I actually don't mind Baseball Tonight. I may be alone here, but I deal with there mindless babble because they cover the games and I ultimately find out what I want to know. That's all that really matters to me.
I just got to read the article and I couldn't agree more. In fact, over the past two seasons, I have found myself just losing interest in Baseball Tonight. I never used to miss it. Now I could care less.
For example, last night the two commentators were Orestes and Vina. I don't know how else to say this, but they suck. Kruk and Phillips are better than them even, but the show has jumped the shark, the second Gammons and Reynolds were no longer part of the lineup. I couldn't even listen to Vina because I was trying to figure out where his tie ended and his "immaculate goatee" began, which by the way has more personality than he does (the goatee that is).
Kruk was fine when Reynolds was there to tell him to shut up or that he was wrong, but now it's true... he's just the loudest. I don't like Orel Hershiser on there either. I'm not sure what it is, but he doesn't have much of a television/sports/news presence.
The solution is to have at least one or two of the insider sportswriters on. I like Kurkjian personally and I always thought he could be Gammons' successor; although nothing could replace Gammons' Diamond Notes... nothing.
What's the deal with the "That's Nasty" segment?
I like Olney too; I don't agree with everything he has to say, but he has a better grasp on what's going on in baseball today than Steve Phillips.
As for replacing Reynolds; I don't know, but you know who I always thought might do well on BSTN? Al Leiter. Anyone?
If you're a battery, you're either working or you're dead....
Baseball Tonight has really lost it over the past few years.... now the question is What can do they do to get it back?
The first thing they can do is go with a 4-person panel. One person would be the host (Ravech is fine for this; he does a decent enough job as a host processing the action). The 2nd and 3rd spots would belong to ex-scouts/GMs/inside writers who would talk about the game using statistical or true insider information. The last spot would be filled by an ex-player. THey could talk about the game and what people are doing wrong/right from personal experience. They could also help the audience to get "into the mind" of a hot or struggling player.
Secondly, they need to stop targeting to the "casual fan" market that they always claim to be targeting to. For SC, this is the right market to target to. For BBTN, they need to target the hardcore fans, the guys who sit around and watch baseball 4-5 hours a day, because this type of fan will watch the show.... in order to do this, the show should be better. It should be about baseball, not just Yanks-Sox, or A-Rod/Bonds/Clemens. They should cover at least all of MLB. In addition, they should do a little bit of talking about minor leagues/college/amateur draft (I realize that within an hour segment this could be tough to do, but I think I have a way to fix this).
Thirdly, make the late evening show (10 PM) and the late-night show(the midnight one) cover different content. Now, I still want to see highlightsd from every game in both segments. However, the 10 PM one could focus more on the east-coast teams and the midnight one could focus more on the West Coast. If you want to get crazy, also do a 2 AM/11 PT show focusing almost completely on West Coast baseball.
Problem is, the "casual fans" that I know love BBTN as it is constructed now. They don't want to hear statistical myths; yelling and screaming nonsense is more interesting to them...