November 10th, 2010

baseball

Baseball announcers I love to hate

One of them, Joe Morgan, has been let go by ESPN after 25 years of doing Sunday Night Baseball and irritating the hell out of baseball fans everywhere. There's a good summary of what baseball fans in general thought of Morgan over at Joe Posnanski's blog; the tl;dr is that he was a great player, unquestionably a Hall of Fame second baseman, but a horrible, horrible announcer. I'm not even going to get into his obsession with Moneyball or his disdain for sabermetrics. I'm just going to let it go by saying I'm glad he's retiring so I don't have to listen to him any more.

The other one, who I am hoping Fox will terminate with extreme prejudice before the next post-season games roll around is Tim McCarver. I have loathed him since 1991; it is no exaggeration to say that he is an obnoxious, opinionated blowhard who cannot control his bias toward the National League, and I consistently hit the mute button when he is on, even if I have to watch the game in silence. God, he is such a jackass. The only person who comes close is Chip Caray, who recently became obsessed with players "fisting" the ball into short right or left field, to the point where TBS' Braves broadcasts quickly approached NSFW levels of double entendre. McCarver, like Morgan, was a great player in his day, but he's worse than mediocre in the broadcast booth. Compare this to Bob Uecker, who made quite a career out of self-deprecating humor that revolved around his marginal catching skills, and went on to become the beloved voice of the Milwaukee Brewers. Bob was recently in the hospital for heart surgery, and the outpouring of affection, not just from Brewers fans, was something to see. If McCarver went into the hospital, on the other hand, nurses would probably need armed escorts to fend off all the fans who would offer them bribes to smother him in his sleep. Probably the only fans who like him are Cardinals fans, and I daresay he probably gets on their nerves too.

Rob Dibble, on the other hand, I kinda miss, which probably makes me one of the few Nationals fans to say that. Rob flubbed a number of things in his time, most notoriously his criticism of Stephen Strasburg the day the kid threw out his arm for the season, but he was seldom boring, and he had a good foil in Bob Carpenter. His replacement is considerably less colorful, to the point where I can't remember his name. Ray Knight, maybe? (Why do all these ex-Reds players keep showing up here?) Anyway, he was bumrushed out of the booth shortly after that, and Nats games on MASN are going to be rather less interesting next season. We'll see how it goes.
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