Skip to content

FOX to use flyover cams in the playoffs

Oct 1, 2010, 8:47 AM EDT

I'm normally against innovations from the land of football infecting the wonderfulness that is baseball, but this could be kind of neat.

This sounds like fun:

Fox will formally announce Wednesday that its Major League Baseball
playoff coverage will include what it bills as a TV first: Cameras
zipping over the field of play . . . The idea is to use one camera per game that will move along cables
and be controlled by operators who are supposed to keep those cameras
away from fair and foul territory until pitches cross home plate.

Then the cameras, like the cable-cams that now routinely hover over
NFL games, can roam over the field at altitudes ranging from about 12 to
80 feet above ground.

If they’re not overused, these kinds of shots can be fun. I can see this leading to some pretty awesome replays of plays at the bag, outfielders getting bouncers on the run and throwing them in, baserunners in motion, etc. And really, any toy that distracts the FOX producers from their usual habit of going to super-duper-awful closeups of player’s and fans’ faces in between pitches will be nice.

Of course, there are some ways FOX could screw this up. For example, if they use it for too many live shots it could be disorienting. And if the unthinkable happens and a ball in play hits one of the cameras you’ll probably need to avoid this blog for a week, because that will be THE ONLY thing we’ll be talking about. One wonders why they didn’t try this out with some meaningless regular season games first to work out the bugs.

Overall though, I’m cautiously optimistic that this will be kinda nifty. 

  1. Jonny5 - Oct 1, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    Yup, until the outcome of a game is changed when a ball that could have gone out hits a wire or camera. If a flying bird could get nailed then a camera and a thousand feet of cable can too.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 1, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Agree. Shouldn’t do it in baseball. In football, it’s different because they don’t hit the ball all that high except for punts and kickoffs…and the occassional long pass. In baseball, every single pitch could produce a ball that hits a wire/camera.

  3. yanks-mattingly - Oct 1, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Your response is exactly what mine was going to be. What are the rules? Is it a dead ball like if it hits an ump? Knowing Fox, they will overuse it just like they did with the camera in front of homeplate that Posada kept covering up.

  4. gmc173 - Oct 1, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    That sounds like a great idea to add better camera shots for the game. I thnk they should also put a camera at the edge of the wall near the foul poll to add more great shots. I mean the chances of a ball hitting the cameras is 1 in a …. o wait didnt something happen last year?
    Come on FOX this isnt football where people can only through the ball so far or punt it so high. I have a feeling Fox will screw something up and a ball will hit a camera….. again

  5. Ari Collins - Oct 1, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    Sure, there’s the chance of the camera TOTALLY CHANGING THE RESULT OF A POSTSEASON GAME, but anything that means fewer shots of McCarver is a boon to humanity.

  6. Jonny5 - Oct 1, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    Maybe the rule book will say Rules of the Trop will apply…………? Fox over does everything I guess…

  7. Ditto65 - Oct 1, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    Unfortunately McCarver will still be able to speak.

  8. The Steve Jeltz Experiment - Oct 1, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    I like the idea in concept, but I don’t see any way to avoid disaster other than sheer luck with regard to the camera wires potentially being hit by batted balls.

  9. Ari Collins - Oct 1, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Not if the camera flies into him. I’m thinking Hitchock’s The Birds here.

  10. Old Gator - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    Flyover cams are declasse. Let’s use predator drones this year. They already have one at the Tropicana Tumulus.

  11. The Baseball Idiot - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    The main issue is, will view from the flyover cam be be usuable in the review booth? In other words, will it have to tell on itself it a ball hits it?

  12. scatterbrian - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    It doesn’t sound like they’ll be on cables. They’re calling it a “TV first” and they already do the cable cameras in the NFL. So I was assuming they’d be more like those RC helicopters but with cameras. But that still wouldn’t eliminate the chance of a ball hitting a camera, or a player getting distracted by one or what have you….

  13. The Steve Jeltz Experiment - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    I’m fine with that, so long as it’s still operational as a potential weapon against McCarver’s mouth.

  14. scatterbrian - Oct 1, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Never mind, they are on cables. What makes this a TV first?

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (5044)
  2. K. Uehara (4397)
  3. T. Wood (3723)
  4. G. Springer (3591)
  5. M. Machado (3393)
  1. J. Kubel (3362)
  2. T. Walker (3089)
  3. H. Rondon (3086)
  4. D. Pedroia (3009)
  5. J. Reyes (2992)