I'm going to use this Major League Baseball All-Star break to complain about something that's been bothering me for a while.
When I was a kid and very much into baseball, I used to love watching This Week In Baseball. Before ESPN, before Baseball Tonight, before "Web Gems," it was kind of a highlight show that showed all the great plays and bloopers of the previous week. Hosted by Mel Allen, it was also a Saturday morning kid's show with youth-focused segments like famous players showing baseball fundamentals (like Ozzie Smith showing you how to stop a ground ball for instance). And best of all it was a show that your mom and dad might like watching with you too. Oh, and it had a classic theme song.
So now that my oldest is rooting for Big Papi right along side me, I figured I could introduce her to TWIB and maybe it could be something that we would enjoy on Saturday mornings. Unfortunately the show isn't even close to what it used to be.
The newest iteration feels like you're watching some kind of lame 30 minute infomercial. They rely heavily on "film look" video and the segments themselves often feel like some third-rate episode of MTV Cribs. A lot of my problem with the show is due to the unbelievably bad voice over work of the current host "Buzz Brainard," who, although he's a fine voice-over guy, has all the narrative excitement of a guy reading a billboard. He even sounds condescending at some points, as if he's talking down to the kids. I'm not saying anyone could replace Mel Allen, but can't MLB Productions find someone with some baseball credibility who can also convey some of the excitement of the game?
You be the judge. Check out the latest TWIB segments at MLB.com (and be sure to click on the "Classic TWIB Theme" link at the top of the page).