One broadcasting buffoon bellows his biased bilge like he’s experiencing his first sexual encounter, simply because a home run breaks a windshield in a parking lot beyond the left field wall. Another roars with insincere exclamations flying in every direction when two Yankees go “back-to-back, belly-to-belly.”
The most irritating guy of them all utters with slang-ridden disdain, “He gone!” when an opposing player strikes out and unabashedly calls the White Sox “the good guys.” When the opposing team does something electric, all you hear is a mumble.
So this is the subjective slant that baseball broadcasting now peddles, and as I wade through this bog of unprofessional pretenders [as little as possible], I hear news that the great Vin Scully, 82, is coming back in 2011.
The timing was great for me. I like to follow the Cincinnati Reds and they were visiting Vinny’s L.A. Dodgers over the weekend. Given the blessing of the Comcast “Extra Inning” package, I took advantage of a rare treat.
No one has more reason than Scully to root, root, root for the home team. The absolute best broadcaster in the history of the game has been at the Dodgers’ microphone since 1950, two years before this 58-year-old writer was born.
But Scully doesn’t resort to hometown blather. In fact, this Reds fan didn’t take exception to one thing he said during two of the three games I saw. In the other, I was sorry to get the Reds announcers, who aren’t the worst on the planet, but can’t hold Scully’s scorecard.
I’m sure somebody in the business could explain it to me. Perhaps it’s just another example of my trying to hold on to nostalgic elements of my younger years. But the shameless sound of announcers heaping praise on the “good guys” and dumping on the “bad guys” makes me shiver with distaste.
You may enjoy the whining Joe on Red Sox radio guy pouting when Lyle Overbay rakes two three-run homers off his ace lefthander. Maybe it sets your heart all atwitter when the Evil Empire’s lout quakes, “THEEEEEEE Yankee win!” like it’s some kind of religious awakening.
I found a new one that chortles like a hometown ham -- Josh Lewin of the Texas Rangers. Lewin spouted the following bourgeois tonight, “I’m surprised that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hasn’t won a manager of the year award and he won’t this year because our guy Ron Washington has it wrapped up.”
How’s that for some one-sided crap. What about Gardenhire? What about Joe Maddon? What about Terry Francona with all the injuries he’s had to endure? When an opposing player makes a great play, Lewin arrogantly announces that their shortstop has made the same play so many times. Pass the barf bag, dear, and will somebody in Texas please pull the plug.
Every baseball fan should allow Vin Scully’s melodious voice to fill the living room once in a while. His offerings sometimes come out sounding like poetry.
Here are my least favorite broadcasters, some of which you’ve already guessed, with excessive hometown bias as my primary criteria. I give you The Insincere Seven:
1. Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, Chicago White Sox
2. Joe Castiglione, Boston Red Sox
3. Rex Hudler, Los Angeles Angels
4. Suzyn Waldman, New York Yankees
5. John Sterling, New York Yankees
6. Josh Lewin, Texas Rangers
7. Mark Grace, Arizona Diamondbacks
Here are the guys I like best:
1. Vin Scully, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Jon Miller, San Francisco Giants
3. Dave O’Brien, Boston Red Sox
4. Dick Bremer, Minnesota Twins
5. Don Orsillo, Boston Red Sox
6. Marty Brennaman, Cincinnati Reds
7. Gary Cohen, New York Mets