Wednesday May 18
Colorado Rockies @ Philadelphia Phillies (ESPN 7PM) Dave O'Brien, Nomar Garciaparra
Thursday May 19
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds (MLB 12:30PM) Local Broadcast [Alternate Game: Washington @ N.Y. Mets 1PM]
Detroit Tigers @ Boston Red Sox (MLBN 7PM) TBA [Alternate Game: Baltimore @ N.Y. Yankees]
Friday May 20
Chicago Cubs @ Boston Red Sox (MLBN 7PM) Local Broadcast [Alternate Game: N.Y. Mets @ N.Y. Yankees]
Saturday May 21
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago White Sox (MLBN 2PM) Local Broadcast [Alternate Game: St. Louis @ Kansas City]
New York Mets @New York Yankees (FOX 7PM) Joe Buck, Tim McCarver
Chicago Cubs @ Boston Red Sox (FOX 7PM) Kenny Albert, Eric Karros
Oakland A's @ San Francisco Giants (FOX 7PM) Dick Stockton, Mark Grace
Texas Rangers @ Philadelphia Phillies (FOX 7PM) Matt Vasgersian, Tom Grieve
Atlanta Braves @ Los Angeles Angels (MLBN 10PM) Local Broadcast [Alternate Game: Minnesota @Arizona]
Sunday May 22
New York Mets @ New York Yankees (TBS 1PM) Brian Anderson, John Smoltz
Chicago Cubs @ Boston Red Sox (ESPN 8PM) Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, Bobby Valentine
Listen to a Bengals game on the radio sometime (Cleveland fan, now living in Cinci). The announcers don't just cheer lead, they're yelling stuff as the play is happening...
PBP Guy: Flacco throws down the sideline
Color Guy: PICK IT, PICK IT
PBP Guy: Intercepted by Jonathan Joseph!!!!
PBP + Color Guy: YAY!! (Incessant celebrating)
Just the worst.
Fine, Kobe is Kobe and Tiger is Tiger.
But for anyone who isn't a one-name brand the over-familiarity of using first names just screams "homer". And homers have zero credibility as journalists. I live in South Florida and often hear the Marlins on the radio. I almost long for the professionalism of a Suzyn Waldman - that's how amateurish the Fish announcer are.
Hawk Harrelson is the worst homer announcer i've ever heard. Not only does he cheerlead for the whitesox, he barely acknowledges the presence of the other team. The difference in his reactions for good plays by us and "them" is completely unprofessional.
Also these local announcers need to realise that they are not always only seen by local audiences. I live in Australia and frequently have to watch games announced by these losers on the Australian version of Fox Sports.
I agree with most of the sentiments here. Hometown guys can do what they want, though the cheering (in the case of Hawk Harrelson) is a bit excessive. National guys should call the players by their last name unless they're referred to by larger society by their first name (i.e. LeBron, Kobe).
I think it bothers us a lot more when other hometown guys do this because we aren't as familiar with the team and won't catch onto who "Steve" or "Jason" are as quickly as the fans of that team who know the players a lot better. Is it more professional to use last names at all times? Yes, but as you said, when these announcers are interacting with the players on a daily basis, it's second nature to say their first names when calling the game.
Bob Lamey (Colts radio guy) takes the homer award. Just watch all the years of Colts 30-minute highlights since Peyton Manning came on board...("Peyton to throw...Marvin with the catch for the touchdown!")
For regional broadcasters, I guess it's OK, it's slightly less annoying. But for a national broadcaster, they really should refer to a player's last name as much as possible.
I may be the only one to notice, but the most annoying offender of this on a national stage is Mike Tirico on MNF. Especially when the Steelers are playing and Ben Roethlisberger is referred to only as "Ben". Maybe Tirico doesn't want to put the effort into saying Roethlisberger every minute, but it doesn't seem to be a problem for every other major NFL announcer. I can understand it for a hometown team where you're relating on a more personal level to team and fan, but to me using it on a national broadcast just shows favoritism, not familiarity.