After two months, you'd think the surge of adrenaline would go away whenever I go on the radio, but it really hasn't. Tonight was another "joined in progress" game after Oakland A's baseball on AM 970, and maybe it was because I was going along smoothly in a normal broadcast, when all of a sudden the Modesto Nuts jingle gets pumped into headphones and I know that we're going from internet-only to live on the radio.
Quite the jolt or adrenaline rush. When this happens, the exact details of what's happening in the game become secondary. I try to recap what's happened in the game, and figure it's OK if I miss a pitch or two, as long as I keep up with actual plays.
Tonight, we went live in the middle of an inning. I'm pretty sure there was two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, although my memory isn't so good. The San Jose pitching coach came to the mound within 30 second after we came on the radio, and that gave me the perfect chance to catchup the radio audience on what they'd missed.
Problem was, I was so amped with adrenaline, I was probably talking too fast. I'll have to listen again to be sure. Hopefully, I was still making sense. If nothing else, it wasn't healthy to say as much as I said without breathing.
After my recap, Brian VanderBeek -- our middle innings analyst from The Modesto Bee -- took a gigantic breath for me. He told me I can breathe now. It's like Beek is Miyagi-son from "The Karate Kid" for me: breath in, breath out, very important, Joshua-son.
Still need to work on my breathing, especially late in games. We went 12 innings tonight, and I felt afterward I was trying too hard to capture the perfect, dramatic, game-winning play. I think I've gotten much better at being laid back in the early innings, and not rushing my broadcast. I'm sure the "pacing" of my broadcast is still rushed at times, however, almost like I'm trying to do a baseball game with the rapid-fire intensity of a basketball game.
Using your voice to capture the drama is important, especially later in a baseball game. But since the game hung on every pitch from the eighth to the 12th, I was amping up on lots and lots of pitches, and felt totally exhausted at the end of the game. Oh yeah, as for that dramatic game-ending call ... the game ended on the most anti-climatic play possible ... a walkoff walk.
My friend David Feldman, a producer for A's baseball on TV, always told me what makes Ken Korach so good is his ability to go "low" at the really big moments -- and how that sounds so good. I know what Feldman means, but still have no clue how to do it myself.
Also had another thought tonight. This goes back to my post a few nights ago about how I could hear the San Jose announcer, Joe Ritzo, quite a bit because of how the press box is situated.
How much do the other announcers hear me?
Sure hope they don't leave town thinking they're glad that series is over, so they don't have to listen to me anymore. I really hope I wasn't overdoing it and distracting Joe. After the game tonight, Greg Young and I agreed we hear Joe more than any other announcers, but he's by no means a screamer. His voice just carries more and projects better.
We also agreed that, although we haven't heard all the announcers in the Cal League yet, we think Joe is the best so far.