Tuesday, November 2, 2010

World Series Quick Hits; or Wherein I Almost Unmask

Mrs. Plainsman decided that she and I would give each other World Series tickets for Christmas, and Mrs. Plaimsman pretty much runs things around the old sod house, so we went to Game 5 last night.  A few observations.

Hardline -- Not So Remote.  We walked past the kids' ballpark where The Hardline was doing their remote.  We were pretty early, so I told Mrs. Plainsman I was going to go down and check out the remote.  I arrived as they were going into a break.  They seemed pretty relaxed, seemed to be having a good time.  Here they are as the spots are running:

Danny "Wool Hat" Balis, Corby Davidson, Mike Rhyner on break
outside the Jim Sundberg Junior Ballpark, Rangers Ballpark at Arlington,
just before Game 5, 11-01-10
On the far right you can see Craig Miller's distinctive profile entering the frame.  During the break he said hello to The Hardline and spoke to a couple of other people he knew.  I thought I would wait until The Hardline started broadcasting again and Craig was freed up and I'd introduce myself to him.  But at that point, Mrs. Plainsman horsecollared me to return to our trek to The Temple, so I maintain my status of never having met or spoken to anyone connected with The Ticket.

Classy Rangers Fans.  The Musers have mentioned this today, and I agree completely -- the Rangers fans were 100% cool.  When the game was over, they didn't instantly pour out of the station.  Everyone was standing and applauding.  Part of it was wanting to view the drama of a World Series celebration live on our own humble ballyard; part of it was to give a final cheer and a nice hand for the Rangers in thanks for a groovy ride this year; but I sensed that a part of it also was to show respect for the Giants and their fans who were present.  (May have been where we were sitting -- fourth row upper deck behind home late -- but the Giants fans were pretty loud.)

Retooling Those Swings.   Nolan Ryan said in a post-game interview that we're a fastball-hitting team and the Giants had us scouted out pretty well and threw a lot of curves and offspeed stuff that got close enough to the strike zone to be taken seriously.  No kidding.  Our guys were way out in front of pitch after pitch.  On the way home, The Memsahib asked:  "Can't they change that when the pitcher isn't throwing fastballs?"  I said I didn't know, but I hope Clint Hurdle does.

Good Dan.  We listened to Diamond Talk on the way home with Sean Bass, David Newbury, and Dan McDowell.  It was a good show, and Dan was especially good.  He was incisive, succinct, and reflected the attitude that most fans seem to have.   Kept the snark to -- well, I'm not sure I heard any.  Very nice job.  Hmm, maybe Dan needs a change of scenery, a show where he's the senior partner and not expected to be a Sports Humorist.  Let me think about that one.  Dan was pretty good last night.

Your World Series Joke, Guaranteed Original.  I sent this to Corby but haven't been able to listen to the entire Hardline, so don't know if it made the air:

     What do you get when you're sick of making lease payments on your apartment?


Let's Go, Rangers.


Anonymous said...

Dan was good for a change. He seemed more focused than normal. Probably because he was a bit out of his comfort zone w/ Bob and Donnie. All season Sean has been really strong on the post game show. You can tell that he is really locked in, knows his stuff, and is passionate. David is okay I guess, but he is no Mike Bacsik. He also struggles at putting words together a lot. A tough listen and def the weak link of Diamond Talk.

All in all a strong postgame show.

P1 Steven said...

This was my Facebook post yesterday morning...

After last nights game I feel as though my heart has been ripped out by that guy from the Temple of Doom. After which, my heart is dropped in a bucket of 10,000 tear drops. Unfortunately, the tear drops are battery acid. Then a hobo (probably Mama Bird & Drunk Ed ) from San Francisco take my acid burned heart & eat it over a tall boy of Natural Lite & a big bowl of legal stinky weed to celebrate.

ap said...

@Anonymous - Newbury continues to intrigue me. I attribute his over-talking to having far too much sports going on in his head, and not yet having developed the patience and verbal cadence to express those thoughts eloquently. Bear in mind that he's also doing these shows with virtually no time for preparation -- he's mentioned to me that his regular non-radio job already consumes 50-60 hours of his week.

As for Newbury vs. Bacsik, it's simply not possible for David to compete with the experience of a former Major leaguer. Bacsik was no wordsmith either, but I credit his occasional insights into The Talking Sport for getting me (re-)interested in baseball. Still though, I think Newbury will continue to improve and Diamond Talk will become an integral part of Ticket off-hours programming.

Anonymous said...

So is it right for a major radio station in a major market to run a guy out there that is not a polished broadcaster?? Or has the time to prepare for a post game show?? Just sayin'.

Dude is a punch-out for me most of the time.

The Plainsman said...

AP, thanks for correcting my spelling of "Newbury." Don't have a strong feeling about him one way or the other. Is the voice of sanity on The Scrubs so I've always been favorably inclined towards his work, even though it is not terribly distinctive.

I would agree with Anonymous that shows suffer if a host is weak on prep or articulation. On the other hand, these weekend and one-off guys can't survive on what they make just doing Ticket stuff, so you're going to get some guys with real jobs like Elfenbein, Arnett, and Newbury. On the whole, I think they do a real good job for no more than they're able to put into show prep each week.

ap said...


Nope, it's not right - but if KTCK/Cumulus wants polished broadcasters for those slots, then they should be willing to pay the salary that polished broadcasters typically fetch.

Given that just about all of the weekend/evening guys seem to have full-time jobs, I think it's a pretty safe bet that the payment for these positions is not attractive enough to bring in a polished host, let alone anyone with a modicum of live broadcasting experience. I wouldn't be surprised if hosts like GK pulled in nearly three orders of magnitude more in terms of hourly compensation than weekend hosts, the ticker guys as well as board ops do. However, I just think that's the way radio go!

P.S. if you must punch out, I believe there is a rather substantive library of KTCK bits out on the webber-nets that you can turn to instead for your listening entertainment!

The Plainsman said...

AP: Agree, although I'd guess the gap between daily on-air guys and everyone else is a lot more than three-to-one. If these long-time hosts at the #1 station in a major metro aren't mid-six figures apiece easy, then they need new agents. The major guys (Mike, Craig, George) maybe more than mid. And the weekend and technical guys -- I'm guessing mid-five absolute tops, and most probably less.

Why? Supply and demand. Radio is show biz and there are lots of guys who will take a very small amount of money for a chance to grab the air-time ring, or even hang around those who do.

So that gap is huge, I'm guessing, and as I've written in the past, I'll bet that that can lead to tension between the haves and have-nots from time to time.

It's interesting this thread has turned into commentary on the weekend guys. I didn't konw there was that much interest in them. Helps me with topics.