Here we go again
I swore I was going to stop complaining about the national media referring to the Rays as "Tampa'' and saying the team played in Tampa. But TBS practically begged me to do it one more time. Not even a minute into the pregame show, it had a split screen with game analyst Harold Reynolds and underneath him a graphic that read, "Tampa, FL.'' Assuming Reynolds was really at Tropicana Field, that was an inexcusable mistake. The network recovered by game time and a new graphic correctly read, "Tropicana Field … St. Petersburg, FL.'' Worst insult
TBS pregame analyst Dennis Eckersley didn't make many friends in these parts with a flippant comment before the game when asked about the Rays' dome. "I could care less about that dome,'' Eckersley said. "I like to lay in the sun. That's the only good thing about Tampa.'' Ouch. The only good thing?
Some complained that a Red Sox announcer (Don Orsillo) was assigned to call the Rays series. But no one in TBS's stable of announcers knows the Rays better than Orsillo, who called 18 Rays-Red Sox games this season. And let's give the guy some respect. He's too professional to show any bias, and the proof is in the pudding: He did a splendid job Thursday, showing authoritative insight into the Rays. Also, kudos to analyst Harold Reynolds, who combines humor and insight in a relaxed manner. This might not be considered TBS's top crew on paper, but in reality, it is the network's best team based on the past two days.
TBS's finest moment came during the dustup between Rays reliever Grant Balfour and White Sox batter Orlando Cabrera, when the two exchanged words in the seventh inning. Timely and accurate replays enabled viewers to read lips, even if one of the words was R-rated. "If you didn't think you have a rivalry going, you do now,'' analyst Harold Reynolds said.
"Is it that easy?''
— TBS analyst Harold Reynolds after Evan Longoria hit his second homer in as many at-bats. Best insight
Harold Reynolds, who played most of his career in a dome in Seattle, pointed out that the more people there are inside a dome, the better chance for long balls. "You might say, 'Yeah, right,' but it's true,'' Reynolds said. "The ball is jumping in this place.''
Networks love those blimp shots during the postseason, but blimp shots and a domed stadium don't exactly go together.