May 18, 2008

MASN continues to disappoint

So, at the risk of annoying our sponsors, I'm really horribly disappointed in MASN this weekend.

I had every intention at the beginning of the season of making it up to Oriole Park for one of the games Nats V. O's. But, schedules conflicted, and my wife and I decided to roast swine this weekend, and thus I spent Friday night over a cooker smoking a 105 pound pig to eat on Saturday. I anticipated shoveling out said cooker on Sunday, and thus no driving to Baltimore for me. But, two opportunities to watch the Nats on TV. (Saturday was spent drinking and eating and not watching baseball).

Now, I'm normally reasonably happy with MASN's coverage. I admit to liking the radio broadcasters a lot better than the TV ones, but I don't have any particular bone to pick with our TV crew. Nats Xtra Post Game is a bit weak, but the actual game coverage is acceptable.

But the braintrust at MASN decided it would be far more fun to combine broadcasts and do one combined broadcast, putting everyone together in the booth... sorta. Only three at a time, in some weird rotation system.

Now, I've been listening to Jim Palmer for years, so he's a capable announcer. I don't have any bone to pick with the talent. But this format sucked!

First, this is a RIVALRY. A budding one, yes, but a rivalry all the same. I don't want to hear our announcers hanging out and saying nice things about the Orioles. I just don't. I want to beat the Orioles, not compliment them. Try and imagine this happening in New York, and you get the picture.

Second, when you have announcers in this format, you end up at times with two Orioles announcers and one Nationals announcer. Again, this sucks. The coverage becomes Orioles slanted, and I don't WANT TO HEAR THAT. I want to hear analysis from the perspective of the Nationals, not from the perspective of the Orioles.

Third, MASN itself ends up mostly orange. All the in-game "games" and drawings and graphics became Orioles slanted. Again, I don't want to see a "MVP vote" between two Orioles and a National. I don't want to hear that "we'll give away cheap crap every time an Oriole hits a homer". I want to listen to the hometown broadcasters, and I want to have a little "Rah-Rah-Nationals", not a million commercials for "This is Birdland".

SCREW Birdland. I swore off Peter Angelos years ago when he told us all there were no baseball fans in Washington, and thus I want my Washington coverage to be about the WASHINGTON TEAM.

MASN -- get a clue. You're constantly accused of slanting to the Orioles, and if you want to build a Washington brand, you don't do it by having our announcers hang out with the guys in Baltimore. They're nice guys, but they are the opponents. Let's all remember that. We can shake hands at the end of the weekend, but when we're actually playing the game, we're supposed to be competitors. Can we all please just get along... without having to sit together and hug?


Simon Oliver Lockwood said...

I sort of liked it when both Palmer and Sutton were in the booth, since it gave Sutton a competent conversation partner. Carpenter has gotten so bad this year -- he can't even keep the score straight sometimes.

I'm also surprised that the DC area cable companies didn't blackout the MASNs when DC20 was also showing the game.

Dave said...


I don't disagree with you that Palmer and Sutton talking was a great dynamic, but what irked me was the Orioles heavy discussion. This wasn't any level of balanced, and that is what pissed me off so badly.

And I do have a soft spot for the Orioles of my youth -- Palmer and Brooks were my commentators when I was a kid.


Let Teddy win the presidents race. said...

Well said, Dave. I was actually entertained by parts of it, but that's beside the point. Whether you grew up with the Orioles or not, whether or not you enjoyed the Don Sutton/Jim Palmer patter, the whole thing felt weird and uncomfortable and cheap.

It wasn't something you'd ever expect to see from any legitimate big league franchise, and just served as a reminder to all Nationals fans that we don't have our own network.

This was one of those ideas that's a lot better on paper than in practice.

Dave said...

Watson thinks I'm being too hard on the network (maybe more on that tomorrow, as we went to tonight's game).

I'm not so sure.

Ray said...

Great points...we're not fans of th "B O's".

Another MASN beef...what is up with the HD picture? It's like watching Jefferson Pilot football broadcasts adjusting the rabbit ears.

Just compare MASN to ANY OTHER HD broadcast. Pathetic.

Dave said...

It's not that I don't want MASN to try things -- I just feel that this didn't work.