This isn't a message totally praising the Oakland A's TV broadcast team. Granted, they are good at what they do. Ray Fosse is an obvious homer but one who will criticize the A's players when the situation warrants it. Glenn Kuiper comes from a family of broadcasters, is informative, not a total Joe-Buckian stiff in the booth but why did he eventually get the job? Because A's management let go Greg Papa; a commanding enthusiastic broadcasting voice who is also the voice of the Oakland Raiders.
Last week we introduced a new way for you to interact with Awful Announcing and let your voice be heard. The AA Fan Forum will be the place to go for you to rant about or praise announcers. Throughout August, we'll be featuring your submissions into our AA Inbox regarding the local MLB announcing teams that we may not have time to cover extensively. This first edition features baseball fans, AA readers, and fellow bloggers giving their take on their MLB announcers and below you can find your way to submit your own thoughts to us for the AA Fan Forum. Without further adieu, here's what the fans have to say...
Phillies: Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler. Wheels has been on our TVs since the 1970's and has made us want to hit the mute button ever since. The chriswheelerglossary.com website lists many of his catch phrases. Tom McCarthy has had the unenviable task of following Harry Kalas as lead PBP guy, but his cadence (and the SIIIIIIDE is RETIRED...) and awful segues (Hey, speaking of...) are brutal.
When people think of Brewers announcers, the first name they'll come up with is Bob Uecker, and rightfully so -- he's an institution in Milwaukee, and from an entertainment standpoint, I don't know if there's anyone better. In terms of play-by-play, though, he's starting to slip in his advancing age. He'll have trouble reading flyballs from time-to-time, to the point of starting up his "Get up, get up, get outta here, gone" home run call, only to have to correct himself to "get off that wall" halfway through. Overall, though, he's still worth listening to. Cory Provus does a very good job playing the straight man to Uecker, and his play-by-play is typically crisp and informative, which is a plus on radio.
On the TV end, the consensus seems to be that Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder make a pretty solid team, at least among those who have had the misfortune of listening to other teams' crews on MLB.TV. Anderson has always done a good job of letting the pictures do most of the speaking, which is an underrated attribute when it comes to TV announcers. Schroeder is your typical homer color analyst (to be expected from a former Brewers catcher), although he won't refer to the Brewers as "we" like some others. Together, they seem to work much better together than Schroeder and Daron Sutton ever did before Sutton left for Arizona. Sutton was (and still is, from what I can tell) truly an Awful Announcer. Anderson, on the other hand, is very good, and it's no surprise that TBS has started to trust him with some more important postseason series.
The Brewers Bar
So whenever I ask why there is such apathy in the fan base today or why I simply don't care anymore... I watch a replay of a game from pre 2004 that aired on the A's flagship tonight. It featured A's 3rd base coach Ron Washington, bench coach Terry Francona, beloved former A's players (like Eric Byrnes and Miguel Tejada) playing with passion and all broadcasted by their former play by play guy, Greg Papa. Yeah they didn't win squat back then, but to me, those were the days.
Andrew S. Lee
Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling (Gary, Keith, and Ron) of SNY (Mets TV) are spectacular announcers. While Cohen has a natural deep voice, it is silky-smooth and it rarely gets monotonous like Joe Buck's or Thom Brennaman's can get. He also shows plenty of excitement, as evidenced by his high-pitched "IT'S OUTTA HERE!!!" home run call. There is no question he shows some homerism, but I see that as a good thing, and he doesn't let it get over the top like John Sterling or Hawk Harrellson. And as a former hitter and a former pitcher respectively, Hernandez and Darling provide the perfect balance in the booth. Hernandez's goofy and eccentric nature often cracks Cohen and Darling up. Darling is an expert of the game and has gained national recognition for his work with TBS. In fact, he is one of the few members of TBS's MLB coverage who hasn't drawn criticism in recent years. Often only Keith or only Ron will be paired with Cohen for a particular road trip or home stand, but when the three are together, they are arguably the best play-by-play team in the nation.
If you'd like to be in the next edition of the AA Forum, here's 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.
We'll keep dishing out the fan forums as the responses come in and will have another Fan Forum piece later this week. Hope to hear from you soon.