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Below are some examples of the detailed feedback we can offer (player and city names have been changed for anonymity):
Feedback Example #1
I really liked the consistent tempo you had throughout this inning. The action in a given inning is obviously unpredictable, but you filled in the gaps and made it virtually impossible to notice when there was a lull in what was happening on the field. This is a very key intangible in producing a quality broadcast. You don’t necessarily have to choose between calling a “fast-paced” or “slow-paced” game as much as you need to worry about how each inning flows (which is often dependent on how fast the pitcher is working). If your flow is consistent from inning-to-inning (whether or not there is a lot of action), the overall broadcast is going to sound smoother and easier to listen to. If an inning drags for 15 minutes, you’ve done your job if a listener comes away not realizing how long it actually took.
The detail on the chopper to third was very good, and should be your standard on any type of groundball.
I liked how you qualified the Tuesday statistic (when you said it probably has no bearing). I’m not a fan of those types of splits, and when you first brought it up, I was thinking, ‘that’s nice, but it isn’t really a great predictor of what may or may not happen in this game.’ And sure enough, before I could complete that thought, you followed up with exactly what I (playing the role of listener) was thinking. That’s the perfect way to weave in a number like that.
The enthusiasm on the first two hits was very good and set up the RBI single, which was also very good. The RBI hit was especially good, because you described who made the throw and who cut the ball off (both major differentiators in making a ‘good’ call versus a ‘great’ call). Again, this should be your goal for every run-scoring hit.
I also think you did a great job on the description of the defensive positioning later in the inning.
The one thing that jumped out right away was the quality of the sound. Was this on a different recording device than the other clips? I would also be careful working in the out-of-town scores like that toward the end of an inning. I believe you only mentioned the Idaho/Wyoming score. This inning was building towards a comeback, so the scoreboard seemed a bit out of place in relation to how critical of a moment it was in the game at hand. Now, I’m not sure if this was before or after you had clinched the division, but if the Idaho/Wyoming score had implications in the race, even just a quick reference to those implications would have helped highlight that game’s relevance/importance. Otherwise, I would have just waited until the next inning to ensure I could cover the entire league scoreboard.
Feedback Example #2
This inning also had good tempo to it, but I will point out that Jones was pronounced two different ways within the first minute or so. I hate to nitpick on that, but it’s something that jumped out right away.
With that being said, I’ve never once made it through a three-hour broadcast without making at least one or two mistakes (mispronunciation, wrong stat, etc.), so don’t take this as meaning the entire inning was bad. But it is something to be cognizant of in the future.
Aside from that, the information on Jones’s background was very good–mainly his relationship to Mike Smith from the same previous league. With it being late in a close game, I liked how you let the crowd breathe, especially in an energetic environment like Tahoe. Often times, “less is more” in these situations. You did a really good job capturing the emotions of the errors–again, given how tight the ballgame was. However, I would be careful overusing the term “should have,” but that’s only a personal preference, and sometimes you have to play analyst in addition to play-by-play man.
This is not essential, but in the future, it might be beneficial to have some numbers handy on why Johnson pinch-hitting for Thompson made sense. This is nitpicking, because we saw Tahoe as well, and I remember that both of those guys were really good players. There may not be any information that would help you come up with a reason why one good hitter would pinch hit for another, but if you find something before the game that’s worth storing away for this exact situation, it could generate a moment where the listener really becomes more engaged in the “game within the game” and the late-inning managerial moves. The bit about Roberts being a great defensive catcher was perfect, especially when the next pitch was a breaking ball. The call on the strikeout was great as well.
Feedback Example #3
Great call on the infield single by staying with each detail. Very similar to the chopper in the first clip you sent. I thought you did a really good job weaving in the story without sacrificing action (this is never easy, and Vin Scully is maybe the one guy in the universe who can do this flawlessly). This isn’t something I would use for a demo, since the information is a little too specific to this particular team, but it definitely shows your ability in executing this part of a broadcast, and I’m sure your avid listeners would definitely appreciate this kind of information over the course of a long season.
As always, I’m a career ‘indy’ guy, so take what I say for what it’s worth. Let me know if you need anything else.