Hey, Michael Reghi, relax and forget the cliches

Media Watch

April 08, 1997|By Milton Kent

Ever meet someone at a party who was trying so hard to be charming and leave a good first impression that you spent the rest of the night ducking him? From this vantage point, that's the sort of feeling new Orioles television announcer Michael Reghi leaves you with after his first week.

Reghi, who took over play-by-play duties for Mel Proctor, who has moved to San Diego, has the potential to be a solid, if not spectacular, baseball man, but he appears to be trying so hard to win acceptance that he's lapsing into cliches and occasionally talking too much. There's no question that Reghi, who calls Cleveland Cavaliers games and has done pre-game work on Cleveland Indians telecasts, knows his craft. He has a pleasant voice and fits in well with Mike Flanagan, who will get the lion's share of analyst's work this year on Home Team Sports, Channel 13 and Channel 54.

But, in just yesterday's Orioles-Royals telecast, Reghi came up with some hackneyed phrases like "Bipster," for Kansas City outfielder Bip Roberts, "solo home run blast," "bang," as in he "banged it in the hole, "going to be on the gallop," "double play express," and "have the bags juiced up and looking for business" that sound right out of an SCTV sportscaster parody.

Folks in Cleveland say Reghi is a pretty good listen, and there's no reason to believe that he's not. But here's hoping he learns that the quickest way to impress new people is to be yourself and not be what you think they want you to be.

Where's the game?

More than a few Baltimoreans were left wondering what happened to the telecast of Sunday's Orioles-Texas game, which was on an original schedule for Channel 54.

Ted Ewanciw, a spokesman for Home Team Sports, said the game fell victim to scheduling conflicts and the inability to move either the Orioles or the Washington Bullets, whose game with Boston aired Sunday, to suitable times that wouldn't have fallen within exclusive telecast windows for NBC and ESPN.

The only other game this season that will not be shown on any of the Orioles carriers or Fox or ESPN is Sept. 20 against Detroit, though Fox could pick it up later if it affects a pennant race. And, if it makes you feel any better, a June 21 game against Toronto that was originally off the telecast schedule is now on.

Vroom, vroom

CBS reports that Sunday's telecast of the Interstate Batteries 500, won oddly enough by a guy driving a car plugging another battery, set Nielsen overnight records.

The race drew a 4.8 rating and 11 share of the audience in the nation's top 34 markets, which is the highest NASCAR overnight rating for a Winston Cup race, non-Daytona 500 division, since at least 1986. The network would like to be able to say those numbers are the best ever, but their records only go back 11 years.

What nerve!

That was an interesting spin put out by ESPN during its "Outside the Lines" special, recognizing the achievements of women in sports since Title IX.

In the show, the network appeared to suggest that the undefeated 1995 Connecticut basketball team had done more for the growth of women's basketball and women's sports in general than the 1996 Olympics.

In addition, Geno Auriemma, the Huskies' coach, posed the theory that, in time, people would talk about two of his 1995 players, Rebecca Lobo and Jennifer Rizzotti, in the same vein as Elvin Hayes, Lew Alcindor or Bill Walton.

Auriemma's self-serving remarks are simply laughable and barely merit a response beyond wondering how ESPN could air them. After all, while Lobo has certainly attained a measure of fame, she's no more a symbol of the game than, say, Ann Meyers, Cheryl Miller, Sheryl Swoopes, Nancy Lieberman-Cline or even Chamique Holdsclaw, and Rizzotti could safely win a game of "What's My Line?"

As for the notion that Connecticut has become the center of the women's basketball universe, a feeling that seems to pervade the northeast media corridor and ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters, we would ask the following:

If UConn's popularity so envelops the sport, how is it that ESPN's two all-time highest-rated women's hoops games -- the last two NCAA championship games -- didn't involve Connecticut, but both featured Tennessee, with this year's game being the most-watched college basketball game on ESPN or ESPN2 in seven years?

Explanations, anyone?

Pub Date: 4/08/97

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