National TV hurts baseball

By Chris Schmaedeke, QCS Managing Editor

Baseball is one of my favorite sports.

I love to watch it on TV, I loved going to games at Denver’s Coors Field when I lived in Colorado and I played first base and pitcher growing up.

The Colorado Rockies have made the Major League Baseball playoffs for only the third time in their 17-year history. It’s a big deal to us Rockies fans because it does happen so rarely. This team is not the New York Yankees.

Anytime I have a chance, I sit down and watch the Rockies. And while watching this game, I realize something:

I better have about four to five hours of free time.

The Rockies-Phillies game Sunday night started at 8:07 p.m. Not a bad start time at all. Games usually start at 7 p.m. but during the playoffs you have to accommodate national television.

There is the problem.

Because the game is on national television is the reason for these long, drawn-out games. Between every pitch the camera would pan to the manager, the crowd, the batter and then finally the pitcher. This was not just once and awhile. No this was every pitch. It drags the game on and it kills the audience.

I may sound like I am just complaining here but seriously baseball games should not approach the five-hour mark because they are on national television. The channels need to figure out something to bring the pace of the games back up to speed.

They need to stop with all the different camera angles. As much as I want to see Rockies manager Jim Tracy or Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chew gum, I can live without it. Also I don’t think seeing a random fan drinking their beverage or holding their hands over their face adds anything to my baseball viewing experience.

Show me the game and the emotion of the players. That’s what I want to see as a baseball fan. You can show me the fans when someone hits a home run or the pitcher gets a big strikeout to end the inning. I don’t need to see the fans’ reaction to that 1-1 curveball in the dirt.

None of this will ever change during baseball or any professional sport telecast. The television stations have the power but when a game starts at 8 p.m. and then the final out is made and the clock says 12:30 a.m., it is kind of a shock.

I will never stop watching baseball or any other professional sports on TV but from now on when I watch a baseball playoff game I will make sure I have plenty of time and something else to do in between pitches.

Chris Schmaedeke is

managing editor of the Quay County Sun. Contact him at 461-1952 or by e-mail: