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Split Decision Irks Fans [Oct. 2nd, 2005|02:34 pm]
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By Bill Griffith, Globe Staff | October 2, 2005

The calls and e-mails to the sports department began early in yesterday's Fox telecast of the Red Sox-Yankees game. Fox was cutting away from Fenway to update the White Sox-Indians action from Cleveland. Red Sox Nation, glued to every pitch of the Sox game, wasn't happy.

E-mailer Andrew Goldstein summed up the feeling: ''When they split the screen, I have no idea what is going on with the Sox and at one point they even completely switched games in the middle of a Millar at-bat. Why do they think the White Sox-Indians game is more important to the Boston area than the Red Sox game?

''I have tried calling Fox and Fox 25, but all numbers are busy so I'm sure I'm not the only one with that idea."

Dan Bell, Fox director of communications, said, ''We're doing just what we said we would -- following and updating the games with a bearing on the pennant races. Our job is to provide viewers around the country with every significant play. It's not like we're talking about games with no significance."

Then he gave the network's ultimate justification: ''We've even scrapped commercials to stay with the updates between innings."

And as Fox Sports president Ed Goren piped in: ''Look at the score. The Sox are losing and the fans are upset."

''Not so," responded Goldstein: ''Fox has it all wrong. We are mad because we cannot see or hear the game for minutes at a time."

Normal fan frustrations such as Fox losing the ball on Manny Ramirez's first-inning home run or coming back from break late when David Ortiz led off the last of the third with a double weren't the issue on this afternoon. It was the new experience of seeing Kevin Millar or Craig Hansen in a small box (with Indians-White Sox in a larger box) that was frustrating.

And Red Sox Nation is far-flung. Calls to this reporter's home came from fans watching in New York and Connecticut, saying, ''What's Fox doing?"

The answer, said Fox, is what was promised. Fox had said it was treating yesterday as the first game of its postseason playoffs.

A couple of Division Series games are scheduled to be regional telecasts with similar split-screens and cut-ins.

You know how that will go over in Boston if the Sox are involved.

I went to Fox's site and complained. I said:

Just FYI, when the Red Sox are playing the Yankees, NO ONE wants to see endless cutaways to another game. Tell us the score, keep us posted as to what they're doing, but STAY ON OUR GAME.

Somehow, NESN manages to do this flawlessly. It got to the point yesterday where I felt like someone was flipping the remote and I wasn't sure which game I was watching.

Oh, and PS: have your announcers learn the players' names. It's only part of their job, and no, it's not CUTE that they consistently call players by wrong names (IE "Brandon" Arroyo).

Get a clue. No one in Red Sox Nation wants to watch a game on Fox because your announcing is so abyssmal. It's just that we have no choice.

Hey. I guess it could have been worse. They could have put Scooter on.

[User Picture]From: deathbytamarind
2005-10-02 06:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah. FOX has, on numerous occaison this season, refused to show the beginning of Giants games because they have to air the previous game (usually something involving the Red Sox or Yankees) and the post-game shit in its entirety. Granted it's was not playoff implications at stake, but still, for fans who tuned in expecting Giants action and getting nothing, it's bullshit.

Point: Fox is stupid.
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[User Picture]From: leethaithbetht
2005-10-02 07:31 pm (UTC)
Not to play devil's advocate here, but that probably has something to do with Fox's contract with MLB to air the games. I think that they're obligated to show other game updates. They have to do that during football, too, but it doesn't take away from the game since they do it during timeouts.

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[User Picture]From: talonvaki
2005-10-02 07:50 pm (UTC)
Updates are fine. I have no problem with updates. It's cutting to the other game for long, live stretches where nothing happens causing people to miss things in the main game, and it's doing a PinP thing with the other game on the large screen and the main game on the tiny screen with no sound, again while something is happening in the main game, that gets on my nerves.

See, on NESN, we are getting updates on the other game. However, those get cut short the minute play resumes on the main game.
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[User Picture]From: crazypicklearm
2005-10-02 08:02 pm (UTC)
I hate FOX. Even if they felt they needed to keep us update to date on the ChiSox/Indians game... save it for the breaks or have the announcers give updates. I don't have a very big TV to begin with so trying to watch the game on that tiny ass box in the corner was impossible... they didn't even give us a count to follow. I wanted to see "Andy Johnson" pitch dammit.
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