Saturday, June 16, 2007
The Play By Play Announcer
A few times now I have brought my criticisms forward concerning Our Washington Nationals Play-By-Play TV Announcer on MASN--Bob Carpenter.
Some have questioned why I feel this way. And, that's all fair. So, I wanted to explain my position, hopefully, a little better.
In a Baseball Play By Play Announcer I wish to hear and see all the following:
A compelling call of the game. Describe the action in detail, and when the situation calls for it--raise the level of your game--get excited--show everyone this moment is thrilling to see. No one does this better than Jon Miller--while being absolutely hilarious at the same time. Don't just say "Ryan Zimmerman batting right handed" Say "Ryan Zimmerman, closed stance, feet square, crowding the plate--set near the back of box." That's a huge difference. On a fly ball--Don't just say "Church back to wall--to make a great catch!!" Say "Church, on his horse, toward left center, back to warning track, to the wall, leaps, AND MAKES THE CATCH!! What a CATCH!!" A lefthanded Snare of the baseball heading over the wall!!" Big, BIG, Difference. Something--again--Jon Miller has practiced and shows in each an every game description--whether its TV or Radio. Its why he's so good. Many others also do this well. Charlie Slowes is EXCELLENT on the radio with the game on the line. Dave Jageler is getting there, too. In fact, on radio--we are very lucky as Washington Nationals Fans.
An understanding of the game--its strategy, its nuances. When something odd occurs--like in most every game you will ever see--explain why it is weird. Why this play was so unusual. Don't just say--"Wasn't that odd?"
Know the Rules of the Game. Don't be guessing and making assumptions. Like The Umpires themselves--a Play-By-Play Announcer should be fully versed in the rules and regulations. At times, you might have to clarify something in the rule book--I understand. But, please know the game.
An ability--despite being a Homer, to still be critical of mistakes, sloppiness or someone being downright lazy. Whenever any player is involved in an error or mistake--tell it like it is. Please don't make an excuse for them. All the good announcers are to the point. Nothing, do I appreciate more.
Its OK to praise great players and fine plays by the opposing side. No one would be a fan of this great game if they did not appreciate fine efforts. But, don't gush constantly over the opposition's players at the great expense of our very own--especially when its over a young talent like Ryan Zimmerman. This has happened far to often this year on MASN. I understand Ryan has had his problems throwing and setting his feet, but it does not take away from his terrific talents.
If you worked for The St.Louis Cardinals for years, I can understand your fondness for many there you know. But, that doesn't mean that Scott Rolen is the GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME. The guy can barely stay healthy.
If you don't know something, an answer to a situation--don't act like you do. It only looks foolish.
And finally--Don't Ever Talk Down to the Fans. Baseball Fans are the most educated students of the game. No sport has so many experts as Baseball. I am very serious about that fact.
Play-By-Play Guys I love:
Jon Miller, Charlie Slowes, Vin Scully, Jim Kaat (Also a TERRIFIC ANALYST), Ken Singleton, Michael Kay, Sean McDonough, Duane Kuiper, George Grande, Bob Uecker, Pete Van Wieren, Charlie Steiner and Chip Carey. (I have never heard Harry Kalas do a full game---probably a shame for me).
Loved Ernie Harwell, when he was broadcasting Tigers Games. What a joy that man was. Even at an advanced age and well past his prime--Harry Carey was downright HILARIOUS to listen to on WGN, to the very end.
Color Announcers I adore--Joe Morgan (along with Miller--the finest broadcast team money can buy).
Don Sutton (what a revelation that man has been for me in 2007)--never has an away game gone by that I have watched this season where he hasn't said something that made me say--"Wow, that's interesting." Or. "I didn't know that." All in the most civil tone like you and I are having a discussion at the dinner table with your best friends. Just love the man.
Others: Just about any Yankees Broadcaster on YES. Kaat & Singleton are special. Even Bobby Murcer was entertaining before his tragic Brain Cancer Surgery. I wish him well. Like everyone in New York--these guys are DIRECT. Nothing escapes them. Just a pleasure to listen to--whether you hate The Yankees or not.
Jerry Remy on NESN. Mike Krukow on Giants Broadcast. Rex Hudler on Fox Sports West Angels Game. Hudler the most interesting color guy on the West Coast. Always a good listen. Rex downright entertaining.
Jim Palmer. The man knows his stuff. He can break down pitching as well as Sutton.
Bert Blyleven. Former pitchers are BY FAR--better color analysts--it seems.
There are some broadcasters and tandems I have never heard. DirecTV shows all the games, but not all the different broadcasts. That's why I have never heard Kalas. So I am not on top of everyone. But, those are my favorites.
And, I do not like Joe Buck and Tim McCarver on Fox TV. I feel they talk down to each and every fan. As if we know nothing about the game. At times, its almost insulting. Although, during the playoffs, Fox has used former pitcher Al Leiter. Who, in the briefest of times on the air--described pitching beautifully and the play on the field in fine style. Not sure why I haven't seen more of him. Al Leiter has great potential in the booth.
PS--I promised The African Queen that Today, Saturday June 16th would be HER DAY. So, I did not watch our 7-3 Loss to The Toronto Blue Jays. Listening briefly on the radio while driving to and fro--I guess I can sum up our Bats Today in this way:
"K K K K K K K K K K K K K K" Yes, 14 Strikeouts in all by Our Washington Nationals.
Not Much Offense. Not Much Of A Game. I guess I didn't miss much, Huh?
Although I know that Section 320 Faithful--MsZimmy and Johnie Damon were on hand at SkyDome (Yes, SkyDome to me) and I can't wait to hear their report.