Sportsnet’s Blue Jays radio broadcasters will call road games remotely from Toronto
There’s still time for you to change your mind on this, Rogers. Please do that. And let’s get Bowen and Ralph traveling with the Leafs again while we’re at it.
Sports coverage, like a lot of coverage, loses something when it’s not done from where the event is happening. It doesn’t matter how good your reporters and announcers are. It just does. It’s less natural and not nearly as thorough, and it winds up coming through in the product. Jerry Howarth explains it pretty well.
Howarth, who called home and away games over three-plus decades in the Blue Jays’ radio booth, said it’s simply “essential” to be on site when a team is on the road.
“You’re at the batting cage and you’re visiting with players. You’re getting a glimpse of what happened the day before and what might happen in this game,” Howarth said in a recent interview from Toronto. “Then you go to the umpires’ quarters and have a visit with them or maybe (discuss) a call that happened the day before.
“You’re always gathering information and stories and things that you share with people on the radio.”
Howarth said in-person coverage allows broadcasters to become “fully absorbed” in what’s happening at the stadium.
“This is where the audience, when they don’t get this, in my mind they get cheated as far as the full enjoyment of a baseball season that takes 162 games to play,” he said.
“Give the audience every aspect of the game, not just half of it or just what’s at home.”
By the way, if Rob Manfred is telling the truth for once in his life, what is he even doing here?
The subject was raised during Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred’s media availability at the Blue Jays’ complex late Thursday afternoon.
“Honestly I listen to baseball on the radio a fair amount actually,” Manfred said. “I can’t tell you that I really have discerned a significant difference in part because I’m not sure which clubs are doing what.
“So I’m just not qualified to give you a good answer on that one.”
Not to toot my own horn or whatever, but I never saw any announcement about Ben Wagner going back on the road part way through last season. It just hit me one day that the presentation sounded different. That made me go look it up and oh hey, I’m right. Not saying I couldn’t be fooled for a while especially by teams I don’t listen to all the time, but I also don’t run Major League Baseball.
What really gets me about this is that midseason, Rogers made a change for the better. Unless that was one of those accidents where someone forgot for a moment that they were supposed to run things cheap and shitty, why take a step backwards? If it was something that Wagner requested for health or family reasons then fine enough I guess, but if that’s the case then why isn’t Rogers letting him speak about it?
I’m still going to be happy when baseball gets here, but things like this make me look forward to it less than I should. But I suppose it could always be worse. At least we’re not stuck with TV guys who constantly forget they’re on the radio anymore.