I have been a Mets and baseball fan all my life. Some of my earliest memories are watching the Mets lose to the Oakland A’s in the 1973 World Series. I have other great memories of watching the Mets games and Kiner’s Korner with Ralph Kiner on Channel 9 (WOR) and listening to Bob Murphy on 660 WFAN (The nations 1st all sports talk show). I remember rooting for players like Ed Kranepool, Wayne Garrett and Bud Harrilson when the Mets were a bad team, and players like Cary Carter, Daryll Strawberry and Keith Hernandez when they were a good team and won the 1986 World Series.
Year after year I have watched the Mets on TV and Listened to the Mets on the radio, and I can’t remember one time thinking “The game is way to long”, or “The game is way to slow”. Today, you won’t see me saying “Pete Alonso flied out to left, but he had a good exit velocity and launch angle”, or “Did you see when Brandon Mino ran 32 ft. in 3.5 seconds and almost got to that fly ball”
This leads me the TV Coverage for the start of the 2022 MLB Season.
The Mets 1st game was on SNY NY and was a joy to watch. The broadcasting crew of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling have been doing Mets together for the past 16 Years and are always entertaining. their knowledge of the Mets (Gary did Mets games on Radio before moving to TV, and both Keith and Ron played for the Mets and were part on the 1986 Championship team), and baseball in general make it a great watch.
The Mets 2nd Game was on Apple TV+ as part of a new deal signed with MLB. Lets just say is did not go well. Besides the issues with streaming (low quality, choppy and pixelated), the overall broadcast just seemed 2nd rate. The graphics looked old and tired, and then they put up these crazy statistics on things like % to get a hit, or % to get and RBI. Total worthless and meaning less. Imaging watching a Football game and every play they tell you the odd of getting a 1st down, or odd of scoring. The great things about sports (especially baseball) is the randomness and craziness of things that can happen at any time. None of these is based on statistics. Would you have ran out a places a bet if you were told the odds of Steven Kwan going 5 for 5 within his 1st 5 games was 5,000 to 1. I feel this kind of takes away from the game. Just let them play and announce what’s happening.
Only watched a little of the ESPN Monday Night Game between the Yankeed and the Rd Sox There were 2 separate broadcasts, the normal one (Which was not that good) and the KROD broadcast with Alex Rodrigues and Michael Kay trying to cash in on the success of the Monday Night Football Manning cast, where Peyton and Eli watched and commented on the game. It kind of worked for football, but not that much for baseball. I will be interesting to see how it does for this weeks Atlanta Braves / San Diego Padres game. My bet would be not as well as they think – Maybe Apple TV+ can put up odds of the upcoming Sunday ratings being better or worse than their Friday Night Game this week (Tampa Ray’s vs Chicago White Sox)
In general with all the watching options (Local TV, Cable Networks, ESPN, Apple TV+, Peacock) they have watered down the on-air and behind the scenes talent. Like all professions, there are the top who are really good at what they do, and the bottom, who need time to better there craft (It they really care and have the desire). You cant have 5+ different broadcast teams and expect them all to be great. But with all the money invested, you do have the right to expect them to be half-way decent.
Hopefully every service gets better as the season goes on, and I can get back to watching (and enjoying) the coverage of the Mets and baseball in general. Its a great sport on its own, so let be
More thoughts to come soon