One of the most predictable complaints about postseason games in any sport is about late start times, something often uttered by New York-based media who don’t understand the concept of “time zones,” people living outside New York, or TV revenues paying the sport’s bills (and thus, TV rightsholders pushing for start times that both work with their other programming and maximize their audience). That’s something that’s especially a refrain for older media members who don’t like staying up late. Phil Mushnick has been going off on this for years, but he got some company Wednesday thanks to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who decided to blast baseball as a whole (reminder: he works for MLB Network!) over start times, plus TBS and FS1. Here’s a delightful “old man yells at start time clouds” rant from Russo on his Sirius XM Show wednesday, via Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated:
Here’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo screaming, yelling, going nuts while eviscerating FS1, TBS and MLB. pic.twitter.com/ToKs9jeUih
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) October 17, 2018
For the record, Russo went on this tangent talking about the Red Sox-Astros Game 3 starting at 5:08 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, and how that pushed back the start of Game 4 of the Brewers-Dodgers series to 9:09 p.m. Eastern. That second game went 14 innings and ended around 2:25 a.m. Eastern. Here’s a transcription of his comments.
“…should be steamed about this! THIS IS RIDICULOUS! Why, because of FS1, TBS, I mean, geez, gahbahge channels anyway! My god! What, TBS wants to have part of the game leak into primetime, so they can’t start at 3:00 in Houston in Game 3? Nonsense! Who cares what TBS thinks? Put the game on, so we all can watch it, every part of the country! You think the NFL would play its championship game at 3 a.m.? You think it would do that? Does Championship Sunday in the NFL, the first big game begin at 7 and then the Rams play at 10? NO, IT DOESN’T!”
“Because the NFL controls the message! They control their television! They tell the network what time the game is on! I understand that nobody else can play that game with the networks, the NFL can because of TV ratings. It makes it harder for the NBA and the NHL and baseball. But this is RIDICULOUS! 2:25 a.m.! And when it’s convenient for baseball, they’ll make the Dodgers fan go to a day game on a weekday in a postseason spot! ‘Hey, we gotta put the Cubs in primetime, screw it, you play at 1:00!’ They don’t care! But when it’s not, when it’s the other way, they’re going to give you, when they do something stupid like this, they’re going to tell you, ‘Well, we want the Dodgers fan watching at 6:09 on the West Coast.’ YOU CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS! You cannot!”
“Think about it! If you’re a Milwaukee Brewers fan living in Wisconsin, YOU WENT TO BED ON IT! IT’S ONE TWENTY-FIVE THERE! SCHOOL NIGHT! GEEZ! One-twenty-five! And something else I screamed about on here today, and I’ll do it again; how are the games on Saturday, the two games, if we get them, Game Six Houston, Game Seven in Milwaukee, which we could get, why are those games on at 5 and 9? Did you know that? Did you know the times of those games? Red Sox play at five, and the Brewers play Game Seven at 9:09 on Saturday night! All right, it’s a Saturday night, I can deal with a little later, but 9:09? What, are you worried about the Alabama-Tennessee game on CBS? Nobody cares! That’s RIDICULOUS! Put the Red Sox at three and put the other game on at seven!”
Well, this is an illustration of why they don’t call him “Sane Dog.” And it’s at least a highly entertaining rant, so it’s got that going for it. But this is also proof that Russo is better as a talk-radio hothead than as a network scheduler. And he’s approaching full Network here.