Monday, July 27, 2009
Baseball announcing has rarely ever deviated from the norm. You usually have two or three announcers in the booth, and an on-field reporter. That's the way it's been for years, and very few networks have tried something different. Well that's until ESPN airs its Monday Night Baseball game, between the Dodgers and Cardinals tomorrow night.
The "Leader" plans on dividing up its three man team of Shulman, Hershiser and Phillips, by putting the two analysts in the camera wells beside each dugout. Via USA Today....
ESPN will formally announce Monday that it will experiment Monday night on its Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis game (7 ET). ESPN will keep play-by-play announcer DanShulman in the booth, but analysts Orel Hershiser and Steve Phillips will be stationed in the camera wells beside each dugout.While my initial reaction is that this might become a bit distracting, the intrigue almost outweighs that. The Pierre McGuire idea has worked wonders for NBC Hockey, and the same could potentially work for Baseball. Besides, it's Monday Night Baseball, why not?
Matt Sandulli, ESPN senior coordinating producer, says the Cardinals preferred ESPN use the camera well on the outfield side, rather than home plate side, of its dugout to reduce chances its analysts might somehow interact with players. Sandulli says that won't happen anyway — "we're not supposed to talk to players and wouldn't do it" — and hopes to get the Dodgers to allow access to the well on its dugout's home plate side.
TV sports commonly station reporters along sidelines, in pit road or on golf fairways. But putting main game announcers in separate locations rarely has been done, such as NBC's Pierre McGuire being rinkside on NHL games or ESPN having Paul Maguire chime in on football from a sideline camera cart. Says Sandulli: "There's lot of non-verbal communication in the booth. We joked that maybe (the analysts) will will send signals from dugout to dugout."
Sandulli says its possible that ESPN could send more baseball announcers out of the booth on future games, depending partly on whether Monday night's experiment delivers a "wow factor."
ESPN baseball announcing team goes separate ways (USA Today)