Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Charlie Steiner is one of many MLB broadcasters who are doing games virtual from his own living room as no broadcasters will be traveling for the Division Series because of Cornonavirus (file photo from LA Times)
Broadcasting Road games from TV screen is nothing New
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
Baseball broadcasters this year are not traveling, because of Covid-19 restrictions by Major League Baseball. So, they are calling the games from Television monitors at their home park, while their teams are on the road. In some cases, some broadcasters like LA Dodgers play by play man Charlie Steiner are doing the games (when Dodgers are on the road) from his living room.
As unusual as that might seem, I have done that for many years, depends on the teams philosophy and how they market their product into the community. As a matter of fact, there have been many games I have done from the home broadcast booth at the home park, when the team was on the road.
In the 1980’s, I did broadcast games in the radio station inside a studio in front of a 19 inch television. There was no internet, no 45″ television I would call the media representative for the team on the road and ask him/her, to fax me the lineup and the media notes, so I can get ready for the game.
This was not easy. There was a time when, for example; if the team was playing in Baltimore (could be anyplace else) an engineer at the radio station here in the Bay Area would play an ‘endless cart-loop with continuous sound of crowd noise, to give the illusion I was in Baltimore (I did say in a disclaimer I was not broadcasting from the park where the team was playing) but still presented many challenges.
This was done legally with the consent of the team. Today, a game can be called and you can pipe the LIVE original crowd noise from the park where your team was playing. I had many experiences in this regard on radio as well as television.
Early 2000’s as I was hired to broadcast two Caribbean World Series of Baseball. Traveled to Century City, Los Angeles and called those games in English language for Fox Sports International, inside a studio with monitors in front of me of the games that were taking place in México and Venezuela.
However, 2020 there are no crowds allowed at ballparks, so even local stadiums use their own artificial crowd noise, or the radio station can originally use their own to give the illusion. Radio is imagination and creativity, so there is always a little acting you would have to do and create the ‘ambiance for a game that you are watching on a screen that might be 3,000 miles away from where you are sitting in front of a microphone.
Decades before he became the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan recreated college football games and called Chicago Cubs on the radio, just by reading the telegraph (there was no TV) using his imagination and honing his communicating skills, which later as an actor, Governor of California and President would become very handy.
Although there is nothing like calling a game at the location the game is taking place. In this always challenging world of broadcasting you have to be ready to work under all kinds of circumstances. 2020 has taken everybody to the limit in what can be done and what cannot be done.
This “season” as I spoke with various colleagues who are not traveling for the first time and have to do the games this way, I sympathize with them, but totally understand, because I have gone through that. However, they do have the advantage of today’s technology, unlike of the old days, when I had to deal with telephone calls and faxes.
As of Monday the Divisional Series get under way, all teams are now, and for the rest of the year, playing outside their home city. A bubble has been established and sometime prior to Halloween MLB will crown a champion. Stay well and stay tuned
Amaury has been broadcasting baseball for radio or television for various Major League teams for 43 years; he has been nominated for the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters. Inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame (BARHOF), Cuban Sports Hall of Fame in Miami and The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame in California. Amaury is here for That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com