Squeezed out

April 07, 1992|By David Zurawik

There were only two runs scored in the Orioles' victory yesterday, and viewers of WMAR-TV's coverage missed one of them. It was a huge gaffe. And it lit up the switchboard at Channel 2 with calls from angry viewers, according to a staffer who asked that his name not be used.

The blown play came in the fifth inning, when the Orioles scored their two runs. Chris Hoiles just had doubled home Sam Horn and sent Leo Gomez to third.

The producers went to a replay of Hoiles' double as Bill Ripken came to the plate. The broadcast was still in replay when the first pitch was thrown and Ripken laid down a bunt, scoring Gomez on the suicide squeeze. Viewers missed the most exciting play of the day.

"Basically, we just got caught in the replay," said Harry Kakel, production manager for the broadcast. "Our machine was playing back the double when the bunt went down, and we couldn't get back. It was that quick, and we just missed it."

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