It was kind of lame that no national network wanted to broadcast the A’s-Mariners series in Japan. That left it up to Root Sports in Seattle to broadcast it. Except:
The Seattle crew quickly determined it would be too costly to send announcers and support staff to Japan to broadcast the games in person, with a total cost 2 1/2 times greater than a typical road game broadcast in in the United States, according to Randy Adamack, Mariners vice president of communications.
So they made arrangements with NTV to transmit the signal via transoceanic fiber-optic cable to the studio in a Seattle suburb about 15 miles from Safeco Field.
I was aware that the announcers were back in Seattle when I was watching the games the last two mornings, but it really didn’t matter. Indeed, it wasn’t even noticeable apart from their own comments about it being 3AM where they were. And until I read it in this article, I hadn’t missed the couple of types of observations that they weren’t able to make such as how big a lead a runner was taking or how the outfield was shaded.
Anyway, a neat look at what they did in order for us to have a TV broadcast of these games at all.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.