Only 35 votes and a World Series vote, Joe Davis has only touched the surface of baseball magic his way. But the sound of both Fox Sports and the Los Angeles Dodgers know he was part of something extraordinary Tuesday night at LoanDepot park in Miami. It was Davis’ voice that FS1 viewers heard as Shuhei Ohtani hit Mike Trout in the lead of the ninth inning to seal Japan’s 3-2 victory in the final of the World Baseball Classic. Less than 48 hours after coming into contact with one of the most memorable bats in recent history, Davis was still dealing with the moment.
“The World Championship is the only one for me, but this specific challenge might be the next thing,” Davis said. “It’s just one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. You almost want to press pause right now and just sit there and really get a chance to enjoy it. I think we all knew it was Shohei Ohtani on the mound. We knew it was Mike.” trout in the box and that the game was on the line.But to really be able to sit there and think about the greatness we’re seeing on the same field, going head to head in that moment, I wish I had a rewind button to get me back there and a pause button to really soak in it. “
Davis thought calling the event would be an interesting job, but initially considered it prep work heading into the regular season. It eventually became, in his words, one of the most special assignments he had given him in his broadcasting career. The finale averaged 4.5 million viewers on FS1 and 5.2 million viewers including Fox Deportes. Viewership is up 69% compared to the 2017 WBC Final. FS1 and Fox Deportes totaled 6.5 million viewers from the 10:30-10:45pm ET timeslot.
“As you started hearing, there was a chance Ohtani could throw in relief in the days leading up to the tournament game if Japan got there, it was like, Wouldn’t it be great if he faced Trout?” Davis said. “I imagined it. Not only did he pitch the ball, not only did Trout, but he faced Trout with two outs in the ninth inning in one game and the count went all the way down. It was absolutely incredible.”
The at-bat will likely be a reboot for decades given players. I asked Davis if he was satisfied with how his call was received.
“I agree with that,” he said. “Rarely on a championship call, or to finish a big game, I think it’s necessary to give you the actual play of it. So, as I said Ohtani hit trout, it’s not something I normally do. If I look back on the World Series final, I I’m not saying Kyle Tucker makes the shots. I’m saying everything I say about the Astros winning the World Series. What’s in the scorebook is usually irrelevant compared to the bigger picture. But that to me had to be there. It had to be Otani beats trout, because as much as Japan won the World Cup Baseball Classic, it was obviously that moment made for the movie. I’m very hard on myself. I think a lot of us are, too. I’m very happy to be there and have the chance to connect with him. I think I’m glad I didn’t mess it up. I’ll give it a B.”
One of the challenges Davis faced when it came to the WBC – he called six matches – was getting information on some of the teams, including pronunciation. He credited MLB Network’s research department and fellow Dodgers play-by-play announcer Stephen Nelson for helping him prep. On the topic of when the World Baseball Classics will be held in the future, Davis brought up an interesting idea.
“I know there are a lot of different ideas that have been thrown around, and I can’t imagine a better tournament than we had now,” Davis said. “I know you can poke holes in some things – pitchers aren’t fully built or whatever. How can you mess with what was such a perfect event? Having said that, what if you play groups at that time and then take a week off around a break All-Stars and play what we just had in Miami, a knockout round? Or if that’s a lot, you take the top four teams and have them battle it out during the All-Star break. I don’t know if that means you don’t have every three years an All-Star game, but I think this is an idea you can play around with.”
The World Baseball Classic is a huge hit in 2023. What will make it even better for 2026?
ESPN Executive Editor-in-Chief, Special Projects Rob King, who reported directly to ESPN President Jimmy Pittaro and at times during his 20-year tenure he was one of ESPN’s most prominent editorial decision-makers, he is no longer with the company. Andrew Marchand from the New York Post I mentioned that the king was removed over allegations of harassment; king wrote on social media It was his decision to leave the company. When Tom Jones from Poynter reached himKing said he will leave his social media post standing for the time being. ESPN confirmed that King was no longer employed by the company but declined to comment.
MLB Network has announced that Harold Reynolds and Adnan Virk will co-host a new 6 p.m. EST edition of “MLB Tonight.” They will debut on opening day (March 30) at 12 PM ET and again at 4 PM ET, before settling in at 6 PM EST on March 31.
Chad Finn at The Boston Globe mentioned that Boston-based WEEI radio producer and on-air personality Chris Curtis was suspended without pay by the station for a week for commentary that included racial slurs about ESPN NFL analyst Mina Kimes. Curtis said he confused Kemis with actress Mila Kunis during a segment about banning miniature bottles of alcohol, which are sometimes known as “nipes”. (The term is also used against people of Japanese descent.) Kimes was born in Nebraska and her mother’s family is from South Korea.
Curtis apologized on air Wednesday. “There is no place for this type of hateful comment, which was deeply offensive and unwarranted,” an ESPN spokesperson said in a statement. ESPN declined to comment on the comment. Kimes briefly changed her Twitter avatar to Kunis in a bit of genius amid the clown show.
Changes to the MLB rules will have a huge impact on how you consume baseball as a viewer.
“I think it’s going to fundamentally change our cadence, our cadence, our selectivity in replay sequences, selectivity in packaging and game content,” said “Sunday Night Baseball” producer Andy Jacobson this week. “Changing the mindset of pre-produced items we come in with, we can’t afford it to be 20-25 seconds long. Everything has to be tightly packaged and eclectic. Similar to Karl (Ravech), Eddie (Eduardo Perez) and Coney (David Cone), don’t use 10 words when you could use four. Same concept goes with our production eclecticism. I think we’re going to push more two-box replays, almost like rushing offenses in football. That eight-second mark, when the batters are in the box and get caught looking at the pitcher We, as production groups, have to be on that shot, so we can know in eight seconds if that mixture is geared up and ready to go. That doesn’t leave much lag time.”
Some sports media stories worth checking out: John Wertheim of SI with the death of the local sports anchor; the athleteFox NFL’s Jason Jones and Los Angeles Clippers reporter Christina Pink; And the athleteChad Jennings on MLB announcers adjusting to rule changes. I found this unsportsmanlike story by Gina Kolata Fantastic: “DNA from Beethoven’s Poetry Reveals Medical and Family Secrets.” It’s amazing what advances in DNA can produce.
I had an interesting conversation with Kevin Harlan this week as part of my Sports Media Podcast. Harlan, a featured speaker on CBS and Warner Bros. Discovery and Westwood One audio, it was uncomfortable That his memorable video call Of Foreman hitting Virginia was filmed. The video has since been viewed more than six million times across multiple platforms.
“You don’t want to see how hot dogs are made,” Harlan said. “It’s like we put a camera on you if you’re writing one of your stories for it the athlete. This is a kind of personal space.
I think you will find it an interesting conversation. New York Times bestselling author Jeff Perlman was also a guest, and one of the topics we discussed was the ethics of editorial sourcing.
(Photo by Shohei Ohtani: Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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