Interesting balancing act for myself tonight. This was our first game against the Stockton Ports, the affiliate of the Oakland A's, so I had no shortage of information and stories about the players and the organization based on my three years covering the A's for The Oakland Tribune.
Eager to share this knowledge, and eager to think of anything else to talk about during a verrrrry lengthy game, I felt like I was talking more about the Ports than the Nuts. During one of the commercial breaks, I said this to Brian VanderBeek of The Modesto Bee. Brian told me it was only natural, and not to worry about it. He felt the same way a couple years ago, after the A's switched affiliates from Modesto to Stockton, because he knew the players in the Stockton clubhouse better than Modesto's.
Since Modesto and Stockton are close in proximity -- about 30 minutes away and our station can be heard in Stockton -- I hope the listeners didn't mind. Figure a lot of people are interested in both teams. A lot of people in the Central Valley are A's fans. Heck, our radio station is the Central Valley's home for the Oakland A's.
Still, it felt weird spending so much time talking about the opposition.
Another thought occurred to me driving home: did we spend too much time talking about how long the game was? and how ugly the game was?
Fifteen walks and five errors combined. Just under three hours and 45 minutes to complete. Certainly can't neglect these aspects of the game, or pretend it's not happening. Still, it's our job to entertain the listeners during such a blowout.
Myself, Greg Young and Beek had no trouble doing this, telling a bunch of stories and getting onto some great tangents. Did my best to not neglect the game and steer us back to the action -- or lack thereof -- in the game. In a lot of ways, it felt like doing a sports-talk show, during a baseball game.
A couple of times, I made sure to say something like, "but where else would we rather be than the ballpark?" when the discussion was about the length of the game. Or I mentioned once that sometimes a three-hour and 20-minute game can be beautiful because there's so much action. I always find it annoying when people getting paid to watch and talk about a sporting event complain about being there so long.
Didn't want to be "that guy," and hope I didn't come across that way.
The more I think about tonight, the more I realize how fun it was. The game was horrible, no doubt. But the broadcast was actually a lot of fun.