August 21, 2012

Baseball Broadcaster Impressions: Baltimore

Continuing the Baseball Broadcaster Impressions Project today with a look at the Baltimore Orioles broadcasting teams.

TV broadcasters: Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer

A lot of people don't know this, but I started following hockey in the mid-90's because of Gary Thorne. Not because of Jaime Baker's goal against the Red Wings in the playoffs. There was something about Thorne's voice and tempo that was perfect for hockey. (Thorne in my opinion would also be a great soccer announcer.) Every since then I've loved Thorne.

And I love Thorne calling Baltimore Orioles games but for other reasons. When Thorne is calling a baseball game he's like an old throwback to the days of Harry Caray. You never know how much Thorne has had to drink before or during the game, but he gets better as the innings go along. The only problem with Thorne is sometimes he has a hard time identifying pitches, but that's only a small nitpick.

Thorne's partner is Jim Palmer. I've stated this a million times on Twitter but let me say it again, I'm amazed at how young Jim Palmer looks. A man in his late 60's shouldn't look like Jim Palmer. He just shouldn't. Palmer the analyst isn't bad either. Palmer like many former pitchers turned broadcaster is at his best breaking down what the pitchers are doing, Palmer is just a little long-winded though. I can look past that.

My only real complaint about Thorne and Palmer is that they are basically part time announcers. Or at least they are part time announcers this season because I can't even count how many times with my fingers that either one of both of them are gone. And I'm sorry but when you go from Thorne/Palmer to Jim Hunter and Mike Bordick, that's like going from Led Zeppelin to Nickleback.

Radio Broadcasters: Joe Angel and Fred Manfra

Joe Angel is a case study in preference. I say that because there are a lot of Giants fans who hated Angel. They hated Angel because his calls were "lame" and that he was a "jinx". I personally tolerated Angel. Didn't love him, didn't hate him. As for his calls I think it has more to do with voice than anything else. Angel and Jon Miller basically have the same calls, it's just that Miller knows how to use his voice perfectly for exciting plays. Angel sounds like Steven Wright.

I always appreciated Angel for this fact. After he left the Giants hired Tim McCarver out of all people to announce games with Jon Miller in the booth. Angel ain't no where near being as bad as McCarver but Giants fans forget that Timmy for a season worked with Jon Miller. Thankfully Dave Flemming was hired the next season.

Angel's partner Fred Manfra is great if you need someone to help you fall asleep. Manfra is a talking Ambien. The only time I couldn't fall asleep while Manfra was talking was when Angel was on vacation and Ben McDonald's Louisiana accent kept me awake.

So really depending on taste and whether or not you think Angel is "lame" you can listen to this duo but they are both very mediocre.


  1. Not to be a dick about this, but Mike Flanagan killed himself last year. Here's the sad article about that from the other day:

    Mike Bordick, the former O's and Oakland shortstop is now the other analyst. He's really grown on me, especially in his breakdown of infield and outfield defense. Teaming up Palmer & Bordick would be an interesting combination. Ben McDonald would be an interesting addition because of his accent, even though he tends to talk in circles.

    1. You know I've been really fucking up lately. Maybe I shouldn't post these in such a hurry.

    2. Seriously this is like my third factual error that you've corrected me in less than a week.

      /Don't rush these posts, Keith
      //Yes I'm talking to myself.

    3. I don't mean to be a busybody. But, this one cut close to home. I still enjoy what you post. This series is an excellent idea.

    4. Don't worry about it. That was an inexcusable mistake. Like I said, I need to stop and reread my work before posting. I haven't done that and there's been mistakes. I'm not on deadline so I shouldn't rush there.

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