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The end of baseball on Fox?
2006-01-22 08:52
by Bob Timmermann

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News is reporting that the exclusive window for negotiations that the Fox network has with MLB is closing and the two sides aren't close on a deal.

I wonder if Bud Selig isn't also using this opportunity to try to get an MLB-owned network as the NFL and NBA have.

But more importantly could we live in a world without Scooter.

2006-01-22 09:40:04
1.   Andrew Shimmin
What a happy thought for a sunny Sunday morning! I visualizing world scooter-lessness.
2006-01-22 09:43:55
2.   Cliff Corcoran
Oh please don't let this be a tease. It would be the crulest tease of all.

Cleaning my basement to move house yesterday I found an old Baseball Weekly from the 1996 playoffs in which the fans were polled about the NBC, Fox, and ESPN broadcasts and FOX ranked dead last in every poll.

Please please please make it stop!

2006-01-22 09:47:05
3.   Bob Timmermann
But then you might end up with Bob Costas telling you why the Division Series and wildcards are evil over and over and over and over.
2006-01-22 09:54:40
4.   Eric Blair
Oh, if only this leads to the end of the Fox exclusive Saturday games - hopefully the next contract (with whomever) allows services like Extra Innings and to broadcast out of market games against the network game.
2006-01-22 10:07:08
5.   Bob Timmermann
But wouldn't a nonexclusive window on Saturday's make any contract far less valuable? That would mean that MLB and Selig would be leaving money on the table, which I believe they are incapable of doing.
2006-01-22 10:11:01
6.   Dingus
My god, I hope so. Bob Costas has said on his HBO show that he now realizes the wild card is a very good thing. He is also a much, much better announcer than Joe Buck or Tim McCarver or Joe Morgan. Please Jeebus, bring MLB back to NBC.
2006-01-22 10:32:07
7.   Andrew Shimmin
Why don't they let the local broadcast team call the national games? Wouldn't it be more fun to hear what San Diego, or Balitmore, or Toronto usually hear, once a week? Seems like it'd be cheeper, too, but what do I know.
2006-01-22 10:39:31
8.   Bob Timmermann
Why, when I was a lad, the World Series would feature announcers from the home team for that game along with the regular network guys.

When ESPN Classic shows Game 7 of the 1965 World Series, the announcers are Ray Scott (zzzzzzzzzzz) and Vin Scully.

I'm being unfair to Scott, who was a great football announcer.

NBC used the local announcers. I believe that once ABC got the contract, they stopped. The call of Fisk's home run in Game 6 of the 1975 Series is by Dick Stockton, who was the Red Sox announcer at the time.

In 1976, NBC used Marty Brennaman and I believe Bill White for the games. The 1977 and 1978 World Series were on ABC so we got to listen to Howard Cosell instead.

2006-01-22 11:15:59
9.   Philip Michaels
The use-the-local-announcer approach was a left-over of the radio days when whichever radio network was carrying the game just tapped the two play-by-plays of the respective teams to handle the call. What this usually meant was a lot of Mel Allen-Red Barber tandems in the 1950s.

The idea, I guess, was that who better than the team's regular play-by-play guy to fill in a national audience about the intricacies of the local nine? There's some appeal to that line of thought, particularly for those of us who've ever had to listen to Tim McCarver pretend he pays attention to any baseball teams outside of the New York-Boston corridor.

Then again, if that idea was put into place for this past World Series, that would have unleashed Hawk Harrelson upon an unsuspecting world.

2006-01-22 11:22:37
10.   popup
Using a local announcer for the World Series broadcasts is good only if the announcer is good. What a pleasure it was for me to be able to listen to Vin on TV back on the East coast during the 1963 World Series.

I would like the radio coverage of the World Series to include at least one broadcaster from a team in the Series. This past year would have been painful because I don't like the broadcasters for either the White Soxs or the Astros. I do think adding a local broadcaster on radio would make the broadcast more distinctive. I like Jon Miller, but for those of us who like to collect W.S. broadcasts, having Jon and Joe Morgan broadcast every World Series game year in and year out is monotonous.

Stan from Tacoma

p.s. I am glad FOX no longer owns the Dodgers and I will be glad if FOX no longer has the baseball contract. I would hope for a better successor for the baseball TV contract than the eqivilant of the McCourts though.

2006-01-22 12:07:19
11.   Bob Timmermann
The 1951 NL playoff of course had Giants announcer Russ Hodges doing the radio and then Dodgers announcer Ernie Harwell working TV.

I believe Mel Allen had some problem during the 1964 World Series broadcast (either his voice gave out or he took too much medication or was just drunk, stories vary) and the Yankees were embarrassed and fired him.

The first World Series I remember seeing was the 1971 one between the Pirates and Orioles. I know NBC brought in Chuck Thompson for the games in Baltimore and I assume that Bob Prince was working the games in Pittsburgh.

When I saw a tape of Game 7 on ESPN classic what struck me as odd was that toward the end of the game, Curt Gowdy and Thompson kept telling people to wait around for NFL games. There was no big postgame show. Just straight from Baltimore to an NFL game in Denver.

This also shows how early in the day the game was played because NBC could fit in the game in the 1 pm ET NFL slot.

2006-01-22 12:40:37
12.   popup
Actually Bob, Harwell was a broadcaster for the Giants in 1951. Harwell left the Dodgers after the 1949 season, creating an opening for you know who.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-01-22 17:11:36
13.   Eric Blair
Yeah, I know a non-exclusive deal for Saturday's isn't likely, for just the reason you mentioned. I know people who pay for whole seasons of EI or were a bit ticked when they found out out-of-town games with playoff implications were unavailable because Fox decided to pick up the Phillies-Nationals game.

Personally, I had two sets of weekend get-togethers scrapped when Fox picked up Nats games at the last minute (something like Tuesday or Wednesday, IIRC). Just a bit annouting.

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