Some Broadcasters Are Lame…But It’s OK

I was in my car for part of tonight’s game against the O’s, so I listened to Baltimore’s audio feed on my phone. While I appreciate partisanship in a radio broadcaster (John Sterling defines the term), tonight’s duo would have made anyone wince.
Here’s why.
1) Yes, the Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball. Blah blah blah blah blah. But do you really have to bring it up 7,000 times during a spring training game? And were you serious when you said, “The Yankees will probably go after Albert Pujols because he’s a big name?” Have you not noticed that we have a first baseman named Teixeira?
(And no, I was not amused when he got hit on the elbow and had to leave the game.)
2) There were several (I forget how many) homers hit during the game. But, according to the O’s announcers, the ones the Yankees hit were cheapies that only cleared the fences because of the windy conditions. The shots hit by the O’s, on the other hand, were bona fide, honest-to-goodness dingers.
3) When prospect David Winfree came in for the injured Teixeira, one of the O’s announcers said, “I wonder if he’s related to Oprah?” You think?
And then they mused about the fact that Winfree spells his name differently from Winfrey. Duh. But the discussion didn’t stop there. “Oprah is America’s television sweetheart,” one of them proclaimed. “And Matt Wieters is America’s catching sweetheart,” added the other. America’s catching sweetheart?
I’m sure Wieters has a very bright future in Baltimore, but I don’t think he’ll be getting his own talk show any time soon.
Oh, well. The truth is I enjoyed listening to the O’s guys tonight. No question they were nonsensical at times, but they had soothing, baseball radio voices – a nice change from the certain-to-be-overheated announcing we’ll be getting on ESPN on Sunday night. The important thing is that Tex’s elbow appears to be all right (the proverbial contusion), and Vazquez pitched well. I’ll take it.


  1. Jane Heller

    Some are more tolerable than others, John. The two tonight were very easy to listen to, in spite of their sometimes goofy conversations. It’s Hawk Harrelson in Chicago who drives me nuts.

    Vin is the cream of the crop, Cat. It’s easy to be spoiled after hearing him for so many years. I hope he never retires.

  2. Michael David

    Quality announcers are a dying breed, unfortunately. Having a great radio announcer can almost make a game better than watching it on TV. I’m glad Ernie Harwell is still hanging in there, but when he’s gone I wish we could clone him and put him back behind the mic in Detroit.
    ‘Minoring In Baseball’

  3. cheshirecat9

    While I am not excited about the ESPN broadcast, I AM excited for real baseball to start. Less then a week to go!



    Yes, it’s Crystal Clear to me now. That was the title I was talking about yesterday. Sorry my foggy memory had me mentioning the wrong city, but from my little dot on the upstate NY map all those southwest cities are in the same direction. I’ve heard Don Imus and Senator McCain talk about Sedona, AZ other than that I would have had it confused with East Sedalia, the place Wild Bill Hickock’s buddy, Jingles (Andy Devine) always wanted to go home to. (Of course when I looked up the spelling, I found out East Sedalia is in Missouri, so I really need some geography lessons.)

    Five Days.


    Hi again, She-Fan…
    A brief and unnecessary history of O’s announcers (well, having lived in the area for 38 years, it’s called “Know The Enemy”)…back in their Glory Days, aka The Horace Clarke Years, they had a golden-throated disciple of Vin Scully named Chuck Thompson…his signature comment: “Ain’t the beer cold!” He did their games for decades, later on with Brooks Robinson at his side (all Arkansas twang, but a WONDERFUL gentleman of a guy). After Chuck grew ill and passed on, the baton was given to Jon Miller…yes, THAT one…he was terrific then…but eventually he was fired by Frog-Face Peter Angelos for being TOO HONEST when he covered games (not enuf of a “rah-rah-Orioles” kinda guy)! They still haven’t quite recovered. So now you know…


    Because of where I live I get a lot of the O’s games so when the Yanks are playing them I mute the TV and watch the game. Jim Palmer is the worst! never shuts up.
    Sort of like Joe Buck. Play by play or shut the hell up is my motto. a story here or there is okay but the CONSTANT yammering from Joe Buck and Palmer make my head explode. So when the tv is on mute hubby will walk in and say, it’s on Fox?
    And you are correct it’s always the same b.s., big payroll, must win, redsox gaining……
    Love the mute button…..but on radio that makes it tough for you Jane.
    Peggy (the other Peggy – in NoVa)


    Daggone it…looking at yesterday’s postings…I just KNEW there’d be some more good stuff, because my home PC was acting crazy again & couldn’t log back on…!
    Missed all that great Beatle conversation stuff, courtesy of Peggy…glad your show was so great…! We saw Paul live at last last summer in D.C. — a lifetime dream of my wife, who surely WOULD have had a Paul Poster in her bedroom if my Mother-In-Law approved (no way, Jose)…!
    Jane, she LOVES all the old Fab Four tunes — I like it all, but am more partial to later stuff — never bought a Beatle LP in HS — never had to — everybody else did!! That allowed me to waste my disposable income on 45s, soul music, & anything produced by a guy named Bones Howe…!

  8. peggy3

    Good Morning All ….

    I miss Scooter, White & Messer ….Scooter gave you the laughs while White & Messer reported the game and
    performed as the straight men for Phil. Scooterl was the biggest homer but a loveable one. Those were the days …sigh ….

    ESPN is a tough listen but as long as it means Yankee Baseball once again ….I can handle it …

    We are busy building an Ark in New York at the moment but thankfully the rest of the week is suppose to be nice. Hopefully I’ll be singing another Beatle tune after today …”Here Comes The Sun” …

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!

  9. Jane Heller

    Mike, I agree wholeheartedly about quality radio announcers. There’s nothing like listening to a game in the car, in the house, wherever, and having them describe the action, rather than be bombarded by the graphics and “analysts” you get with TV.

    I’m excited for the season to start too, cheshirecat. Not sure I’m quite ready – fans need spring training too and I’ll need to get myself in daily game mode – but only a few days to go.

    Crystal Clear it is, jojovanb. I had such fun researching that book. My husband and I went to Sedona after I’d decided to set the book there, and we spent several days soaking up the local color, of which there’s plenty. It’s a New Age mecca with people who “cleanse your aura” and that sort of thing, and it gave me great material, as well as those beautiful red rocks to look at.

    Jeff, I’m not a fan of Suzyn – to me her voice is very grating – but I have to commend her for being a pioneer in sports broadcasting. I know how hard it must have been to convince the powers that be, especially those in New York, to let a woman talk about sports on the air. It just wasn’t done way back in the dark ages.

    I think Jon Miller is terrific on the radio by himself, Dave. He has a voice for it and he paints a nice picture. It’s his partnering with Joe Morgan on TV that doesn’t do it for me. So it was dumb of the Orioles to fire him for being “too honest.” And yes, you missed yesterday’s Beatles discussion via Peggy. You didn’t buy their records in high school? That’s when I was at the height of my fandom! I screamed every time they were on TV and my mother would come running into my room and say, “Who died?”

    Peg, I thought Jim Palmer was an amazing pitcher, but I get the Orioles TV feeds here in California and he’s the most sleep-inducing broadcaster ever. As you say, he just talks and talks in his monotone until you can’t take it anymore. More baseball game, Jim, and fewer stories about your pitching days!!!!

    There was and never will be another like Scooter, Peggy. He was a true original. Messer? Not my favorite, but I guess he was a decent straight man. So it’s pouring in NY today? Uh-oh. My 93-year-old mother is supposed to go into the city from Westchester for Passover at my sister’s. She doesn’t “do” bad weather, so I wonder if she’ll stay home. Hope it clears up.

  10. peggy3

    Hey Dave …

    The Beatle Fest is tons of fun. It’s from Friday-Sunday and thousands of Beatle fans show up throughout the weekend.
    I love going on Sunday specifically because they have the Battle of the Beatle Bands. Some great talent …from the very young (a drummer who was 8 years old) to Granddads & Grandmoms and all ages inbetween. They close the show with an established band called Liverpool …close your eyes and you would think you are listening to the Bealtes. The Fest has tons of memorabilia for sale, all day talks about the Beatles with people from their past (my fav was Pete Best..original drummer), artwork, forums, Beatle movies showing all day, trivia and music contests, large groups of people forming in the lobby for impromptu playing and singing from morning till night. It’s really terrific for anyone who happily suffered from Beatlemania. It amazes me how many young kids 18 and under are there and the great interest they have in the Beatles and the music. Groups many come and go but the Beatles are Forever …Go Beatles !!!

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!

  11. peggy3


    Messer wasn’t my favorite either but he was part of the Scooter & White package (baseball’s version of Abbot & Costello..haha)…..

    Go Yankees 2010 !!

  12. Jane Heller

    Question for you, Peggy. Which would you rather go to: a Beatlefest like the one you’re describing, or a Yankee Fest with nothing but nonstop Yankees? (You can only choose one!) And yeah, Abbott and Costello is a good analogy.

    No excuses, Paul. Even when a team isn’t the greatest, it’s up to the announcers to keep things interesting.

    Actually, I didn’t mind the throwback aspect of them at all, Mike. I kind of liked it because, as I said, they weren’t over the top like some. But I probably would have fallen asleep playing Scrabble. LOL. I’m terrible at that game.


    Heya, Jane…one last bit of Broadcaster Chatter. Do you remember when Mel Allen & Scooter were our main guys, and they were breaking in a new voice…Joe Garagiola?!?
    Joe lived locally, too…REALLY locally to you & me back in the day. My dad saw him on the train to NYC many times…way before his Today Show days, etc…his two sons played softball in our local slow-pitch league, and my team faced ’em several times…for a league like ours, they were BIG boys…a much younger/thinner version of me remembers having to run down many a longball off their bats…!

  14. Jane Heller

    Sure, I remember Joe, Dave. He lived next door to a friend and we used to see him all the time. He wasn’t a bad announcer at all – sort of a Bob Ucker type with lots of jokes.

  15. mikeeff

    i was listening at my brothers house while we played Scrabble. he said they reminded him of guys from the 1940’s

  16. peggy3


    Not even close ….I two true loves …

    First …my beautiful daughter

    Second ….My Yanks !!!!!

    I love the the Beatles but not on the level of the two
    above .. :o) ….

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!!

  17. rrrt

    Huh, I thought Winfree/Winfrey looked just like twins! πŸ˜‰
    Reminds me of an incident a couple years ago with my son – he was supposed to be typing a school report on the computer, but was stalling and spied a book on my desk by James Rollins (a very white author of science-based thrillers). “James Rollins – Mom, did Jimmy Rollins write this book?” I showed him the photo on the book cover of a white guy with a receding hairline, and asked if that looked like Jimmy Rollins. He admitted it did not, but then said “Maybe they’re brothers!”
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  18. peggy3

    You have to remember that for teams like Oakland & KC beating the Yankees is their World Series…the closest they might ever come to it….at least for the near future.

    As Derek Jeter once said …”Once they stop booing us …that’s when I worry”. A wise man that Mr. Jeter … :o)

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!

  19. paulie_21

    I’ve spent the last few years living in Colorado and Pennsylvania, the latter being in Scranton, home of the Li’l Yanks, as no one calls them, and right on the border of Yankees/Phillies territory (which made last years World Series a lot of fun), and I’ll soon be moving back to New York. The best thing about being back in the Empire State: not being surrounded by Yankee haters (Mets fans don’t count–as far as I’m concerned that’s a one way rivalry). I only mention this because I can relate to your experience of hearing every single announcer everywhere in the country constantly down on the Yanks. It never stops. And god help you if you’re in Chicago or Oakland or Kansas City when some non-contending team manages to win a series 2-1. The ragging is unbelievable. Word of advice for Yankee fans in New York state: stay where you are if you love baseball. Or at least only travel in the offseason.

  20. Jane Heller

    I love when Jeter says that, Peggy. It reminds me not to take the booing and negativity so seriously.

    Congrats on moving back to NY, Paulie. It’s so sweet to be surrounded by fans who appreciate our guys as much as we do. But I have to say it’s very special when you’re out of market, as I am, and you run into Yankee lovers. I get very excited. Which reminds me…I need to pay a visit to Surf Dog Bill and see if he has any predictions for the Yankees this season. His videos are the best.


    Paulie must live in an insulated part of the state. The Albany area has its share of general Yankee haters, often Met fans, whom I agree we can forgive or dismiss, but it also has an inordinate number of Fenway Franks and Frannies. The sadder thing is that these people invariably indoctrinate their otherwise innocent children into the cult of Red Sox Nation. That has always seemed like a form of child-abuse to me.

    Completely unlike ALL my kids, who grew up to be Yankee fans only because of my good example (and because they knew what was good for them). πŸ™‚

  22. Jane Heller

    Fenway Franks and Frannies! Never heard those expressions before, jojovanb. I always assumed that upstate NY was solidly Yankees territory, so it’s interesting to hear that’s not the case. Glad you raised all your kids right!



    I can’t take any credit for Fenway Franks because they’ve been selling those at the ballpark for years, but if “Fenway Franks and Frannies” sticks, I’ll be glad to take credit for coining that term today.

    Also, don’t let me give you the wrong impression, Albany is loaded with Yankee and Met fans, but if you’ve got a decent arm, it’s almost impossible to throw a rotten tomato around here without hitting a Sox fan or maybe a car with two crimson sox pasted in the window or stuck to the tailgate. Beyond the shadow of any doubt, all Albany-area Red Sox fans have at least one SUV or mini-van in the household.

    Access to the Mass Turnpike makes a drive to Fenway quicker than going to Shea, now Citifield, and no more than a half-hour longer than the drive to Yankee Stadium. The local cable companies also offered WSBK and the Freddie Lynn/Yaz version of the Sox as part of their basic package back in the days when cable cost $6 a month. All those things play into the Sox as an alternative for the folks who were born to hate us.

  24. Jane Heller

    I thought he was pretty good, Emma. He kind of mumbles, but he seems to know what he’s talking about. Do you like him?

  25. Jane Heller

    I didn’t think about the proximity to the Mass Pike, jojovanb. Now it makes sense that there would be Sox fans among you. And the fact that the cable companies broadcast Boston’s games absolutely explains it. I know many people who became Braves fans simply because the games on TBS were the only ones they had access to.

  26. stonebutch99

    Top broadcasters- Vin Scully is my favorite. I find it admirable that he does color and play by play by himself.
    Next in line has to be Milo Hamilton. I’ve been listening to him since the late 80’s and his voice is like “coming home” for me. It’s very relaxing. Milo is the one who called Hank Aaron’s record breaking home run.

  27. Jane Heller

    Vin is the best, Austin. I’ve never heard Hamilton call a game – at least I don’t think I have – but if you say he’s good then he must be. And he’s in the history books!

  28. angelsgirl012

    there are a lot of announcers that just flat out annoy me too for many different reasons haha. I am not a fan of the ESPN crew yet i listen to them from time to time because there are games that are on ESPN or ESPN2. However, what can ya do? The public never seems to be satisfied with anything the announcers say haha.

    Till then

  29. Jane Heller

    I’m not a fan of the ESPN crew either, Mimi, but I’m stuck with them for tonight’s game and am just grateful there’s baseball!

  30. yankeesfan27

    First, I am happy the game was also broadcasted on YES in the Tri State area.

    Second, about the broadcasters, I did hear about the loser in Chicago and I have heard CONSTANT complaints about the losers in Baltimore. Since I usually am watching Michael Kay and whomever is with him that day (Singleton, Cone, Martinez, O’Neill, Leiter, etc) they are always bi partisan. When Kay calls home runs, when he says his Trademark “See ya!”, it is with the same excitement in his voice if it is the Yanks or the Sox. Same in Singleton when Kay is not there. The only broadcaster I don’t like on YES is John Flaherty. He once went on for an entire game at Oakland about how he was happy the umpire in the game had to leave with an injury, because after all, this ump ejected Flash YEARS ago. And Singleton couldn’t get him to shut up. I like when O’Neill is in the booth, because he brings a sense of comedy to the broadcast, Leiter is a good fact guy, and Singleton is good too. Of course, Kay is the best out of them, but that is only because he has been at it longer.

  31. Jane Heller

    On the whole, I like the YES team, yankeesfan27, although I miss David Cone. I really think they should have kept him. I adore Tino, but he runs his words together and he needs more practice making himself understood. I agree that O’Neill provides the comedy, which is welcome.

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