If you have been watching TBS broadcast the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox battling it out in the American League Divisional Series, you may have noticed something missing. No, not insightful commentary or factual tidbits (although those were missing too), but pitch counts.
For some reason, TBS seems to have thought that those pesky pitch counts — which fans use to track how close a pitcher could be to being pulled out, or just how the game is going, overall — were not important enough to include in their graphics package. What was important enough, however, was their own logo that was bigger than that of either team, as well as a huge blank bar for no reason.
Just look at this shipwreck of a broadcast:
I didn’t crop anything extra here — that black box above the score is just there for some reason. They couldn’t move it up or just leave it blank, but it apparently required a black bar. But the important thing is that you see the TBS logo. That’s all the information you need in a baseball game, after all.
By no means do I think STO’s broadcast is perfect, nor are the graphics that they (and the rest of the MLB teams covered by FOX Sports) use. But it’s a massive improvement over the Twitch-streamer-who-forgot-to-move-something-out-of-frame look that TBS uses for their score.
Luckily that is all changing after “viewer feedback,” most of which probably involved swearing directly at TBS on Twitter.
Turner Sports tells @SInow, upon listening to viewer feedback, they will add a pitch count to their graphics for rest of MLB postseason.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 9, 2016
Instead of putting the pitch count up near the score, like most rational human beings, they stick them at the top of their TBS Strike Zone box, which only appears during a pitch. Want to see the pitch count between pitches, or while the camera is panning around? Too bad, loser.
Would it maybe make sense to have the pitch count constantly up near the score, instead of having it flash at random times? Sure. But then you’d have to take some real estate away from that sweet, sweet TBS logo.
Chances are if you are reading this webzone you are someone who sits with MLB.com open and has access to the pitch count, anyway. But the fact that TBS decided to leave it off is baffling. I have been more forgiving than most of the broadcast team that TBS has assembled for the Indians-Red Sox series, but their graphics package is atrocious. I cannot imagine watching while also being someone who vehemently hates Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, and company.
TBS will also carry the ALCS, so if the Indians can finish off the Red Sox in the coming days we will have to deal with them for a bit longer.