I've been pleasantly surprised by how good TBS's broadcasts have been. I expected decent general coverage but no bells and whistles. Yet TBS's attention to detail has been impressive, moving the coverage from, if you're grading it, B to A. The best examples Sunday were a tight replay of Matt Garza's foot slipping while warming up in the fifth inning, and Garza inserting (and later taking out) cotton in his ears. TBS hasn't missed a thing. And it's those little things that matter.
TBS analyst Harold Reynolds, who has been nothing short of excellent in this series, made a strong point when criticizing how centerfielder B.J. Upton and shortstop Jason Bartlett made a mistake on a fly ball with the bases loaded in the fourth. Upton threw toward third, allowing Ken Griffey to tag up from first. "The infielders should tell (Upton) to go to second,'' Reynolds said. "They've got to be lined up for a throw to second, and Upton has to go to second. That could cost them a run.'' Sure enough, it did. Griffey scored on a hit — a hit he would not have scored on from first.
TBS has gone heavy on replays and light on crowd shots, at least in the Rays series. Traditionally, Fox's lone flaw is too many crowd shots, and perhaps TBS has learned from that. I'd much rather see the look on the batter's or pitcher's face than Joe or Joanne Six Pack in the stands. Fox shows fans to build tension, but the game itself should be enough to do that.
Best line for hope
The Rays lost, but B.J. Upton finished Sunday with a homer and a single. "Upton is starting to get hot,'' TBS's Harold Reynolds said. "That's going to help this lineup.''
“Jason Bartlett has been a difference-maker on this ballclub. Him and (Matt) Garza. They're not here without those two.''
TBS analyst Harold Reynolds