(Thank you to STAA member Jeff Munn for this blog post. Jeff is the longtime voice of Arizona State University women’s basketball and a former Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster).
I have no idea why more baseball announcers don’t attend the opposing team manager’s media session.
It usually occurs at a different time from your manager, and there are so many good reasons to go. You do get up to date info on players who may be hurt, you get the manager’s thoughts on who’s available in the bullpen that day, but if the manager is “quotable”, you get nuggets you can use with your analyst during the game.
When I was with the DBacks, I went into broadcasts with the thought my audience already knew most of the pertinent story lines with my team. Hard core fans of a sport are more apt to listen to radio, while the more casual fan goes to television. Yes, if one of my players had a five game hitting streak, or they were 3rd in the league in triples, I mentioned that. But a game broadcast is not only about the team, it’s about the game. I had a listener tell me years ago he loved listening to Tom Candiotti and me do a game, because we talked baseball.
One year we were playing the Brewers on a Sunday home game. Ron Roenicke mentioned in his media session that left handed hitter Travis Ishikawa was battling a rib injury, and wouldn’t be available. Late in the game, the Brewers faced a spot where they needed a left handed pinch hitter. A broadcaster, who hadn’t attended, asked on the air why they weren’t using Ishikawa.
My favorite quotes from managers all came from the opposing manager’s media session. Joe Maddon was once asked why he had different rules for star players. “Because I’m not running a socialist government, I’m running a baseball team”. Clint Hurdle talked about Petco Park. “I told my players to stop worrying about those far away fences, and concentrate instead on all that green grass”. Ozzie Guillen was asked about the Marlins fire sale after a horrible start in 2012. “All a lineup of stars gets you is a good looking lineup card you can sell on eBay”.
I used every one of those in game broadcasts. If I hadn’t attended the session….
By the way, I never asked questions. I just listened. The media session is the beat writers’ time to get the info they need. I never wanted to interfere with that.