How to Cook Oakland

Thursday, April 14 2005 @ 01:42 AM EDT

Contributed by: Joe

Or, their first home win, at least: Oakland 6, Jays 3.

Mix players with fans in large Coliseum-sized bowl. Quickly add pitcher's duel (less than 1 hour, 15 minutes). Sprinkle in miscues and garnish with homer announcers. Serve Pacific-style.

The Oakland announcers are homers, and it was never more apparent when they called Reed Johnson's home run. I tuned in just before Sparky hit it out, and on contact, my instincts said, "It's gone." Watching the outfielders I knew it was gone. But the announcers made me doubt it with their presentation. Robert Dudek thought so too:

robertdudek - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#111372)
Holy mackinaw. Sparky absolutely crushes one to centre and the tone of the A's TV commentary would be approapriate if he popped up to shallow right field.

I positively hate morose announcers. The only thing worse than that is Harrelson (who does the White Sox games): he goes overboard when the Sox do something good and has a completely flat-toned delivery when something good happens for the Sox opponents.
I don't have any particular problem with announcers cheering for the home team (although it'd be nice for some reaction to a good hit or play on the opposing side); after all, it's who you see every day. It's natural to want them to win. But they're also—well, "laid back," to put it politely. Chuck, who also describes them as "an inch away from a coma," elaborates:
Chuck - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#111395)
Gitz, who are the A's announcers? I'm thinking of recording the play-by-play guy for nights that I have insomnia. I've got the Clockwork Orange eyelids-pried-open thing going just to stay awake watching this one.
The final reason I'm glad I watch most of my games on Sportsnet is that Jamie Campbell (Batter's Box's very only gv27) isn't afraid to correct himself. I counted a couple of times the A's announcers started with one assumption, were proven wrong by the replay, and then continued as if they'd said what the replay showed from the beginning. According to Nolan, they went even further than that:
Nolan - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:50 PM EDT (#111412)
Great pitch by Bush to strike out Ginter on the inside of the plate. However the announcers were convinced that it was a ball even after the replays showed it clearly crossing the plate. Even after seeing the replay, it was simply that "Zaun did a good job bringing it into the strike zone." Ah, admit it when you make a mistake. i don't mind a little bit of homerism, but not at the expense of reliability.
As for the game itself—well, you can't win them all. My housemate Stephen said it best: "If you're going to win 2 out of 3 games in every series, you're going to do pretty well." I'd be okay with a .666 winning percentage.

I don't think the Jays will achieve that—hell, the Yankees won't even achieve that—but I am gratified that, in the early going, they're showing the preseason critics that they're not the 3rd worst team in baseball. That said, I'm a little bit worried about a few players. Frasor, in particular; I worry that his first-half success of last year was a mirage. I worry about what will happen once the league adjusts to Hinske. Hell, I worry about what will happen if and when Delgado comes to the Rogers Centre. Will the fans cheer him (as they should)? Or, like the fickle people they've shown themselves to be in the past, will they boo the greatest player in Jays history?

All that aside, let's enjoy the ride while we can. My greatest hope for April is that the Jays return home after a very successful road trip, winning or splitting every series, and find Rogers Centre full of enthusiastic fans who want to cheer their heads off. A little goodwill from fans in April will go a long way towards a good 2005 season for the Jays.