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Friday, May 04, 2012

Tell Your Audience: What Victor Rojas Got Wrong

I missed Jered Weaver's no-no on account of being out of town and immersed at the time, but Diane Pucin of the Times has an interesting coda to Wednesday's historic game: apparently Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza did not inform their viewers that a no-hitter was in progress.
"Some people say jinxes have no place in sports, but that's just how I am," Rojas said. "I didn't move from my position after the third inning, I didn't move any paper. I put my pens back in the same spot. That's just who I am."
I actually agree with Charley Steiner, and, unsurprisingly, the Giants' great broadcaster Jon Miller here:
"Why are you keeping that a secret from your audience?" Steiner said. "In the 21st century we have this thing called the Internet. People in Swaziland know a no-hitter is going on. If you have those baseball superstitions from 40 years ago, OK, but do you not have some obligation to inform the audience?"

Jon Miller, another Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster, said he has no problem calling a no-hitter a no-hitter. "I feel like I have a responsibility to my audience, to the station, to the network, to say what's going on," Miller said.

"Plus, I want to maximize my audience. If someone hears from me about a no-hitter, he might call others or text or email and that helps my audience get larger. Some guys use all kinds of euphemisms, talking about 'no runs, nothing at all,' they make a game of it. I just think, if it's a big story, mention it. But it's a quaint old baseball thing. I don't blame anybody for doing a game any way they want."

Weaver, of course, couldn't be bothered with one superstition about no-hitters, and that is returning to the same spot on the bench. I'll leave that bit to the story, but it's got a funny ending.

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I, for one, appreciate how Rojas dealt with it (and how he similarly handled Ervin Santana's no-hitter). The fact of the matter is that Rojas is broadcasting only on television, which happens to be a visual medium. At the beginning and end of each half inning, there is a graphic on the screen which shows how many hits each team had. Victor didn't need to say what people could read on their screens.

I'd be far more curious whether Terry Smith said anything on the radio.

Also, Rojas was once a player. He has a different perspective than Steiner and Miller.
I guess I appreciate Rojas' traditionalist perspective in this; it's not a strong sentiment for me.
Vin Scully has no problem talking about it, but Victor Rojas is above it?
Interesting way to look at it.

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