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TBS a no-show for start of ALCS Game 6

October 18, 2008 | 10:38 pm

Upton_500

So you got comfortable on the couch late Saturday afternoon, a few beverages and some munchies at hand, your appetite for more of the ALCS heightened by the thrilling Red Sox comeback from a 7-0 deficit to an 8-7 victory in Game 5.

Knowing the first pitch on TBS would be thrown at 5:08 p.m., you flipped on your television at 5 p.m. and there it was, a bloopers show.

A rainout of the game? No, wait, Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field is covered.

The bloopers show ended and there it was, the Steve Harvey Show.

What in the world was going on?

A nightmare in Atlanta, home of TBS, was going on.

"Two circuit breakers in our Atlanta transmission operations tripped," said TBS spokesman Sal Petruzzi in a statement, "causing the master router and its backup -- which are necessary to transmit any incoming feed outbound -- to shut down.

"This [prevented] our live feed from being distributed to any of the other networks in the Turner portfolio and caused the daily in our coverage. ... We apologize to baseball fans for this mishap."

Even an audio feed wasn't possible.

The game finally came on 20 minutes later at 5:28 with the Rays' Carlos Pena at bat in the bottom of the first, the seventh hitter of the game. Tampa Bay already led 1-0 on a B.J. Upton home run, which was quickly replayed by TBS.

At the start of the second inning, TBS play-by-play announcer Chip Caray told his audience, "We again apologize profusely for the technical difficulties we had back in Atlanta. You haven't missed much."

If you were a Tampa Bay fan, you happily could have missed the whole game. Boston won, 4-2, to force a Game 7 on Sunday.

-- Steve Springer   

Photo: Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton delivers the first telling blow during Game 6 of the ALCS with a solo home run in the first inning. Credit: Mike Carlson / Associated Press

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