Larry mentioned in his post this morning that I'm currently in the Bay Area. I have family here and we have a tradition of getting together when the Yankees play the A's. I'm going to the game tonight, and I was in a position to watch all of last night's game, on Comcast Sports net, the A's regional sports channel (I refuse to call it a network). Here are a few observations, about the game and the viewing experience.
- The A's announcers were excellent, and had stunning knowledge of the Yankees' players. They knew about Nick Johnson. They knew about Javier Vazquez. They knew how we took pitches. They knew about our relievers. I'm not sure they knew as much about the A's players, but their knowledge of the Yankees was impressive.
- There may have been more Yankee fans than A's fans at the game. I'm expecting this at the game tonight, but I was stunned to hear "Hip-hip Jorge" coming through the television, clearly. How does that make an A's player feel?
- Comcast wasn't broadcasting the game in HD.
- Vazquez pitched better than the box score will show. He worked into and out of trouble in the first few innings, which drove up his pitch count. By the middle of the game, however, he was cruising. He struck out the first batter he faced in the 6th on three pitches. He hadn't thrown a ball when a routine pop-up dropped between Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson. No one put leather on it, so it wasn't recorded as an error, but it absolutely should have been caught. Kurt Suzuki put the next pitch in Sacramento, but the whole scenario never should have happened.
- Comcast broadcast a montage of Mariano Rivera footage, including pinstripes, Enter Sandman, and custom graphics when Rivera was brought into the game. The music woke my Dad up momentarily. He turned to me and asked, "Are we watching this on YES?" We were not. I had my suspicions before, but after that segway I am now convinced that there are more Yankee than A's fans in the Bay Area.
- On a final note, the A's channel may show Yankee footage, but the fans aren't quite there yet. I remember from last year's game I was sitting in front of a family, all of whom were wearing Mariano Rivera jerseys. The husband seemed to know his baseball, but his wife only called our closer Manny. I'm undecided if she thought that was his nickname or if she was confused and actually thought she was watching the Dodgers.