SBD/November 1, 2013/Media

Fox Criticized For Decision To Have Erin Andrews Handle World Series Postgame Duties

Andrews (l) drew disapproval for her handling of postgame interviews
The on-field World Series celebration Wednesday night "required someone on the postgame stage with more gravitas than Erin Andrews, and someone more renowned for baseball than for college football," according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. Fox execs "wrongly figured that she deserved a prominent place on baseball’s biggest stage." Andrews seemed "awkward at times," and Fox "should have looked more deeply into its stable of announcers for a true baseball personality." There is a "certain sterility to these modern celebrations, a stage-managed lack of spontaneity." Something "primal is lost when the boozy, sweaty chaos of a clubhouse has been replaced by a planned postgame event with players and team personnel milling on the field." Meanwhile, the net's video tribute to Tim McCarver at the end of Game 6 had its "looking-back charms, but it still felt stilted." Fox "could have sprinkled 30-second 'McCarver Moments' throughout the Series and given him a great platform to end the broadcast" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/1). In Boston, Chad Finn writes Fox "needs to start hitting Erin Andrews lower in its batting order." During a Game 6 interview with The Souvenir Store co-Founder Arthur D’Angelo, she "referenced the lucrative and locally iconic baseball merchandise shop as a 'convenience store.'" Andrews during the postgame trophy presentation also appeared "uncertain as to who" Red Sox Chair Tom Werner and President & CEO Larry Lucchino were (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/1).

TWITTERSPHERE NOT IMPRESSED: Andrews' postgame appearance also drew some criticism on Twitter. SiriusXM Radio's Chris Russo wrote, "Erin Andrews is a nice kid but you can't throw her out there to do post game when she hasn't seen a baseball game all year." SB Nation's Rob Neyer wrote, "I'm glad somebody said this: Erin Andrews was a horrible choice to host postgame stuff." The N.Y. Daily News' Kevin Armstrong wrote, "Erin Andrews batting Bud Selig for the microphone in WS post-game ceremony. Quite the showdown there." Awful Announcing: "Erin Andrews v Bud Selig over a microphone was a highlight of this year's World Series." A's P Brett Anderson: "This isn't about you Erin Andrews."

THE TIME IS NOW: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes it was time for McCarver to retire, but not because he had "lost his fearless approach or his uncanny ability to first-guess better than any TV analyst in any sport" or because he had "lost his enthusiasm for preparation." It was "getting harder for Tim McCarver to be Tim McCarver." It "wasn't just about the modern-day voice having to play puppet for a network, league or team." The media world "had changed around him too." McCarver at age 72 "isn't about tweeting, being liked on Facebook, participating in web chats or placating web critics" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/1). The GLOBE's Finn looks at McCarver's possible replacements and writes MLB Network's Harold Reynolds "wouldn't be the worst choice." Finn: "I suppose they could go after someone like Rex Hudler or Ken Harrelson or another shrieking homer and really botch it. At least Reynolds is pleasant and his appreciation of the game comes through." Fox to be "bold and fun-loving" could hire TBS' Pedro Martinez or NESN's Dennis Eckersley (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/1).

SELLING THE DRAMA TOO WELL: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes under the header, "Fox Misses Point -- And The Game -- With Series Coverage." Since Fox began to televise the World Series in '96 its "shot-callers have had it in their heads the games, while important, are no more so than live shots of people doing what we tuned in to do -- watch the game." Fox has "always figured endless crowd shots ... add to the drama" (N.Y. POST, 11/1).
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