Tampa Bay Rays traded Denard Span and Alex Colome last night. But, you wouldn’t have known by watching the Rays Live! Pregame Show on Fox Sports Sun.
Last night was Demo Day on Fox Sports Sun. Rays Live! Pregame was dedicated to showing Orestes Destrade and Doug Waechter teach us the finer points of baseball. I get that this was planned in advance. But, I turned on the pregame show at 6:30 pm expecting breaking trade news.
The Tampa Bay Rays had just traded their closer along with a veteran outfielder to the Seattle Mariners. Yet, there was absolutely nothing about the trade mentioned in the half-hour pregame show. Not a mention from Rich Hollenberg. Not a crawl at the bottom of the screen. Nothing.
I thought that was weird. When the broadcast finally moved into game mode, the trade was finally discussed. Brian Anderson, Rays color commentator, actually referred to the trade as a “bombshell”. Yet, a trade that didn’t provoke even a mention during the pregame show.
I kept watching, though. I’d flip over to the MLB Network during commercials and I’d see a crawl in bold red lettering announcing the trade. Back on the Rays Live! Pregame show, more coaching. I learned that Manny Machado’s swing is a cross between Evan Longoria and Alex Rodriguez. I learned that Sergio Romo pitches backwards. But, I couldn’t learn anything about Andrew Moore or Tommy Romero.
Was the Rays Live! Pregame taped?
For some reason, I thought the timing of the trade would make for good television. The trade was first mentioned on Twitter by Tampa Bay Times beat writer Marc Topkin at 5:58 p.m. Denard Span was in the starting lineup, set to leadoff for the Rays. I thought it would be interesting to see if any player reactions had been caught on camera during pregame activities. Maybe manager Kevin Cash had an immediate reaction that could be shown. But, for the first half-hour, the pregame show remained on script.
As I was watching, I wondered if the live pregame show had been pre-recorded. But, I couldn’t tell. For this particular pregame show, Rich, Orestes and “Dougie” were under the stands, working in front of a backdrop of Opening Day at the Trop. There was some relevant information about the upcoming game. But, no starting lineup, no live camera shots from the field and certainly no mention of the “bombshell” trade.
I’m certainly no television critic. I just thought the first 40 minutes of Tampa Bay Rays television coverage last night was awkward. Baseball fans look for immediate analysis and reactions when a significant trade is made. Fox Sports Sun chose to show none of that at a time where breaking news fell in their lap.