PHILLIES BROADCASTER AND former professional baseball player Larry Andersen says that when he's calling games, he tries to find that balance between being honest and keeping his employers (the team) happy. It isn't always easy. After all, he began his on-air career with the team in 1998, a pretty dark era in Phillies history.
Anyway, here are a few other things that stood out for me from his visit today:
- He arrives at the ballpark at least three hours before game time so he can study the media notes and talk to players.
- Everything he says on air will be scrutinized by the players, fans, management and whomever, so he needs to make sure he has his facts straight.
- He is a fan but he tries to not get too excited on air. He says that he mutes his microphone sometimes so he can jump around and scream without being distracting to the audience.
- When he began as a broadcaster, he tried to act like a broadcaster. He was stiff, like a deer in the headlights. Now he tries to relax and be himself.
- Because he works for the team, he can't divulge all the crazy stuff he knows about the players. Especially not on air.
- Larry says that having training as a journalist is important for folks interested in doing play-by-play work. As a color analyst, however, his strength is his experience as a player.
- He says that there is a general lack of trust of the media from the players.
- He believes that journalists are more critical of players whom they don't like personally. "If somebody is an ass," Larry asks, "aren't you going to be more harsh when he messes up?"
- He advises young players to cooperate with the media, or else the media will be even more critical.
- When he is critical of the team or the stadium during broadcasts, he can wind up in trouble with the club's administration.
- "From what I remember, it was a blast," he says of the 1993 National League championship season. "This is how you're supposed to play. We were always talking about baseball. We didn't have a ton of talent but we played the right way."
- When Harry Kalas passed out in the broadcast booth in Washington last year, Larry gave HK CPR until the paramedics arrived.
- He says that he knows he's doing his job right when fans tell him that listening to him on air is like sitting on the back porch, drinking a few beers, conversing about baseball with a friend.
What stood out for you?
10 months ago