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The Red Sox PA announcer is announcing each ball and strike today

Mar 11, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

This is odd. And potentially distracting:

 The Red Sox tried to spice things up in spring training Tuesday. After each pitch, it was mandated that the JetBlue Park public address announcer would announce the ball or strike call, and the count.

Rob Bradford of WEEI talks to the guy whose idea it was, how it will work and whether there is a chance to bring it to Fenway Park.

I’m struggling to think of why such a thing is needed. Even for those who can’t tell pitch location, most people in most ballparks can either hear the umpire call a strike or see him gesture when he does it. Balls are silent and don’t come with the same motions. And of course there is the scoreboard. And of course there are audible reactions from fans on most calls, which gives you a pretty good idea of what’s going down.

Is this aimed at people who are still not tuned in to know the count despite all of that? If so, at some point, aren’t they tuned out by choice?

  1. tfbuckfutter - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    “And the right fielder makes the catch for the out. The second out. THE SECOND OUT. DON’T THROW THE BALL INTO THE STANDS DUMMY!”

    • bfunk1978 - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      Larry Walker cries a little.

  2. cackalackyank - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:10 PM


  3. halladaysbiceps - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    I just read the article in the link. It makes no sense whatsoever to do this. He gives not one legitimate reason. The guy behind this idea, Dr. Charles Steinberg, must have his doctorate in Nonsense. If I were watching the game at the stadium, I would not be happy with this.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      This is what comes of too much education.

    • El Bravo - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      That’s Dr. No for short.

    • anotheryx - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      Dr Charles Steinberg, IIRC, was the mastermind behind Jamie McCourt’s plan of world domination.

  4. 18thstreet - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Maybe the announcer is being sarcastic. You know, to lure in those cranky Gen X-ers.

    “Yeah, that’s a strike. Pfft.”

    • alexo0 - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Great comment, 18thstreet. Glad you could take ten seconds out of your day to think that one up.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Yeah, real clever.


      • alexo0 - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        I thought it was. If you were a Gen-X’er you might have thought so too.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Are you being sarcastic?
        I don’t even know anymore.

  5. zdravit - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    I’d leave.

  6. larrytsg - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Wow, this is beyond stupid.

    I umpire Little League, and even young players don’t need to know the count after EVERY pitch. I usually make it a habit of announcing the count when the number of balls plus strikes is even, just to keep my head in the game and to update the sometimes clueless players. And I remind them of a full count.

    But every pitch? I’m not gonna do that, yell out the count after every pitch. And if you’re too clueless to pay attention to the game even sporadically, then a PA guy droning on about the count is not gonna make it any better.

    And Fenway is the easiest park to check the count in… it’s right there in left field, in lights… though for the clueless, you have to count the lights……..

  7. pdubbs77 - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    I’m at the game…in person at jet blue park, and it’s annoying.

    • El Bravo - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      Stop looking at your phone and watch the game, son.

      • kevinbnyc - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        He doesn’t have to, they’re announcing the balls and strikes.

  8. halladaysbiceps - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Totally unrelated, but I think NFL free agency has crashed twitter. It’s been down for 20 mins. Coincidence at 2:00-2:30 that it’s down for maintenance? I doubt it. And I’m a baseball guy!

    • halladaysbiceps - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      You guys really hate football that much? Hahahaha! I’m glad. As a baseball fan 99% of the way and 100% of the time, I thank you all for the thumb-downs. It restores my faith in fellow baseball fans.

  9. unclemosesgreen - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    If “Rain Delay” McClelland was behind the plate, the PA guy could be calling ball or strike while the next pitch was already on the way, giving his call the appearance of predictive value.

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      So true.

  10. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Can the umpire throw the PA announcer out of the ballgame?

    • RickyB - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      I played in a game in independent ball in which this happened. Though no fault of the PA announcer. As a heated discussion between the home manager and one of the umpires, the PA announcer was told to fill some time by reading the spot for the game’s sponsor. Turned out the sponsor for the game was Lens Crafters, and the umpire didn’t take too kindly to the insinuation, so he tossed the PA announcer.

  11. bostonboresme - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Well, there’s one way to make a game of baseball unbearable as heck.

  12. zinger99 - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Just great! Lets turn this into the NHL and dumb down the game for all the morons who shouldn’t even be there! Let them go watch wrestling.

  13. jjschiller - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    This sounds great for Red Sox fans! It’ll really help them learn this new game they recently decided they’ve always loved! I’ve got another idea, to go with it. Something like this:

    (crack of the bat. crowd roars)

    PA announcer: “Now the hitting man has to run, because he hit it!”

    (audible sigh from crowd)

    PA announcer: “Now he has to stop because the glove man caught his hit.”

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      In fairness, not all Red Sox fans just started watching baseball last fall. Maybe they could just put transmitters in all of the pink hats they sell and just send the commentary to them.

  14. lukedunphysscienceproject - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    If I were in the stands, that would drive me crazy. Half of the enjoyment of going to a baseball game is the minimalist interference from the PA announcer. The stuff between innings I’ve accepted as a necessary evil, but leave the game alone.

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