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Monday, August 12, 2019

Your 2019 local MLB announcer rankings

30. Washington Nationals: 1.53…

Analysis: It should be no surprise that the Nationals crew ranks dead last, after ranking second to last in each of the last three years of voting we’re done. SEE! YOU! LATER!, Hawk Harrelson – we’ve got a new low standard across baseball….

1. San Diego Padres: 2.99.

Long live the king! The San Diego Padres have creeped up the rankings every year we’ve done them, and despite their overall grade slipping this year, they did just enough to get over the line and finish in first.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2019 at 06:08 PM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers

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   1. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: August 12, 2019 at 07:41 PM (#5870714)
out of the 30 MLB teams, try to guess how many have one (or more) african-americans in the picture associated with their announcing booth.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: August 12, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5870719)
FYI, I got redirected to a fake "You have been infected" webpage when I clicked on the link.
   3. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 12, 2019 at 07:44 PM (#5870720)
I’m so glad the Sox fired Orsillo. Worst transaction they’ve made since the Bagwell trade.
   4. Brian C Posted: August 12, 2019 at 08:10 PM (#5870732)
Cubs at #13? I don't see much of other teams' broadcasts, but the state of MLB broadcasting must be very fine indeed if there are 12 teams with a better team in the booth.

More likely ... they're ranked ridiculously low.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 12, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5870733)
I was going to say that they get it wrong yet again by ranking people other than Len and JD as #1.
   6. Rob_Wood Posted: August 12, 2019 at 08:38 PM (#5870745)
Len and Deshaies are excellent.

NY Mets broadcasts are super.

Kruk & Kuip are great.

Then there's a whole bunch of very good broadcast teams.

Then a whole bunch of okay broadcast teams.

And finally a handful of broadcast teams that are not at all enjoyable to listen to (especially if you are not a fan of that baseball team).

   7. Master of the Horse Posted: August 12, 2019 at 08:44 PM (#5870750)
Brewers crew legit. Schroeder's stories though never check out on BBREF.
   8. Master of the Horse Posted: August 12, 2019 at 08:49 PM (#5870751)
Ok, have to admit I thought John Kruk was dead. 1 makes a good point as these photos look like the participants in some golf scramble. And of the Twins guys listed which one matches to the angry grandpa on the right?? JFC that dude looks like he wants to reach through the Internet and and scream for you to pay attention the damn game punk!!!
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 12, 2019 at 08:55 PM (#5870755)
I'm only familiar with less than half the announcer teams, but no question that the Nats are the worst.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 12, 2019 at 09:06 PM (#5870764)
And of the Twins guys listed which one matches to the angry grandpa on the right?? JFC that dude looks like he wants to reach through the Internet and and scream for you to pay attention the damn game punk!!!
Er, that's HOFer Bert Blyleven. He doesn't have a reputation for being an angry old man, and in fact was a famous goofball as a player. Also known for enjoying his own flatulence.
   11. Master of the Horse Posted: August 12, 2019 at 09:06 PM (#5870767)
So the Nationals crew is terrible because why? What makes them truly awful? Curious
   12. Rob_Wood Posted: August 12, 2019 at 09:07 PM (#5870768)
Bob Carpenter is cromulent (though a bit dour for my tastes).

FP Santangelo is one of my pet peeves. An analyst who tries too hard to be funny and/or clever throughout the broadcast.

It's a weird mix and it comes off as them having very little chemistry between them.

(Having said that, there are surely worse analysts out there than FP.)
   13. Greg Pope Posted: August 12, 2019 at 09:59 PM (#5870792)
SEE! YOU! LATER!, Hawk Harrelson – we’ve got a new low standard across baseball….


I can't get worked up over announcers now that Hawk is finally gone. I can actually watch White Sox games again.
   14. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 12, 2019 at 10:15 PM (#5870795)
I cannot believe the Phillies are in the top half. Tom McCarthy never shows excitement about anything and his sense of humor is limited to himself being bald. John Kruk is shockingly low energy. Ben Davis is good. They need more appearances by Greg Murphy the guy who wanders around in the stands and he needs to wear more funny hats or something because the games drag on and on.

Also I've only listened to like 6 of these teams but the Rockies should be higher. They have a prominent role for female human Jenny Cavnar which makes it a little less generic. There is a good dynamic with Ryan Spilborghs as the handsome guy.
   15. Hank Gillette Posted: August 12, 2019 at 11:09 PM (#5870811)
Bob Carpenter is cromulent (though a bit dour for my tastes).

FP Santangelo is one of my pet peeves. An analyst who tries too hard to be funny and/or clever throughout the broadcast.


Bob tends to describe too much of what the viewer can see on the screen. He is also prone to stating the obvious, like “if this batter hits a three run home run, the Nationals will be right back in this game.” He is a big fan of “productive outs”, and likes to explain how a Nationals batter who made an out was close to getting a hit.

F.P. is just super annoying. He thinks he is clever by saying “There goes the no-hitter,” every time a Nationals player gets the first hit of the game (occasionally, he forgets, and well into the next batter’s plate appearance, he’ll say, “Oh, yeah, there goes the no-hitter.”).

F.P. often just runs his mouth with nothing to say, as though he can’t stand silence. He also makes predictions about when a Nationals base runner is going to attempt to steal, without much notable success. I am sure he knows a lot about baseball, but after several years, he has said only one thing that made sense I had never thought about (a batter who is going to bunt will often move up in the box to get a better angle for a fair ball).

Last night, F.P. was bragging about how he told a high school teacher that he did not need to learn algebra, because he was going to be a big league baseball player, and the teacher said that he would never make it to the major leagues. Then F.P. said that people should never give up on their dreams.

Well, F. P. beat the odds and proved the teacher wrong, but I wonder how many times the teacher heard other boys said the same thing: that they did not need to study because they were going to be a professional athlete, and how many actually succeeded. It’s great to follow your dream, but if your dream is to be a professional athlete or performer, it’s also imperative to have a backup plan.

One of the pair a few years ago explained that the most important person on the roster was the 26th man. I still have no idea what that was about.

The also throw out a lot of meaningless stats, almost always giving the batter’s career BA against the pitcher, but I imagine a lot of announcers do that.

In short, I probably irrationally hate these guys.
   16. Bote Man Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:00 AM (#5870821)
I fail to understand why anyone would bother ranking TV talkers?? They don't add much to the broadcast.

Rate the radio guys! They are the ones who describe the ball and give you a sense of being there, if they're any good. Most TV commentators are so far below replacement level that I almost always listen to the radio overlay on MLB.tv

As a result I wouldn't know much about Bob and F.P. except that a lot of fans just don't like them.

It would be nice if ex-player color guys would impart some knowledge about how the game is played and why players do what they do, but instead we're treated to distilled wisdom such as "He plays with a lot of heart!" I guess the truly great players enjoy their retirement or start a business, while the mediocre players end up in the broadcast booth and aren't any better there than they were on the field. So we get a lot of dreck about heart and driving the ball and doing the little things (like the mediocre players used to do out of necessity) instead of actual insight into the game from them.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:11 AM (#5870823)
I don't see/hear enough others to comment really but, when I tune in a non-Cubs game, I have always enjoyed the Giants' team, the O's team and (to my surprise) have always been fine with Buck Martinez. They had a throwback style but I used to like the old Mike Shannon Cards team. I would be happy to kill Rex Hudler if ever given the chance. But yes, I love Len and JD -- possibly their schtick is getting a bit old but I find it hard to believe they're middle-of-the-pack.

On the Nats ... for whatever reason, here in Oz we generally don't get ads between innings on mlb.tv. Last year we were very heavy on the highlights ... of which they put like 6 on a constant rotation for 2 months so you're sick of all of them after one game. Anyway, last year it was Nats' heavy including some game where they hit like 3-4 straight and another which was a multi-HR game from Harper or maybe the game where Harper and Trout both hit one ... or maybe both. Anyway, inning after inning, I got repeated "SEE! YOU! LATER!"s. It was so deeply painful I told the Commies everything I know and I will curl up into a little ball if I ever hear that voice again.
   18. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:15 AM (#5870824)
Since the Cubs are blacked out here in Indy, I rarely get to see/hear Len/JD, but they are a quality team, surprised they weren't higher. Meanwhile, how did the Reds guys finish so high? So many lectures, so much ax grinding, old grievances. Frank Costanza would be more pleasant behind the mic.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:16 AM (#5870825)
I fail to understand why anyone would bother ranking TV talkers?? They don't add much to the broadcast.

Rate the radio guys! They are the ones who describe the ball and give you a sense of being there, if they're any good. Most TV commentators are so far below replacement level that I almost always listen to the radio overlay on MLB.tv
Seriously, check out Len and JD on a Cubs game. They'll at least be a major exception to your rule.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:19 AM (#5870826)
But yes, I love Len and JD -- possibly their schtick is getting a bit old
What do you consider to be their "schtick?" One of the things I love about them is that they are just themselves and don't rely on any catchphrases, mannerisms or other "schtick," but maybe we have different interpretations of the word.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:29 AM (#5870830)
I have no issue with those who object to the Mets team of Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling as being too good for their franchise - even now. it's true.

first half of the 2019 Mets season featured many mental and base running errors - and this is maybe the one booth where the player does not get a free pass on lack of effort. Keith's disgust in particular is entertaining - not that he was perfect, cough cough, but the booth also is willing to grant superiority to many modern skills such as better conditioning.

Cano actually seemed to "up his game" for the Mets before he got hurt, after no longer being coddled for his disinterest in first base if he hit a weak fair ball.
   22. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:30 AM (#5870831)
So the Nationals crew is terrible because why? What makes them truly awful? Curious
Some fans may be taking their frustrations over the Nationals postseason record out on the broadcasters. I think the broadcasts are OK, but lots of folks seem to be quite critical. I catch quite a few broadcasts on Extra Innings, and don’t see that many clearly better. Perhaps Santangelo’s humor isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s not a big deal for me.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:17 AM (#5870843)
What do you consider to be their "schtick?"

I suppose "schtick" isn't the right word. What I'm thinking of is that we've had the run-through on saber stuff so it's not new anymore; they'll pull out the latest BPro, fangraphs, whatever article for a brief discussion without particularly adding anything; the only "schtick" they have is when they'll get going on one of their "themed names" bits where they actually seem poorly prepared and it takes them like 3 names to run out of good ones and they start naming silly non-baseball stuff. But mainly it's just that the freshness of the approach is gone -- through no fault of their own just that there are a lot of broadcasts now pitched more to us nerds. It's a bit like how Rob Neyer was awesome because he was different ... and then a few years later, Rob was just Rob and there were plenty of (usually more snarky and obnoxious) versions of Rob. I was still reading Rob more often than any of the others but there weren't many surprises left. Anyway, this year I find myself more often with the sound down and music on.

Which isn't meant to suggest I'm sick of them or would want a change. I don't know of a booth I'd rather listen to but, as you say, they're Len and JD and I've been listening to them for a few years now so there's no freshness there. I can see how some folks might find them stale enough that they would slowly slip down the rankings. But as you can see from the other booths I called out as among my favorites, ain't no freshness in any of them. Len and JD still tick my three most important boxes: (1) they seem to get along and like the game (or at least act like it); (2) they're pretty mellow; (3) no ax-grinding, little/no "sports = character", no "Yasiel Puig is a lazy bum" or "I can't believe that call", etc.

"Mellow" is probably not the right word either but they are pleasant to listen to, voices don't grate, they aren't pretending to be worked up about something in a misguided effort to keep us engaged (think ESPN). I want the announcers to be engaging but relaxing and they're solid in that regard.
   24. Hank Gillette Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:17 AM (#5870848)
Anyway, inning after inning, I got repeated "SEE! YOU! LATER!"s. It was so deeply painful I told the Commies everything I know and I will curl up into a little ball if I ever hear that voice again.


If Nats players hit back-to-back home runs, Bob puts extra emphasis on the “YOU!” It’s quite cringe-worthy.
   25. Esoteric Posted: August 13, 2019 at 07:29 AM (#5870851)
I fail to understand why anyone would bother ranking TV talkers?? They don't add much to the broadcast.

Rate the radio guys! They are the ones who describe the ball and give you a sense of being there, if they're any good. Most TV commentators are so far below replacement level that I almost always listen to the radio overlay on MLB.tv
Fangraphs did this a couple years back, and it's rather ironic that Washington's RADIO team ranked near the top (the readers voted it #2 out of 30, I believe). Which actually strikes me as accurate. Carpenter and Santangelo are mediocre on television -- not terrible, not Hawk Harrelson-level -- but meanwhile I can't imagine any better way to take in a baseball game than with Charlie Slowes & Dave Jaegler on the radio.
   26. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 07:42 AM (#5870852)
If you watch even a game a week over the course of the full season you're spending like 80-100 hours with the booth. If they're bad, that's 8-80-100 hours with bad company. Which is why I'm so happy to be a fan of the Mets- Gary, Ron, and Keith are a lot of fun to listen to and really do add something to the game. The Red Sox, on the other hand, are fine. They were much better with Orsillo, but they're still enjoyable enough to not have it detract from my viewing experience.
   27. Esoteric Posted: August 13, 2019 at 07:59 AM (#5870854)
I am contractually required to loathe the Mets (even moreso after the most recent Mets/Nats series), but I must admit that the Mets TV team with Cohen, Darling, and Hernandez is really, really good. It's kind of amusing to me too because I remember when Darling was a fledgling broadcaster with the Nationals; he was halting and awkward while he was in the booth for the team, it was basically on-the-job training for him. Though to be fair he didn't have much to inspire him with the teams of that era.

Which incidentally is why I enjoy the Nats' radio guys so much: I listened to most of the games during their *terrible* era (well, their FIRST terrible era, who knows what's to come), and they somehow managed to make the blunders and incompetence not only tolerable, but funny. Every hardcore Nats fan knows about this legendary call: https://youtu.be/0b6HxTIwey8?t=7
   28. geonose Posted: August 13, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5870946)
I join the many who are irritated by "SEE! YOU! LATER!" after Nats' home runs. Am I the only one who is at least as irritated by "It! Is! OUTTA HERE!" following Giants' HRs? This is why I have never understood the high rankings for SF's announcers. But then again, I don't really see the games, only the highlights, so that's what I repeatedly get treated to.
   29. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5870962)
I am contractually required to loathe the Mets (even moreso after the most recent Mets/Nats series)

My voice is only now recovering from attending Saturday's game. (And we really should have swept.)


It's kind of amusing to me too because I remember when Darling was a fledgling broadcaster with the Nationals; he was

disturbingly bad. It was nice to see him evolve.
   30. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5870966)
They were much better with Orsillo, but they're still enjoyable enough to not have it detract from my viewing experience.
k

Orsillo/Remy was a great great team. I love Don Orsillo.

Dave O'Brien is...well you said it "enjoyable enough to not have it detract from my viewing experience." I've said it before but O'Brien is what you would get if you had a computer create the perfect announcer. He has a great voice, is pleasant, relatively knowledgable, people like him but he's just so bland. Everything he says and does feels canned and predictable.
   31. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5870976)
out of the 30 MLB teams, try to guess how many have one (or more) african-americans in the picture associated with their announcing booth.

for posterity, the answer is:

...
...
...
...
...

zero.

none.

out of the pictures for 30 MLB announcing teams, containing ~65 announcers, there was not even one single african-american (or afro-caribbean).



   32. it's hittin' 53450n. Posted: August 13, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5870978)
Ok, have to admit I thought John Kruk was dead.


it's understandable.
   33. Rusty Priske Posted: August 13, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5870980)
They are right about one thing - Canadians love Dan Shulman.

Seriously, before Dan came back the team of Buck/Tabler should be considered one of the worst in the league. Add Shulman and instead the team works on many levels.

   34. . Posted: August 13, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5870984)
I've turned on the radio overlay for virtually every game I've watched on MLB.tv this season. Some, park only. Great options. You worry a bit about the syncing, but it's been perfect for me.
   35. . Posted: August 13, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5870986)
The Nats inaugural TV team of Mel Proctor and Darling was a zillion times better than Carpenter and FP. Totally bizarre switch, and after only one year I think.
   36. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5870993)
I join the many who are irritated by "SEE! YOU! LATER!" after Nats' home runs.

I know he's not a TV guy, but in the same vein I can't stand how Tom Hamilton SCREAMS AT ME ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS WHETHER IT'S A 9-3 GAME IN THE 4TH INNING OR A 2-2 GAME IN THE 15TH INNING.
   37. . Posted: August 13, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5870998)
Tom Hamilton's Midwest accent is dreadful which I can say because I'm a product of the Midwest. He does some Big Ten Network stuff and he's tough to take there, too. He's awful on Indians games. Unlistenable for me, in the literal sense of "I can't listen to him."

I'm sure he's a fine guy, but still ....
   38. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5871002)


out of the pictures for 30 MLB announcing teams, containing ~65 announcers, there was not even one single african-american (or afro-caribbean).


I may have missed someone, but I think Ken Singleton (Yankees) and Latroy Hawkins (Twins) are the only African-Americans listed in the piece.
   39. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5871004)
I haven't seen a lot of Rangers baseball this season, but I believe Mark McLemore is one of the pre/post-game studio hosts FWIW.
   40. . Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5871006)
Dave Sims still does M's games, too, right?

Rod Allen would still be in a booth but for that bizarre dustup with his partner last year.
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5871007)
Dave Sims is listed. There are three people listed for the M's, and three guys in the photo, but Sims isn't one of them
so I missed him (Edgar Martinez is in the photo with the other two announcers).

McLemore isn't listed for whatever reason -- I think they are just going by guys in the booth.
   42. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5871010)
Yeah, the Cubs are definitely better than 13. I put them realistically top 3. At that point YMMV, but I think there's no way they aren't top 5.
   43. asinwreck Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5871013)
out of the 30 MLB teams, try to guess how many have one (or more) african-americans in the picture associated with their announcing booth.


for posterity, the answer is:

...
...
...
...
...

zero.

none.

out of the pictures for 30 MLB announcing teams, containing ~65 announcers, there was not even one single african-american (or afro-caribbean).


Yeah, and it's not like there's a lack of ex-players who'd be at least as interesting as Rex Hudler. Just from national broadcasts, Cliff Floyd, Frank Thomas, and, yes, even Harold Reynolds would be better than Hudler. Doug Glanville would be terrific, and he's doing local studio analysis in Chicago.

That's just the analysts. Fran Charles seems like he'd do a good job with a team's play-by-play duties. A team's booth does not need to look like clones of Dave O'Brien or Kirk Gibson. Does MLB's diversity and inclusion initiative look at teams' broadcast booths?
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5871014)
I don't know if I've ever heard an announcer consistently flub things as often as Steve Physioc. Just on a nightly basis you can count on him to mis-describe a play, get a player's name wrong, or correct himself.
   45. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5871015)

out of the 30 MLB teams, try to guess how many have one (or more) african-americans in the picture associated with their announcing booth.


Of the announcers listed but not pictured, Ken Singleton, Jimmy Rollins, Latroy Hawkins are African-American.

Really interesting to me to see the players that end up going into broadcasting. Jeff Huson, huh? Jeremy Affeldt! Brad Thompson!

How many players are analysts for teams they never played for like Rex Hudler in KC?
   46. cookiedabookie Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:55 PM (#5871016)
Everyone complaining about announcers (especially Tom Hamilton), have never listened to a full game, or a full season, or going on three decades, of John Sterling calling Yankees game.
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: August 13, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5871018)
Yeah, and it's not like there's a lack of ex-players who'd be at least as interesting as Rex Hudler. Just from national broadcasts, Cliff Floyd, Frank Thomas, and, yes, even Harold Reynolds would be better than Hudler. Doug Glanville would be terrific, and he's doing local studio analysis in Chicago.


And that guy who used to do Tigers games is available, provided you don't mind your broadcasters being a little fighty.
   48. Lassus Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5871027)
have never listened to a full game, or a full season, or going on three decades, of John Sterling

I would have gone with 15 minutes, but OK.
   49. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5871031)
Really interesting to me to see the players that end up going into broadcasting. Jeff Huson, huh?


Huson never played for the Rockies, but he did play for the University of Wyoming, which is only a couple hours away. I wonder if Wyoming native and huge UW fan Tracy Ringolsby had anything to do with him getting the gig.
   50. Zonk, your King of All that Is Real Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:26 PM (#5871032)
I will just add my 2 cents in concurrence that if Len and JD are really 13 -- then either we are living in an absolute golden age of booths or this list is badly flawed.

That said - TFA indicates that this is actually a fan voting thing, so apparently, it might be all our own faults for not voting/rating them.
   51. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:36 PM (#5871038)
Doug Glanville would be terrific, and he's doing local studio analysis in Chicago.

He is terrific, and he occasionally is the 3rd guy during Cubs broadcasts. He usually is by the dugout, or somewhere in the crowd, and only is around for an inning or 2 at a time, and not for every game (I think only CSN - sorry, NBCSN ones, which are the majority of them).

Add me to list of confused Cubs fans to see Len/JD so low.

1) they seem to get along and like the game (or at least act like it); (2) they're pretty mellow; (3) no ax-grinding, little/no "sports = character", no "Yasiel Puig is a lazy bum" or "I can't believe that call", etc.

Yes to all of this, though I do think JD has started complaining a bit about the strike zone, but in a very passive sort of way ("could have been, should have been" has been uttered multiple times this year); he also adds the context from a former pitcher and really just points it out when it's inconsistent (as opposed to just pointing out a missed call, it'll be that's been a strike all day, etc).
   52. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5871051)
I wonder if Wyoming native and huge UW fan Tracy Ringolsby had anything to do with him getting the gig.

Ringolsby also covered the Rangers for the Dallas Morning News, and I believe his time there overlapped with Huson's brief but still-too-long tenure as the Rangers SS.
   53. Perry Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5871053)
Dan McLaughlin is a perfectly good PBP guy for the Cards, but all the rotating cast of ex-Cards-player analysts -- Hrabosky, McCarver, Horton, Thompson, Edmonds -- are pretty bad, with Hrabosky the worst and either Horton or Thompson probably the best. I'd like to hear more of Rick Ankiel, who was starting to get a little booth time before he decided to try pitching again. Now that he's given that up, time to give him another analyst shot.
   54. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 13, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5871054)
How many players are analysts for teams they never played for like Rex Hudler in KC?

The now retired Hawk Harrelson never played for the White Sox. OK, you said analyst and that wasn't his job. Then again, not many ex-jocks become play-by-play guys, and Hawk was a PBP guy for a team he never played for, so that's double the oddness.

Add me to list of confused Cubs fans to see Len/JD so low.

Especially weird given that the article points out how it wasn't a result of a bunch of people giving them D/Fs, which you'd expect if it was other fan bases coming in to lower the Cubs score. The scores were just lower than before is all.
   55. Brian C Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5871056)
I don't mind strike zone/umpiring commentary as long as it's not one-sided. Harrelson used to drive me nuts in all kinds of ways, but the worst was the way the umps were always out to get the Sox. Every borderline call was a travesty against them and the league needs to get involved and so on.

But if the ump is doing a crummy job of calling balls and strikes, that's an important aspect of the game, may as well work that into the commentary. Just be fair and reasonable about it, is all I ask. I agree Deshaies has been more vocal this year, but he works within the "fair and reasonable" parameters.

The only real criticism I have of them is that Len will sometimes get a little stand-uppy. He's always seemed very engaging and good-natured to me, but he's really not very funny. But now and again he'll try really hard to make a joke, or get going with a series of jokes, usually reaching for a square-peg pop-culture reference, and sometimes he misses the mark so badly that Deshaies flat-out says, "I don't know what you mean."

But that's a small quibble. Overall they're easily a solid A and they're very much worthy of this era of Cubs history. Also I should vote in this poll next year because 13 is just criminal.
   56. Spahn Insane Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5871060)
Best thing about Hawk? His pouty extended silences whenever the Sox started melting down.
   57. . Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5871061)
Yeah, 13's too low. They could be as high as 3, behind the Giants and Mets, who will likely be 1-2 for at least the next 2-3 years.

I wonder if they get ranked too low because of the comparison to Harry and Stone, arguably the GOAT booth in their prime. Both superstations had ridiculously good booths BITD, which had to add even more to their appeal.
   58. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5871066)
Really interesting to me to see the players that end up going into broadcasting. Jeff Huson, huh?

And Ryan Spilborghs. Two greats on one broadcast team.

Ben Davis is a generic name so I want to let everyone know that it is the same Ben Davis who was drafted 2nd overall and played catcher for the Padres and Mariners. The Phillies are not one of the 7 organizations he played for, but he grew up in the area.
   59. Karl from NY Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:25 PM (#5871069)
Keith's disgust in particular is entertaining - not that he was perfect, cough cough, but the booth also is willing to grant superiority to many modern skills such as better conditioning.

I remember one hilarious Keith moment a few years ago. First baseman misses what should have been an easy ground ball. Cohen goes "You would have gotten that, right, Keith?" Keith just kind of splutters and can't answer, obviously totally thinking "hell yes" and wanted to say it, but couldn't criticize and show up the current player.
   60. Zonk, your King of All that Is Real Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5871070)
The only real criticism I have of them is that Len will sometimes get a little stand-uppy. He's always seemed very engaging and good-natured to me, but he's really not very funny. But now and again he'll try really hard to make a joke, or get going with a series of jokes, usually reaching for a square-peg pop-culture reference, and sometimes he misses the mark so badly that Deshaies flat-out says, "I don't know what you mean."


There's only been one truly funny guy to ever man a booth....
   61. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5871072)
Best thing about Hawk? His pouty extended silences whenever the Sox started melting down.


Yeah, that was the only thing about him that really bothered me. I don't mind a good Ron Santo style "oh noooooooo" if you are gonna be a huge homer at least acknowledge something exciting is happening.
   62. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5871074)
Dan McLaughlin is a perfectly good PBP guy for the Cards


Obviously I am not a Cardinals fan but I dislike him intensely.
   63. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5871077)

I remember one hilarious Keith moment a few years ago. First baseman misses what should have been an easy ground ball. Cohen goes "You would have gotten that, right, Keith?" Keith just kind of splutters and can't answer, obviously totally thinking "hell yes" and wanted to say it, but couldn't criticize and show up the current player


Gary and Ron are really good at trolling Keith/setting him up to say something funny/outrageous. Keith has said some problematic things over the years and I rarely agree with his baseball opinions, but he is entertaining for the most part and the three man booth is really good. Gary is probably the best PBP man in the game.
   64. Zonk, your King of All that Is Real Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5871079)
As a Cubs fan who hews to the rules about allegiances, I rather enjoyed... nay, loved Hawk's pouty extended silences.

This ballgame is.... OH-vah....
   65. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:15 PM (#5871088)
The only real criticism I have of them is that Len will sometimes get a little stand-uppy. He's always seemed very engaging and good-natured to me, but he's really not very funny. But now and again he'll try really hard to make a joke, or get going with a series of jokes, usually reaching for a square-peg pop-culture reference, and sometimes he misses the mark so badly that Deshaies flat-out says, "I don't know what you mean."

Part of his charm is the bad dad humor attempts he makes though. I guess it's not a positive, but it doesn't bug me. The one thing I consistently see the general public complain about (and Len sort of encourages this as every now and then he RTs a bunch of the stuff he gets) is that neither of them really get that upset when the Cubs are struggling and that they can be too complimentary of opposing players (it's their job to point out Mike Trout is kinda good, you know) - some people really do want more homerism out of them. They also occasionally will talk about other games or just other things during a game, and that also annoys people, but considering I'm watching damn near every game I appreciate when they do that - they don't have to rehash the road troubles every road game, etc.
   66. villageidiom Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5871090)
Everyone complaining about announcers (especially Tom Hamilton), have never listened to a full game, or a full season, or going on three decades, of John Sterling calling Yankees game.
You can't predict complaining, Suzyn.
   67. Zonk, your King of All that Is Real Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:25 PM (#5871093)
The one thing I consistently see the general public complain about (and Len sort of encourages this as every now and then he RTs a bunch of the stuff he gets) is that neither of them really get that upset when the Cubs are struggling and that they can be too complimentary of opposing players (it's their job to point out Mike Trout is kinda good, you know) - some people really do want more homerism out of them. They also occasionally will talk about other games or just other things during a game, and that also annoys people, but considering I'm watching damn near every game I appreciate when they do that - they don't have to rehash the road troubles every road game, etc.


I also consider this very much a plus from them... I'm not anti-homerism - Ronnie was kind of endearing in his; Harry could actually be fun with his homerism because it more often homerism baked in "Yeesh, our guys suck!" than whining about umpires or the other team.

But yeah - I feel like I do watch less of the wrapup/scoreboard shows of late and now that I think about it, I suspect this is because I do tend to get a lot of my around baseball news from Len and JD... another plus.
   68. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5871095)
Part of his charm is the bad dad humor attempts he makes though. I guess it's not a positive, but it doesn't bug me.

That was the main thing I noticed about Steve Stone in the couple White Sox games I listened to. And then his partner who is less than half his age (Jason Benetti) seemed to just have no idea what he was talking about and didn't react one way or another.
   69. Brian C Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:30 PM (#5871097)
The one thing I consistently see the general public complain about (and Len sort of encourages this as every now and then he RTs a bunch of the stuff he gets) is that neither of them really get that upset when the Cubs are struggling and that they can be too complimentary of opposing players (it's their job to point out Mike Trout is kinda good, you know) - some people really do want more homerism out of them. They also occasionally will talk about other games or just other things during a game, and that also annoys people, but considering I'm watching damn near every game I appreciate when they do that - they don't have to rehash the road troubles every road game, etc.

Ah see, I didn't know this, but it makes sense. Figures that their classiness would be the thing that bugs people most.
   70. JAHV Posted: August 13, 2019 at 06:05 PM (#5871104)
How many players are analysts for teams they never played for like Rex Hudler in KC?


Hudler may be the exception to the rule. He used to do color for the Angels (whom he played for) when Physioc was the play-by-play guy in Anaheim. When the Angels fired them (presumably because they were awful), Hudler probably followed Physioc to Kansas City since they had a good rapport. They weren't good at anything else, but at least they seemed to get along with each other.
   71. Bote Man Posted: August 14, 2019 at 12:12 AM (#5871191)
Am I the only one who is at least as irritated by "It! Is! OUTTA HERE!" following Giants' HRs? This is why I have never understood the high rankings for SF's announcers.

Let's be clear about this, the Giants rotate 4 guys through both the radio and TV booths:
Jon Miller
Dave Flemming
Mike Krukow
Duane Kuiper ("It! Is! OUTTA HERE!")

The majority of games Miller and Flemming will share the radio booth while "Kruk & Kuip" will share the TV booth for the whole game. Sometimes one of them will take the day off so Miller/Flemming and Kuiper will swap between radio and TV a few innings at a time for that game. So just saying "the Giants announcers" does not specify whom you're talking about. Duane Kuiper has a dry sense of humor and really gives less than a crap about speaking his mind--that's part of his appeal. He is pretty self-effacing, even going along with the joke about him hitting only 1 home run during his MLB career. Jon Miller has a deep and abiding love for the game, is encyclopedic about its history, and has great pipes and clear descriptions of what the h3ll is happening in the game. He's the best in the business.


Seriously, check out Len and JD on a Cubs game. They'll at least be a major exception to your rule.

I did say "most TV commentators" and I was specifically thinking about the Cubs TV team when I wrote that. Like tonight I watched the last couple innings of the Phillies game, but I instinctively selected the Cubs stream and left it on TV audio instead of the radio overlay.

If the Giants are playing anybody, I watch their broadcast automatically and select the audio that carries Jon Miller that night. For the Nats I choose Charlie & Dave. For any other games I choose the radio team that is good or at least listenable; if it's a Hobson's choice I just choose whoever is least irritating. These days a lot of times I'll choose the TV audio just so I get blessed silence during the inning breaks.
   72. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: August 14, 2019 at 08:55 AM (#5871217)
Chip Caray drives me bonkers with his chronic misjudgment of fly balls. "POPPED HIM UP. Markakis backpedaling...to the track...he hauls it in just shy of the wall."
   73. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5871221)
the Yankees have what I assume is a legally blind, literally octogenarian radio play-by-play guy. just don't watch the game and listen to him (but why would you?)
   74. Karl from NY Posted: August 14, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5871238)
Chip Caray drives me bonkers with his chronic misjudgment of fly balls. "POPPED HIM UP. Markakis backpedaling...to the track...he hauls it in just shy of the wall."

John Sterling does it the other way around. "IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT IS ... caught by the shortstop two steps behind second base."
   75. . Posted: August 14, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5871243)
The team of Chip Carey and Frenchy is almost unspeakably twee merely in conception and theory ... but then ... you go to the article ... and Chip Carey is wearing .... a pink blazer.
   76. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: August 14, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5871257)
Jon Miller has a deep and abiding love for the game, is encyclopedic about its history, and has great pipes and clear descriptions of what the h3ll is happening in the game. He's the best in the business.


If I am imagining a baseball game on a lazy day or as I go to sleep, Jon Miller is calling it
   77. Lassus Posted: August 14, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5871272)
I love Jon Miller, and he's just about one of the only people I would accept replacing Gary Cohen. (Not that he ever will, I mean in theory.)
   78. base ball chick Posted: August 14, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5871323)
certified c*bs hater here and i will say that the team of len and JD is rated WAAAAAYYYYY too low. i'll always turn them on if i am watching a c*bs game over anyone but the giants broadcasters who are beyond awesome.

but the padres being the best????? SRSLY?????? like, NO

agree the met guys are really good. astros guys are pretty good too. they have biggio or bagwell in the booth once a week or so - bagwell is, well, a great ballplayer, and biggio, once, actually managed to be funny - didn't know that was possible. those 2 guys wrote the bull durham scene about memorizing your cliches
- they had lance berkman on last week and he was really good. i'm not down with the way he views Christianity, but he sure is intelligent

i detest the rangers announcers - dave raymond and his clounn buddy used to pollute the astros radio with milo senile hamilton. the first good thing that jim crane did was dump those 2 jokers. of course, he also dumped JD which was a YUGE mistake

marlins, nats and reds announcers are terrible and i refuse to listen to john and suzyn. uck
   79. jingoist Posted: August 14, 2019 at 05:28 PM (#5871435)
Gary Thorne and Cakes Palmer are a fine duo for about 1/2 of the O’s tv broadcasts, the other guys, not so much.
   80. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 14, 2019 at 09:53 PM (#5871516)
So the Nationals crew is terrible because why? What makes them truly awful? Curious.

I don't watch them enough to remember their names, but the younger one sounds like a 14 year old talking up a Taco Bell special.
   81. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 14, 2019 at 09:58 PM (#5871518)
Gary Thorne and Cakes Palmer are a fine duo for about 1/2 of the O’s tv broadcasts, the other guys, not so much

Thorne's kind of generic goofy old guy, but Palmer's up there with O'Neill and Cone in terms of situational analysis and being able to describe what's going on in the pitcher's or batter's head in the upcoming pitch.

And yes, I'm sure that other teams have first rate analysts as well, but those are the three I've watched (by far) the most.
   82. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2019 at 10:14 PM (#5871534)
O'Neill and Cone are good. ex-catcher John Flaherty also pretty good.

the Yankees' TV crew overall has been solid for years.

I just don't notice them ever call out a loafing Yankee like the Mets' crew does, which costs them some points.

but overall they are a bit less fawning than many crews that I see/hear - yet a little too fawning for typical NY/NJ audiences, imo.
   83. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 14, 2019 at 11:06 PM (#5871545)
O'Neill and Cone are good. ex-catcher John Flaherty also pretty good.

the Yankees' TV crew overall has been solid for years.

I just don't notice them ever call out a loafing Yankee like the Mets' crew does, which costs them some points.


In truth since Cano left there hasn't been much to call out on a team that now largely consists of players fighting for a spot on the roster once the crips return. Sanchez usually takes it easy on grounders, but with his groin issues that's perfectly understandable.
   84. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2019 at 11:14 PM (#5871548)
that's fair.

but if an issue arises that does need calling out, I suspect we're not going to get it.

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