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Joe Buck Happy To Call All Star Game In Person

“I want to see everything. I’ve done games remotely where there’s a ball on the field, where did that come from? If the camera is not showing it, you are just guessing.”

Ricky Keeler

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Tim Heitman/USA Today

Tonight, the 91st MLB All-Star Game will take place at Coors Field in Colorado. Joe Buck and John Smoltz will be on the call for the event that hasn’t been played since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be fans in the stands and it will feel like somewhat of a normal atmosphere. 

While Buck was playing in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe last week, he took the time to join the Green Light with Chris Long podcast. The two went over what happened in Seattle last week when Yankees radio announcer John Sterling did his home run call that was actually replay of a previous home run due to having to call the game remotely from Yankee Stadium. 

Buck sympathized with the decision. He noted that announcing games remotely has been challenging.

“I’ve done games remotely now and while there are benefits of getting in your car and going home from a studio and not dealing with traffic after a game, you don’t want to be that myopic with your view,” Buck told Long. “I want to see everything. I’ve done games remotely where there’s a ball on the field, where did that come from? If the camera is not showing it, you are just guessing.” 

Not everyone can tell when Buck, Smoltz, or any other broadcaster is working from a remote studio. Joe Buck says he has been calling games long enough to pick up on some major audio differences when a broadcast team is in the booth versus when they are not.

“We have audio mics all over the stadium…There’s also a lot of natural crowd noise that comes out of the mic that is right in front of my face. A lot of times you can hear when an analyst or play-by-play guy hits the kill switch on the mic. Part of the audio goes out. I can almost hear someone sound like they were removed from actually being immersed in the stadium. I didn’t love it.

“I couldn’t really tell with the level of play-by-play or analysis if they weren’t there or not, but it just was a sound thing. You just have to be really careful and you have to take your time and you can’t jump the gun.”

With fans now back in the stands, Buck makes it a point to use the crowd noise in his broadcasts as much as he can. Some people may think he doesn’t care, but as he told Long, it is exactly the opposite: 

“I ride the crowd noise as much as I can. I don’t feel like there’s anything more important that needs to come out of my mouth right now than listening to a great crowd. A lot of the times people say he’s too nonchalant, he doesn’t care. It’s actually the opposite. I would rather you hear the crowd and make you on the couch feel like you are there than just me dominate and talk wall-to-wall. I don’t feel the need to say anything other than put a stamp on what just happened and then shut up and let the crowd go crazy.”

Sports TV News

Alex Rodriguez: You Used To Be Able To Hang Out With Reporters And Know It Was Off the Record

“I would say that back then it was a little bit more of a camaraderie.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The way that MLB players interact with reporters has evolved and changed significantly over the years in Alex Rodriguez’s eyes.

In a media availability Tuesday ahead of the season premiere of the KayRod Cast, ESPN’s alternate feed of select games slated for Sunday Night Baseball featuring Rodriguez and Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay, A-Rod was asked for his biggest surprises as the media coverage has transitioned over the years.

“I would say that back then it was a little bit more of a camaraderie,” Rodriguez said. “You could actually go to a bar and have drinks with reporters, believe it or not, and talk about, you know — and everything was pretty much off the record.”

In today’s game, Rodriguez said you won’t find it being the case where reporters and players are friends away from their respective jobs.

“That ship has left, right? I think it’s just a lot more Twitter, get out there first. Fact check later, but shoot first,” he said. “As a result, I think it’s made players and everybody a little bit more aware.”

“I think in a long-worded answer, I think relationships that go back many years, I think, win in the long run, that trust,” A-Rod added.

The second season of the KayRod Cast starts on Sunday at 7 p.m. featuring the defending N.L. champion Philadelphia Phillies and the Texas Rangers.

Kay and Rodriguez will be live from ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York City. There are eight total editions of the KayRod Cast scheduled for the 2023 season.

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Elite 8 Sees Ratings Drop

“Much of the pandemonium, given the number of upsets in this year’s tournament, unsurprisingly impacted viewership as things advanced.”

Jordan Bondurant

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With the last two number one seeds bowing out of the 2023 NCAA tournament by the end of the Sweet 16, viewership for the Elite 8 expectedly dropped.

Over 11 million tuned in for the Miami/Texas regional final on CBS. Viewership for the two versus four seed matchup was down 17% compared to the Elite 8 game in the same window last year (UNC/Saint Peter’s). The broadcast was also the lowest rated and least-watched Elite 8 game in that window in seven years.

San Diego State/Creighton in the early game on Sunday drew 8.34 million viewers, which was down 12% year over year.

Almost 8 million watched UConn cruise past Gonzaga on TBS late Saturday night, while Florida Atlantic’s historic upset over Kansas State had a little more than 7 million watch. The Owls’ win over the Wildcats was only down 1% when looking at the numbers from the same window in 2022 (Villanova/Houston).

Much of the pandemonium, given the number of upsets in this year’s tournament, unsurprisingly impacted viewership as things advanced.

But the Final Four and the national championship are often the three most-watched college basketball games of the year, so there should be no shortage of eyeballs glued to Houston this weekend.

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Hawk Harrelson: ‘I Didn’t Retire, I Got Retired’

“I got fired is what it all boils down to.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Former Chicago White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson opened up about his departure from the team in 2018. In an appearance Tuesday on the Foul Territory podcast, Harrelson said his whole farewell that season was forced.

“I didn’t retire,” Harrelson said talking to former White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski and co-host Scott Braun. “I got retired.”

“I got fired is what it all boils down to,” he added.

Harrelson, who was the 2020 Ford C. Frick Award winner given by the Baseball Hall of Fame, said he stand behind the claim that he was shown the door.

“I’m sure that they will deny that. But it’s what led up to that and everything else, that’s interesting,” Harrelson said.

The White Sox hired Jason Benetti in 2016 as Harrelson’s fill-in. Benetti continues to call games on NBC Sports Chicago full-time.

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