TBS’ in-game baseball crew of Brian Anderson, John Smoltz and Ron Darling, accompanied by Tom Verducci, adopts an old-timers passion for the game with composed charge and appropriately dramatic camera team.
The team has a high emphasis on pitching commentary - as they should. John Smoltz is one of the best pitching minds I’ve seen in the booth in a long while and his insight into tonight’s CC-Verlander match-up was consistently specific and explicit about what each pitcher was strategically doing to find success or what the pitcher was aiming for through each approach. Unlike many pitching specialist, and most of the experts who were at one time adept as Smoltz was, the old Brave is incredibly articulate about the internal monologue of a big league pitcher - and the frankness in which he contributes to the game probably stems from his actual experiences. With Smoltz, you feel the battles Verlander and Sabathia wrestle through a little thicker: expertly engaged but ethically absent - a seemingly medical understanding of the pitching game.
Smoltz is supported by an accomplished partnership with Brian Anderson on Play-by-Play and Ron Darling supporting in Color. Anderson speaks with solemn grace and packed enthusiasm that he lets breathe organically and only when he as a baseball fan feels the moment. His leadership and support in booth allow Smoltz to really flourish through the long and potentially taxing AL playoff games. Darling (if there as the hitting connoisseur, only in title) was perceptive in the pitching game and requisite to Smoltz as well, feeding and supporting him a number of times throughout the ball game. Ron’s own affable intuition about the mindsets of pitchers and hitters buttressed Smoltz dynamite work and gave him a presence in and of itself.
I found the team to be available and talented. Great ball game with the booth up to its quality. I admit: I wasn’t able to watch from the 7th on because my recording ran out but after watching 16ish innings of these guys I felt I had a pretty good grasp on them,