ESPN was there when Leary bit off more than he could chew

June 23, 1992|By Bob Raissman | Bob Raissman,New York Daily News

Good instincts led ESPN to nail a shot of New York Yankees Tim Leary apparently sneaking something into his mouth Sunday night.

As Orioles manager John Oates came out to complain about a scuffed ball in the bottom of the fifth, Scott Maynard, who was manning the high-third base camera at Camden Yards, heard play-by-play man Jon Miller surmise that Oates thought Leary was scuffing the ball. He immediately zoomed in on the Yankees pitcher.

Producer Bruce Connal and director Marc Payton saw the shot on the replay monitor in the production truck. They stayed with the live action Oates, Yankees Manager Buck Showalter and umpire Terry Craft pow-wowing at the mound before airing smoking-gun replay.

"Bruce and Marc told Jon what we had," said John Wildhack, ESPN's vice president for remote productions, who was in the truck Sunday night, "but we wanted to hold off (airing the shot) until the situation was settled. But there was never any question about airing the shot."

As far as Maynard's great video catch: "It's intuition; it's good instinct," Wildhack said. "The cameramen on our crew aren't just good cameramen. They enjoy baseball and follow the sport."

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