Edson: Tigers TV Voices: Please, No Excuses

It’s bad enough when the Detroit Tigers botch a ground ball, misplay a routine flyball or miss the cutoff man.

As Tigers fans, we know this team isn’t very good.

So what we don’t need night in and night out from the Tigers TV booth is a bunch of excuses.

I give credit to radio play-by-play voice Dan Dickerson – by far the best Tigers announcer – and his partner Jim Price.

The other night leftfielder Christian Stewart completely misplayed a flyball. The difference in how the announcing teams described what happened was night and day.

Dickerson and Price agreed: This is the major leagues, you have to make that play.

Matt Shepard and Kirk Gibson had a different view: Shepard said he didn’t know what happened. Gibson said that because the team was playing in Atlanta, the warmer temperatures caused the ball to carry over Stewart’s head.

Night in and night out I grow weary of the excuses. It’s OK for an ex-player like Gibson to call it like the rest of us see it. So why doesn’t he?

Probably because he’s also employed by the Tigers as a special assistant to General Manager Al Avila. But the truth is, Gibby is losing credibility.

The fans see the physical and mental errors every game. They know what’s going on.

There is no need for the Tigers TV crew – Shepard, Gibson and Jack Morris – to tell us they “love” the player, but he might have done it differently.

Gibson and Morris, more than anyone on the 1984 World Series champions, demanded excellence from their teammates. So why do they hesitate to now?

It’s a head scratcher to me. It’s almost become a nightly joke between Tigers fans.

The truth is, it’s hard enough to watch this Tigers teams without the TV team making excuses for them.

This is major league baseball. When players like Ronnie Rodriguez or Nick Castellanos make boneheaded mistakes that high school players know isn’t right, it’s time to call them out.

It won’t make this a better Tigers team. But by the TV analysts explaining what the players SHOULD have done, it will help fans understand the long rebuilding process the Tigers are in.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

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