Entries Tagged as 'Broadcasters'

ESPN announces broadcast lineup for 2011

ESPN announced their broadcast teams for the 2011 season today.

They are:

Wednesday Night Baseball

Dave O’Brien (PBP) and Nomar Garciaparra

Monday Night Baseball

Sean McDonough (PBP), Aaron Boone and Rick Sutcliffe

Sunday Night Baseball

Dan Schulman (PBP), Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine (Jon Sciambi (PBP) Chris Singleton on ESPN Radio)

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Morgan, Miller not renewed for ESPN TV

ESPN Baseball will sound a whole lot different in 2011… from what I’m hearing from a lot of fans, for the better. 

The jist of it:  Joe Morgan’s contract will not be renewed and Jon Miller will be relegated to radio only. 

A buddy of mine had the best perspective on the situation and one many could empathize with:

Good riddance to Joe Morgan.  You can take him, McCarver and Harrelson and lock them in a room and seal the windows, doors and vents for all I care.  Although, it would have to be a very large room to fit their egos.

I liked Miller.

Harsh.

And yes, I do like Miller.  He just had the misfortune to be paired up with Morgan.

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I’ll admit it… I miss Cosell

Yesterday would have been Howard Cosell’s 92nd birthday.  For you young ‘uns, here’s a clip of him broadcasting in Earl Weaver’s last game as a manager:

 

Yes, Cosell was outspoken, egoistic, and even controversial but even as a younger baseball fan I liked him.  I liked his voice and I liked his over-confident, outlandish style. 

There’s no doubt there are many of you out there who disliked him as a broadcaster.  And quite honestly, in this day of cookie-cutter sports analysts and broadcasters, Cosell probably wouldn’t have a job. 

Here’s to you Howard… hope you’re enjoying your birthday wherever you ended up. 

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Ron Santo re-ups with WGN

cubs conv sat 053 I’ll admit it.  Ron Santo isn’t my favorite broadcaster to listen to.  But like Harry Caray in his later years, I can forgive that.  For all I can tell, Ron Santo is probably as genuine as you’re going to get in a business full of cynicism and insincerity. 

Which is why I’m happy he signed a three-year extension with WGN Radio to do the color commentary with Pat Hughes (thanks, Pat).

Like Harry, no one seems to love the game or the Cubs more (and dare I say it, the enthusiasm doesn’t appear to be an act like so many in the broadcasting biz):

"I love what I do, and it keeps me alive, as far as I’m concerned," Santo said from his Arizona home. "When I go in [to negotiate], I could say I’m looking for a two-year [deal] and they’ll say, ‘Why don’t you take a three-year contract?’"

I’m normally not so sentimental in such matters but in Santo’s case, I’ll make an exception.  He deserves more (*cough* Hall of Fame *cough*) but I’m happy for the news.

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TBS fires Chip Caray

With three years left on his contract, Chip Caray just got canned by TBS.

David Levy, president of Turner Sports, wrote in a memo to Turner employees: “Since the end of this year’s MLB playoffs, we’ve had several discussions with Chip Caray regarding 2010 and beyond. Both sides have agreed that now is the right time for Turner Sports and Chip to move ahead on different paths.”

  That’s putting it nicely.

 

Place your bets on who his replacement will be.

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Mike Blowers gets the call right with Tuiasosopo homer

Mike Blowers, he’s quite the fortune teller.

Former MLB journeyman and current color guy for the Mariners, Blowers made an on-the-air prediction that Matt Tuiasosopo would be the Player of the Game last night.  He took further I’m sure just on a lark, and said that Tuiasosopo would hit his first major league homerun in his second at-bat… on a fastball… on a 3-1 count.. into the second deck. 

Here’s the coverage including the… well, check it out for yourself:

 

Pretty amazing Carnac work, I’d say.  I don’t think Tuiasosopo’s ball made it all the way to the second deck but Blowers’ prediction was pretty spot on otherwise.

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Scully to retire after 2010 season

Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully has given his notice

"God willing, I will probably come back for one more year," Scully said in a phone interview. "At this moment, my health is excellent, and I’m leaning toward one more year."

And then retire?

"Yes, that makes sense," he said.. 

The last of a dying breed.  A broadcaster who can call a game by himself and not sound boring.  His secret, in my opinion?  He doesn’t feel it necessary to fill up every second with inane blather. 

The Dodgers have a year and half with him.  Enjoy these last few months and when he leaves, send him off the right way.  He is a treasure to the sport of baseball.

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RIP: Harry Kalas

harry-kalas

Born in Naperville, Illinois, Kalas graduated from Naperville High School in 1954. He attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa and later graduated from the University of Iowa in 1958. Kalas began his career in 1961 calling minor league games for the Hawaii Islanders while he was in the United States Army stationed in Hawaii.

Kalas made his major league debut in 1965 with the Houston Astros. He was hired by the Phillies in 1971 to replace Bill Campbell, and was the master of ceremonies at the 1971 opening of Veterans Stadium. After the retirement of By Saam, Kalas was paired with Andy Musser and Hall of Fame player Richie Ashburn. Kalas joined NFL Films in 1975, and remained there until his death.

Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas passed out in a press box at Nationals Park today and was pronounced dead at GW Hospital. He was 73.

“We lost our voice today,” team president David Montgomery said, his voice cracking. “He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization.”

Nats acting GM Mike Rizzo talked to Montgomery after Kalas’ collapse but there was never really a thought of canceling the game; Montgomery told Rizzo that Kalas would have wanted them to play. There will be a moment for silence for both Nick Adenhart of Hagerstown and for Kalas.

“Major League Baseball has lost one of the great voices of our generation,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “Baseball announcers have a special bond with their audience, and Harry represented the best of baseball not only to the fans of the Phillies, but to fans everywhere.”

Montgomery said that Kalas was found unconscious in a broadcast booth, where he was preparing to work Monday’s game against the Nationals. He was found by the Phillies director of broadcasting at about 12:30 p.m.

Montgomery called his condition serious at that time, and the Phillies closed the visitors’ clubhouse to the media.

Kalas missed most of spring training after undergoing surgery in February. The team declined to reveal details of the surgery, saying it was a “minor medical procedure.”

Kalas, who has broadcast Phillies games since 1971, was known for his distinctive “Outta here!” home run call. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after receiving the Ford C. Frick Award in 2002. He was in the final year of a three-year contract with the Phillies. Kalas also narrated for NFL Films, broadcast Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl and did the voice-overs for the Chunky Soup commercials.

Kalas and Ashburn became beloved figures in Philadelphia, and also became best friends. They worked together for 27 seasons until Ashburn’s sudden passing on September 9, 1997 of a heart attack in his sleep in a New York City hotel room after broadcasting a Phillies/Mets game at Shea Stadium. Due to the closeness of Ashburn and Kalas, Kalas openly stated that he still grieved over Ashburn’s death, over eleven years afterwards.

Kalas’ familiar home run call was “Swing…and a long drive, watch this baby, outta here! Home run ” If it was a gigantic home run, he sometimes inserted “deep center field” after “and a long drive” and described it as “that ball’s way outta here!”. As a guest on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball on July 15, 2007, Kalas recounted that his famous “outta here” call originated in the mid-1970s. Standing around the batting cage during batting practice Philly slugger Greg Luzinski hit a ball into the upper deck to which Philly shortstop Larry Bowa reacted with the words, “Wow! That’s way outta here.” Kalas claims that it had a nice “unique ring to it and has been using it ever since”.

Harry Kalas died, doing what he did, and he did it good. I remember when 73 was old, not any more, tomorrow I turn 53, and 73 is too young to go. Kalas will be missed, sympathies go out to Harry’s family, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the NFL.

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THAT’S RIGHT ED!

edfarmer1 I jumped so high with delight when I heard Steve Stone would be coming over to TV to join Hawk Harrelson, replacing Darrin “Yes Man” Jackson. But soon my joy was overcome by grief when I learned DJ was moving over to radio, joining Ed Farmer. I’m sure Farmer thought, what did I do to deserve this? Ed is kind of a jokester, I wonder if he’ll play around with Darrin, just to make him look stupid, not that Darrin isn’t fully capable of doing that on his own.

Last year I turned the volume off White Sox telecasts, powered up my radio, and enjoyed Farmer & Stone (even though the sound didn’t always matchup, still it was better than listening to those two knuckleheads). It was uncanny how often Ed & Steve would say something might happen, and then it would happen just as they’d predicted. I’ve got the MLB Direct-TV package, and the Sox TV guys were, by far, the worst in the business, from whining about the umpires to being complete homers, to talking about their playing careers (was there that much to talk about, did I mention Carl Yastrzemski?).

Maybe I’ll have to brush up on my Spanish and listen to Hector Molina do the games. Heck, even if I don’t understand what he’s saying, it still might be better.

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Skip Caray passes

Just found out that Skip Caray passed away.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has an excellent obit/bio. 

 

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