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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

WSJ: Ken Harrelson Is The Most Biased Broadcaster In Baseball

The Nehrube strikes again!

Prompted by Harrelson’s unabashed homerism, the Journal decided to watch one nine-inning game played by every major-league team to evaluate its local broadcasters for bias. To keep things simple, we only evaluated home games that the home teams won.

By the rules of our study, anyone with a microphone who used a pronoun like “we,” “us” or “our” to describe the home team was given a citation. Obscure pet names for players were also flagged: The Detroit Tigers announcers, for instance, referred to backup catcher Gerald Laird as “G-Money.” Additional penalties were given for things like excessive moping after miscues or unrestrained glee after big moments. (A Miami Marlins broadcaster marked the end of a lengthy scoreless drought by screaming “Hallelujah!”)

It didn’t take long for the study to confirm what many baseball observers have long expected. During the White Sox game—a 2-1 win against the Texas Rangers—Harrelson and Stone (but mostly Harrelson) made a whopping 104 biased statements.

To put that in perspective, the Cleveland Indians duo of Matt Underwood and Rick Manning ranked second with just 23 biased comments and 24 of the 30 teams had fewer than 10.

“You just made my day,” Harrelson said when told of his place in the biased standings. “That’s the biggest compliment you could give me, to call me the biggest homer in baseball.”

Repoz Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:39 PM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, homers

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   1. Shredder Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4245298)
In other news, water is in fact wet.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4245299)
I think the expression is "no ####\". Or "duh" if the nanny doesn't like the first one.
   3. Shredder Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4245303)
As for the Angels crew, it would be impossible for them to get a score of zero in this study, because Rojas ends every victory with the same "biased" comment.
   4. Danny Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4245311)
The A's announcers are obsessed with the "shutdown inning."
   5. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4245320)
Oranges are the most orange fruit.
   6. MC Skat Kat kann es eigentlich kaum erwarten Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4245327)
Oranges are the most orange fruit.

Tangerines have a case.
   7. Tippecanoe Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4245338)
And it's pure shtick. With the waning of airtime for Chris Berman, H.H. is the shtickiest announcer in the land.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4245339)
Do White Sox fans like his homerism? I mean I hate it, but I hate homerism and I hate the White Sox. But is it actually appealing to those that like the team? I listen to a lot of KU basketball, and it kinda bugs me that Bob Davis refers to the team as "we" a lot and "we need a big basket here" but its college so its a bit different I guess, and I would guess most Jayhawk fans like it.
   9. John DiFool2 Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4245341)
They should also have studied how often a broadcaster criticized a home team's player and/or praised an opposing player.

Harry Caray might have been close to the top on the criteria used in said study, but he got a lot of criticism for dissing Cubs players when they made a mistake.
   10. JoeHova Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4245342)
This is an interesting article, I'm glad somebody took the time to do it.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4245348)
Do White Sox fans like his homerism?


Yeah. It's like watching the game alongside a very enthusiastic fan.

It irks me when ordinary fans refer to the team they root for as "we" or "us," as some people around here do, and I kinda wish Harrelson wouldn't do that. But rooting for the team you cover is A-OK by me.
   12. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4245350)
Oranges are the most orange fruit.
I mean I wonder about things Alex. Like I wonder, if we call an orange an orange, why don't we call an apple a red? Or a banana a yellow?

Now blueberries make sense, but someone explain gooseberries to me!
   13. Shredder Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4245352)
It irks me when ordinary fans refer to the team they root for as "we" or "us,"
I'm sometimes guilty of this when talking about a favorite team with other fans of that team, but I always catch and correct myself when I write it.
   14. Danny Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4245358)
The "biased comments" are bad enough, but the White Sox team often goes completely silent when the opposing team scores runs.
   15. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4245360)
Cripes, this is Jared Diamond?

Also, I think that the scale as presented overweights the first person plural. If you've decided to do that, of course you're going to do it repeatedly so I think subsequent uses after the first should be regressed somewhat.
   16. Shredder Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4245369)
Cripes, this is Jared Diamond?
I don't think it's that Jared Diamond. Unless we're talking about different Jared Diamonds. This isn't the Guns, Germs, and Steel guy.
   17. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4245372)
The "biased comments" are bad enough, but the White Sox team often goes completely silent when the opposing team scores runs.

That's not a bug. It's a feature.
   18. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4245380)
Brennaman must have had the day off when they watched the Reds.
   19. Bunny Vincennes Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4245381)
I wouldn't mind Hawk if a) his voice wasn't amazingly annoying, and b) he didn't say amazingly annoying things like "He Gone!" He's an annoying weirdo. I ran into him at a southwest side Italian restaurant once before a Bulls game and he was annoying the #### out of his six dinner mates and he was ####### to the server.
   20. UCCF Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4245384)
It irks me when ordinary fans refer to the team they root for as "we" or "us," as some people around here do, and I kinda wish Harrelson wouldn't do that. But rooting for the team you cover is A-OK by me.

Ron Santo was this way - absolutely 100% a fan in the booth. His anguished groans at every Cub failure are etched in my memory, right along side Harry's "aw he POPPPPPPPED it up" whenever a Cub in the 1980s popped out with men on base.

Given that Hawk won in a rout, it wouldn't make a difference, but I think a true accounting would also have to take points away from the total for criticizing the home team. In that Sox booth, I assume that's what Stone is there for, given that he never really held back when he was with the Cubs booth (and it helped get him fired).
   21. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4245387)
The "biased comments" are bad enough, but the White Sox team often goes completely silent when the opposing team scores runs.
This is the only part of their bias I find truly offensive. Being a homer is fine--I listen to John Sterling, so I'm not unfamiliar with the concept--but it shouldn't interfere with actually telling what is happening in the game.
   22. UCCF Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4245388)
he didn't say amazingly annoying things like "He Gone!"

Stretch!
   23. Willie Mayspedester Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4245398)
I find the Yankees announcers to be pretty annoying. The whole strikeout noise in the stadium and other things.

The Angels announcers always have to say "big fly" when an Angels player hits a HR which I find annoying for some reason... but not as annoying as Hudler was (or is to Royals fans now)
   24. Shredder Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4245413)
but I think a true accounting would also have to take points away from the total for criticizing the home team.
Why? I mean, I guess it depends on the criticism, but if the baseline is zero biased comments, you shouldn't get your number of biased comments reduced when say something unbiased. Besides, go through a game thread for just about any team when they're losing, and you'll see nothing but criticism from people who are big fans. Few, for example, are more critical of the Angels when they're not playing well than me and some of the other Angels fans here. That's certainly not evidence that we aren't biased.
The Angels announcers always have to say "big fly" when an Angels player hits a HR which I find annoying for some reason
Unless it's hit the other way, in which case it becomes "Oppo-Taco!!!", which I find kind of lame.
   25. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4245415)
Has there ever been a time where "Hawk" has started his "Put it on the boarrrrrrrd....YES!" routine, only to have the opposing team's outfielder reach over the wall and pull one back?
Or have it fall short of the wall?
Or go foul?

If so, how does he handle it?
   26. Zach Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4245421)
but not as annoying as Hudler was (or is to Royals fans now)

Wonder Dog is so bad he takes the joy out of a Hawk Harrelson thread.

Which would you rather hear?

"You can put it on the board -- YES!"

or

"Pilot to bombardier -- open up the bomb bay doors!"
   27. JoeC Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4245422)
Do White Sox fans like his homerism? I mean I hate it, but I hate homerism and I hate the White Sox. But is it actually appealing to those that like the team?


That part of Harrelson is fine with me. Homerism is just a style to me, you can do it well or badly.

The more objectionable part of Hawk is 1) his ######## and pouting at umpires or perceived lack of "playing the game right," 2) his lack of understanding of what wins baseball games (he loves smallball tactics), 3) his overreliance on catchphrases (I think it's time for a Simpsons-style "Hawk 3000").

But overall, when I watch a Sox game on mlb.tv, I always listen to him instead of the opposing team announcers.
   28. Cris E Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4245434)
Tangerines have a case.

I think it's called a 'peel'.
   29. UCCF Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4245439)
Has there ever been a time where "Hawk" has started his "Put it on the boarrrrrrrd....YES!" routine, only to have the opposing team's outfielder reach over the wall and pull one back?

In the games that I've seen, he usually waits until the ball is safely over the wall before starting his spiel. So it's not like Berman and his "back back back back", where it might be back back back to the left fielder 20 feet in front of the warning track.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4245459)
But overall, when I watch a Sox game on mlb.tv, I always listen to him instead of the opposing team announcers.


I do too, out of curiosity. I think I would hate it if he did my team's games.
   31. PreservedFish Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4245472)
I suspect that there is a correlation between how much of a homer your broadcasters are and how much they teach themselves about the opponents and the state of the game in general. Just picking two of the names at the bottom of the list that I'm familiar with, Vin Scully almost talks about the visitors more than the Dodgers, and the Mets guys are always superbly aware of the stories and skills of the visiting team and also what else is happening around the league. I think broadcasters appearing uninterested or uninformed about the visitors is one of the least professional things they can do.
   32. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4245473)
Yeah. It's like watching the game alongside a very enthusiastic fan.

Let me put it this way: I dumped MLB.TV because the announcers for every team with the exception of the White Sox, Red Sox, and Dodgers just plain suck. Maybe I'm used to Harrelson, Santo, Brickhouse, Harry Caray, etc. but baseball needs enthusiasm out of their announcers and there is too darned little of it.

   33. Fat Al Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4245475)
I subscribe to the mlb.com radio feed in part so I can, as a Yankees fan, listen to the other team's broadcasts because I find Sterling and Waldman insufferable. Thanks to Harrelson, White Sox games are the ones where I happily listen to Waldling over Hawk.
   34. Kyle S at work Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4245504)
Is there a problem with Hawk rooting for the Sox? The only people who are forced to listen to him are the other team's fans who happen to be in Chicago. Otherwise, you can watch the broadcast of your choosing (meaning the opposing team's broadcast, if you prefer) on MLB.tv or on the cable/satellite packages. If you're watching at home, you get your home team broadcast.

Personally, as a non-Sox fan, I kinda like him.
   35. dr. scott Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4245506)
As a Giants fan I'm both pleased and surprised to see Krup and Kuip so low on the list as I think they call a fair game and are homers.
   36. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4245507)
Yes! Hell, yes!
   37. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4245509)
Fosse has got to be underrated by this metric, and is I think a sleeper for top 5 most biased announcers. He doesn't have catch phrases or schtick, but he's incredibly biased.

Opposition hits a bloop single: "Great pitch, that's a shame for <A's pitcher>, do everything right and just get unlucky"
A's hit a bloop single: "Great at-bat by <A's hitter>, manages to fight it off and dump it into right field, great piece of hitting there, going with the pitch"

Hearing him say so many good things about bad A's plays/players enrages me more than any opposition announcer ever could.
   38. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4245516)
Has there ever been a time where "Hawk" has started his "Put it on the boarrrrrrrd....YES!" routine, only to have the opposing team's outfielder reach over the wall and pull one back?
Or have it fall short of the wall?
Or go foul?

If so, how does he handle it?


Not the same, but for the last out of games now (Sox wins, of course), his new catchphrase is "And this game is....OVAH!" Last night, the last out of the game was a grounder to Hudson at 2b that he bobbled, and the catchphrase went "And this game is...bobbled. OVAH" I laughed.

The more objectionable part of Hawk is 1) his ######## and pouting at umpires or perceived lack of "playing the game right," 2) his lack of understanding of what wins baseball games (he loves smallball tactics), 3) his overreliance on catchphrases (I think it's time for a Simpsons-style "Hawk 3000").

He's started keeping imaginary scores, and updates you on that. Like last night, there was a blown out call that cost the Sox a run. At the end of the inning, he said something like "It's 1-0 Cleveland, but it should be 1-1." He gave that updated score multiple times until the Sox took the lead.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4245523)
I don't think there is anything wrong with being a homer, in fact for the local team, it should be a requirement. I also find it silly to think that an announcer that is making critical statements is showing non-partiality. A homer announcer should 1. root for the home team 2. praise the home team. 3. be honest in their assessment of the home team. If the team (like the Cardinals earlier in the month) can't deliver clutch hits, then a good homer announcer should criticize the team, I don't for a second think that is drifting into the area of non-partiality, as most announcers aren't going to harshly criticize the other team.

Basically a good local announcer is hard and roots for the local team while being as impartial as possible when it comes to the other team. One thing you don't see is an announcer rooting for the local team and ripping the other team, that is something that should be frowned upon, and also blind homerism should be frowned upon.
   40. Kurt Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4245532)
The more objectionable part of Hawk is 1) his ######## and pouting at umpires or perceived lack of "playing the game right," 2) his lack of understanding of what wins baseball games (he loves smallball tactics), 3) his overreliance on catchphrases (I think it's time for a Simpsons-style "Hawk 3000").

The most objectionable part of Hawk (which your first point touches on) is that he's an unlikeable, unpleasant person to have to spend three hours with. Everything else is window dressing.

   41. esseff Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4245546)
Fosse has got to be underrated by this metric, and is I think a sleeper for top 5 most biased announcers.


His constant whining about balls and strikes has made him unlistenable.
   42. OsunaSakata Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4245560)
Has there ever been a time where "Hawk" has started his "Put it on the boarrrrrrrd....YES!" routine, only to have the opposing team's outfielder reach over the wall and pull one back?
Or have it fall short of the wall?
Or go foul?

If so, how does he handle it?


I'm surprised no one has mentioned an incident sometime within the last three years. It was repeated with Hawk's call several times on ESPN and MLB Network. I think a left fielder robbed a home run from a White Sox player. Harrelson just said,"No! No! No!" as if a rogue robot was destroying his golf clubs.

I have MLB Extra Innings and avoid Hawk and Mark Grace whenever possible. The Rays are on the unbiased end but Dewayne Staats ends every loss with,"We hope you enjoyed the broadcast if not the result." I realize I'm more offended by stupid rather than mere bias.

With MLB.tv and Extra Innings, more out-of-town fans have access to other teams' announcers on both TV and radio. It's too much to hope that this might weed out the extreme homers.
   43. Lassus Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4245562)
I'm not a Sox fan, but I listened to plenty of Hawk when at MLBAM and he's barely even in the top five of terrible baseball announcers to my ears. (Not that 6th-worst is some kind of feat either.)
   44. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4245586)
White Sox fan here who likes Hawk. I'll be really bummed when he leaves the booth- he's basically been the voice of the Sox for my entire fandom.

I still wish they would've kept John Rooney after the '05 season though. Ed Farmer & DJ have this weird, goofy kind of chemistry but Farmer's so damn dry it gets annoying sometime.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4245598)
I don't think there is anything wrong with being a homer, in fact for the local team, it should be a requirement. I also find it silly to think that an announcer that is making critical statements is showing non-partiality. A homer announcer should 1. root for the home team 2. praise the home team. 3. be honest in their assessment of the home team. If the team (like the Cardinals earlier in the month) can't deliver clutch hits, then a good homer announcer should criticize the team, I don't for a second think that is drifting into the area of non-partiality, as most announcers aren't going to harshly criticize the other team.

I think the old Rizzuto/White/Messer broadcast team did a great job of striking this balance. Rizzuto was the unabashed homer, but always in a pleasant, funny way. He never ####### or criticized. White was the straight-man foil to Rizzuto, and Messer was the bland professional.
   46. theboyqueen Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4245610)
Dick Enberg does Padres games?
   47. Bruce Chen's Huge Panamanian Robot Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4245618)
The Angels announcers always have to say "big fly" when an Angels player hits a HR which I find annoying for some reason


Dan McLaughlin's "Look what I found!" every single time a pitcher successfully fields a comebacker always makes me cringe.
   48. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4245621)
I think the old Rizzuto/White/Messer broadcast team did a great job of striking this balance. Rizzuto was the unabashed homer, but always in a pleasant, funny way. He never ####### or criticized. White was the straight-man foil to Rizzuto, and Messer was the bland professional.

I thought Messah was FAR more biased than the Scooter. Rizzuto unabashedly rooted for the Yankees but he would at least acknowledge good plays by the other team and admit when the Yankees were the beneficiary of a bad call. Messer never did either
   49. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4245626)
The orioles announcers aren't bad, and have just the right amount of homerism IMO, but they make a ton of stupid mistakes, like calling curveballs fastballs, getting the count wrong, mixing up the players' names, etc. It's annoying.
   50. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4245640)
Hearing him say so many good things about bad A's plays/players enrages me more than any opposition announcer ever could.


The ultimate in this was Fosse making excuses for Moss not catching that easy ground ball on Saturday in the 14th that would have gotten the A's out of the inning. Cue shot my ass.
   51. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4245641)
One thing that's annoying about Hawk is that he's capable of being an informative, insightful PBP guy, but chooses not to be far too regularly.

The catchphrases don't even bother me so much anymore. He's been doing them so long that they're almost like white noise to me. It's the pleading ("ball four, base hit") and how he gets when the game is close late. Hawk didn't sound so much like a PBP guy in the bottom of the ninth inning when the Sox had the tying run on first. The batter check swung and the catcher motioned to first as though he was going to try and pick off the runner. Hawk's rattled noises on both the check swing and false throw to first made him sound more like a parent getting finicky in the passenger seat as they teach their kid how to drive rather than a guy being paid to call a professional baseball game.
   52. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4245642)
The issue with Hawk is not that he is a homer; it's that he's an #######. His homerism certainly makes the problem worse, but the same level of homerism in someone who is not an ####### wouldn't necessarily do the same.
   53. JoeC Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4245643)

He's started keeping imaginary scores, and updates you on that. Like last night, there was a blown out call that cost the Sox a run. At the end of the inning, he said something like "It's 1-0 Cleveland, but it should be 1-1." He gave that updated score multiple times until the Sox took the lead.


Ugh, exactly. And he takes it as a personal affront if the Sox can't get in a guy from third with one out. If that happens early in the game and it stays close, you'll have to hear that passive-aggressive "We've had our chances, but it's 3-3..." whining at the end of every inning.

I guess I like him well enough when the Sox are winning (because that keeps his unpleasantness to a minimum), and not when they're losing.
   54. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4245645)
Disclaimer: It's been about two decades since I've heard large doses of Hawk; after that time, I've only caught little snippets of him now and then. So maybe he's not an ####### anymore. But good god, he was an ####### back then.
   55. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4245652)
I want the zombieSkip Caray back in the Braves booth. Entertainment at its best. Drunk or sober... in the booth.
   56. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4245654)
Do White Sox fans like his homerism?


I like being able to hear him call the last few outs of Buehrle's perfect game, and I would have liked to hear him call the last game of the 2005 World Series. I could do without the other 4000 or so games he's worked.
   57. Hack Wilson Posted: September 25, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4245677)
White Sox fans I talk to, which is about every day, say that yes he is a pompous ass, but he is our pompous ass. I tell them I don't hate the Sox, I just hate Hawk. That doesn't bother Sox fans at all.
   58. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 25, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4245703)
Dick Enberg does Padres games?

Oh, my!
   59. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 25, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4245709)
I don't get this focus on homer vs. non-homer. Hawk discussions always end up here. But take away all homerism and Hawk is still the worst announcer in the game.
   60. RickG Posted: September 25, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4245792)
Actually, Hawk's newest catchphrase is, "It's all good!" That's the straw that broke my camel. I can deal with 'He Gone', and 'OVAH' and 'Dadgummit', but this.... These days I'll play Madden instead of watching a game, and listen to Ed and DJ on the radio (not the world's greatest either, but better) instead. Shame, because I still like Stoney, but...it's just frustrating.

Maybe moreso because the team can't hit.
   61. cardsfanboy Posted: September 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4245801)
Dan McLaughlin's "Look what I found!" every single time a pitcher successfully fields a comebacker always makes me cringe.


That is accurate, most clueless announcer in baseball.
   62. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4245840)
That is accurate, most clueless announcer in baseball.


I always think that, until MLB TV forces me to watch fox, or listen to another team. And then I realize how lucky we are in STL.

Dan and Al can be annoying, especially when they repeat stories we've all heard 20 times, but they do a good job of doing things like criticizing cardinals players for not hustling, or making mental mistakes, and regularly second-guess the managers. Not always for the right reason, but it's clear they are free to speak their minds and aren't held to regurgitate any kind of party line.

They very regularly say things like "Cardinals caught a break on that pitch" when a strike thrown to a cardinals batter is called a ball, and they usually try to tell both sides of a story when there's a story. They aren't Jack Buck, but you don't see that kind of "we're homers but we call it straight" from guys like Brennaman or Harrelson.

Although by the metrics in this article, if they said "wow, that was a strike, but the umpire called it a ball- *we* caught a break", they'd score higher on homerism, so whatever.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:21 AM (#4245879)
Dan and Al can be annoying, especially when they repeat stories we've all heard 20 times, but they do a good job of doing things like criticizing cardinals players for not hustling, or making mental mistakes, and regularly second-guess the managers. Not always for the right reason, but it's clear they are free to speak their minds and aren't held to regurgitate any kind of party line.


I'm a huge fan of Al. and if the truth be said, Dan has gotten better over the past two years or so, but it's hard for me to get past how horrible he was for such a long time. Not just the boring monotone announcing style, but the fact that he is not that baseball savvy.

Although by the metrics in this article, if they said "wow, that was a strike, but the umpire called it a ball- *we* caught a break", they'd score higher on homerism, so whatever.


Shannon is very good at doing that, he has no problem saying when the umpires seem to be having an off night, regardless of which team it's helping.
   64. base ball chick Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4245882)
the word for hawk, unless everything is going the Wsox way, is "petulant"
oooooh, BIG word

he whines like a 2 year old who needs a nap. it's not that he's a homer. it's that he comes off as an a-hole

BUT

he's better than milo hamilton or his 2 maroon assistants
   65. 33Boots Posted: September 26, 2012 at 04:05 AM (#4245923)
I mean I wonder about things Alex. Like I wonder, if we call an orange an orange, why don't we call an apple a red? Or a banana a yellow?

Now blueberries make sense, but someone explain gooseberries to me!


The color is actually named after the fruit!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_(colour)
   66. bjhanke Posted: September 26, 2012 at 06:08 AM (#4245933)
I prefer Ricky Horton and Al Hrabosky to Al and Dan McLaughlin. Ricky and Al, both lefty pitchers, but completely different in terms of stuff (Al had a huge fastball and almost nothing else, while Ricky was all slop and control) will give you a good schooling on how to pitch if you listen to them enough. Besides, Horton worked really really hard to become a competent broadcaster, and has succeeded. His first couple of years were painful. He knew the game, but he didn't know how to describe it, or how to set up the coming TV break, or anything. But he worked at it and has become very good, IMO. - Brock Hanke
   67. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 26, 2012 at 07:12 AM (#4245936)
The color is actually named after the fruit!
Interesting. I was just trying to induce a Taxi subthread though.
   68. Bob T Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4246220)
With most White Sox fans I encounter, it seems that if you dislike Ken Harrelson, you get the same response for saying you don't like AJ Pierzynski. "You don't understand them. They just want to win."

Crap like that.
   69. cardsfanboy Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4246249)
Besides, Horton worked really really hard to become a competent broadcaster, and has succeeded. His first couple of years were painful.


Agreed. Horton has improved by leaps and bounds, the only drawback is that he's added the old time fogeyism that he didn't have when he first started. Before he used to defer to the modern player and not pull the "in my day crap" but more recently he has started to do that a lot more frequently. (and of course his Whitey worship is about as annoying as Al's hatred of the Cubs)
   70. Charlie O Posted: September 26, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4246307)
#37's description of Ray Fosse is dead on target. I think the only thing that saves him from entering Hawk territory is that he's very quick to praise the opposing team's players for their hustle and outstanding plays. And while he doesn't have a catch phrase, Ray cannot describe something positive for the A's without using the words great or unbelievable.
   71. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: September 26, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4246337)
It's great that Cleveland's broadcasters wouldn't respond to a request to talk about finishing a distant second, but Hawk is more than willing to brag about being first.

I think the Hawk/AJ parallel is right. Non-Sox fans ##### and moan about his homerism, and he just eats it up. He sustains himself on the hatred. I'm not terribly attached to Hawk, but hearing the complaints make me like him more.

The MLB.tv era puts it in a weird perspective. "This guy is on the White Sox's payroll, and he's calling games for White Sox fans. I am not a White Sox fan, and I can't believe he doesn't make more of an effort to appeal to me."
   72. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4246401)
the word for hawk, unless everything is going the Wsox way, is "petulant"
oooooh, BIG word

he whines like a 2 year old who needs a nap. it's not that he's a homer. it's that he comes off as an a-hole

This, exactly. I have no problems with broadcasters being homers; I expect it, to a degree. Hawk's just annoying at the best of times, and when things are going wrong, I just want to punch him in the face.

I wonder if Stoney does too. God damn the Cubs to hell for running him (Stoney) out of the booth.

And yeah, I'd take Hawk over Milo. Back in his Cubs days, they did this thing where Harry and Stone would do innings 1-3 and 7-9 on TV, and switch to the radio for 4-6. Milo did the radio for 1-3 and 7-9. Milo was horrid enough that when the 4th rolled around, my dad and I would mute the TV and turn the radio on.
   73. JJ1986 Posted: September 26, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4246408)
Hawk announces while rooting for his team; a good homer (contradiction) would root for his team while announcing.

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