Open Letter to Bud Selig and Phillip I. Kent


Do you like baseball?  I do.  I know that there have been some issues with the integrity of the game lately, but I would like to "dicuss", to quote last night's broadcast graphic, one that's been overlooked lately and I feel needs to be re-examined.

Turner Broadcasting System's (TBS) coverage of the Major League Baseball Division Series last night was without a doubt the absolute worst coverage of the post-season that I have ever experienced.  I am not just speaking to the Diamondbacks game, though it was easily the worst, but I could not believe the level of ineptitude and ignorance on display from TBS's broadcast teams last night.

The coverage was ripe with technical difficulties, mis or completely uninformed broadcast teams, and discussions and/or information in game that was blatantly and, at times, hilariously off base.  I would like to say that there was an east coast bias, but it went even further beyond.  Did you collect these teams at the last minute?  Did they even watch a baseball game outside of their markets before last night?

I have to ask you both, were the broadcasts last night acceptable to you?  Did it make sense to broadcast your playoff games on a cable network that, while it does do NBA games, has never attempted baseball coverage on this scale before?  Can baseball survive on cable networks alone?

I know that in my local market, here in Phoenix, all of the Diamondbacks games are going to be on the cable sports network next year and I couldn't be more angry about it.  Not because I don't have the network, because I do, but I am absolutely angry over the fact that baseball doesn't get it.  Baseball is supposed to be the sport that is available to anyone and everyone.  That isn't the case when you're only on cable.  Nor is it the case when that cable network seemingly goes out of its way to provide the worst coverage of a sport and a team possible.  Didn't you hear Dick Stockton calling Carlos Marmol, "Carlos Marmot" the whole time he was pitching?  What a disgrace.  To top it off, I live in "Phoeniz, Az".

I understand that there's a money aspect to this deal, and that's fine.  I don't support Major League Baseball's greed, but I understand that everyone in this country is entitled to make their money.  I just really, really wish that you wouldn't impact my ability to enjoy this sport and my local team in the process.

Mr. Selig, you should be absolutely disgusted by last night's coverage.  You not only represent the owners of Major League Baseball, but you are the final voice of the fans in these matters.  You must voice our displeasure.

Mr. Kent, you should be absolutely disgusted by last night's coverage.  I have never, ever, in my life witnessed a network destroy, so completely, everything that our national past time has built up to in a complete season in a single night.  Every single member of these broadcast teams should be fired.  I would recommend that you start off replacing them with people that, I don't know, may have watched a baseball game outside of New York City this year.

Lastly, I am going to listen to Game 2, tonight, on the radio, as well with the rest of this series. I will not support this destruction of my favorite sport. Perhaps I'll see you again when the series returns to Fox or some other network that has shown they can cover a sport intelligently.

Ben Janusch

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