Fox Sports has had a little over a week now to settle in, and opening grades are out. Having met the team behind the scenes at FSSD, I'm sure they are looking to be as fan friendly as 4SD was before them, so if you have suggestions or criticism, fire away. Here are my first impressions... Nothing held back!
Except for the jump holding things back for just a second...
Impression so far: Leila's been handling a lot of in-game commentary and also hosting Padres Weekly. She's like the professional one. Maybe this is mean to say, but she's a bit like a younger Jane Mitchell without One-on-One. She's been perfectly fine.
Highlight: Her Spring Training work was good, but heading out to the left field stands to interview the guy who was standing next to the would-be home run ball that bounced back into play made a quirky impression on me. It felt very San Diego.
Impression so far: Britt's been doing sideline stuff and post-game interviews and has honestly made minimal impression on me so far. She's got the look, but the thing she lacks currently is the relationship and the comfort level that Jenny Cavnar had with the players. After a few years of covering a team, you can tell when the media people are truly rooting for the guys even if they aren't necessarily showing it, and Britt's not quite there yet.
Highlight: Maybe I've missed it, but I don't think I've seen her wear blue yet. I think she prefers the "hot" colors like red for opening day. Seen her in orange, and that gets close, but she definitely stands out among the dudes in black, blue and gray in the camera wells.
[UPDATE] I just learned that Britt McHenry is no longer going to be on the FSSD broadcast team. Leila will be handling the player interviews and sideline stuff that Britt was working on. We never got to know Britt, and she seems like a nice enough person, but it's probably for the best. If the network was seeing the same lack of comfort that I was seeing and if she was being put in a position where she wasn't able to show off her best, then better for everybody involved to get it done now than after 162 games.
Impression so far: Mike's been doing pre and postgame show alongside Mark Sweeney. . As a sports broadcaster, Mike just feels more like a sports broadcaster than John Weisbarth, but at the same time, he's suffering a little bit of the Britt thing so far also. Like they're both very prototypical Fox Sports people. Britt is the would-be Erin Andrews. Mike has the TV/Radio voice and good hair.
Highlight: Mike has brought with him the Pick the Stick game, which is fun so far, but I wish was somehow more interactive. Like maybe take the plurality of whoever Twitter fans pick also? Could make it more interactive
Impression so far: Padres fans know Mark Sweeney. Some know Mark Sweeney. And this is not quite the Mark Sweeney we know. He has been professional and well spoken and very intelligent and I think a lot of us were maybe expecting a bit more crazy. Me personally? I was hoping for more crazy. I know jbox was cringing at the thought of more crazy and is happy with the Sweeney we've gotten so far. Sweeney's been better during pre and post game than his in-game stuff. During the games, he's kinda parked off to the side and it's not a very flattering shot. Considering how many great shots FSSD has managed to put together so far, it may just be lacking by comparison, but if he's not going to be in the dugout, then I don't see much need for him, as a viewer, to just be near the dugout.
Highlight: I love the way Sweeney and Grant have used the wiffle ball field at the Park in the Park to demonstrate game situations. Such a great idea that should've been getting done since day one of the ballpark.
Impression so far: Love Mud. The veteran of the crew. Hasn't missed a beat.
Highlight: See the wiffle ball field stuff above.
Impression so far: Many are blind with hatred of Dick Enberg and are failing to notice that his rapport with Mark Grant is getting much better, there actually are traces of disappointment in his voice when the Padres fail to do something good, and he's generally getting his baseball chops back after years of focusing on Wimbledon and Olympics. But... Haters gonna hate.
Highlight: Chase Headley's Grand Slam
Grant: "Try to elevate something to the outfield here"
Enberg: "HE ELEVATED THIS ONE! IT'S HIGH AND IT'S GONE! TOUCH EM ALL!"
And that's everybody I think. You know what I really like so far though? Their shows. Review of those soon.