We’re ready for another edition of the AA Fan Forum, where our readers write in and talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of their local MLB announcing teams. Not only does this feature give you another way to make your voice heard, but it also gives us a way of covering announcers that we normally wouldn’t have time to address. You can check our last edition here. If you’d like to contribute in the next AA Fan Forum, this is what you need to do…
*Send e-mails to awfulannouncing @ gmail.com
*Include MLB AA Fan Forum in the message subject heading
*Keep your responses between 150-300 words.
*Remember to keep it clean and your submissions may be edited for spelling, grammar, etc.
*If your submission fits these criteria, it will be considered to be published in the AA Fan Forum.
Awesome idea! I love being able to talk about how much I love listening to Scott Frantzke and Larry Anderson of the Phillies. I’m a displaced Phillies fan; I’ve lived in Indiana or Ohio since 1979. I remember nights in 1980 when I would get in my car, go park it by a cornfield after dark and listen to 50,000-watt KYW as the season wound to a close. Over the years I learned how to position my GE Super Radio just the right way so I could listen to as much Phillies baseball as possible. And then came the dawn of Internet broadcasting. After that came satellite radio! I’ve paid for MLB radio access via the internet & XM every year they’ve been offered, including the app on my Droid so I can be just about anywhere (before dark!) and listen to my beloved Phils. And while I’ve been at it, I’ve listened to quite a few other teams’ broadcasts, too.
The above is to illustrate that I’ve listened to a lot of baseball on the radio over the last 30+ years and I can tell you that I think Scott & Larry are one of the premiere duos on the radio today. It’s clear they get along with one another; they converse about the game and include me, the listener, while they do so. There are plenty of facts and statistics to illustrate what’s happening on the field without becoming dry or overblown. They don’t take themselves or the game so seriously that they can’t have fun while they’re working. There are always a few laugh-out-loud moments when those two get going. Sure, they root for the Phillies, but they don’t minimize the accomplishments of the other teams. Larry will rant and rave about the umpires and Scott will be the voice of reason. Scott does the play-by-play and Larry’s color commentary is complementary to whatever Scott is saying.
They LISTEN to one another (unlike John Sterling who often ignores whatever Susie is saying). Scott’s home run calls (That ball is GONE!) are exciting, yet the call doesn’t become bigger than the home run (I’m looking at you again, Mr. Sterling). That’s pretty much all I have to say about Scott & Larry. I do have to tell you I miss Ron Santo of the Cubs. His histrionics over Cubs’ flubs and losses were always entertaining. RIP.
Being from Colorado and now living in Seattle, I’ve been able to pay close attention to the Rockies broadcast team (as well as the overwhelming ads for Root Sports).. What I really enjoy in a good broadcast is the narrative of the game – I do recognize Vin Scully as one of the best at this – but also the passion and knowledge required to add a nice backdrop to the viewer/listener.
I have to say I enjoy tuning into the pregame with Tom Helmer and Tracy Ringolsby as they usually keep things light (Helmer is known to rile fans at Coors in centerfield after a Rox win).. As far as Drew Goodman and George Frasier, I am a huge fan of Goodman with his understanding of the big moment and setting it up as such. He’s a great play-by-play caller and works well with Frasier and keeping him focused. I have mixed feelings about Frasier, though, as he would say there’s “no question” he loves to have fun in the booth, but he goes on tangents that have to be reigned in by Goodman and his ego-padding style of analysis wears old after a while. Pre-game contributor Jeff Huson has gotten a lot better when he’s in the booth (needs to cut out his ummms however) and deserves a shot to split more time with Frasier, in my opinion. Grade: A- … Tough to beat Goodman as a play-by-play man, but Frasier needs to focus on keeping things relevant for Joe Fan, while toning down his know-everyone-in-baseball schtick.
Before last year, when someone talked about the SF Giants, it was always in reference to the magical mystery tour following Barry Bonds and his pursuit of the all time American home run record. And in between those tense moments, it was the minutia of playing a baseball game. Luckily for Giants fans (and for the stray A’s fan like myself), you had the entertaining duo of Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow to keep you company.
I recall many times on Awful Announcing watching clips of Kruk and Kuip doing commentary of a party boat in the Cove and as the fans know, they are the kings of killing time. Whether it’s eliminating a rival fan with their telestrator or commenting on the kid who’s about to throw a fit for not getting a foul ball, if you wanted broadcasters who are friendly to casual baseball fans, you hire Kruk and Kuip.
But that’s not to say they know nothing about calling a game. Kuiper is knowledgeable and has one of the most enthusiastic and powerful voices in baseball (see every Barry Bonds home run call). Krukow is a cheerleader but he imparts a lot of fact and strategy that comes from being a former major league pitcher. The fan base really loves their Kruk and Kuip. How much you say? After their World Series win, the flagship station replayed many of their key playoff wins (in its entirety) with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver’s audio scrubbed from the TV broadcast and replaced with Kuiper and Krukow’s call on the radio. High praise indeed but seriously, who wouldn’t get rid of Buck and McCarver?… oh wait… nevermind.
Andrew S. Lee