The Astros are installing a gigantic new video board

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Coming soon to Minute Maid Park: kiss cams in even larger, higher-definition!

The new primary video board will be located in right field and will
measure 54 feet high and 124 feet wide, making it the second-largest
board of its kind in the Major Leagues. The Astros current video board
is 26 feet high and 45 feet wide.

Click through to Maury’s post to see the size comparison between the new board and the old. It’s pretty shocking, actually.

But, as these things tend to go, size isn’t all that important — it’s what you do with it that matters. Advertisements and kiss cams and awkward public service announcements by players aren’t really any more useful just because they’re big. Indeed, I’ve yet to go to a ballpark where the video screens are really optimized.

More replays — not just of good plays by the home team — would be helpful.  I’d actually love to see a team use the board for the center field camera shot we’re accustomed to seeing on TV so I can follow the balls and strikes better when I’m not blessed with great seats.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.