Archive: July 21st, 2007

10 Most Annoying Things on the FOX Broadcast

1. The insufferable pregame, particularly the contrived and demonstrative delivery of Jeannie Zelasko, the clueless commentary Kevin Kennedy, and the overabundant hype of Barry Bonds. Newsflash to FOX: no one outside of San Francisco cares one aota about Barroid.

1a. Elayne Boosler’s weak attempt at an entertaining lineup introduction.

2. The dumb-ass Pac-Man-dying sound every time someone struck out.

3. Tim McCarver (shut up!)

4. McCarver’s sidekick Matt Vasgersian incredibly boring play-by-play, plus his getting all the Mets’ players’ names wrong. The only thing going for Vasgersian was the fact he wasn’t Joe Buck.

5. Stopping coverage of the Mets-Dodgers game and cutting to every at-bat by Barroid Bonds.

6. Tim McCarver (shut up!)

7. TV cameras isolating on has-been Hollywood actors in the stands every two minutes (this isn’t a Knicks game, for crissakes!).

8. “Aloha Adam”

9. The often unsteady, abrupt, and sloppy work by the FOX cameramen. Were these the same guys who shot the The Blair Witch Project? I was seasick by the sixth inning.

10. Tim McCarver (please, please shut UP already!)


Mets Game 97: Loss to Dodgers

Dodgers 8 Mets 6

For a while there, it looked like the Mets might take three in a row in LA, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Before the series began, I figured this game would go to the Dodgers, because Brad Penny has been so dominating this year. However, since the Mets reached him for four runs, and originally had the lead, it was a bit of a disappointment when Jorge Sosa couldn’t pitch more effectively and scratch out a win.

The Mets jumped out to a two-run lead in the second inning, thanks to a sac fly by Ramon Castro and a two-out, run-scoring single by Lastings Milledge. Milledge is hitting about .035, but every time he gets a hit, he drives in a run. Gotta like that kind of production. The Mets tacked on two more in the third after Carlos Beltran sent a two-strike pitch into leftfield and David Wright followed by golfing a ball over the centerfield fence.

The lead vanished in the fourth inning, thanks to a five-run inning by the Dodgers, highlighted by a James Loney three-run blast to centerfield.

The Mets didn’t score again until the eighth, when Carlos Beltran jumped all over a high 2-1 fastball from lefty Joe Beimel and deposited it into the leftfield seats.


“Aloha Adam” was a stupid, nonsensical addition to the FOX broadcast. Why, exactly, would we care to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” ? Hey, I watched the movie myself, and enjoyed it immensely as a teenager, but … what’s it got to do with baseball? Yeah, I thought so.

The only thing more annoying than “Aloha Adam” and the incessant camera shots of Hollywood stars was Barry Bonds at-bats invading the game. If I want to see Barroid hit, I’ll watch the Giants game on MLB or DirectTV — don’t spoil my enjoyment of the Mets. If FOX thinks it’s so important to see the poster boy for HGH hit a homerun, then broadcast the whole damn game and let us watch the Mets on SNY. I don’t care about Barry Bonds, and the “record” means nothing to anyone outside of San Francisco. In fact, it’s not even a record. Last time I checked the Guinness World Records book, the all-time homerun king is Sadaharu Oh — so what’s the big whoop-dee-doo about tying/passing Aaron’s 755? When he gets close to 868, lemme know.

Sosa’s inability to throw an offspeed pitch in the strike zone is the main reason I’ve been hesitant to look at him as an effective pitcher over the long term. Using the slider for swings and misses is fine, but purposely putting it in the strike zone is a dangerous strategy (I don’t care WHAT Leo Mazzone says). Sliders in the strike zone — other than at the very bottom corners of the strike zone — tend to be flat and fat. Add the fact that a slider is about 2-5 MPH slower than a fastball — which is not slow enough to throw off a hitter’s timing — and you can understand why homeruns are often hit on high sliders.

Shame, shame, shame on Willie Randolph for not making a stink, or moving from the dugout, when Juan Pierre was hit by a Scott Schoeneweis pitch in the sxith inning. Pierre DID NOT MOVE, and in fact, he might have moved slightly INTO the ball. The umpire wrongly awarded him first base, as the MLB rulebook clearly states that the batter must attempt to get out of the way.

Ruben Gotay threw away a tailor-made double play ball immediately after the HBP — allowing a run to score — so I guess he’s a bad fielder and should be replaced by Anderson Hernandez.

Shawn Green has a career .419 average against Brad Penny (in 31 at-bats). Did anyone get the reason Lastings Milledge started instead? If so I missed it.

Jonathan Broxton was described as a “drop and drive guy” by ho-hum broadcaster Matt Vasgersian, as his delivery was compared to Tom Seaver’s. Nothing could have been further from the truth. If anything, his motion is closer to “tall and fall” — a la Nolan Ryan. Drop and drive pitchers usually have a dirty right knee, as they push hard off the rubber with their back leg, then flex the back knee down to the ground as the front side collapses at the release point. (BTW, I guarantee Broxton has an arm injury within a year. He puts a lot of strain on his arm, first by throwing so many sliders and second by not allowing his arm to naturally and fully decelerate — he cuts off his follow-through almost immediately after releasing the ball. He would be well served by watching some old clips of Tom Seaver — but there’s no similarity between Tom Terrific and Broxton.) It galls me when “professional” broadcasters make asinine, incorrect statements to try to sound smart — please don’t ask me why I didn’t hit the mute button in the first inning.

Kind of funny that FOX made the far reach of tying together “Fast Times …” with the basestealers of the Mets and Dodgers — and that there was not one stolen base attempt in the game. Even funnier that Tim McCarver was forced to watch the movie the night before the broadcast, so he’d know who “Mr. Hand” was.

Next Game

The series finale starts at 4:10 PM EST. El Duque pitches for the Mets, and Mark Hendrickson is still listed as the Dodgers starter, despite having pitched two innings of relief in game one.


Mets Game 96: Win Over Dodgers

Mets 4 Dodgers 1

How the Mets were unable to score more than one run against Brett Tomko is beyond comprehension. But whatever.

The boys from Flushing managed one measly run off Brett Tomko, in the first inning — and it was unearned. After Jose Reyes grounded out back to Tomko to open the game, Marlon Anderson hit a fly ball in between Luis Gonzalez and Juan Pierre that Pierre called for, but allowed to drop when Gonzo was still charging toward his skinny bones. Two batters later, David Wright lined a base hit up the middle to score Anderson and take the early 1-0 lead.

The lead didn’t last long, as Nomar Garciaparra led off the bottom of the second with a homerun to tie the game. The score stayed that way until the eighth frame.

In the top of the eighth inning, Roberto Hernandez showed us precisely why the Mets didn’t re-sign him for their bullpen (after being released by the Indians). Jose Reyes led off with a double down the leftfield line, and was bunted to third by Marlon Anderson. However, Bert fielded the bunt and threw it up the rightfield line, allowing Reyes to score. The next batter, Carlos Beltran, hit a bomb into the right-center seats make the score 4-1 Mets.

Oliver Perez pitched into the eighth, but was removed after giving up a one-out single to Russell Martin. Joe Smith came on to face Jeff Kent, and got the ground ball, but Jose Reyes was playing too far to the left to get a glove on it, and it trickled into centerfield to put runners on first and second. Had Reyes been just one step more to his left, the grounder would have been an easy double play. Smith was removed and replaced by Pedro Feliciano to face the lefthanded hitting Luis Gonzalez. Feliciano induced a groundball back to the box, and started the double play — however, Gonzo was called safe at first (the stop-motion replay showed he was out by hair, but a tough call to the naked eye at full speed). No big deal, as Nomar followed with an easy fly ball to Carlos Beltran to end the inning.

Billy Wagner came on in the ninth to protect the lead, and knocked down the Dodgers 1-2-3 for his 21st save. He is so money it’s ridiculous.


Oliver Perez struck out 8, walked 3, and gave up 6 hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings. An outstanding performance.

Perez was taking his time with his full-windup delivery. If you watched closely, you would have noticed that he got his knee up to the balance point, and would hold it there for half a second before continuing with his stride. I’ve noticed this in about a half dozen other starts, and it seems to be an effective technique for him in gathering his weight before moving forward — which leads to a more consistent delivery and release point. Obviously, he can’t make that pause with runners on base, but from the windup it looks good and seems to help quite a bit.

Jose Valentin fouled a ball hard off the middle of his shin and fractured his tibia. Now, anyone who has followed this blog knows I’ve been pining for more playing time for Ruben Gotay, but not in a thousand years did I want it to happen this way. Valentin is a hard-playing, all-around ballplayer, and his presence on the field will be sorely missed. It seemed like Valentin was just starting to get back into the groove, after working so hard to come back from the knee injury, and now this. Tough break (pardon the pun) for a good guy.

Chip Ambres was granted his first Major League plate appearance since 2005, pinch-hitting for Feliciano in the top of the ninth. He struck out on a failed check swing.

Next Game

Jorge Sosa faces Brad Penny in a 3:55 PM EST start in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon. We’re going to bank on the theory that Penny is at the start of another second-half slide. Unfortunately, the game will be carried on FOX — so you may want to mute the TV and tune your AM radio to 660.