We're almost two whole weeks into the season, so it's definitely time to overreact. We'll finally be heading to Fenway tonight*, but until then, we've only experienced baseball through the magic of TV. No big--we finally joined 2008 and got ourselves some HD--that's how most of us end up watching most of the season. As such, there's been quite a bit of talk lately about televised baseball: the calling of, the filming of, the watching of. We don't consider ourselves experts, per se, but we're pretty dedicated amateurs. Of course we have some advice to impart on the fine folks at NESN.**
No, none of this is new, or groundbreaking, or even particularly unique. But it does come from the heart. Which is, as everyone knows, where pitching comes from.
1. It's too early in the season to be this punchy.
2. Let the Eck take a shift or two. We love Remy with the pureness of only the most Stockholm Syndromed of NESN-viewing fans, but the Eck not only brought us such genius as "the moss" and "hairy cheese," but also just a bit more inside-baseball talk than we get from the regular team. Nothing against the classic combo of the Dawg and the Don-O, but sometimes they're so comfortable bantering, they forget that there's a ballgame happening.
3. Do not--we repeat: DO NOT--film routine fly-outs as if they are (in descending order): game-winning home runs, game-tying home runs, doubles off the Monster, triples in the corner, bloopers, singles, or anything but the absolutely routine out they actually are. We get that sometimes an outfielder--damn you, Ankiel!--is going to make a spectacular play, but more often, a can of corn is just that.
4. Show us the outfielders on each play. One of the things we miss when we're at home instead of the park--besides seven-dollar diet Cokes--is being able to see B.J. Upton yawning with his glove hand held up, just waiting there for the "deep, far, caught" ball that Dustin Pedroia just hit.
5. We get it: you have overhead cameras! And a cartoon blimp! The main upside to watching road games these days is the lack of, "ooh, let's shoot this from overhead!" "okay, now this!" "ooh, and this!" going on. Night baseball at Fenway is really pretty from the air...the first five times. In one night.
6. No, really, Jerry, last week was way too early in the season to start pontificating about Don's wardrobe malfunctions instead of actually following the game. Way. Too. Early. In fact, we'd submit that, right up until the last game of the season, it is always too early.
7. Last but not least, maybe not so much with the weirdly sexist commercials. Have you guys seen the one where the cabbie ditches his fare for Heidi Watney, or the one where the (awesome cause) Run to Home Base is promoted by a posse of girls stretching in Baywatch-style slow motion? Seen them about a hundred times each? We're not being greedy, not asking for Eri Yoshida to get a bullpen spot*** or anything. It would just be nice if you maybe remembered that your baseball audience isn't all bros who wear their failhats backward. You have female viewers! Some of them even care enough to write thousand-word blog posts about their local sports network!
Oh, NESN. You know we only bug you because we love you. Tell Charlie Moore we said hello.
*The weather forecast is promising temperatures in the balmy upper 30s! Who's got spring fever?
**We have advice for the fine folks at ESPN and FOX, too, mostly about firing Joe Morgan and cutting down on the excessive hype around Crosby and Ovech--oh, wait, that's NBC/Versus, never mind. But, since we've only really watched NESN (and other local channels, thanks to Extra Innings: did everyone else already know that sometimes SNY takes calls live on air? Can you imagine what would happen if NESN tried that? George Carlin would blush.) so far this year, we'll hold off on dissing the national networks until we suffer from one of our weekly bouts of writers' block later in the season.
***She may not be ready for a bullpen spot; so how about a buddy cop show with Eri and Wakefield? Knuckleballers united for truth and justice!