The New York Yankees topped the Cleveland Guardians this week in a five-game ALDS that aired on TBS, providing a different target to a whole new generation of fans who missed the chance to hate on Joe Buck.
Legendary play-by-play voice Bob Costas got the chance to wax poetic in this series, entertaining some, but rubbing many the wrong way. Some, like New York’s Mike Francesca, believed him to be long-winded, talking over the action with tales of yore. Others (mostly from Cleveland) believed Costas to be a member of the biased mob, collaborating the MLB’s head honchos in NYC to make certain the Yankees advanced in the series.
Those people couldn’t be more wrong; Costas provided equal amounts of misery to both fan bases, whether he was zeroing in on the Bronx crowd booing Aaron Judge or taking the right fielder to task for missing hanger after hanger.
Given the chance to address how much he hates Cleveland by Ohio sports talk show “The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima,” Costas surprisingly did not admit to rooting for the Yankees and hoping Josh Naylor’s baby got a good night’s sleep.
Instead, he plainly laid out how ridiculous these allegations really were, embracing his role as the latest in a long line of broadcasters to be accused of hating both teams.
No, Bob Costas does not hate the Cleveland Guardians. Or the Yankees.
"“I don’t want to be harsh — I understand where it comes from — but to be concise, it’s idiocy,” the veteran play-by-play announcer said. “There are people in New York who think we’re somehow being unfair to the Yankees.“It only comes from people who are themselves partisans — whose idea of objectivity is Tom Hamilton’s call,” Costas said of the Guardians’ beloved hometown broadcaster. “Tom Hamilton is great. He’s a wonderful guy. He should someday be in the broadcaster’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s the radio announcer for the Guardians. He can call a game the way he calls a game, and it’s the way he should call the game.”"
What? Intonations rise when a broadcaster finds something exciting? Next thing you know, they’re going to be claiming that people from different regions have different accents and dialects.
Like Costas said, it wasn’t very difficult to find Yankee fans who believed he was biased against them, too. That’s the type of environment a level-headed broadcaster creates. When one team tightens the affair, that’s exciting. When a rally is brewing, on either side, that creates tension.
National broadcasters set the scene. If the scene features danger — for either side — all the better.
You want bias? Tom Hamilton is biased. He’s been embedded in Cleveland for decades. And that’s why they love him!
You want bias? Michael Kay is a born Yankee fan who went to Fordham, and you can hear his passion with every pitch. And that’s why they … tolerate him!
Meanwhile, Costas and Buck are left shaking hands wondering what went wrong in their attempts at even-handedness. Turns out the audience can’t conceive of the concept of highlighting the most interesting narratives as they come, and therefore defaults to the assumption that the play-by-play man hates them specifically, as he raises his voice at their pain.