Happy Weekend folks!
I'd like to take a respite from criticizing our national political leaders and, being a curmudgeon at heart, opt instead to criticize our local Arizona Diamondbacks TV game broadcaster, Darren Sutton.
I would first like to say that I hold no ill will at all against Mr. Sutton. He looks like the kind of guy that you'd like to sit down and have a beer with. He also seems to have a kind heart and good intentions. However, his broadcast of baseball games borders on horrible and often the irritation level is so great that I have to turn down the sound on my TV and watch in silence.
My first pet-peeve with Mr. Sutton is his manner of speaking; his tone and texture is professorial which is about as out of place at a baseball game as possible. I can see him even now, furrowed brow in place, and commenting in the most "end-of-the-world" terms, the tragedy of player injury or team performance. Hey, Darren! It's a baseball game! There are 162 of them during the regular season! Don't take us, and especially, yourself so damn seriously. Lighten up on the formal speech; run some contractions out there, say "don't" and not "do-not" and be one of the guys "we'd wanna talk baseball with".
But, Mr. Sutton, your professorial tone is not your biggest sin; the thing that makes me shut that volume down in a heartbeat is when you begin yelling at the top of your voice over a home-run or a slightly better than normal fielding play. Okay, Darren, if your team is in a play-off game at the end of the season, if your team just rallied from ten runs down and staged a miraculous comeback, feel free to get excited about it...but not to the point where the folks hiking in the bottom of the Grand Canyon can hear you.
Finally, when Derrick Hall, or one of the other minority Diamondback owners, chooses to grace you with their presence in the broadcast booth, please dial the "fawning" back to appropriate levels. Ole Derrick ain't gonna fire you if ask a semi-tough question like "do you feel bad that you're still paying contract money to players who retired ten years ago?".
And Darren, please tell Mark Grace how much I admired him as a player and enjoy his "everyman" approach to "color-man" duties. You would do well to emulate ole Mark, as he injects player insight and humor to his game comments. However, Darren, I will buy you a beer or two if you would tell Mark to lay off two really tired sayings that have become grating to the rest of us: tell him to retire the terms "gas" on a 88 mile per hour fastball (save that for anything coming in at 94mph and over)and "car" when describing play slowdown or interruption.
So, Darren, the Diamondbacks are something like 8-18 in spring training play and seem bound for another near 100 loss season. That's okay. We baseball fans will come up with our own resolution to poor performance; i.e. team re-building, bad luck, etc. But Darren, don't try to inject artificial "excitement" into a mundane team performance by yelling at the top of your voice for a meaningless homer or a fielding play that players are paid a million bucks a year to complete.