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Five strike Gould..but strike out; Sport on TV.

Byline: ALAN McKINLAY

THE tiny jewel in the miniature plastic tiara (it's hardly a crown, let's face it) of Five's sports coverage is their weekly baseball show.

There are no frills, not even a decent title - it's just called Major League Baseball - but for those of us who can think of no better way of spending the wee small hours on Monday morning than being entertained by Yankee rounders, it is a must-watch.

The presenting double act of Jonny Gould and Josh Chetwynd is an ideal combination of charm and enthusiasm (Gould) and encyclopaedic knowledge (Chetwynd), a template for how to appeal both to casual viewers and hardcore enthusiasts. So it's a great shame their efforts and that of producer Erik Jansen is so undermined by the programme schedulers.

In baseball, the New York Yankees facing elimination from the playoffs is as big as it gets.

Think Manchester United a goal down at home in the second leg of a Champions League semi-final.

But after an entire regular season of live coverage, Five decided the Yankees battling Cleveland on Sunday night to keep alive their season was less important than a US reality cops shows and, wait for it, "highlights" of an Austrian triathlon.

Anyway, while yet another police car chased a pick-up truck and then hordes of anonymous dullards ran, cycled and swam, the Yankees were staging what turned into a sensational comeback.

By the time Five brought us the baseball, it was almost over. Gould and Chetwynd cheerily played the "we don't know the result yet, and we hope you don't either" game, having been hung out to dry by the schedulers.

It's not that I'm ungrateful for Five's grudging commitment to show baseball, but if they are going to do it, they should do it properly. By the way, the Yankees lost the next game and are now out. As for that triathlon, no one knows what happened . . or cares.

CAPTION(S):

CHARM OFFENSIVE: Jonny Gould; SMASH HIT: Yankees star Alex Rodriquez
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 13, 2007
Words:335
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