Roughly four years ago now, the present author facilitated a crowdsourcing project designed to place a “grade” on each of the league’s television and radio broadcast teams. The results weren’t intended to represent the objective quality or skill of the relevant announcers, but rather to provide a clue as to which broadcast teams are likely to appeal most (or least) to the readers of this site. Consider: the average telecast of a major-league game offers four distinct audio feeds — which is to say, the radio and television commentary both for the home and road clubs. The idea of these broadcast rankings was to give readers an opportunity to make an informed decision about how they consume a telecast.
The results of that original exercise have been useful as a complement to the dumb NERD scores published by the author in these pages. Four years later, however, they’ve become much less useful. In the meantime, a number of the broadcast teams cited in that original effort have changed personnel. It’s possible that the tastes of this site’s readers have changed, also.
As such, what this post represents is the start of another of those crowdsourcing efforts. The first step: to arrive at some understanding of whom, exactly, we’re grading. The names below are intended to represent the main television broadcast teams for each of the league’s 30 clubs. (The radio broadcast teams will be addressed in a future post.) The information here is taken from a combination of Wikipedia and MLB.com, but would benefit from readers who possess a more intimate knowledge of how each club’s broadcasts are executed.
Again, the idea here is to identify the broadcasters most frequently found in each team’s booth. Many clubs have occasional color commentators and guest announcers, but isolating the most regular contributors will make this process more efficient, if slightly less nuanced.
Note that, where a slash (/) divides multiple names, the suggestion is that the relevant announcers are participating in a fairly even timeshare. Note also that — incorrectly or not — both the Chicago White Sox’ and Los Angeles Dodgers’ broadcasters have been split into home and away teams, creating 32 total entries.
Please offer any relevant clarifications or corrections in the comment section.
Arizona: Steve Berthiaume, Bob Brenly
Atlanta: Chip Caray, Joe Simpson
Baltimore: Gary Thorne, Jim Palmer
Boston: Dave O’Brien, Jerry Remy
Chicago (AL) Home: Jason Benetti, Steve Stone
Chicago (AL) Away: Ken Harrelson, Steve Stone
Chicago (NL): Len Kasper, Jim Deshaies
Cincinnati: Thom Brennaman, Chris Welsh
Cleveland: Matt Underwood, Rick Manning
Colorado: Drew Goodman, Jeff Huson
Detroit: Mario Impemba, Rod Allen
Houston: Bill Brown, Alan Ashby
Kansas City: Ryan Lefebvre/Steve Physioc, Rex Hudler
Los Angeles (AL): Victor Rojas, Mark Gubicza
Los Angeles (NL) Home: Vin Scully
Los Angeles (NL) Away: J. Davis/C. Steiner, N. Garciaparra/O. Hershiser
Miami: Rich Waltz, Al Leiter/Eduardo Perez/Preston Wilson
Milwaukee: Brian Anderson, Bill Schroeder
Minnesota: Dick Bremer, Bert Blyleven
New York (AL): Michael Kay, Five Whole Other Guys
New York (NL): Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez
Oakland: Glen Kuiper, Ray Fosse
Philadelphia: Tom McCarthy, Ben Davis, Matt Stairs
Pittsburgh: Joe Block/Greg Brown, Bob Walk, Steve Blass/John Wehner
St. Louis: Dan McLaughlin, Al Hrabosky
San Diego: Dick Enberg, Mark Grant
San Francisco: Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow
Seattle: Dave Sims, Mike Blowers
Tampa Bay: Dewayne Staats, Brian Anderson
Texas: Steve Busby, Tom Grieve
Toronto: Buck Martinez, Pat Tabler
Washington: Bob Carpenter, F. P. Santangelo
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.
For Detroit: Allen will do 75 games this year. Kirk Gibson will do 60. Jack Morris and Craig Monroe will combine for 20. I would suggest polling the crowd on Allen and Gibson, as their styles, insights, etc are drastically different.
Also: Impemba will be switching with the radio play-by-play guy Dan Dickerson for at least ten games this year, which is pretty interesting. Dickerson is my favorite. Very insightful, 100% reads Fangraphs regularly. Cites it all the time.