Costas-kubek: No. 2 On Totem Pole, No. 1 In Quality

October 10, 1987|BY JIM SARNI, On Broadcast Sports

Something was missing during the baseball postseason last year. His name is Tony Kubek.

Last year, ABC televised the league championships and NBC the World Series, which meant that the No. 1 team of Vin Scully and Joe Gariagiola got the call on the Mets-Red Sox final. Bob Costas took over the pregame show, and Kubek, Costas` partner on the No. 2 team, stayed home and watched.

Kubek was offered but rejected a bit part on the NBC team.

This year, NBC has the LCS, giving both the Scully-Garagiola and Costas-Kubek teams an equal share of the spotlight. And the No. 2 team has shined the brightest. It`s about time that NBC changed its lineup. If CBS can demote and keep Tommy Heinsohn on the NBA, NBC can shuffle its baseball deck.

Costas and Kubek have covered the ALCS between Minnesota and Detroit with style and insight. Costas has voiced the exhilaration and suspense of the series while Kubek has shown he knows the players and their tendencies better than any other baseball analyst.

Costas and Kubek have the best matchup; the NLCS between St. Louis and San Francisco has developed no personality, and the ratings -- down 18 percent after two games -- indicate the viewers are bored. It`s just not the same without the Mets.

Scully and Garagiola, as usual, have been talking too much, and they got carried away with Candy Maldonado`s ground-rule double. Scully should have just said, ``Those are the breaks`` and left it at that.

St. Louis fans were understandably upset at the announcers` contention that the Giants were cheated out of a run. Garagiola said he hung up on a radio disc jockey who called him Wednesday morning. ``Oh well, it could have been worse,`` he said. ``I could have woken up this morning and been Robert Bork.``

-- Gayle Gardner, the most knowledgeable and talented female sportscaster on television, has received her reward -- a top job with NBC.

Gardner, who will leave ESPN after four years, will join NBC Jan. 1. Her first assignment will be to host the network`s coverage of the New Year`s Day bowl games.

``This is a key acquisition for NBC,`` said executive producer Michael Weisman, who persuaded Gardner to choose his network over CBS, which also offered her a position.

``Gayle is one of the industry`s brightest talents. She has earned the respect of everyone in sportscasting through her work at ESPN.``

Gardner, who will double her salary to the $200,000 range, will be one of NBC`s studio anchors for the Seoul Olympics and will also play a major role in the network`s NFL coverage.

Gardner will have higher visibility than the other women at the networks -- Becky Dixon and Donna de Varona at ABC and Anne Butler at CBS -- whose roles are limited.

``She will be given responsible, important, visible jobs because we know she can handle them,`` Weisman said. ``She will be one of the key faces and key voices of NBC Sports.``

``I`ve always felt that if a woman sportscaster got in a visible position where she could demonstrate she knew what she was doing, she could make her mark,`` Gardner said.

-- DIAL-A-NOTE: With Sunday`s Chiefs-Dolphins game blacked out locally, viewers have their choice of Bills-Patriots (Charlie Jones and the opinionated Jimmy Cefalo) on Channel 7 or Chargers-Bucs (Sam Nover and Dave Casper) on Channel 5 at 1 p.m. Channel 4 will carry the Redskins-Giants game (Pat Summerall and John Madden) at 4 p.m., which will have to compete against Game 4 of the NLCS. This Sunday, baseball will beat football in the ratings. . .

The Ivy League television network passed on today`s Columbia-Princeton game (that could give the Lions the NCAA record for futility), taking Harvard- Cornell instead (Channel 2 at 11 p.m., tape). . . ESPN televises its first college football tripleheader today with Long Beach State-Pacific following the LSU-Georgia and Notre Dame-Pitt games at 10:30 p.m. . . CBS selected both the Penn State-Syracuse and Nebraska-Oklahoma State for split-national telecasts next Saturday, instead of letting ESPN take one. ESPN is still undecided about its 4 p.m. game next week. . .

The AT&T; Tennis Challenge will not be seen locally today, since both ABC affiliates are taking the Auburn-Vanderbilt game from TBS. Channels 10 and 12 will cover Sunday`s final at 4 p.m. . . University of Miami baseball coach Ron Fraser will be the analyst for USA`s coverage of the United States-Cuba baseball game Oct. 23 in Havana.

Sun Sentinel Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.