Random Thoughts

More than I need to know

 ... thanks to computers

by Russ Priestley

Have you ever felt that you are being showered with more than you need to know? I must admit that is my feeling when listening to local baseball broadcasts on radio. I realize that dead air is not acceptable for radio, but I am forced to listen to extraneous information which I can do without. It takes two announcers to feed me with where a player went to high school, his former wife's name, his batting average of four years ago and the player's favorite food. One might think that announcer has a terrific memory, but he is being fed all of this from a computer right in front of him.

There are 14 teams in the American League and the National League has 16 teams, but I do not need half-inning updates on each of those teams. Since the Braves left Boston for Milwaukee and later switched to Atlanta, I've lost all interest in the National League until World Series time, so why would I care that Arizona is leading San Diego in the top of the third inning? Yet, the second of the two announcers breaks into the live action with such information. It's ear pollution!

Now that baseball parks have installed crowd microphones to provide background noise and make the listener cognizant he is tuned in to a live broadcast, I think I can do without the unnecessary chatter. I know that it is the advertising sponsors who make the broadcasts possible, but there is one company advertising autos in which Junior has taken over after his father died. The boring pitch is exactly the same with no change in the copy, except he adds "Junior" near the end.

As I write this the baseball season is winding down, but don't forget the playoffs follow before we get to the World Series in October. By then we'll have hockey, basketball, and soccer all overlapping the baseball and football schedules. Our cup runneth over.

I have not delved into the ridiculously high salaries of all athletes, but as long as the seats are filled, salaries will continue to soar. I do not think it will happen in my lifetime, but just imagine if a pro sports game was held and nobody came.



October 3, 2003


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