Up in the Radio Booth
Leading up to the game, it was time to head up to the press box, get situated in the radio booth and of course, feast on some press dining. The first thing you notice when you step out on the press level at Turner Field is its proximity to the field. At Nationals Park, the press box is located above all of the seating areas. At Turner Field, it’s located between the lower level and the upper deck. It certainly provides a different perspective on the action.
Dave and Charlie use this time to connect with the Braves radio team to exchange interesting notes or trends about their respective teams that may be useful during their broadcasts. The various broadcast teams around MLB are a fraternity of sorts, as Dave said this is a regular practice at the start of road trips (or when visiting teams come to Nationals Park).
Before the pregame show goes on the air, it’s time for a quick meal. From what we’ve heard, Turner Field has a good reputation when it comes to press dining, and we’re not disappointed. On day one, we keep it simple and opt for a made-to-order deli sandwich. Other choices include chili, sheppard’s pie, pizza, grilled vegetables and a salad bar. Sure, it’s an eclectic mix, but they try to find something for everyone. Everyone except for Bob Carpenter, apparently. He joins our table with a Chick-Fil-A sandwich in tow. We quickly develop a severe case of sandwich envy, but it’s nothing some soft serve ice cream won’t cure.
OK, let’s start this game before our full-on food coma kicks in…
Let the Game Begin
Once the game starts, everyone in the booth has a headset on, in constant communication with the producer back in DC. It can get somewhat confusing listening to the actual broadcast while miscellaneous prompts are also coming in simultaneously from the producer. Dave and Charlie have been doing this long enough that they keep everything in order.
Dave serves as the lead play-by-play man during the third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings, while Charlie handles the rest. The highlight of Dave’s innings tonight was Yunesky Maya’s first career base hit. Unfortunately for the Nats, Braves veteran pitcher Derek Lowe decided to pitch one of his best games of the season Monday night.
The post-game show consists of two main parts. Dave leads the first, which includes a recap of the game and the play of the game. Tonight, this segment was over about 10 minutes after the final out. Once he’s done that, he starts to pack up while Charlie takes over and gives a detailed rundown of the rest of the action happening around baseball. He spends about one minute on each game, covering each of the pitchers, key plays, playoff implications, etc.
From there, it’s time to head down to the post-game bus. Unlike the ride to the park, this bus is almost completely full with players, coaches, staff and broadcasters. It’s understandably quiet, but the Jets-Ravens Monday Night Football game is on the satellite TVs throughout the bus.
When we get back to the hotel, everyone scatters in different directions. We’re headed up to our room to recharge for another day tomorrow, when we’ll be following Strength and Conditioning Coach John Philbin. Special thanks to Dave Jageler for letting us tag along with him today. We hope you enjoyed his unique perspective, and be sure to check back soon for a link to a video blog of all the action.