, with Manfred’s blind acquiescence, show me the money, was so pitifully unprepared for such a large sale of its exclusive – quietly purchased from MLB – can only be placed on the Manfred’s office.

As a marketing slogan, this first shouted: “And don’t come back!”

The three commentators selected for the curtain raiser seemed to have been pulled out of a hat during the Bingo evening in the basement of the presbytery.

One, Melanie Newman, who calls the Orioles games, to put it indelicately, wouldn’t or couldn’t keep quiet. She talked about everything and nothing for 3 hours and 43 minutes. It was the sister-in-law you’re stuck sitting next to at Thanksgiving dinner.

When audio was lost – at least twice since my transmission – it created a palpable sense of relief. The old maxim “The living will envy the dead”.

Melanie Newman
Melanie Newman
MLB Photos via Getty Images

The video missed pitches, plays, and so many opportunities to provide thoughtful and necessary shots, it was reminiscent of local access cable TV coverage of high school field hockey. Jayve.

A graph throughout has calculated the impossible to calculate outside of a test tube: the percentage chance, pitch by pitch, that players will get a hit, solely depending on the circumstances, regardless of the participants.

Was this undertaking an exercise in the kind of television progress that cannot be hindered? Or was it strictly a cash grab, $85 million to further diminish viewership and beat the better senses of those who tried to watch? Yet it has been exploited as bait to sell subscriptions. To whom, village idiots?

It kept racing through my head: “Any broadcast or rebroadcast of this game without the express written consent of Major League Baseball is strictly prohibited.” No worries, Commissar, it’s all up to you. Also, you couldn’t DVR the game.

There are more Friday exclusive Apple games, Rays-White Sox and Reds-Dodgers. How can such a total dismemberment be corrected in a few days? And the Yankees-Royals are getting the Friday, April 29 Apple treatment.

Reader Chris Dellecese said it well: “If they don’t care about the Game, neither do I.”

Then there was CBS/ESPN coverage of the Masters – the most insulting, dishonest and tearful presentation ever applied to a televised golf major.

If you didn’t know better – and everyone attached to these TV shows did, but chose to treat us like drooling fools – you would have thought Tiger Woods was a returning war hero, badly wounded in battle. .

Thus, we were involuntarily participating in a religious retreat, a four-day worship. “What a friend we have in Ti-ger! »

You wouldn’t know that “Tiger’s miraculous comeback” (Dottie Pepper many times) and his “extraordinary courage” (everyone, all the time) were caused entirely by his own negligence.

Tiger Woods plays a shot at the 2022 Masters.
Tiger Woods plays a shot at the 2022 Masters.
Getty Images

Or was it insignificant that this bravery profile was the result of Woods’ inability to stay awake while driving a car, once leading to his arrest for being wasted by opioids, the second time to police ignoring the first times by not investigating why he flipped his car at nearly twice the speed limit and was found unconscious?

If a guy named Joe had gone back to his job as a welder or a window cleaner after such episodes – forget that Woods had often been treated before by a doctor flown in from Canada, one who would have been convicted of distributing illegal drugs and mislabeled, though Woods denies any use – CBS/ESPN crews either admired Joe’s courage or shook their heads in disgust?

Yet even though Scottie Scheffler went 18 to win the Masters, Jim Nantz continued to sing his admiration for Woods, who finished 23 strokes back (but was the leader among those tied for 47th). The theme for the first two rounds – “Tiger can win this!” – had become “He’s the bravest man on Earth!”

It kills me to write this because I know Nantz is a good man, but he sacrificed his credibility at the altar of Tiger Woods. And if he doesn’t, true golf fans, as opposed to “Tiger!” yahoos, do. And for years.

jim nantz
jim nantz
Getty Images

There was no pause in the obsequiousness, sickness and gushing that made the smart recoil. What should have been poured over our pancakes was used to clog our senses.

While SJ Im promised to go 5 under on Saturday, CBS’ Trevor Immelman could have let the scene speak for itself. Instead, he told how Im was born “the year after Tiger won the Masters in 1997”, adding that Im “considers Tiger a god”. I don’t know if he meant uppercase or lowercase.

Good grief!

From day one, whether it was a major was irrelevant. Countless standout shots, many by the leaders, were relegated to a dishonest “plausibly live” tape as CBS showed Woods, even after coming off well, walking down a fairway, heading for the next hole , even waiting to hit while sitting on a bench next to a tee box.

“Look! He’s smiling! Do you think he’s happy?

“I hope so. He must be, he smiles.

I also wanted to see all of his moves, but wasn’t the Masters playing out in the background?

What a weekend. Two collector’s items. It is better to leave out the garbage collectors.

WFAN duo fade their gutter stench

Apparently morons are now the target audience for WFAN.

Wednesday morning’s “Weekday” show about Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti’s untreated trash included a long, rude, childish exchange in the back of the school bus, about the testicles, with an unprintable reference to the vagina. Not even a little smart, they nevertheless had a blast. Pigs in public parade.

Boomer Esiason (left) and Gregg Giannotti (right).
Boomer Esiason (left) and Gregg Giannotti (right).
Getty Images

That trip to the center of the gutter was followed by Giannotti’s DraftKings shilling parlay bets, a special bet where gaming operations wouldn’t be so eager to throw them. Giannotti, so skilful and daring, doesn’t know?

Francesa is still missing

He didn’t miss a step: As the @BackAftaThis Twitter account recounts, Mike Francesa – now an omniscient, self-proclaimed genius podcaster despite his extraordinary career-long ability to not only always be wrong, but colossally wrong – rejected Scottie Scheffler’s chance to win the Masters. He chose Brooks Koepka. Scheffler won by three. Koepka missed the cut.


A graphic worthy of ESPN, published by MASN, the Nationals and Orioles network: “K. Ruiz 1st double of the season. Must have tied a record in Keibert Ruiz’s first game at bat in the season opener. (Thanks to reader Lou Charlip for the screenshot.)


This NBA play-in smacks of another made-for-TV gimmick, like MLB adding playoff teams.


The Boys of Slumber: Orioles 2-0 over the Brewers in 8 ¹/₂ innings, Monday. The game lasted 3h24.


Breaking news: In Will Smith’s next film, he will play the late comedian Slappy White.



New York Post

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