Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Scooter, the Talking Baseball

It's finally time to issue a moron-torium of the consistent dumbing down of our lives. Here's the latest from Fox Sports in the States, and don't think it'll take too long before someone at ITV or RTÉ whose hairline begins just above his or her eyebrows to take notes and start making localised adjustments: starting last Friday, with the first nationally televised game of the new Major League Baseball season, Fox Sports are accompanying their telecast with an animated talking baseball, called Scooter the Talking Baseball, which will explain what the different pitches in baseball are, and how they work.

This is bad as is; what's worse that is Scooter is being voiced by Tom Kenny, who made his name as the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. So that should make him pretty authoritative on the split-fingered fastball, as invented by Nolan Ryan, shouldn't it? Nothing like patrician gravitas, I always say.

And here's the worst, the lowest of the low, the nadir: last Friday's Boston Globe quotes David Hill, who's the chairman of Fox Sports, and as such is getting vast, vast sums of money for his job, explaining the idea behind Scooter, the talking baseball. He says that Scooter is aimed at younger viewers to explain the different pitches, which is fair enough. But by younger viewers, he means ten to twelve year olds.

Ten to twelve year olds need to have things explained to them by cartoons? What next? White House Press Conferences hosted by Barney?

Oh God, this is next. David Hill says that the idea behind Scooter, the talking baseball is that "it's a way of sugar-coating the information pill."

Somebody sugar-coat me a bullet - I can't take much more of this.