Here’s all you need to know about today’s contest in Buffalo: The Mariners beat the Blue Jays 9-7, and Major League Baseball reaffirmed that they hate not just the game of baseball but baseball fans, too. There can be no other reason for the ghastly travesty of the national YouTube broadcast.
Originally, I was going to keep a running list of quotes from the broadcast because, as history has shown us, these streaming games are ripe for entertaining recaps. But as I scribbled I began to realize a) There were going to be far too many idiotic moments to write up, and b) This abysmal broadcast had ceased to be funny and was instead making me actively angry.
MLB has done a superb job over the years of reminding us that Baseball (that capital-B corporate baseball) does not care about about its fans. Not one little bit. And they’ve also demonstrated a remarkable apathy towards the game itself. There isn’t a middle schooler alive who hates themselves as much as MLB hates their own product. But it’s one thing to meddle and manipulate and both wrongfully punish and fail to reprimand from above, and another to actively hijack, as they did tonight.
It was a treat to hear Ryan Rowland-Smith’s distinctive baritone on a national broadcast, and a huge boost to the credibility of the production as a whole. Sarah Langs, when given miniscule snippets of time in which to speak, was a joy to listen to and brought historical context and a measured statistical approach to the conversation. But unfortunately they appeared to be mere guest stars to the fearsome duo of Brian Kenny and Mark DeRosa - with the occasional sneak attack from Jon Morosi. For more than two years I had the distinct pleasure of working for the Baseball Hall of Fame, including near-constant monitoring of all their social media channels. I’m extremely well-versed in Bad Baseball Discourse, but this was a level all its own. They ranted about the shift, they raved about 19th century umpiring, they mispronounced dozens of names and made up new ones, they detailed the many problems with “kids these days” and, had they been physically in Buffalo, likely would have knelt and kissed Bo Bichette’s cleats at the start of each inning.
it's the EIGHTH INNING how are they still calling him TYLER TRAMMELL— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 1, 2021
I’m sorry for focusing more on the flaws of the broadcast than the actual game itself but, in all honesty, listening to that broadcast ruined the game completely. And it was a fun one too! Seattle had 13 hits on the night, including homers from Kyle Seager, Mitch Haniger and a go-ahead shot from Dylan Moore. We got our requisite J.P. Crawford highlight reel defensive play, Luis Torrens actually caught Randal Grichuk stealing and the bullpen held it together enough to keep them competitive (we don’t need to talk about a woefully typical four IP, seven hits, four runs outing from Justus Sheffield). But the broadcast siphoned all the joy from it, barging into our proverbial party, ripping down all the streamers, popping the balloons and pooping in the punch bowl.