Just Show Us the Game - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Just Show Us the Game

How does ESPN muck up the televising of baseball games? Let me count the ways. Not only does ESPN disfigure the game screen with that pointless strike zone box and those X marks at the spots where the pitch arrives, they also minimize the picture so they can interview people on various baseball subjects (and non-baseball subjects) in the foreground while the game, often ignored by the broadcasters, goes on in the background. Both of these practice are extreme irritants.

The strike zone box is pointless, as everyone who knows the game knows where the strike zone is. People who don’t know where it is are those who don’t care for the game and aren’t tuned in anyway. The boxes and Xs just cover up an important part of the game and should be banished.

And it apparently hasn’t dawned on ESPN suits that people who tune in baseball games want to see the game. THE GAME! We’re not interested in endless talk about the game by guys wearing ties and using up screen space that should be devoted to the game. Plenty of time for non-game baseball talk, for those with an appetite for it, before and after the game.

I’m trying to watch the Giants/Sawks game on ESPN tonight because I’m interested in both the AL East and NL West races, not because I’m interested in former BoSox ace Pedro Martinez’s recollections, which the two announcers have explored in depth for an entire half inning while the game, in reduced size, was an afterthought.

There are even more, and noisier distractions at ball parks these days than on televised games. Network and team execs seem to think that the baseball game is not of sufficient interest to hold the attention of viewers and attendees. Please believe me. It is.

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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