Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nothing Beats Baseball On The Radio

Today I enjoyed a very relaxing day off. My time hasn't been my own lately. 
So it was nice to do much of nothing today. After my nap I checked the MLB at Bat app to see if there was a game going on. There was just one, the Angels and Astros in Anaheim. It was tied 1-1 in the 8th. So instead of turning on the TV to watch, I listened on the radio through my MLB app.
It was much too late to keep score, so I charted the game. 
Keeping score during the game takes concentration and focus. You have to keep watching to keep ahead. The visual aspect certainly helps. If I were scoring sitting on the couch and I missed something, I can rewind and catch what I missed. Charting from the radio, you only get one chance. I was about to discover charting/keeping score listening to the game takes immense focus.
So I grabbed my legal pad and went to work. 
What I do is I just listen to the announcer, in this case it was Terry Smith of the Angels on KLAA 830 AM in Los Angeles.
I follow along and listen to how he described the pitch location and if it was a ball or strike. Sometimes he said the location, sometimes he didn't. There were times he was telling a long story and he didn't say anything about the pitch. I would listen to the crowd reaction to tell if it was a ball or strike. Mr. Smith would eventually catch up on the count and I was on track again. I used my multi colored pen just as I do on my score book.
So for example if on the first pitch was a ball away I would notate "Away B-1". If the second pitch was a strike swinging, I would notate, "Swing S-1", and so on and so on. Then just as in a scorebook, I would notate the final play.
I noticed that during TV, the announcers use the visual aid to describe the action. If there's a lull during the game, they plug away on commercials. I'll admit that's when I get up and get a drink, or get distracted myself. On the radio, the announcers are more descriptive of what a going on at the ballpark. I didn't dare go get a drink or distract myself as radio commercial breaks are much shorter and I didn't want to miss anything. I found myself more involved in the game. I felt like I was at The Big A. I even noticed the pace of the pitchers. Houston Street of the Angels works very slow. Josh Fields of the Astros worked very quickly. 
I don't always chart listening to a game on the radio. Sometimes I use a radio game as background noise. Today was the first time I did it actually. 
The game went into extra innings and the Angels won 2-1. I charted five innings. Sometime on a day where I have nothing planned, I'm gonna chart a complete game. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

This Blog Post Brought To You By.....

Remember the good old days when watching a sports telecast, after a pause in the action, the network would go to commercial? You know, your typical car, beer and razor commercials?
I was watching a ballgame the other day, and I was just blown away by the amount of product placement and plugs presented through a telecast.
You have the pre and post game snd halftime shows presented by a large corporation. Replays are sponsored by a company. Pitching changes during a baseball game are brought to you by a local oil change place.
It's advertising overload!
Then after the game during press conferences there's a Step and Repeat wall that's placed behind the athletes to remind you that the interview wasn't possible with another company.
Then there's the commercials themselves during the game!
Sometime in the future there will be advertising on the players uniforms. It's common in Japanese baseball. As a matter of fact, the teams are named after corporations there. Yakult Swallows, Nippon Ham Fighters to name a few.
Logos on uniforms dominate soccer worldwide.
I know advertising pays the bills, but with so much money to be made in advertising, TV and radio revenue and merchandising, why is it so damn expensive to go to a ballgame. (I know the answer, if people are willing to pay the price to go to a game, then squeeze every nickel out of them).
It's overkill. We're being brainwashed.