July 4, 2010 10:40 am
By Miss Chatter
On the sixth day of Strasmas, my true love gave to me...Six with walk-off Nats' runs;Five labored innings;Four hits off "Strass-burg";Three runs in 9th;Two FOX TV gaffes;and a twitter diss from the booth.
Another nationally televised game and nearly another display of lack of offense from the Nationals. Ultimately, Strasburg did not earn the win, but the Nats miraculously pulled one out of the proverbial hat in the bottom of the 9th. His game will be (or has already been) broken down seven ways from Sunday by the analyst types, so I'm instead going to look at what the FOX broadcast provided viewers not accustomed to watching the games on MASN in the local viewing area. In all honesty, I actually headed down to Woodbridge to see starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann's rehab start with the Potomac Nationals, so got the full FOX experience on delay for the 6th Day of Strasmas.
FOX provided Joe Buck and Kevin Millar for analysis and color in the booth with Chris Rose on the sidelines. The pregame intro was giggle-icious. The broadcast began with a FOX voiceover intro while fancy images of Stephen Strasburg pitching danced across the screen:
"It's Fourth of July weekend today on Fox Saturday baseball, but we're in our nation's capital for another holiday. That's right, it's Strasmas!"
Woo! Our little codename is now nationally famous!
Thankfully there were no premature bang zooms when Adam Dunn hit the ump-reviewed tying two run double in the bottom of the 9th that could have easily been a game winning grand slam. On this day, the gaffes were mainly provided by FOX and not the ballclub. FOX, did you see the shiny new blue block letters right behind home plate or the large red letters on top of the scoreboard? The name of the stadium is "Nationals Park" not "Nationals Stadium". I will concede that FOX did show about four graphics before this one that correctly read "Nationals Park" and part of me feels a little bad for the tech sitting in the production truck that was responsible for this.
Based on this broadcast, non-MASN viewers may be a bit confused about the pronunciation of Strasburg's last name. Dear Joe Buck, I'm thrilled FOX chose to broadcast yet another Nationals game live for a broader viewing audience, but please learn the pronunciation of the key player you came to the nation's capital to cover. If not, maybe take a hint from your fellow broadcasters who pronounced it properly. The dentist says "open up and say ahhh" and that "ahh" should be used in place of where you used... well, what rhymes with another name for a donkey. The pitcher's name is pronounced "Strahs-burg" or "Stross-burg", not "Strass-burg". I found myself cringing every time he said Strassburg, which was of course frequently.
Later in the game, things became much more oddly familiar. Did you know Fox Sports has a MySpace page. How quaint! Right after showing and commenting on fans streaming out of Nationals Park (twice) and discussing LeBron James because basketball free agency is so relevant to the 9th inning of a close baseball game, FOX advertised their social media prowess and URLs for Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace (leaving out the JimBowdenXMFOX account). While Matt Capps was shutting down any further offense from the Mets, Buck and Millar espoused on Twitter.
Millar: Do you have a Twitter account, a MySpace, a Facebook and all that stuff?
Buck: I theoretically have a Twitter account, but so do you because you're under the Fox Sports-MLB heading
Millar: So do we know how to work 'em?
Buck: Eh, not so much. game stuff
Millar: I'll start tweeting. I'm gonna start tweeting.
Buck: You should. You should broadcast for a while and get on Twitter and get the comments about how you're rooting against everybody's team.
Millar: (genuine laughter) Not bitter Bob? Bitter Bob in the Booth?
Buck: Yeah, it's a fun time.
Um, who's Bob? Last time I checked, Carpenter was not in the broadcast booth for this game and I'd hardly describe him as bitter (Dibble on the other hand can occasionally display flashes of Twitter bitterness). Maybe he meant Rob. Ah sweet comfortable familiarity, picking on the Twitterazzi with broad sweeping generalizations. Yep, that's the broadcast style I know and love. C'mon guys, that tactic is so passe at this point, kind of like MySpace. Think of Twitter as standing in a room full of both fawning fans and critics. You can choose to tune out the static and noise and still actively participate and have fun with it. You don't know until you try!
The Nats went on to win with a walk-off single by Pudge after Dunn's two run double tied the game in the bottom of the 9th. That, my friends, is why you never leave early, no matter how dismal things look. So was the 6th day of Strasmas a success? I would say yes if only because the nationals broadcast spotlight ultimately shone on the team as a whole as they pulled off the dramatic win in the end despite Strasburg's start.