As the playoffs progress, no doubt we’ll all have things to say about the announcers and post-game commentators from time to time. So we decided to set aside some space for that–and, to get things going, we’ve aggregated what a few Umpbumpers have been saying over the past week in comments, emails, and g-chats…and because we hadn’t really talked about the Rays-White Sox series at all yet, I stole some interesting comments from DRaysBay. Thanks, DRaysBay!

ALDS Red Sox-Angels:

Lyndsay: …you know who else sucks? those TBS announcers. um, 1st inning, Lackey gets Ellsbury on, and all of a sudden “we might see a home run derby tonight!” uhhh…huh?? also, who the hell dresses them, clowns? really, Turner Broadcasting? an orange suit that looks like it came from a bin at Goodwill is the best you could do for that guy? I could go on and on…completely ignoring the contributions of Ellsbury at the end of the game, ragging on Lowrie’s error for most of the game, the asshattery of the “manny who?” comment…why can’t Don and the RemDawg cover playoff games for us pleeease? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know listening to McCarver and Buck makes those guys look like Bill James, but seriously.

Sarah: OMG Lyndsay, I agree so much that I just had to write “OMG.”

Coley: Craig Sager always wears terrible suits. He usually does NBA sideline reporting. Kevin Garnett likes to make fun of him.

Lyndsay: seriously, they need to keep Sager away from Lester – that radiated suit might bring his cancer out of remission.

Sarah: One of the announcers kept calling Lester “Varitek.” As in, “Great curveball by Varitek” and “That’s back-to-back curveballs by Varitek.” Just because Tek is calling the pitches doesn’t mean it’s his great curve! And it was especially irritating because he was just talking about what a genius Tek is, “The professor,” who has “a computer in the back of his brain,” and “now you can see the computer whirring back there,” or whatevs. Apparently Varitek is such a genius that he is both catching and pitching this game! Also, there’s this Jeter ad for Gillette. He’s walking by angry Sox fans and his deodorant is keeping him from sweating, but it is sort of odd since the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs. It seems like Gillette is advocating failure.

Nick: Hahaha. Jeter. Even fans make him sweat!

NLDS Cubs-Dodgers:

Melissa: TBS, has graced Cubs/Dodgers with Dick Stockton. He has lost it, he mangles names and occasionally even forgets where he is. They pair him up with Ron Darling, sorry don’t care to listen to a former Met and Tony Gwynn, who as a broadcaster was a great hitter. Is it asking too much for at least one guy that might be familiar with at least one of the two teams? I was forced to listen to the radio which also sucks because it is so far ahead of the HD feed.

ALDS Rays-White Sox:

Samminator (via DRaysBay): RED SOX BROADCASTER. CALLING THE RAYS GAME??? It’s an outrage. Am I the only one outraged??? Don Orsillo, the REDSOX TV announcer, was selected by TBS to do the TV play-by-play for the Rays playoff game…. That would be like the Braves (also owned by Turner) having a Mets TV announcer call one of their play off games…

Send an email to TBS:

then select “contact us” then “TBS Sports

R.J. Anderson: Chip Caray is a Braves announcer, Ron Darling does the Mets, and a ton of their on-air announcers do other gigs. Heck, even guys like Marv Albert do team specific broadcasts.

Walkoffwalk: red sox announcer prob knows the rays better than any other announcer TBS has.

rayweaver: As much as we might be annoyed or outraged, I’m sure this was pre-determined somehow. He worked the postseason last year. My guess is that they chose him because John Sterline wasn’t available.

[Sarah’s take: Don Orsillo is a fantastic announcer. Neither him nor Sox color commentator Jerry Remy ever seem to say a boneheaded thing—and for guys who talk for hours on end almost without pause, that’s no small feat. Rays fans should feel blessed!]

NLDS Phillies-Brewers:

Zvee: If you’ve noticed, John Smoltz is in the booth for the Phillies-Brewers series.  As a devout Braves fan, I hate to say this…but Smoltz is probably preparing for life after baseball (playing it, atleast) at this point.  He clearly has an interest as a studio or color guy in a year or two…with that being said, have you liked what you’ve heard from the Smoltz so far?  Also, Granderson is in the studio with Ernie Johnson, Ripken and Eckersley, and Curtis is pretty good.

Coley: I haven’t had much opportunity to listen to Smoltz. I watched much of the first two games in bars or in the newsroom with the sound down. But what I have heard from Smoltz I’ve liked. He seems very knowledgeable.

Alejandro: I asked Mark Bowman what he thought about Smoltz in the booth as his second career and he didn’t see it immediately cuz smoltzy “loves his family” … I think eckersley is a bigger cornball cliché machine than zelasko.

Sarah: But that’s just part of his charm, along with the ‘stache and the mullet! The Eck splilts time with Jim Rice doing Red Sox postgame analysis. They are quite the study in contrasts. Eckersley is actually great at analyzing pitching stuff (“I really thought he should have come back with the breaking ball during that count, here’s why,”) but Rice is a sort of amiable train wreck. “When you’re in a one-run game, mistakes like that are going to cost you because there’s no room for mistakes like that in a one-run game, which is why in a one-run game, you just can’t make those kinds of costly mistakes.” All of that said in a rapid monotone like the Micromachines man.

Paul: John Moschitta, where are you now?

Got something on your mind? Don’t hold back!

13 Responses to “Playoff Bloglounge: Announcers, Commenators, and Ads–Oh My!”

  1. Speaking as a Yankees fan, I’d rather listen to Orsilio and Remy than any other announce team save the Yanks’ own. Sure, they’re rooting for the Sawks, but they never let their bias get in the way of the facts.

  2. Alejandro Leal says:

    I, for one, am glad Harold Reynolds is back on the tube talking baseball. I don’t have anything memorable from everyone else doing the Sox-Rays series… other than to say they have a bunch of SI guys doing side-line reporting.

  3. Smoltz was pretty good, though the booth was clearly in the tank for the Brewers. I could envision John coming back to do the TBS game of the week, or whatever they may sign up for in the future.

  4. Having had more opportunity to listen to Smoltz, I’m gonna go ahead and say he’s my new favorite color analyst. He talks a lot, but he’s always got something interesting to say, and he succeeds in using his experience as a ballplayer to inform his analysis, without talking about himself the whole time.

  5. Eck gets so excited sometimes (especially when one of the “young kids” pitches a great game) that he can barely complete his sentence before he’s on the next one, which is why I think he’s fun to watch. also, his hair. Jim Rice is just oooooozing bitterness, which is also fun to watch. he was bitter at not being HOF’d, which oozed into bitterness at all the attention Manny gets, and then bitterness over Pesky getting the number retired (which you KNOW pissed him off). watching the escalation of Rice’s bitterness over the course of the season has been almost as fun as My Little Pony’s MVP season.

  6. I also wanted to add – Game 2? – Sager was like Brigham’s Rainbow Sherbet. you could literally put him on a cone (but not lick him – ewwww, thats gross). I was glad Pap sprayed him, but I was actually hoping that he would put him in a headlock, grab his toupee, and run around the field playing keepaway with it. now THAT’S good tv!

  7. Sarah Green says:

    Yeah, the Manny tirade from Rice earlier this year was a bit unlooked-for. But I’m sure Rice will make it into the Hall this year, and then he’ll get his number retired, and everyone will be happy. Except for Nick and Paul.

  8. Sarah Green says:

    Oh and also, what was that pocket square I saw on Sager last night? Unless my eyes deceived me, it sported a tiger.

    It’s made with real panther. That’s how you know it’s good.

  9. Paul Moro says:

    Sarah, you chide Coley for baiting you with that Jane Austen comment. Then you go and bait me into an argument about Jim Rice.

    How dare you.

  10. Sarah Green says:

    I am woman.

  11. Coley Ward says:

    That’s my whole point. You are woman. And as such, are permitted to read Jane Austen. But Keith Law is a dude, and, I mean, dude? Jane Austen?

  12. Sarah Green says:

    Actually Coley, in previous eras, Jane Austen’s fans included a great many men, such as Walter Scott, perhaps best known as the author of novels dealing with wussy subjects such as Jacobite uprisings and medieval heroes, and Rudyard Kipling (that pansy!) who wrote a short story called “The Janeites” about a group of WWI soldiers (those pussies!) who take solace in Jane’s writing to escape from the atrocities of war. Many Eminent Men of Austen’s day–and many since–have counted themselves among her most devoted fans…and still would, if Colin Firth in a wet shirt wasn’t so threatening to your regrettably constrained sense of heteronormativity.

  13. Why don’t we all write/email the MLB to express our displeasure???? I think one local broadcaster from each team should be doing the job during the playoffs so we can get some accurate and interesting comments. And someone please do a makeover on that Sager goof!

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