Welcome back to a historic edition of The Scully Series! This was the first game ever broadcast by an all-woman crew. As the Youtube Free Game of the Week, everyone had access to witness what the sport of baseball finally progressing out its traditional gender roles. I had a great time writing this up while listening to the broadcast, and hopefully, this crew can work together many more times throughout the year.
REFRESH* Oh, the good old days of listening to baseball broadcasts on your local radio station. As a fan, you’re partial to your hometown crew because of familiarity. As almost an extension of your family or a longtime friend, some of the greatest MLB broadcasters have a unique place in the hearts of millions of baseball fans. Are you one of the people that have the misfortune of being in a market that has a substandard color team? But here’s a thought! Have you ever said to yourself, “I wonder what other teams’ broadcast booths sound like?”
With an MLB.TV subscription, we have the capability to listen, rate, and rank every team’s broadcasters. With an homage to the best to ever do it, we have nicknamed this “The Scully Series.” The best part is that you can do this as well along with us from the comfort of your home. Let us dive in…
MLB’s Youtube Game of the Week Broadcast
History! The first all-woman broadcast crew to call an MLB game is tonight.
— MLB (@MLB) July 20, 2021
Announcers: Melanie Newman & Sarah Langs
On-Field Reporter: Alanna Rizzo
Pre/Post Game: Heidi Watney & Lauren Gardner
Melanie Newman really made this experience terrific and to be quite honest, I had not heard her call a game prior to tonight. Sarah Langs was enjoyable in her analytical mentions, but I really wish that she had even more input. Everything she said was a value-add, and going forward I would love to see her add 15% more of what she did tonight. Granted, the lack of being able to work together with her partner makes jumping in to add a tidbit a smidge awkward, but that will come with time. The best part of this event was that it opened up the masses to the great work all of these people do.
Hopefully, this will continue to move the game forward with diversification and with gender roles being replaced with great baseball knowledge. As a fan, I want to hear people call a game that is enjoyable to listen to, not just with someone that has held the job for the last 30 years.
Storytelling, Modern Adaptations, History
Whenever the broadcast would shift to Alanna Rizzo doing an on-field report cut, there were solid transitional statements and conversations that incorporated the topic at hand. Much more conversationally based, but also going to some tried-and-true youth backstories describing the row homes in the inner Baltimore community. The breakaway to Rizzo talking about Wander Franco was outstanding. She mentioned having a conversation with Franco earlier in the day in Spanish, able to translate to get a better and more detailed response about what he needed to do to adjust to expectations coming into the league with such fanfare.
For the modern feel, Langs was quick to bring attention to the Youtube broadcast showing the Pitch Sequence under the box score displayed for the audience. It was a nice point out because I cannot recall any other booths bring that to my attention yet this year. Newman did a nice job of mentioning some fielding StatCast data when talking about Kevin Kiermaier‘s fielding.
Likeability/Ease of Listening Rating
The broadcast was refreshing to hear, partly due to the fact that each of these broadcasters I had not previously encountered, but also with the non-predictability of what was going to be said next. Not much of the fluff that you typically find with the old guard broadcasters, but a very modern approach that I would assume plays well with the Youtube Game of the Week viewing audience. Newman and Langs have nice chemistry, especially for not having called a big-league game together before.
The pregame show with Heidi Watney and Lauren Gardner was terrific as well. Anyone that has watched MLB Network over the last few years is well aware of Watney and the great energy she brings to calling action and highlights.
Why is this broadcast important?
This right here 👇 pic.twitter.com/ARcHil1fIv
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 21, 2021
Newman on the home run calls in the game: “Good. Bye. Baseball.” I don’t know of any signature calls or catchphrases that Newman uses, so I cannot accurately grade this section. I did enjoy the emotion and “the high” of the extraordinary plays.
Since this is an exploratory series that will be continued throughout the season. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see other categories or concepts discussed. I’d love input to incorporate into future team reviews. Hope to have your eyes and ears throughout the 2021 season.
Illustration and image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)