Promised myself I wasn't going to complain about Visalia's facilities, and I made it through a game without a complaint. It was actually fun broadcasting today's game outside. Temperature in the 80s. No wind blowing my papers everywhere. A big umbrella was above me, blocking the sun from doing bad things to the equipment -- and the back of my neck.
Between innings, one fan came over and asked for my autograph. Honest.
"Do you even know who I am?" I asked him.
"I just know you're the announcer," he replied.
Thought about signing it Vin Scully or Harry Caray or Jon Miller, but settled for my own name.
The first few road games are always an adjustment because I'm solo for nine innings. Likewise, when I get home, working with a partner becomes an adjustment for a game or two.
Today was a quick game. Lots of quick innings, which makes it tough to weave any stories into the game. I've been trying to think of ways to bring the free-flowing, conversation-that-might-go-anywhere style that Brian VanderBeek and myself usually have into a solo broadcast. Not easy though. Going solo for nine innings, I don't want too many stats, or overdo the placement of the defense, or rely on the out-of-town scoreboard. I want to weave stories and do a little of it all.
You need some long innings to do that. Brandon Hynick, our ace starting pitcher, gets so many quick innings because he throws so many strikes, that was impossible yesterday. After all, it took my four different half innings to get through the major league baseball out-of-town scoreboard.
Anyway, no complaints. It was "cow" day at Rec Park, so the fans brought lots of cowbells to the game. I wonder how it sounded on the radio. Visalia isn't the comfortable place to broadcast. But as long as it doesn't rain, it's all good.