Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

No, this is not a bit of gratuitous bragging about the exploit of my own gels on the softball diamond.

Instead, because of tonight’s game between Robbo’s beloved Nationals and the Tigers of Detroit being postponed on account of the weathah, I thought I would fill in the time by giving my quick two cents on an issue of importance to a (definitively) very small and (questionably) select minority of friends of the decanter, that of the latest change in MASN’s “side-line” reporters¹ at the games.

(Maxy? NOVA Curmudgeon? Mike F? ChrisN? I think you guys are about it.  The rest of you should feel free to ignore the rest of this post and go surfing somewhere else.)

I must say, first off, that I’ve always  failed to see what these “sideline” reports bring to the broadcasts of the game other than giving the players a little face time with the teevee audience.  No real information or insight ever comes out of them, the dialogue being of the most banal and canned variety of the sort practiced by Nuke LaLoosh at the end of “Bull Durham”.  But then again, I’m not in the biznay, nor do I know anything beyond what I see.  Is this is a League-wide broadcast industry standard?

Second, and perhaps germane to my first question, the “sideline” reporters are all women.  Again, I’m not sure what the purpose is here.  Is this some sort of Statement of Equality by the network?  Or is it a cynical bit o’ gratuitous cheesecake?  Or, given the fact that we’re talking about the confluence of Politicks and Big Media, perhaps some kind of combination of the two?

The world wonders.  Or, really, not so much.

Anyhoo, the original MASN Nats Gal (if I may so call her) was the lovely and talented Debbi Taylor.  Ol’ Robbo didn’t mind Debbi a-tall.  While no knock-out, she was certainly easy enough on the eyes and seemed to be a good-natured sport about things: You wouldn’t mind running into her, say, at the school fundraiser Casino Night and spending half an hour shooting the breeze and gently (although, I hasten to add, innocently) flirting.

Debbi lasted (I believe) two or three seasons, only to vanish without a trace or, so far as I know, a goodbye.  She was summarily replaced last year by Kristina Akra.  Kristina was a completely different kettle of fish, being younger,  brasher and more toned than Debbi.  I suppose it’s arguable that Kristina was hawter (if you’re a 20 year old guy), but frankly, I never really cottoned on to her.  Too hard.  Too shallow.  Too much the product of our current so-called “culture”.  Too much the young gun who has the appearance that she will do whatever she needs to do (if you know what I mean and I think you do) to get to the top.²

At any rate, for whatever reason, Kristina was whisked up to the MLB heavens on a chariot after just one season, now apparently working MLB Network’s studio programming.   Good luck to her, of course, but I’m really not unhappy to see her go.

As fond as he is of baseball in general and the Nats in particular, Robbo pays little or no attention in the offseason to the ins and outs of MASN programming decisions.  So he was somewhat surprised when this season began to discover that MASN had yet another “sideline” reporter, one Julie Alexandria.

So far as surfacy impressions can go, Julie seems to be a marked improvement on Kristina, not having about her that same hardness of appearance or brassiness of voice.  On the other hand, and maybe this is just a sign of Robbo’s age, she seems not to be quite old enough to have that same delightful soccer-mom vibe as Debbi did.  Oh, well.

At any rate,  Julie got her inaugural Gatorade shower t’other night.  The gentlemen around the decanter are invited to judge for themselves.

¹  That’s not my term, it’s theirs.

²  Emphasis here that this is totally an offering of opinion and not a statement of fact.  My libel law practitioner friends are invited to stand down.