Baseball Broadcaster Impressions Project today with a look at the Los Angeles Angels of Orange County broadcasting teams.
TV Broadcasters: Victor Rojas, Mark Gubicza
Victor Rojas is a very good broadcaster. I liked him when he worked at the MLB Network when it debuted. Gubicza is very good if you like the surf brah persona. If not you're going to skip this broadcast and switch over to the other broadcast.
Rojas is a very intelligent play-by-play announcer with a dry wit that is entertaining. It's actually a shame Rojas is broadcasting Angels games because A) no one in the East stays up for Angels game and B) he's announcing games in Scully's shadow. There would be loads of praise heaped on Rojas if he was a broadcaster for Chicago, New York, or Philadelphia. He's really good.
What's amazing about the Angels broadcast is that they replaced surfer brah Rex Hudler for another surfer brah Mark Gubicza. I guess the Angels organization figures the residents of Orange County can related easier to the broadcast if there's a cliche-machine surf bro giving analysis. That can be the only explanation for the Angels to continue hiring surf brahs. Yes, I like saying brah. Sue me, this is my blog.
If Rojas was alone in the booth I would suggest listening to the Angels every game. He is not alone in the booth though and unless you like cliche-machined surf dudes, you might as well skip listening to a Angels broadcast.
Radio Broadcasters: Terry Smith, Jose Mota
I started listening to Terry Smith one game and I became confused thinking that it wasn't Terry Smith but the ghost of Harry Kalas. It was the damnedest thing I've heard. The literal Angel of Harry Kalas came out of the heavens and decided to broadcast a Angels game. Who else uses the phrase, "That ball is out-ta here!"? Then I heard the radio identification and it turned out to be Angels broadcaster Terry Smith.
God bless Terry Smith but I find it pretty pathetic that he basically just uses other, more accomplished broadcaster catchphrases instead of being himself. Sorry but you can't be Harry Kalas or Jerry Coleman or Vin Scully. You have to be Terry Smith. Even if you're very mundane you still have to be yourself. You can't be anyone else no matter how cool Harry Kalas or Jerry Coleman are.
Jose Mota on the other hand isn't pretending to be someone else, he's just there to be a Mike Scioscia cheerleader. Mota doesn't do anything else in the booth except relentlessly praise Scioscia and everything he does. Even when Scioscia does something stupid like bunt even though he plays in the American League and the pitcher isn't hitting.
*In case you haven't noticed this is my last Baseball Broadcaster Impressions review. I'll have a bigger reflection of the project next week but I want to thank everyone who read this series and thank them for their own opinions on the broadcasters.