July 31, 2012
Baseball Broadcaster Impressions: Seattle
Continuing the Baseball Broadcaster Impressions Project today with a look at the Seattle Mariners broadcasting teams.
TV Announcers: Dave Sims and Mike Blowers
Dave Sims career fascinates me. He's called college football and basketball games on ESPN, is the voice of Sunday Night Football on Westwood One (James Lofton is his partner and will regularly say dumb things despite having a Stanford education proving once again dumb people attend Stanford) and has called UFL games on Versus. If you have a sport to call Sims is your man. And it especially fascinates me that Sims is the TV voice of the Mariners and I don't know why? Maybe it's the hats?
Sims is an endearing character in the Mariners booth. I wouldn't say he's the most knowledgeable baseball broadcaster but knows enough to not to look like an idiot. His charisma also helps moves along a broadcast and almost makes you forget that he's calling boring Mariners games.
My only real complaint with Sims is that he doesn't have the greatest eye for balls that are hit in the air towards the outfield. You'll start hearing him overemphasis the call only to see the ball caught at the warning track. His call sounds like this, "THERE'S A DRIVE, DEEP IN THE AIR, AND IT'S caught." I can only imagine Mariners fans slumping their shoulders after this happens.
Besides being clairvoyant (see the video above) Mike Blowers is also a decent analysis if you can handle his Steven Wright monotone voice and analysis. Blowers is great at breaking down a hitter's approach at the plate and what the hitter is doing wrong or right.
Sims and Blowers are an acquired taste, but they work well with each other and make terrible Mariners games fly by. Now only if we can get Blowers to wear Sims' hats they would be the perfect broadcasting team.
Radio Announcers: Rick Rizzs and Ron Fairly, Ken Levine, Ken Wilson, Dave Valle, and Dave Henderson
Poor Rick Rizzs. Not only did he "replace" Ernie Harwell for a couple of years in Detroit, he also had to replace the wildly popular Dave Niehaus in Seattle. Unlike in Detroit though, Rizzs at least has a track record in Seattle.
Rizzs is a fundamentally sound announcer who doesn't say anything dumb enough to warrant attention. He's a little too optimistic in the booth most times, but that can be ignored because the Mariners have been awful and I can't fault a guy who probably wants to call winning baseball and not the crap the Mariners put out there every night.
Rizzs has a rotation of partners that are suppose to bring analysis to the game. I'm not a fan of rotation announcing crews. I hate that the Yankees and Pirates do it, and I'm also not a fan of the Mariners for a rotation as well. Pick someone to announce games with Rizzs on a permanent basis and let the listeners get used to them.
If I had to choose between all the announcers listed above to be Rizzs permanent partner it would be Ken Levine. He brings the best out of Rizzs with his deadpan humor.
I didn't like Fairly when he called Giants games, and I still don't like him now with the Mariners. Valle is one of those dumbasses that says things like "This guy knows how to win". Wilson brings nothing to the booth and Henderson is fun when he's talking about himself. So yes Levine is the best out of this group.