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Just finished watching Jason Isringhausen raise my already morbidly
high blood pressure. Some empty thoughts:

  • Does anyone else get the impression that Fox is horrified by the idea of
    actually showing either the batter or pitcher prepare for the next pitch?
    After every pitch, the director seemed to try to get as many camera shots as
    possible.

    I started tracking how many different shots they went to between each pitch.
    In 54 pitches, they went to 197 different shots from release to release, for
    an average of just under four different shots between each pitch. I don’t
    know if this is typical of regular-season broadcasts, but it sure seems
    ADHD-tastic.

    I think this goes to the heart of baseball’s perpetual marketing problem.
    They basically pitch the game package to Fox, ESPN, and anyone else as
    something that will pull together a particular audience, particularly in the
    postseason. They then spend a lot of their time and effort positioning the
    game with the same old sepia-toned verbiage and coverage throughout the
    regular season. As a result, they end up trying to be all things to all
    people–a cardinal sin in marketing.

  • The tuner in the cheesy Denon receiver I use in the front room doesn’t
    work, so I can’t turn down Tim McCarver and Joe Buck and listen to Bill King
    and Ray Fosse. Every time I listen to McCarver, my appreciation for Deion
    Sanders
    goes up a couple of notches. I particularly enjoyed his
    lambasting the umpire on Rule 6.05(k) in Game 1 of the A’s/Yankees series,
    even though the ump had the call absolutely right.

    [Refresher: David Justice hit a squibber down the first-base line
    that was fielded by Ramon Hernandez, who flipped to Jason
    Giambi
    at first base. Giambi could not make the play because the
    batter/runner was inside the baseline, and who was hit by the ball after he
    had hit the first-base bag. The batter/runner is still out in this
    situation, because he impeded the first baseman’s ability to stretch and
    receive the ball. It was a good call by the umpire, and an approved ruling.]

    And, of course, I also get to enjoy the fine Fox sound effects. Life just
    wouldn’t be the same without animated robot graphics that made lots of
    swoosh sounds. Oy.

  • Doesn’t October baseball in Yankee Stadium just plain rock? I hate the
    freakin’ Yankees, but I understand and appreciate the magic. I don’t
    understand the whole Dallas Cowboys thing, and ascribe it to some kind of
    genetic disorder or chemical imbalance, but I understand how people can be
    Yankee fans. Not that that forgives them or anything.

  • Has any team ever been 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position after
    two games and been 2-0?

  • No matter how much I personally dislike the announcing team and the
    style of the coverage, it is nice to see a game with a gobload of available
    camera angles. I’d like to see coverage move towards the option of the ESPN
    Dead Center angle and the traditional center-field view. If I recall
    correctly, the maximum parallax error for identifying the location of the
    pitched ball around the strike zone is pretty small, but it would be nice to
    see a contrast between the two views from time to time, just so we could get
    an idea of what’s going on with the traditional angle Fox is using.

  • Some other important things I’ve learned during these postseason games:
    • This "Boston Public" high school has more supermodels with
      implants running around than the Playboy Mansion. I think I went to the
      wrong high school.

    • Donald Trump looks goofy when munching a corn dog, and someone should
      tell him about his hair.

    • You know Rupert’s rooting for that big Seattle/Houston showdown in the
      World Series. Ratings galore!

Hope you’re all enjoying the games, and we have definitely received the
message that you want Baseball Prospectus Pizza Feeds in Washington
and San Diego. We’ll definitely do something in both places before the start
of next season. Now go vote in the Internet Baseball Awards.

There is just no substitute for this game. None.

Gary Huckabay is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact him by
clicking here.