SBD/Issue 28/Sports Media

Fox Praised For Camera Work, Booth Calls During ALCS Game Four

Buck Receives Praise For Call Of
A-Rod's Home Run In Fifth Inning

Fox' coverage of Yankees-Angels ALCS Game Four last night marked the network's "best use of technology and human talkers yet," from having "replays that showed the umpires terribly wrong three times to Joe Buck's prescient call on Alex Rodriguez's home run" in the fifth inning, according to Diane Pucin of the L.A. TIMES. During Rodriguez' at-bat, Buck said Rodriguez "seems to be picking up the ball REALLY well as he hits one into left, back at the wall ... Rodriguez goes deep and it's 5-0 New York." Pucin noted "on the word 'Really,' Rodriguez clubbed the ball," and it was "as if he and Buck had rehearsed the entire thing" (LATIMES.com, 10/20).  On Long Island, Neil Best writes Fox provided "another sharp production, from its excellent shots of the umpires' three blown calls to Joe Buck noting Alex Rodriguez's positive body language seconds before A-Rod's latest home run." The audio between Angels manager Mike Scioscia and the home plate umpire "discussing the positioning of the Angels' catcher was great inside stuff -- especially when it immediately led to a change in Mike Napoli's catching style” (NEWSDAY.com, 10/21). In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes that during Game Four it "seemed Fox cut down its use of the triple split screen, which includes the pitcher, batter and catcher going through the signs." The catcher box is "sponsored, so Fox is making some moolah off a needless distraction" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/21).

CODE OF SILENCE? The DAILY NEWS' Raissman writes Fox "provided clear-cut evidence" of the missed umpire calls during the game, and both Buck and analyst Tim McCarver "acknowledged the mistakes and explained what happened." But while neither have "ever been shy about expressing a strong opinion," when it came to the umpiring last night, a topic that "has received national attention, the Fox voices hit the mute button." Raissman: "Maybe McCarver and Buck just did not want to raise an issue that has to be a tremendous embarrassment to Major League Baseball" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/21).

BEHIND THE SCENES: In Philadelphia, Mike Mazzeo offers an "all-access" look at the TBS "production and broadcast teams" from Monday's Dodgers-Phillies NLCS Game Four. Mazzeo: "Ever wonder how a pregame show gets put on the air? ... Here is what we found out" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/21).

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