Thomas Sowell

Then there are the mindless interviews asking stereotyped questions for which you already know the stereotyped answers. It is like watching old classic movies, where the audience recites the dialogue along with the characters on the screen. These pre-recorded interviews are then played during the game.

It is as if the people who produce baseball telecasts have no idea what real baseball fans want and think they have to come up with gimmicks to supply interest. Baseball is not the only sport in which those who telecast seem to think that the sport itself has little or no appeal, though baseball telecasts are the worst offenders.

In tennis, it is not uncommon for celebrities in the stands to be interviewed while play is going on. Sampras and Agassi may be in the midst of a brilliant rally but the announcer will be quiet while someone with a microphone in the stands is interviewing some Hollywood starlet on how she feels about being at Flushing Meadows.

The same idea that sports are not enough for sports fans seems to have been behind the fiasco of putting Dennis Miller's silly chatter on Monday Night Football. Fortunately, the producers of that program finally got the message that football fans want football. How long will it take producers of baseball telecasts?

The sportscasters themselves are usually much more on the ball than the people who put the TV pictures on the screen. Sportscasters sound like the fans who find the sports themselves interesting. Nor is this the fault of the camera operators, who supply good pictures from many angles. It is the producers who decide which of those pictures the television audience gets to see who are in a rut.

If they don't like sports, why don't they just say so, and leave TV sportscasts to those who do?

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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