The New York Mets made their third appearance of the season on Apple TV on Friday, and it was a pretty alright broadcast.
No, it’s not Gary Keith and Ron
The first time the Mets were on Apple TV this season, it was a complete disaster. The game was the first Friday of the season, and the announcers calling the game sounded like 3 folks calling a ballgame for the first time together.
In that first game, the three-team booth often talked over each other, and had no rhythm or connection to each other or the game they were calling. It seemed like they were just firing off whatever random baseball topic they were thinking about all off season.
The broadcast also treated the on field action as an afterthought.
Mets fans got the same three-person booth Friday. While they are no Gary, Keith and Ron, the broadcast was leaps and bounds better than that first game. It was nice to see they learned some lessons from that first game.
First, the booth seemed way more structured. There was a lead play by play, with a former big leaguer as the lead analyst. The third member of the team jumped in periodically, with what seemed like prepared, and well times, talking points. Everyone had a role, and for the most part, they stuck to it, and let their partners do their jobs as well.
This also lead to a lot more dead air – which, here, is a good thing. In their first broadcast, the booth talked far too much for TV. As I said above, they talked about EVERYTHING – yet often neglected the game. Most Mets fans muted the game at some point.
Their non-stop talking became nauseating to listen to any longer.
The booth did a good job letting the action in the field speak more, giving fans a chance to breathe between pitches.
The broadcast saw the value in shutting up so much, that they literally muted themselves. The booth went mute on purpose for an entire half inning, letting us hear the fans at Citi Field.
It certainly says a great deal when crowd noise is preferable to the broadcast team. This did let Apple’s brilliant picture stand out.
And the Apple picture quality and clarity can’t be overlooked. It was phenomenal. I saw one comment that said the picture looked so clear that it looked like a video game. The TV broadcast was sharp and clear, taking full advantage of the 4K technology.
This of was a national televised broadcast, so the folks calling the game have to be fair and balanced. And I think the team did a pretty good job with this.
Again, they are no GK&R
With Gary Cohen calling the Mets games, you know he’s pounded beers in the upper tank of Shea. And that passion, dedication, and love of baseball and the Mets comes out in how he calls a game. Even when Gary is fair and balanced.
The lead play by play on Friday – like many new broadcasters- sounds more like someone who spent a lot of time studying how to call sports on TV, and way less time pounding beers at a game. I think it makes these broadcasters sound a bit hollow.
Tonight’s broadcaster could have been calling a ball game or the NBA finals. Or the Scotland—South Korea bronze medal curling match.
Personally, I prefer Gary’s style for the Mets games