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Covid-era Baseball? Sounds Good!

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

I took a break from listening to the A’s opening game vs the Angels (on the Sporty 1140) and turned on the local broadcast around the 3rd inning Friday night. 

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

It wasn’t that I was tired of Ken Korach and friends, quite the contrary. You see, I’ve become obsessed with how the game sounds in a Covid-19 world. 

Much has been made of fan-less games, cardboard cutouts behind home plate, empty stands. And although there is only so much that can be done to improve the look visually, it’s the audio aspect I’m so interested in. 

Baseball lends itself best to artificial noise. A’s games in particular may be the best example in sports. It allows a dedicated audio engineer to really stretch out and have a little fun.

So far, I had been very disappointed at the way different networks were executing fake sound. Especially ESPN, which should be leading the league in innovation, as they are a massive national partner. But when I turned on the A’s game, I smiled. 

The hum of fans in between pitches was there. The build when the ball was hit, only to trail off if the A’s made an out. The roar heard during a home run. And occasionally, you even heard drums and horns in the background, a hallmark of A’s home games. 

Although the massively loud ovation for God Bless America in the 7th was a little TOO overzealous, but it’s a work in progress. 

Overall I was impressed. Broadcasting at its best, lends itself to innovation and creativity. I’m very curious as to how the digitized fan experiment will go this weekend when Fox gets their first crack nationally. 

My question for you is simple: did you find yourself, during the game at some point, forgetting that there wasn’t a crowd and just watching the game? Or did it constantly take away from your experience? 

Vote in the poll, I’ll go over the results Monday on the show. And PLAY BALL!!

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