Saturday, September 29, 2007

End of an Era

Sunday, September 30, 2007, will mark the end of an era -- Atlanta Braves baseball will no longer appear on TBS. The network will abandon the one thing that helped build its reputation in order to begin broadcasting a package of games from around the league.

It's a sad day for Braves fans, especially those of us you live outside of Atlanta. I grew up there as a Braves fan in the "lean" years, when they were one of the worst teams in the league, and I was in college in Tennessee (a mere two hours away, and they still rooted for the Braves there) when they went from "worst to first" and began their run of fourteen consecutive division titles.

And now that I live in Texas, I continue to follow the Braves from afar by watching them on TBS. But that will officially end after tomorrow's telecast, and I'm ticked off. TBS is the only network that airs Braves games with any regularity. I'll hardly be able to see them at all now.

As for ESPN's coverage of their games, I can barely stand to watch. Or, more to the point, to listen. Joe Morgan, the ESPN analyst and Hall of Fame player, clearly can't stand the Braves and constantly finds reasons to criticize the team. And, of course, he's also just one of the worst baseball commentators on TV. If you don't believe me, just check out Fire Joe Morgan for plenty of proof.

And lest I seem like I'm picking on ESPN, Fox's Saturday baseball telecast features an equally inept former player turned broadcaster -- Tim McCarver, another Braves-hater.

LIke I said, it's a sad day. I'll be watching the Braves tomorrow, even though they're out of the postseason race and not playing very well at the moment. As I tried to explain to my nine year old daughter last week, when she asked why I rooted for a team that lost a lot (we were talking about the Atlanta Falcons; don't get me started on that subject), "Honey, that's just what you do when you're a fan."

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