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Ranking Baseball’s Center-Field Camera Shots

Posted By Carson Cistulli On May 9, 2011 @ 9:30 am In Audio and/or Visual,Technology Thing | 35 Comments

With the increasing popularity of MLB.TV, MLB Extra Innings, and Stealing Games Off the Internet, it’s the case now that something close to a critical mass of baseballing fans have access, on any given night, to the full slate of games being played in the majors. This sort of access allows the enthusiast not only to follow specific teams or players in a way that was previously impossible, but also to participate in out-of-market broadcasts unlike before.

Accordingly, it’s become possible to see the different broadcasting choices that networks and clubs make. One of the more conspicuous of these choices is the placement of the center-field camera. While basically all 30 center-field cameras in use today allow viewers to follow the basic narrative of the game (i.e. the identity of the pitcher/batter, the umpire’s call, etc.), it’s also the case that some center-field cameras provide the viewer with a more intimate experience than others.

If we allow that the goal of the center-field camera shot is to capture the batter-pitcher encounter — and, in particular, to document as accurately as possible what a pitcher’s throwing and to where — then it follows that we might adjudge the league’s 30 center-field cameras using that as our criteria.

In what follows, I’ve endeavored to do just that. Below, you’ll find images for all 30 of the league’s center-field cameras, broken down into three categories: Bottom Five, Top Ten, and The Rest.

The reader will note that, with the exception of Minnesota’s contribution, 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 should also note that, of all the rankings I’ve given here, the most difficult was Minnesota’s. It has the advantage of being straight-on from center, but is also bizarrely high, making it difficult to gauge the depth of pitches.

Finally, if you believe I’ve erred in any of the screen captures here, don’t hesitate to make note of same in the comment section.

Bottom Five
30. Pittsburgh Pirates

29. Colorado Rockies

28. Oakland A’s

27. Cincinnati Reds

26. Milwaukee Brewers

*****

Top Ten
10. Minnesota Twins

9. Washington Nationals

8. Los Angeles Dodgers

7. San Francisco Giants

6. Chicago White Sox

5. Tampa Bay Rays

4. St. Louis Cardinals

3. Boston Red Sox

2. Baltimore Orioles

1. Atlanta Braves

*****

The Rest (Click to Embiggen)
Arizona Diamondbacks

Chicago Cubs

Cleveland Indians

Detroit Tigers

Florida Marlins

Houston Astros

Kansas City Royals

Los Angeles Angels

New York Mets

New York Yankees

Philadelphia Phillies

San Diego Padres

Seattle Mariners

Texas Rangers

Toronto Blue Jays


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