Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

You even worry my pet

The celebration after Clay’s no-hitter. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

So here’s something I was thinking about all night:

Where is the line between honoring a baseball tradition and reporting what’s happening? And who makes that distinction?

A little background to begin. I import random Twitter feeds during my live blogs. Last night the PawSox feed, Chad Finn, Amalie Benjamin, Surviving Grady and the “Beard of Truth” were the feeds I decided to import just for fun. Around the fifth inning, Amalie tweeted (twittered? For this entry we’re going with tweeted) the following:

I’m sure you know what’s going on. No getting mad at me for jinxing by giving out info cause a) it’s my job, and b) I have no impact at all.

The people who were actively following the blog (that is, reading and commenting. We seem to get a lot of lurkers at the live blogs) pretty much were all for the removal of Amalie’s feeds at that point (which I did). With Amalie there are two issues. Is it her job? She isn’t a broadcaster. She was on Twitter. I’m relatively certain updating her Twitter feed isn’t part of her “job”. Sure it’s a nice way to market her writing at boston.com but it isn’t as if people rely on what she has tweeted to find out what’s going on with the game. The other issue is, the same. IS it her job? If you’re watching the game “I’m sure you know what’s going on” then why is it her job to tell you what you already know?

In contrast, here’s what Chad Finn (also of boston.com fame) tweeted during the no-hit attempt:

Watching a baseball game. Yep.

After the first hit for the Tigers, I responded to him that I thought it was cool of him to respect the tradition that way (I Twitter while live blogging. Do I have talent or what?) and he responded:

It’s a cool tradition. Wish Eck would have followed it.

So here is a professional sports writer openly admitting that he thinks the broadcaster should have respected the baseball tradition of not mentioning a no-hitter. (It should be noted that Eck was liberally throwing around the word “No-no”.) If I expected anyone in the booth to “just” do his job and mention it, I thought it would be Don Orsillo. I was more than surprised that a former MLB pitcher who had thrown his own no-hitter over 30 years before, would disregard baseball tradition so blatantly.

This is a polarizing topic among baseball fans. There has been thread upon thread on many message boards about how broadcasters ARE only doing their jobs when discussing no-hitters while they’re happening and how it’s a silly superstition that broadcasters (and message board participants) shouldn’t have to adhere to since they really DON’T have any outcome on the game. I happen to be one of those folks who never utters the words “no-hitter” during one nor do I talk about what’s happening.

I’ve told my story before. I was present for Clay Buchholz’ no-hitter. In the 8th inning the cell phone of someone behind me rang. Guy was at LEAST thirty if not older. He answered it, barking, “Don’t say a freaking word!” and he hung up. Meanwhile there was a kid next to me, probably no older than nine, who kept telling his mother the Orioles didn’t have any hits. I eventually turned to the mother and gently told her that it’s traditional to NOT speak of what her son was speaking of while it was going on. She made sure he stopped talking about it. Now I know fully well that what we spoke of during that game “Brian Roberts is so friendly!” certainly had no impact on whether or not Clay got his no-hitter but that really isn’t the POINT.

Respect the game, respect the traditions and respect the fact that many fans do this. I’ve watched games called where they gabbed through entire innings without really telling you anything about what was happening on the field short of “there’s another out for the pitcher”. Is it so damned difficult to do that during a no-hitter? If you’re watching the game then you can see the score for yourself. You don’t need to be reminded that there are no hits.

There were other tweets about this game last night. Some from people happy that Eck dared mention the no-hitter because they don’t believe in respecting a silly tradition. I know how the people I enjoy baseball with feel about this. Most, if not all, agree that regardless of the real-life impact it does (or doesn’t) have on the players and team, it’s part of baseball and should be treated as such.

I’m curious how many people couldn’t care less (or would prefer it) if a broadcaster mentions a no-hitter as it is happening?

In any even, Joshua Patrick Beckett was brilliant. Tito bringing him back out was a bad idea and the defense (and Saito) tried to sabotage him and, thankfully failed! Another win for the BoSox. Quite sweet. Congrats to Mike Lowell on his 1500th hit, JD Drew on getting his 200th home run and Rocco Baldelli on his 500th hit as well!

Don’t forget the game is in the afternoon today – a 1:05pm battle between Tim Wakefield and Dontrelle Willis. Wish I could see it but I’ll have to settle for listening to Joe Castiglione (not such a bad way to enjoy the game!). Here’s hoping Wake bounces back from his last outing and shows folks old guys still have it!

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June 4, 2009 - Posted by | 2009 | , , ,

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