Yesterday, I made a note of the FSN-South/Turner South switcheroo. For those that missed the post (and the story in the newspapers), Fox Sports Net purchased Time-Warner's regional sports network, Turner South, and will incrementally rebrand the former Turner South into a second FSN-South sports network (to use a completely redundant description), called . . . well, whatever it will ultimately be called.
The aspect of the change that made all the headlines was the transfer of "talent" (I will use the term loosely, for the benefit of some) broadcasting the Braves' games: for regional telecasts, gone from the TV airwaves is the Turner crew (Skip, Nepotista Chip, Pete, Don, and Joe), to be replaced by FSN-South's duo of Bob Rathbun and Jeff Torborg.
The news is not greeted with plaudits over at Talking Chop:
As a note of full disclosure, I must note that I hold no antipathy toward Bob Rathbun. I grew up in ACC county, and during my childhood, Rathbun was one of the voices on Raycom-Jefferson Pilot Teleproductions' syndicated basketball broadcasts. On the other hand, I've never really heard him do baseball, and I'll acknowledge he's kind of goofy-looking and has a nasal voice.
However, as Talking Chop notes, the FSN-South/Turner South change-up isn't the real story; if anything, it's merely the precursor to the real story---which, strangely enough, could bring back and familiar (and somewhat feared) name from our recent past.
By "our," I mean us, fans of the Nats. You'll see why in a second.
According to Talking Chop:
This context leads to the evaluation of the situation contained in a column by Peter Gammons at ESPN.com:
Who is the mystery figure behind my redaction? I'll give you a minute to think about it.
In the meantime---and as you're pondering the answer---I will go ahead and refer to two other bits of context.
- First, it would appear that the Talking Chop correspondent is apprehensive about this mystery person---and, I would note, perhaps for good reason.
- Second, it seems that Atlanta Falcons' owner Arthur Blank wants control of the Braves, too, and his prospect seems more palatable to a Braves' fan:
With Time Warner seemingly already having chosen Liberty Media, the hopes are that Blank will not get discouraged, and that he will still be there in the thick of discussions when Liberty turns around and resells the team.
Blank is, of course, a local figure who would apparently not be averse to raise payroll or otherwise do what it takes to win (not that the Braves lack for success in recent . . . well, decades). The current corporate overlords, obviously, represent a different mindset.
Now, wouldn't that be an interesting turn of events?