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Many baseball fans will agree that Scott Carson has one of the best jobs in the world. He gets a terrific view of all the Blue Jays games while making an important contribution to the broadcasts. While the team is on the current road trip, the TV statistician will be visiting this thread to answer questions from Batter’s Box readers. We thought you might like to get to know him a little better first.

Scott was kind enough to invite Robert Dudek and me up into the booth last weekend, a couple of hours before the start of an Expos game. We wondered if he ever imagined, growing up in West Hill, that he’d be working in baseball.

“Well, yes and no. When I was in high school, my football coach was the original stats man on TV, Doug Kelcher. In my last year, he was doing a game (I believe) for NBC Game of the Week. It was June of ’82. He asked me if I wanted to come down and just watch. That day I knew — I said, 'Wow, that would be a great way to make a living.'”

Three years later, a graduate of the radio and television course at Centennial College in Scarborough, Carson got that all-important foot in the door.

“In 1985, I began my internship at a brand new TSN,” he recalls, “but always had my eye on this job. I began working on the Jays broadcast in ’91 and ’92 as a Stillstore operator. On the night of the ’92 World Series win, the stats man at that time, Doug Walton, was at my party. Right after they won, he took me aside and said: 'That’s it — I’m taking a producer’s job for the Buffalo Sabres. So the job’s wide open.' First thing Monday morning I was on that phone. In spring training 1993, there I was walking around Grant Field thinking, 'oh yeah, this is where I belong.' Here we are, twelve seasons later, still plugging away.”

Working for Sportsnet, TSN and CBC, Scott's research has helped all the announcers so familiar to Jays fans. He’s not likely to be as critical of his colleagues as some of us around here, but he singles out one as the best.

“I’ve been very blessed to have worked with some top-notch broadcasters down through the years — Jim Hughson, Brian Williams, and of course, my favourite of all time (don’t say anything to Rob Faulds) — Dan Shulman. He came into the business before the ’96 season and I can still recall our first spring training game — he went into some real baseball spiel. I leaned back and looked at Buck, he looked at me and we went, 'this is gonna be good.' We often fly home after the game on a Sunday night and I love when I can crank up the radio and there’s Dan… he’s so good.”

Viewers may think of Sportsnet and TSN as competitors, but Carson is an integral part of the crew no matter who is broadcasting. He explains how that came about.

“When I first took the job in ’93, TSN had the bulk of the games, there were also games on CFTO and of course the CBC. The reason that they have one guy to do the job is mostly to pay for travel. Luckily I’ve always been a contract employee, so I’m not really on staff at Sportsnet, although I have to do three columns a week. Over these years I’ve made a lot of friends on all three networks. I’ve been lucky that I’ve done three Olympic Games for three different networks. I did ’88 in Calgary for TSN, ’94 in Lillehammer for CTV and then ’02 in Salt Lake for CBC.”

We wanted to know how working on Olympic telecasts differs from what he does for the Jays.

“The last Olympic Winter Games I was in studio, working on Ron MacLean’s morning show, in charge of graphics. It’s much like here, except you’re not actually watching one event, you're watching all events, with three different computers on. It is like this job, but it’s not really as hands-on.”

The TV crew had already completed a production meeting down on the field, and we were the only people in the booth. It was obviously the calm before the storm for Carson, who reflected on a typical game day.

“I’ll do about two hours’ prep in the morning on the computer, updating stats from the night before, building graphics for that day’s game. It’s a lot easier to do this job when you’re on the road than it is at home, for the simple reason that when you’re at home — I have to go to the bank, I have to do some shopping — thanks to my wife, there’s always a list. Whereas, when you’re on the road — hotel, wake up, have breakfast, do a little prep, have a workout, have some lunch, a little more prep, off to the ballpark. That’s all you really have to worry about. I usually leave about two to get down at about three o’clock because I live north of Newmarket — I have a little drive to get here.

“The new technology has made my job easy in that I can do loads of work at home and e-mail all kinds of things to the two commentators, our producer and our Chyron operator. So by the time I get down here, everyone has what I have. They have time to look at it, see how they’re going to use it.”

As you might expect, emotions in the TV booth change as game time approaches.

“Once I get the actual lineups, then I’ll have to load them into my computer, transfer them onto a floppy, go down to the truck and plug them into the Chyron, and away we go. Usually about a half hour before we go to air, that’s when you can feel the energy slowly start to rise up. When Rob and John do the on-camera, we know it’s show time; that’s when we have the lights on in here. Once you see the red light go on, it’s go time.”

We asked the former football player if he runs set plays or calls audibles during a broadcast.

“Always calling audibles. That is the one thing about baseball which I have always loved, especially working in TV. Every game is like a snowflake — no two are ever the same. I’ve done over 1,700 games now and I can’t remember two exactly the same. After all of these years, that's what has kept it fresh for me. You never get into a rut, unlike a lot of people who get on the hamster wheel every day. We’re very blessed that way — that’s what I really love about the job. I can honestly say that I’ve never had to drag my ass into work. Ever.”

How does Carson decide which stats are suitable for the TV audience?

“We have all kind of numbers we could throw out there,” he admits. “Unfortunately, they’re what I call a little bit highbrow; it would go over a lot of people’s heads. Not that I think I have to play down to the audience, but I have to remember that most of the people that watch these games are not quite as stats savvy as we are. But that’s because we have a true passion for the game. And without the numbers there might not be baseball, actually. I really believe that — because as great as it is, what really makes the game is that we are able to yank out numbers and sit and talk about them constantly.”

We added that from a historical perspective, you can compare stats from this era to past eras, and Carson nodded in agreement. Even if this wasn’t his job, he’d be like many Bauxites, trying to analyze the game by the numbers.

“No doubt about it. I remember when I really started to find a passion for this game was when I was eight years old and we used to get only one game a week. I used to look forward to Saturday afternoons; I would take a piece of graph paper, make my own scorecard and score the game. If anybody had told me that 33 years later, I would be here doing what I did then and getting paid for it, I would have said 'sign me up.' Remember the NBC Game of the Week? Curt Gowdy and Joe Garagiola?”

Of course we did. Robert pointed out it was the only time you could find out what was happening in the rest of the baseball. It just made me feel old; when I was a kid, Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean were still calling the Saturday games.

“I remember the first five or six years when the Jays were a brand new team,” Scott continued, “and we were thrilled when they were on This Week in Baseball. It was a big deal. Once they got better and we got into the mid ‘80s, the roll towards the World Series years, we tended to take it all for granted.”

In addition to his on-air duties, Carson keeps a watchful eye on the Jays to gather material for his column, which is more challenging than he expected.

“I have to admit, three columns a week turned out to be quite a daunting task. But that’s the way it goes; that's what I said I could handle. During the off-season this year, I asked the guys who run the webpage, 'How about if I do a preview each day on every team?' I thought, that’ll be no problem — well, I got halfway into it and thought, 'oh my God, I’ve got 15 more teams to do here.' But it’s a labour of love; nobody has asked me to lift anything heavy, so I’ve been pretty blessed.”

Scott does read Batter’s Box, sometimes even checking us out during games, and relies on a number of other Web sites to stay informed.

“I read all the main ones like,, — mostly on the Jays, though. I really enjoy reading what Spencer Fordin writes because he’s in there. I’m not quite in there, but that’s because I have other responsibilities up here. When it comes to pure stats, I will go to a website called Stats Pass, which is run by Stats Inc. — when you need to really go inside the numbers; it’s unbelievable. The commentators say, 'Can you get me this?' and usually within a minute I can get that number for them.

So if anything unusual comes up during the broadcast, Carson is all over it.

“That’s right. I love when they’re in the middle of whatever and I’ll slide a little note to Rob and he’ll work it into the conversation. That, more than the TV side of what I do, is where I’m most valuable here, because not only do I know TV but I also know the game of baseball. That makes me a good utility player. I have to listen to these guys, which is why I use a one-sided head set.”

Surely there must be a few frustrating things about even a "dream" job.

“Nothing will drive me crazier than when I throw up a font and there is even the slightest thing wrong with it. That’s when I get mad because I have to make sure that it’s right.”

Does he have any input in how the graphics are designed?

“The way we lay it out is how we’ve been doing it since I started to do the job. Over the last four or five years, when on-base percentage became big, nobody had that before. Then we started putting it on. Same thing when we do the pitchers, nobody used WHIP before.”

Robert, who sees almost every other TV crew at some point on Extra Innings, suggested that the Jays telecasts are more progressive than most.

“The majority of the broadcasts still present the game as it has been for as long as I’ve been around. We try; through STATS we get a lot of splits. You got a hitter and they bring in Trever Miller to pitch to him — well, let’s have a look at how he’s done. I’m sorry folks, but the numbers don’t lie on this one.”

We wondered if he considered including career splits versus lefthanders and righthanders — the kind of stuff that’s often discussed at Batter’s Box — in terms of managerial decisions: should he pinch hit, or who should he bring in to pitch to a particular player?

“No, because we only get our hands on the splits from that year. I can research those things, and we are always looking for trends. If, say, over the last three years, Delgado only hit .220 versus lefties and this year he’s hitting .290 against them, then we will try to point that out.”

Carson’s work station is high-tech. His laptop is surrounded by four monitors. How does anyone watch the game on the field and look at four video feeds while simultaneously researching stats?

“As you can see in between my monitors I have a slight space so I can see home plate and the pitcher. I call it mental multi-tasking — the ability to see only what you need to see and totally discard what you really don’t need. For example, I have two Chyron monitors. One is on preview, where we are able to build during the game; then it gets flipped over to the air monitor. The producer and director down in the truck know that when it’s on the air monitor, it’s ready for air.”

Moving from left to right, Scott pointed and explained.

“This one is the actual feed leaving the truck and the one we have here is the off-air feed or the network feed, which you get to see at home. I think it’s about a five second delay. We always have this, just in case we’re in break and say a brawl has just started.”

It was a pleasure to get a glimpse of his environment. We even watched over his shoulder for an inning during the game. There’s much more to a TV broadcast than meets the eye in your living room, and these guys make it look easy.

Carson is the first person who has agreed to an "interactive" interview in Da Box. Before we throw the floor open to reader questions, we tried to establish if any topics are off limits, or if there should be any other ground rules.

“The one thing that I’ll never do is get personal,” he insists. “I’m sure if you’ve read my column, you’ll know that I can be quite critical of the management, the manager or players, but it’s never personal. That’s not what we’re about. Not that I’m trying to turn it into a popularity contest; I’m also a season ticket holder, paying good money to come down here to watch.”

So despite being an insider, he’s maintained a fan’s perspective. But some people want more.

“Everywhere I go, to a party or to a friend’s cottage for the weekend, once everybody finds out what I do they want to talk baseball. And they always want some inside dirt, but that’s something I’m not going to dish out because that is not my mandate. Nothing good ever comes out of making any personal comments. All that could possibly happen is that you’ll end up with some kind of confrontation. That’s not why I come to work.”

In other words, though everything’s fair game, don’t expect an answer to rude or insensitive questions, and as always, we'll delete comments that are inappropriate. Robert and I could have talked to Scott for hours, but now it's your turn. Fire away!
Ask Scott Carson | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#54486) #

Who controls the balls and strike counter?

Does someone have to feed in the pitch speeds? Can the pitch speeds be left up for a second longer, if you look at the play, the pitch speed is gone by the time the play ends.

Why do the cameras not show the catcher signs more often? I have seen, in critical situations, where the camera will show the catcher signs, then on the next pitch they will not. It seems like the director does not want to show the same shot again and again.

Who prepares the pitcher scouting report?
_Dr. Zarco - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#54487) #
Scott, what's your favorite ballpark? Which has the best broadcasting booth?
Do you have the final say over what stats are shown during a game?
How did you decide what the level of the average fan was for the "highbrow" mark? Do you think it would detract from the broadcast to the average fan to show more situational stats that might make many of us here happy to see? Thanks!
_sweat - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#54488) #
what has been your worst screw-up while working with the jays? what has been your favourite/most interesting stat you have pulled?
_BC Mike - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#54489) #
Scott, I really enjory your column on sportsnet and your work on the broadcasts but I have one question...

Why don't they give you a mic and make it a 3 man booth? Is that something you would ever be interested in?

I enjoy your insights in your sportsnet columns and would love to here a few of your comments during the game.

Anyway, keep up the good work.
_Mark J - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#54490) #

One thing about TV stats that bugs me is the incredibly-small-sample-size stat. You know, the ones like "Joe Hitter" is a 1-5 (.200) lifetime batter against "Jim Pitcher". These are more purely trivial than useful. I don't know if the "average fan" likes these or what, but they just don't seem to convey any real information.

I'd like to see more slugging averages. I'm glad to see the on-base averages get worked in over the last few years, but they look 'incomplete' without a slugging average too.

Keep up the good work!
_Daryn - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#54491) #
I always react to "bad stats" like:
"The Yankees have won 6 of their 9 starts"...

That sounds like .666 Avg, but we know that they have also "won 6 of their last 10" or else they would have said "7 of 10", ... 6 or 10 is so statistically close to 50-50 that in the end its meaninless..

or, "the team that wins the first game wins the series 72% of the time... ".. well if the 4 or 7 average series is 5.5 games, then the winning team wins 72% of ALL the games... again meaningless...

I'd like to encourage the Jays and ALL broadcasts to be responsible with the "numbers" and ensure that the stats mean something...

Off my Soapbox now..
_Daryn - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#54492) #
I see I typed "or" for "of" at least twice...
6 OF 10, 4 OF 7

_Scott Carson - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#54493) #
Greetings from Florida...

Here's some answers to your first queries:

Gerry > The balls & strikes counter is controlled by our production assistant in the truck. The pitch speed comes from a Jugs gun mounted behind the plate. I'll pass along your comments about leaving the speed up longer and showing the catcher's signs more. The scouting report is prepared by John Cerutti or Tom Candiotti, whoever is working that game.

Dr. Zarco > My favourite ballpark is Yankee Stadium. Just walking up the runway to the Blue Jays third base dugout and stepping up on to the field is like walking into history. And I love the fact that Yankees fans are absolutely nuts about their team. My favourite broadcast booth is SkyDome. The booth is large enough that Rob, John and myself have more than enough room to not impede on each other's space. And the sightlines are perfect from the 4th level behind the plate. The show's producer has the ultimate say over what graphics make it to air. I offer up what I think works at that point in time. As for I consider to be "highbrow", if I read it and have to think about it, then it might be a little much to comprehend based on the speed that information is passed along during a broadcast.

sweat > My biggest screw up had nothing to with TV. In my first season working with Dan Shulman, I spun around to hand him so info and launched a full glass of ice water out of the booth and into the 200 level below, soaking some of the patrons. Security came up to ask us what went down. As for my favourite stat that I've pulled, nothing stands out, but I'll give it some thought and report back to you...

BC Mike > We talked about micing me during the game a couple of years ago, but nothing came of it. I'd be interested, of course, but I've got more than enough going on that it would probably be a burden.

Mark J > I agree that sometimes we show stats with a small sample size that might not be that relative. But, especially on batter vs Pitcher numbers, I also like to show that the two combatants have a history, no matter how small. I'll take your slugging pct. comment under consideration.

Thanks guys...'Til next time...GO JAYS!!!
_StephenT - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#54494) #
Scott, I'm sure this wasn't your call, but why hasn't the the straightaway centre-field camera been used on Sportsnet broadcasts this year? (The one where the camera man was in the restaurant at SkyDome.) I really miss being able to tell if a pitch was over the plate.

Gerry, I agree, sometimes I miss the pitch speeds, though they seem to have been left up longer lately.

Guys, I like seeing the batter-pitcher stats, even if they are a small sample (1 for 5). e.g. They tell you they've faced each other 5 times before, who has the current bragging rights, etc. (though I'd prefer to include all plate appearances, not just at bats).
_Jeff, RSN - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#54495) #
Stephen T - I like the CF straightaway look too. But we couldn't get the same angle consistently in the other ballparks. Even at Skydome we found some pitches were being blocked by pitcher's motion. That CF camera's main assignment is the pitch but we are also able to get defensive plays in the outfield and the range of view is diminished in the straightaway position.

Gerry - pitch speed display time is adjustable. Thanks for feedback I will investigate. As for showing signs do you show all signs, some signs, only for certain counts? Director uses his best judgement.

As for a microphone for Scott - isn't there more than enough talk with 2 announcers?
_Keith Talent - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#54496) #
Hi Scott:

I would say Sportsnet is the most tastefully progressive broadcaster in baseball today. The epitome of tasteless broadcasting is FOX: what do you think of their coloured CG measuring stick to show the runner's lead off first, or the computer-enhanced advertising behind home plate that's always way too bright and shaky? Or ESPN and that nauseating catcher's mask camera? Do you think broadcasters interviewing managers during the game (as they do know on Sunday Night Baseball) is tacky? Final question: will there ever be an NBC Game of the Week again or has Sunday Night Baseball fully taken over that need?
_Jordan - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#54497) #
Scott, thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us!

I hear what you're saying about not wanting to go too high-end with the display stats -- I agree that viewers aren't ready for EqA and isloated power. And I'm very glad that Sportsnet provides OBP for hitters. My question: is there any way to get SLG included as well? I believe strongly that BA/OBP/SLG are the natural triumvirate of offensive stats, and that unless all three are provided, the viewer doesn't get a full picture of the batter's performance. A five-part stats lineup of BA-OBP-SLG-HR-RBI would seem to be reasonable and accommodatable on the screen. And it would help end many casual fans' misapprehension that BA-HR-RBI are the most important stats -- which as we know, they're not.

I really like what you guys are doing with pitching stats -- WHIP is a great addition, and the announcers are very good about noting the importance of H/IP and BB/IP. If they could also talk about BB/K and K/IP -- which I think are even more important -- that would be even better.

What would be ideal, from my squirrelly point of view, would be for announcers -- and I'm not thinking of the Sportsnet team, but announcers everywhere -- to help viewers look beyond the basic stats on the screen. There are fundamental truths about baseball that stats sometimes only hint at, and I often find myself wishing that an announcer, instead of simply reading the stat, could add some more insight to go with it. Some for-instances:

* When a runner's on base and the screen flashes, "Juan Pierre, 20 steals," hopefully it'll add something like "in 26 attempts." But even beyond that, I'd love to see an announcer note that most SB studies show that you need a success rate of +70% for the stolen base to be an effective weapon, such that only high-percentage base stealers should be running (this would be particularly interesting in Toronto's case, because the Jays steal only rarely and in relatively risk-free situations).

* When a closer enters the game and the screen flashes, "Trevor Hoffman, 34 saves," hopefully it'll add "in 38 attempts." But even beyond that, it would be great to get a breakdown of the nature of those saves --- are they mostly three-run lead, bases-empty, start-of-an-inning saves? Or are there a bunch of one-run lead, entered-in-the-8th-with-a-runner-on-third saves? If viewers appreciated better that not all saves are created equal, they might be able to better judge who the best closers really are.

* When a batter comes up with 2 on and 2 out and the screen flashes, "Frank Thomas, hitting .249 with runners in scoring position" -- well, there's a lot of possibilities here. The Big Hurt might be posting a .376 OBP in those situations because he walks so often; he might have hit .388 with RISP last year; and he might be hitting exactly his normal lifetime average with RISP over his career. A deeper exploration of the performance of a batter with runners on, and an explanation that few if any batters post consistently higher RISP numbers year to year, might dissuade some fans from thinking that "clutch hitting" is a skill.

And any number of smaller points that not enough fans seem to realize:

- making an out is always bad; a sacrifice fly is less bad, a run-scoring groundout is less bad again, and an out that moves a runner to third with one out is just bad with a small silver lining;
- sacrifice bunts rarely result in better run-scoring chances, unless perhaps the pitcher is batting;
- good fielding percentage doesn't imply range, and good range may simply mean that you have an extreme groundball staff.

And so on. As you know better than most of us, there is so much fascinating, insightful and important stats-related information about baseball that rarely if ever makes it onto many broadcasts, yet that would educate and inform readers tremendously well if it did. Stats are so central to baseball in large part because they illuminate its central truths, and illumination is really cool. One of my favourite memories of growing up watching Duke Snider and Dave Van Horne on Expos broadcasts was that Duke would every so often point out something about a batter or a pitcher "for you kids out there," something that told us how to generate power in your swing or field a ground ball cleanly. That doesn't happen nearly enough anymore. Although kids would be the primary beneficiary, it wouldn't need to be geared to kids; it could be for inquisitive fans of all kinds, which of course means fans of all kinds. I'd love to see the return, or the revitalization, of broadcasts that help satisfy the intellectual curiosity that lies behind baseball.

Anyway, what started off as a simple question turned into a harangue. Sorry about that, Scott! And thanks again for speaking with Batter's Box!
Pistol - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#54498) #
I'd like to see more slugging averages. I'm glad to see the on-base averages get worked in over the last few years, but they look 'incomplete' without a slugging average too.

I completely agree. I wish all broadcasts would have that. If you consistently presented slugging% it would become second hand to the fan not all that familiar with it right now (similar to OBP).

I assume the reason why it's not presented is that there are space constraints and/or the screen becoming too cluttered.

However, I think something like this would work well in a broadcast:

Ave OBP Slg : HR RBI Runs
0.285 0.335 0.465 : 12 40 30

This way you get the important rate stats, and also get the counting stats most people are used to.
_Jordan - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#54499) #
I'd like to see more slugging averages.

Mark J beat me to the punch. This is why I should never post any messages bigger than my head.
_StephenT - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#54500) #
Thanks Jeff. I'd be happy if the roof cam was moved to the straightaway position so that both centre-field shots could be used. I remember that the pitcher occasionally blocked the pitch but I think it was rare. To me, right now, it's like I'm always missing the pitch. In particular, when a lefthander pitches to a left-handed batter, the pitch "passes through" the batter, and I can't even tell if it's headed inside or out, let alone judge the break on the pitch, etc.

I understand that the straightaway shot isn't always possible on the road, though I appreciated last year when you did get it in some of the road parks.

I encourage you guys to keep experimenting. Feel free to hype the fact that you're trying something different this game, whether its camera angles or stats selections. Maybe you can integrate it with a web poll for whether the viewers like it after trying it for a while. Though one thing I learned in enterpreneurship class was to just try one innovation at a time. The more changes you multiply in at once, the greater the risk.
_Ducey - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#54501) #
Further to some of the other points. Maybe you could do a little segment during the broadcast (Inside the numbers, or Seventh inning stats), taped ahead of time, that would tell viewers some of the ins and outs of stats ie why OBP has become more important, what SLG is and how it is measured. I would give Faulds and Cerutti something to speak about for the rest of the game and apply to specific Jays. You could fire in a few more graphics on the stats after the segment.

I would also like to see a few more updates on the Jays minor league teams/ prospects and more discussion of what the likely pitch is of a certain pitcher in a certain situation ie discuss more what a hitter or pitcher is trying to do - Candiotti is good at that.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#54502) #
I don't really have any questions, but I'd like to compliment you guys on easily one of the best-looking broadcasts of anything that I've ever seen. I attend most home games in person, but when I have to watch them at home I'm always floored by how good the Sportsnet broadcast looks.

And count me as another one who thinks Fox and ESPN's coverage is gimmicky and too full of extra stuff. Keep up the good work.
_Darryl - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#54503) #
The new guy in the booth Scott Carruthers where in canada does he reside from?

I used to go to high school with a guy by the same name

_Keith Talent - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#54504) #
(Inside the numbers, or Seventh inning stats)

That's a great idea. You could even do corporate sponsorship with that one with, say, Sea-Doo or somebody. Like the GM 'Did You Know?' -I really enjoy this new feature.
_Daryn - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#54505) #
I think Jordan's point is a better way of saying what I was saying... I would encourage the broadcasts to use "meaningful stats and in context"... and to the extent that context is shallow, to say that...
_Keith Talent - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#54506) #

The little 'bug box' (is that the term? Sportsnet uses a 'bar') that shows the score, bases, count, etc. - I think is the single greatest revolution in baseball broadcasting in the last ten years. Yet it's so simple! Do you find it funny that as soon as the first broadcast team put it up there everybody immedaitely recognized it as an immediate good and copied it. Who was the first to use it? Why did it take so long for it to appear on our TVs, technology?
_Jordan - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#54507) #
I'm not a fan of Fox's broadcasts -- I don't need swooshing sound effects with my baseball game -- but I do think they were the first to use the bug box, and I think it was in their NFL broadcasts. And it really was a great idea.
_Brent - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#54508) #
I'd like to second the motion for the disply of slugging percentage in the broadcasts. It is nice to see stats like hits or runs up there, but a nice BA/OBP/SLG line would tickle any semi-stathead pink.

Jordan really hit the nail on the head in his post.
_Willy - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#54509) #
What a great thread! Congratulations to Coach and Robert Dudek for arranging it--and to Scott Carson for agreeing to do it. This is the sort of thing that makes Da Box special.
_Daryn - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#54510) #
I remember something.. not really a STATS question

Scott, can you ask the crews to put a "REPLAY" flag in the corner when its a reply... I don't know how many times I've been in the bar with the volume down and thought, "Oh he didn't hit ANOTHER homer, hey its exactly in the same place as the last one... oh..."
_Keith Talent - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#54511) #
Nice one Daryn,

I've looked like an idiot countless times doing that.
_The Original Ry - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#54512) #
The little 'bug box' (is that the term? Sportsnet uses a 'bar') that shows the score, bases, count, etc. - I think is the single greatest revolution in baseball broadcasting in the last ten years.

Unfortunately I think Sportsnet made a mistake last year when they made their score bug stretch across the top of the screen (copying Fox's new design). The little box in the corner of the screen had all the relevant information in one spot, allowing the viewer to take just a quick glance to find out the game situation. With this new design, my eyes have to scan the entire width of the screen to get the same information, taking probably 2-3 times as long. This design is less convenient and I really wish Sportsnet would go back to their original design, even if it means having to show the black bar across the top of the screen during HD telecasts.
_Daryn - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#54513) #
I agree with the Original Ryan, the smaller strip was better... sometimes you get the logo at the bottom and the top and there is hardly any game left... do we need "Rogers Sportsnet Ontario" in 3 colours all the time?

the smaller design was much easier to read.

Oh, I was looking at the layout, it would be simple to get another stat (Slugging) on the screen... but I DO like seeing the OBA
_StephenT - Wednesday, June 30 2004 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#54514) #
I third the motion for preferring the older bug to the newer scorebar. My reason is that the horizontal band particularly eats into the top of the picture on the HD broadcasts of home games (this is not an issue on the standard home broadcasts because in those it is above the picture). I figure 7% or more of the HD picture is obstructed, compared to less than half that for the older bug or the bug the ESPN Sunday Night telecasts use. (It's really great, by the way, that Sportsnet picks up the ESPN HD games on Sunday night.)

To turn this into a question for Scott: did the introduction of HD complicate your work at all? Do the announcers have a HD monitor in the booth?
_Rob - Thursday, July 01 2004 @ 12:43 AM EDT (#54515) #
Scott, all of my questions have already been asked, so I have nothing to add.

I support the "put the bug back in the corner" motion, but otherwise good work on the visual part of broadcast -- I usually listen to the radio during games so I can't comment on the audio part. :)
_Scott Carson - Thursday, July 01 2004 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#54516) #
Answers to more of your questions...

Keith Talent > I think that the Fox Saturday broadcasts have replaced the NBC Game of the Week. Thanks you for your comments about the Sportsnet broadcasts.

Stephen T > Broadcasting in HD provides no extra challenges to my department, and yes we have an HD monitor for Rob & John to look at in the booth at SkyDome.

Keep your comments, questions and concerns coming...We, the Sportsnet team, read them all and take your suggestions to heart, like your comments on the score bug, which has evolved over the past two seasons.
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