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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Bartman’

Awful Announcing Final Pits James vs. Buck

Awful Announcing‘s tournament to determine who will replace former Sunday Night Baseball commentator Joe Morgan on AA‘s Mt. Rushmore of bad announcers has been narrowed down to two — ESPN college football commentator Craig James and Fox announcer Joe Buck.

As Matt Yoder of AA explains, James’ presence in the finals is due largely to the groundswell of negative publicity that the former SMU running back has generated in regards to the Mike Leach controversy at Texas Tech. To summarize, ESPN college football reporter Bruce Feldman was temporarily relieved of his duties — but NOT suspended — by ESPN for assisting Leach in his book, Swing the Sword, which was highly critical of ESPN in its handling of Leach’s departure from the Red Raiders – in particular, allegations that Leach mistreated Adam James, son of Craig James.

When we started this tournament July 5th, few people would have predicted ESPN college football analyst Craig James for one final slot. However, a month of horrible PR came from nowhere for the Senator thanks to stunning revelations in the new Mike Leach book combined with the #FreeBruce saga. Those stories lifted James to unprecedented heights of unlikability. In the final he meets Fox play by play man Joe Buck, who in spite of winning some sympathy through battling a vocal cord virus, has rode a wave of years of discontent from sports fans through to the final. Let’s hope the final will be just as dramatic as the Colin Cowherd-Joe Buck semifinal, where Buck passed Cowherd in the final two minutes before the clock struck midnight and won by 33 votes out of 12,635.

Either James or Buck will join Pam Ward, Dick Vitale or Tim McCarver on AA’s Mt. Rushmore. Good luck to the contestants.

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What We Miss When We Get Our Sports News From the Internet

SI.com soccer scribe Steve Davis is over in London on vacation. He’s checking out some football and enjoying the coverage of the sport in the papers.

He reports back with an interesting observations. Namely, the depth of coverage in the English sports pages. In other words, the little things you miss when you get all your sports news online.

You get the big enchiladas (the major stories) [when you read online] but you miss the hell out of the fixin’s. You miss the 400-word piece and accompanying chart on Mario Balotelli’s touches in a barren afternoon at Upton Park. (22 touches over 61 minutes, most with little menace). You might miss the piece on Joey Barton being probed by the FA over obscene gestures made toward Liverpool’s Fernando Torres. You miss the Kenny Dalglish page (Voice of a Legend!) and all the little trinkets that includes. You miss so much!

Sports journalism, it’s always said, thrives on the Internet. And that’s true. But as Davis points out, sometimes it’s important to check out what your missing in the printed product.

Let’s Not Fall All Over Ourselves Calling Cliff Lee A Working-Class Hero

Monday night, Cliff Lee shocked the world by announcing he was spurning millions offered by the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers to rejoin a Philadelphia Phillies squad he led to the World Series before departing on terms that were less than Brotherly Love.

The pitcher agreed to a five-year, $120 million contract, a dollar figure that’s somewhere between 20 and 30 percent less than what the Yankees and Rangers offered. SI.com’s Joe Lemire wants to make him a saint.

“And the notion of baseball-player-as-mercenary has taken a hit, as a man who could have made history with the second-largest contract ever given to a pitcher instead rejected that offer to play where he felt most comfortable. It’s a move surely to be wildly popular not just among Philadelphia fans but also throughout baseball – except, of course, in Texas and New York, who are now scrambling for backup plans.”

On one hand, sure. On the other, please, please spare us.

Pardon our Scott Boras-inflected French, but $120 million is still a sh*tload of money. Will Lee’s choice bother people in the Bronx and Arlington? Of course. But will it alter the paradigm of baseball players choosing money over a “good situation?” Heck no. And will it alter the perception of fans? Not even a little bit.

Lee choose between making a ton of money and making a ton of money. Call us when he plays for free.