Purgatory Online

Thursday, October 10, 2002

One of the most bizarre things about making it this far into the postseason has been the sudden raft of human-interest stories surrounding the Angels (and, I've no doubt, the Twins, Cardinals, and Giants). Brendan Donnelly is "homeless." Ortiz's father is sick. Frankie Rodriguez grew up poor and parentless. And a couple of days ago, we had a really sappy story from the L.A. Times about the deaths of various parents of the coaching staff.

Probably the worst offenders, of course, have been the FOX people. It's ironic that after 162 games of knowledgeable commentary from ESPN broadcast teams and entertaining homerism from Rex Hudler, we're now forced to endue terrible color and play-by-play, the dimwit babblings of the anchors, and the mushy, slo-mo vignettes about trial and heartache on the road to the pennant. Every game should be done by ESPN announcers and shown on FOX. Work it out, people. At least then we'd hear people talking about the game.

FOX is clearly trying to do to the baseball playoffs what always gets done to the NCAA tournament and the Olympics - they're so terrified that people won't watch unless they have some human interest story to cause them to root for particular teams or players. They're also obviously trying to generate some of that tournament hysteria associated with the NCAAs, primarily by displaying those ludicrous "brackets" whenever they go to an anchor segment.