Sports Broadcasting: The Good and the Bad

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Lately there’s been a lot going on in the field of sports announcing – some good, some bad. Last year, I wrote about women baseball announcers, but even that information is woefully out of date. Earlier this month, Melanie Newman became the Baltimore Orioles’ first female play-by-play announcer. Nonetheless, progress has been slow since Suzyn Waldman became the first full-time baseball commentator in 2005. And don’t get me started on the fact that most women seem to be relegated to sideline or on-field reporting and rarely get promoted to the broadcast booth or other, more prominent roles.

And there are still serious issues in the field. Just last week, a Cincinnati Reds announcer was suspended for saying a homophobic slur on-air. His subsequent apology mostly just made matters worse. And all that happened just days after a hockey announcer made an insulting comment about women.

One problem may be the overall lack of diversity in sports announcing. Stay tuned for more …

~ baseballrebecca

Monday Baseball Motivation

Cal Ripken, Jr., in 2013. Photo by Angela George via Wikipedia

In honor of his birthday, more words of wisdom from Cal:

When you’re in the day-to-day grind, it just seems like it’s another step along the way. But I find joy in the actual process, the journey, the work. It’s not the end event.

– Cal Ripken, Jr.

Happy Birthday, Iron Man!

Best of the Week: 8/16/2020 – 8/22/2020

Once again, a member of the sports media said something offensive on air (that was not the Best of the Week). However, Cincinnati Reds players apologized for the bad behavior (which was the Best of the Week):

Baseball and Voting Rights

I’d never associated women’s suffrage and the right to vote with baseball, but the Baltimore Orioles have changed my mind with their new webpage:

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In addition, last week, the Dodgers announced that they have offered to make Dodger Stadium a polling place for the November election. The Dodgers have partnered with More Than A Vote, an organization created by LeBron James to combat voter suppression, as one of their initiatives to address community needs. Since then, other teams have followed suit, with the Boston Red Sox and some NBA and NHL teams joining efforts with National Vote at Home, a group that focuses on voting rights, to make their stadiums and arenas available as voting centers.

For information on all things voting and how to register to vote, check out these websites:

~ baseballrebecca

Best of the Week: 8/9/2020 – 8/15/2020

Last Sunday, the Nationals’ grounds crew had a bit of a problem with the tarp when it started to rain during a game against the Orioles:

So when the Nats came to Baltimore a few days later and it started to rain, a journalist who covers the O’s just couldn’t resist:

To which F.P. Santangelo, Nats broadcaster, responded:

At least we can still laugh at this season…

~ baseballrebecca

Stat-urday, 8/15/2020

Photo by Anna Shvets on

MLB announced the latest COVID-19 testing results yesterday. The press released noted that “covered Individuals are now in Monitoring Testing.” Whatever that means. Anyway, the testing stats as of August 13 are as follows:

  • 12,301 tests were performed during the most recent testing period. Four tests came back positive, two of whom were players. All were from the same team.
  • 66,127 tests of been taken since MLB started testing. 75 were positive, including 51 players.
  • 19 clubs have had at least one person test positive.

As I said a few days ago, the numbers just don’t add up. The difference here is probably whatever they mean by “Monitoring Testing.” As of July 16, 80 players had tested positive (though it added up to about 97 when you look at actual news reports). Is it those 80 that were monitored? So, 51 were still positive?

For an industry that relies on stats, you’d think they’d do a better job of reporting these stats – which are the most important of all.

Happy Stat-urday!

~ baseballrebecca

Baseball in 2020

Yasiel Puig (48484235297) (cropped).jpg
We need him in 2020: Yasiel Puig, pictured here in 2019. Photo by Erik Drost via Wikipedia,

I miss baseball. I mean, I know its back, but is it really?

I miss baseball the way it was. Sure, there’s a pandemic out there requiring us to make changes and do things differently. But let’s not pretend this is normal. And let’s be brave enough to admit that we miss the way things were.

I miss falling asleep listening to games – or staying up late – while my teams are on the West Coast. I miss seeing my favorite players who are now in other divisions: Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Manny and Jonathan, Gio Gonzalez, Anthony Rendon, and others. I miss the guys that have moved to Japan: Adam Jones, Aderlin Rodriguez, and Gerardo Parra (I even miss his stupid Baby Shark).

I miss Yasiel Puig. (Would someone sign him please?)

I miss nine inning double headers and real extra innings without a guy on second. Yes. I miss those marathon games, Major League Baseball. I know how to make time for what’s important.

Almost every time I go to a Nats game, someone sticks their elbow in my drink holder while its holding my drink.

I miss Minor League Baseball, being at the stadium, and ballpark hotdogs. I miss those rude people who hang their sweaty arms dangerously close to my drink in the cup holder as they stretch their arms across the chair next to them. Oh wait. I don’t miss them. I was just on a roll.

I miss seeing any other team but the Philadelphia Phillies. Seriously, it seems like no matter which team I’m watching, they are playing the Phillies. Enough already!

I miss Jim Palmer and Mike Bordick doing commentary. I almost miss Gary Thorne mispronouncing players’ names.

I miss seeing real people in the stands instead of those creepy cutout people (who, seem to be all the same race, by the way). And I miss real crowd noises – the piped in fake crowd noises give me a headache. And, do we really need to include the “Nats-Nats-Nats-Nats-Woooo” chant with the fake crowd noise? Its annoying in real life, I don’t need it replicated in fake-life.

Ah. Maybe that’s the problem. It all seems fake, forced, rushed. Yes, we need baseball in our lives, but this doesn’t feel real. At least they’ve stopped talking about how each game is really 2.6 games. That wasn’t real either.

To be fair, there have been some good things this season. We can now watch baseball from Taiwan and Korea. I love those cheerleaders for Taiwan baseball, especially the goofy guys, the fish-head wearing mascot things, and the Rakuten Monkey. I even found some Japanese games on TV. Please keep broadcasting these games. And when baseball returns to Mexico and other countries, show those on TV, too. We need to broaden our horizons.

Still, I hope the “new normal” isn’t our future normal.

What are your thoughts on the 2020 baseball season?

~ baseballrebecca