Broadcaster Rankings (Radio): #30 – #21

At the beginning of March, we released the results of our television broadcaster rankings — itself the product of reader crowdsourcing that had started in late November. Since then, FanGraphs has asked readers to rate the radio broadcast teams (on a scale of 1-5 for charisma, analysis, and then overall) for all 30 major-league clubs — with the intention, ultimately, of determining which broadcasts might best reflect the sorts of inquiry and analysis performed here at the site.

Below are the 30th- through 21st-ranked radio broadcast teams, per the FanGraphs readership.

But first, three notes:
• Teams are ranked in ascending order of Overall rating. Overall ratings are not merely averages of Charisma and Analysis.
• I’ve attempted to choose reader comments that are either (a) illustrative of the team’s place in the rankings or (b) conspicuously amusing.
• A complete table of ratings and ballots cast will appear in these pages Friday.

30. New York Yankees
Broadcasters: John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 2.3, 2.0, 2.1

Three Reader Comments
• “What can I say about John Sterling that hasn’t already been said about any of history’s greatest monsters?”
• “Ask John Sterling if you can predict baseball.”
• “My mother would never let us say anything bad about Suzyn Waldman because she is a cancer survivor. That said, her most memorable contribution to the broadcast, in my memory, was when she declared that she was going to challenge Kyle Farnsworth to a cookie baking contest. The results were not reported to my knowledge.”

Notes
When there’s praise among reader, it’s generally for what I’d guess you’d call the “timbre” of Sterling’s voice and for Waldman’s clubhouse reports. Such comments, however, are greatly outnumbered by criticisms — largely concerning Sterling’s belabored trademark calls and poor eyesight and the pitch of Waldman’s own voice.

***

29. Chicago White Sox
Broadcasters: Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 2.8, 2.9, 2.8

Three Reader Comments
• “I do think that given that right partner, Ed Farmer would be a great guy to have on radio. His stories are relevant and charming and he just has a natural radio voice/vocab.”
• “[Actual quote from] Jackson: ‘It’s not rocket surgery.'”
• “[Jackson’s] finest moment… was his legendary extension to Hawk’s pre-game staple: as usual, Hawk began his segue to the first commercial break with, ‘So sit back, relax, and strap it down,’ at which point Darrin added, ‘Whatever you do, just don’t strap it on.'”

Notes
Many commenters note that, while quite capable when he served as the color commentator alongside John Rooney, Farmer is less well suited for play-by-play work, which he’s adopted since Rooney’s departure from the booth. Many commenters note that, if the pair have a charm, it’s off the odd-couple variety. Other readers refer to that same dynamic as “hating each other.”

***

28. San Diego Padres
Broadcasters: Ted Leitner, Andy Masur, and (less frequently) Jerry Coleman
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 3.0, 2.8, 2.9

Reader Comment
• “As an overweight guy, I refuse to call the people at MediFast simply because of [Ted Leitner’s] endorsements for them, exposing myself to more and more health risks as I age simply because I can’t stand that man’s voice and style. YOU’RE KILLING YOUR LISTENERS, TED!”

Notes
A small majority of commenters complain that, at a very basic level, play-by-play broadcaster Tim Leitner talks too quickly. There’s a sort of nostalgiac appreciation among respondents for Jerry Coleman (whose trademark “Oh doctor” call you’ll likely recognize), but his age (87) and its effects are cited more than once.

***

27. Los Angeles Angels
Broadcasters: Terry Smith and Jose Mota
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 3.0, 2.7, 3.0

Reader Comment
• “Jose Mota… [has] an almost mystical belief in Mike Scioscia. According to Mota, Scioscialism… is the belief that a round, lazy, white man was gifted by God the abilities to save an entire baseball-watching nation by teaching players to play the game the right way, have a good clubhouse attitude, and always go for the extra base… Mota informs us that Scioscia is all-knowing and that any success at any time by any player, coach or manager who has ever come accross His path is not because of their own skills, but because they decided to buy into what Mike Scioscia preaches.”

Notes
Judging by the reader comments, the Angels radio broadcast appears to be the most ordinary of radio broadcasts: a professional, if unremarkable, play-by-play man paired with an ex-player and his attendant platitudes.

***

26. Miami Marlins
Broadcasters: Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 3.1, 2.8, 3.0

Reader Comments
• “Van Horne is a legend, but his best days were in Montreal. Still, he is very, very, good. When he takes a break, the quality of the ‘cast dips to very mediocre.”
• “They both sound like little children.”
• “I don’t care about this but Ozzie Guillen is a Moran.”

Notes
As noted above, Van Horne was the play-by-play broadcaster for the Expos, and, if memory serves, was well liked in that market. Also, regarding that second comment: while the author’s aversion to children is well documented, there are scenarios in which a pair of children broadcasting a major-league game would provide amusement.

***

25. Los Angeles Dodgers
Broadcasters: Charley Steiner and Rick Monday
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 3.2, 3.0, 3.1

Three Reader Comments
• “I’d say the team overall is pretty competent. Monday’s analysis is decidedly old school, but he does bring up interesting points and anecdotes now and then. Steiner gets points for his endearing chuckles (uk-yuk, uk-yuk), but other than that is pretty average.”
• “Part of the problem with these guys is that they are always going to be compared to Vinnie, Don and Ross from my childhood. The other part of the problem is that I don’t enjoy listening to them. I find that Charley Steiner is laughing an awful lot and that I am not.”
• “As pointed out, it seems that announcers’ overall rating are tied closely to charisma. And I think the guys have enough charm that they’re ‘fair enough.'”

Notes
A number of commenters point towards what they perceive to be shortcomings in Steiner’s play-by-play — specifically, a tendency to become overzealous about fly balls or line drives that become either easy fly outs or foul balls. Also, more than one respondent notes that Steiner would be well served to mention the score every so often.

***

24. Pittsburgh Pirates
Broadcasters: Greg Brown, Tim Neverett, Bob Walk, Steve Blass, and John Wehner
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 3.2, 3.0, 3.1

Two Reader Comments
• “When finally given a winning team to work with during the first half of last season, the crew seemed reenergized. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be calling crappy baseball year in and year out; it’s tough enough to watch.”
• “I was listening to an MLB radio spring training broadcast when Bob Walk excused himself to buy a hot dog.”

Notes
A number of respondents note that it’s tough to assign merely one overall score to the Pirates radio team, because it contains a rotating cast. This, of course, is a challenge for a neutral fan, as well, who is less likely to actively seek out a broadcast that lacks one trademark voice. In terms of the individual members of said team, readers appear to be united — or close to united — in their opinions on Steve Blass. Regarding the nature of those opinions, it is not altogether positive.

***

23. Houston Astros
Broadcasters: Milo Hamilton, Brett Dolan, and Dave Raymond
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 3.2, 3.2, 3.2

Three Reader Comments
• “He’s a legend, but the quality of the broadcast has improved dramatically with less Milo Hamilton.”
• “The road broadcasts are solid. Raymond stands out. He’s on point, entertaining and smart. He clearly embraces advanced statistical views, and knows how and when to explain them plainly.”
• “Dave stands out with this bunch. He gets the game, does a good job explaining it as well as more advanced baseball thinking and he’s just a clever, witty broadcaster.”

Notes
The 84-year-old Milo Hamilton, who now broadcasts only home games, is a polarizing figure — although, it should be noted that most respondents congregate around the pole for people who are driven mad by Milo Hamilton. Many of the sentiments regarding Dave Raymond are reminiscent of those regarding Astros television broadcaster Jim Deshaies, who is decidedly excellent.

***

22. Seattle Mariners
Broadcasters: Rick Rizzs, Plus Ron Fairly, Ken Levine, or Ken Wilson
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 3.4, 2.9, 3.3

Three Reader Comments
• “Rizzs is a solid PbP man, but there isn’t any commentary that’s worthwhile, and that derails the broadcast.”
• “I like one of the Kens.”
• “Levine’s greatest contribution to date was a call after an exceptional play that ended with ‘… if I had a catchphrase I’d be saying it now.'”

Notes
If there’s a theme among respondents with regard to Rizzs it’s that he has a tendency towards blind optimism regarding the team; however, most commenters seem to regard his basic broadcasting skills as good. Ken Levine gets consistently high marks for his comedy jokes.

***

21. Minnesota Twins
Broadcasters: John Gordon and Dan Gladden
Ratings (Charisma/Analysis/Overall): 3.6, 2.9, 3.3

Three Reader Comments
• “Gordon was fantastic growing up, but the few games I did catch this year he wasn’t quite as good as his legendary prime.”
• “Gordon was highly overrated by Twins fans, in my opinion, mainly because of his longevity. While it was fun to hear his passion and excitement for the game, and he had the personality of a teddy bear, he was not great at calling game action and had annoying voice inflections. However, his home run call (‘Touch em all, Justin Morneau!’) is second to none.”
• “Gladden is passable at best and a coagulated mess of former player broadcasting cliches at his worst.”

Notes
Cory Provus has replaced John Gordon (now retired) on the radio side, so this rating serves predominantly as reference. Most of the comments regarding Dan Gladden suggest the sort of broadcasting skill set that one generally expects of a former player.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


99 Responses to “Broadcaster Rankings (Radio): #30 – #21”

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  1. CSJ says:

    I was happy to see the Yankees broadcast ranked last. I have XM radio in my car and it awesomely provides a radio broadcast for the baseball games, which I love while I’m driving. However, it only plays the home team. I wanted to listen to the Rays game, but had to suffer through the Yankees radio broadcast. My biggest complaint with them is that they just never stop talking. They’re constantly saying things and never let the game speak for itself. Frustrating.

    +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Drakos says:

    I have only listened to one Padres radio broadcast in recent history and have to agree with the Medifast comment. I am surprised that there is no mention of Leitner talking about “my Padres” when the team is winning and “your Padres” when they’re losing. Maybe because for this season and last season it’s probably all been “your Padres.” This characteristic of his broadcasting is even mentioned on his Wikipedia page. So there’s that.

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    • Dexter Bobo says:

      If a Family Guy episode were to feature a satirically over-the-top old-timey baseball radio broadcaster voiced by Seth MacFarlane it would sound exactly like Ted Leitner .

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    • wagon says:

      How about when he calls himself, “Uncle Teddy?”

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    • Gary says:

      i am NOT a padres fan, but i find ted VERY entertaining. having grown up in south jersey listening to philadelphia radio, i think he sounds like an old philly DJ. his style is unique; he’s enthusiastic; and he’s not afraid to say what he thinks. with a team as boring as this padres bunch, he makes me want to listen.

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  3. I am a Red Sux Fan says:

    Ha-Ha Scossialism-THAT IS AWESOME.

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  4. tdotsports1 says:

    Blue Jays have to be soon. Sorry Buck.

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    • Hoof says:

      Read the article… it’s for radio. The Jays radio broadcasters are great.

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    • AnonJaysFan says:

      Reading comprehension has to come soon. Sorry tdotsportsfan.

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    • Big Jgke says:

      Buck Martinez is just an awful, terrible, blight on our TV broadcasts, but honestly I don’t think Jerry Howarth is much better. He is out of touch and cliched. The broadcast becomes instantly more interesting when Alan Ashby and Mike Wilner are in the booth.

      Tom Cheek – Gone way way way too soon. He was the best.

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  5. geefee says:

    there was never a doubt about who #30 would be

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  6. steex says:

    The plight of the White Sox fan. If you want to follow your team, you have to choose between a television broadcast that is the absolute worst in baseball and a radio broadcast that is only the second worst in baseball.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MikeS says:

      Radio. Only masochists listen to Hawk on a regular basis.

      I actually think Farmer and Jackson aren’t that bad. Farmer seems to know something about pitching, he’s just much better suited to color commentary. Jackson is probably better suited to…something that doesn’t involve describing baseball to people.

      Whoever said they hate each other obviously hasn’t watched Hawk and Stone do a broadcast together in the middle of a losing streak. That’s hate. Real, palpable, frightening hate.

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      • shmmrname says:

        “Jackson is probably suited…”

        Perfect, got a true laugh out of me. Keep it coming.

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      • Nick says:

        Farmer’s one of the more knowledgeable commentators I’ve heard and his wackiness is understated compared to most other broadcasts, which I personally prefer. I think he’s an OK PBP, but he tends to sound bored a lot, and his voice can get grating after a while. I don’t know what DJ brings to the table. I’d love to hear Farmer with a real color guy, or Farmer as the color next to a different PBP guy.

        You can tell that Stone spends every broadcast thinking to himself “is it even worth it having a job in baseball broadcasting if I have to work with this shithead?”

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    • Johnny Come Lately says:

      steex — This was my first thought as well.

      Thanks for this Carson. This and the TV ratings are great. Looking forward to the rest of the list.

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    • Yinka Double Dare says:

      At least we had a good radio crew for the 2005 title. That was Rooney’s last year, and he’s a real PBP guy (with Farmer on commentary, for which he’s much better suited). That was one of the 5 best in the game at that point, unfortunately Rooney wanted to go broadcast for his boyhood team, the Cards. Not much the Sox could do about that, same thing happened when Wayne Larivee left the Bears to do Packers games.

      I don’t really mind Hawk unless the umps blow a call or two and he goes off the rails. Steve Stone is great.

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  7. Tom Beinborn says:

    White Sox – farmer could be a good color man. He is NOT PBP. Jackson is boring, if you like that. this team does not work well together.
    Cubs – Hughes is a joy with PBP, and Moreland is coming along nicely.
    I wish Santo had just retired, (instead of the other) Moreland would be more welcomed. i never understood the santo love on the radio.
    How come the Cubs get 2 excellent booths, and the White Sox have 2 of the worst?

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    • Poppinthekap says:

      The chemistry between Pat and Ron was brilliant. Not the same with Moreland, but he’s not bad.

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  8. Brendo says:

    I am stunned that the Reds are not in the bottom 10. Some of the rocks in my yard are more insightful than Jeff Brantley.

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    • Kris says:

      Also surprised the Reds didn’t show up here. I agree about Brantley, and the elder Brennaman is notoriously grumpy and also openly disdainful of the players, and not rarely.

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    • Curt says:

      Reds aren’t in bottom ten because Marty is THAT good. Gotta agree ‘cowboy’ is bad, really bad. A “this one belongs to the Reds!” is a good one. I’ve been hearing that for 25+ years and it never gets old.

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    • Murph says:

      Don’t be so harsh on Brantley. He can actually profile what a pitcher throws pretty well.

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  9. Eric Dykstra says:

    Have to agree on the Mariners ranking. Rizzs has a good radio voice and does the play-by-play well enough, but I only can even stand listening to the M’s broadcasters when Levine is doing the color. Rizzs/Levine would be a top-10 team for me, but the other Ken, Fairly, and pretty much anyone else who fills in is exceptionally awful the the point where I want to just turn it off.

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    • Paul Agid says:

      Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by over 50 years of listening to baseball games on radio, stories told by folks who started their announcing careers before TV networks broadcast every game in every market. Dave Niehaus was one of those guys, so good that one hardly remembered that, in the Kingdome, the sky on a summer’s afternoon, at twilight, and late at at night, even the 11th or 12th, was concrete gray. THAT’s good baseball announcing.

      I feel for Rick, honest sympathy for a pup whose master’s gone. But he is a mediocre play-by-play man at best, and so frequently annoying that I sometimes find myself wanting to hear more of Ron Fairly (who, well, let’s just say that his real skill was on the field, not in the press box).

      I loved listening to Ken Levine when he was paired with Dave in the late 1980s, they were a story-telling duo made in heaven. But Levine needs a stronger partner than Rick to allow his unique approach (“a lead-off walk always scores, except when it doesn’t”) to shine. Over the course of last season, and the first bit of this one, I’ve wished for a couple of series with Ken Wilson doing play-by-play and Ken Levine as second chair. I have a sense that team could be terrific. Dream on. Maybe at the same time I should dream for a gold-glove first baseman that hits for power and average, too.

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  10. Anon21 says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this series. Interested to see where the Braves’ crew stacks up.

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  11. Brazen Reader says:

    I like Charly Steiner because when I’m listening to him I don’t feel like the only drunk guy in the car.

    +23 Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Mario Mendoza of commenters says:

    #30 somehow isn’t low enough for Sterling & Waldman, and I’m a Yankee fan. How did they even break 2.0?

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  13. Giants Fan #2 says:

    Ted Leitner is the absolute worst – I don’t see how Padres fans can stand listening to that guy and the way he talks fast then slows down without any reason. It was so annoying, I couldn’t make it through an entire game. It reminded me a bit of Joe Angel when he was a Giants announcer – so glad he’s gone now. The Angels are just plain boring, but I enjoyed listening to Dodgers games so I’m surprised they are listed this low – Charley Steiner has a nice, smooth delivery. Having spent a lot of time in the Seattle area too, I found the Mariners broadcasts to be average but probably not in the lower echelon.

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  14. RandomNYYfan says:

    I’ve never listened to even a third of the broadcast teams out there but I had no doubt who would be ranked dead last.

    How do they keep their jobs? I just don’t understand.

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  15. nik says:

    Will be interesting to see where the Phillies duo ends up. Larry Anderson is a complete homer but Franzke does a great job.

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  16. Ryan says:

    As a Yankees fan I can assure everyone else out there that if you think it was a misdeed that your team’s announcers were not ranked last, you are mistaken. Listening to static would be better than listening to Sterling and Waldman. The only way to tolerate how awful they are is to convince yourself that the fact they are broadcasting Yankees games is actually just a big scam conjured up by some Yankee head-honcho to make listening to radio so intolerable that die-hard Yankees fans are forced to stay home during games and turn on YES.

    Regardless of how intriguing or close a game may be, if I have to leave my house during it and get in my car I would rather just repeatedly refresh my phone to see updates than listen to Waldman and Sterling.

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Yaz says:

    Cool series. Maybe its because I didn’t grow listening to the earlier Dodger broadcasters, but I like listening to the current crew. Seem to have a good description of the game and good radio voices. Outside of the Braves, I would definitely listen to the Dodgers, Giants, Phillies and Mets crews.

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  18. Bryz says:

    From the few Twins games I’ve heard on the radio, it’s clear that I love Cory Provus. I don’t know about everyone else, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Twins get into the middle third of baseball radio broadcasts when you do this again mid-season.

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  19. wayne tolleson says:

    When you listen to John Sterling call a game, it’s like you’re actually listening to TWO games: there’s the game that John Sterling is calling, and the game being played on the field.

    Any ball that’s in the air, even if it’s an obvious infield fly, Sterling is convinced the ball is leaving the ballyard. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a call like, “Taken outside and low, ball four, and Vargas has walked in the tying run! …But called strike three by the umpire.”

    He is such a waste of a great radio voice. Waldman’s no great shakes, either, but Sterling is high, far, and gone the main problem here.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason H says:

      I’ve been listening to Sterling for as long as I can remember. Its definitely a love hate relationship. For example every time its a big moment and I get a “That ball is high, nnit is far, iiiiit iiis, CAUGHTon the outfield grass just behind second base”. ….seriously? You’ve watched literally thousands of baseball games and you still have a false positive homerun call rate of about 90%? ….but i’ve been listening for so long I’ve adapted and don’t get excited until I get confirmation from Suzyn…. ….Sure, Sterling is a jack ass, and he screws up just about every call, and he repeats the same cliches so much he’s cliched the cliches, but when I hear his voice it means the Yankees are playing and I’m happy. He’s a part of the Yankee family…

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Peter R says:

        I feel like Sterling has been making better calls since they moved him into New Yankee Stadium. Maybe he has a better view to where to ball is going or a better angle now.

        Waldman is just unbearable. I would keep Jon and get rid of her.

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  20. eephus_pitch says:

    The Yankees radio announcers are indeed the worst. But for TV announcers you’d be hard-pressed to beat the White Sox* clowns. Referring to the opposing team as “the bad guys” is the most amateurish garbage there is.

    *Angels comes in a close second. Watch any Angels broadcast and count how many pitches before the announcers claim the umpire is squeezing the Halos pitcher.
    “Where was that one, Goobie?”
    “I dunno, Phys, maybe the Mariners have Gary Cederstrom on their payroll!”

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    • Johnny Come Lately says:

      You can see all of the TV broadcast rankings by clicking on the link in the first sentence of this article.

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    • MikeS says:

      There’s a lot of reasons to hate Hawk, but every announcer I ever listened to, going back to Harry Caray, has called the opposition the “bad guys.” Harry used to say things like “Bad guys 2, good, good GOOD guys 4.”

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  21. Thomas says:

    Ryan pretty much summed it up. They are so unbearable to listen to. I still get chuckles out of John Sterling calling a Matsui HR an “A-Bomb”

    The hierarchy of how I can view my Yankee Games:

    -YES
    -Online updates/mobile updates
    -ESPN games(can listen to and watch since Miller and Morgan are gone)
    -FOX Games(usually muted because of Buck and McCarver)
    -Sterling and Waldman

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    • eephus_pitch says:

      YES broadcasts are best if you have Michael Kay-blocking installed on your television. Give me Singleton and Leiter or Cone, any day.

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    • wayne tolleson says:

      “I still get chuckles out of John Sterling calling a Matsui HR an ‘A-Bomb.'”

      It was actually “a thrilla… from Godzilla!”

      It’s A-Rod’s HR’s that are termed, “An A-BOMB, from A-Rod!”

      The worst calls must be the ones for Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira.

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      • eephus_pitch says:

        “Positively Swish-a-licious” is the worst.

        Sterling wasn’t always this bad. Before the Yankees were good, he focused a lot more on actually calling the game instead of the ridiculous, self-aggrandizing homerun calls. I guess somebody must like them, but it’s just terrible.
        And Suzyn Waldman…. well, she seems like a nice enough lady. Just keep her away from the microphone.

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      • Jason H says:

        “Jorgie Juiced One!” was my personal favorite.

        “Bernie goes Booom” was pretty good too.

        …I have to say, I’d love to be there during the brainstorming process when he’s coming up with these things. What the hell is he throwing away if these are the keepers?!

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      • Snowblind says:

        Original poster was referring to the time Sterling started his A-Rod call and then realized it was Matsui, thereby referring to a homerun by a Japanese player as an atomic weapon.

        I was actually listening to that game in my car at the time; I laughed so hard I almost drove off the highway…

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  22. glassSheets says:

    The Twins 0.7 difference between Charisma and Analysis was the biggest gap of the ten. If I recall correctly, this was the case for the Twins in the TV rankings as well.

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  23. Rob says:

    I have to say, as a Braves fan, I’m fairly surprised not to see them in the bottom ten here. Surely that must be a product of the sheer ineptitude of the other broadcasting booths rather than the performance of Skip and Joe.

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    • Anon21 says:

      Well, now I’m all confused, cause Skip Caray is dead. But if you meant Chip and Joe, you’re thinking of the TV crew, which is ranked in a separate set of posts linked in the first sentence of this post. This is the radio series.

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  24. jon says:

    I think the Yanks should have had their own introduction page like the White Sox for TV. It is so painful. Just thinking of it conjures up all those awful sounds. waldman’s screeching, “An A-BOMB… for A-ROD”, “ohhhhhhh, the Grandyman Can!” STFU!

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  25. Mark Houston says:

    Carson: As one of those who wishes Milo Hamilton would be ridden out of town on a “pole”, I hope you know that you have put a large target on Dave Raymond’s back. (It has to be large so Milo can see where to stick the knife……) And I don’t care what you say, the Houston radio broadcast team will always be #30 until that carnival flim-flam geek has assumed room temperature. (Happy Mother Day, Milo.)

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  26. BryanMichael says:

    what Jerry implied I’m surprised that someone able to get paid $8395 in four weeks on the computer. have you read this web site(Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/s6IYP

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  27. Note on the twins “classic” home run call… totally ripped off from that most ignored, underrated and, sadly, no longer with us, fantastic broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays, Tom Cheek, whose 1993 home run call for Joe Carter (as well as many others throughout his career, spanning some 4347 consecutive games including playoffs before being stricken with terminal cancer) “Touch em all, Joe, you’ll never hit a bigger one than that” echoes through the years. It’s a crime that he’s STILL being ignored for the Ford C. Frick… damn biased American voters. I said it. 4347!!!! C”mon!

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  28. The Reds were miss ranked compared to the Tigers and the Phillies and even the Yankees this poll is more about Baseball voices than the fact that baseball done right is the most fun of any game,but it does miss some of the great voices and plain old baseball boys that used to be there ,

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  29. Patrick says:

    David Silverwood,
    What in the world is that comment in reference to?

    Anyhow, I am eagerly anticipating what people had to say about the Tigers’ broadcast booth. Dan Dickerson is the definition of class, and a rightful heir to Ernie Harwell. Jim Price, on the other hand, ehhhh… former 25th man on the ’68 roster and just drones on sometimes when Dan doesn’t keep him in check. Man… Every time i hear “Batting thuuuurd…” Ugh.

    Still a plus broadcast team, however.

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    • Jack says:

      “Jackson? Nice area!”

      Sometimes he’ll even do that right away before Dan is done telling him where the contestant is from. Always makes me chuckle, especially when it’s a place he’s obviously never been (and obviously is not a nice area).

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  30. Greg says:

    Man I love a good surprise Lebowski reference: “YOU’RE KILLING YOUR FATHER, LARRY!”

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  31. johnicus g says:

    Uecker will be #1…

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  32. gontach says:

    While driving through the midwest I once hear the White Sox broadcasters talk about Wil Nieves. In what took about 5 minutes they explained that since Nieves means “snow” in Spanish, if Wil’s middle name was “It” his name would be “Will It Snow”. By far the most useless commentary I’ve heard on the radio.

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  33. ben says:

    I like Charley and Rick more than the average Dodger fan, but I can see why people don’t like them. For one, they make it painfully clear how bored they are during blow outs or extra innings games. And Charley Steiner is not the most descriptive guy. There’s usually one or two plays per game where something will happen and I won’t know whether or not the player was called safe or out (usually on a routine play, e.g. “he lines one to right field and up comes the next batter”).

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    • Hands Four says:

      That’s too bad. I’m an A’s fan and never get a sense of boredom from the broadcasts. I’ve left the radio on during blowouts just to hear more of the stories and reminiscing that come then.
      It’s also super clear what happened, and the score is announced pretty much like clockwork (in fact, I think I’ve read that lead announcer Ken Korach uses a time to remind himself to give the score).

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    • Pete says:

      Yeah, I tend to agree. Steiner and Monday are starting to grow on me, but like many other Dodgers fans, it drives me nuts that Steiner can’t properly read a fly ball and as you pointed out, some of his descriptions don’t make any sense. I was listening the Dodgers/Rockies 2-1 game on Saturday evening and Steiner was having all kinds of trouble with all the warning track fly balls hit that night… He’d be great if he could clean some of that up…

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  34. walt526 says:

    I’m going to be outraged if the Giants (Jon Miller and Dave Fleming) are any lower than 5th (Kuiper and Krukow are also quite good, but they do mostly TV these days).

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  35. Daniel says:

    I love me some Eric Nadel.

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  36. GBeck15 says:

    Just a clarification on Farmer/DJ…I can’t quibble with their low rating, but they have been good friends for over 20 years. I wouldn’t call it “odd couple” or “hating each other.” More like: when attempted inside jokes go wrong.

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  37. Jason H says:

    I’m glad to see the Sterling and Waldman leading the pack in awfulness. I’ve seldom listened to any other announcers, but it is hard to imagine any body more ridiculous than Sterling and Waldman. It is hard to imagine how they ever got their jobs. I mean, this is the Yankees, ffs. …and yet we are subject to a clown with poor eyesight and the woman with the most shrill Boston accent ever. Its like a cruel joke.

    But still, I’ve learned to love them. I’ve been listening for so long I’ve come to accept their idiosyncrasies. ….now I often find myself singing “The Grandy Man can, oh, the Grandy Man can”.

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  38. Mario Incandenza says:

    Oh, but it’s not the home run calls that are the worst. It’s not that. No – it’s that John Sterling CAN. NOT. call an ongoing play. Whenever anything whatsoever happens, you just sort of have to wait patiently as he gets though a few moments of agitated stammering, and then let him retrospectively sort things out at his leisure before you know what’s going on. How does he have a job? How?

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    • Jason H says:

      Yep, the trick is to not look to John for information about the game beyond whether something important is happening (and even then, he is likely to be wrong about it). When John gets excited about something you have to sit back for 20 seconds or so and then let Suzyn sort it out. She’ll explain it to John. John will then explain why he thought the popup to third base was a homerun to right. Eventually you find out what is going on in the game. It works as long as you don’t get frustrated and expect the game in real time.

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  39. Jason H says:

    Funny John Sterling fact: his second most common cliche after “You can’t predict baseball” is “You have to watch the games”. ….I love that a radio announcer tells the listeners that they have to watch the games at least four or five times a game.

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    • Hands Four says:

      especially considering that from what you guys are saying, watching the games isn’t even doing him a heck of a lot of good.
      That the New York Yankees, of all teams, have such inept and hokey announcers is rather mind-boggling.

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  40. Ken Bland says:

    There are a fair amount of booths mentioned in the comments in anticipation of where they will rank now that they’ve escaped the bottom third. As I’d expect them to do well, I’m a little surprised one of them wasn’t the Shannon/Rooney Cardinal team. Or at least I didn’t see them.

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  41. Steve says:

    I’m in my 48th year as a Yankee fan. I snuck the transistor radio under the pillow at night when I was a kid. I went to a three-game series on my honeymoon and my first kid is named after Lou Piniella. All true.

    Also true. I cannot listen to Sterling and Waldman. Never. It’s like listening to my parents talk about their trip to the fruit stand at the breakfast table, still in their bathrobes. The reasons are all well known. I’ll find the Spanish language broadcast before I’d consider listening to them, and I don’t speak Spanish. I’ll put Gamecast on the PC or smartphone and broadcast the game to myself. I don’t care much for Ed`Farmer and Jackson but the gap between them at 29 and the Regis/Kathie Lee wannabes at 30 is greater than the gap from 1 to 29, whomever it might be.

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  42. Scott says:

    As a Sox fan, I’m shocked Farmer and DJ are so low. I’m going to justify the radio rankings as “spilled over despise” for Hawk and Stoney. I find DJ hysterical, especially during comments like “rocket surgery.” And Farmer is a different, improved man than he was 10 years ago.

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  43. Curt says:

    Geffner of the Marlins has the habit of saying a “ch” sound in place of “tw” one. So 2012 becomes “two thousand chelve”. Unfortunately I focus in on this and can’t escape the gravitational pull of it. It completely throws me off the broadcast and I can’t recover.

    Wonders if this is a correctable speech impediment….

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  44. eric says:

    As an O’s fan I’m shocked we’re not at the bottom. Fred Manfra is so bad he gets the DIRECTIONS of fly balls wrong. To go from the great Jon Miller to him is madness.

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  45. john from ballard says:

    I’m glad to see that the Mariners are ranked about where they belong. Rizzs is unbearable.

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  46. Alex says:

    Suzyn’s most memorable contribution is the Roger Clemens announcement. Come on, now.

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  47. Rich Johnson says:

    Yankees fan in SoCal who drives home for an hour around 7PM pacific hence 4 comments.
    1. Don’t understand why the Yankees refuse to spend some free agent dollars to field talent in the radio booth. John and Suzyn are just silly and too much of a bad thing so their ranking of last is probably deserved. Suzyn was tolerable on TV many years ago, but her Roger Clemens announcement mentioned above and John’s bizarre HR calls make it all cheesy, which is sad because John can be a good voice that he deliberately abuses. “The Grandyman Can”, but we knew that already.

    2. AM830 – Terry Smith of the Angels is fine. He’s kind of like an uncle or grandpa who’s trying to play nice. His excitement in a call sounds a little forced when a HR is hit and his final words after an Angel victory “You can put a Halo over this one” can’t match “Just Another Halo Victory” – Rory Marcus or “Light Up The Halo” – Steve Psycsycsychsioc. Yes, he’s a homer, but not so much this year. The late Rory Marcus and Terry Smith were actually a fine listen. On the other hand, Jose Mota does love the aforementioned Scioscialism movement and despite his value of being bilingual he’s just not that great, but seems to have gotten more comfortable when speaking. Mark Langston is now being tried out on Angels radio from time to time. He has a long way to go to be a version of David Cone/Al Leiter on the Yankees tv side, but his act has played well so far.

    3. AM570 Rick Monday (old school) has a nice voice and Charlie Steiner (a goof) actually work well together. So basically on the drive home I can’t help but always recall Monday grabbing the American flag from protestors and Steiner laughing his ass off over Carl Lewis’ rendition of the national anthem from his ESPN days. It’s an easy listen, but sometimes you feel like they aren’t letting you in on a joke they may have told each other and I don’t always know the score.

    4. Then I turn on The Mighty XX 1090 and have to avoid pounding the steering wheel and swerving through traffic unintentionally as Ted Leitner drives me toward insanity. His voice and tempo is just plain awful and very annoying. Slow down and stop being so sing-songy. Not only is it not funny, I can’t understand what your saying.

    That is all…

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  48. Marinersfan says:

    The three true outcomes of Rick Rizzs: 1995, 2001, and growing up on the South Side of Chicago.

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  49. Brian says:

    The Yankees radio announcers are the worst in the history of announcers. Sterling never gives the score, the most important part of the game and this dullard is dreaming up his next homer call. Suzyn Waldman is as annoying as her first name is bizarrely spelled. She has nothing useful to add to the broadcast. She should host Yankees on Deck not the game itself. For all you Yankee haters, laugh it up because it’s impossible to do worse than these two.

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  50. Westside guy says:

    Ken Levine had a great line during today’s painful, painful Mariners’ game:

    ““Not for the faint of heart: Mariners Baseball”

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  51. Peter Campbell says:

    The naked sexism in the summary of Waldman is disturbing not so much for its presence in reader comments (which is horrible, but predictable), but for the site’s decision to highlight the comments it did, with no commentary.

    No examples are given of bad baseball discussion from Waldman. Instead, we hear about the “pitch” of her voice–we might as well just come right out and say “the major objection is that she sounds like a woman.”

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    • Tim says:

      The problem isn’t that she sounds like a woman, the problem is that the woman she sounds like is Carol Channing.

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  52. Peter Campbell says:

    Reading the comments, I find no further elaboration of just exactly why Waldman is intolerable: for the male announcers the readers hate, specific examples (of untrue things they say, poor analysis, Waldman’s partner’s premature calls) are given. It is as if Waldman’s unsuitability is so obvious, it doesn’t even need to be explained.

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  53. Jeofrey says:

    Waldman is a radio announcer with a horrible voice. She also slurs like stroke victim.

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  54. Bdouble says:

    Just a slight clarification on the Darin Jackson story. They were reading emails from fans and one fan wrote, “Hawk always says to strap it down (as mentioned), football coaches say to strap it up (helmets), so which is correct?” To this Jackson replied, “I don’t think it really matters as long as you don’t strap it on.” I literally spit what I was drinking at the time. Unfortunately the video’s not available anywhere now. Funny stuff.

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