A Look AheadNow that the National League and American League Championship Series are in place, the postseason games switch from TBS to Fox. In the Senior Circuit, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies will battle for the National League pennant. Over in the Junior Circuit, the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox will match-up with the Tampa Bay Rays. Here are a few things to look for as the playoffs move to the LCS and World Series.
The postseason attracts a wider audience than a regular season baseball games. As a result, the networks look for stories for grip the non-baseball fan. Obviously, Fox was gearing up for the Chicago Cubs and their 100 years without a World Series title script. Scrap that storyline. I was afraid that Fox had a Ronnie "Woo-Woo" Wickers segment in the can. The networks, especially ESPN, think he is some sort of local icon. Mr. Wickers is a homeless special needs man who needs help, not media attention. I was also bracing for the endless curses they were about to discuss. Since the Angels were defeated, we won't see any shots of the Rally Monkey. No White Sox means no crazy Ozzie Guillen quotes. No Brewers means no "Roll Out the Barrell."
I guarantee Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are hoping for a Boston Red Sox/Los Angeles Dodgers World Series. This match-up is the only one with any storyline. This way the story of the World Series will focus upon Manny Ramirez. The broadcasters will attempt to slant the stories toward Manny Ramirez biting the hand that once fed him, even though that's not really what happened. It will appear that Boston simply traded away Manny. In reality, Manny pouted and moaned during his final years in Boston. Manny has a tendency to sit out, take a few plays off, or simply not try when he feels exceptional pouty, or claim that management doesn't love him enough. Numerous times he's demanded to be traded. Typical Manny.
I am also eager to hear Tim McCarver's myriad statements of the obvious. He'll add gems such as, "The team who scores the most runs will win," and "he'll have to get more guys outs to get out of this inning." I'm sure there's a drinking game somewhere out there. He's usually good for a laugh or two each game. Just look and listen.
One thing to look for is a particular shot the network will always show. Fox will endlessly focus so closely upon players faces, mainly the pitchers. And way too tight. We're talking full frame here. If you have an HDTV, brace yourself for sweat and nose hair. I'm sure it's to show emotion and attempt to demonstrate how the pitcher is studying the game so close and thinking so hard. I hate to blow this for everyone, but the pitcher is looking at the catcher's crotch. Just like a regular season game. The catcher will drop a "1" for a fastball and "2" for a curve.
I almost forgot. Get ready to see a number of stars from the upcoming fall season on Fox. Which hit show will get the most coverage? I'll never forget a few years ago when the entire cast of "That 70s Show" was sitting together. When the games were on TBS, we were slammed with endless promos for "Frank TV."
Just some insight into the next few weeks of baseball.