Three years ago, in these same electronic pages, the present author published a ranking of all 30 clubs’ center-field broadcast camera angles. The immediate purpose: to create a reference for anyone with access to MLB.TV, MLB Extra Innings, or some other manner of game video, so that he or she might be better equipped to choose the ideal feed.
What follows is the product of an almost identical exercise, except updated to account for more recently adopted center-field cameras (or, in the case of Miami, more recently constructed ballparks).
In general, cameras have been assessed according to the ability with which they document the pitcher-batter encounter. More specifically, I’ve utilized three guiding criteria, as follow:
- Shot Angle
In which more central and lower is generally preferred.
- Shot Size
In which closer up and not longer is generally preferred.
In which the author’s own intuition has been utilized.
In what follows, I’ve embedded screencaps for all 30 of the league’s center-field cameras, broken down into three categories: Bottom Five, Top Ten, and The Rest. In every case, I’ve used images featuring only right-handed pitchers — so that the orientation of that pitcher’s body might least distort the perception of the camera angle. Furthermore, I’ve attempted to identify feeds from regional broadcasts — as opposed to national broadcasts, which might utilize a different feed altogether.
The reader will note that straight-on shots constitute the most highly ranked of the center-field cameras. This makes sense, of course: straight-on shots portray lefties and righties in the same way and document pitch movement in a way that off-set cameras can’t. The reader will also note that a small collection of notes and observations appears at the very bottom of this post.
Finally, if the reader finds that I’ve erred in any of the screen captures here, don’t hesitate to make note of same below.
30. Colorado Rockies
29. Milwaukee Brewers
28. Seattle Mariners
27. Cincinnati Reds
26. Oakland Athletics
10. Chicago White Sox
9. Toronto Blue Jays
8. Minnesota Twins
7. Baltimore Orioles
6. Tampa Bay Rays
5. St Louis Cardinals
4. Boston Red Sox
3. Miami Marlins
2. Atlanta Braves
1. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Rest (Click to Embiggen)
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets
New York Yankees
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Notes and Observations
- In the original edition of this same thing from three years ago, Pittsburgh‘s camera angle was ranked last among all 30 clubs. At the beginning of the 2012 season, however, the Pirates introduced the angle one sees above — and which is probably the best in all the majors now.
- Three years ago — and certainly for at least some of the time in between — Minnesota featured a straight-on camera angle that was also alarmingly high. The angle one sees above here was utilized frequently for replays, however. The author can’t confirm that the Twins now employ the more reasonable angle depicted here during the entirety of their current broadcasts.
- The reader might note that Baltimore was ranked ahead of Boston on this same thing from three years ago and now ranks behind them — despite neither club having perceptibly altered their camera angle. I have no strong argument for the alteration except that (a) Boston’s camera appears to be more appealing now and also (b) a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of you-know-whats.
- On windy days, Kansas City will sometimes employ an even more dramatically off-center camera angle, so that the spray from their Storied Fountains doesn’t interfere with the broadcast.
- It’s not infrequently the case that visiting clubs will utilize a different center-field camera than the home club. This is certainly the case with Atlanta, for example: visiting clubs will sometimes (always?) use the off-center camera angle also located in center field.
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