It’s time for our second rendition of the AA Fan Forum. You can check out our first post here with thoughts on announcers from New York to Oakland. Throughout the month of August (and maybe even beyond), we’ll be giving you the floor at AA to write about your favorite MLB team’s local announcers. Check back this weekend for more thoughts from baseball fans and AA readers from around the country in the AA forum.
Mets fans around the world don’t have a whole lot to be proud of these days when it comes to our team and what goes on around it. We have had our moments of glory and of course many moments of despair the past five years, but for 125 games or so, Mets fans do have one thing to be very proud of, win or lose. I’m talking about our television announcers in the Sportsnet New York booth, Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and the always famous (and the inspiration behind my blog) Keith Hernandez.
Gary Cohen is considered the best baseball announcer in the game today behind the legendary Vin Scully and was able to move from the radio booth in 2006 to television without missing a beat. His signature home run call “Its Outta Here” is simple and not over the top. He is a fair broadcaster who does not shy away from the big issues surrounding the team and has no problem voicing an opinion that is not team friendly. He has an amazing knowledge of team history and also knows when to speak and when to let the game breathe before being able to again explain the action perfectly.
Ron Darling is one of the best analysts in the game today and you all may know him from his work nationally for TBS during the playoffs since the 2007 season. He has a great knowledge of the game and is the perfect compliment to Keith who focuses on the hitting side while Ron does the pitching part. Darling is the best analyst in New York, and even Yankee fans can agree with that.
Finally, we have the man, the myth and the legend, Keith Hernandez. A former MVP and 2 time world champion, he is able to bring not only great knowledge to the game, but also some funny moments which works perfectly with the straight man attitude that Darling and Cohen bring to the broadcast. Keith is very much an old school announcer and does a great job of relating what he did in his playing days as compared to what he sees during the game. He is also not afraid to rip any and all players, although has his moments as a “homer.” It’s comparable more to Ron Santo’s lovable style and not Hawk Harrelsson’s moronic style.
Like I said, Mets Fans don’t have much going in our favor, but since 2006, we have the best announcers in the game today and when Vin Scully retires, our booth will be the best. We don’t win much in Queens, but in this case, it’s not even close.
***Matthew was also the originator of the famous Vin Scully World Series petition. We’re still counting on you to make that happen, Fox!
As a lifelong Dodger fan, I am spoiled. Vin Scully has lost a little bit, although part of it may be due to trying to serve TV and radio when he simulcasts, but he is still better than anybody else on the air now. Charley Steiner and Rick Monday are fine on radio — Steiner is less descriptive than I like in radio pbp and Monday doesn’t add much, but he doesn’t talk too much, which is a refreshing change from most color commentators. When Scully misses a telecast — he doesn’t travel east of Denver — Eric Collins and Steve Lyons fill in. Alice Roosevelt Longworth said if you can’t say something nice about someone, sit by me. She’d love hearing about these two. Collins tries. Lyons tries my patience.
Las Vegas, Nevada
My team is the Reds. Is there another MLB team that has more announcers than the Reds? You really do need a scorecard to tell them apart. Here goes. I hope I remember them all…
Thom Brennaman: A very brusque announcer. He brings a football mentality to a baseball broadcast. He tries to make every play the key play of the season. The most casual fan knows this isn’t so.
Chris Welsh: A solid announcer who knows his stuff. But he won’t call out a player when he’s obviously bad. He will always take the side of the player.
Jeff Brantley: Really solid in analyzing the game. Especially pitching. He is not a good PBP man. He does a few innings on radio and you cannot follow the action at all. Also when he starts talking about food, forget any baseball coverage. Eats is what it’s all about for The Cowboy.
Jim Kelch: Good PBP man. Better on radio than TV. Very bland and basic.
Marty Brennaman: Once was a great PBP announcer who has turned into the ultimate grouch. He seems very bitter with no reason why. He’s gotten very annoying to listen to.
George Grande and Sean Casey are part timers. Grande is still good but everything is sunshine and seashells for him. Nothing can be bad in his eyes. Pleasant to listen to, but cliche ridden. Casey is like the pet dog who jumps into your lap and licks your face incessantly. Very, very happy person who can be annoying to a point. If you can get by his constant laughing he will throw in some good analysis, but you have to listen closely.
There’s my take on the Reds announcers.
Seattle fans will have a hard time accepting a new play-by-play man after the death of longtime broadcaster/face-of-the-franchise/Seattle icon Dave Niehaus. While Sims did get some work filling in for Niehaus in previous years, he’s still in Dave’s shadow – anyone would be – but he has shown fans little faith in him being the longtime broadcaster for the M’s. Sims is a well-versed man in the booth, but his need to get ahead of the play (as so many do now) instead of making the correct call, lead to some embarrassing miscues (“line drive base hit ohhh no it’s caught”). Miscues are a part of Sims’ style as I can usually count on two hands throughout one game how many calls he’s gotten wrong (score, player names).
Blowers, on the other hand, is as strong of color commentator as there is. After the first few games, Blowers might come across as boring and uninterested with a monotone voice that could put you to sleep. However, after listening to him for a whole season, his knowledge of the game and dry sense of humor has won me over. He provides great insight into every play and while his voice might take some getting used to, it’s definitely a strong presence in the booth and he is well-liked by most fans.
Grade: B… Sims might be more adept at calling a Sounders game than a Mariners one and while certainly has passion for the game, needs to cut down on miscues. Blowers, on the other hand, is phenomenal in his role as he showcases his intuitive knowledge of the game with a keen eye for situational comedy.
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