- Scooter (talking baseball)
Scooter is an animated character used by
Fox Sportsduring Major League Baseballgames. The character, a baseballwith human facial characteristics, is voiced by Tom Kenny(best known for his work as the voice of SpongeBob Squarepants) and was designed by Fox to explain different types of pitches with the education of children in mind. [" [http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2004/04/16/fox_plans_to_be_up_to_some_new_tricks?pg=full Boston Globe] ": "Fox plans to be up to some new tricks." 16 April 2004. URL accessed 26 October 2006.
Scooter debuted in the 2004 baseball season on
April 16, during a game between the New York Yankeesand Boston Red Sox. [cite news|publisher=Newsday|title=Fox targeting young fans|date=2004-04-14|last=Sipay|first=Steve] While Fox Sports television chairman David Hill called Scooter "really cute and really terrific," the character has garnered few positive reactions otherwise, with " Sports Illustrated" writer John Donovan warning "purists everywhere, grab the barf bag," [" [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/writers/john_donovan/04/16/friday.mailbag/ Sports Illustrated] ": John Donovan's Mailbag. 16 April 2004. URL accessed 26 October 2006] and "Sports Illustrated" media writer Richard Deitschusing Scooter as an example of "how technology does not always help society." [" [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/writers/richard_deitsch/12/28/media.circus/index.html Sports Illustrated] ": "2004 SI.com media awards." Richard Deitsch, 28 December 2004. URL Accessed 26 October 2006.] " The Sporting News" reported polling their staff with the question "What best summarizes your feelings for Scooter, FOX's talking baseball?", and 45% of responders chose the answer "Send him to a slow, painful death." [cite news|url=http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1208/is_43_229/ai_n15756927|title=To know list: 7 steroid-free products you won't regret ingesting|publisher=The Sporting News|date=2005-10-28]
In spite of the reaction, he is still is occasionally used in Fox broadcasts, as recently as the
2006 World Series.
Peter Puck comparisons
Some television historians have noticed the similarities between Scooter and
Peter Puck, an animated hockey puck that was used by " Hockey Night in Canada" and " The NHL on NBC" in the 1970s to explain the rules of hockey to viewers. However, Peter Puck was well-loved by viewers and is often looked at with nostalgia, whereas Scooter has been met with little but derision.
* [http://www.thedartmouth.com/article.php?aid=2004042305050 Article on Scooter]
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