Saturday, June 09, 2012

Should announcers say there's a no-hitter going on?


YES!!

This topic always crops up whenever there’s a no-hitter in progress. The latest example was last night in Seattle where six Mariner pitchers combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers. I wasn’t watching the Dodger telecast with Eric Collins so I don’t know how he handled it. I watched the Mariners’ telecast with Dave Sims and he dutifully reported throughout the game that a no-hitter was in progress.

And as sure as the sun rises, Dave has taken a lot of flack for it.

People, let's get REAL.  

Announcers can’t “jinx” the outcome of a baseball game. That responsibility is YOURS. If you’re watching a no-hitter and get up from the couch to get a beer you alone will cost the pitcher his one chance at immortality. If you scratch your nose during warm-up tosses or answer an odd number of emails during an even numbered inning the entire game will change.

So don’t blame us announcers. It's not our fault.  Nor is it the players who play the game. Or the umpires whose decisions control the game. Nor is it the official scorer who must rule on judgment calls. It’s YOU. All YOU. Especially you who ate mixed nuts during the game and didn’t eat all the cashews last. How could you do that to your team? 

Dave Sims did a great job last night. If I were in his place I would have handled it the exact same way.

So far I’ve called two no-hitters. Amazingly, no one ever congratulated me for being responsible for these two historic accomplishments.

Congratulations to Kevin Milwood, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League, Tom Wilhelmsen, and YOU for combining on a seven-man no-hitter.  

27 comments:

Ryan Paige said...

I think announcers should constantly announce that there's a no-hitter or perfect game going starting in the very first at-bat.

Anonymous said...

For the more interesting question - At what inning do you first consider it worthy of mentioning?

Thomas said...

I enjoy the idea that there is a sport where it is possible for one team of professionals to achieve absolutely nothing.

Mark Fearing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Markus said...

And, of course, the sobering truth is that absolutely no one can "jinx" absolutely anything, since there is no such thing. Unless, of course, you have strong faith in superstitions that have no rhyme or reason or base in reality. Which just the same makes you someone who believes in the tooth fairy, dwarves and elves, Santa Claus, etc...

(I forgot who, but isn't or wasn't there some guy in baseball (coach? manager?) who upon every first hit would say "Well, there goes the no-hitter..."?)

Mark Fearing said...

I am sure that I have cost the Lakers dozens of wins through the years because I either did or didn't watch the game.

Ray Barrington said...

Rationally, it's obvious that nothing an announcer, fan, beer vendor or ballboy says can change the outcome.

But I vote for tradition. And if you can't tell from the graphics there's a no-hitter going, you aren't a baseball fan.

Don K. said...

I tihnk it's noteworthy to mention that the Mariners obtained Charlie Furbush last year from the Tigers for Doug Fister. Fister/Furbush. Only in baseball.

pumpkinhead said...

I'm sorry Markus, but I must disagree with you. Cousin Oliver was a jinx.

Michael said...

The A's really need to trade for Fister AND Furbush. They could then have the Law Firm of Fister, Furbush and Reddick. Now THAT's scary.

Michael said...

The Vin said when he did Don Larsen's perfect game, he was young--only 28--and afraid to say it. Now, he says, he would do it differently, and he has since.

The Vin, of course, is a protege of Red Barber, who was calling Bill Bevens's no-hitter in the 9th inning of the 1947 World Series when Cookie Lavagetto broke it up. Barber said when he came on and said Bevens was pitching a no-hitter, Mel Allen, the other announcer, made a gurgling sound--he NEVER mentioned it.

It's rare when I watch a non-Vin Dodger telecast since Ross Porter's firing, but Eric Collins did mention it.

WilBaseball said...

"Tradition" would come from radio. If you're calling the game on radio, you have to tell the audience what's going on. In all the play-by-play broadcasts where I worked, going back to '79 when I was first involved with them, we'd mention it about the 4th inning.
AP still sends out advisories on the wire if a no-hitter's going. And no doubt, it's dutifully reported by sports radio stations across the continent, not to mention Twitter.

Cap'n Bob said...

I think the big taboo is not saying anything to the pitcher. And since he can't hear the telecast or radiocast, it's fine for the announcer to mention it. But it's hard for Pryor to take credit, we walked his first two batters before getting the hook. The guys behind him, even League, saved the day.

Ken Levine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Levine said...

Pryor got the M's out of the jam the inning before.

William C Bonner said...

I was more upset in knowing that they'd used so many pitchers on Friday night and I was going to the game on Saturday. It left me expecting the loss on Saturday.

Norman Marcus said...

More important than the announcers mentioning or not mentioning it, in a 1-0 game, would Dee Gordon get killed for trying to bunt for a base hit in the 9th inning? I say it should be OK, but if it were a 10-0 game then no.

Sebastian Peitsch said...

I was with you until you mentioned umpires.

The technology is there. If we had instant replay for the bases Jim Joyce would be a happy man today.

I know that wasn't your point (superstition was) but still...

Cap'n Bob said...

Oops! Thanks for the correction, Ken. I must have switched over to another station during the pitching change and not returned in time to see it.

Sadly, the M's followed that milestone up with two weak performances against the Bums. Or do they still call them the Bums anymore? Probably not. It's a New York/Brooklyn thing.

Bob Claster said...

One cannot praise Joe Keenan enough. That last season without him on Desperate Housewives was painful. Also, his three brilliant books cannot be sufficiently praised, as they are among the very funniest books you'll ever read. Anyone who thinks that reading a book can't make you laugh so hard you'll have to put the book down hasn't read Keenan's books.

The Milner Coupe said...

I'm with you Ken. As Cap'n Bob said, the tradition is not to say anything to the pitcher. If an announcer isn't gonna call the game, what's he for?

JT Anthony said...

Possible Friday question:
What's your opinion of the cowardly, but accepted "practice" of pitchers purposefully throwing at hitters to exact revenge for that same hitter hitting a home run, or running around the bases too slowly in a previous at-bat?
Thanks

VP81955 said...

I forgot who, but isn't or wasn't there some guy in baseball (coach? manager?) who upon every first hit would say "Well, there goes the no-hitter..."?

Nationals TV analyst F.P. Santangelo has made this a running gag. (Incidentally, Santangelo made a one-handed grab of a foul ball in the booth at Fenway Park Sunday as the Nats completed a sweep of the New England Evil Empire. Life is good in D.C.)

JT Anthony said...

Re: Norman Marcus comment...
As Herm Edwards once espoused on TV, although for a different reason, "the goal is to win the game." It is not to preserve a no-hitter, or perfect game.

I would hope a pitcher would WANT the other team to try to win the game, i.e., score at any cost, even if it's a blowout. A no-hitter has to be earned, not delivered on a silver platter, even if up by 10 runs and late into the game. Don't you think those games would always have an asterisk next to them otherwise?

I know it's viewed as the right thing to do, but it still cheapens the accomplishment. Except in golf with a putt of less than a few inches during the Ryder Cup, most things in sports or competition should not be conceded.

Made me sick when Favre went down to give Strahan his record-tying (or breaking) sack in football, as an example.

J. Allison said...

I prefer that the announcers don't mention it directly. Let's keep in mind that this is baseball we're talking about -- it's supposed to be fun. Talk of journalistic integrity is misplaced. Obviously the fact that you don't mention the no-hitter has no effect on the outcome, but superstition is part of baseball, so why not play along?

Now on the radio the line score should certainly be mentioned so people know what's happening.

Dodger Dog said...

<< I prefer that the announcers don't mention it directly >>

And indeed Collins only half way committed by calling it a “No No” WTF? That was the only reference I heard while tuning away in disgust; a crappy game for this Dodger fan.

Cheryl Marks said...

Unfortunately, Dave Sims has way too much experience announcing a no-hitter. Happens every time the Mariners are at bat.