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Baseball fans didn’t seem to enjoy Keith Olbermann calling Mets-Yankees on ESPN

Awful Announcing logo Awful Announcing 8/14/2018 Matt Clapp
Keith Olbermann in a suit and tie: keith olbermann espn © Provided by Comeback Media keith olbermann espn

Keith Olbermann returned to ESPN this year, with his duties including hosting about 20 editions of the 11 PM SportsCenter over the course of the year, appear on studio shows (he’s guest-hosted some PTI, for example), and even do some baseball play-by-play.

Entering Monday night, Olbermann had only called baseball on ESPN Radio, but he filled in for Karl Ravech for Monday’s Mets-Yankees game at Yankee Stadium. This was a makeup game for a Mets-Yankees rainout on July 22, which was a Sunday Night Baseball game. So, Monday night’s game was an exclusive ESPN broadcast, meaning Mets and Yankees fans couldn’t watch the local team broadcast.

Naturally, this especially annoyed Mets and Yankees fans, and seemed to annoy baseball fans in general that weren’t big fans of Olbermann’s play-by-play. Twitter search “Olbermann” and the results aren’t pretty.

Play-by-play is incredibly difficult and the results shouldn’t be expected to be great for a person who’s rarely done it… which makes the decision to throw Olbermann on this game even more puzzling.

There were several awkward moments on the broadcast, like during an in-game interview with Noah Syndergaard that included some dead silence which left Syndergaard wondering what was going on.

It’s no surprise that the organization is lacking when announcers aren’t used to working together, and the play-by-play guy has little experience with the job.

It will be interesting to see if ESPN gives Olbermann more baseball play-by-play duties on television after this.


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