September 18, 2012

Baseball Broadcaster Impressions: Reflections

Last week in a sprint to the finish I wrapped up my Baseball Broadcaster Impressions project. I finished in a hurry because truthfully I was ready for the project to end. While the project was a joy to complete, by the end though I was ready for it to end. A project like this wears on you but still satisfying. Looking back over the project I have several reflections.

The Most Condescending Asshole-Homer Announcers: Shocking I know that Thom Brennaman is the most condescending asshole-announcer I listened to. T-Hom is so joyless, so smarmy, that I don't know how Reds fans deal with him. Worst of all T-Hom's father is just as condescending and hard to listen to.

2nd Place for Most Condescending Asshole-Homer Announcer: Besides T-Hom and Marty there isn't another announcer in baseball I most want to hit over the head with a bag of doorknobs than Washington announcer Bob Carpenter. With the Nationals success came Carpenter's snootiness and homerism. I said this in the review I hope there's a camera near Carpenter when the Nationals lose in the NLDS.

An Appreciation of Hawk Harrelson: Hawk and the White Sox radio team were one of the first broadcasting teams I took a look at. And I have to say after listening to the Brennaman's and Carpenter I have to appreciate Harrelson. Yes, Hawk is a homer who pouts when the Good Guys White Sox don't win. Yes, he's very annoying. Harrelson though can't be accused of being condescending though. Something should be know by me, I hate condescension. I think it's one of if not the worst trait that some people have. Hawk isn't condescending. Hawk will also begrudgingly give an opposing team credit when they do something right unlike the Brennaman's or Carpenter who act shocked when something doesn't go in favor of their team. Hawk is annoying, but the Brennaman's and Carpenter are in a whole different category.

There's Not One, But Two Surf Brah Announcers: If you want to listen to a surf brah, cliche-machine you don't have one choice, but actually two choices to choose from! Kansas City with Rex Hudler and Los Angeles of Orange County Anaheim with Mark Gubicza are two cliche-spewing surf brahs you can listen to. Now here's the ironic part. Gubicza played for Kansas City while Hudler played for the Angels. It's like both the Royals and Angels said "fuck it, let's switch former players turned announcers and see if anyone notices."

Rotating Broadcasting Crews Don't Work: Both the Yankees, Pirates, Seattle, and Phillies rotate announcers either during the game or after every broadcast. The Yankees have good announcers in Ken Singleton and David Cone but are drowned out by the nonsense of Michael Kay, Paul O'Neil, and John Flaherty. The Pirates rotate their TV and radio crews which makes it hard for the audience to get used to a certain team. Also doesn't help that none of the Pirates broadcasters are particularly good. And the Phillies rotate in Gary "Sarge" Matthews in the middle innings for nonsense. Seattle has rotating analysts in their radio booth, none of whom are particularly good. Rotating broadcasts are a nuisance and thankfully more broadcasting teams don't rotate.

I'm Not a Big Fan Of Analysts In The Radio Booth: From the Angels to Detroit, I'm just not a fan of a analyst working in the radio booth. I don't need analysis in the radio booth, just description. I found most of the analysts distracting to the game.

There Are A Lot of Former Pitchers Turned Announcers: I would say half of the analysts in the TV booths are former pitchers. And one thing they have all in common is the great ability to break down pitchers, hopefully that is a given to them, but sometimes struggle breaking down what a hitter does. Of if they are Mike Krukow, they think every pitcher in the league can hit.

There Are Broadcasts That Will Make You Fall Asleep: St. Louis is guilty of having a boring TV crew, but Cleveland takes the cake. There isn't a more mundane, boring, lifeless pair of announcers than Matt Underwood and Rick Manning.

There Are A Few Grumpy Old Men: Ray Fosse in Oakland and Tommy Hutton in Miami are keeping the grumpy old men theme alive and well even though Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau have been dead for years. If you need grandpa to tell you to get off his lawn, watch one of these broadcasts.

Somehow Chip Caray Is Employed: Even after his disastrous run on TBS calling playoff games, Chip Caray is somehow still employed by a major league team. Quite the comedown for Braves fans who used to enjoy Skip Caray, The Professor, and Don Sutton on TBS every night.

There Are Some Announcers Who Embrace Advance Stats: Dave Flemming with the Giants, Dave Raymond with the Astros will talk about advance stats on the radio side. The Tampa and Chicago broadcasts have had entire broadcasts dedicated to teaching the audience of advance stats. So they are being talked about it on a TV broadcast near you.

At the end of the day this was a fun project to complete. I got to watch more baseball than I ever have before and got to know other announcers better who aren't from San Francisco or Oakland. Predictably going into this project I knew there would be announcers I hate and there would be announcers that I would find myself surprised to be enjoying. I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did and I want to thank you for reading these posts.


  1. I'm just waiting for you to rank the crews 1-30.

  2. apparently the people who matter disagree with you since they voted benneman into the hall of fame...enough said