Schultz: So Long Skip and Pete

Turner Sports announced last week that two of the game's greatest announcers, Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren were to be removed from TBS Superstation broadcasts to Turner South because their names were "too associated" with the Braves. Gary Schultz analyzes...

Announced earlier this week was the Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren's move from TBS to Turner South. As AOL continues to make cost cutting moves, this would seem to be another one. AOL announced that the move will not cut either man's pay only their air time. The move was "suggested" by the fans according to the parent company.

Supposedly fans were surveyed around the Atlanta area and were asked if they support a move to have Don Sutton and Joe Simpson to the play-by-play for TBS fulltime. Adding to this myth is the "fact" that an overwhelming percent wanted the change. While no one will release the numbers, no one has stepped forward yet in saying they were part of this group that was polled either. Automatically 2 things come to mind.

One, was the poll actually done. Many guess that AOL is not happy that Van Wieren and Caray accepted their contract extension offers during the off season. They were supposed to retire and save AOL money. They were only inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame as a nudge to retire.

Two, "if" the survey was actually completed, was the almighty question of do you watch baseball left off? Honestly, Caray is easily on the downside of his career, but he is one half of the voice of the Braves. Van Wieren is still solid and does his job better than most. The Professor and the son of Harry may be not household names to many, but if they quizzed the true Braves fans, I doubt that they would have been voted off.

Also to change on TBS is the idea that it will not be The Braves on TBS, rather MLB on TBS. Does the fact that only Braves games are shown change? NO! There will be more of a generic feel as the crew focuses on both teams in the game equally. This means Don Sutton will get even more butt kissing to the opponent on air. The facts that only in the south will you be able to see or hear Skip or Pete leaves many Braves fans wondering why they weren't shipped out of town with Kevin Millwood.

The first game on the Superstation will be Saturday, March 29 at 1:10 pm eastern time. In leaving I will include a quote by Bobby Cox that sums up the announcing shift. "That's ridiculous," said Cox, who didn't know about Tuesday's announcement before reading a report on the bus ride to Vero Beach Wednesday. "I was completely shocked. We're losing our Vin Scullys."

Gary Schultz welcomes all feedback and can be reached at brave72272@yahoo.com

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