Loyal readers of this blog will know that I've been know, on certain days, to keep a portable radio in my office and listen to those occasional weekday afternoon games on the Radio. They may also know that I have, over time, become an avid streamer of WFAN programming in general. It's not necessarily because I have some great and deep affinity for Joe Benigno, Evan Roberts or Mike Francesa, it's more because I find the background noise somewhat soothing while I work. It was easy to get away with; for one, I had my own office space at my job, and in general, certain things, like the ubiquitous 1-877-KARS-4-KIDS commercials, would tend to ward off the riff-raff.
Still, it is, as I said, background noise. Even when I would have to pull out the portable radio for game broadcasts. Work is work, and it's got to be done, and more often than not, I'd end up tuning out those lazy afternoon games altogether, only paying attention when the intonations in the voices of Howie Rose or Josh Lewin distracted me (Ed Coleman was also good at knowing when to draw focus. Other fill-in announcers like Jim Duquette were useless non-entities). If things didn't go well, it stood to reason that an entire Mets game could happen and I'd have no idea what went on until I heard Howie Rose talk about being back with a recap in some desultory tone of voice.
I knew that there would be wholesale changes coming in 2014. For one, the Mets weren't going to be on WFAN anymore, after a breakdown in negotiations. I wasn't thrilled about this; although it meant very little as far as the Mets presence on the radio, since they'd just move to another station, I preferred keeping my radio on one station, so I could listen to the dulcet tones of the insane New York sports fans and hear the Mets without touching the dial. The Mets didn't move far, only from 660 to 710 on the AM dial, but a change is still a change. I also didn't particularly like that the Mets were replaced by this other team and their games were now pre-empting the afternoon voices with their voices, which I find highly unpleasant to listen to.
But it's all now a moot point. For one, the portable radio that I had in my office died an untimely death, as most cheaply-made electronic devices are wont to do. I could have anted up for a streaming audio subscription, but I couldn't really justify paying for something that I could listen to for free, and in reality, I only listen to so many games on the radio a season. To date, though the Mets have had multiple weekday afternoon games this season, I've gone without listening. But an even greater change happened when I got a new job, and moved to a new office, where, rather than an office space, I now have a cubicle (the tradeoff is worth it for a multitude of reasons not worth discussing). Unfortunately, this means no more radio games, though when you think about it, without a radio in my old office, I was kind of in the same situation anyway. Considering I have yet to hear a Mets broadcast on WOR (a station whose "Radio 7-10, W-OHH-RRRR!" jingle was one of those sounds of my youth), maybe it's not that much of an adjustment.