Emma Tiedemann, the Voice of the Portland Sea Dogs (Class AA; Eastern League), joins Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Kevin Reichard on the Ballpark Digest Broadcaster Chat to preview the 2022 MiLB season, discuss rule experiments and chat about Texas Leaguers and marlins.
Today marks the beginning of the 2022 Minor League Baseball season, as the industry takes another major step toward normalcy. While there are COVID-19 protocols in place still in place throughout the industry, ballparks will be operating at full capacity.
Topics discussed in this podcast:
- Those outside the baseball world may take for granted the working conditions in 2021, when broadcasters began the season working remotely off a video feed due to COVID-19 concerns, eventually making their way back to broadcast booths and road trips. Emma and Jesse discuss MiLB play in April, dealing with snow, nor’easters and frozen tarps.
- A continuing issue in Minor League ball: rule experiments mandated by Major League Baseball. Some of the rule experiments are good (larger bases and pitch clocks), some up for debate (a ban on shifts). Jesse tells of players moving from the Single-A Cal League—where the clock was used—to the High-A Midwest League—where the clock was not mandated—and still playing at the same pace, leading to faster games. No one likes the idea of banning the infield shift, and the three agree that potentially mandating positioning for outfielders is a very bad idea.
- Original league names are back, causing great rejoicing in the chat. MiLB history Is restored!
- Other innovations discussed: robo-mowers, cashless ballparks, additional rule experiments at the MLB Partner Leagues, the evolution of ballpark tech (including facial recognition and videoboards everywhere), in-seat ordering for food/drink and concessions, ballpark upgrades mandated by MLB (including upgraded clubhouses and dedicated changing spaces for female coaches and umpires), better ballpark lighting (including underrated up-lighting), and wireless communications on the defensive side of the game.
- Today’s baseball lingo from Emma: Texas Leaguer, a looping fly ball that lands between infielders and outfielders for a hit. That leads to a discussion of a 1959 promotional book from Phillies Blunts covering baseball terms, including variations of Texas Leaguer like seagulls (leading to Dave Winfield references), dying swans, bleeders and banjo hits.
- Today’s baseball lingo by Jesse: a marlin. In scouting circles, a marlin is a story told when the inevitable gabfest begins in the scouts seating at the ballpark. Emma’s marlin: When calling a game in Alaska, a moose strolled by, past the outfield fence—something you’d only see in Alaska.
Emma Tiedemann has been a broadcaster since she was 15, launching her career as the Voice of the Mat-Su Miners in the summer-collegiate Alaska Baseball League and making stops at broadcast booths for the Medford Rogues, St. Paul Saints and Lexington Legends before debuting in 2021 with the Sea Dogs. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler is Voice of the Lansing Lugnuts and author of The Baseball Thesaurus and the second edition of The Football Thesaurus, both from August Publications. Kevin Reichard is editor of Ballpark Digest and founder/publisher at August Publications.
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