David Wells Is Like Charles Barkley, Except White and Without Comic Timing

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Live baseball games and the studio show on TBS last year were a little bit milquetoast and lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, so the cable network has decided to spice up their coverage with a little je ne sais fatso. Yes, David Wells is again gainfully employed, this time as a squawking head in the booth. Heck, David Wells is so fat that the fourth estate merged with the fifth estate just to fit him in.

Folks are already predicting that Wells will add some outspoken in-your-faceness to the proceedings, not unlike what Charles Barkley does for the NBA coverage on TNT. Still, you can't just be a blathering boob and expect great results from your incessant carrying-on. Barkley's comic timing is part and parcel of his character and you simply cannot imitate that. Besides, Wells will be in the booth, not in the pre-game studio, so his commentary should be limited to the game action. But it won't, because the typical TV color guy feels the need to fill time with babble; instead of letting the action do the talking, he interjects with witless anecdotes and poorly-placed didactic missives.

Credit Wells for knowing his predecessors, though:

If I was to imitate anyone it would be Ernie Harwell. Playing in Detroit for two and a half years was a great opportunity to hang around a legend. Ernie Harwell is always fun to listen to. Obviously, I never heard him until I went (to Detroit ), but I heard of him. But to really listen to a guy, if you're going to imitate someone that would probably be a guy that you would want to (imitate). You listen to (Dodgers announcer) Vin Scully, which I heard a lot, and you've got to idolize a guy like that because he's just so smooth up in the booth. But you can't imitate anyone, you've got to be your own person up there.

If he can be one tenth as good as Scully or Harwell and still retain his own style and voice, then just give him the Ford Frick Award right now. Stay tuned.

(Photos courtesy of Flickr user simplistic designs)


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15 Comments

"But it won't, because the typical TV color guy feels the need to fill time with babble; instead of letting the action do the talking, he interjects with witless anecdotes and poorly-placed didactic missives."

I'm looking right at you Joe Morgan.

btw, does anyone else find Mitch Williams at MLBnet funny? He was good last night while breaking down Nick Swisher's pitching performance.

Like Heath Bell, I love the MLB Network so much I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

@UU
Mitchie has been doing pre- and post-game commentary on Comcast for the Phillies for 2 years now. He's pretty good, and knows what the hell he's talking about.

Also, with the references to Harwell and Scully, I think Wells may be a reader of this fine blog. MAYBE HE'S CHIPPER!!!

I like Williams a helluva lot more on television than I did on the mound. However, I imagine Joe Carter doesn't share this sentiment.

@Rob

I commented to the wife last night that if I could marry a cable network, I would wed the MLB Network. I said I just wanted to hug it and never let go. She replied "maybe I should get an MLB t-shirt." MARRIAGE ZING.

I really don't have a problem with a single on-air person employed by MLBnet. Magrane is my least favorite but still tolerable. I think Plesac is very good.

@HI, you now know what to buy for your wife on your anniversary.

The good thing is that no one will be particularly surprised when David Wells gets busted while speeding, drunk, on his way to get some head.

Wild Thing is pretty good - plus I have his 1989 Cubs card on my fridge!

The best thing I've ever done is switch to DirecTV. MLB network and Extra Innings package are really the only things I need in life... well, and beer, of course.

I'll admit it. I'm already waiting for the day when somebody sneaks in "I'm a dumbass" on David Wells' teleprompter.

I haven't seen Wells or Barkley look that thin since 1998.

I hate Dish Network

UU,

Git my fiancee a sweet blue and orange 80's retro cavs shirt for her birthday.

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