Sunday, July 8, 2007

Radio Roundup: AM, HD, XM; Phillies Save the Day; Rick Monday Saves Old Glorious

There are a few AM stations where time stands still. Try picking up 740 CHWO [this is the old CBL, formerly a CBC station] after sunset from from Toronto [big band and standards] or 900 CHML from Hamilton, Ontario [old-time radio around midnight]. Locally, WHLI 1100, a daytimer, still plays a mix of new guys like Bublé, old standards, and Sid Mark's Sinatra show from Philly on Sunday. There was another standards holdout I used to pick up, 950 AM from Phila., who finally gave up and went to sports talk. Some big markets now have two sports talkers. Whouda thunk?

AMs are going to HD and that is creating noise at both ends of the carrier if you listen on a current receiver. I hear that HD will have less range than regular AM and this could hurt WABC and WOR, who sell ads based on their mighty overnight signals, if the government ever mandates HD and turning off the old analog signal as they have done for television's conversion* to digital. It would also give people in fringe areas less choices.

Real life intruded in Denver, CO as the Mets lost to Houston today in the last game before the All Star Game break. I turned on the XM to find out how the Phils were doing in Colorado [they won]. A major downpour occurred before the seventh inning and a lot of Phillies who came off the field after the bottom of the sixth must have still been in the dugout. The Rockies disappeared except for two players. The grounds crew was being rocked by the tarp and it sounded like some men fell under it and others were being carried aloft as they held on. Seventeen Phillies charged onto the field and along with the two Rockies and two umps manfully helped the Rockies crew. Good job Phillies!

In 1976 two filthy rotten bums tried to burn the flag as they ran on the field at Dodger Stadium. I can hear Vin Scully say at the beginning of this radio recording, "Now wait a minute, there's an animal loose." This was to deincentivize anyone from running on the field back when games were on the radio with no TV [common in the 1970s]. No one except the people there and fans of the Police Blotter would know about it. Rick Monday [who I heard on XM today doing the Dodger-Marlin game with Charlie Steiner] snatched the flag from the bums.

If you can watch this and not get duck bumps, you must, like Dick Cheney, have other priorities. I got the bumps, stifled a tear, and then watched it again, biting my lower lip. Rick Monday says anyone in that situation would do it. Nah. Tom Glavine? Yeah. Jose Reyes? He'd just watch, like he did against Houston on a recent dribbler up the third base line. Paul LoDuca? Most def, and with prisoners taken.

Rick Monday saves Old Glory was selected by MLB as one of the top 100 moments in baseball history.

One more note: Charlie Steiner, who I like, called Jeff Kent "a banged up warrior." Since we've been in Iraq, most broadcasters have stopped calling ballplayers warriors unless it's V. Guerrero.

*Yup, Bush signed the bill making Feb. 17, 2009 the day your old TV becomes obsolete. Don't worry, the gummint is subsidizing converter boxes that will turn your old TV into a monitor for the box.

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