Saturday, September 22, 2007

From The Mailbag

A reader sent me a thoughtful discussion of the Glenn Geffner mess a couple of days ago. With that reader's permission, I am reprinting it here.

So, after reading your blog for many months now, I have summarized my
opinions the following way. There are two sets of concerns: Legitimate
Complaints and Overblown Complaints. I have summarized them here, and
as like before, I do not wish to be identified by name or email, if you
chose to publish any of this. Anyhow, my complaints are summarized as

Although his job title and lack of skills are serious issues, I don't
believe them to be the legitimate complaints. The Red Sox broke up a
team with good rapport and installed an unqualified announcer into the
broadcast booth. I have summarized the real issues, as know them, as
legitimate complaints here:

1. His voice is not fit for the job. Unfixable. You either have it or
you don't. He just doesn't sound right and there are plenty announcers
they could have chosen who DO sound right.

2. He has zero rapport with either Castiglione or O'Brien. At least
Castiglione and Trupiano had a great rapport. I think the Sox haven't a
clue how important rapport is. Do they even realize the damage they've

3. He's not good yet because he doesn't have enough experience. This
means he was not and is not ready for an MLB gig. The voice issue(see
#1), however, might preclude him from EVER being qualified.

4. He didn't earn this job. All indications are that Lucchino promised
him the job and pushed it through. Got to hand it to him for his
loyalty to his employees, huh? But let's see if Larry has the guts to
make the right decision in the off-season, hopefully letting him go with
more class than the Trupiano departure.

5. He's not as good as Trupiano. I hear there are people who didn't
like Trupiano, but you have to admit Trupiano was far better than this.

6. His pre-2007 broadcasting experience is suspect. They claimed that
he had experience at all levels, but I must be missing something.
Lesser standards in San Diego? Was this resume fabricated so that he
would appear to be worthy of the job?

7. He's not even as good as Jon Meterparel, and that's saying quite a
bit because Metarparel's game calling skills are atrocious.

I get frustrated when I hear the following issues at the top of the list
of complaints. These should be mentioned, but I think the legitimate
complaints, above, comprise the real issue. The following are the
overrated complaints, and should be subdued compared to the larger issues:

1. His small talk and inability to skillfully blend stats and facts into
the broadcast is no doubt bad. But we can't nit pick these things
without sounding petty. Besides, take one of the things he says that
sounds stupid, and imagine them coming out of Joe or Jerry's mouth last
year. They'd probably have a laugh(because they had rapport) and move
on. Instead, when he says his stupid things(albeit more frequently), we
judge him based on his skills and reputation, and he doesn't have enough
of either to get away with it. Don't get me wrong, he's bad, but the
other real problems merely amplify THIS lack of skill.

2. The fact that he still holds a job with the Red Sox front office is
getting WAY overblown. Sure, this might taint his opinions and
jeopardize the objectivity of the broadcast, which is in no doubt a
major issue. But this issue is correctable. If the Sox removed this
transgression today and thought that this would make us all happy, then
we'd be stuck with this guy who STILL has all the real flaws intact!

That's it. Thanks for listening. Oh, and I've love to hear a response
from the Sox on any of these issues.


I realize that I have overstated the significance of Geffner's front office role, but it's something that really gets under my skin. The fact that it is correctable doesn't make it right. In fact, the fact that it is so easily correctable and disprovable shows a degree of arrogance, in my view.

Thanks to the reader for the letter. I hope you enjoy it, too.

No comments: