The 2014 College World Series has come and gone, and it’s a tough go for UVA baseball fans, whose team’s run at the school’s first baseball national title came up a run short Wednesday night.
We’ll miss the team that got us there, ruminate over what might have been, but there will be things that we won’t miss about the experience, which for most of us came via the fine folks at ESPN.
Among the things we won’t miss:
– The Whistler. Whoever that guy is, and he’s a Vandy fan, and they don’t even like the guy, man, good riddance. It’s enough to make you want to root against any future success for Vanderbilt sports, just so you don’t have to hear the guy, nothing personal against the school, of course.
– Karl Ravech. The “Baseball Tonight” host is out of his element as a play-by-play guy, even on TV, which should be easier, because, you know, you have pictures. It’s obvious that his value to ESPN, such as it is, comes sitting in a studio reading a prompter, not thinking on his feet trying to make sense of a live event. Then factor in that he seemed to be almost openly rooting for Vandy in the Finals, to the point where you have to wonder if he applied to UVA in high school and didn’t even get wait-listed. His excitement over routine fly balls by Vandy hitters and bro love for Commodore third baseman Tyler Campbell were a bit much.
– “That’s what I told him.” I’m a media business guy, and understand the importance of advertisers, because as fun as all this is, somebody has to pay the bills. Buick seemed to have gotten a helluva deal from ESPN, because the commercial with the older lady with the nasally voice talking about how her son’s Buick didn’t look like a Buick was on every half-inning for two weeks. That, and Samuel L. Jackson going on about what’s in our wallet. For those of us who love baseball, there must not be many of us, given the scarcity of sponsors.
– Vanderbilt’s national title in women’s bowling. It took until Game 3 for Ravech to reveal to the national TV audience that UVA has 20 national championships to its credit, in sports including men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, men’s tennis, and rowing. But we heard early and often about Vanderbilt’s national title in women’s bowling, which until Wednesday night was the only national title that the school’s athletics program had in the trophy case.
– The incessant whining about the lack of home runs. They need to move in the fences! Or raise the seams on the baseballs! Maybe reorient the stadium so the wind isn’t always blowing in! And if sacrificing a live chicken would help, come on already! The title game turned on a late homer. Happy now? (FWIW: It’s not the seams on the baseball; it’s the core.)
– Column by Chris Graham