Green Room

Olbermann returns … to sports

posted at 11:12 am on June 5, 2013 by

Seeing as how I’m one of the very few to win both Keith Olbermann awards of Worst Person and Best Person in the World, I feel uniquely qualified to welcome Olby back to broadcasting.  This time, he gets a significant audience rather than the Current TV and MSNBC microtargets, but not for his political views … or at least we hope:

After a messy public breakup with his last employer resulted in a $50 million lawsuit,Keith Olbermann will return to television in October as a studio host for Turner’s coverage of the Major League Baseball postseason.

The deal will have Olbermann leading TBS’ Atlanta-based studio show with Dennis Eckersley and possibly a second analyst. TBS this season has both Wild Card Playoff games, 18 of the 20 League Division Series games and exclusive rights to the National League Championship Series. Sources say the deal has an option for the 2014 postseason as well.

A dedicated New York Yankees fan with an encyclopedic knowledge of the game, Olbermann began his television career as a sports reporter for CNN in 1981, later solidifying his credentials as one of the original hosts of ESPN’s venerableSportsCenter franchise. He also previously served as studio host for MLB postseason coverage on NBC and Fox in the 1990s. So the new perch is a natural one for him, though many speculated that Olbermann’s next gig would be in sports radio, an environment that is more friendly to outsize personalities.

I don’t think it was the “outsize” part of his personality that caused Olbermann trouble, and he has a track record of the same problems during his previous sports-commentary days.  With that said, though, I used to enjoy Olbermann’s acerbic take on sports before he started taking himself way too seriously at ESPN. Even though his presence on Sunday Night Football irked many because of his political commentary on MSNBC, he was actually pretty good on those NBC shows, and for the most part even pleasant.

Old dogs can learn new tricks, and it might be even easier to relearn the old tricks.  I don’t watch too much baseball, so I probably won’t see much of Olbermann in his new gig, but if he can discipline himself on and off camera, this might be a good fit for both him and TBS.

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He knows MLB. He’s good at it.

Moesart on June 5, 2013 at 11:19 AM

KO’s track record of being hard to get along with precedes him, though.

He’s a Chevy Chase.

Moesart on June 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Olbermann is a self-important pompous ass, and this will eventually work its way into his TBS broadcasts of MLB. Lets wait and see how many viewers are lost before TBS decides they can’t keep this guy around.

simkeith on June 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM

encyclopedic!

Marcola on June 5, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Even though his presence on Sunday Night Football irked many because of his political commentary on MSNBC, he was actually pretty good on those NBC shows, and for the most part even pleasant.

…well, except for that Week 2 Special Comment during the 2007 season where he basically treated Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin as if he was George W. Bush, demanding that he resign or be fired after the team’s 0-2 start. It was a blatant pander to his NBC studio partner Tiki Barber, which for some reason, Giants’ general manager Jerry Reece ignored. And by not taking Keith’s sage advice, we all know how horrifically the Giants’ 2007 season ended up.

The point is, Olby has gotten to the point he can’t keep his pomposity locked up, even when he’s doing sports. At least baseball is in his wheelhouse more than football or politics are, but having him on the TBS show just makes me hope some team comes back from a 3-0 deficit this post-season, just to later watch YouTube highlights of Keith raking that team’s manager and players over the coals for their incompetence when they’re down in the series.

jon1979 on June 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Crud. I’m going to have to give up postseason baseball now.

rbj on June 5, 2013 at 11:57 AM

He spent years attacking and demonizing people who didn’t agree with him politically and we’re supposed to just pretend that never happened? Tell you what, if TBS hires Michael Savage so democrats have to act like all the things he’s said never happened i’l watch, until then i’ll just skip any TBS games.

clearbluesky on June 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Olbermann is actually a pretty good sports guy. He never should have tried his hand in politics, because he stinks at it…

JohnGalt23 on June 5, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Awesome. Another reason to avoid baseball.

MLB, you make it so easy to hate you….

Nessuno on June 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

“I don’t watch too much baseball,”

Have not watched a game in years.

The worst person in the world now covers the worst sport. Perfect fit

Eph on June 5, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Eckersley is a douche too, so they’ll fit well together.

Red Cloud on June 5, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Best sport in the world and you don’t need sound to watch it.

M240H on June 5, 2013 at 1:31 PM

I give him two months, tops.

KingGold on June 5, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Look at Ed, he is practically giddy that Olbermann is returning to sports coverage despite the fact that only a liberal gets these multiple chances in the media while someone like Ed is smeared for being hateful.

Daemonocracy on June 5, 2013 at 2:46 PM

And he’s paired with Eckersley the cheater. Who got busted by Roger Craig during the ’89′ Series flicking a piece of emery board out of his glove. It was caught on camera. And MLB rewards this clown with the h.o.f. and now this. Pathetic.

D-Bar on June 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM

finally a positive in tossing the Astros into the minor league…

DanMan on June 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Well, players tend to Lean Forward as they run the bases… so there’s that.

Marcola on June 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Seeing as how I’m one of the very few to win both Keith Olbermann awards of Worst Person and Best Person in the World,

You know you’ve made it when…

Congrats, Ed!!!!

kim roy on June 5, 2013 at 4:19 PM

He spent years attacking and demonizing people who didn’t agree with him politically and we’re supposed to just pretend that never happened? Tell you what, if TBS hires Michael Savage so democrats have to act like all the things he’s said never happened i’l watch, until then i’ll just skip any TBS games.

clearbluesky on June 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Yeah. This makes no sense. This man is toxic to a lot of people and has the personality of a turnip. Can he change? Why, with all the talent out there would we even want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Odd hiring.

And for old times’ sake: THAT ASSASSIN BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREITBART!

kim roy on June 5, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Turner and Olbermann deserve one another, let the sparks and fireworks fly.

RJL on June 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM

this might be a good fit for both him and TBS.

I disagree. Olby is a polarizing figure. I think his kook leftist perspective from his past lives as a lefty cheerleader will start him off in a hole. A significant portion of his audience will start off ready to call for his head on his first day on air.

Kjeil on June 5, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Good. I like Keith on sports. I used to love watching Dan and Keith on SportsCenter. My problem with Keith is when he starts talking politics. Then things go downhill.

SoulGlo on June 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Yeah, he may know baseball, but it’s reality and humanity he has a huge problem with.

sgtstogie on June 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM

By the post-season, the Pirates are out of it and I’m watching football.

If the Pirates do make it, I’ll watch no matter if Obama himself is on the broadcast team. Little risk of it though.

NoDonkey on June 6, 2013 at 10:35 AM