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ALCS Game 7: Two Cents on Rays coverage

The final report card

Judging by reader e-mails, many were not impressed with TBS's coverage of the baseball playoffs and, yes, the technical problems that prevented us from seeing the first inning of Game 6 was both unfortunate and inexcusable. But overall, I'd give TBS a B-plus for its post­season coverage as it turns over the World Series to Fox.

The announcers and production of the actual games were excellent with especially high marks going to Harold Reynolds in the first round and both Buck Martinez and Ron Darling in the ALCS. Game production and direction was spot-on.

The reason to knock the grade down to a B-plus was the studio show, which had good moments but not enough of them. Analysts Cal Ripken and Dennis Eckersley went from being solid to looking uncomfortable to, at times, being a little too relaxed to the point where they looked like they were more interested in talking to one another than the viewers at home.

Best line

TBS announcer Chip Caray, just as pitcher Matt Garza got out of the top of the fourth with the Red Sox leading 1-0: "They got plenty of cowbell, now they need some runs.'' The Rays scored a run in the fourth then another in the fifth.

Dumbest line

Okay, please allow me to nitpick, but TBS's Chip Caray referred to Sunday night's game as a "pivotal Game 7.'' As opposed to what, a meaningless Game 7? But perhaps we should cut Caray some slack considering he always said "Tampa Bay'' instead of "Tampa'' and made sure to always say the team was playing in "St. Petersburg.''

Best support

Wonder if Rays manager Joe Maddon stuck a little too long with starter Matt Garza? TBS analyst Buck Martinez backed Madden's decision to leave Garza in as long as he did.

"The question I used to always ask myself as a manager is, is the guy in the bullpen better than the guy on the mound?'' Martinez said. "And right now, Garza is still better.''

After Garza got out of the seventh-inning tight spot, Chip Caray appropriately called him "Big Game Matt Garza.''

Best news of the night

Hey, at least we don't have to see any more of those Frank Caliendo commercials.

ALCS Game 7: Two Cents on Rays coverage 10/19/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 20, 2008 6:07pm]
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