Mic 'Em Up, Baseball After Dark, Fans on the Board, Lotte Comeback, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Mic ‘Em Up, Baseball After Dark, Fans on the Board, Lotte Comeback, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Busy morning around the Taylor Household, and it’s time for me to go teach. Good thing I wrote all the rest of the bullets before this intro! Goodbye!

•    With baseball on the air in South Korea and Taiwan, the thoughts about broadcasting games in this era is always on my mind. We talked about it earlier this week on the podcast I do at The Athletic, and Patrick Mooney wrote a really interesting companion piece:

•    The big question is: if baseball returns for fan-free TV broadcasts, what kinds of things should it do not only to enhance those broadcasts for viewers, but also to take advantage of the fact that it’s just going to be a weird time anyway? You’re going to have so many more marginal fan eyeballs on you, so what can you do to help steer some of them into a more permanent, long-term fandom?

•    The biggest and most obvious one is having more sounds from the field, including mic’d up players and coaches, and you’ve absolutely got to figure out a way to do it live. I get the risks there, but the difference between a “sounds from earlier in the game” package and actual LIVE interactions with the players is night and day. Look at the Spring Training game that had Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo mic’d up. It was one of the most entertaining bits of baseball broadcasting that I’ve seen in years.

•    Even Marquee GM Mike McCarthy was on board for this kind of thing back in late March, telling Mooney, “My personal hope is that history is thrown out the window. Some of the things that they allowed — like on the ESPN telecast and what we were about to do (in spring training) — I think there’s reason to believe that open minds might prevail, especially since everybody has been challenged the way they’ve been in their lives. I’m hopeful that some of the barriers go down and some of the protective measures are relieved a bit because the viewers will benefit from it. We’ve already seen evidence of it on our preseason games. So I think while regular season is much different, it would surprise me if it weren’t more of an open-minded approach going forward.”

•    We also thought about having live social media from the players during the game. Imagine Yu Darvish live-tweeting a game from the bench. Imagine KB and Riz putting together TikToks in the dugout. Imagine Grandpa Ross inviting you to like his page on MySpace during a replay review.

•    Other concepts Mooney offered included an “after dark”-style broadcast, which is more of an anything goes, former players telling insane stories, uncensored commentary and sounds from the game, etc. There is zero doubt in my mind that would be an enormous hit – anything that shows the real humanity of these guys in a fun, raw way is a hit – but it also leaves all of them open to people taking clips out of context and sharing them around, which I guarantee MLB would see as too much of a risk.

•    Another idea we’ve been floating: fans conferencing in on the video boards during the game. You can’t have them in the stands, but it would be a fun way to include some interaction:

•    I get that it would be fraught with a certain penile peril, but if you could get groups of fans up on the video boards for games, that would be fun as hell. Surely there has to be a way to do it safely. You could rotate groups in and out throughout the game for brief periods of interaction.

•    Wow:

•    Holy crap. Imagine if this were the response in MLB to a poorly umpired game. Joe West made an absurdly bad call and then cowboy’d up some look-at-me ejections? BOOM: demoted.

•    Speaking of the KBO, our adopted Lotte Giants swept their first series, and as of the moment I’m typing this, just came back from a 6-1 deficit to tie this thing up in the 8th on the strength of bombs by old friend Dixon Machado and big boy Dae-Ho Lee:

•    A baseball risk that is truly international:

•    Great find by Michael, because I don’t remember this either:

•    With the new iPad Pro out, you’re starting to see some good discounts on older iPads at Amazon if you want to peruse. #ad

UPDATE: Lotte walks it off on the wild pitch!



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.