I apologize in advance to anyone I offend by leaving out their favorite, or their hometown guy, etc. I have the dish so I see a ton of games and listen to a lot of play-by-play guys. I'm going to discuss my favorites, my least favorites and some honorable mention guys as well. I'll also have some memorable quotes that stick out over the years. Please keep in mind that I'm not an old man, and I'm not in college either. You'll get a good sense of my experiences based on who is named in this post.
Let's start with one of the worst moments in baseball announcing history that I've ever heard, nevermind in recent years. This one's actually a two-part answer:
1.)Roger Clemens returns to New York - Ok, so this one touches a bit of a nerve. I've never forgiven Clemens for lying to the fans upon his departure from Boston. It's true, I believe he was forced out by Dan Duquette (and the Duke has basically admitted they weren't bringing him back at any price in later years). But he said he wanted to pitch somewhere closer to home, mainly Texas or Houston. Then he turns around and goes north of the US border and pitches in another country. It was then that I knew this guy was a true mercenary and only cared about the amount of money he made. We all know his travels then took him to the Big Apple, then to Houston and then "triumphantly" back to New York. So Roger was returning? Big deal. If that were Fenway or Wrigley, I highly doubt Harry Caray or Sean McDonough would have had an orgasm in the booth at the sight of The Rocket. Sure, it was a dramatic moment but Suzyn Waldman went way over the top. "Oh my goodness gracious!" is the best she could come up with at that moment?? I have about twenty better lines going through my head right now. And to blather on and on about him returning to pitch like he was bringing World Series rings with him was ludicrous. Enough ranting. You get the point. Waldman gets the gold....and the silver......
2.)Bye Bye Joe - "There's no crying in baseball!" - Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) in "A League of Their Own". Suzyn outdid herself in the clubhouse after the Yankees lost to Cleveland in the 2007 ALDS against Cleveland to put an end to Joe Torre's tenure with the Yankees. With the coaches all misting up because they knew the end an 11 year run was at hand, Waldman audibly teared up on the radio broadcast with John Sterling. Granted it was a somber situation, but come on! You're a professional! Emotion should not interfere with your job and Waldman let it get the best of her. The best part of the whole situation was the attempted transition (and a quite good one I might add) of Sterling, who paused briefly after Waldman stopped sniffling and uttered "Well Suzyn.......in life...all good things must come to and end." Priceless! But no matter how great the line, it was not going to overshadow the previous 30 seconds of emotional breakdown incurred by the worst baseball announcer in all of baseball.
Count me as one of the throng of baseball fans who think games should be called with a heavy dose of unbias. Yes, I hate "homers". Hometown announcers who openly root for their teams absolutely drive me crazy like fingernails on a blackboard. "Hawk" Harrelson is front and center in that group. The White Sox announcer changed his Sox in 1981 when he was "politely asked to leave" by Haywood Sullivan. Ever since, his "PUT IT ON THE BOOOARD....YYYYYYES!!!" home run call has gone up my spine sideways like a meaningless three pointer for a backdoor cover when I've got the favorite. I've never cared for the "homer" announcer and wouldn't want one calling the Red Sox. I think Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy do a good job of bringing excitement to the positive plays for the team they work for, and there are a lot of other duos out there who do it as well or better than they do. It's enough to get you excited about the home team, but it's not overkill and outright rooting against the opponent. And the "we" references always slay me. You're in the booth now Ken, not on the 25 man roster. Act like it. You are you and they are they.
That's it for tonight. Tomorrow I will post again with some of my favorites and more fantastic moments. For now, those are the worst of the worst in my opinion.......but what do I know?