Sunday, June 21, 2009

One Broadcast Down...

One of the last things Geoff Brault (Gades voice, 2009) said to me today was,
"If you blog of me, blog well."
Well first of all, I totally appreciate the Bull Durham reference. But regardless, don't worry, Geoff. You're safe.

The guy lets me come into his booth and call nine innings of baseball (six color, three on play-by-play). What's not to like?

I take this stuff seriously. At WGCH, there's no question that I run the show but I gladly share the load with everyone. So when I go into another persons booth, I am hyper-sensitive and respectful. If I step on them, I get annoyed at myself, as I worry that I've annoyed them or make us sound bad. To be honest, I'm not sure I ever truly relax in these situations.

For Geoff and I, things seemed to be smooth. Sean Ford and I had the same kind of adjustment way back in the summer of aught-one. Geoff laid down his format (cool) and we went from there. We agreed that, while we're both pros, we want to keep it light. Do I think we were as light as we could be today? No - there's no question I was feeling him out, and he might have been doing the same. Where's the line? We'll answer that over the next couple of months.

With Sean, there was no line. He let me be as goofy as I wanted, and not once did he ever say "you went too far." Most of the time, he was the straight man, but he could drop a good line just as quickly.

Still, Sean wasn't in the booth today, though the lessons that he taught me were always prevalent.

An unexpected thing happened in today's booth, and it was the perfect testament to how Geoff and I will work. Rain had not really been a threat (despite warnings in the morning). So of course - it rained! In buckets! Hey, look - an ark!

OK, just kidding. Yet it was the kind of rain that had movement (like a good two-seam fastball). It came right into the booth, and right onto my computer, and our radio equipment. So we did everything in our power to close-up the windows of the press box, all while I was calling the play-by-play. Sure, the listener knew what was cooking but we kept calling the action as we went along. We're not going to get any medals for it, but the point is that we were honest and professional, and lighthearted as well.

And so we go from there. Geoff paid me what I thought was a very high compliment after the game, though I'm not going to share it here. Let's call it "inside radio" stuff.

On the field, it was a mixed bag. Good early (2-0 after one, and should have been more, save for a nice defensive play) and not-so-good in the middle. When it was all over, the Aberdeen Ironbirds (you remember them, right?) had come away with an 8-3 victory.

The Gades get back to it tomorrow as they host Brooklyn for the beginning of a three-game "commuter" series (meaning everybody sleeps in their own bed at the end of the night).

Of course, hit up the Renegades website for more.

One last thing - Sean joined me at the game today. See, here's the thing - I know that it was Father's Day, and I was sensitive to that, and to Sean's feelings. I would not have called the game if Sean didn't want me to. But he was a big reason that I wanted to get back to the Gades. He loves it and, obviously, so do I. So it was a blessing to have Sean in the stadium. He ran the bases after the game (and honestly, how many kids get to do that while their dad describes them doing so on the radio?), and we walked on the field - past the bullpen and clubhouse. He even got an official New York-Penn League baseball out of the deal.

So father and son spent the day together, with the most American of things, baseball, serving as the backdrop. Plus my mom was involved, so it was a generational thing. Sure, I'd love it if my dad was still alive (he would have loved being with us), but that's just not the case, so the fact that my mom was able to spend the day with Sean and I was just as nice.

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