I heard a rumor that Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski has put an offer on a house down the street from me. Wouldn't it be fun to sit in the driveway, have a few cold ones and chat it up with JoPo? I think so. In fact, I really enjoy Joe's columns. I seem to be in the minority there, however. I also enjoy reading Rob Neyer's comments on the Royals, and he invariable slams Joe for sugar-coating everything. Hey, sometimes I like to read a little sugar.
Joe's column in today's Star is a great one. In it, Posnanski discusses his disgust for all of the advertising in sports these days. Here's a snippet:
Then, there is the latest news that Major League Baseball has decided to put a Spider-Man logo on the bases to promote the movie “Spider-Man 2.” (Starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst! Opening in theaters on June 30!) They say this is an effort to get younger fans involved, a brilliant plan because, as you know, many younger fans were very upset with the general blandness of the bases.
I mean, how many times have you heard kids on skateboards wearing their I-Pods and listening to Hoobastank and Outkast say: “Dawg, who is going to watch a game with all white bases? Unless they get some movie advertising on those sacks, there is no way I'm watching.”
I also seem to be in the minority on the Royals' play-by-play guys. I keep hearing folks (again, Rob Neyer and also Greg Hall) criticize the work of Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefevre, the radio guys for the Royals. Callers to the radio talk shows slammed Denny after opening day, because they felt he wasn't excited enough when Carlos Beltran won the game with a homerun in the bottom of the ninth. I say get a life. Come on. The guy has been doing Royals broadcasts since the team's birth. Everybody knows his style. It's obviously worked well enough to earn him a berth in the Royals Hall of Fame. Live with it. I also hear a lot of criticism of Denny's partner Ryan. I like Ryan. He's knowledgeable, had a good voice to listen to, and has a good rapport with Denny. It's a quality broadcast.
Which differs from the TV broadcast. Bob Davis is a legend in Kansas City sports broadcasting, but I can't stand him. Fortunately, I'm not a big KU fan, or I'd have to listen to his football and basketball broadcasts all winter. He just yells so much. And he over-uses phrases. Next time you watch a Royals game, count how many times he says "oh boy."
But, I'd still rather hear Bob and his partner Paul Splittorf. (this blog is getting pretty negative, isn't it?). Paul is really annoying. He was a great pitcher for the Royals, and obviously knows the game as well as anybody. But his broadcast style is bad. Everything he says is broken up into small phrases, usually 7 words or less. Then he alternates his inflection on these phrases. One ends with his voice going up, the next ends going down. Up. Down.
But have you seen a White Sox game? Their announcer (I only know him as the Hawk, I don't know his name) is terrible. He never says anything. The batter hits the ball, the shortstop fields and throws to first to get the out, and you will hear nothing. After the play, he'll say "one down." On a strike-out of an opposing hitter, he'll throw out this annoying "He Gone!" phrase. Terrible.