Angels Of The Silences: Announcers Criticized For Not Mentioning Weaver's No-Hitter On-Air
As Angels P Jered Weaver worked his way to a no-hitter against the Twins Wednesday night, Angels TV play-by-play announcer Victor Rojas and analyst Mark Gubicza "decided to stick to the unwritten baseball code that a mere mention of a no-hitter might jinx it," according to Diane Pucin of the L.A. TIMES. Rojas said that Weaver's was the "third no-hitter he's called without actually saying the words." Rojas said, "Some people say jinxes have no place in sports, but that's just how I am." Pucin notes the broadcast team's decision "not to call it as they saw it was supported by the Angels." But Dodgers radio broadcaster Charley Steiner said, "Why are you keeping that a secret from your audience? In the 21st century we have this thing called the Internet. People in Swaziland know a no-hitter is going on." MLB Giants broadcaster Jon Miller said, "I feel like I have a responsibility to my audience, to the station, to the network, to say what's going on" (L.A. TIMES, 5/4). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth notes like Rojas and Gubicza, Angels radio announcer Terry Smith "was doing the same non-no-hit call" by neglecting to "mention the feat until there was one out in the ninth." Hoffarth writes, "No matter what your superstitions are as a broadcaster, being married to an idea that you can jinx a no-no by merely mentioning it not only lacks in cleverness, but it's far more a disservice to alerting viewers of an historic event." It leaves everything to the "producer and director of the telecast to hope that folks have paid close attention to the graphics that keep flashing on the screen as the way to tell the real story." If there is a "a concern that an equally superstitious viewer would call the broadcasters out for ruining a no-hit bid, perhaps they've never heard [Dodgers TV announcer] Vin Scully -- or practically every other big-league broadcaster -- accurately paint the picture of a gem like this as it's happening" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/4).
SILENCE IS GOLDEN? In California, Jim Carlisle writes, "It is ludicrous and even downright shameful for a broadcaster not to tell his listeners there is a no-hitter going. ... How preposterous for any broadcaster to shield news from his listeners, or to even pretend they could." In this age of 24-hour sports TV and "pervasive Internet coverage, not mentioning a no-hitter in progress is like trying to patch up the Titanic with a Band-Aid." Before coming to the Angels, Rojas had been an anchor and "occasional play-by-play man for MLB Network." Carlisle writes, "I'm sure his former employer would have frowned on Rojas shielding a no-hitter from fans if one was taking place" (VENTURA COUNTY STAR, 5/4).