Friday, August 24, 2007

Playoff bound

Third time was the try for the Nuts tonight as they clinched a berth in the California League playoffs. This has been a foregone conclusion for at least a month, if not longer, but now it's official. It's not a huge accomplishment, considering six of the 10 teams make it, but the playoffs are still the playoffs.

Mentioned a few weeks back how fortunate I felt to be broadcasting a winning team, because the job is so much more fun and easy, and I realized this is just the latest chapter in winning teams that I've been around.

When I covered the Giants from 2000-2003, they made the playoffs three times in four years. The only year they didn't was 2001, and that was the year Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs and they were eliminated on the third-to-last day of the regular season. There was a 100-win season in there, and a Game 7 in the World Series.

The three previous years, when I covered the Oakland A's, they were eliminated from the playoffs the final week in two years, then reached the second round of the playoffs last year.

So this will be five times in eight years that I'll be part of the playoffs. As a writer, my emotions would be mixed. The playoffs are exciting, you get to write stories with bigger headlines, bigger placement and you know that more people are reading your words. It's a chance to raise your profile as a writer, network with writers and executives from around the league, and you're one of the biggest experts.

But it's still more work, and you don't get paid extra for it. In fact, the years my teams didn't reach the playoffs, I wasn't distraught at all. That meant the offseason began earlier, and I enjoyed watching the playoffs on TV from Mexico.

As a broadcaster, you're defining moments occur in the playoffs. This comparison is probably a stretch, but I thought about Golden State Warriors announcer Tim Roye finally getting his first NBA playoff series this year after a decade calling games. I'm getting the chance in my first year as an announcer.

So I'm fired up. We delivered another solid broadcast. It wasn't official when Greg interviewed Eric Young, Jr. down on the field, because another result was about 10 minutes away from happening, but we were able to capture the moment in the appropriate way. If they advance further in the playoffs, we can get more excited.

One last note: I didn't go into the locker room to partake in the champagne celebration. Just didn't feel that was my place. I didn't do anything to help them win any games, and it actually bugs me when people celebrate something they didn't accomplish. Of course, if we win it all, maybe I'll let somebody pour champagne on my head.

1 comment:

9manakins said...

it is a breath of fresh air to hear an announcer say things like " I didn't do anything to help them win any games, and it actually bugs me when people celebrate something they didn't accomplish." too often these days people that cover teams act as if they really had something to do with the teams success...who do has the most pressure on them to perform as the playoffs begin?