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. 

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