There are times when technology gives sports fans a unique look at the game, improving their viewership experience and unveiling an angle not often available in a typical broadcast.
Mic’ing up the starting centerfielder while he’s playing defense in the middle of a winner-takes-all playoff game? Probably not one of those times.
Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano came out for the top of the third inning Thursday with a microphone on his jersey. The Athletics trailed the Chicago White Sox 1-0 in Game 3 of their Wild Card series, with each team needing a win in order to advance to the ALDS.
There’s a saying in baseball that “the ball will find you,” and that’s exactly what happened to Laureano. The first four White Sox batters to come to the plate in the inning hit the ball to center field, eliciting some funny reactions from Laureano including this NSFW comment on Eloy Jiménez’s speed.
Ramon Laureano with the mic’d up F-bomb 🤣 pic.twitter.com/HmMYjzzPjl
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) October 1, 2020
However, many fans and analysts voiced their displeasure with ESPN’s decision to mic Laureano up during such a crucial game. The broadcast team opened up the next half-inning with an apology after Twitter flooded with criticisms of the decision.
I understand having players mic’d up during spring training games, but having Ramon Laureano mic’d up while playing centerfield in a postseason game isn’t right. Let him play.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) October 1, 2020
Laureano has been involved in every play this inning. He's busy, ESPN.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) October 1, 2020
The thing is that Laureano is a willing participant and I dig that about him, but this ain’t the All-Star game.
— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) October 1, 2020
Don’t know if mic’d up is happening ever again
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) October 1, 2020
The White Sox took a 3-0 lead in the inning, with both of their runs scoring on balls hit at Lauerano.