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ESPN guide to MLB broadcasts

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from Reddit user jwreynold:

 

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So, the Warriors have added their All-Stars for the offseason, the TB12 diet has been beaten to death, and Tim Tebow is still in Binghamton. Unfortunately, this means that our network will be forced to broadcast an MLB game. There is a procedure in place for such emergencies. Follow these guidelines, and you will be able to effectively use a baseball game to kill time between segments on Ohio State's backup QB.

  1. First and foremost, baseball fans should consider themselves lucky we’re taking time out of our busy schedule of eternally debating LeBron’s legacy and showing you Sam Darnold throw screen passes in shorts at Jets’ training camp.
  2. Baseball fans romanticize about baseball played on a warm summer day. For them, watching baseball is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. For this reason, ESPN games should be broadcast in the dead of night. As late as you can possibly go. Whenever the witching hour is, that’s when you should put the games on.
  3. Sneaking the game on to the network under the cover of darkness has several important benefits:
    1. Makes watching the end of the game a burden on anyone who has to wake up on Monday.
    2. Limits the ability of children to watch, which is fine because children don’t buy things.
    3. Puts people at the stadiums through literal hell. Why have people combat the Major Deegan Expressway at 4:00 pm when they could do it at midnight?
    4. Screws over any team that needs to travel to a game (or two) the next day.
    5. Allows no flexibility in case of rain. Rain is an Act of God, and if He wants the game cancelled, who are we to leave extra time in the day to make the game playable.
  4. The lateness of games is made acceptable because a game of Baseball is divided into 4 15:00 minute quarters, and the game can end in a tie, so there is no chance of the games going later than intended.
  5. Game Selection: It’s the Yankees. Always pick the Yankees, their games account for 87% of the Sunday Night Baseball profit margin. They also have that tall fellow we like.
    1. New York is the best market, which is why the start time is optimized for the West Coast.
    2. Yankee-Red Sox games are perhaps the only thing in baseball more appealing than a Grizzlies-Pelicans NBA Summer League game, so sink your talons deep into that one.
    3. The Mets are lucky they have Tebow, or we wouldn’t recognize them as a professional team, let alone put them on the air.
    4. The only thing better than a Yankee game is the Red Sox game before their 11:00 am Patriot's Day game. April nights in Boston are famously comfortable, and the team will be thrilled to play 11 hours after the conclusion of their last game.
    5. Canada doesn't count for our ratings, but if the Yankees have a double-header the next day, we'll move our whole broadcast up to Toronto.
  6. Pregame: The Pregame show should be dedicated to discussing the teams entirely through platitudes and preconceived notions. For instance, introduce the fact that Yankees Right-Fielder Aaron Judge is formidable hitter because of his prodigious power. Then, remind the audience that his power is rendered useless by strikeouts (the most heinous of outs), that the Yankees hit too many home runs to be good, and that they will not be able to hit home runs in the playoffs. This analysis is important because while those statements are false, they are also irrelevant. Be sure to say things like “Good pitching always stops good hitting,” as though it would add to the conversation.
  7. On-Air Personalities: Baseball is a naturally boring exhibition. For this reason, our broadcast booth should try to distract the audience from the game as much as possible.
    1. The ideal booth should contain a play-by-play man, a former softball player, and a retired baseball legend. The softball player and the retired legend should have plenty of baseball knowledge, but nobody will be interested in that. If the softball player has some middling anecdotes about the city where the game is being played, great. If the retired legend’s hot rock-star girlfriend shows up, even better.
    2. The booth should always be talking. Banter and half-baked analysis can be used to distract viewers from the dullness of the sport they are watching. Silence is the enemy. Commentators should always try and start a sentence, even if there is no ending in mind. Articulation and relevancy are of no concern. Television is a visual media, so the viewers will be very distressed to watch a few seconds of baseball unaccompanied by disembodied voices.
    3. Audiences are used to commentators who call only their teams games. These announcers have more knowledge about the team than our own commentators, but we believe that busier graphics and J-Lo in tight pants make up for losing an announcer who watches the team every day.
    4. At least we don't have A.J. Pierzynski.
  8. Interviews: For 120 years, fans contentedly followed the MLB without needing interviews from the dugout. However ESPN now offers fans the opportunity to listen to MLB managers offer non-responses, like "That's a good ball-club over there," "We're having really competitive at-bats," and "We just have to keep grinding," to the most bland questions in sports history. Again, this allows us to take attention away from the baseball game being played, which is what we and the audience prefer.
  9. Remotes: Here at ESPN, we assume that the national baseball audience hates baseball as much as we do. For this reason, we will cut away from entire innings in order to bring the audience remote segments with baseball guys. For instance, if a marquis matchup between historic franchises is tied at 1 in the 6th inning, that is a good time to air a tour of the away manager’s mobile home. Remember, your audience are not baseball fans, they are RV fans in need of rescue.
  10. Marketing your stars: The MLB has this generational talent that they have a ton of trouble marketing for some reason. He’s the most important player, but no one in America knows who he is. What’s his name? You know him. He’s the thumb-looking guy. It starts with a T?
  11. That’s right, it’s Todd Frazier. America needs to know everything about Todd Frazier. Preach Todd Frazier’s Little League World Series appearance from the mountaintop like it’s our new messiah. Todd is our prophet, and Tom’s River is our Mecca. You see, the fact that Todd has played 1.5 of his 7 major league seasons near his house is the feel-good story needed to salvage this piece-of-shit sport. Did you know he met Derek Jeter in Yankee Stadium as a 10-year old? Soon, all of America will know.
  12. Camerawork: Because our equipment travels to new stadiums every week, we sometimes struggle to call up correct camera angles, and keep the action in frame. In order to maintain the infrastructure to make this quality of production possible, each MLB team would need its own dedicated TV crews, with possibly their own TV Networks. Unfortunately, no such provisions exist here in 2018, and so TV audiences must be satisfied with the level of production we provide. We have a box that shows the strike-zone superimposed over the game footage. This box is not necessarily accurate, and has no bearing on how balls and strikes will be called by the umpire, but its a very nice box. Its okay if you lose fly-balls in the corner. Fans are not very interested in the path of a fly-ball near the wall.

 

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