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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Simon: Advice For Josh Lewin, The Mets’ Newest Radio Voice

“And the man on the radio won’t leave me alone…”

Now, apart from the occasional car ride which happens to coincide with a Mets game, I scarcely hear the sweet, dulcet tones of Howie Rose anymore.

All of this is a roundabout way of introducing Josh Lewin (@joshlewinstuff) as the Mets’ newest radio broadcast partner to Rose. Lewin replaces the nearly universally reviled Wayne Hagin, who himself superseded the unspectacular but decently cromulent Tom McCarthy. Regarding the new WFAN hire, Shannon Shark at Mets Police (@MetsPolice) has what I would consider a near perfect list of suggestions for Lewin. I’ll adumbrate them for you here, but please check out the original post for further descriptions of each.

  1. Describe the plays.
  2. You are allowed one catch phrase.
  3. No “we.”
  4. Don’t fake it about Mets history, just lean on Howie.
  5. If the Mets suck be honest.

This is about as comprehensively succinct as you can make it, and it’s all you can really ask for in a broadcaster.

Repoz Posted: February 16, 2012 at 01:24 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media, mets

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   1. bobm Posted: February 16, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4062583)
Here's my favorite part of TFA:

efore the days of SNY, Mets telecasts were helmed by a rotating collection of nauseatingly abject broadcasters. I couldn't bear listening to Fran Healy, Ted Robinson, Matt Loughlin, and so forth

   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4062591)
Advice for Rex Hudler, the Royals' Newest TV Voice

1. Get a short plank
2. Place plank over the side of a boat in the ocean
3. Take a long walk
   3. Karl from NY Posted: February 16, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4062613)
I never got the hate for Wayne Hagin. What did he do that was so terrible? There wasn't anything particularly positive about his radio work, but he seemed thoroughly harmless and inoffensive. Everybody gets a few names wrong from time to time. Of course, finding an upgrade over Hagin is hardly difficult either so it may as well be done.
   4. Zeba Zeba Eata Posted: February 16, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4062637)
My biggest problem with Hagin was that he would tangle himself up in word pretzels once or twice an inning, oftentimes when something exciting was happening, so that by the time he got around to mentioning that Jose Reyes actually got a triple out of the play, the count was 2-0 on the next batter. Slight exaggeration, but I often found myself yelling "WHAT HAPPENED" at the radio. Plus, he was terrible on the post-game. Not sure I love Lewin, who doesn't exactly have a great radio voice, but I'm quite happy that Wayne is gone.
   5. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 16, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4062642)
Hagin's holier-than-thou attitude oozes from every pore. He's a fake, super-moral midwesterner whose shtick didn't even play in the midwest, let alone New York. He got run out of both Colorado and St. Louis (after briefer, earlier positions in Oakland and other places I don't recall off hand), and seemed like the worst possible fit when the Mets hired him. In St. Louis it got to the point where I couldn't even stand hearing his voice anymore--when I listened to Cardinals games, I'd switch to the otherteam's broadcast during Hagin's innings. It's tough to figure out how he keeps getting jobs.
   6. Benji Posted: February 16, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4062649)
And don't claim to be Warren McVea's blocking back. The "if the Mets suck be honest" thingy, well I'm sure Fred and Jeff got Selig's permission to preclude that happening in the interview process.
   7. Roadblock Jones Posted: February 16, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4062677)
Paul Lukas wrote of Hagin: "His brain wrote checks his mouth couldn't cash." Perfect. Almost every inning there was a play that unfolded faster than he could describe it, leaving you momentarily desperate to know where the baserunners went to or whether an out had been recorded. Usually because he spent the time trying to talk his way out of an awkward word or phrase he shouldn't have begun with. It was like a bad habit with him. I honestly think a few weeks on a sportscasting refresher course could have saved his job.

I don't buy that he was holier than thou or that his Midwesternness should have been an issue (He was from California iirc). That he and Howie didn't really mesh I think was a little bit of Howie's fault too.
   8. The Essex Snead Posted: February 16, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4062683)
I'll cosign the claims of Hagin's sanctimony -- he had a little "play the RIGHT way" boner he'd play with from time to time. Stuff along the lines of, "THAT is why Neifi Perez is so valuable; what a fantastic bunt! That's the way you win ball games, by moving runners over and getting them into scoring position for the next guy." And so on. I kinda wish he was more indignant about it (a la one of the Brennemanns); the semi-casual way he'd assert this stuff made it even more grating.
   9. Karl from NY Posted: February 16, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4062696)
Heh, I do the word pretzel thing all the time myself when speaking, getting stuck and trying to back up and rephrase. Never noticed Hagin doing it because it's just normal to me.

Howie Rose has a nice approach to wordy plays. He'll convey just by tone what's happening even if the words haven't caught up yet. He can go "Here's the 2-0 pitch from the lefthander, <crack> big lead at first and Reyes goes!, swing and deep drive down the right field line but hooking foul", but his cadence will depress into monotone right after the bat crack as soon as he sees it's going foul.
   10. Vance W Posted: February 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4062967)
Josh annoyed a certain segment of Ranger fans for using too many pop-culture references. I thought he added a positive energy to the broadcast and certainly helped liven up Tom Grieve, his rather stolid color man. I would not have picked him as a New York kind of guy. Still, if the Mets fans are a little patient, they should learn to appreciate him. He will not, however, be a hardcore "Mets sucks" kind of guy. But do you really need a broadcaster to tell you that?
   11. Lassus Posted: February 16, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4062979)
Funny, I always got the holier-than-thou vibe a lot more from Howie.

Josh annoyed a certain segment of Ranger fans for using too many pop-culture references.

He should get along with the TV team just fine, then....

He will not, however, be a hardcore "Mets sucks" kind of guy.

However, he might not with the masochistic fanbase.

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