PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Sporting events without fans. Weird, right? Unfortunately it has become a new reality and how we will be taking in baseball games for the rest of the summer once MLB and the Pirates start their 60-game season on July 24th.
"We (the players) said, 'Look, mic us up.' We're more than happy to do that because now's the time to connect with fans. Like what we were doing in Spring Training before the shutdown happened we had maybe two or three guys on both sides be mic'd up for the entire game. Since there's going to be no fans, I say let's pust just field mics everywhere and just have a commentator every once in a while but just listen to what the guys on the field have to say.
It's a part of the game the fans don't get to see or hear very often unless you're sitting up close but if you have hot mics, field mics, you're really going to see how and understand how certain guys' brains work during the game. Now's the time to connect with fans, now's the time to promote the game of baseball and I hope we do, I really do. I hope that we continue to do that and grow the game."
Williams took it a step further and even said that the majority of his league mates feel the same way.
"I think, for the most part, it's overwhelmingly we want that to happen. I'm not going to wear a mic while I pitch but if you want to put a microphone next to the mound, by all means. I'm just not going to wear a microphone while I pitch because it's just uncomfortable. I'm not going to have a two pound thing in my pocket while I'm pitching.
But as far as that goes, I think overwhelmingly guys want to promote the game that way and I think it's the best way to do it. The guys that don't want to do it, it's just not within their personality and that's fine, not every person wants everybody to hear their thoughts during the game."
We don't yet know about player and field mics, but we do know the DH is coming to the National League this year. Williams gave his thoughts on that as well.
"It's something that we knew was coming. I hated having long innings and then coming right to the dugout and throwing a helmet on and batting gloves on just to go and try and defend for five pitches and trying to get the pitcher to work.
It's one of those things where I loved bunting and I love the thought process of bunting guys over, sac bunts, hit and runs, I love that. But I think now, it is what it is. It's meant to happen and it was supposed to happen. I love going deeper into games now and trying to get to that 7th inning, trying to get to that 8th inning instead of my spot coming up in the lineup and it's time to hit in a 3-0 ballgame where I could've gone out and thrown 30-40 more pitches."