Not to continue to harp on Fox's baseball coverage, but...
A couple weeks back we remarked at how much we enjoyed Vernon Wells' stint as an analyst for ESPN's league division series coverage. The Blue Jays outfielder made salient points on the set, and presented himself well in what most definitely won't be a future endeavor.
That's because, as soon as we met the incoherent and unkempt Eric Byrnes a day later, it was evident which one had the future in the business. Unlike Wells, Byrnes was scattered on topics, and most memorably, showed up to the set looking something like Yahoo Serious. Which, of course, meant he was perfect for the job.
Just days later, who should show up in Fox's coverage but Byrnes, with a hairdo that screamed college junior the morning after 25-cent draft night at the Blarney Stone.
I am becoming more and more convinced that Fox is trying, for some reason, to make us give up on baseball with its inane coverage of the game. Ratings are down significantly this year, which Fox will more than likely blame on the fact that aside from New York, Detroit, St. Louis, and Oakland aren't the biggest markets out there. The baseball fan (yeah, remember them?) might suggest you don't start the games at 8:30 at night.
Tim McCarver might be the most blundering analyst in baseball TV, yet Fox trots him out every October to annoy America. Thom Brennaman is Ron Burgundy for sports. Steve Lyons is fired for some sort of racist comment that most of us need a thesaurus, a magnifying glass and a copy of "Beyond Political Correctness: Are There Limits to This Lunacy?" to figure out what his grievance was. We're not saying Steve Lyons was the best analyst ever, or even a decent one, but on most nights he was the best thing going in the Fox booth, which, granted, is sort of like saying the Chicken McNuggets are the most heart healthy item on the McDonald's menu.
Somewhere between Chris Myers' ridiculous sideline reporting ("I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV," Myers quipped on Friday night when discussing Joel Zumaya's wrist injury. Really? We can't get anything fresher than that?) and the "Right Now!" stupidity, there is a baseball game most nights. When, that is, the Pepsi Fan Cam isn't focused in on a fan of the losing team praying in desperation of a comeback or Fox isn't pushing "House" on you like some sort of Columbian drug runner. Ron Howard has to have left 20 or so messages for Jerry Bruckheimer wondering how his "Justice" gets any attention while Howard's "Arrested Development" was promoted by the network about as much as Howie Long's new molar crown. Maybe less.
Well, add one more "huh?" to the Fox baseball empire. The network encouraged Byrnes to leave the comb at home and to show up on set with his grungy look. How does this conversation go? "Eric, we really enjoyed your mobster/slacker look on ESPN. How'd you like to come work for us? Oh, by the way, come to the studio looking as natty as possible."
We're not professing to have the cleanest look going when it comes to hair, or much of it anyway, but we're not on national TV either. In any case though, it's a shock that some folks would roll their eyes at Byrnes' appearance. A shock, I tell you. Well, at least to Byrnes.
"I didn't realize how many degenerates sit there at home and watch television and surf the Internet and look for ways to belittle people," Byrnes told the Arizona Republic. "People should not be concentrating on what I'm wearing and what my hair looks like. They should be concerned with my flow and the knowledge coming out of my mouth."
Oh, is that what's coming out of his mouth?
Let's just hope that somewhere down the line Byrnes doesn't have to analyze whether a runner touched home plate on a close play because we have no idea where he's going to go with that one.
So let's keep using the excuse that small markets are hurting Fox's ratings. More than likely, the fringe baseball fan has given up on trying to watch these idiots carry and ruin the game any longer.