The Sportscasters Club Radio Show

Should a Sportscaster Divulge Secrets?

January 18, 2020 Rick Schultz Episode 2
The Sportscasters Club Radio Show
Should a Sportscaster Divulge Secrets?
Chapters
The Sportscasters Club Radio Show
Should a Sportscaster Divulge Secrets?
Jan 18, 2020 Episode 2
Rick Schultz

Should a Sportscaster Divulge Secrets?
With the Major League Baseball sign-stealing scandal front and center, it makes us wonder how a sports broadcaster should handle these situations. If a play by play broadcaster knows players are cheating, should he spill the beans and tell his listeners or viewers?

Today's Question and Answers:
1. What is the most difficult sports to broadcast?
2. Can I become a sports broadcaster if I am not a good athlete?

Check out our 7-hour online sports broadcasting course!

Check out our books on Amazon:
Secrets of Sports Broadcasting
Untold Tales From the Bush Leagues
Minor League Baseball Revealed
A Renegade Championship Summer

As mentioned, the Barrett Sports Media Summit takes place this February in New York City. Check it out at BSMSummit.com 

Show Notes Transcript

Should a Sportscaster Divulge Secrets?
With the Major League Baseball sign-stealing scandal front and center, it makes us wonder how a sports broadcaster should handle these situations. If a play by play broadcaster knows players are cheating, should he spill the beans and tell his listeners or viewers?

Today's Question and Answers:
1. What is the most difficult sports to broadcast?
2. Can I become a sports broadcaster if I am not a good athlete?

Check out our 7-hour online sports broadcasting course!

Check out our books on Amazon:
Secrets of Sports Broadcasting
Untold Tales From the Bush Leagues
Minor League Baseball Revealed
A Renegade Championship Summer

As mentioned, the Barrett Sports Media Summit takes place this February in New York City. Check it out at BSMSummit.com 

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If I am a play by play broadcaster and I know secrets, I mean really juicy behind the scenes secrets that fans would love many things they wouldn't believe should I give away those secrets on the air.

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Welcome to the Sportscasters Club radio show, where it's all about becoming a better sportscaster on a better sports fans. And now your host, A man who began his sports broadcasting career wave back in 1993. Rick Shults. Welcome to the Sportscasters Club radio show. I'm Rick Schultz. Glad to have you with us again for another action packed episode, and today we're gonna touch on one of the stories that's really front and center in the sports world, the major league baseball world. And that is, of

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course, the Houston Astros. And what's going on with not only the Astros but the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets? The cheating scandal, the technology scandal with teams using devices using technology to steal signs and get a leg up on the competition? I mean, obviously we've talked about this before, and you've heard about it certainly for the last week or two. The fact that stealing signs is nothing new. It's been going on in baseball forever, and I'm actually a proponent of trying to get the upper hand and steal a sign if if it's done in an ethical way. And that's funny because you say, How can I steal in an ethical way? Well, if you're just watching a picture and you're just trying to pick out what he does and you're trying to pinpoint a little thing that he does, maybe before he throws a fastball and you're gonna use that to your advantage, that's great, because that is something that's going on in baseball for 100 years, and that's part of the game. If you ask me, that's my opinion, and we're gonna touch on that a little bit. We're also going to get into what should a broadcaster do If that broadcaster is privy to the information? What if the broadcaster knows what's going on? Maybe the players tell them, should they give that away on the air? That's something we're gonna talk about as well today and then later in the programme, we're going to delve into our question and answer period. Willer will answer a couple of your emails that came in this week. Keep them coming at Sportscasters Club at gmail dot com. Or you can send an email to questions at sportscasters club dot com So refers gonna talk quickly about this this scandal, this technology sign stealing. Then we're gonna talk about how it pertains to a sportscaster. So maybe that alarm you with a little bit more information if you are going to, um But if you're gonna find yourself in a situation like that and have to decide ethically, what do you do? So those are the two things were gonna touch on today, and we're going to start in just a minute. All right? So as I mentioned when I laid out at the beginning of this radio show the scandal involving the cheating, the signs dealing with the Houston Astros and a j hinge on their general manager getting axed. And then you have It's spreading to Alex Cora with the Red Sox because he was a coach with the Astros at the time a few years ago when this sign stealing was happening and then Cora gets can I was shocked that Carlos Beltran eventually got fired by the Mets, and I think it really comes down to something changed this week, and I think the New York Mets found out maybe something that that Beltran was involved in, that maybe he did not die Volt to them initially. And perhaps that's why they decided to move in another direction. I think Beltran actually handled it the right way. You know, so many times is your athletes trying, tow, cover up or make excuses? He didn't do that. He admitted he was wrong. He admitted he cheated and that's how he decided to handle it. I think that was the right way. But it's a scandal that has really blown up on Major league Baseball and mark my words, they have not heard the end of it because if it's gone on with the Astros, it's going on with these people. The small amount of people that you've heard, some of the players and coaches, it's going on in many other places, very similar to the steroid scandal that we had back in the nineties, It wasn't just Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Raphael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, a Rod. It wasn't just those players. There were a lot of players that were involved in these steroid scandals. Many of the names eventually did come out, and I'm sure and positive that many of the names we've never heard and they were able to skate through. So when we're talking about this scandal here, teams cheating, using using technology to cheat and get the upper hand. Sometimes as a broadcaster, you become aware of things. Players share things with you. You over hear them talking about things that they do, things that go on. How should you handle it? Should you give out those secrets and divulge those secrets on the air? Well, the only way I can really relate to it is what we did back in the nineties, back when I was broadcasting in professional baseball. And I think there's a really good analogy because we would get all kinds of people traveling in tow work with the team, whether it be roving instructors, media people, team personnel players and just over the course of a season, day in and day out, you're hanging out with the team. At the time, I was a broadcaster, the same ages, the players and so I would hear things and players would tell me what was going on, and players and team personnel they knew steroids were a big issue. And this is before the McGuire Sosa 98 season. This was before that. There was a lot of talk in the mid nineties before the P e d and steroid issue became big in the later nineties. And so we knew things and we heard a lot about what's going on as a broadcaster. How did I handle it? Did I go on the air and talk about these things? Should I have? Should I not have in just a minute? I'll tell you how I handled it. We've talked about the scandal. How did I handle it as a broadcaster? Well, it's very, very simple. And I learned this from Marty Glickman Back back in my days at WFUV Radio at Fordham University. Marty was one of the pioneering sportscasters, and we would meet with him every weekend and critique our broadcast, but also talk about how to become better, how to progress as a sportscaster. And Marty always used to tell us if it happens on the field, if it's part of the game that it should be reported because if you're broadcasting a game on radio. Your listener needs to be informed on everything you see. Your job is to paint that word picture and put that listener right next to you as if he or she is right there at the game. So if it happens during the game, yes, you should report it. And there were things that happened during games that that I reported. If they happened on the field and sometimes teams got upset, for example, there was one night while I was calling games in minor league baseball, where there was a brawl between two teammates in the bullpen. And so I reported it, and we did play by play of it pretty much because you could see what was going on. And then we found out later that night and the next day the details behind it. And did we report that too? Well, I'll talk about that on an upcoming episode. Yes, we did, because it tied into what happened on the field. But in this case, if things were happening off the field, then 99% of the time, probably 100% of the time, I would say absolutely not if you hear things on the bus, then? No, it should not be reported. If you hear players talking about something in the clubhouse, no way. If you're out having a ah cold one after the game and one of the players tells you something that's really juicy and would be something your fans would be interested in. Shocked to learn? Absolutely not. Not something that should make a broadcast. Not because you're covering for a player, but because it's it's not pertinent to what's going on on the field if it has. If it happens on the field, yes, you should report it now. Not that these things can't color your color, your your background and your information to give you some more information to better report on what you're seeing on the field, for example, I had an instance where players told me the signals that they use so sometimes I knew the pitch or the play that was coming before it happened. That only made me a better broadcaster in sharing that with my fans and my listeners, but I would never divulge that during the game. Similarly, when I was broadcasting in the mid nineties and we heard these things about PDS and steroids? Absolutely not. We didn't talk about it. Not that we were afraid. Not that we were covering for anyone, but because it did not have anything to do with the nuts and bolts off what was going on on the field. If your play by play person you're painting the word picture, you're describing the action. If your color analyst, you're filling in the gaps, telling why or how something happened and keep it on the field. Because that way you're always gonna be safe if it happens on the field. Fair game, if it happens off the field at night, in the dugout, the clubhouse or some of these things that you hear. So if I were a play by play broadcaster and you can guarantee that across major league baseball players know about the cheating scandal, players knew it was going on front office. People knew it was going on. General managers, scouts, agents, broadcasters, they all knew. I'm not saying everyone knew all the details, but they heard rumblings and they didn't report it, and nor do I think it was their job to report it. If they were play by play broadcasters. Now, if you're a talk show host and you're not traveling with a team every single day, that's another story. That's another story, another thing to think about. I certainly don't believe in giving away secrets in any in any realm, whether it's a talk show or or a play by play or a studio show. I believe you always should should report to your listeners and your viewers what you would report face to face to a subject. So you never want to say anything you wouldn't say directly to someone's face and usually staying away from here saying Innuendo is your best bet because you want to have the best factual information for your listeners or your viewers. So hopefully that clears up that issue what a broadcaster should do. And when we come back, we're going to get into your questions. Are answers all right, this question comes in. Our first question of the day comes in from Dave in Rochester, New York A quick question that he had. He e mailed it in and it said, What's the most difficult sport to broadcast? And honestly, that's gonna be the topic of an upcoming episode because you could spend an hour talking about this, probably more, and it really comes down to it's It's a subjective thing. That answer depends on the broadcaster. I always found basketball to be easy because it's fast paced. You're just describing and you're just describing nonstop and it was pretty fast paced. The ball was in play the majority of the time, but I also love baseball, provided I was prepared because if I had all the information I needed, it was a much more relaxed pace. Ah, more fun pace. That was the sport that I enjoyed broadcasting the most. I found hockey to be the most challenging number one because I didn't do it as much as I did basketball or football or baseball number two. I didn't grow up steeped in that game as I did with the others, specifically baseball, and I think that had a lot to do with it. Just the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So form a hockey was the most difficult for some. Football is the most difficult because you know the cadence, you've got 30 seconds of downtime and then you've got a lot of action in a quick play, and then you've got to set up the next place. So I think it's subjective. But for me, the most difficult sport to broadcast was hockey. Plus, the guy's had helmets on. Sometimes they were tough to identify, especially at the college level, where maybe some of the you don't know these players. It's not the They're not professionals that you see a lot. So that's my answer on that question. Question. Number two cynic in Los Angeles, California Sunny. Thanks for joining us on the Sportscasters Club radio show. And her question was, Cannot become a broadcaster. If I'm not a good athlete, well, I'll tell you what's unique. If the answer was no to that, then probably 90% of broadcasters would be gone. And that's really the truth, because a lot of specifically play by play broadcasters get into it because they kind of peak as an athlete. They kind of their kind of capped at what they can do is an athlete. And you hear so many play by play broadcasters who get into the field because they realize they weren't gonna play second base for the New York Yankees. And so they wanted to find a way to stay involved and be part of the sports that they love and be part of the games in the action. So, yes, you can certainly become a broadcaster if you're not a good athlete. Some of the best broadcasters we have today, I'm sure, are not good athletes. I can't name names, nor would I, because some of them probably are decent athlete. But you don't have to be absolutely. If you're a color analyst, it definitely helps if you have a background in the sport that you're analyzing and definitely at the big time levels, the network levels. Um being a former player is really a prerequisite because you have experience and things you can talk about as a former player that others cannot. But even at lower levels high school college, you could be an outstanding color analyst. In my opinion, even if you are not a former player, provided you do your homework, you talk to people, you learn. You steep yourself in the history and you'll understand the game, this strategy, the tactics. You can be a a solid broadcaster there, too, So can you become a broadcaster if you're not a good athlete. Absolutely, yes. And that's the best part about it. So hope the answer's helped on those two questions from Dave and Sneak. Thank you very much for e mailing in. And if you have a question, the email addresses questions at sportscasters club dot com. So that wraps up this episode of The Sportscasters Club radio show. I thank you for tuning in, and just to recap we talked about as a broadcaster, if they're scandal, if there are things you learn about, we talked about when you should, and when you shouldn't divulge that information on the air, it's very important because it's happening right now and again. Mark my word. There's gonna be more to come out. It wasn't just this handful of people that you hear about with Houston Astros. If it was going on there, it was going on elsewhere. And if these few people knew about it, many more knew about it. And I think over the next weeks and months we're going to hear much more coming out, just as we did with the steroid NPD scandal back in the nineties. So thanks for tuning in just one last note. Before I let you go here on the Sportscasters radio show, I want to make sure you know about the Barrett Sports Media Summit, which is coming up February 26th and 27th in New York City. If you're not familiar with Barrett sports media, check him out for the best sports media, information, news and notes. Great interviews. His podcast is fantastic, and he's really got his hands on the pulse

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of the United States with sports talk radio and what's going

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on on. He does a great summit. This year's summit is in New York City, February 26 27. Check out B s m summit dot com

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for the Barrett Sports Media Summit. You will not be disappointed if you attend this event. It'll really be awesome. Great way to network and boost your career, so I hope you can join it. I'm Rick shows. This is the Sportscasters Club radio showed Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time. Thanks for listening to The Sportscasters Club radio show at sportscasters club dot com. Don't forget to subscribe, so you will never miss an episode. And thanks for liking sharing, boasting reviews and spreading the word