Anyone but Olney
5 years ago
Does anyone know why Buster Olney doing this podcast? Why did ESPN change the presenter? Wasn't it one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes? Why go change something that wasn't broken?
So many things to dislike about the new 'improved' podcast, but this is a small sample:
1. Buster's 'thanks for doing this' sign-off to every interview, encouraging, as it does, the reply 'oh no, Buster, thank you.' An annoying affectation. One of many.
2. His questions that last an eternity. I don't expect Studs Terkel, but my god he's tiresome. On Monday he'll tell us what he thinks about an issue. At boring length. On Tuesday he'll interview Jayson Stark but before asking Stark's opinion Buster will have to tell us what he thinks. Again. Because it was so fascinating the first time that we all want to hear it again. On Wednesday repeat with Kurkjian. Makes for great radio.
3. As does the new format where he chats with ESPN buddies every day. Don't get me wrong, I like Stark/Kurkjian etc when they're on TV, but on the podcast it comes across as a bunch of -extremely boring- buddies chatting in the bar. A couple to t
imes a season would be fine, but every second day? Awful. What doesn't help is Jayson Stark's stammering and pausing in every sentence (not a voice made for radio) and Timbo's tedious anecdotes about some non-event or other. Speaking of which...
4. I checked in again a couple of weeks ago and that day's podcast set a new low, even for Olney. FIFTEEN minutes talking with Kark Ravech about his trip with his best buddies from ESPN? Seriously? Who thinks this is interesting? It might have been entertaining (might, if you were as boring as Buster Olney is) to those who were there, but otherwise it's the radio equivalent of looking at someone else's holiday snaps.
As if that wasn't boring enough, they move on to discussing (in Buster's typically witty and brief style) Matt Adams pushing a fan and Big Papi's selfie. Those three non-stories took 25 minutes and only towards the end did we briefly get some interesting stats (Justin Havens on Bogaerts' swing-and-miss numbers) but they're isolated fragments in a stream of BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING gibberish. Speaking of which...
5. Buster's forced, false and dreadfully, painfully unamusing 'banter' with the producer? With Buster chuckling along, on his own. It's almost sad the way he resembles the boring guy on the plane that nobody wants to be sat next to. Random example: the 'it's warm down here in Florida and you're cold in New England' schtick that he squeezed every drop of 'humour' out of? Is there a person alive who thinks this is amusing? Even once was rubbish, but to repeat it pretty much every day for the length of Spring Training? Enough already!
6. Signing off the podcast with interviews with players. Seriously? In this age of press agents and PR people, players are so well coached that it's pretty much impossible for them to ever say anything interesting. And yet someone thinks that including these non-comments is in some way informative? Why? Is any thought given to this? Who listens to this
nonsense and think it's interesting?
A few ways in which the previous podcast was better:
1. It had a structure that worked (i.e.'around the diamond', 'call to the pen', etc).
2. Karabell and Law had a good rapport and interesting opinions, even if Klaw flogged the word 'narrative' to death.
3. Mark Simon's stats added to the discussion
4. Readers questions were invariably interesting.
I could go on but in essence, it was both fun, entertaining and informative: I learned a lot about baseball from listening to the show.
Now I get to hear that Buster grew up on a farm and what he thinks of cheese and what he thinks of birds singing and his false humility ("I'm just a dumb journalist..." Yes, Buster, you certainly are) and his endlessly repeated and effortlessly tedious asinine opinions on life, the universe and everything.
Bring back the old team. Olney out!