This afternoon’s version of Philadelphia Phillies batting practice (as thrown by Jeremi Gonzalez) is being called on WFAN by the esteemed San Francisco Giants apologist Chris Russo and his colorless man, Mike Francesca..
Whether this represents a lifelong dream cum true for the dopey duo (kind of like Jim Ross getting to call an XFL game) or is a bizarre attempt to curry favor with the Dunces Of Drive-Time, I can only wonder. But either way, this was a terrible idea.
Tom McCarthy and Howie Rose have formed a solid partnership in the wake of Gary Cohen’s departure to the TV booth. To suggest that Russo and Francesca can turn up and match that level of expertise is insulting to broadcasters and fans alike.
(UPDATE, ie. after listening to most of the game instead of just throwing up :
in all fairness, The FranDog tandem weren’t nearly as horrible as they might’ve been — unlike your average John Sterling broadcast of a Yankee game, for instance, there was something approaching a description of the events taking place on the field. The scathing criticism of Kaz Matsui seems a little over the top (it’s hardly news that Matsui is unlikely to ever justify his contract, but the Mets could do much worse hitting 8th in the order) but at least that’s the sort of thing you’re unlikely to hear from Rose and McCarthy, at least not to that extent.
And of course, if you missed last night’s game at Fenway, Mike and Chris did an excellent job of recapping the highlights when they might otherwise have been boring you with details of what the Phillies were doing against Gonzalez in the top of the 3rd. Since I don’t work in the sports broadcasting trade, I’d have thought that persons tuning in to hear the Mets hosting the Phillies were primarily concerned with one of the two teams playing at the time. Russo and Francesca, however , know that the bulk of the audience consists of hardcore Mike & The Mad Dog fans and maybe a smattering of Yankee rooters. )