Tuesday, December 23, 2008

So I Like Notre Dame, Big Deal

My name is Nick Barrale…and I am Notre Dame Fan. I feel like I should stand up and make that announcement in front of a group of people or during an intervention.

If you are the type of person that has a hard time meeting new people, just go out in public wearing a Notre Dame shirt or anything Notre Dame related for that matter because you will have all sorts of people coming up to you, at least I do.

Whether I am wearing my Irish ball cap, or my Notre Dame hoodie, I have had more people come up to me over the last month and half to just shoot the breeze with me.

From, “are you really a Notre Dame fan” to “that Irish team is sure not doing well” to “Notre Dame Sucks!” The last one is my favorite because it takes so much thought.

So to answer your questions, yes I am a Notre Dame fan, yes that Irish team is sure not doing well and they do suck. Loosing to Syracuse was especially hard to watch.

I have been there ever since I can remember.

I have watched all nine straight bowl loses, or at least enough of them because sometimes it just got to ugly to watch.

I have witnessed the Lou Holtz, Bob Davie, George O'Leary, Ty Willingham and now Charlie Weis eras.

I watched Willingham guide Notre Dame to an 8-0 record in 2002, only to see his team self destruct at home against Boston College while donning the Green Jersey’s. Willingham’s career never rebounded.

(side note…I hate the Green Jersey and think it should be permanently retired, its bad luck)

I was riding high when Weis guided Notre Dame to a 9-3 mark in 2005 and was on the edge of my seat when it looked like Notre Dame was going to knock off #1 USC until the legendary “Bush Push.” Of course nobody mentions the fourth down play USC converted to set up that play and a 34-31 win, also done while Notre Dame wore the green jersey.

Then the 2005 season was followed up with a 10-2 regular season mark in 2006 only to be destroyed by LSU in the Sugar Bowl, 41-14.

What I seem to not realize, is in this day and age, being a Notre Dame fan is a bad thing.

So what I root for a team that has had a bad 20 years. The Cubs have been bad for 100 years and counting.

So what I watch Notre Dame falter year after year and under perform.

So what I proudly wear my Notre Dame gear out in public.

One day the Irish will be on top again, and that is when everyone is going to jump right back on that bandwagon but I stuck with them through the bad time and even worse times.

So thanks for pointing out that Notre Dame is bad, over and over again.

I don’t think Weis should be fired, I didn’t think Willingham should have been fired. Just look at the top teams in the country, the coaches all have been there for 10 years or more, with the exception of Urban Meyer of course.

My hope is Notre Dame will figure it out sooner rather than later and it doesn’t take 10 years, which is how long of a contract Weis has.

Maybe it will start with the Aloha Bowl….

All I want for Christmas is an end to this NCAA record of nine straight bowl losses.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What is My Value to a Company?

While I was employed with the GreenJackets, I was given a copy of Cal Ripken Jr.’s book, Get into the Game. I actually started reading it at the start of the season when riding on the bus. However, as the season went on, I decided to use my time on the bus to catch up on sleep.

I finally finished it after picking it up again. The book itself draws upon many thoughts of Ripken and relates his playing career to working in the business world. It also has a lot of historical tie-ins to his playing days and Lou Gehrig's career. It really is a good book.

As soon as I picked the book back up again though, I started reading a chapter about how Ripken always wanted to make sure he had a job. He always wanted to make sure he was valuable to the team and organization, that way he would always get to play. He found the best way to do that is to make sure to do other things to stay in the lineup.

Ripken knew that he couldn’t be in the lineup because of just his hitting; he also had to develop his defense. What you might lose at the plate, you still have that sure thing out on the diamond at defense. Ripken also talked about how he would work with the pitchers and catchers on pitch selection during the game. It was all geared toward making himself more valuable and in return, harder to be taken out of the lineup.

He draws on that idea and applies it to the business world. The more valuable you make yourself to a company and the more you can do, the more likely you will have a job.

I always felt the same way too. I always felt that as long as I could do something other than just “one thing” then I would be too valuable of a guy to pass up on. I know I can broadcast a game, I know I can do it well too because I have stacks of emails from fans and people in the business telling me how good of a job I do.

However, just being able to broadcast is not good enough in this world of Minor League Baseball. That is why I also worked on making sure I knew how to design web sites. I know how to manipulate the code to make things work the way I want them to work.

I got a copy of Photoshop editing software and learned how to do graphic design. I know how to put graphics together that look sharp and can be placed as advertisements on the web and in other forms of print media.

I also got a copy of Quark Express and learned how to do print layout. I successful put together a media guide from start to finish and also used Quark to produce the game notes on a nightly bases along with press releases.

While working in radio, I learned how to edit audio and purchased an audio editing program so that I can edit spots and promos. I also edited game highlights on the fly for post game use.

My time in radio was also spent working in production and traffic scheduling spots to be played so I know the way spots should be run and the most effective percentages for rotation.

I also worked in television and learned how to edit video and have a video editing program.

All of these programs are on my laptop, so I can use my own personal computer for not only broadcasting games, but also web design, graphic design, audio editing, video editing and radio programming.

That’s six different jobs rolled up into one that I can do!

Not to mention all the writing I can do as well.

I have also heard that while Minor League Baseball is fun, it’s also a business. Sales are important.

I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I earned my MBA and I have a background in sales as well because I owned my own business selling web and graphic design. I did that for four years making a living doing sales on my own. That is 100% commission, no paycheck each week for just showing up. I made what I sold.

Make that seven different jobs rolled up into one.

If that is not making you more valuable to the company, then I don’t know what is.

How much do seven employees cost a company?

How much does one employee cost a company that can do all seven jobs?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why I Hate Flying

For anyone that knows me, it’s no secret that I absolutely hate to fly. It’s not so much the flying part that bothers me; it’s the coming down part. What makes it even worse is the fact that this last time flying the airline decided to send my bag to San Juan, Puerto Rico instead of St. Louis, MO. How it ended up in San Juan is a mystery to me, however I did finally get my bag, the day before I left to go back to Augusta, and it arrived at 1:30 in the morning.

My flight plan this Thanksgiving was to go from Augusta to Charlotte to Washington DC to St. Louis. For someone that doesn’t like flying, that is a lot of up and down. The day started out bad to begin with because while sitting on the runway in Augusta in my twin propeller plane, the captain comes on the intercom and says, “Sorry for the delay folks, but we will get underway shortly. We are currently delayed because of some birds.”

What? Birds can delay a flight? I never heard of anything.

After a 35 minute delay because of birds we finally took off in this flying Volkswagen and by the time we landed in Charlotte, my plane to DC was scheduled to take off in 10 minutes. Charlotte is a huge airport too, so I had to hike it from one end to the other to make my DC flight.

Little side note here, I CAN NOT STAND IT when people use the moving walkways as rides. They get on those things and just stand there so they don’t have to walk. I was taking full advantage of those walkways to double time my pace and I kept having to slow down for people just standing on the moving walkways.

Anyway, once maneuvering around people I arrive at my gate to learn that my flight to DC was cancelled. I asked why and the lady told me “the plane is broken.”

So I am put on a direct flight from Charlotte to St. Louis. Awesome! I ask about my checked back and I was told they are changing the routing system to have it placed on the appropriate plane. I immediately have my doubts about this whole thing.

Sure enough, when I get to St. Louis, my bag is no where to be found. The guy at the baggage claim tells me, “Look man, I don’t want to come off rude, but there is not enough people to track where bags are suppose to go. Guys just take a bag and throw it on a plane. There is not enough man power and people don’t get paid enough money to scan each bag.”

Thanks for being honest I guess. The guy didn’t know where my bag was and could not answer what happens to a bag when the plane it’s suppose to go on gets cancelled.

Around 7:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving I learn of my bag going to San Juan. Finally on Saturday at 1:30 a.m. I get my bag from the airline, a little over 24 hours before I leave to go back to Augusta. The guy that delivered my bag couldn’t find my parents house either. I was on the phone with him every half hour trying to tell him how to get there. He told me, “The GPS can not find it.” That’s funny, because I typed it into map quest and it came up fine. Also, my friends who have GPS had no problem locating it.

So I checked my back for $15 dollars and didn’t even get my bag until I was basically leaving. Why do I have to pay $15 dollars anyways to check my bag? When I take a cab, the cab company does not charge me extra for carrying a bag? What a complete rip-off. If I could avoid flying for the rest of my life, I would be ok with that.

The airlines are getting worse, they are very inconvenient, they are over priced and it’s uncomfortable. They charge for checked bags, they charge for drinks on a plane ($2 for a can of soda, $7 for a can of beer!!).

John Madden has it figured out, just bus it everywhere.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Entourage and Catching a Break

One of my favorite shows on TV these days is Entourage on HBO. I have seen every episode since making its debut and the season finale on Sunday, November 23 was one of the best shows. I think the reason why though is because I could relate so closely to Vincent Chase’s problems.

Finding a job in this economy and in the world we live in is no easy order. In fact, getting an interview alone is close to impossible, a resume is basically a needle in a stack of needles. Chase found himself as a needle trying to get a job...much like me and everyone else in this country right now.

For those that don’t know anything about the show, a quick little summery of the series. Chase left Queens, NY with his brother and two friends to try to make it in Hollywood. Chase eventually landed a roll in one of the biggest grossing movies in history after his breakout roll in an Indy film.

However, Chase recently found himself in down times having worked on a movie that bombed then was fired from another big picture mid production because the director didn’t want to work with him, despite Chase giving some of his best performances and a willingness to do whatever the director wanted.

Chase had been turned away from project after project and was left to just about beg. He even was to the point of auditioning again for rolls but could not even get an audition. In one dramatic scene on Sunday after being told “no” again, he calmly hung up the phone walked around the table then threw his phone at the wall and stormed out of the house.

He had hit rock bottom...been there.

I felt so sympathetic for Chase because I have been in that situation as well in my quest to land a job. From one rejection letter to another, to another, to another, it gets daunting. Just like Chase, you feel if you can just get an interview, you could get the job. So many times in this business you feel like you want to just throw your phone against the wall when you feel like you have done everything you can but you STILL can not get a break.

Chase finally got a break in the season finale on Sunday when his manager (and friend) waited outside a director’s office for five hours and got him to agree to watch clips of Chase in his recent movie (the one that got shut down).

Because a director (Gus Van Zant) actually got to watch his stuff, that director passed on his material to Martin Scorsese who offered Chase the leading roll in his next movie.

All it takes is one person to watch (or listen) to your tape and your life can change. The trick is, getting that person to believe in you and to actually take the five minutes out of their day.

Lately I have felt like getting a job is about as likely as winning the Powerball. So I figure my odds of landing a job are 1 in 195,249,054...

One song I always like to listen too when the chips are down...Frank Sinatra and That's Life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2008 MLB MVP's

So the National League and American League MVP awards have been handed out, let the debate begin. Just so we are clear on what the MVP stands for, this is the definition from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia “The Most Valuable Player Award (commonly known as the MVP award) is an annual award given to one outstanding player in each league of Major League Baseball. Since 1931, it has been awarded by the Baseball Writers Association of America”

The key phrase there is “one outstanding player in each league.” Not the person that was the one outstanding player in each league for a team that made it to the playoffs.

I never agreed with the idea that an MVP has to come from a team that made the playoffs. That is why I thought Mark McGwire should have won the MVP in 1998. That is why I thought Albert Pujols should have nabbed at least one MVP award between 2001-2004 when Barry Bonds won four straight.

Pujols and Dustin Pedroia both are deserving of the award because of what they did for their own team and the numbers they put together.

On a side note, the St. Louis Cardinals now have had 19 MVP’s in the history of the franchise, second most in baseball behind the New York Yankees (22).

I never understood why the Cardinals don’t get a lot of attention from the national media because they are THE team in the National League. They have the most World Series Titles and the most MVP’s in National League history. Second most behind the Yankees.

The Cards have won 17 pennants and have had 16 players go into the Hall of Fame.

That is a pretty long, rich and succesful history. I guess it’s because they are located in middle America and market 21.

- Graphic at the top of this article was designed by Nick Barrale

Thursday, October 30, 2008

You're Booing? You Just Won the World Series!

How great are Philadelphia Fans? They have the reputation for being the most rude, passionate and flamboyant of sports fans. Everyone knows the story of them booing Santa and throwing snow balls. However, I couldn’t help but to chuckle just a little bit during the presentation of the World Series Trophy.

Keep in mind, the Phillies just won the World Series, just their second in franchise history! They have not won since 1980 and they have just two Championships in 120 years.

You would think that the city and the fans would be so full of euphoria and excitement that they would be cheering like crazy during the Trophy presentation. Nope, not Philly Fans.

As soon as Commissioner Bud Selig was introduced to present the trophy, the cheers immediately changed to a large chorus of BOOOOOOOOOOOOS. It was loud too.

Then, when the Phillies GM Pat Gillick and manager Charlie Manuel gave praise to the Tampa Rays for a great season, another strong chorus of BOOOOOOOS came down. Some say the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.

Come on Philly, act like you have been there before! Sure, you only had one other time in the previous 120 years, but come on, so some respect.

Only in Philly.

At least there were no chants of E-A-G-L-E-S. I will never forget going to a game in Philly back in 2006 when the Phillies were playing the Nationals and Washington took a 2-1 lead in the second inning, the second inning now, and boos started raining down and chants of E-A-G-L-E-S started coming from the stands.

I turned to one of the fans and said, “It’s the second innings, are you serious?” His response, “These guys are terrible, I can’t wait until football.”

Congratulations Philadelphia fans and enjoy it. You are World Champions.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What’s Happening to Baseball?

So it seems like the sport I love is getting more and more out of wack. All you have to do is look at Game 5 of the World Series in Philadelphia.

With a torrential downpour and temperatures in the low 40’s, baseball played on with everyone assuming that if one team was winning when the game was official, that team would win should the field become unplayable.

After all, those are the rules. Apparently nobody was aware of a little secret meeting headed by commissioner Bud Selig with him coming up with an on the spot rule change in which the game would be suspended, regardless of the score, should conditions deteriorate too much.

Luckily the Rays were able to tie the game in the sixth inning allowing the game to be suspended with a 2-2 tie, makes more since.

However, back to my original point. What is happening in baseball? Has the almighty dollar just flat out destroyed the national pastime? Playoff games are starting at 8:30 on the east coast, not ending until one and two in the morning. There was the All-Star game fiasco a few years back leading to the American League having all-time home field advantage in the World Series, at least it seems that way. Now on the spot rule changes?

Don’t even get me started on the umpire fiasco. The fact MLB does not use veteran umpires, or umpires that have more experience, is beyond me. However, fans of either team that are the victim of a bad call won’t get any sympathy from me. Just look to 1985 and Don Denkinger. That still hurts.

There are a host of other things that just don’t make since, which makes me think the powers that be need to take a step back and look at the product that was once so successful, and earned the title of “That National Pastime.”

First thing I would propose, is bring back the Sunday double-headers. Back in the golden age of baseball, Sunday double-headers were the highlight of the week. Fans would plan out their summers based around spending a day at the ball park watching baseball. This would shorten the season and prevent the World Series ending in November when it is cold out and the weather is miserable. How many teams actually play in domes or are in geographical locations where weather won’t be a factor? It’s not the majority.

I understand how the season is an endurance test and the World Series is a culmination of all the hard work put in during the regular season, but the playoffs should not wrap up at the end of October, it should be the beginning of October.

Baseball should double up games on Sunday to shorten the season. Finish up the year by October 15.

What’s wrong with playing a World Series game on a Sunday or Saturday afternoon? Is the ad revenue so incredibly higher for a spot that airs at midnight on the east coast, opposed to three in the afternoon? It’s afternoon baseball, played without the use of artificial light, just the way God intended it to be.

If you are going to play all of them at night, mix it up for a few of them, start one or two at 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. Fans out west can still see the majority of the game, especially if it’s on a weekend.

I love baseball; I can still sit down and watch any game from beginning to end. However, when the integrity of the game is compromised, that’s when I start to lose interest. Seeing all kinds of standing water on the field in Game 6 and the weather getting worse was just another example of how the integrity was compromised. It’s no wonder why sports like Mixed Martial Arts and NASCAR are beating MLB ratings.

There are no hidden rule changes, they are played during times when people will watch and they don’t last five or six hours and end at two in the morning.

Monday, October 27, 2008

GreenJackets Named Team of the Year

Minor League Baseball named the GreenJackets as the top team in all of Minor League Baseball and the best Single-A team. It's not surprising actually since the 'Jackets finished with the best winning percentage (.638) among all full season MiLB teams.

The GreenJackets swept their way through the playoffs and captured the 2008 South Atlantic League Championship. This was a team full of young talent, teenagers at that, and they put up unbelievable numbers. The pitching staff led the Minors in ERA and had the best walk to strikeout ratio.

It wont be long before you hear guys up at the big league level that came from this team. Leading the front will be the top pitcher in the Minors, Madison Bumgarner. Followed by guys like Nick Noonan, Charlie Culberson, Angel Villalona and a whole host of others.

This was a very special team and hopefully the city of Augusta and everyone that was part of the staff and season realize what a special team that was. They deserve all the recognition they get. To read the full story on the GreenJackets being named the top team, click here and read the story.

The Giants have been sending unbelievable talent to Augusta over the past four years and look to continue it for another two years after signing a two year deal to remain in Augusta. Enjoy it Augusta, and take advantage of it, not too many teams at the Minor League Level get to have such a winning team in their own backyard.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The World Series Set

So I was at a local watering hole the other day when Boston was playing Tampa and I was wearing my Lakewood BlueClaws hat. While watching the game a guy comes up while wearing a Red Sox shirt and says, what is that hat?

I respond, “The Lakewood BlueClaws, Minor League team in Lakewood New Jersey.”

He asked me who they are affiliated with and I say the Philadelphia Phillies. He then assumes that I am a big Phillies fan I guess and begins to trash the Phillies and tells me the Red Sox will beat them too, just as soon as the Sox beat the Rays.

I just smile and say, whatever.

For most people that know me, they know I was born and raised in St. Louis and cheer on the Cardinals. However, I did work for the BlueClaws for a season so I have a link to the Phillies, so that is why I wear the hat. Plus is just fits my head really good!

So now that the Phillies know who they are going to be playing, since the Rays knocked off the Red Sox, I have to step back and wonder who I will root far. If Boston had made it, I would have cheered for any National League team just because that guy that came up to me I feel represents 90% of Red Sox fans now, arrogant and loud mouthed.

All of a sudden Boston is the best team in the world. Before 2004, that fan would have never walked up to a complete stranger and said that while wearing a Boston shirt.

But I digress, the World Series is set. I do feel I have more of a vested interest in rooting for the Phillies. I worked for a Phillies affiliate and spent two years in the north east and went to a good number of Phillies games.

I have more friends and know more people that cheer for the Phillies and are from the area. In fact, I don’t know one person that is a die hard Rays fan; I know a number of people that jumped on the band wagon though.

However the Rays are the new thing, a young exciting team that nobody every expected to get this far. Just check the Las Vegas odds at the beginning of the season on where the Rays stood.

I wont be distraught if one teams looses opposed to the other, I do hope for a really good series though. So here is to a good series, free of the teams that “everybody wanted.” Two teams with their own stories, own characters and own reasons to win.

I am not going to mention any names, but one sports writer (Mike Freeman) on CBS Sportsline said this series will be as boring as the Tigers and Cardinals. I didn't realize that series was so boring, it had two franchises that met in the World Series many times and two franchises with great baseball tradition.

I don't think this will be a boring series, this is going to be a series with a lot of dramatics, great fan atmosphere, and a tremendous amount of heart on both sides.

Maybe the next time I go out to watch a game for the World Series, I will just wear my Notre Dame hat, that is always a good conversation starter too…. “What are you, a Notre Dame fan or something?”

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Updating the Web Site

Everyday I continue to make my web site easier for the many people that visit the site. If you go to my demo page, you will notice new sound clips. The sound clips are actually embedded in the page so all you have to do is click on the play button and the audio plays automatically.

This is much better than the way the old coding was, in which you clicked on the link and the file had to load before playing. Some operating systems required the visitor to actually download and save the file before listening. This new way of embedding the clips in the page makes it look sharper and it is WAY easier to listen to. I should have done it a long time ago.

I am working on doing the same with the video side as well, so be sure to check back.

I am also kicking around new designs for the site. I am looking at different color schemes and layouts, trying to figure out the easiest and best way for things to be displayed so it is easier on the eyes and the clicking.

Changing subjects, I really appreciate all the emails I got too from you GreenJackets fans through out the summer and toward the end of the season. I really appreciate all the nice things you said and some of the comments really blew me away. Obviously I am not with the team anymore and some of the emails I got at the end of the season revolved around how much I will be missed.

I will miss broadcasting the games as well. The Giants are a great organization with some great talent coming up through the ranks. My job was made easy by how good the team was and how great the staff was to work with. Everyone I ever met associated with the Giants have been great and I will truly miss working in Augusta with the GreenJackets and the Giants. However, life is all about moving on and tackling new projects.

I will always look back on my two years in Augusta with many great memories and I couldn’t have picked a better way of going out then the way I did, with a Championship. Thanks again to all the fans, to the GreenJackets, Ripken Baseball and the Giants.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jackets are Champs

What a way to finish up the season, with the GreenJackets winning a South Atlantic League Championship. This was a special team, full of a lot of young talent. They came together in what was for most of them their first full season of professional baseball.

I had a lot of fun this season and the memories will last for a long time. Great job everyone! To everyone on the team, the players, the coaches, the staff. You did it. You will go down in the South Atlantic League history book as one of the best teams, finishing with a record of 93-50, 43 games over the .500 mark.

It is always a wierd feeling for me when the season is over because I go from working 18 hour days to nothing. I all of a sudden get to sleep in, I don't have to work at nights and I don't have to talk as much. For at least a week I am very stir crazy not knowing what to do. It's especially wierd feeling for me this time around because I am out of a job after broadcasting one of the most amazing baseball seasons capped off with a Championship.

For the past two years I have seen and broadcasted every single inning of baseball for the Augusta GreenJackets, all 280 games plus the playoffs.

Now the time comes for me to begin my search for a new job. I hope a team is out there that is willing to take me on board.

Anyone out there looking to hire an out of work broadcaster that just called a Championship season for the Giants Single-A team?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Playoff Baseball...I live for this

Playoff baseball, nothing better. The GreenJackets have made the postseason for a third straight year and once again have the highest winning percentage among all full season teams. Also, for a second straight year the pitching staff has the lowest ERA in all of Minor League Baseball.

I am saying it now, but in two or three years, the San Francisco Giants are going to be stacked with good young arms that can flat out pitch. On top of that, the position players coming up are young, fast and exciting to watch. Keep an eye out. Tim Lincecum was just the first of many good young talented guys coming up.

Playoff baseball though, there is just something about it that is exciting. The air, the atmosphere, the level of play. It is all just enhanced. The crowd is much more into it and all the hard work done through out the year comes to one culminating moment in time.

I have been fortunate enough to be part of playoff baseball the last three years, one in Wilmington and the last two here in Augusta. I can’t wait to see how far this team goes in Augusta. They are the best I have ever broadcasted for.

I was out there tonight with them and they are just really loose and having fun still. Everyone is joking with each other and the guys just seem to know that the season isn’t over yet, they still have to win four more games, then they can go home. Because with four more wins, they are the South Atlantic League Champions.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Barrale's Plan to Get Baseball Games On Air

I never pretend to act like I know everything there is to know. I realize that while I feel old, I am still relatively young in this business. However, I have been working in broadcasting for nine years and in baseball for five years. So I also like to think I have a little knowledge of how things are done, and how they could be done.

One thing I am very passionate about is broadcasting baseball, more so, broadcasting baseball on radio. It is so much more pure on radio, because you have to really work hard to describe the action, paint that picture so the listeners know what you are seeing.

For that reason, that is why I think I never really chased the TV angle, because I love the radio side so much. I just don’t understand why some teams choose not to have radio. I have come up with a plan for how to sell radio that not only more than covers the cost to put games on the radio, but leaves plenty of money left over to pay the broadcaster a decent wage so the broadcaster is not living on bread and water while sleeping on a mattress thrown in the corner of a run down apartment next to a train track, not that I have ever done that….

Anyway, this is my idea. Call it the Barrale idea, or Nick’s radio idea or Plan B or whatever. Maybe there is a GM or President of a ball club out there that reads this and says, “you know, that makes since, lets do radio.” Or maybe there will be one out there that says, “That is the same plan we use now” or maybe there will be one out there that says, “that will never work and it’s a horrible idea.” Either way,
contact me and let me know your thoughts.

Here it is:

- Based on a radio broadcast having a 15 minute pre and post game show, there are 78 total spots available for sale.

- The Broadcaster sells all spots for the broadcast. Each 30 second spot is priced at $1,000 a piece. That equals $78,000 of potential add revenue. That is more than enough to not only pay the broadcaster, but the station for the air time.

- Depending on the market size, there should be more than enough “Mom and Pop” stores that are willing to spend $1,000 to be part of the local team broadcast. Divide that by the 140 game season, that is only $7.14 per spot. Not too many stations can sell a spot for that cheap and it provides an avenue for a business to be part of the team that otherwise would not.

- Also, for additional ad revenue not included in the above, in game sales. Those include live drop ins. For example, “Starting lineups brought to you buy..” “Our umpires for tonight..” “The folks at XYZ law firm remind you this game can not be rebroadcast…” “That stolen base brought to you buy..” “Pre-game show brought to you buy” “The pre-game interview brought to you buy” “Post game show brought to you buy” “Tonight’s play of the game sponsored buy” And so on and so on and so on. Those can all be sold separately.

- Keep stadium ad revenue and radio ad revenue separate. If the local dealership or big name business wants to be on radio along with a billboard advertisement, they still can. However it is important to keep both separate so you know for sure that radio can support itself. If that big name business wants to do radio as well, include it in the package buy adding the cost of radio, but always keep it separate.

- The broadcaster is in charge of arranging spots, spot traffic, spot rotation, spot production, broadcast production, liners, and ID’s. So many teams out there just play the same spots over and over again all year long. This would ensure that there is a mix of spots, keeps the breaks fresh and it provides a Major League style broadcast with spots constantly being rotated, updated and changed through the course of the season. It keeps the listener interested in the spots.

- Why not bring in the advertisers on the radio to sit down for a half inning to talk about their business? Sure, there will be businesses out there that just don’t feel comfortable doing this. However, there will be those that would love the chance to get on the radio during a half inning to hype up there business and talk baseball. Make them feel part of the broadcast, part of the team and important. Don’t just take their money and run. Be there for them.

- Who better to sell radio and the broadcast, than the radio broadcaster? This is the person that needs to be out there making these deals and the handshakes.

- There are other things that can be done as well that don’t directly make money but could lead to. For example, having promo’s that promotes upcoming games and giveaways during breaks. Just incase all 78 spot blocks are not sold, plug some promos in those spots so there is no repetitive spots. Keep the breaks consistent, 90 seconds between innings and 60 second pitching change.

So there you have it, a simple idea but one that involves a lot of work, but could produce a lot or reward. It also insures a job year round for the broadcaster and a consistant voice in the booth rather than a revolving door of one after another. Who knows, maybe one of those “Mom and Pop” stores will love the way they were treated so much that they will throw $15,000 into the ad pot next season for a billboard or season ticket package.

Also, having the games on the radio is a big time marketing tool because people can also tune into a game driving around town or at home and know what is going on with the team, which in turn, could increase ticket revenue, merchandise sales and ad revenue.

Again, it’s a simple idea, with the point of focusing on the “Mom and Pops.” Now it’s your turn, let me know what you think…..

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Heading to Free Agency...

Augusta, GA - After two years of successfully broadcasting baseball in Augusta, GA, Nick Barrale is hitting the open market as a free agent. When the 2008 season comes to an end, Barrale will have broadcasted all 280 games over the past two years including the playoffs for the GreenJackets.

Hired as the first broadcaster for the Augusta GreenJackets when Ripken Baseball purchased the team, Barrale’s voice brought the action of GreenJackets baseball into the homes of GreenJackets fans in the Augusta area and around the country.

“I feel very fortunate and blessed to have been given the honor of working in Augusta with the GreenJackets and Ripken Baseball,” Barrale said. “The fact that they had enough confidence to bring me on as their first broadcaster means a lot.”

Barrale was the first person set in place that handled both the Media Relations department along with broadcasting games for the GreenJackets, Single-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

“They really did not know how to structure the broadcasts and they had no radio equipment,” Barrale said. “I had to research and acquire equipment while staying under budget and set up the broadcasts.”

Barrale’s previous skills working with KMOX as a production assistant and producer for St. Louis Cardinals baseball paid off. Barrale produced, edited and voiced many spots and promos that aired not only during the broadcasts, but also over the six other Beasley radio stations in the Augusta area.

Broadcasting skills were just one of the many that made the St. Louis native an attractive fit in Augusta. Barrale’s networking ability along with his creative writing has garnered press releases that brought the GreenJackets national attention in 2008. Working with Minor League Baseball and Baseball America, Barrale was able to arrange and coordinate interviews with players for national exposure for online and printed articles over the past two years.

In April of 2008, Barrale pitched ideas to the Golf Channel’s Adam Barr that resulted in a feature story on the ’Jackets that aired during the Master’s, one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world.

Barrale again worked his creativeness into a press release for Brett Favre Night that gained national attention on news networks such as ESPN and CNN. Barrale appeared on Chris Myers’ nationally syndicated show on Fox Sports Radio talking about the promotion and the GreenJackets season.

Along with writing over 500 game recaps in his five years in baseball, close to 300 press releases, and broadcasting nearly 500 games, Barrale set himself apart with his skills on the computer with his web and graphic design work.

Barrale helped in creating custom graphics for the Augusta web site that highlighted player accomplishments and press releases. Barrale also used his web design skills and audio editing talent to create links to game highlights so fans could read the game recaps along with hearing the highlights from the previous night’s game.

“I really wanted to give fans another reason to go to the web site,” Barrale said. “I looked at all these other web sites out there and they featured highlights and fans get a real kick out of hearing them.”

Along with the highlights, Barrale created a link on the web site so fans could access the in-depth game notes he worked on daily to stay informed on all the latest stats and trends.

The GreenJackets have no plans right now to continue with radio in the 2009 season.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Multi-tasking...To Perfection

So recently someone asked me if I know how to multi-task efficiently and productively? That got me thinking about how much I multi-task in this job. More so during the game than any other time during the day. But usually I am juggling three different things at the same time. On a side note, I am a pretty good juggler when it comes to baseballs and tennis balls!

Anyway, during the day I am usually working on several things at once; doing the stat packs, compiling the game notes and then taking care of any press releases that have to go out. Stat packs and game notes both have to be copied and stapled then placed in the press box and both club houses.

My game notes are probably the most in-depth game notes in the league, I put a lot of effort into making sure they are Major League quality and that goes with the stat packs too. (example here) I want to make them easy to read and not all jumbled up and out of order, which is what you get when just printing from the internet. I copy them and spread them out for copy purposes making sure there is no run off. If I am working on a story or press release, I also am working on the graphic that will go along with it on the web site.

I am also running from both clubhouses when the teams are at the park making sure each staff has what they need and then at the same time getting the lineup, typing up the lineup and printing them up. I also have to write the standings and lineups on the board entering the stadium. All this is being taken care of while I am trying to make myself visible and present on the field so that if any media needs interviews with players I can take care of that for them.

I usually fit lunch in somewhere and most days I pick up a sandwich on the way in to work so I don’t have to leave work because sometimes I just can’t.

When the game is going on my computer might be working harder than me! I use my computer to not only write my game recap while the game is going on, but also to record the game for highlights, cut and edit the highlights during the 1:30 commercial breaks, use the internet to do on the spot research on stats and information for players and check email from the occasional listener that writes in.

When the game is over I have my 15 minute post-game show that includes those highlights I am editing during the game. I also run over the scoreboard and then set the table for tomorrow. I am also putting the finishing touches on my game recap so I can email it out before deadline, which I usually try to set by 10:30, depending on length of game that is, so television stations will have the information for the 11:00 pm newscast.

After the game I am running down to the office running off box scores then take those box scores to both clubhouses and then listen to the coaches if they have scoring issues from the game. After that is all taken care of I can start working again, that is by updating the web site.

The web site is updated with the game story, game picture, game highlights and then if it is a home series I update the front page so the old stories and graphics come down and the new stories for upcoming promotions show up. This way when people go to work in the morning they have a fresh new web site to look at and not old stories. Nothing drives me up the wall more than seeing stories that are dated on the front of the page.

My head usually hits the pillow around 12:30- 1:00 a.m. and then I am back at work and at my desk doing it all over again at 8:30 a.m.

All that does not include little things that pop up during a day or a series like getting pitching rotations for the upcoming series to the opposing teams. Making sure the roster is set at 25 and the proper guys are listed as active or in-active. Writing stories or tid-bit articles for game programs. Making sure guys get credit for the proper stats like hits, stolen bases, earned runs.

So again, the question was do I know how to multi-task? The majority of teams have two people doing work in the media department, I work alone. I think I know how to multi-task.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Anchoring TV Sports

So I did my sports anchoring on Sunday and had a blast. I don’t have a copy of the video though, not yet. I hope to be able to add that to the web site soon. Just a photo of me doing the sports and of course I started out with the GreenJackets as my lead.

It was really fun and back in college I did some television work but never pursued it as a career. I thought it was too hard of an industry to crack into. So I went the radio route instead. I guess I didn't realize how hard it is to get any type of broadcasting job because the baseball route is like pulling teeth!

Who knows, maybe I can use this one time sportscast to move into television. All I needed to get into the baseball world of broadcasting was a half inning of play-by-play I did with the River City Rascals back home in 2000.

I was passed up for an opportunity doing softball on television earlier this year because apparently it is was because I had no video of me. The talent coordinator I guess thought I was an ugly guy and not good looking enough for television….I don’t think I am that bad.

I still have four weeks left in the season and then I have all off season to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I am still young and still have my hair so I think there is some time, not much, but some time to figure it out.

I think the most important thing when getting any job or break in the business is knowing people. That transcends both radio and television along with time and space itself. If you don’t know someone somewhere, chances are you might not get that break.

I knew John Hart over at ABC and he thought about me when this thing came up. I keep telling him he needs to come on and do some baseball with me. See how the other half lives.

Thanks John and everyone over at ABC, it was fun and a real blast.

One thing I will say there is a lot of work that goes into getting it all ready. I did not have to do any of that though, I just sat down and read. Made it even easier for me. It is pretty tough though making sure what you are saying is matching up with the highlights. Looking at one television for the highlights while trying to keep pace with the script.

Good job to everyone that works in television, you make it all look easy.

Check back in a few weeks and maybe I can get a copy of it online for you all to see.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm Nick Barrale?

So John Hart at Channel 6 here is Augusta asked me if I wanted to fill in on Sunday, August 17 to do the sports. Apparently as they look for a new weekend sports anchor they are having local celebrities come in to do the sports.

First thing I thought of was, “am I local celebrity?” In any event, I jumped at the opportunity to get in front of a camera and do some television work. Plus it is good exposure for the team and the GreenJackets are in the middle of a playoff race. Maybe get some good press and a few more people in the seats.

I have been working in radio ever since I graduated college doing sports updates and baseball play-by-play. The last time I did television work that involves sports anchoring I was in college when my friends and I began a little show called SportScope. All of us wanted to work on television and Lindenwood did not offer any type of sports television at all. So we made our own show and it was pretty successful.

I have done a number of on camera interviews since I have been down here in Augusta and while I worked in Wilmington, DE with the Red Sox affiliate in 2006, so it's not like this is the first time since college I have been on camera.

I am thinking of doing the sports while wearing my headset that I use to broadcast baseball, just so I am totally not out of my element!

So tune in on August 17 to Channel 6 in Augusta for the 11:00 p.m. newscast. Channel 6 is the ABC affiliate here in town.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Here Comes the King

One of the great joys of going to Busch Stadium when growing up in St. Louis. Too many ballparks these days have loud music with the music thumping. Bring back the organists!! God Bless Ernie Hays.

I loved going to Busch growing up and seeing all the red and hearing the organist play. This song was always played during the seventh inning stretch and it is a St. Louis tradition. It is called "Here Comes the King" because the Budweiser Clydesdale's use to come out to the song.

Now the Clydesdale's only come out for special occasions...who knows, they might not come out anymore now that Budweiser is sold. That is a topic for another day though.

I have been to just one ballpark in my four years of broadcasting Minor League Baseball that has the sounds of an organist and that is Rome, GA and the Rome Braves. They actually play this song in the seventh inning just like they do at Busch and it brings me back home every time I hear it.

Too many parks have gotten to turning the volume up and blowing people out of their seats. I guess I am just too old, or showing my age in my appreciation for the simpler times.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Brett Favre Night

So the regular season is winding down and the GreenJackets once again are one of the top teams in all of Minor League Baseball. As of today (Aug 4) Augusta has the third best winning percentage among all full season Minor League teams.

Tonight is Brett Favre night at the park and one of the reasons why I have so much fun in Minor League baseball. This promotion has gained national attention. It basically was the brain child of our GM Nick Brown and I wrote the press release for it and sent it to everyone I could. Luckly I got to know some people (darren rovell) in high places that helped get this release blown up and the national attention it deserved.

As I sit here and look at people in Brett Favre jersey's, cheese heads in the stands, and $1 brats and PBR beer being offered today, I can't help but to laugh at some of the crazy promotions that happen in Minor League baseball.
One Brett Favre Jersey....$90

One Cheese Head.....$15

Catching a GreenJackets baseball game when they retire Brett Favre's number and hand out flip-flops....priceless.

There are some things money can't buy....for everything else there is Minor League Baseball.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Peyton Manning and the United Way

Peyton Manning is one of my favorite football players, but it's not for what he does on the field. It's what he does off the field.