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May 6, 2007

YES - some defensive analysis, please...
by TVerik

I haven't posted in awhile... *shakes off rust*

But I was thinking about this today - YES does a very good job of bringing us the Yankee games from a technical perspective, and the broadcast team is generally very good (I've discussed the reasons I think Michael Kay is underrated in the past - I'm too lazy to dig up the link right now, but most of my reasons are technical in nature; his opinions are not for me). But the analysts are generally either players whose focus was on either hitting or pitching - Girardi and Flaherty talk more about pitching than hitting, and the rest of them are very good at discussing today's players practicing the craft that they once did.

I'd like to see some defensive balance to the team - I'm not advocating for even more people in the booth; three is plenty for me. But I'd like to see them either hire a new analyst or "unleash" an existing one in talking about the redheaded stepchild of baseball - defense.

They'd have to set it up in advance, and devote some technical resources to covering this aspect of the game. But point a camera at Derek Jeter in isolation of the rest of the play, for example. Where is he set up? What does his first step look like? What is the reaction time after a ball is hit (this can be compared in a side-by-side with the opposing shortstop that day making a similar movement). They talk about his footwork being great; why is that? What makes good footwork and bad footwork?

We all know that Giambi is a horrible first baseman while Dougie is very good. Why is that? Show us a side-by-side of the way they throw to second on a double play, or how they scoop balls in the dirt, and break it down.

Have one of their catchers talk about Posada blocking the plate; again, they do this on scoring plays only. Show me Jorge's method and then show me someone else's method, and talk about the strengths and weaknesses of each player's fundamentals.

YES paid zillions of dollars to get the rights for these games, and they are charging cable companies an obscene amount in order to carry it. If they enact my suggestions, it would be a low-cost way to bring the game into people's living rooms the way that few other broadcasters do.