Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Smashed TBS lens: $20,000
More news and notes from the Bronx:
Remember that camera lens that was smashed to bits during Game 4 by the broken bat of Brett Gardner, turning the view from near the first base dugout into a kaleidoscope?
The good news for TBS was that it was able to replace the glass within a couple of innings. The bad news: The lens goes for about $20,000. (The camera itself runs a cool $200,000.)
No word on whether TBS plans to have the Yankees deduct the amount from Gardner’s next pay check.
Despite the lopsided nature of the ALCS entering Game 5, the ratings have been pretty good. Game 4 averaged 9.9 million viewers, making it the second-most-watched baseball playoff game in cable TV history.
(The only higher average was the 13.4 million for Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS between the Rays and Red Sox.)
An average of 26.5 percent of homes in the Dallas area watched Game 4, compared to 17.1 in New York.
TBS’ finest moment Tuesday night came in the sixth inning, when it showed a montage of Bengie Molina tormenting the Yankees during the 2005 ALDS, when he was an Angel.
Seconds later, Molina launched a three-run home run against A.J. Burnett that put the Rangers ahead to stay.
Coordinating producer Glenn Diamond admitted there was a small celebration inside the production truck, not because the Rangers were ahead but because of a job well done – and well timed.
“We did high-five,’’ Diamond said before Game 5. “Once we got through our [replay] sequence the director [Lonnie Dale] who was calling the game kind of smiled at me. I high-fived the AD [assistant director], Jeff Randolph and Scott Cockerill, our ISO producer.
“We weren’t euphoric, but that’s one of those moments. We kind of laughed. We weren’t celebrating as much as the Texas Rangers, but it was a nice moment. Then we had to get back to the game focus.”
Diamond said having the Molina montage ready to go was the result of the TBS team’s preparation and anticipation, “to put yourself in the right place so you have options.’’
But why did the network pick that moment to look back at Molina’s 2005 performance?
Diamond said it was an important situation, with two runners on. And because it just felt right.
“You have to feel the moments,’’ he said.
“That’s what postseason baseball is all about. This is our fourth year. It’s a learning process. There are a lot of things we have in our bag of tricks.”