Friday, April 15, 2005

WANTED: Dead or Alive

Okay, I know Karl Ravech is merely the "Level 1 Head" who usually hosts Baseball Tonight, and it could have just as easily been Brian Kenny called up to cover the BREAKING NEWS! that Gary Sheffield---when it comes down to it---decided to shove an idiotic, rifled-up fan, rather than make a timely relay throw that could have saved his team a run.

But I like Brian Kenny and generally dislike the smug Karl Ravech, so in my world, it was a fait accompli that "Ravy" (& Co.) would manage to FUBAR the real story of the baseball night: the first real baseball game in DC in a hell of a long time.

"Ravy" & Co. would imply that there were others involved in this unacceptable diversion into insubstantial titilation, and there were. I'll dispose of the rest (except maybe the somewhat alluring Samantha Ryan) in due course.

But first, the pain will come to you, Ravech. You're going down. You won't know when, and you won't know where. But it will come. Oh yes, it will come. And come it will. Rest assured, Ravech, I'll smite you good. And you will feel my smiting power as you are smited in a smiting to best all other smitings. MUHAAAAAAHHHHHHAAA!!

Uh, where was I?

For the benefit of those who attended the game or otherwise did not watch Baseball Tonight (and I was only able to because the Yanks/Sox game ran long and I got back from an errand in time), let me recap:

* Yanks/Sox game ends.
* Annoying "ESPN HD" chimey thing sounds, accompanied by the usual dizzily-edited, fast-faced highlight clips.
* Shot of the entire Varitek two-run triple that started the madness. With Chris Berman doing play-by-play, mind you.
* Isolated shot of Sheffield and the fan getting into it.
* Closer shot of it.
* BbTN intro that feature, you guessed it, a shot of Sheffield and the fan.
* Karl Ravech introducing the altercation as "the big news of the night" or something similarly groan-inducing.
* Repeat highlight of the play.
* Repeat isolated focus of the play.
* Repeated isolation, closer in this time, with slo-mo.
* One more time, for good measure.
* Roundtable discussion between Ravech, "Bushmills" Bowa, and Harold Reynolds.
* Bowa, essentially, says Sheffield should have killed the idiot fan. Bowa's crazy, by the way.
* Harold Reynolds says the most important thing was the arrival of The Flash, a/k/a the Beantown security dude---the fastest whitey in the world not named Jeremy Wariner---who raced over, leaped into the stands, held the two back, and then held another unidentified Yankee back, just as that second Yankee was going to do a "Stephen Jackson reprise." Harold Reynolds is right on this point, and for that I will spare his life.
* Ravech suggests maybe Sheffield need not commit mayhem on the fan.
* Bowa, who is clearly crazy, shakes his head defiantly, with disgust and insanity in his eyes.
* Oh wonderful! Let's go to Chris Berman and Rick Sutcliffe, who were on hand for the game, and by happy coincidence, are about to repeat what they said seconds before the BbTn crew signed on.
* It's a complete duplication! Berman even repeats the line, "On a chilly night in Boston, it is appropriate that cooler heads prevailed." Guh.
* Time for Ravech to look solemn as the camera comes back to him.
* Ravech introduces the aforementioned Sam Ryan, who essentially says, "I've got nothing to add, except . . . hey remember during the game, when I said the fan was arrested? Turns out I was wrong."
* Back to Ravech. "If something develops we'll go back to Sam Ryan at Fenway Park." Confidence is indeed inspired.
* Speaking of which: what else would develop? A brawl in the parking lot? Teleportation by Karim Garcia and Jeff Nelson?
* Hey, let's go to another reporter at Fenway Park! Whaddya got?
* "I've got nothing here, Karl. Well, except for that these teams don't like each other, and the fans despise each other even more."
* "Hey, that's not much at all," Ravech essentially says. "We'll go back to her if she learns anything new---which is to say, anything at all."
* Repeat of the play.
* Ravech: "Time for a commercial. When we come back, we'll talk about the other big story in baseball tonight."
* Oh yes! They're gonna talk about the Nats game! You know, the one attended by the President of the United friggin' States? Sell-out? World Series atmosphere? ¡LIVAN! on the hill? First game there since Tim Kurkjian was the pimply-faced teenager on the Simpsons? Cool!
* Commercials. Lots of commercials. That's a nice feature, where they can continue to run the bottom line crawl during the commercials, though.
* Hey, we're back! They're gonna talk about the Nats!
* Nope. It's highlights of the play; that freakin' play!
* Close up of the play.
* Ravech is back. "If you missed it, here's the play they'll be talking about well into the night." Die, Ravech, die!
* Talk amongst the BbTn panelists. Bowa's still crazy; Ravy's still smug; Reynolds wants to have the love child of that security dude.

[Interruption: Okay, here comes the best part!]

* Ravech: "If you're just joining us, there was an incident at Fenway Park tonight." Then he describes what happened. Didn't he just pretty much do this, only in fewer words?
* Cut to shot of Ravech obviously listening to his earpiece. [I can imagine the producer saying, "Hold it. Something's coming in from Boston."]
* Ravech, apparently stalling, says, "If you're just joining us from games just concluded, . . . " Okay, he definitely just said this.
* Ravech pauses for a second. [Producer: "Uh, never mind."]
* Ravech pauses another second. "Okay. Well, that wasn't the only big story this evening . . . "


In truth, Tim Kurkjian and Jeff Brantley did a really nice report from RFK. Kurkjian, who grew up in Bethesda (I think), was pretty moved. He sounded a little choked up, and in close ups you could see his eyes welling up a bit. He strikes me as a nice, sentimental type; he and Boswell must got along famously. Brantley, who as far as I know has no connection with DC whatsoever, was absolutely PUMPED. He was tremendously impressed by the park, the crowd, the atmosphere, the pact with Satan that Vinny Castilla apparently made, etc.

So, I don't want to make it overly negative here. But, for wasting a good 15 minutes of my life, Ravech, you're going down---and, to paraphrase Al Davis, you will go down haahrd.

Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger then I'm gonna go home and ask Michael Jackson to come round and watch that waaaay cool surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on my new plasma tv .

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)
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