|Kurkjian can't even watch.|
I love Terry Francona. I think he's a great manager and an even better guy. I agree that it was time for him to part ways with the Red Sox, but his managerial career at Fenway will be argued as the best of all-time for years to come. As a broadcaster, however...
To put it delicately: the guy needs work. Alright forget delicate - I'd rather watch an NIT play-in game than listen to Tito interact with the rest of the Baseball Tonight crew.
Tito displayed his "gee, gosh" fumbling way of speaking and his funny voice over the countless interviews of his career, and the baseball world ate it up. What a down to earth guy... A real player's manager!... I'd love to play for a guy like that! ... And yes, that's all great and true, but not once did I hear a Tito presser and think: "Professional broadcasting, here he comes!"
Again, I like Francona, I really do, but it's downright painful to listen to him sometimes. He just feels so out of place, the second-hand embarrassment can get unbearable. He's that uncomfortable even-my-colleagues-know-I-stink level of bad. Every time he speaks, Karl Ravech's face reads, "Is this guy frickin kidding me? Do we pay him?" And the best part is, he doesn't even try to hide it.
Now maybe I'm being a little rough on Tito. I realize he's new to this gig, and the regular season has not yet even begun, but at this point I honestly expect more. This is his job now, after all. This is his profession - shouldn't he have had to display some qualifications before getting hired? (Aside from achieving success as a manager and being a good guy, of course.) But then again, what are Shannon Sharpe's broadcasting credentials - a Windsor tie knot the size of a New York pizza slice?