Monday, June 29, 2015
As if the All Star Ballot Announcements Couldn't Get Any Worse...
As I've explained multiple times on the blog, I'm not especially happy with what the All Star Game has become this year. For a game that doesn't especially count for anything (except home field advantage in the World Series), there sure is a lot of nonsense swirling about, what with the roster-pumping that the Royals fans have been doing, and the new complicating formula for the Home Run Derby. You guys are forgetting how this is supposed to be fun for the fans, not infuriating.
Last year, I made several 'shame on you's at MLB and ESPN for turning the Roster Announcements, which used to just be both managers posting the rosters online on a Sunday without too much pomp, into a one-hour television spectacle, where Kurkjian and co flaunted their prior knowledge of the rosters to the audience, teasing snippets like 'this is the first of six Athletics on the list. You'll find out the other five later'. As if to say, 'oh, you'll get there soon, audience. It's not like you're the whole reason this event exists or anything.'
And so I defiantly watched that special last year, and dissected every one of its flaws, and there were many, including wasting blocks of time interviewing managers and players when they should simply be GIVING THE DAMNED ROSTERS. It was annoying, and pathetic.
This year, I spent a couple days looking for a date when the rosters would be announced, because it's usually end of June. And I couldn't find one. Better yet, I didn't find a telecast date for the bullshit results show. So I was content. I thought, maybe they learned their lesson, and are going back to just posting them online.
Oh, how naive was I. How stupid. Because today, with the final voting update, MLB.com announced that the results would be revealed on NOT ONE...BUT TWO NIGHTS OF ESPN PROGRAMMING.
That's right. On Sunday the 5th, about a week later than the results are usually announced, ESPN will dedicate THIRTY MINUTES to a special announcing the starting rosters for the NL and AL teams. Just the starting rosters. Padded out by thirty minutes of stalling, interviews with clearly uninterested players, and Tim Kurkjian twirling his eyebrows, going "NANANANANA, I KNOW THE ROSTERS AND YOU DON'T!"
But on Sunday the 6th, ESPN will give an HOUR block to unveiling the rest of the rosters, including pitchers, reserve members, and the candidates for the final man vote. Which means that one and a half hours, over the course of two days, WITH COMMERCIALS...will be used to announce information that could have just been put online.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but MLB has thought of something worse than what they did last year. This means that all the excited baseball fans who want to see the rosters...have to wait through 22 minutes of Esurance ads, and commercials pushing a new taco made entirely from a cow's spleen, just to see the sportscasters run through the rosters in one breath and then ending the telecast before you have time to process it. Or, as Ryan Seacrest calls it, the daily source of his income.
This is not okay. None of this is remotely okay. Now, you could argue that the easiest way to get these rosters is to just...wait until the broadcast is over, and wait for everybody to post the stuff online, so that you don't have to wait for Tim Kurkjian, who I swear is becoming worse than Joe Buck at this point, to shut the hell up. I could do that, but I feel like torturing myself this year.
So I'll watch the damn programs, because obviously that's what MLB wants me to do, and I'll riff the specials, and I'll comment on the rosters. But there is no way in hell that I'll be happy about it. And there is no way in hell I'm gonna be pleased if they decide to go this route again next year, only with a different sponsor, and an even more disgusting Pizza Hut dish to flaunt.