It's been a long, hot summer, with lots of time for kicking back on the couch, cranking up the air conditioning and getting into prime position to weigh in on the world of radio and television.

That's exactly what faithful reader Don Smith of Kensington was doing earlier this summer concerning his pet peeve, what he described as the "mis-speaks, maloprops and murdered English that [Baltimore Orioles television voice] Michael Reghi brings to us on such a regular basis."

To wit:

The New York Yankees score three runs to break a 1-1 tie. Reghi: "Orioles coming up as the Yanks return to a 4-1 lead."

A pitcher wearing eyeglasses enters the game. Reghi: "So now the bespeckled [reliever] will try to shut down the O's."

The Orioles lead the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-0. Reghi: "Scott Erickson has been the benefactor of all this."

Orioles pitcher Arthur Rhodes throws ball-strike-strike-ball. Reghi: "Arthur's having trouble being consistent . . . two balls sandwiched between strikes."

Whenever Reghi runs down the scores and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are playing at home, Smith writes that he always says "down in Tampa." Never mind that the Devil Rays play in St. Petersburg.

And finally, classic Reghi-ese: "[Mike] Timlin has had troubles with leads in late innings that haven't even culminated in victories."

Self-Promotion

Several NFL public relations directors say they can't help notice their teams often are the subject of ESPN "SportsCenter" features or appear more often in the show's roundups of league news during a week in which they are scheduled to appear on a Monday night game on ABC or an ESPN game telecast. The stories are then almost always accompanied by a promo for that particular game.

Fox Sports News also has been guilty of scheduling stories around its featured games of the week, a practice the television types like to refer to as "synergy," but one that hardly is journalistically sound.

Live or Memorex?

Is it just me, or are the networks more frequently showing replays of live action we've missed because of poor direction in the production truck or because of commercial breaks?

Since NBC started going "plausibly live" from the Olympics in Barcelona eight years ago without informing viewers they were seeing an event that had happened earlier in the day or night, it seems like replay with no excuses (as in, don't tell the viewer it's not live) has been creeping onto the airwaves far more often than it should.

That seems particularly true in golf telecasts on all the networks, and it happened more than occasionally last week during the 28 1/2 hours of coverage of the PGA Championship on TNT and CBS, which produced all the programming.

Looking for Backup

We keep hearing WJLA-7 is having a tough time finding a backup anchor for regular weekday man Rene Knott, having offered the job to one applicant from Denver who has turned them down. Rich Cook, the Redskins beat reporter for WTEM radio, has been getting some work and would be a worthy candidate.

Mike Ritz, a top-notch reporter-anchor for the Golf Channel who worked on local TV and radio several years ago, also would seem to be a good fit. He knows the territory, is a terrific reporter and has years of on-air anchor and field experience.

If WJLA officials decide to go in a different direction -- as in hiring a woman -- why not just take a look at sister-station NewsChannel 8's Joyce Jackson or Kaye Lake, both of whom are eminently capable of filling a weekday reporter-weekend anchor role. They're already doing all of the above, as well as regular Monday-through-Friday shifts.

Odds and Ends

The Sports Junkies continue to dominate their weekday timeslot on WJFK-FM-106.7, and they're going upscale on their guest list, seeking high-profile sports personalities from around the country now that the show is being syndicated on Westwood One. . . .

The Fabulous Sports Babe finally got the ax this week from ABC. Her affiliates on the ESPN radio network kept dwindling, and she was not heard in a number of major markets, including Washington. There is no question she knows her stuff, but her groveling interviews with sports figures and many ESPN-affiliated reporters and anchors often were too much to bear, as were all the gimmick sound effects.