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A BINGE FOR BASEBALL FANS
Steve Wulf
April 30, 1990
ESPN's exhaustive coverage is (mostly) a delight
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April 30, 1990

A Binge For Baseball Fans

ESPN's exhaustive coverage is (mostly) a delight

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Chris Berman Unless he starts paying as much attention to describing the game as he does to trying to find a sobriquet for Lance Blankenship, we would rather have Berman backbackbackbackback in the studio doing SportsCenter.

Tommy Hutton ESPN is making a mistake by limiting Hutton to the Tuesday late game and a backup game on Friday. Easy on the ears and nimble of mind, Hutton should be on at least one prime-time national game a week. The other night, when Berman was tripping over the names Carney Lansford and Mark Langston, Hutton said, "Good thing Rick Langford no longer pitches for the A's."

Gary Thorne The former assistant district attorney of Bangor, Maine, is an excellent play-by-play man, with a good sense for setting up a dramatic moment. He also has the most infectious laugh in the business. He would make an ideal partner for Hutton.

Norm Hitzges Possessed of a Baseball Encyclopedic mind, he sounds a lot like Dick Vitale and unlike any baseball analyst we've ever heard. Stormin' Norman will take some getting used to.

Steve Zabriskie He's nothing if not versatile—in the first two weeks, he worked with Morgan, Hitzges, Palmer and Bob Gibson (one of ESPN's backup announcers). Your basic Wonder bread announcer.

Jim Palmer He may be the most underrated analyst in the business; every pitcher in baseball should be listening to him. His partners on the ABC telecasts the last five years, Al Michaels and Tim McCarver, won a lot of praise, but the critics always shortchanged Palmer. They probably couldn't trust a guy with his looks.

Baseball on ESPN has already been a boon to the people who play the game. Some players have taken to videotaping telecasts so that they can study their opponents. It may, however, prove a bust to America's households. In his inaugural telecast, Miller quoted Oriole p.r. man Rick Vaughn, who said of ESPN's baseball coverage, "This is going to ruin a few marriages. Including my own."

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