One of the articles I recently read from the New Yorker DVD's is a profile of former Oakland A's president Roy Eisenhardt by Roger Angell. It was published in the August 15, 1983 issue of the magazine. Eisenhardt was clearly a man before his time:
The delivery systems of baseball are a great concern now---or should be. Television is more important than ever. . . but televised baseball is almost an auto-immune disease. We're consuming ourselves. We're attacking our own system. Baseball can't really be taken in on television, because of our ingrained habits of TV-watching. Anybody who knows the sport understands that the ninth inning is as valid as the first inning---that's why real fans always stay to the end of a game. But we don't watch TV that way. If the other team scores four runs in the first inning we go clicko, or else we flip the dial and watch Burt Reynolds. On TV, the primary emphasis becomes the score and the possibility of the other team's changing it, and so we miss the integrity of the nine innings and those multiples of three---three strikes and three outs.
Baseball is a terrific radio sport, by contrast, because radio feeds our imagination. . . I think baseball has survived all this time because of its place in our imagination---because we've chosen to make the players and the games something larger than they really are. But television has just the opposite effect.
More good stuff tomorrow.