There are some fundamental aspects of the ESPN Sunday baseball broadcast that work. They look good, with minimal frippery, aside from the live K-Zone (which I could certainly do without). I do miss Jon Miller—who has a way of making even routine fly balls sound like a wondrous surprise—but Shulman has a rich, Al Michaels-like voice, and a refreshingly professional demeanor. In tonight’s game, he peppered his call of the action with updates of what happened around the league this afternoon and tidbits about the historic importance of Wrigley Field. He did what a good play-by-play man is supposed to do: provide context for the game, both for this day and in general. About all I can fault him on is a lack of camaraderie with his partner. I rarely get the sense that Shulman and Valentine are having a great time together. There’s no apparent animosity, just very little… ease. ...
Sunday Night Baseball did have reporters Buster Olney and Pedro Gomez hustling around the park. Olney provided some actual value, suggesting some possible candidates for the now-vacant Cubs GM position and breaking the news that the Angels’ Jered Weaver has signed a five-year contract. Gomez’s main contribution, on the other hand, was an innocuous in-game interview with Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa, in which Gomez asked, “How important is it to get out of here without being swept?” (Um… very?)
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