One, two, three, nothing across

Fillyjonk drops in on the Texas Rangers:

I am really not a sports fan but I suppose that baseball, of all the sports, is the one that interests me the most. And it’s a lot easier to follow when you’re sitting right there watching it in person than it is listening to it on the radio. (Though maybe all the times I listed to Rangers games over recent years — mainly as “background noise” while doing something else — has led to my absorption of some of the basics of the game.)

Now for me it’s the other way around: I can follow a game just fine on the radio. Of course, I was doing that as a kid, back in the Jurassic period, or at least before the Braves moved to Atlanta, by which time I’d already figured out how to pull the nighttime Cardinals games from KMOX. (What else are you gonna do in South Carolina? It’s either some team way the hell up north, or way the hell out west. St. Louis, right in the middle, was right where I needed to be.)

So inevitably my thoughts on the matter are informed by the thoughts of Jack Buck, who worked the booth with Harry Caray during my years as a nascent Cards fan. CBS eventually signed him to do their TV game of the week, a gig that lasted only two years. Buck explained:

“CBS never got that baseball play-by-play draws word-pictures. All they knew was that football stars analysts. So they said, ‘Let [Tim] McCarver run the show … In television, all they want you to do is shut up. I’m not very good at shutting up.”

And with KMOX squeezed out of the picture, if I’m wandering up around Kansas on a summer day, I’m likely to hunt down the Royals games, knowing I’ll be able to squint in the sun and imagine myself at the K.

Meanwhile in the Pacific Coast League, the RedHawks were rained out last night, so there’s a double-header tonight against Nashville. The Birds are 2½ games ahead of the Springfield Albuquerque Isotopes in the PCL American South.







6 comments

  1. ak4mc »

    5 July 2010 · 4:23 pm

    You’re a Cards fan? Ew.

    One of the nights Chris and I had to stay in the KC area because of car trouble, we caught a Cards-Royals game on TV and I rooted for the Royals.

    But then I have something of a western bias (with exceptions; for example, I’ll root for, say, the Pirates against the Mariners or the Dodgers).

  2. CGHill »

    5 July 2010 · 4:31 pm

    The Royals torment me somewhat. I have family in Kansas City, therefore opportunities to see the Royals are going to be more likely than either the Cardinals or the Rangers. (On the other hand, I trace many of my OMG-where-did-I-park nightmares, one of which befell me last night, to an incident at the Truman Sports Complex.)

    Besides, the Cardinals are in the National League, and all else being equal, I prefer to avoid the designated-hitter rule. (Which doesn’t work here at home, since the ‘Hawks are the Triple-A farm club of the Rangers, so by PCL rules there will always be a DH.)

  3. ak4mc »

    5 July 2010 · 5:20 pm

    Hm, yeah — I don’t care for the DH rule either. Then again, while we were watching the game in KC that evening, I told my wife I’d prefer if pro football went back to the old pickup-game rules, where everyone on each team plays both offense and defense.

  4. fillyjonk »

    5 July 2010 · 7:12 pm

    Perhaps watching a game “in person” is more comprehensible to me, because, as much as I like the radio announcers’ tendency to discuss their golf games or the stats of other teams in the league during slow moments, I’m just sufficiently easily distracted that my mind can be gotten off the track of who all is on base at the moment.

    I am neutral on the DH rule, probably because I didn’t start paying attention to baseball until after it was in place. I realize that admitting that immediately lost me any “cred” I might have had as a nascent baseball fan.

  5. Brian J. »

    5 July 2010 · 9:54 pm

    I read a month or so back that KMOX might get the Cardinals back:
    Cardinals may move around on TV, radio dials

    The organization really started eating its seed corn when it went from 50,000 watts to buying its own station that didn’t have a clear signal throughout the St. Louis metro area (but ran radio spots that said how clear the signal was, heard by those who enjoyed a clear signal already).

    A Cardinals game was a destination event for people from all across the Midwest. Perhaps the team has seen some numbers to indicate that since the move.

  6. CGHill »

    5 July 2010 · 10:15 pm

    Well, they still have some residual audience out here. KREF (1400 AM, Norman) carries the Cardinals’ games, although their signal is not great on Oklahoma City’s north side; KMOX actually comes in slightly better at night.

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