A second career for Masterson? Righty right at home on the radio dial
Look out, Jim Rosenhaus. Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson is getting awfully comfortable behind the microphone.
Masterson, who enters the 2013 season entrenched as one of the Tribe’s top pitchers, joined Indians On Deck host Al Pawlowski on the broadcast of the Cleveland State-Wright State men’s basketball game on Wednesday night from Dayton. And while his chosen second career might be as a pastor, as he told Indians.com recently, he’s showing his broadcasting chops.
Wednesday was the third time Masterson has joined Pawlowski for a Vikings game; CSU previously had beaten Butler last January and Ball State in November with Masterson providing color commentary. The Vikings weren’t as fortunate on Wednesday, as the Raiders won, 69-53.
So, how did Masterson get started on the CSU games? And how does he do? Pawlowski answered a couple questions for TribeVibe:
TV: Did Justin approach you last winter when he joined you on the CSU-Butler game, or did you reach out to him to gauge his interest?
AP: Justin and I have always had a good relationship and we would talk about things outside of baseball. Toward the end of the 2011 (baseball) season, we got to talking about college basketball. He knew that I called the Cleveland State games on radio and said, “If you ever need a color guy, I’d be glad to help you out!” I told him that would be great, I would love to have him, and we made plans to do the Butler game, which was the first broadcast we did together in January of 2012 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The games in that part of the country are good for him because he lives just outside of Indianapolis. He grew up in Beavercreek, which is just a few minutes away from the Nutter Center (Wright State’s home arena).
TV: How is he on the calls?
AP: He’s very good on his calls. He does his homework, reads the game notes, checks out the press conferences online and keeps up with Cleveland State when he can, so he has some good insight. I told him last night that it was like we were doing our 30th game together, not just our third. He has a good instinct for where to jump in with color on radio, which can be tricky in basketball. We have a good chemistry calling the game. He also is into college basketball, so he really knows the game.
TV: Is there any chance of Justin taking your job, or Tom Hamilton’s or Rosey’s any time soon?
AP: He’s received great reviews from our fan base, so yes. He may have all three of our jobs when he retires from baseball! Another side note: The fans love him. Several came up to him at the scorer’s table and he’s great with them. We saw about a dozen Tribe fans down in Fairborn last night. Most of them are also CSU fans, so they love the fact that he’s supporting the Vikings.
Meanwhile, Nick Camino, who covers the Indians for flagship radio station WTAM AM1100, tweeted on Wednesday night, “Justin Masterson is cracking me up on CSU radio call. Let’s go Vikes!” (Camino had a vested interest in the game, as he lost a bet with Indians righty reliever Joe Smith, who went to Wright State.)
Camino — who confirmed he now must wash Smith’s car at an unspecified future date as a result of losing the bet — later added, “As a color analyst, Justin knew when to talk and when to stop talking. That’s important during a radio broadcast, especially for the analyst. It sounded like he read up on both the Vikings and Raiders, because he not only knew players but also what types of plays they run and the the defensive styles they play.”
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond