The Costa’s of Zzzzzzz.
About two hours before the game begins, Costas writes down the lineups on a giant white cardboard scorecard. In today’s iPad world, not many announcers still use the big scorecard, and not many scribble down little facts about each player. Costas does both. He writes down batting averages, home runs, interesting little details. The scorecard is something from the past. Costas does broadcast baseball with the old masters (Vin Scully and Jack Buck and Harry Caray and Ernie Harwell and others) firmly in his mind. Costas thinks there are things that have been lost in modern baseball broadcasting: subtlety; story telling; a genuine effort to allow the rhythm of the game to emerge without overpowering it with bustle and replay and sound.
That probably does not surprise you. People tend to think Costas’ sensibilities are of another time. He has been called a baseball traditionalist so often by now that he lacks the strength to argue about it.
“People will use me as a symbol of a kind of stuck-in-the-1950s fan who doesn’t want anything to change,” he says. “They will say, ‘You know, people like Bob Costas think …’ and often, the position I’m supposed to hold in these scenarios is something I strongly disagree with. Are there things that were better about baseball years ago? Certainly. Are there things that are better now? Unquestionably.”
...Costas does have interest in some of the advanced statistics that are available today—Keith is particularly interested in statistics like WAR and fielding-independent pitching and such—but he admits that it’s difficult to get them into broadcasts. They take time to explain, and explanations can interrupt the flow. One of the particular challenges of calling baseball on television is finding that balance between talking too much and talking too little. This isn’t as true in other sports like football and basketball and hockey, where the action itself carries the broadcaster through much of the game.
Posted: October 24, 2012 at 08:26 AM | 35 comment(s)
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