Monday, May 09, 2005

Announcer gripes

I caught the last few innings of the Yankees/Mariners game, and Rick Sutcliffe's ineptitude bowled me over. Look, it's fine that some analysts are positive, but Sutcliffe never says a negative word about anything or anybody. Tonight, he went out of his way to praise Rey Sanchez, he of the career .308 OBP and .335 SLG, saying "he can do lots of things with the bat for you." No Rick, actually, he can only hit singles. It's bad enough that most local markets have total homer announcers, but when someone on a national broadcast is as marshmallow as Sutcliffe was tonight, it really detracts from the viewing experience. Announcers should assume some degree of unfamiliarity on the part of the viewer. Instead of saying "Rey Sanchez is a guy who can do a lot of things with the bat for you," say "Rey Sanchez is a prototypical no stick/good glove middle infielder who should definitely come in for Robinson Cano in the latter stages of a close game, due to his leather." But Sutcliffe made it sound like Sanchez was coming in for his bat! Granted, even Sanchez is probably better at the plate right now than Cano, but where Sanchez holds a significant advantage is defensively, where he has been 30 runs above average for his career. It probably would have been pertinent to mention Sanchez's career-long defensive success, but alas, Sutcliffe added nothing more.

I realize that's but one example, but I really wish ESPN would get some color guys to be a bit more critical. Joe Morgan plays this role rather well, but his utter dismissal of statistical analysis is a bit strange (especially considering that statistical analysis proves that he was an immortal).


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