Sunday, April 4, 2010

And.... I Already Remember Why ESPN's Baseball Coverage is Often Painful

I've been out of the country for a few weeks, thus my lack of posting. I'll try to get back on track (and probably fail) with a substantial post later this week. In the meantime, I hope you watched the two most important teams in the history of teams, or perhaps the history of history, play a baseball game earlier tonight. There were 100 things wrong about the broadcast, but I only have time right now to write about one of them. Are you ready to nitpick? I thought you might be. Let's nitpick. During the game, play-by-play savant Jon Miller kept referring to Boston's newly acquired third baseman as:

Adrian Bel-TRE (with the emphasis on the "tre" syllable)

If you've paid attention to baseball at all during the last ten years, you know who Beltre is. Started with the Dodgers, had a near-MVP season in his contract year there, signed a big deal with the Mariners, didn't really hit all that well in Seattle, now with the Red Sox. Great glove guy. Not a lot of plate discipline. Decent power. Loves Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Reese's Puffs. More important than all of those things, though, is that if you've paid attention to baseball during the last ten you know how to pronounce the guy's name. It's BEL-tre. Adrian BEL-tre. With the emphasis on BEL. Since 1997, Jon Miller has been the radio guy for the Giants. Who play in the same division as the Dodgers. Where BELtre played for the first seven seasons of his career. Holy crap, Jon. You've probably said this guy's name like 7,000 times in your life. Why are you saying it like that? I'm sure at least one person over the years has corrected you. Heck, you could always just look it up yourself. Look, it took me 15 seconds to find this. But there it was, all night long. BelTRE. BelTRE with the catch, and the throw to first! BelTRE watches that one, strike two. BelTRE BelTRE BelTRE. Shoot me in the fucking eardrum. How do you screw that up?

Oh, and don't forget, Miller's regular partner in the booth probably can't recite the alphabet, tie his own shoes, or tell you how many teams there are in MLB currently. He also pontificates about clogging up the bases and wants every single guy who ever played a single game for the Big Red Machine in the HOF. He thinks Barry Bonds didn't use steroids and that Gary Sheffield is a great teammate. But he also has something like 12 Emmys for sports broadcasting.

Ah, big time sports media- it's the blind leading the blind. At least we don't have to listen to Billy Packer during March Madness anymore I guess.

21 comments:

John Foley said...

Jon Miller is actually pretty good, as far as old bald white guy sportscasters go. He seems intelligent, and isn't completely averse to learning new forms of statistical analysis. He does have the weird tic where he comes up with his own ways to pronounce people's names, but it's actually sort of endearing. I think he's trying to pronounce them in a correct Hispanic way, and just overthinks it.
Joe Morgan, of course, is a moron. He just gets dumber all the time.

SOB in CA said...

So, when will Simmons start complaining about the avg/hr/rbi stats that were the only ones shown on the game last night? He seems to have a boner for the "new" stats.

Dylan Murphy said...

Another Jon Miller favorite: Carlos BelTRAN.

Tonus said...

I think that a case can be made that Beltran's name can be pronounced either way, but even in Spanish, Beltre would have the accent on the first syllable. At least, I can't recall hearing anyone pronounce it the way Miller does, unlike Beltran's name.

Chris W said...

That's just Jon Miller's way--to overpronounce latino's names. Sometimes in his zeal to pronounce it like a latino, he puts the acCENT on the wrong sylLAble.

Let's talk about that fool ass science lesson about the Green Monster. Probably the single worst piece of sports programming I've ever seen.

Good job ESPN: you're even more of a joke than ever.

Holy shit that was an embarrassment.

Gulag said...

More embarrassing than that "Who's More Now" clusterfuck? Because that would certainly be impressive.

Jack M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack M said...

I've made this comment 100 times, but I'll say it again. While "Who's Now?" was the most idiotic question ever, "The Greatest Highlight" is the Citizen Kane of poor execution. Having historic clips overdubbed with by Chris Berman calling them as if they were live: stupid.

Elliot said...

I loved how in game three of the NYY-BOS series, they called the game "pivotal". Um, it's the third game of 162 fellas. The only thing less pivotal than the opening series of the season is spring training.

The media has made politics into a 24/7/365 election, and now ESPN has turned the entire baseball season into 10,000 playoff games.

All I can say is thank goodness David Ortiz hit an RBI by that game, because who knew if the Red Sox were going to make the playoffs with an 0/7 Big Papi. Now it's a sure thing.

Tonus said...

Gotta grease the wheels on the old hype machine, I guess.

Phil said...

Guess that great article didn't happen this week. Simmons writes an undefensible article about the absolutely arbitrary reasons he's hip with ths stat crowd and you leave up something about a really good anouncer mispronouncing someones name. Larry B was the only reason this site was worth checking on but now he doesn't even write shit. Anyone here read kissingsuzykolber.com or deadspin.com? Much more frequent updates and better quality.

PS. I already know my grammar and spelling are terrible, so when for some reason you get angry that i pointed out this post sucks, find something else to rag on.

Chris W said...

Phil laying down the law. Oh well, at least he's turned us all on to that obscure "deadspin" site!

Jack M said...

This is my summary of Phil's comment:

- Snide remark about Larry not getting around to doing a longer post.

- Complaint about Larry's post.

- Claim that he only checks the site for Larry's posts, and Larry doesn't post anymore.

- Advertisement for a better site (KSK) and a clearinghouse for snarky dipshits (Deadspin).

- Declaration that this site doesn't update enough for his liking.

Elliot said...

It sucks when people have lives and can't post scathing Bill Simmons critiques, or, you know, troll-bait comments on blogs.

Chris W said...

Look--All's I'm saying is that maybe we should fire Jay Mariotti?

Elliot said...

Why don't you find someone else to rag on, Chris W?

Anonymous said...

absolute fail. it is pronounced that way, in spanish. If his last name was english you would be right, but it isn't. In spanish, a name that starts with "bel", has the stress on the second syllable (i know because my name is one of those). So you want him to pronounce it the english way?

Elliot said...

Actually that's not true. The phonetic baseball pronunciation guide that they give out takes native language pronunciation into account. Anyway, if it was supposed to be pronounced that way, there would be an accent on the last "e" in Beltre's name.

Anonymous hater FAIL.

Anonymous said...

there is an accent on the last "e" in "beltre." Adrián Beltré

look for yourself:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Beltre

Anonymous said...

So your argument is that it's AdriAN BelTRE?


You're an idiot.

Adam said...

I'm guessing the anonymous Spanish expert has never actually heard Jon Miller's pronunciation of Latin names. He absolutely exaggerates and butchers them.

He is correct that the accent is on the last syllable but he over stresses it. Spanish is a syllable typed language meaning that each syllable has about the same length regardless of stress. Miller always drags out the stressed syllable on those Latin names. The stress mark also does not change the the vowel. bel-TRAY is a more accurate writing of how he pronounces the name.

The one broadcaster who might be even worse with Latin names is Gary Thorne. He calls Jorge Posada, Hoady Posada, or something. I don't even know what the hell he is saying.