Don’t Tell Me What I Should See
The MLB All-Star game always kicks off a dark time in the sports world. Two days of a viewing void follow, only to lead into another dead cat bounce at the trade deadline and NFL hall-of-fame game that lasts until labor day with College Football’s kickoff.
The game tonight may have welcomed an epiphany, in my opinion. In years past, the Fox broadcast crew has mic-ed up pitchers during the game. There have been plenty of clip-worthy moments because of this technological advancement, but watching Alek Manoah go back and forth with John Smoltz on backdoor sliders and throwing 3 hardo strikeouts with a hit batter mixed in may have been my final straw with the geriatric writers of yesteryear.
There’s no reason that the play-by-play men in the booth can’t be replaced by a permanently mic-ed up platoon of players. Most homegrown announcers tend to fall into the “unwritten rules” crowd as well. As much as I love Greg Brown, Pirates play-by-play guru, he becomes a broken record watching a position player pitch or a pitcher attempt to pick off a base runner too much. Every other week a local radio hothead seems to light up twitter when they complain about a late homerun, stolen base, or aggressive baserunning attempt. Baseball has turned into congress, a group of octogenarians obsessed with their own voice and words, forcing the masses to hear their dated opinions.
Imagine a sudden-death wild-card game where the battery conversations are broadcasted instead of two old timers breaking the game down as if it were in black and white. The all-star game featured Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton wearing wires together, one of the many duos that would be enlightening to listen to. A prime Yadier Molina or Joe Mauer behind the dish telling everyone the intricacies they’re operating on that only they can see. If the league wants to grow the game, this is how they do it.
Forget the “sounds of the game” garbage they tried in a futile attempt to make a Royals and Tigers game more excited. Get kids pumped up listening to Max Scherzer talk about how he wants to bash a hitters head in with a rock. Let us listen to what shit Fernando Tatis or Jazz Chisholm have to talk while rounding the bases. A game 7 with the stars on the call might actually top the excitement of a Thursday night Bears-Broncos type game and increase recruitment and interest that was lost thanks to guys like Kyler Murray.
I challenge you, Rob Manfred, to put Wilson Contreras and Mike Moustakas or Tommy Pham on the call for the Field of Dreams game next month. The only thing that could have made that game better last year would be Aaron Judge and Tim Anderson calling their 9th inning ship-jumpings. When it makes a game of dumpster fire NL Central teams in the middle of Iowa worth watching, you’ll know. Put the power back in the people’s hands. We’re done hearing John Sterling and Suzyn Waldren tell us how amazing the Yankees are according to gilded-age standards. Grow the game or The People will make you regret it.