It is Tuesday, October 5th. 8:08 am start time for this blog. 12 hours, roughly, until the first pitch of the 2021 American League Wild Card game featuring the Boston Red Sox hosting the New York Yankees. I did a quick check of ticket availability for 1, 2, or any number over 2 for tonight’s game on the Red Sox ticket webpage and was greeted with this photo and this caption:
Darn that’s a bummer. Well, I have to work anyway, so I am okay with that. I still have plenty of viewing and listening options for tonight’s game. First and probably my #1 option is 103.7 FM, WEEI. They will have an awesome pre-game broadcast, with a host of radio personalities and their roster of local Boston Red Sox experts and journalists commenting on every detail and angle possible. Then, the play by play announcers (Joe, Will, hopefully Lou, fingers crossed for Sean, maybe Jerry Remy could join in) will call the game pitch by pitch, out by out, inning by inning – all of them letting us know what is going on with incredible detail and those roller coaster emotional calls. I can’t wait to hear the excitement of a base hit and the disappointment of a fly ball to right and what’s on sale at Shaw’s this week and the screams of a major shift in the game and a gigantic strikeout with the bases loaded.
Second option is the MLB play by play feature on my phone. The MLB play by play page shows a batter, the baseball flying into home plate, the baseball’s speed and what pitch it is, and tons of other stats. It shows outs and balls in play or no out recorded or the hit itself (single, double, home run). It isn’t a page featuring a live broadcast of the game with a live camera on the batter or pitcher. This is merely a scorekeeping type page with the box score and plays of the game shown, similar to the apps we all use to score youth baseball games (GameChanger, Tourney Machine). This is a great option for the really, really stressful parts of the game where you just can’t bear to hear or see what will happen on the next pitch. During Sunday’s Game 162, I went from the radio to this webpage quite often!!!
Third option is YouTube TV, where I am hopeful ESPN will be broadcasting the game with no blackouts. Because I have YouTubeTV and not regular cable, I have been “blacked out” for every MLB Network, TBS, and non-NESN broadcast of the Red Sox this season. I understand the business of baseball and the broadcasting rights to MLB games. That’s why it is nice to have options, like the radio and the scorekeeping page. On a separate rant, I’m not a huge fan of outside announcers with mostly surface knowledge of the two teams calling a postseason game. If I had my wish, I would love to hear the Red Sox announcers, who are much more in tune with the beat and rhythm of the team, calling the game. The national announcers give a mostly generic call of the game without any specific or interesting details about the game, the team, the why this guy is in the lineup, the ups and downs and struggles and triumphs of a particular player.
Fourth option is social media. Fans, journalists, so-called experts will all be posting photos, videos, memes, and whatever else people do on social media all game long. Bad calls, epic diving catches, home runs, fans spilling beer on another fan, the wave – if someone has a phone nearby and is recording, you can bet it will wind up on social media. And I will be checking various sites for these various posts all game long.
So, I can’t attend the game in person but at least I have options. I will be listening to the game on the radio with my phone propped up in front of my computer and ready to switch if the stress level gets too crazy. I will hop on social media and see what’s happening and have a few laughs courtesy of the fans and journalists attending the game/watching the game. And, I may even try to watch some of the game on YouTubeTV. I can tell you honestly that I have already started pacing so that means the stress and excitement of tonight’s game is already building up inside this baseball fan!!!
Winning, behind, tied – I will listen, watch, stream, scream, laugh and be a baseball fan participating in the joy, insanity, and excitement for the entire Red Sox vs Yankees Wild Card game, from first pitch to final out. Less than 12 hours to go, let’s Go Sox!!!