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"When was the last time you broadcasted a Giants road game from a stadium on the road?" That was the question ABC7's Chris Alvarez asked when he got a unique and exclusive look behind the scenes at how the Giants broadcasters have been calling games during the pandemic.
"No idea, I think it was 14 years ago," Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow joked. "At least it felt that way."
The answer to the trivia question is September 22, 2019. That was the last time Giants broadcasters called a game on the road when the Giants defeated the Braves 4-1 in Atlanta. That also happened to be Bruce Bochy's final road game as a Giants manager.
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic during the 2020 season, Giants broadcasters along with broadcast teams across baseball, and nearly every sport, have had to adapt and call games while not on site. The Giants, like the Oakland Athletics have used their home ballparks to call games when the team hits the road.
On the road from home -- September 22, 2019 was the last time the @SFGiants broadcasters called a game from the road. Coming up this week on @abc7newsbayarea , #SFGiants broadcasters show us how they've been calling road games remotely from @OracleParkSF #ResilientSF https://t.co/vz0PK8iW6g pic.twitter.com/gMKvHmGXlf— Chris Alvarez (@CAlvarezABC7) June 14, 2021
"Well, the big challenge is that we are relying on the camera in LA to give us the perfect angle and unfortunately there isn't a perfect angle," said Giants Spanish broadcaster Erwin Higueros.
In addition to his baseball duties, you'll see Giants broadcaster Dave Flemming calling games for various sports on ESPN. During the height of the pandemic, Flemming called games from his home. Just recently, he's been able to travel on site for ESPN. As it currently stands, the Giants broadcasters are still calling road games from Oracle Park, which presents its challenges.
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"I will say this, it was very jarring at first. When we started doing this it was tough by learning how to adapt our broadcast a little bit and be better when we aren't there in person. Learn how to the use the monitor in a different way," said Flemming.
When Chris Alvarez made his trip to Oracle Park, the Giants were in Los Angeles taking on the Dodgers. He, along with the broadcast team, was one of about 20 total people in the ballpark, including security personnel. Each broadcaster showed Chris their set-up, which includes a multitude of monitors and various feeds to give them the best look at views and angles around the ballpark.
"People say, 'Hey, you guys make it sound like you are really there.' That's great, great except we're not actually there," said National Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Jon Miller.
With COVID-19 restrictions loosening across California and the country, a return to the road is top of mind.
"I admit that I've got a great job and I love it. When they go on the road, we want to go to," said Miller.
"The home games feel like such a treat for us. It feels so great to be at home and have fans and I miss that when the team goes on the road," said Flemming. "So, I can't wait to have that back."
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