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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Stringer Day 1

Today I worked my first game as a "stringer" for scoring the 4-3 White Sox win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Here's a quick rundown of the day:

11:15AM Arrive at the ballpark. Enter the Royals offices and ask for my press box credential. The credential is not at the desk and so I'm directed upstairs to see Chris.
11:20AM I find Chris on the 4th floor who very nicely makes me out a temporary credential for today and tomorrow. She then leads me to the press box and we try and find the laptop. Lora, our normal PR contact is not available.
11:30AM Chris finds the laptop at station 28 in the 2nd row of the press box. I unpack the laptop and printer and find everything as it should be. A new IBM thinkpad with Windows XP and HP deskjet printer. I find that my seat in the 2nd row is somewhat obstructed making it difficult to see centerfield. Nice view of the monitor, however, which helps in entering pitch location.
11:45AM After setting up the laptop I see others in the press box with game notes and other material. After wandering a bit and finally asking I find the notes up at the reception desk on the 4th floor
11:55AM I dial in and contact support. Hank is assigned to my game and I load the client application to start checking the rosters. Hank works with me to make sure that the game file has Desi Relaford on the DL and I enter the lineups, weather, umpires, official scorer, and stringers.
12:15PM Everything is good to go and I grab a soda from the fountain and take in the atmosphere, which by the way, is a tad chilly. The windows in the press box are not open and the AC is running. Luckily I brought a pullover being forewarned by my compatriot Scott.
12:30PM Scott arrives and will be looking over my shoulder and helping me out. Great guy who's been doing this job in various forms for 6 years and is the editor of Golf Course Management in Lawrence. He made sure I got things right and was very helpful for this rookie.
12:50PM Pitchers are warming up so its time to get going. Sitting next to me is the beat writer for the Sox for Very nice guy who had to catch a plane to New York at 6:35. During the early parts of the game it seemed he wouldn't make it but I'm sure he got on time as the game picked up speed after the 5th inning or so.
1:09PM First pitch and I'm off and running
1:09-4:14PM I score the game and although entered all the play codes correctly I had three instances where I entered a pitch incorrectly. Two of them were easy to fix simply changing a ball to strike or vice versa but the third affected the pitch count causing the deletion of a pitch. All fixes were handled after the game with the help of Scott and Hank. I also found out this evening that I did not code the trajectories for the three homeruns hit by the White Sox. Hoping for closer to perfection tomorrow. The game certainly flew by and although there weren't any strange plays or too many substitutions I was quite busy. The most interesting at bat of the game was certainly Frank Thomas' 17 pitch at bat in the first inning which contained 13 foul balls, 12 in a row! In all Big Frank fouled off 17 pitches in his various at bats today. Aaron Guiel also threw out two runners at second base, one on a barehanded pickup and the other when Carlos Lee apparently thought he was Carl Lewis.
4:15 - 5:30PM After the game Scott led me through the postgame paperwork which consisted of printing various boxscore and stats reports, copying them and handing them out to the folks in the press box, faxing info to Elias Sports, and calling to follow up. The official scorer Del also checked our boxscore with his and gave the OK.
5:30PM On the way out of the stadium Tony Pena and Rich Thompson shared an elevator with Scott and myself. Thompson had pinch run in the 8th in his major league debut and Tony was giving him some pointers on the situation.

All in all a very nice day that seemed to fly by. Looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.

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