May 28, 2013

Baseball Broadcaster Impressions: ANT

Baseball announcers have a lot of time to kill during games. The season is long, the games are long so you'll hear the broadcasters talking about a lot of different subjects during a game. Jon Miller has a fascination with boats so you can imagine the conversations he's had on air whenever there are boats in his sight line at the game. Kruk & Kuip are interested in food, foul balls, and how fans interact. Mostly though broadcasters talk about players on the field and when that happens you'll get a lot of ANT: Announcer Nonsense Talk.

Joe Posnanski invented the term ANT a couple of weeks ago while talking about Jeff Francoeur of course. Posnanski's definition of Announcer Nonsense Talk is when people start speaking in broad generalities about a player or when they start over-crediting a player for dubious achievements  or when they start to turn sports achievement into life achievement.

You hear all of these broad generalities during each game and even good broadcasters succomb to ANT. I don't blame the broadcaster Announcer Nonsense Talk because of how long the seasons are. When you're on the air for that long during the year you're going to speak some nonsense about a player.

That being said let's take a look at the three categories of ANT that Posnanski talks about and find players to match those categories.

Broad Generalities: Only reserved for players like Francoeur, Michael Young, David Eckstein, even someone like Nate McLouth. Think of how many times an announcer has talked about "grit" or "professional hitting" or "leader" when talking about this category.

Over-Credit: Usually reserved for great players because when a great player has a great season that will usually lead to over-credit. Mariano Rivera (A lot of people are hypocrites when it comes to Rivera. They'll disparage the save as a stat while talking about how good Rivera is) and Miguel Cabrera (think of last season's MVP debate combined with Cabrera having a great year so far and his ANT has become over the top) are the current leaders in this category.

Sports Achievement to Life Achievement: Reserved for formally great players who are still currently playing but can't play up to their past. This doesn't stop announcers though from over-praising these players during the game. Right now Derek Jeter leads this category. If Barry Bonds was still playing he would be dead last.

So there you have it. Credit to Posnanski for coming up with the term and talking about this subject. Both broadcasters and columnists engage in ANT and Posnanski points it out. Now go on and listen to your local broadcast tonight and be careful of the Announcer Nonsense Talk.


  1. The Barry Bonds comment made me laugh. There's no Announcer Nonsense Talk there.

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