21 April 2008

To Tell The Truth

Is anyone amused anymore when Daron Sutton cheats on the telecast trivia questions?

Anyone at all?





You know the drill. FSN displays a typical poser, ostensibly for the entertainment of viewers at home, only to have the segment aborted when "Mischievous Daron" blurts all the answers from his laptop, ruining the segment for everyone. Why, I can barely contain myself over the genius of this inspired comedy gold, rehashed every other broadcast over the past year.

Yesterday's question was a good one. Name 11 players who each had a pair of 30-30 seasons (30 HR, 30SB). Not a query anyone with a life should be able to completely answer, but for those with an interest in baseball history, a fun challenge to ruminate about for a couple innings. The lad and I had guessed three or four players when our father son chat was abruptly terminated by Sutton's abortive shenanigans. This stale routine is annoying enough on it's face - heck, I want to test my knowledge and savor the intergenerational ball talk with the boy - but my annoyance with Sutton (or perhaps with the producers) runs deeper.

Unless there's an audience that finds this repetitive tease entertaining, the insipid japes appear to reflect a glaring disrespect towards that audience -the assumption, by someone, that if Daron is giggling like a medicated jackass that we must be laughing with him from our mothers' basements. The truth is that, for some time now, Daron is the only one laughing.

Except when he's not.

Like when fabricating wooden sightseeing adventures, always with a straight face, of life on the road with Gracie. Some fans are sufficiently suave to realize Grace (or anyone required to sit with Daron) wouldnt voluntarily spend free time with this unctuous clown, while others no doubt assume the travelogues are legit. See how the joke is on them? For over a year now, without a hint of disclosure or integrity. Isnt this fun? Do we really need to drag in Todd Walsh to establish a theme here?

Probably not, but let's defer to Daron, the master of dragging Todd Walsh into telecasts when it is completely unnecessary, which is always. Apparently in hopes of pissing me, specifically, off, Sutton asked Walsh out of the blue, in the middle of the ballgame, what Todd did this past weekend. Forget me. Does anyone, anywhere give a shit how this presumptuous gadfly in love with his own voice spends free time? Predictably, Walsh droned on about an Eddie Vedder concert that I daresay was shorter than his vague synopsis of it. Walsh, who is about my age chronologically, closed this characterisic indulgence in his solemn, hushed voice normally reserved for dramatizing Doug Davis's cancer (Godspeed, Doug Davis), intoning:






It was... a special night.


To review, Walsh is the sideline "reporter" often too bored to actually interview any of thirty thousand captive subjects on his nightly beat; a beat so humiliating he's compelled to explain how much more fun he had somewhere else. Someplace much cooler. Someplace you werent invited. A night this experienced wordsmith cant relay even one remotely interesting detail about, yet feels compelled to share with Daron and Mark and hundreds of thousands of ball fans that,



It was...a special night.


The theme that ties these anecdotes together is cynicism towards, perhaps even contempt for, ordinary viewers and baseball fans. In Sutton's case, veiled behind the broad populist smile and unnatural giggling; in Walsh's, the self referential elitism is unashamed and unmistakable.

17 comments:

Jeff said...

"Japes"

Again, this word deserves a comeback. Sorry about the broadcasting shenanigans. I know how you feel, but in a different way, as Ken Harrelson just defined "method acting" as given a suggestion on stage and making stuff up as you go along, which is actually "improvisational theatre" made most famous by the city of Chicago, where Kenny and I both live. Why was he talking about method acting? He said a hitter "has to think of mechanics from the pitcher to the plate not the catcher to the plate" and after he and DJ talked about this for ten minutes, no one (those with lives and those without) could discern their actual meaning or care enough to leave the sound on.

You would think with all the good baseball being played in Arizona right now, said "japes" wouldn't be necessary.

Russell said...

I NEVER get the trivia question-but on that particular one I'd got 4 and with another inning I could have added at least a couple more-all of a sudden Daron is blurting out the answers like the annoying kid in class who can't bear to not be the center of attention. And kudos for mentioning Walsh who I would gladly kill (I'm actually dreading Doug Davis' recovery from cancer).
You should take a sign to the ballpark calling for an end to japes and shenanigans.

Matt said...

You should take a sign to the ballpark calling for an end to japes and shenanigans.

Oh sure. I'll press my Austin Powers suit for the occasion.


Jeff,

I dont envy you, and wouldnt trade Sutton for Harrelson. At least Daron partially compensates for the japing with grammatical constructions recognized beyond the Appalachian perimeter.

John said...

I tend to get rather over-excited when theres a trivia question that I actually know the answer to - I definitely don't like that being taken away by the broadcasters...

I guess Tampa Bay fans are pretty lucky with Joe Magrane and Dewayne Staats, they're actually interesting and informative. The only problem is that MLB.tv seem to have some aversion to them, and so for half the season I have to but up with MASN, NESN or (I can barely bring myself to say it) YES.

Michael Norton said...

Again, trade you. Ray Knight. Even up. 8)

Michael Norton - Some Clubhouse
http://www.someclubhouse.com

PAUL said...

Maybe he learned about cheating from his dad. Don Sutton had no qualms about scuffing baseballs; perhaps Daron is taking a similar stance on the trivia questions.
You never answered my question in your last posting about the web traffic comparison between here and the artist formerly known as MLBlogs.
We've got a pretty good crew here (on the Mets side anyway). Ron Darling's becoming a star and he's got a sharp wit which he's not afraid to use at the expense of players in a pointed, but not cheap way; he's even doing commercials for Sovereign Bank now.
On the Yankees side, it seems like they have Michael Kay and a cast of thousands. There's Ken Singleton, David Cone, Al Leiter John Flaherty and Paul O'Neill. Not sure how they figure who's going to do which game and many of their voices are similar.

Matt said...

John,

Welcome and congratulations on your new site. Awesome banner heading, btw.

Michael,

Ray Knight and cash

Paul,

Maybe he learned about cheating from his dad

lol. I missed that! Unrelated but interesting info from Don's wiki page:

He was born to sharecroppers at the end of World War II, in a tar-paper shack.[1] At the time he was born his father was 18 and his mother was 15

re blogspot re mlblogs:

You never answered my question ...about the web traffic comparison

Sorry. Done.

Tracy said...

Why don't they let viewers answer the question and make it interactive? How totally boring to listen to those two come up with all the answers (and by cheating no less). Can't they give away two tickets to a future home game or something? I'm pretty sure there are plenty of seats available.

I have to sign off now. I'm getting awfully close to saying I miss Thom. DOH! (Usually followed by epileptic seizures.)

Where's my popsicle stick?

Glynnjamin said...

I once punched Todd Walsh in the back of the head at a crowded Coyotes game. I know this is hard to believe...but the Coyotes used to be popular.

Also, he deserved worse. I cannot stand him. If he ever does an interview from within earshot of my seats, I will boo & heckle him the entire time he talks.

john said...

Thanks matt, I'm still getting used to some things over here, like posting comments with my name linked to my site as opposed to my profile... But I love the fact that I can make things look how I want them, and play around with graphics as well!

Matt said...

Can't they give away two tickets to a future home game or something?

Swapping seats for scholarship ?! Heavens no. Buy something expensive first, then maybe we'll dangle a couple passes ;-)

I once punched Todd Walsh in the back of the head

Did you ever know...that you're my hero? You're everything I wish I could be.

Glynnjamin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glynnjamin said...

Being a season ticket holder who goes to every home game AND not having cable, I miss out on the Darron Sutton brilliance...BUT

Last night we were at Buffalo Wild Wings and they showed the Aflac Trivia question "What 3 pitchers have 300 wins and 40 saves." Of course, the Celtics game is on the speakers so I can't hear Grace and Sutton going on and on...but when they came around to reveal the answer what did they put as the answer? "What Darron and Gracie Said" !!!!!

What kind of crap is that? Now I understand the pain you all go through. Also...I think I misread the question because I can't find anyone who fits.

Matt said...

Oy!

It was actually:

Name the 3 pitchers who've recorded both a 20 win and 40 save season.

Smoltz and Eck are correct. The third guy is still active.

Blogger said...

Are you looking to earn cash from your websites or blogs with popunder advertisments?
If so, did you take a look at Clickadu?

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can shorten your long urls with AdFly and make dollars for every visitor to your shortened urls.

Blogger said...

Want to join additional affiliate networks?
Visit this affiliate directory to see the ultimate list of affiliate networks.