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Friday, March 07, 2014

Finn: Fox’s decision to hire Harold Reynolds is uninspired

Sometimes you feel so uninspired
Sometimes you feel like you’ve been hired

But this is about Reynolds, who has served as an affable if rarely insightful studio analyst at MLB Network since its launch in 2009. To be blunt: Fox Sports made a less-than-inspired choice to replace McCarver, and it’s disappointing given the prominence of the position.

Reynolds willfully disregards the statistical advances in baseball to traffic in hagiography, myth-making, and archaic thinking. He’ll argue without a second thought that the win, a misleading stat, is the greatest measure of a pitcher’s value. He’ll attribute intangibles to a player when his actual value doesn’t equal the media’s gritty-gutty-scrappy perception of him. He will not criticize management, and he’ll over-praise certain players so much that you may start recalling McCarver’s particular adorations as restrained and subtle.

Fox Sports, which prides itself on being the fun and innovative foil to ESPN, missed a golden chance to be the latter here, though at least Reynolds suggested he has an open mind during a conference call Monday.

“I broadcast every day in this current realm where sabermetrics can’t be denied or ignored, and so it’s a compelling conversation whether you’re on one side or the other,’’ he said. “There’s a place in the conversation for it in baseball, no doubt.

“If there’s a window open to do it, I think we’re well-versed enough to discuss it. I got my training from Brian Kenny [his sabermetric-bent foil on MLB] last year. Every day he threw a different metric at me that I had to go back and study.

“The main thing is, if you ignore it, you’re not current, and we’re current with all these guys in the booth.”

Repoz Posted: March 07, 2014 at 07:02 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, sabermetrics

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   1. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4667711)
The one thing about Reynolds that seems beyond dispute is that he clearly loves baseball and it shows when he's on the air. This makes him a nice foil for Buck, who comes across as borderline disdainful about everything (except, perhaps, about himself).
   2. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4667733)
I have rewatched the LCS and World Series from last year and one thing that came across is that Buck was considerably more enthusiastic than he was in 2004 or especially 2007 when he sounded bored.

"Uninspired" is absolutely the right description of the decision to hire Reynolds. I don't think he's terrible and I like that he was at least willing to engage Kenny but what a blah choice.
   3. ASmitty Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4667738)
I have rewatched the LCS and World Series from last year and one thing that came across is that Buck was considerably more enthusiastic than he was in 2004 or especially 2007 when he sounded bored.


I really, really, don't like Buck, but I have to admit he does seem to take criticism to heart. He got pretty roundly and appropriately skewered over his announcing in Super Bowl XLII, and ever since that point he appears to be trying to be more enthused in the booth. It certainly isn't coming naturally to him, though.
   4. Steve Treder Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4667871)
Fox Sports, which prides itself on being the fun and innovative foil to ESPN

Um, what?
   5. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4667878)
I have rewatched the LCS and World Series from last year and one thing that came across is that Buck was considerably more enthusiastic than he was in 2004 or especially 2007 when he sounded bored


Yeah, but that's because everybody got on him about not being enthusiastic about anything (criticism that started when he yadda-yadda-yadda'ed that incredible catch in the first Giants-Pats Super Bowl). So I don't really count that as much more than an adjustment.
   6. cmd600 Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4667980)
Um, what?


It is true that the pride themselves on that, whether they actually are or not is still quite debatable.

Ok, maybe it's not.
   7. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: March 07, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4668036)
Fox Sports, which prides itself on being the fun and innovative foil to ESPN

Um, what?

Glow puck!
   8. Gamingboy Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:03 AM (#4668174)
Verducci will save us.
   9. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4668238)
In 1998 as a 27 year old, Mr. Reynolds stole 35 bases… And was caught 29 times. I always thought he was slightly better than his stats prove. But upon revisiting his BBREF page and seeing the career 83 OPS+?

No wonder he loves intangibles.
   10. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 08, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4668253)
He had a nice enough seven year stretch from ages 26-32 (18.1 bWAR) but was dreadful in the parts of five other seasons he played.
   11. BDC Posted: March 08, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4668254)
Wow, for two days I've been reading this headline as FOX deciding to fire Harold Reynolds, which seemed odd, but what the hey.
   12. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 08, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4668277)
You're a gentle soul, Jim.
   13. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 08, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4668287)
Fox Sports, which prides itself on being the fun and innovative foil to ESPN

Um, what?


No kidding. Any network that employs Joe Buck is the antithesis of "fun and innovative". Even Scooter is just a ripoff of Clippy.
   14. Moeball Posted: March 08, 2014 at 08:50 PM (#4668428)
I know McCarver got overblown in his later years, but as others have stated here on other threads, he was actually a really good analyst in younger days.

I honestly can't imagine Reynolds on his very best day being better than McCarver on his worst day.

This isn't going to be pretty.

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