As Giants fans know, F. P. Santangelo is the Giants’ fifth radio/TV announcer. He provides “color” when the team needs a fifth announcer, which doesn’t happen all that often since Jon Miller, Dave Fleming, Mike Krukow, and Duane Kuiper can usually handle both radio and TV on any given date.
The Giants have long been blessed with exceptionally good sportscasters (probably because the San Francisco Bay Area is an exceptionally great place to live when you are exceptionally well-paid). Jon Miller was feted tonight for being awarded the Ford C. Frick Award this year, and he’s just an outstanding baseball play-by-play man.
Before Miller, the Giants had Hank Greenwald, who was a terrific announcer, and before that Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons.
Back to the subject at hand: tonight was the first time I have ever enjoyed listening to F. P. Santangelo’s color commentary. Usually, he says nothing that isn’t painfully obvious. Tonight, however, he made a great many germane points that actually added something to the broadcast.
F. P.’s performance tonight merits praise and acknowledgement, even if only here. It isn’t particularly easy for a sportscaster to dramatically improve his performance, any more than it’s possible for, say, John McDonald to suddenly learn how to hit (for what it’s worth, McDonald currently has a .685 OPS—still terrible—the highest he has ever had in any of the nine seasons in which he has had 50 or more major league plate appearances).
To give you a better example of F. P.’s accomplishment tonight: every year, just as I hope the San Francisco Giants will finally win the World Series, I hope that this will be the year when I will enjoy listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver broadcast Saturday's Game of the Week on Fox.
It never happens. Every year, they are as unbearable as the year before.
Buck/McCarver say nothing that gives even one piece of new information to the fan (who has never played professional baseball) who has been following baseball seriously for more than five seasons.
Their broadcasts are obvious and usually contain smarmy interviews with one of the game’s managers that really have nothing to do with the game at hand (for example, Rays manager Joe Madden’s thick rimmed eye-glasses).
I assume MLB likes the Buck/McCarver team because they are nothing but shills for the line MLB wants disseminated. They treat their listeners like idiots, or at least people who haven’t watched closely more than 10 games in their lifetimes.
I find myself glued to the mute button when I watch the Game of the Week. It’s bad enough that the game almost always features one of the New York or L.A. teams, without having to listen to Buck and McCarver butcher the broadcast.