ESPN’s presentation of Major League Baseball throughout 2015 has demonstrated just how much its coverage of the sport continues to evolve.
At the heart of that evolution this July has been its Sunday From The Seats initiative.
Over the past few Sunday Night Baseball telecasts, ESPN has positioned its commentators in a unique location in each ballpark to call the game. This Sunday, the crew – Dan Shulman and analysts John Kruk and Curt Schilling – will sit atop the iconic Green Monster inside historic Fenway Park for the Detroit Tigers-Boston Red Sox contest (8 p.m. ET).
Almost a year ago to the day (Aug. 3, 2014), Shulman and Kruk called the Red Sox-New York Yankees Sunday Night Baseball game from the Green Monster. This year, Red Sox legend Schilling makes his return to Fenway Park to join his colleagues.
Tom Archer – Sunday Night Baseball coordinating producer – discussed with Front Row his memories from the first Green Monster game and what’s he’s looking forward to this weekend.
What are your memories from the 2014 Green Monster game?
Overall, I was amazed at what our director, Doug Holmes, and our Operations team – led by Joa O’Connor and supported by booth technician Ryan Fredericks – were able to construct as a broadcast location, in the middle of the famed “Monster Seats” section atop the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
What are you looking forward to about this weekend’s telecast?
We are in the same location for the telecast this season (“Monster Seats” – Section No. 9: the centerfield end of the wall) with the one obvious change – an additional announcer, who also happens to be a key figure in two World Series titles for the hometown team. I’m thinking Tigers slugger J.D. Martinez has a shot at our guys this weekend; if he hits a big home run – it could zero in on our announce position!
Were they any challenges or takeaways from last year’s telecast which will help you document Sunday’s game?
While the announcers were in the open air, in the outfield, looking in at the action as opposed to above home plate – all of the other technical necessities, capabilities, and the necessary broadcast tools they had in the normal broadcast booth were available atop the Green Monster. Given that it’s the same location for the announce booth, and the lessons learned from a season ago, we will be able to work more efficiently, and knowledgeably with the Red Sox to ensure at least a similar level of success on Sunday.