Rockies/Diamondbacks Non-Gamewatch

I can’t ever recall not watching a playoff series in my lifetime, but I have no interest in the NLCS 2007 edition. Look, I don’t begrudge the 2 teams achievement, but this series just doesn’t engage me. I really don’t like the D-Backs, as they are an expansion team which has already won a world championship. Phoenix is a city which has a dubious interest in their club, since so many of its residents are snowbirds who follow their past home first. The Rockies are a better story because of the mile high air battle which has been at the center of the team’s history. I hope they win, but this series is bad for baseball, as 2 small market, expansion teams are going to bring little interest to casual fans who know nothing about them.

In the comments section, please offer up what you are doing or watching instead of the NLCS. Are you watching The Office, Survivor, or Grey’s Anatomy? How about catching up on the new season of Dexter which is in your DVR? Maybe you are hitting basic cable going with AMC’s Mad Men, Bravo’s Top Chef, or the Travel Channels’ No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain? Strange as it might sound, you might not even be in front of TV, but instead reading the latest Chuck Palahniuk’s latest novel or catching Springsteen on tour. I will be doing comedy for a bunch of animals in Rockford, Illinois, so I will try to live blog that as well.

Oh and if you are really into the game, go to Bad Altitude, as Mark’s site is one of the best baseball blogs on the web and deserves your traffic.

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I have gotten quite a few emails in regards to Frank Caliendo’s spots during the baseball playoffs. I am still a writer for the NFL on Fox sketches, but I had nothing to do with the promo spots for his new sketch show.  I thought the spots were really funny, but even constant commercials for Jessica Alba in a new movie can get old after too many viewings. Oh and if you got tired of watching so many spots about the Frank show, just think how maddening it could have been if they were for the Frank Thomas show.  Big Hurt not good in studio. If you want to read Frank’s thoughts on the subject, check out his blog

37 thoughts on “Rockies/Diamondbacks Non-Gamewatch

  1. 1.  “this series is bad for baseball, as 2 small market, expansion teams are going to bring little interest to casual fans who know nothing about them…”
    –Yankee fan here, but I have to disagree. Sucking up to casual fans is not something baseball needs to do: baseball needs to stop pissing off its core audience with crappy, ignorant TV coverage.
    –Oh, and just to be even more disagreeable šŸ™‚ the Caliendo spots are terrible: a few decent impressions, but painfully, painfully unfunny material: and that was my reaction the FIRST time I saw them…

  2. 2.  I’m never as into the NL as the AL, and with the Red Sox alive that contrast in interest between the two leagues increases exponentially. But I’d probably watch at least some of the game tonight if I had cable, which I don’t. The fact that the playoff games are not on regular TV is bad for baseball, but I’m not so sure that two relatively small-market teams that feature an abundance of home-grown talent is bad for baseball in the long run. Teams always follow the leader, so having the Rockies and Diamondbacks get this far might mean that teams will try to imitate their reliance on patiently developing good talent from within, a good trend for baseball and for the fans of small-market teams (who are given hope) and fans of big-market teams (who are more likely to see their teams hang on to young talented players rather than deal them for overpriced free agents) alike.

  3. 3.  “Oh and if you got tired of watching so many spots about the Frank show, just think how maddening it could have been if they were for the Frank Thomas show. ”

    The Frank Thomas Show features Frank performing a series of impersonations and sketches that end with him suffering a debilitating foot injury.

  4. 4.  Scott, I think you really overestimate the interest that casual fans have in big-city clubs. Casual fans tend to root for their home team, period. If it were the Phillies and Chicago in the NLCS, the difference in interest would chiefly come from those two cities.

    An opportunity on the national stage for a team that has never gotten it before? I’d say that’s good for baseball.

    And why does not being one of the original 16 teams mean we shouldn’t care about them?

  5. 5.  I’d pay 100 bucks right now to not have the Mets and Yankees in the Playoffs for the next ten years—hell, just NEXT YEAR.

    If I never hear that goon sing God Bless America again, it’ll be too soon.

    I’d have preferred a Cub-Philly match-up, Cubs are local and I know a Philly, but this series has its merits as well.

  6. 6.  I’m really hard core, I’ll only watch postseason baseball if it features a National League team that was around in 1876.

    Since the Cubs and Braves are out, I’m done. You’ll never know how sad my family was when the Hartford Dark Blues moved to Brooklyn in 1877.

    It was like our hearts had been ripped out.

    I hate Morgan Bulkeley!

  7. 7.  I’ll take NL baseball over the AL any day of the week. Making the pitcher hit adds much more late inning strategy. That coupled with the fact I’m a Dodger fan, I’m excited about this NL West NLCS matchup. The D-Backs are probably the second most boring team to watch in baseball, barely trailing the Padres in that category. The Rockies are definitely one of the more exciting teams to watch and they’re having a lot of fun right now. Rockies vs. Red Sox world series would be enjoyable.

  8. 9.  I like the idea of World Series games in Coors Field. The Rockies are a great story, too. Eff the Bostons, though. Eff the AL. Bunch of poseurs.

  9. 10.  I’m an NL guy, but watching pitchers ‘hit’ sucks and the majority of the late inning ‘strategy’ that it adds is so obvious that my mom nearly always can predict what the manager will do (as I’ve discussed before).

    If pitchers are ‘supposed to hit’ why not make third basemen pitch an inning??

  10. 11.  I have much more interest in the Rockies/Diamondbacks series than the Red Sox/Indians series. This blog entry reeks heavily of east coast banter. I will be watching as much of both series as possible and have ZERO interest in watching any of the other TV shows that you listed… not this week, this month or ever in my life time.
    vr, Xei

  11. 12.  No, this is bad for TBS’s ratings, but still good for baseball. It’s revealing that even if your manager is trigger happy with position player bunting, if you have the talent and a good run, you can be successful.

    If anything, this series is good for baseball because it’s not on FOX. Tim McCarver is terrible.

    Here’s what I would consider things that are bad for baseball:

    fixing games
    steroids
    bad broadcasters
    DUI

  12. 13.  12 – correction, this is bad for TBS’ ratings compared to Phillies-Cubs, but not compared to reruns of decade-old sitcoms, of which much of their usual programming lineup consists.

  13. 14.  The NLCS is going to be great. The only reason the casual fan wouldn’t be interested is because ESPN and Fox insist on showing only the Yankees and Red Sox all year. There would be huge levels of interest if baseball coverage all year had shown how good the Rockies are overall and highlighted Webb and the Dbacks good young players.

  14. 15.  I’ll be watching the Office. But ONLY because I don’t have cable. Otherwise, Rockies/Diamondbacks would be on all the way.

    Here’s my take… I think it’s GOOD for baseball when smaller market teams make it to the big stage. And for anyone who loves the actual game, I think it’s good for them too.

    The only thing this series is bad for is the media. But since I don’t get my paycheck from the networks, I say all hail the small market teams (well, unless the dodgers are in the mix).

    Fundamentally, I think the media has created their own problem here. By overhyping the Sox-Yankees rivalry over the years – beyond what it was on its own – and by focusing on a few teams (largely east coast), when one of those teams isn’t in the big series, ratings plummet. Their own fault, in my opinion.

    The best thing for baseball at this point is to have the Rockies take it all. Wow, I never thought I’d say that, but with their story, I am getting excited and I’ve never been a rockies fan before.

  15. 16.  As a die-hard Rockies fan, I feel no desire to explain to you and others why they should watch this series. I also feel no need to be the bigger man, so I cheerfully write the following:

    “I’m Scott Long, blah blah blah.”

    Thank you for your time.

  16. 17.  I completely get the blah blah blah from rockie fans. I think it aweome what has happened for you. Congrats.

    A little background is that I generally have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about being seen as a flyover state citizen. I root against the yankees and cubs and have come to dislike the red sox, as their fans finally win a series and have become more obnoxious.

    I love baseball and want more casual fans to embrace it. I think it’s cool when there is a cinderella story, but to have 2 of them play each other, especially without one nationally known player on their roster, I think doesn’t connect with more people. (Webb and Holiday are great players, but they are virtual unknowns to most casual fans)

    Look, I understand that the readers here are baseball fanatics. What I’m getting at here is the great playoffs that occurred up until 2005. Last year was a disappointment, with an average Cards team catching fire and now is the possibility of the D-backs, who were a team outscored by their opponents during the regular season, winning it all. A team like the Marlins, who the city is fiar-weathered at best about taking the ultimate prize.

    History is important in baseball. Rockies/d-backs baseball enthuses few outside of baseball fanatics and people in the Rocky Mountain states. Hey, they got here, so the organizations deserve kudos and their fans should be thrilled. I just don’t like seeing a sport I love so much end up with a matchup with historically low ratings. Don’t just blame ESPN or Fox, as I here no one talking about the NLCS.

    I’m generally a traditionalist when it comes to the game, but I say take the balls out of the humidor, as this sweies needs some extra pyrotechnics to spur mre interest.

    (Note: I thumbed this out on my sidekick, so I apologize for any errors.)

  17. 18.  (Webb and Holiday are great players, but they are virtual unknowns to most casual fans)

    I mean how casual of a fan are talking about here? Webb was the Cy Young winner last year and Holliday has been mashing for a couple of years now and is one of the front runners to be the MVP in the NL.

    Smaller market teams will generally have lower TV ratings. You dislike the Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs. I wonder what kind of playoff matchup could possibly make you happy. I think it’s great to get some new blood into the playoffs, it is healthy for baseball. I for one like the fact that three of the four remaining GMs in the playoffs all worked in the Cleveland organization under Hart, back when the Indians had their previous playoff runs. They all seem to be “Moneyball 2.0” GMs along with the other GM 33-year old Theo Epstein. It’s a direction in philosophy I’d like to see my favorite (LAD) team take.

    I respectively just don’t agree at all with your take. Enjoy Survivor China, Entertainment Tonight, and Wonder Years reruns tonight.

    vr, Xei

  18. 19.  I can ask the casual baseball fan who albert pujols or scott rolen is and they would know. They are not on east or west coast media teams, but Fox or ESPN would include them in their promos. Webb or Holiday have a chance to get there after the world series. I know it’s blasphemy for many here to look at the game like a marketer, but the game has had good momentum in the playoffs through 2005 and I’m afraid whover the NL puts up this year, especially against an Indians team whose most recognizable player is Kenny Lofton would be a major blow to this progress.

    Many Baseball fanatics groan about playoff games appearing on cable. This year isn’t going to help change this from continuing.

  19. 20.  I hope they win, but this series is bad for baseball

    Easily the dumbest thing I have ever seen written here. You are entitled to your opinion, but there is a far more compelling argument that having successful teams outside the New York/Boston/Los Angeles axis is much more important to the health of baseball than catching the fancy of some contingent of the notional “casual fan”.

  20. 21.  Scott, I think your error is in assuming that what is best for the ratings automatically equals what is best for baseball. In fact, there are a lot of other factors aside from ratings which I think make this series a good one for the long-term health of the game. For one thing, it might help establish more fervent fan bases in Phoenix and Denver, where the fans have generally been, uh, casual fans at best.

    But the ratings for this series mean next to nothing. I mean, TBS has already signed the contract with MLB. Baseball is getting the same amount of money out of it no matter what. Sure, low ratings here might result in a worse negotiation position next time the postseason contract comes up for renewal, but that is several years away and by then a few more NLCSs will been played, and will be far more of a factor than this year’s will be.

  21. 22.  19 “I can ask the casual baseball fan who albert pujols or scott rolen is and they would know.”

    And how do they know? Because they saw them play on TV in the NLCS or World Series. Which is why next year when you ask the question, they will know who Matt Holliday and Brandon Webb are. And what’s wrong with that?

  22. 23.  So far what I’ve gotten out of this discussion iare the following.

    1. NL West fans hate me for my comments. I guess I understand that. Fair criticism.

    2. People are happy the yankees lost. I can feel that, as well.

    3. 3 of the 4 GM’s were understudy’s for John Hart. I forgot about this and I do think that is cool.

    4. A man who uses the moniker ‘scareduck’ says I just wrote the dumbest thing he has ever read in Toaster history. Now that is way out of line. Did you not read when I predicted the White Sox to win 87 games at the start of the season?

  23. 24.  Eric, I think your comments make sense. My feeling is one that comes from baseball reaching younger generations and not losing more ground to other sports. When the Yankees play someone else, they give a rooting interest to everyone watching. Other major market teams create similar, but less intense reactions. If you are not a NL West fan who are you supposed to connect with in this series?

    In football or basketball, the cinderella works better, as you only invest yourself in watching one game. A 7 game series between the d-backs and rockies has about as much interest to casual fans as the NHL.

    This series could be great theatre, but you’ve got to get someone to open the picture. This isn’t the time for Independent spirit awards, as TBS has a big budget flick and they don’t have anyone to promote it with.

    The reason most national sports talk radio rarely discusses baseball outside of the red sox and yankees is because it doesn’t create any calls. No passion there. If the Yankees, Dodgers, or Cubs were still involved, traffic at the Toaster would be booming. I’m not saying these teams winning it all is best for baseball, but when you have 2 nationally unknown teams, it creates a virtual media blackout.

    This is not good for the overall status of the game.

  24. 25.  Eric, I think your comments make sense. My feeling is one that comes from baseball reaching younger generations and not losing more ground to other sports. When the Yankees play someone else, they give a rooting interest to everyone watching. Other major market teams create similar, but less intense reactions. If you are not a NL West fan who are you supposed to connect with in this series?

    In football or basketball, the cinderella works better, as you only invest yourself in watching one game. A 7 game series between the d-backs and rockies has about as much interest to casual fans as the NHL.

    This series could be great theatre, but you’ve got to get someone to open the picture. This isn’t the time for Independent spirit awards, as TBS has a big budget flick and they don’t have anyone to promote it with.

    The reason most national sports talk radio rarely discusses baseball outside of the red sox and yankees is because it doesn’t create any calls. No passion there. If the Yankees, Dodgers, or Cubs were still involved, traffic at the Toaster would be booming. I’m not saying these teams winning it all is best for baseball, but when you have 2 nationally unknown teams, it creates a virtual media blackout.

    This is not good for the overall status of the game.

  25. 26.  24 David vs. Goliath is interesting, David1 vs. David2, eh, not so much? There are two heroes in this story, but no villain.

  26. 27.  i just love seeing chris in illinois…

    hey dude, how ’bout them Illini?!

    Scott..you didn’t do the promos, but are you going to be involved in the show?

    In rainbows, dude. Awesome! Review time?

    There is SO much good music out there right now, too bad radio is dead. God bless the ‘net.

  27. 28.  The reason most national sports talk radio rarely discusses baseball outside of the red sox and yankees is because it doesn’t create any calls.

    The reason why most of national sports radio rarely discusses baseball outside of the Red Sox and Yankees is because all they talk about is the Red Sox and Yankees.

    I watch a lot of ESPN. I love that the network exists. But ESPN covers two teams: the Yankees and the not-Yankees a.k.a. Red Sox. The folks at Fox are even worse.

  28. 29.  I did a show at bar tonight. Over 100 people at the show and the club had a TV that faced me and didn’t face the audience. I had them turn the game on, so I could catch the game while doing my act. Amazing to some that I might be able to multi-task, but it is possible. Especially since the game was so dull, outside of the 7th inning. Really, I love Mark and think he is a great writer, but I would suspect that Peter King speaks more for the average fan than Mr Donahue does on the subject. By the way, Peter King is big baseball fan and a great writer. Ask my buddy Will Carroll, if you don’t believe me.

  29. 30.  Suffering Bruin. They do the research. Sports radio knows that the only national baseball teams are the red sox and yankees. Hey, I live in Indianapolis, which is only 2 hours from Cincy, 3 hours from US Cellular, 3.5 from Wrigley, 4 hours from St. Louis and Detroit, 5 hours from Cleveland and Pittsburgh. None of these teams get play any more on talk radio, unless they make the playoffs, as football and some basketball is the main topic. This goes on in most places in America that don’t have a major league team. This is why ESPN, etc. cover the Yankees and Red Sox to exclusion of other deserving teams.

    Wake up baseball lovers, this is part of why I don’t think it is good for the overall state of the game we have the current NLCS. The Rockies are a great story, but it would be far better if they were accomplishing this against the Mets, Phils, Braves, Cards, or Dodgers. As El Lay Dave echoed my thoughts…2 Davids aren’t as noteworthy as David versus Goliath. When George Mason beats Butler to make the Final 4 it doesn’t feel as rewarding as when they beat UConn.

  30. 31.  23Did you not read when I predicted the White Sox to win 87 games at the start of the season?

    Apparently not.

  31. 32.  “but it would be far better if they were accomplishing this against the Mets”

    Those damn Mets, ruined their season AND the NLCS by losing too soon. And I say that as a Mets fan.

    And Scott, are you against this series because you know your White Sox will rue trading Chris B. Young for a good decade?

  32. 33.  I think the trade when you put all the factors on the table skews towards the D-backs, but so far it has favored the White Sox.

    Javier Vasquez 2007
    W/L Record 15-8
    ERA 3.74
    WHIP 1.14
    K/W Ratio 213/50

    This was accomplished in a hitters park and with a team that was self-destructing all around him. If the bullpen is even normal, he would have won around 20 and would have been in the running for the Cy Young.

    Chris Young

    OBP .295
    SLG .467

    He looks to be a future star, but at this point he is very one-dimensional on offense. Considering the salary bonus Young brings, I would probably reverse the trade, but it is close, considering how reasonable Vasquez’s contract is for pitching like a No.1 starter.

  33. 34.  Scott, you’re usually on the mark, but here I disagree.
    This is a good series for the Game, and for baseball fans.

    I know what’s bad for baseball, and it’s initials are ‘Jim Tracy’.

    What else is GOOD for baseball?
    A commissioner, perhaps?

  34. 35.  I think by definition a player who almost goes 30-30 is two dimensional. Plus Young’s walks (and average) did pick-up in the last two months, so he’s trending the right way.

  35. 36.  I would love to watch the NLCS (and would have loved to watch any/all of the division series), but no cable means ALCS game 2 will be the first playoff game I can actually see this year (I’ll be home too late for game 1).

  36. 37.  oh man, this alcs game is soooo interesting. i’m so glad that this is on fox for everyone to watch instead of that boring boring nlcs game.

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