The Media Learning Curve: It’s never too late to duck in the score

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Hans Gutknecht/Daily News Staff Photographer

I’m still losing some sleep, and probably will over the next couple of days, trying to figure out what I could have done better to do a smoother, more entertaining call of that third inning in Wednesday’s Lancaster JetHawks’ baseball game, which I wrote about in today’s media column (linked here). You can listen to it on the links above.

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I forgot, for one thing, to bring out my egg timer. I know I read somewhere that you have to give the score at least every three minutes to the radio listeners. I think Jon Miller, the ESPN broadcaster and San Francisco Giants’ voice, still does that practice.

I forgot to listen to a tape of my practice call that I did on Tuesday night from Clear Channel Stadium. I got back to my hotel room late and was ready for bed. Yes, I stayed at a hotel next to the stadium. No use in trying to stress out over traffic coming in from the Valley, especially with an 11 a.m. first pitch.

Ken Levine, the KABC-AM DodgerTalk host who has worked for Baltimore and Seattle, offered me a few words of advice in an email: “You’ll have a great time. As long as you give the score a lot the audience will forgive everything.” Unfortunately, I read that after I got off the air. It’s the thought that counted.

The MP3 version of the second inning (where I did color) and third inning (with play-by-play) can be heard right here as well as with the online version of the story. There’s no scratch-and-listen version of it in the newspaper. Technology isn’t that good. Yet.

And no, these aren’t the audition tapes that I’ll be sending the Dodgers someday when I’m looking for a broadcasting job. Although from what I hear, what I have here may be more up to date and professional sounding than what some submitted.

Whatever else I missed trying to cover in the paper, here’s what we have as far as more media notes, if you’re scoring at home:

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== Speaking of getting that score in: If you get a chance, take a look at the new “Scoreguide” that DirecTV has put that gives viewers a chance to track scores and click over to events in progress. A small on-screen icon tells viewers about the free feature that’s on the dish service’s 200-plus sports channels. It shows games in progress, as well as what’s coming up later in the day or in the week. It then has the DirecTV channel related to that event, which viewers can go to with their remotes.

== NBC’s Kentucky Derby crew: Bob Costas and Tom Hammond as the co-hosts, Gary Stevens jockeys for position as the analyst, Tom Durkin calls the race, Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier do the handicapping, Kenny Rice and Donna Brothers report on the track and, in the “red carpet” treatment that every major sporting event seems to need now, Al Roker, Nancy O’Dell and Tiki Barber do more schmoozing.
Neumeier’s picks to win: “I only see three possible horses that can win the race. In order of preference: Dunkirk, Pioneerof the Nile and I Want Revenge. I’ll be very surprised if someone else wins the race, because I think those three are head and shoulders above the rest of the field.” Battaglia likes Pioneerof The Nile.

== One other way to enjoy the race: For the first time, the race replays on iTunes.com for $1.99. A CNBC show called “Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby and the Business of Horse Racing,” is also available.

== The list of 2008 Sports Emmy Award winners (linked here) include the HBO documentary, “Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football”

== David Wells, last seen in a big-league uniform pitching for the Dodgers, begins his broadcasting career with TBS on its coverage of the Boston-Tampa Bay contest (Sunday, 10:30 a.m.), with Chip Caray and Buck Martinez.

== Do we read in too much that Eric Karros, not Tim McCarver, is with Joe Buck and Ken Rosenthal forming a formidable team on Fox’s coverage of New York Mets-Philadelphia game (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 11). Sixty-five percent of the country (including L.A.) get this broadcast, while the rest of the county has Houston-Atlanta (Kenny Albert and Mark Grace) and Cleveland at Detroit (Thom Brennaman and Rick Manning)

AND FINALLY….

== From the Onion Sports (linked here):

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Retired Big Brown Given ESPN Commentator Position

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