August 3, 2012
Baseball Broadcaster Impressions: Detroit
Continuing the baseball broadcaster impressions project today with a look at the Detroit Tigers announcing crews.
TV Announcers: Mario Impemba and Rod Allen
After a couple of years of my friend RJBO telling me how mediocre the Tigers TV crew is, I knew I had to watch quite a few Tigers games before making my judgement on them for the impressions project. Is Impemba as mediocre as he says? Is Rod Allen as bad as he says?
Well I couldn't agree more with RJBO on Impemba being mediocre. Impemba doesn't take anything off the table during a broadcast like Hawk Harrelson, but he also doesn't bring anything to the table. Well Impemba does bring one thing to the table, reading from the game notes. I know all the broadcasters use the game notes during the broadcast, maybe to point something out by a player, but they don't use them like they're a script like Impemba. It's annoying and distracting from the game.
Impemba though does a good job at letting the game talk for itself and he isn't a homer who sounds like he's depressed when the other team does something good. He also doesn't make a ton of excuses if the Tigers aren't playing well.
I have to admit to I'm sure the chagrin of RJBO, I enjoy Rod Allen. Yes he's a little too goofy during the broadcast. Yes his language in the booth is pretty simple and he repeatedly says the same thing to the point there's a drinking game for his sayings. Yes Allen overly praises crappy players like Brandon Inge. Allen though is very charming and can make some very valid observational analysis during the broadcast.
I don't need a broadcaster to throw stat after stat at me during a broadcast, but I also don't want someone who spews nonsense. Allen can make just a simple observation that is very helpful during a broadcast. Example when Justin Verlander threw a 91MPH fastball. Verlander usually throws in the mid-90's when he's throwing a fastball but Allen pointed out that Verlander and the Tigers pitching coach talked about throwing at different velocities. This is helpful during the broadcast.
My only complaint about them as a team is that they could banter with each other a little more. They have chemistry, but there's little banter during the game. That's one thing I still enjoy about Kruk & Kuip on the Giants broadcasts is the banter. Impemba and Allen could use this during the broadcast instead of just talking strictly about the game itself.
Radio Announcers: Dan Dickerson and Jim Price
When I've listened to the Tigers radio broadcast, I've found myself enjoying Dickerson. He's SABR aware and he can compliment his voice to whatever the situation is happening. I also enjoy a broadcaster who can troll his partner which Dickerson occasionally does.
I would rank radio crew higher, but Price brings down the entire broadcast. He suffers from Ray Fosse disease, "Hey I was a bench warmer on a championship team so I'm going to talk during every broadcast about being a part of that team." We get it Jim, you played with Al Kaline and Willie Horton and made bets with Denny McLain (Just kidding).
I do enjoy though when Dickerson made fun of Price for being the Eli Whiteside of that team, so that makes up for everything.