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Burn the Facebook game to the ground: Diamondbacks 8, Phillies 2

The game itself wasn’t great, but everything else about it was worse.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies
“Why have you betrayed me!?”
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Why is this happening to us? What did we do to deserve this?

I’m not talking about the Phillies’ 8-4 loss to the Diamondbacks, which was putrid from start to finish. I’m talking about the Facebook broadcast. Or more specifically, the broadcast team. Ben Davis, the square-headed lego figurine come to life, joined Scott Braun and Eric Byrnes, and it was just...

Awful. Terrible. Unlistenable. Embarrassing. It was all just really, really bad. Ben Davis is normally not great, that’s nothing new. But the other two, they were unexplainably horrible. It was... I don’t have any more words for it.

Half the time, Scott Braun sounded like he only vaguely knew what was happening in front of his face. His voice would rise and rise and rise for fly balls that were clearly going to stay in the park, which made me think that he had very little experience with Citizens Bank Park. Sure, there are several broadcasters who actually work there and watch a lot of games there, but why bother having people with knowledge or experience work these games? Why not have two dudes people barely know talk about the game! Or in most cases, NOT talk about the game and instead talk about stupid crap.

And Eric Byrnes. Good god. He needs to lay off the either the caffeine or the cocaine, because he was jacked up to high heaven. Maybe that’s just how he is, but it’s extremely offputting. He screeched through plays and babbled incessantly, sometimes forgoing words in favor of random mouth noises. He veered between difficult to listen to and straight up excruciating.

In the fifth inning, the three of them spent a little time talking about the best part of Citizens Bank Park (Ben praised the food but named just two places) before launching into a conversation about non-Phillies ballparks. And then they talked about what you should spray into your glove to condition it or to make it stickier. This was all while a baseball game was going on, by the way.

It’s appalling how little they talked about the game or the players involved in it. They barely talked about the stats or what was happening. They had more fun circling their picks among the 2018-2019 free agents on the screen, which involved Davis not circling Clayton Kershaw. Or talking through entire innings and failing to call any of the action while chatting with Jake Arrieta, who is a grown-up and shouldn’t have to do in-game interviews that involve questions from Facebook!

What is the point of this? I get making an afternoon game available on a website that people at work normally visit. But why have a different broadcasting team? And most importantly, why this broadcast style? Where did they get the impression that the Facebook-viewing public wanted a broadcast with this kind of sloppy, disorganized, inexpert style? There was no Statcast stuff, which I don’t mind, but there was no Statcast because there was literally nothing. There was no talk of approach at the plate. Or pitching strategy. Or difficulties hitters might be having at the plate. There were no interesting stories or anecdotes. No background about any player. No history of any kind about anything. Instead, there were constant pleas to the Facebook viewers for questions and comments and lots of awkward, self-congratulatory laughter.

The announcers provided nothing of value. Ballpark noise would have been more constructive. It was a waste of everyone’s time. But if getting around 25,000 viewers was their goal, then mission accomplished!

Maybe the viewers were chased off by an actual porn bot roaming the comments of the game. ::flourish:: Facebook, folks!!!

“I’m surprised anyone’s still listening to us” said either Scott or Eric at one point during the broadcast. If there were any other option, guys, no one would be.

The game is over. The Phillies lost. Facebook sucks, and so does the entire Facebook broadcast team. Let us never speak of this again.