I like Harold Reynolds. He’s affable — a little too affable, according to some female ESPN employees — and obviously loves the game.
But insightful he’s not, and if you’ve ever watched his MLB Network show with Brian Kenny you know he makes an awful case for “old school” baseball thought (though mostly he seems annoyed by his co-host, which is perfectly understandable).
Despite all that, HR has reportedly emerged as the front-runner to replace Tim McCarver and may already have the job. We’ve come to expect little from Fox’s baseball broadcasts, so it’s no surprise they went the predictable route. Still, I sort of expected Smoltzie would get the nod. He’s a significantly better analyst and, probably because he was a star, lacks the starfucking instinct that often clouds HR’s judgment. Curt Schilling would’ve also been a smart choice.
I would select a different ex-Brave and another former Red Sox hurler: Chipper and Pedro. The latter acquitted himself nicely on TBS’ studio show this postseason and, paired with Chipper, would provide the “Odd Couple” component necessary to make a three-man booth work.
(We’re stuck with Joe Buck, though I don’t think he’s that bad and, of the baseball legacies, is far more accomplished than Chip or Thom.)
Chipper would bring the candor, as we all know. If he’s not afraid to go on a local radio station and pick the home team to lose, he’s unlikely to hold back on a national telecast.
Like Pedro, Chipper is a student of the game. The two of them would teach viewers a thing or two about pitching and hitting; HR, meanwhile, will be just another receptacle of baseball cliches.
I guess we should be thankful Fox didn’t promote Erin Andrews to the booth.