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Baseball Tonight Launches Newest Drinking Game Sensation
2007-05-26 10:17
by Scott Long
Notes:
Scott Long is now blogging at NSFWsports.com.
Will Carroll can still be found at Baseball Prospectus.

When ESPN went looking for a replacement for Harold Reynolds on Baseball Tonight they had a lot of choices to pick from. While Reynolds was by no means great, he did have a certain kind of telegenic charisma which is hard to find in a former jock. It would seem like ESPN decided the best way to fill his absence was to plug in a former MLB second baseman, with a likeable personality. Up popped Eric Young.

 

After his first couple of nights, I felt Young was the worst analyst I had ever heard on ESPN, but I decided to wait a while before I wrote a review on him, as I wanted to give him a chance to grow into the job. Well, Young has gotten better, as now I would rate him above the dismal hire of 2006, Tino Martinez. (scroll down on this link to read my thoughts on Tino)

Being better than Martinez does not mean you are good, though. Here is something I wasn't ever expecting to write in my lifetime; Baseball Tonight really misses Harold Reynolds. (The exception to this is when Orel Hershiser is on, as he and Steve Stone are the best analysts in baseball.)

I have figured out a way to make Eric Young nights somewhat fun. Next time EY is on, listen to how he starts almost every sentence with "I tell you what." It really is amazing that a professional broadcaster could continue to do this 2 months into his career. To make the most of this inarticulate style, ESPN needs to promote the Baseball Tonight Drinking Game. Every time that Eric Young says "I tell you what" it's time to do a shot.

Maybe Jagermeister and Red Bull could sponsor the promotion? Actually, the show would really be fun, if everyone on set would drink as well. I could see John Kruk high-fiving EY everytime he says it, as you know he must be able to slam it down. A few jager-bombs and I bet Tim Kurjian would really loosen up. I have to guess that if you go by the first name of Buster (Olney), you might not be Frank the Tank, but you have to be able to hold your own. Have Steve Phillips bartend, as he would look good flipping drinks like he was in Cocktail.

Unless Peter Gammons is on-set, does anyone watch Baseball Tonight for insight into the game? Considering the time it generally airs, a good portion of its viewers are males 18-25, so why not go balls out and really try to appeal to its demographic. If MLB teams serve alcohol in its locker rooms after games, why not truly embrace it. I tell you what it sure makes sense to me.

Comments
2007-05-26 11:55:55
1.   chris in illinois
Sounds good!!

I tell you what, as the father of three kids (and one on the way) I rarely need a reason to drink, but that seems inspired.

2007-05-26 12:18:29
2.   Cliff Corcoran
Indeed, the BBTN "insight" usually just gets in the way. When I do watch it, it's to get all of the highlights in one place. It's like checking video box scores, nothing more.

That said, I'm sorry to read such a dismal report on the verbal skills of one of MLB's rare Rutgers grads.

2007-05-26 18:47:44
3.   JoeyP
I stopped watching baseball tonight about 6-7 years ago. Generally, I only depend on TV sports shows to see highlights. I dont need to be told whats happening and why its happening. Its baseball. Not rocket science. ESPN News with Brian Kenny/Hot List is the only news program that I'll occcasionally watch on their networks.

ESPN has done to sports the last couple years, what MTV did to music starting about 10 years ago. They began putting their on-air personalities ahead of the product they were reporting on/using, and it led me at least to tune out.

I therefore watch neither anymore.
If I want videos, I watch FUSE or one of the specific 24 hr video channels.
If its sports commentary, I read the internet.

2007-05-27 09:24:30
4.   Greg Brock
I just realized I've only watched Baseball Tonight once or twice all season.

But, when a Dodger does something awesome during a game, I do flip over to ESPN to see if BBTN does an in-game update. Just to see what their saying about my club.

2007-05-27 22:30:38
5.   cjrollo
OK, I simply must ask....Greg Brock, did you choose your name in honor of the former Dodger/Brewer, or are you in fact said former Dodger/Brewer?
2007-05-28 13:50:00
6.   Greg Brock
5 In honor of...If you can call it that.
2007-05-28 22:56:53
7.   Voxter
as he and Steve Stone are the best analysts in baseball

Last year, the ESPN broadcasts that had Stone, Hershiser and Steve Phillips (so help me) were awesome. I love Steve Stone. Of course, given someone with insight and a good television personality, ESPN exiled him to radio for the playoffs. Now he seems nowhere to be found.

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