MEDIA WATCHDOG: Step Up…The Hot Buffet Line is Now Open

Street Talk MEDIA WATCHDOG: Step Up…The Hot Buffet Line is Now Open

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We’ve got something for everyone’s tastes this week
 
Press Box is more hits than misses
 
Since the print edition of Press Box came out last year I have only glanced at it a few times. Last week I took a closer look and came away with a few impressions. 
 
I liked the “One Fan’s Opinion” feature that leads off the paper by Stan Charles.  I read his take on The Preakness and on the lacrosse finals hosted at M&T Bank Stadium.  But then I got lost when Charles started wondering when the MLB All-Star game would return to Camden Yards.  I can honestly say that question hasn’t crossed my mind…EVER!  Is anybody actually worried about this topic? On the list of complaints for Orioles fans I would bet that topic is far down list, if on the list at all. 
 
I also enjoyed the “Quickstick” feature by Mat Schlissel:  This was a nice high-level preview of the men’s lacrosse final 4 at M&T Bank Stadium.  If I were a novice lax fan it would have given me just enough knowledge to be dangerous while watching the games.  Nice job Mat.
 
The “Week in Review” section was also solid since it provided a snapshot of what the Orioles did during the past week.  In a time when most fans get their daily news from radio, TV or web this is a nice summary. But what content will be here when baseball season is over? No other sports play as many games in a seven day period as pro baseball.  I can see this section moving to a combination of college and pro football come September.
 
Rating the local TV late night sports guys
 
I always try to watch local and national sportscasts each night.  Like many of you, around 10:45 PM, I find myself flipping channels between local sports and ESPN Sportscenter or ESPN News.  With that in mind I did a little comparison last week of the four local sports anchors.  Even though the grades below are technically based on one week, I can say tell you I’ve grown very familiar with the work of these gentlemen over the years.
 
Scott Garceau – WMAR Ch. 2:  Garceau is just as good as it gets in my book for a local sports guy.  He knows both the local and national scenes and always delivers a solid sportscast.  Remember when Garceau was doing college basketball, college lacrosse and the Turkey Bowl in addition to his radio work for the Ravens?  Keep up the great work Scott.
 
Grade: A
 
Mark Viviano – WJZ Ch. 13:  Now in his second stint as a local sportscaster, Viv has found his stride while splitting his time between radio and TV.  His nightly sportscasts are good and I like the way he leaves no fat on the bone in his writing.
 
Grade: B
 
Gerry Sandusky – WBAL Ch. 11:  I applaud Sandusky for his upbeat style on highlights that often includes a clever metaphor or joke.  But sometimes I feel like he can’t do a sportscast without inserting a joke…and often the video or stories for a particular night just don’t warrant the comedy.  Please Gerry, don’t ever go over to the dark side like we saw with John Buren.
 
Grade: B-
 
Bruce Cunningham – WBFF Ch. 45:  Whenever I watch Cunningham do a sportscast I feel like he’s a guy doing a job and not really a hard core sports lover.  When I watch Garceau, Viviano or Sandusky I at least feel like all of them have a real passion for sports. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get that same vibe when I watch Bruce Cunningham; he just seems a bit too detached for my tastes.
 
Grade: C
 
Why ESPN’s SportsCenter is still worth watching
 
I rarely watch SC these days unless there is some major story that I know ESPN will devote twice as much time to as any other sports outlet.  ESPN is still good at the details even if they went over the edge on self promotion years ago.  A perfect example… last week while I watched SportsCenter they dug in to provide highlights for the Cubs game.  Not only did I get a good package on the game, they spent extra time on the Zambrano- Barrett fight that included the play which precipitated the incident, video in the dugout of how the fight started and a long clip of manager Lou Piniella discussing the subject in his post game press conference.  Kudos ESPN…now go find some money to find Trey Wingo a new name.
 
More MASN musings
 
How long did it take you to figure out the channel number for MASN2 on your cable TV or dish network provider?  It took me almost two months. You’d think on every MASN pregame and postgame show they would tell you the channel number by providing a scroll or graphic. How many people watching a game on MASN will actually get up and go find the channel number on the MASN website?
 
Kudos to Zinno for his take on Samari Rolle
 
Hats off to Anita Marks’ sometimes sports update announcer, sometimes co-host Mark Zinno for complimenting Samari Rolle on his handling of the criticism regarding his play in 2006. Zinno pointed out that Rolle never dodged a bullet or blamed another player for his mistakes all season. Rolle could have gone down a much different path but instead carried himself with class and proved to be a true team player and Zinno was the first radio personality I have heard mention those facts.
 
Something you should never hear on local sports talk radio 
 
I heard a promo on Sunday on AM 1300 by Ovie Mughelli that said he played for the Ravens.  Newsflash for the producers at 1300…Ovie packed his bags for Atlanta a few months ago.  The promo makes you sound stale and it comes off as a bit lazy.

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Scot Kleinfeld

About Scot Kleinfeld

Scot is a Baltimore native, a Towson University graduate, and has followed sports since the early 1980’s. Scot likes to go inside the numbers and get the real “411” on the wins and losses,  hence his Behind The Numbers column.
 

Besides being an avid sports fan, Scot has been involved with televison sports production as an Associate Producer since 1993 for WMAR, ESPN, ESPNU,ESPN2, and the former Home Team Sports network.  In addition to his television work Scot has written articles for Baltimore Magazine, Lacrosse Magazine and Patuxent Publishing.  These experiences make him a natural as the creator of the Media Watchdog, another of SK’s fine contributions.
 

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