TBS Upgrades Postseason Coverage from Chip Caray to Dick Stockton, and Ratings Fall

We don’t often write about broadcasters on this site. The men and women who put the action into words are the ones who provide the first storyline for a game, and at their best they blend observation with insight, allowing the best moments to tell themselves. Of course, they’re usually terrible, and it’s a long, long way down from Vin Scully to Chip Caray. It’s a hard job to try to tell the game as a story that’s equally meaningful to every listener, because the baseball audience is so split between fans who really only understand the game through the lens of back-of-the-card stats like wins and RBI, and fans who hear the word “run producer” like nails against a chalkboard. And playoff baseball frequently brings out the worst commentators, usually multisport announcers who don’t have any familiarity with the teams they’re calling, and so try to mask their ignorance with lame humor or a moral high hand. As John Collins writes at Neon Tommy, “This is the time of year when baseball broadcasts should be at their best, yet the national broadcasters who get dropped in the booth make sure the coverage is at its full-blown worst.”

Back in February, Jon Sciambi, one of the better broadcasters, wrote a great piece for Baseball Prospectus about how broadcasters can bridge the gap, but it’s clear that we’re not there yet. Last fall, TBS took a ton of flack for the miscues of the gaffe-prone Chip Caray (“Line drive base hit… CAUGHT!“), and so they fired him and replaced him this year, first with regular TNT basketball analyst Ernie Johnson, Jr., and then with the aggressively bland Dick Stockton. (Like Caray, Johnson is the son of a longtime Atlanta Braves announcer, and both have called Braves games this year. Newsday’s Neil Best correctly judged Johnson an upgrade over Caray.) Their ratings have dipped nonetheless, as my colleague Maury Brown predicted back in September.

Bill Simmons has written about the terrible state and haphazard selection of announcing teams in basketball and football; he’s been complaining for a decade, but the situation has hardly improved. The problem seems to be that networks few their broadcasting teams and studio analysts as a calling card, a sort of equivalent to “the best political team on television,” when, for the most part, they’re just furniture. The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman tactfully refers to the TBS studio analysts as “The Valley of the Stupid Gasbags.” Especially during the playoffs, when TBS and Fox are the only show in town, and even mlb.tv is only available to viewers outside the US and Canada, there’s just no choice involved in the matter.

(I ponied up for mlb.tv’s $9.95 supplemental coverage, which allows you to view the play from different angles. But it isn’t an edited television feed, it’s just the raw feeds from the various cameras. So you can’t actually watch the action of the game and see where the ball is hit. It’s kind of cool, but also incredibly disappointing — especially if, hypothetically, you’re at work during a playoff afternoon game and trying to watch it from your computer, like the World Cup or March Madness. Hypothetically.)

TBS didn’t exactly learn the wrong lesson from the Chip Caray debacle: Caray is excitable and loud and frequently yelps before thinking, which lends itself to verbal snafus. He has never been able to enhance the moment. Stockton is boring, but at least not deleteriously so. His old-school tendencies were on full display during the Braves-Giants series, when he failed to make note of Paul Emmel’s blown call on Buster Posey, and repeatedly pronounced the word “error” as “erra,” as though he were a 19th-century Brooklynite. But he has called a decent game. As Matthew Coller wrote at The Biz of Baseball:

TBS’s baseball coverage hasn’t been terrible by any stretch, it’s been exactly what we expected. It’s been regular old vanilla baseball, and minus the yellow jackets (except Craig Sager) we could have seen similar coverage in 1981. That’s how baseball is, I suppose. But, when the YES network and almost every affiliate has super slow-motion cameras, when every team has professional baseball sideline reporters and when MLB Network features more exciting analysts, we are left to wonder: Is this all as MLB on TBS will ever be?

Since Major League Baseball is committed to selling postseason games as a block to a network, we won’t see an end any time soon to the problem of national broadcasters calling local playoff games. Until we at Fangraphs can identify more rigorous metrics to determine who the best and worst broadcasters are, we’ll have to trust our own ears. And plug them whenever Tim McCarver starts to speak.




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Alex is a writer for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times, and is a product manager for The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @alexremington.


96 Responses to “TBS Upgrades Postseason Coverage from Chip Caray to Dick Stockton, and Ratings Fall”

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  1. Steve says:

    The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman tactfully refers to the TBS studio analysts as “The Valley of the Stupid Gasbags.”

    Dear Mr. Pot,

    You are totally black.

    Your pal,
    Kettle-y

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  2. Matt says:

    I know that Vin Scully would never do it at his age, but listening to his call of the Gibson home run makes me wish that he would still do playoff games. Give him a NL series with an NL West team in it. Let him only do the home games. Anything.

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    • Matt says:

      And then I can go into a coma, as I’m prone to do whenever I hear 243 year old men drone on and on and on and on and on.

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  3. Cole Handsome says:

    I, too, noticed that Stockton says “erra.” Vin Scully does the same thing. Stockton does a poor imitation of Scully (without the perspective and meticulous level of detail). Why doesn’t Scully do the games? I know he doesn’t travel off the West Coast, but there are off days in the playoffs to accommodate him.

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  4. Ryder says:

    I’m a Red Sox fan and as some of you already know Don Orsillo is the play by play announcer for the Sox. I haven’t had the opportunity to hear his broadcast this postseason so I was wondering if anyone out there can speak to how he did calling the games? If I’m not mistaken this is his second year commentating for TBS playoff baseball? Thanks.

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    • vhailorx says:

      I think Orsillo is the best play-by-play guy on TBS (thouh I might be biased because I am used to him as a red sox fan). I have no idea why he is part of TBS’ B-team and is only used for the less important series.

      To be somewhat charitable to the national broadcasters, it IS hard to find someone that can make everybody happy. I just don’t understand why they always seem to settle on guys that piss everyone off (Joe Morgan, Tim McCarver, Chip Caray)

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    • Jason B says:

      I have no dog in the hunt – not a Sox fan, never heard Orsillo before his foray onto TBS – but I think he’s done a good job. Quite serviceable, doesn’t “get in the way” of the game action by overtalking it too much.

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    • philkid3 says:

      As a Rangers fan, I hated him, but he’s been the best of the TBS guys. Which is sad.

      At least he understands how baseball works.

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  5. noseeum says:

    Novel idea that just popped into my head: They should have the local TV guys from each team both going at the same time. Home team gets the regular audio, visiting team gets SAP. At least you know you’d have people with experience of who’s actually playing in the games.

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    • vhailorx says:

      Doing only local coverage might not fly all too well with the national audience, but doesn’t the Fox Saturday Baseball broadcast during the regular season do a sort of compromise along those lines pulling the color guys from both teams and providing their own play-by-play announcers? I know I’ve seen that happen from time to time

      I imagine the biggest problem with this sort of arrangement is the high transaction cost (the network would have to negotiate individual deals with 8-12 color commentators in a very short period in late september once the playoff matchups were set, or negotiate a playoffs clause with all 30 color guys during the season. That could expensive). But in theory this is an idea that would solve one of the recurring problems with national broadcast crews: they don’t know as much about the teams.

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    • Steve says:

      Err, what about the people who listen in Spanish?

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  6. Bret says:

    As a Giants fan, it’s particularly rough to go from Jon Miller & Dave Fleming (and even Kruk & Kuip) to Dick Stockton, and now to Buck and McCarver. Your description of Stockton as “aggressively bland” is pitch perfect. He’s not offensive, he’s just completely devoid of any shred of personality. He also has the insanely annoying habit of falling back on the same nuggets of information when he has nothing else to say, which is painfully often – for instance, the number of times he mentioned that this could be Cox’s last series as a manager was at times mind-boggling. He’d also mention heroic accomplishments – Hinske’s HR, Cody Ross’s hits in game 4 – over and over and over and over.

    I’m really tempted to buy one of those expensive radio delays, because I’m not sure I can handle more games like this. It’s a serious disgrace and it hasn’t gotten better in years and years.

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  7. melvin emmanuel says:

    Scully actually traveled to Boston this year for the LA/Sox series. But you’re right, he doesn’t travel. My biggest problem with MLB right now is their choice of networks, which obviously came down to $$ only, I get it. And to be honest, I could care less about ratings, I watch, I enjoy the games, but I cringe at the coverage. I think it would make more sense to award the postseason to one of the big three, ABC, NBC, CBS and take the ancillary benefits that come from those networks (familiarity, easy to find on the “clicker,” production value). During Sunday night’s NLCS game, which was up against an awful NFL game, ESPN.com choose to highlight the football match-up on their homepage instead of an MLB Playoff Game. Something tells me this is ESPN/ABC’s way of saying “eff you” Bud.

    As an aside, has anyone seen a ratings report on games covered by the cable networks vs the big three?

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    • The best information I have on ratings comes from Maury Brown’s Biz of Baseball blog, here.

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    • bill says:

      Wow,is this 1987? Is FOX not a major network? ABC crammed Dennis Miller and Joe Thiesman down our throats. The oldtimey networks have the potential to be just as awful as Fox. We need Gus Johnson to call everything.

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      • melvin emmanuel says:

        If this was 1987, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, because the ratings wouldn’t be a complete disaster. FOX is a major network, but my issue is more with the involvement of TBS to the mix, which is not part of the oldtimey crew. Also, ABC crammed Miller (who I actually liked) and Theisman (didn’t hate thim) down our throats as the 3rd guy in the both, not the play by play or direct color guy.

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  8. Tasintango says:

    I solved the announcer problem a long time ago by turning off the sound.

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    • Bret says:

      I tried that, but I miss the sounds of the game too much. It doesn’t feel the same, watching a muted game.

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      • BobLoblaw says:

        …and turning on the radio.

        BTW, any MLB.TV regular season subscribers can listen to home and away radio broadcasts on MLB.com’s GameDay with Audio. I’ve been muting the TV and turning up my computer speakers.

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  9. Mike B. says:

    It could be worse. Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan could be paired in the broadcast booth next to Chip Caray. That confluence might actually cause a rip in the space-time continuum and destroy the known universe. Or at least the known baseball universe.

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  10. bill says:

    Honestly, basketball playoffs tend to have the best announcers, and baseball probably the worst.

    I don’t even want to complain about TBS because soon we’ll be subjected to Buck and McCarver.

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  11. D4P says:

    I always liked Dick Stockton as a basketball announcer, particularly when he was paired with Hubie Brown.

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    • blackout says:

      Good Lord I hated those guys, but that’s no doubt down to their pants-wetting affection for whichever Goliath (Lakers, Celtics, Bulls) was the object of their ardor in any given post-season.

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  12. MikeS says:

    It’s just awful. I used to think you’d get bad analysis on the biggest games because they were keeping it simple for the casual fan but that’s not it. They use the worst, most hyperbole prone announcers to try to make it seem like everything is the greatest thing ever. Please, just teach me something I don’t know because I didn’t play after high school JV ball. Don’t tell me the hitter is trying to hard. I’ve learned more about how to pitch or hit here and at the hardball times than from the TV. Seriously – Hardball times ran an article on why you follow up a high heater with a curve. It explained why I always missed that pitch while playing. They used pitch Fx data and tracking to show it and now I understand. Why can’t I get that from guys who really did it? There are a few good ones. Locally, Steve Stone is a wealth of information when it comes to why things happened. So is Tom Thayer on the football side. To many of them just are bad and it gets worse on the national stage. Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, John Gruden, Joe Thiesman. You would think these guys would at elast know the rules. (BTW, those are all awful one sport announcers.)

    The only exception I can think of is hockey. Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk (another Chicago guy) are really good. They call the game, they fill the gaps and Olczyk is really great at telling you why something worked or didn’t. Thankfully, they are the NHL’s #1 team.

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    • D4P says:

      I thought Steve Stone was great in the 80s, though I probably would have thought a deaf-mute was great in comparison to Harry Caray.

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      • Chris K says:

        As a White Sox fan, I can confidently tell you that Steve Stone (or, as Hawk Harrelson calls him, “The Stone Pony”) is anything but a good commentator. I think that Hawk must’ve rubbed off on him, as the inanity is too much to bear.

        Has anyone ever tried to pool money to get an audio feed from the park and then superimpose guys from a studio over the game sounds, like ESPN does for soccer games played abroad?

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    • Ben says:

      I’m biased as a Giants fan, but I also wonder why there aren’t more color guys like Mike Krukow who you can actually learn about the game from while watching.

      Krukow is not stat-friendly, but you learn a ton from him every game about pitch selection, mechanics (both for pitchers and hitters), etc. That’s the value that former player broadcasters should be providing.

      I get the feeling watching national broadcasters that they either do not understand these things or have been told that the fan won’t understand and that they should just focus on broad story line and topics that have been set in advance by ESPN.

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  13. Kevin S. says:

    Speaking of the original EJ, I enjoyed listening to him call the Yankees-Twins series. Darling and Smoltz were ‘meh,’ but how many ex-players actually make good color analysts? Al Leiter?

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Ah, MikeS reminds me of Steve Stone.

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    • It certainly is a short list. I mean, I grew up listening to Don Sutton, so I kind of like him, but it’s been decades since he could provide real insight into the inner workings of the game beyond his breezy Southern mannerisms. Doug Glanville’s a good writer and a decent studio guy; I’ve always liked Tony Gwynn, though I couldn’t say I’ve learned a lot from him.

      I just don’t think you really need a former player to call the game or provide color commentary. All you need is a genius — Vin Scully, Harry or Skip Caray, Harry Kalas, Ernie Harwell — who understands the medium. The players can provide soundbites in the studio shows. But in the booth, I’d rather have a broadcaster who knows what he’s doing.

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      • Oh, and obviously, Bob Uecker is awesome. Wishing him a speedy recovery following his latest surgery.

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      • Bryz says:

        “I just don’t think you really need a former player to call the game or provide color commentary.”

        I wholeheartedly agree. It’s frustrating to see all these former players get trotted in because they offer “insider analysis.” You don’t need a former player to do color commentary, just bring a guy that is knowledgeable about the game. I don’t even care if he doesn’t like stats, as long as he can tell me why a pitch is so effective in a certain sequence or how to properly put your foot on the bag.* **

        * Part of this rant is because of Bert Blyleven for the Twins, who makes it seem like pitchers fail only because they leave pitches up or have their shoulders fly open, or he commonly talks about the game when he played.

        ** Complaining about Joe Morgan is beating a dead horse, but there was one game after the 1st baseman missed a throw where Morgan said he had to put his left foot on the bag, which would maximize his range of motion. However, JM forgot that the 1st baseman was righthanded, meaning he caught with his left hand, and pivoting on his left foot would not maximize his range of motion as much as his right foot. You can test this by standing and pivoting on your left foot while imagining catching a throw with your left hand, then doing the same except pivoting on your right. Clearly, the foot on the opposite side of your body as the hand you’re trying to catch with will give you the greater range of motion.

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      • blackout says:

        “All you need is a genius — Vin Scully, Harry or Skip Caray, Harry Kalas, Ernie Harwell”

        Skip Caray? One of these things is not like the others…

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      • Say what you want, but I grew up with Skip, and so I’ll always love him. He had a wicked sense of humor and passion for the game, balanced homerism with honest observation, and knew just how to rise to the moment.

        He’ll always be my personal Russ Hodges for the 1992 Francisco Cabrera call: “He is… safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!”

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    • Steve says:

      You enjoyed the guy who greeted Granderson’s triple and Teixeira’s HR with stone silence? Wierd.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Yawn.

        Just because announcers don’t go nuts over every strike thrown or ball taken the way Sterling and Waldman do for the Yankees doesn’t mean they’re all biased against New York. EJ called a clean game, free of inanities and any other frivolity that takes away from the action on the field. I’m not complaining.

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    • buck turgidson says:

      Darlling is an ass.

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    • Hal Jordan says:

      Jim Deshaies

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  14. LondonStatto says:

    Not sure about “error”, but it did irritate me that “Sanchez”, both Freddy and Jonathan, became “San-CHEZ”. Argh!

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    • Matt says:

      Ya, that was so irritating. Where did he even get that?

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    • Matt says:

      That was pissing me off too, and the fact that while he was trying to hide it, I could clearly tell he was rooting for the Braves. I didn’t realize at the time who he was or his connection to the Braves, but it all makes sense now.

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  15. BlackOps says:

    Oh, Stockton saying “erra” drove me completely insane. Within a 5 minute period he must have said it 20 times, almost as if he knows how he’s saying it and just doing it to make my ears bleed.

    Baseball announcers are by far the worst. Most college basketball announcers are wonderful at what they do; professional basketball announcers right behind them. Most football announcers are decent as well, save the Buck/Aikman combo, mainly because of Buck. I can’t figure out why I’ve never heard a truly DECENT baseball announcer. If I had to bet, I’d say its all of the old cliches; i.e. toughness, mental fortitude, gamer, etc. All of which seems to somehow become MORE important in the playoffs.

    I’m by no means a fan of Cole Hamels, but I was proud of him when asked why they won, he simply said, “we played better baseball,” or something along the lines of that. Announcers tend to think teams who grit it out or try harder win. No, they play better.

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    • Heather says:

      I think the “erra” for error could just be a regional pronunciation. Think of Bob Sheppard anouncing the Yankees. “Now batting for the Yankees, number 2, Derek Jee-TAH.”

      Still can be annoying if you don’t like the regionalism, but perhaps more understandable.

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  16. eric says:

    I also could not stand Dick Stockton. I was bummed out every time the game started and he was on, I was praying that someone at TBS replace him mid series.

    Anyone catch all of his mistakes? He called the Giants the New York Giants, and constantly messed up the ball/strike count. Out of no where Cody Ross got a hit for the braves at one time.. And no one would correct him…

    I was wondering why they didn’t put Smoltz on the broadcast for the braves/giants, granted there would some bias there, but he would have some Bobby stories queued up. Although I could see how Giants fans might not enjoy that, at least it wouldn’t have been Dick fing Stockton…

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    • Ken says:

      As a Giants fan, I wouldn’t have minded too much, I just queued up the game audio on my iPhone (with the MLB app) which runs about 45 seconds behind “real time” and synchronized the TV. Worked like a charm and I got to listen to hall-of-famer Jon Miller call the games rather than Dicky S.

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    • BlackOps says:

      He called the Yankees the New York Lakers. I shit you not.

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    • Matt says:

      Brenley was terrible, too. Kept saying inaccurate and or pointless things just so he would have something to say. He said that Posey struggled to block balls when he came up this year; he’s allowed one passed ball this year.

      And what was with their repeated insistance that Brian Wilson was more “Guts than Stuff?” The guy throws 97!

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      • One thing Brenly said really stuck in my craw: he claimed that Bobby Cox didn’t like to sacrifice bunt in any situation. Really, few things could be further from the truth. Cox’s teams have virtually always been in the upper half of the National League: this year, the Braves were 7th, but last year they were 2nd, and in 2008 they were 6th. Such a silly comment.

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  17. bowie says:

    And don’t get me started on Dennis Eckersley and David Wells.

    Cal Ripken lacks charisma, but at least he tries to be substantive. Eckersley and Wells just have nothing to say.

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    • John Thacker says:

      “Eckersley and Wells just have nothing to say.”

      As far as Eck goes, I was listening to a national FOX game where they had him doing color, and the other announcer mentioned that Joe Torre was one manager who had won an MVP, but now with Kirk Gibson hired by Arizona, there were two.

      Eck replies with a “Oh, I know all about Gibby.” And the other guy replied “Oh, that was ’88, wasn’t it?” And then they talked for a while about the current pitcher, who had blown a game to a walkoff homerun, and that Eck knew all about that too.

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  18. SF 55 for life says:

    Not a Met fan or anything but their team Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling are probably my favorite in all of baseball. They are exciting, funny, and have insight from both a hitter’s and pitcher’s perspective. Like nearly all announcers they aren’t into a lot of the advanced stats that are out there. Still, they generally are enjoyable to listen to

    All in all let’s just hope that Brian Bannister decides to be an announcer someday.

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  19. Dave says:

    Lets be honest, having TBS host any playoff series is just an errah by Major League Baseball

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  20. nikolai volkoff says:

    face it, there are many announcers that are horrible, or are thought of by a large majority of viewers as horrible.
    Any mention of the McCarvers, Bucks, millers, morgans, brings out the beast in most fans. add writers like ryan, lupica. more than half of the espn sports announcers, and the bleached blonde d-bag jean zelasko at fox.
    For me, stockton is passable barely, as is orsillo except when his voice goes up 5 octaves on a deep fly ball/homerun, makes him come off as a goof.
    I had my share of chip carey the past couple of years, he su### big time, seems like he trys to come off as a movie star/actor. imo, he grades as excrement along with hawk harrelson as announcers.

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  21. cs3 says:

    stockton is absolutely terrible as a baseball commentator.
    while i dont expect him to have in depth knowledge of every player on the teams playing (like kruk and kuip generally do) i at least expect him to be able to pronounce the players names.
    when you cant even take the time to learn how to say the starting pither’s name (and its doubly painful when he happens to have the same name as the second baseman) and pronounce it sawn-CHEZ’ over and over and over again, you should not be doing the game. period.
    his attempt at “sandoval” was also excruciatingly torturous.
    he actually pronounced it 3 or 4 different ways, none of them being correct, and his favorite version rhymed with “condo pal”.
    his lack of any baseball knowledge was obvious and doesnt need discussing, as everyone could plainly hear that he spoke only what he saw in pure monotone without offering any insight whatsoever.

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    • Heather says:

      If you listen to the Fangraphs audio download for this week, one of the regular commentators (I believe it was Matt Klassen) pronounced Sabathia as Sa-bay-thia.

      And I think Matt knows a lot about baseball. Mispronunciation is excruciating but doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of knowledge about baseball.

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      • This is true. But Matt — and the other guys on the podcast; I don’t know who committed the mispronunciation you mention — a writer and fan, he isn’t a full-time radio announcer. Part of a play-by-play guy’s job is to know how the players pronounce their names.

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      • Bryz says:

        Tons of people mispronounced Roy Oswalt’s last name when he was briefly involved in trade rumors to the Twins (I kept hearing “ozz-walt” instead of “ohs-walt”).

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      • Bryz says:

        Er, “ohz-walt,” not “ohs-walt.”

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  22. philkid3 says:

    I disagree that Johnson is better than Carray. That’s no compliment to Carray, it’s just that Johnson is even worse at making the game exciting and has absolutely no understanding of how to watch a game at all. He says fewer stupid things and gets ahead of the play less often, but it doesn’t make him better.

    They are, however, both bad. It’s awful when you look forward to Joe Buck.

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    • To each his own. However, I far, far rather prefer Johnson to both Caray and Buck. Ernie isn’t the greatest baseball announcer by any means, and the NBA is really his primary sport, but he doesn’t take anything away from the game, he doesn’t preach, and he doesn’t say stupid things. Buck likes to turn the spotlight on himself. I think Johnson is a much more gracious announcer.

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  23. Sam says:

    I think Buck Martinez is the human encyclopedia of baseball cliches. He provides no insight at all, just regurgitates cheesy stories by lazy sportswriters.

    Honestly, I would rather have Morgan saying something semi-crazy.

    Buck sucks. MacCarver blows. Especially Jason Varitek, who thankfully is missing from these playoffs. Although that probably means he will work overtime on Jeter.

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  24. Patrick says:

    I’m a Bob Brenley fan.

    I recall hearing his voice the other day and was glad to note that he does National Games as well as the Cubs.

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  25. Andrew says:

    As a Braves fan, I listened to a lot of EJ and Smoltz this year. They were great together, and there is no way to describe how much better EJ is than Chip (however, I should qualify that Boog Sciambi is far better than anyone and ESPN should allow him to do the TBS games).

    I watched all of the playoff games and thought that EJ and Smoltz were bottled up significantly compared to their performances with the Braves. It seems that TBS told them to cut out all of the jokes and specific stories that made them so good as a team. I realize that some of the stories were a little specific to the Braves, but for the most part, fans should enjoy hearing about how Smoltz prepared for a playoff start or how to close a playoff game or anything else that he experience in his Hall of Fame career. Essentially I blame TBS for bottling up the personalities of both EJ and Smoltz.

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  26. High Talker says:

    I think my favorite sport to watch was olympic basketball online. It had all the game sound but announcers. I really think this should be an option now with mlb.tv. Also why is there an obsession with having a former player give “insights”? When I think of great announcers I think of Ernie Harwell and Vin Scully. Not remarks from Harold Reynolds making up things about someone being clutch.

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  27. Disco says:

    GUS. JOHNSON.

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  28. B says:

    Honestly they don’t bother me all that much because I’m used to listening to the Phils tv broadcasters who are truly horrific. And this is coming from a Phillies fan. I honestly have to mute half the games.

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  29. John says:

    Much of the mistakes have already been mentioned, but I feel so strongly about this I have to reiterate. Stockton was ATROCIOUS. The worst baseball announcing I’ve ever heard, with apologies to McCarver, Joe Buck and Joe Morgan. I wanted Freddy Sanchez to not play after getting hit so I wouldn’t have to hear his last name anymore.

    I’ll just add one more mind-numbing mistake of his-

    Brenly was discussing Juan Uribe’s stats with the bases loaded- “He’s a got a .XXX avg, with 2 HRs, and XX RBI”

    Dick- “And those two homeruns were grand slams”

    Really Dick?!? Thanks.

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    • Bryz says:

      If you saw the color commentator from the movie “Dodgeball,” that’s what I thought of when reading Dick’s comment.

      “He’s not going to be able to see very well with that (blindfold) on.”

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  30. SF 55 for life says:

    Buck Martinez is extremely shitty also.

    I like Mark Grace as an announcer, he’s a funny dude.

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  31. Dealer A says:

    Brian Anderson does a nice job for TBS.

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  32. andy says:

    Cmon, we all know what we need is Joe Buck and Joe Morgan to team up.

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  33. andy says:

    my favorite was edgardo alfonzo being called eduardo alonso for a whole playoffs.

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  34. Phantom Stranger says:

    I used to love Dick Stockton as an announcer for basketball, but it was patently apparent he had not watched a baseball game in years. His knowledge of baseball started and ended with whatever the games notes prepared for him said. While I have never liked Chip Caray, he would have been a moderate upgrade from Stockton for the Braves-Giants series. TBS clearly had a failure of imagination in picking announcers.

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  35. BobLoblaw says:

    To all those suffering through TV broadcasts, mute the TV and…

    LISTEN TO THE RADIO BROADCASTS ON THE INTERNET!

    It’s infinitely better. MLB.com lets regular-season MLB.TV subscribers (no extra $10 needed) listen to their choice of home and away broadcasts (and both in Spanish) on GameDay with Audio. There’s gotta be other ways, too.

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  36. guy above me is a clown says:

    how the hell does buck martinez still have a job?

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  37. Bob says:

    I like Joe Simpson who does a lot of Braves games. He was referring to a catcher one day, comenting on his “speed” around the bases, and he said “he couldn’t run out of sight in two days” which I think is pretty funny.

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  38. Bigmouth says:

    I have to say, I actually like the TBS coverage, though more for the permanent pitch-location tracker than the announcers.

    Also, Stockton’s pronunciation of “error” as “erra” sounded like a bad imitation of the Kennedys to me, lol.

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  39. buck turgidson says:

    I’ve learned to tune these guys out during the playoffs. Visually TBS is just fine.

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  40. mike wants wins says:

    People listen to the national announcers?

    The solutions are pretty easy to recognize, if not implement:
    1. Go with a network that is willing to spend actual money on the production.
    2. Let us watch on the internet, with the ability to view alternate cameras.
    3. Let us listen to the national or local calls on line. And, most importantly, synch them with the tv coverage. I hate that they tv and radio are not synched.

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  41. glassSheets says:

    I have extra innings and watch baseball most nights from the time it starts on the East until the West finishes. I could listen to Gus Johnson call a 2nd grade basketball game and be entertained.

    Scully would be ideal, but doesn’t seem like an option. If only someone else could tell me Jose Reyes comes from a town with more ducks than cars.
    Mark Grace is my favorite color guy; he is hilarious and has a clue about baseball at the same time.
    John Smoltz has his moments, mostly to the good side.
    The Mets might have the worst crew in the league simply because of Keith Hernandez. I loved him in Seinfeld but I don’t need him telling me he could make every play that wasn’t made and he would always have had a double on any pitch popped up.

    I live in Minnesota so I watch more Twins games than most, Bert Blyleven says “right here” and “right there” around 90 times a game. I started counting once and got above 100 by the 7th. It’s quite annoying, but not nearly as annoying as Dick Bremers unhealthy obsession with Michael Cuddyer.

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  42. waroriole says:

    I’m so glad that Buck Martinez doesn’t call Orioles games anymore. He is the absolute worst. OK, maybe not as bad as McCarver or Morgan, but he is so boring.

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  43. trebor says:

    I just turn off the center speaker, so I can hear the crowd noise but not the announcers. Perfect.

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  44. Tomas says:

    I prefer Chip Caray to Ernie Johnson to tell you the truth. Because Chip makes the games exciting and Ernie puts me to sleep.

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  45. Tomas says:

    I really like the guy that does the Rangers games, Josh Lewin.

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  46. Tomas says:

    Gary Thorne is also pretty good, he is the one with the call of, “good bye homerun”

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  47. Cidron says:

    They should team up Uecker and Skully somehow.. Imagine that pair in the booth. Ok, wont happen, but…

    BTW, they gotta keep Joe Morgan 50 miles from anything remotely resembling a microphone. We dont wanna hear it Joe. Lemme correct that, We dont wanna hear it AGAIN, no matter how important it was when it happened involving YOU. OK?

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  48. CircleChange11 says:

    Imagine a broadcaster trying to introduce an advanced metric into the broadcast, by the time they finished explaining the relevance and usefulness, we’d be 3 innings removed.

    I admit, even I don’t really want to hear about FIP outside of free agency and projections.

    As for Buck Martinez, my 9yo asked me if he pinches his nose when he talks. I did what any smart-ass dad would do and said “Yes” followed by “I don’t know why.” Then we spent the next 30 minutes imitating the voice. My son rembered Buck from MLB09 The Show.

    I grew up listening to Jack Buck, so I’m spoiled. My dad watched the game with the radio on, and that was that.

    I don’t think Joe Buck is bad at all. McCarver stinks, but evidently catching Bob Gibson is the credential trump card.

    Where the heck is Bob Costas? He knows quite a bit.

    Mark Grace does a great job of simply being Mark Grace, which is good enough for me. When Zavada made his debut with the handlebar stache, it was all he could talk about. When he went to the DBacks-Royals game he was waving his arms at us (we were wearing big fuzzy moustaches) and giving us a big thumbs up. That’s Gracie. Great player who will forever be known as the “Slumpbuster Guy”. Smokes like a chimney too.

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  49. Nora says:

    Its obvious that the TBS announcers prefer Texas over New York. Whats going on, aren’t they supposed to be fair to both teams. As a Yankee fan, I find this extremely annoying. And Cano’s home run was clearly a home run and not within reach of the texas outfielder!!!!!

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