In response to my snide comment about lousy tv coverage of a baseball game,
>I find this an interesting comment. As much as I enjoy going to the game in
>person, I have to admit that there are aspects of the game that I would have
>almost zero appreciation of if it weren't for television. The one that leaps
>to mind immediately is the art of pitching. Unless you sit right behind home
>plate, and have better eyes than mine, it is nearly impossible to identify
>what pitch was thrown, and where in/out of the strike zone it was. On TV,
>not only is this easy to see, but the telescopic effect of the center-field
>camera actually exaggerates the break of the ball to the eye, making it easy
>to see what was thrown.
I'll confess to being guilty of over generalization in my original comment.
This aspect of television can be beneficial, but I do have a minor problem
with the center field camera, in that the fact that since the camera is
slightly "off center", it distorts the location of the pitch in the
horizontal plane somewhat, which can make it difficult to tell if the ball
was really over the plate.
[more stuff deleted]
>What you lose, of course, is the sense of the spaces of the game, and the
>global view of the play. I'm not convinced that this couldn't be overcome
>with clever camera placement and good direction.
Absolutely. The past***sense of the game is the most important factor in
my enjoyment, and tv loses this. As a related factor, we often miss the subtle
nuances of the game (ie the shortstop cheating toward second), because of
tv's insistance on giving us a close-up of the pitcher's nose. A good share
of this problem is due to tv's being all too enamoured with it's own
technology. This problem can be overcome. Some of the best camera coverage
that I've seen is ESPN at the college world series. Since they (for whatever
reason) were covering it with relatively few (4 maybe?) cameras, they were
forced to use a lot more shots from a more "drawn back" perspective. For me,
this did a *lot* for restoring that critical sense of space. So yes, it can
be done. The networks chose not to.
"First thing to do is take a bat and smack 'em upside the head to get their
attention. Let's play ball!"
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