Rather than recap the All-Star Game itself -- the game was pretty dull and after closers began to come into the game in the late innings, no scoring at all in the American League's 5-3 win -- I thought I'd talk a little bit this morning about Fox-TV's broadcast, which was borderline unwatchable.
Yes, Fox, we know Derek Jeter is retiring and this is his final All-Star Game. But there were other players in this game, too, good and great ones. We didn't have to hear comments about Jeter every single inning, in addition to a full inning of him being miked up and talking with the... well, how many announcers were there? Five? Six? ... announcers who barely let the game interfere with their incessant blathering.
We barely got to see the game at all when Jeter and others such as A.L. manager John Farrell were connected with the broadcast crew. At times during those innings, the Fox production crew decided to let us view the action in a box that covered a bit more than half the screen, because don'tcha know, it's necessary to see a shot of the man standing in the dugout who isn't even looking at the camera. A "voice of" graphic would have served the same purpose.
For anyone who was trying to keep track of the multiple substitutions made at times, you needed MLB Gameday, because except for pitching changes, Joe Buck & Co. rarely mentioned other defensive substitutions. I had to look at the MLB At Bat app to find out that the Cubs' Starlin Castro had entered the game on defense, because he wasn't mentioned on Fox at all until he came to bat, an inning later.
The bottom line is that these broadcasts are horribly overproduced and bloated. We don't need three booth announcers and two on the field. There simply isn't enough air time for all of them to say meaningful things and still have the game action called, and the latter sometimes wasn't.
Simplify, Fox, simplify. Go back to a two-man booth with one field reporter. If you're going to conduct multiple dugout interviews, a simple establishing shot and a "voice of" graphic would suffice, so that those of us who actually would like to see the game can do so. I get that part of what they're trying to do is attract the casual fan or even non-baseball fan who normally doesn't watch games on TV, but this isn't the way to do it. The serious baseball fan (like me) is turned off and the casual fan is likely even more confused.
It's no wonder ratings for this game are down. There have been plenty of suggestions on how to fix the game itself -- from me three years ago, for example -- but MLB and Fox have to fix the game telecast, too, or they're going to get a lot more people turning away from the All-Star Game.