The pitch clock era has arrived in Major League Baseball and the difference showed quickly. The average game time on Opening Day was at 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The broadcasters have had to deal with their own adjustments as well, but it seems the transition has gone rather smoothly. Especially for Joe Davis.
“I can count on one hand how many times in my career I have wished that I had more time. I never want more time,” Davis told The Hollywood Reporter. “Our best broadcasts come when the pitchers are working quickly and you’re leaning forward in your seat instead of slouching back wondering when the next pitch is going to come.”
Oftentimes radio and television had to deal with dead airtime during regular baseball broadcasts. That usually takes place in between a pitcher’s warmups, deciding on a pitch or a batter’s routine heading to the box.
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However, if you’re royalty like the name Vin Scully, you want more time to hear the way he would tell stories.
“None of us are Vin Scully, and none of us are ever going to be, so we don’t need a bunch of time between pitches. We need balls in play and we’ll tell the stories that we’re going to tell. It’s the nature of a two-man booth versus what Vin was doing.”
Vin had a way of letting the game tell itself once he was done speaking. Sometimes that’s imperative for a good broadcast. Let the game tell itself.
Broadcasters told Awful Announcing during spring training the adjustments were going to be made, of course, but it was no different than one of the athletes having to do the same.
This isn’t Davis’ first rodeo, of course. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ play-by-play announcer started his career with the Montgomery Biscuits, which now is the Double-A Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Davis’ resume now features him being the full-time play-by-play announcer on MLB on Fox and football play-by-play football responsibilities with the network as well.
“I’d like to think that I’m better than I was last year — and a lot better than I was eight years ago — but not as good as I’m going to be at the end of this year,” Davis said.