Would the Mets and Yankees television outlets dare to present a broadcast devoid of announcers, aimed at the sophisticated fan? I’ll explain…
In accordance with Martin Luther King’s birthday celebration, I have a dream that someday I will tune into a telecast of a Mets or Yankees game and there will be no “sound” except for that which is heard in the ballpark.
There will a microphone planted in the ground just behind the crouching home plate umpire. This to keep track of balls and strikes on the batter. No “strike box” superimposed on the screen, too. We have eyes. And what’s the use of it anyway? The call has been made – move on.
Crowd noise will be amplified instead of toned down to not drown out the announcers – and we’ll be afforded the opportunity to watch a ballgame that is not dummied down with innocuous graphics that are read to me, as though without that assist I wouldn’t understand.
A caveat is in order before we proceed, though. I appreciate the work of Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez, and from time to time when something is “brewing,” I would want to switch to the regular broadcast to listen in on their commentary. Ditto for Paul O’Neill and David Cone in the YES broadcast booth. And Mets and Yankees fans are lucky to have them.
And before you say it to yourself, why doesn’t he just attend a game at Citi Field or Yankee Stadium if that’s what he wants – I’d love to – I just can’t afford to go more than a couple of times a season.
If YES and SNY won’t put a few games up there in this manner, then possibly a more appropriate forum is the MLB Network, which has the “Alternate Programming Channel” already built into their format.
Forget ESPN, FOX, and TBS, who exist as BROADcasting stations in the most real sense of the word. What in the world would happen, for instance, to those self-serving promos and disguised commercials they sneak in between balls and strikes?
The question immediately raised, of course, is how many Mets and Yankees fans, or for that matter fans of any team, want and appreciate telecasts aired in a naked format?
How many fans would recognize the possibility of a bunt with runners on first and second with no one out? Or that maybe the pitcher isn’t wild, he’s just pitching around a specific batter to get to the next guy in the order? Or that the Mets and Yankees have both played five consecutive days, creating a need for a bullpen “blow”? You get the drift…
The salient point, of course, is there are fans – and then there are Fans of baseball. Casual fans enjoy and need the force-feeding provided by a typical telecast. Let it be.
But for others, and perhaps with a touch of arrogance, the hand-holding is not needed, nor is it desired. The constant barrage of graphics and chatter impedes enjoying the game as it’s played, and of more significance, “playing” along with the game as it transpires.
Do I think there is a chance what I describe will ever happen? I don’t know, but I do wonder what Martin Luther King felt when he stood on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, delivering those transitional words which prompted a generational change and a New Deal for civil rights in America.
In the framework of the adage – you’ve got to start somewhere, and with that in mind, my dream begins here.