Saturday, October 14, 2006

Jon Miller and baseball on the radio — the perfect match

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Oct 14, 2006 5:00 AM (4 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 7,745 articles

WASHINGTON - Talking with Jon Miller about baseball and broadcasting is about one my favorite things to do. His passion, knowledge and simple joy for the game — and broadcasting it — turns a short interview into a nearly two hour conversation.

He and Joe Morgan are doing the ESPN Radio broadcasts of the American League Championship Series and then they will handle the World Series.

I spoke to Jon from his San Francisco Bay Area home as he was getting ready for game two between the A’s and Tigers from Oakland.

» Miller on radio vs. TV: “I love TV but on radio it’s only Joe, me and a producer and no long production meetings, no pre-taped packages — just plain old sitting behind the microphone and having fun calling the game. Not that we wouldn’t enjoy doing the games on ESPN TV, but we both love radio and we really enjoy connecting with the fans in an old school sort of way via radio. ”

» Miller on baseball on the radio: “Baseball is a great radio sport. I grew up when the majority of baseball was on the radio and as a fan you enjoyed being entertained by the best broadcasters of the day like Vin Scully, Harry Carry, Jack Buck, Bob Prince, Bob Wolf and Chuck Thompson just to name a few. They were able to paint wonderful word pictures that were in some cases better than TV. They knew how keep you on the edge of your seat as they played the drama out. It is an art form to be sure.”

» Miller on young broadcasters: “They seem to be too fixated on stats. One of my partners on Giants radio is Dave Flemming a very bright and talented young man from Alexandria, Va., and my first assignment for him was to put the stats aside and just spend an inning describing what he saw on the field. He was able to make the connection and begin to paint that word picture that a good broadcaster needs to do. Too many young announcers don’t enjoy the game or have fun; they miss the key points of how to handle the drama of the game. But if young broadcasters listen to old tapes of the guys I mentioned they will find the keys are passion, drama and fun.”

Redskins grab ratings

» Another big week for the Redskins — rated the top show in Washington with a 25.8 rating and 56 share.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

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