Saturday, September 01, 2007
(posted by OMDQ)
Is there something about the afternoon drive-time slot on Sporting News Radio that eats away the hosts brains and causes them to make utterly ridiculous statements?
My thoughts on Dave Smith are fairly well-documented: I think he's a good host, as long as one is willing to sit through the fluff that tends to clog his format on a daily basis (I'm willing to forgive the occasional "Boston will play Milwaukee in the divisional playoffs" or "Russell Martin would be my catcher on an All-America team" gaffes).
This week, however, Smith was on vacation. His replacement? Tim "Monty" Montemayor, a sports radio veteran who doesn't seem to actually know a lot about sports. Okay, maybe that's harsh - as I always note, these guys have to be pretty good to get these gigs. They have to know something. But every time I turned on the radio this week, Montemayor was there, saying something foolish.
The other day, for example, he was taking calls on the Michael Vick situation and ran into a caller who raised the issue of dogfighting vs. hunting: why is one illegal and taboo while the other is legal. It wasn't so much his opinion on the subject that irked me - he believes that there is absolutely no comparison between the two activities - as the way he dismissed the caller and anyone else who might have been wondering the same thing. He basically said, "They're different, and if you need me to explain the reasons to you, then it's not worth taking the time to explain it."
Great. So you have an opinion on something, which is part of what Smith advertises that his show is all about, but all you have to offer as back up is, "God, anyone who doesn't understand what I think just doesn't get it." That's not a good argument, Tim. You need to come with some evidence. People who equate hunting with dogfighting have reasons, theories, hypotheses - they bring something to the table. In arguing the opposite side, you need to do the same.
After that, every little thing seemed to catch my attention. A caller earlier this week asked how many games the Cardinals have left to play this season. Montemayor responded, "I think about 50-something," then promised to look up the correct answer (I didn't have a schedule in front of me and could have told him it was probably in the low-thirties - it's September). I listened up to the next commercial break, no answer. Could he have mentioned it at the start of the next segment? Possibly - I had stopped listening by then. But how hard is it to either look up the correct answer, or glance at a calendar and guesstimate based on how many games are left?
On Friday, it was just incorrect statement after silly argument, so much so that I actually sat in the car for a few minutes after I got home just to see what else he could get wrong. He said the Milwaukee Brewers can't pitch or field, but they can "rake", with an "amazing" 631 runs scored this season. If 631 runs scored is "amazing", what is 727 - the Philadelphia Phillies would like to know so they can label their offense accordingly. The Brewers are nothing more than a middle of the road offensive team - 1st in homeruns but 7th in runs per game and total runs scored, 10th in batting average and tied for 10th in on-base percentage. And their pitching is in right about the same range.
We also got a good prediction: "The NL Central will be close all year." That's a really bold step, Tim. You're going out on a limb with this one, aren't you...considering it's already SEPTEMBER. Thanks for the insight.
In talking about college football, he noted that the BCS is responsible for nights like Thursday, when Louisville beat up on Murray State 73-10, because it rewards teams for huge margins of victory. No, Tim - Louisville is responsible for that game; none of the computers involved in the BCS rankings currently utilize margin of victory, which all but removes the need to run up the score.
From there, Montemayor went on to note several games that, "he did not need." LSU-Mississippi State was pointless to him. Elon-South Florida: pointless. UAB-Michigan State: pointless.
He had a point in one regard: games between 1-A and 1-AA "rivals" often ARE fairly ridiculous (although wins for the 1-AA teams are not unheard of). But in condemning LSU's 45-0 beating of Mississippi State, he overlooked two key details: one, the Tigers had to go on the road for their first game of the season, and two, they had to play a conference opponent. Was it a GOOD conference opponent? No, but it still wasn't an ideal situation. And I'm not even sure what his beef was with UAB. Didn't really explain.
From the sound of it, Montemayor is the type of person who wants to break the divisions down even further - let the BCS schools play only each other at the top, with the mid-majors as a sort of minor league and Division 1-AA a forgotten entity. Wouldn't that be awesome?
Thank God Dave Smith is back Monday.