MLB Power Rankings: Ranking Every MLB Announcing Crew
The way we watch baseball games has definitely changed over the past 10 to 15 years. We have access to so much more information than in the past; the days of relying on the "team in the booth" to explain stats and so on are over. We simply hop on the Internet and check to see what our favorite team or player has done in real time.
I think today's viewer wants to be entertained as well as informed, because as we all know, there is a lot of downtime in baseball, and we need to feel comfortable "talking" with the announcers as the game goes on.
This installment of Bleacher Report will focus on who I think are MLB's best television announcers bottom to top. If you throw radio in this, it's a different ball game altogether.
Florida Marlins: Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton
With the number of people that show up at Florida home games, I can’t imagine that the option of watching it on television is that much better.
Houston Astros: Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies
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Deshaies wasn’t much to listen to as a player during interviews, and with how the Astros have been the past couple years, I don’t think television is a better option.
Oakland Athletics: Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse
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See the previous two cities. It’s hard to put an announcing team in the top 15, let alone top 20, if nobody shows up at the games.
Cleveland Indians: Matt Underwood and Rick Manning
For a team that is contending in the AL Central, it could have a little more excitement in the broadcasts to get people on board with the Tribe.
Maybe they can get Harry Doyle back from Major League.
Atlanta Braves: Chip Caray and Joe Simpson
This is another case of liking the analyst but not caring much for the play-by-play commentator.
Caray isn’t his grandfather Harry or even his father Skip. There is a reason why he has bounced around so much.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza
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It’s amazing that an average pitcher such as Gubicza knows so much about the game. Just because you played the game doesn’t make you an expert.
Toronto Blue Jays: Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler
Martinez has one of the most annoying voices on television, and in most cases you want to watch the game on mute.
Colorado Rockies: Drew Goodman and Joe Frazier
The announcing isn’t bad, but unless you are a Rockies fan, you may not have heard of Frazier at all. Sometimes name recognition can be a good thing.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Tim Neverett and Bob Walk
The Pirates are improving, and there is more enthusiasm in the broadcast booth because of it.
St. Louis Cardinals: Dan McLaughlin and Al Hrabosky
I know I will get hit hard for this because of the popularity of the Cards, but listening to the “Mad Hungarian” sometimes is enough to make you mad and turn it off.
Milwaukee Brewers: Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder
This is a tough one because I really like their radio announcer (Bob Uecker), but the television crew could use some excitement like “Ueck” gives us on the radio.
Washington Nationals: Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo
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This group has a little fire in it with Santangelo, who reminds me of former Angels announcer and player Rex Hudler.
Chicago White Sox: Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone
This is probably too low for Steve Stone, but I think Harrelson brings this group down.
Stone has his detractors as well, but Harrelson is painful to listen to, especially if you are a casual fan trying to watch a game, not root for a team.
Detroit Tigers: Mario Impemba and Rod Allen
These guys try to bring as much excitement as you can to Detroit, but neither one is really a household name.
Boston Red Sox: Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy
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I put them here only because I can’t understand what Remy is saying most of the time.
His knowledge of the game is vast, but that New England accent is tough to understand sometimes.
Especially when he gets excited, it’s anybody guess as to what he’s saying.
Texas Rangers: Dave Barnett and Tom Grieve
Grieve is a Rangers holdover from his playing days in the 1970s. He also served time as the Rangers general manager for about 10 years.
Barnett seems to be more of a basketball announcer, as he has worked for both the Spurs and the Mavericks, but nonetheless makes up a solid duo with his partner Grieve.
Tampa Bay Rays: Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson
For those of you who live in the Midwest, Staats used to be with the Cubs and occasionally makes an appearance on the Big Ten Network.
He and Anderson do a good job with this highly talented yet undervalued Florida team.
Baltimore Orioles: Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer
These two could easily be in the top five with Palmer’s work on Monday Night Baseball once upon a time and Thorne’s work with ESPN.
However, it seems sometimes like their egos get in the way of the broadcast, which makes it tough sometimes, but they still are solid announcers.
San Francisco Giants: Jon Miller and Mike Krukow
Krukow, the former pitcher, is a strong analyst with his knowledge of pitching, but I really struggle with Miller.
Although he is a Hall of Fame announcer, his calls are pretty obvious: “A home run!” seems to come to mind when somebody hits a three-run homer or anything along those lines.
He’s tough to stomach for an entire game.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Daron Sutton and Mark Grace
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As far as stories go in the announcer’s booth, Gracie has no equal.
Sutton’s job is simply to maintain order while Grace talks about the “good old days.”
Philadelphia Phillies: Tom McCarthy and Gary "Sarge" Mathews
These two have plenty to talk about with the recent success of the Phillies the past few years. It’s a nice mix of old and new with Mathews playing for the Phillies from 1981 to 1983.
Chicago Cubs: Len Kasper and Bob Brenly
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Call me old-fashioned, but when I think of Cubs television, I think of Harry Caray.
Kasper does an admirable job, and Brenly has the knowledge of the game, but I still long for the days of Harry Caray and Steve Stone on those sun-drenched Chicago afternoons.
Cincinnati Reds: Thom Brennaman and Chris Welsh
The father and son team of Marty (radio) and Thom Brennaman has been a staple of Reds baseball for a long time.
They both say what’s on their minds, and there isn’t a whole lot of backing down from what they have to say.
Seattle Mariners: Dave Sims and Mike Blowers
Sims is a solid play-by-play guy, and his stable of analysts (Blowers, Dan Wilson or Jay Buhner) can give as good of insight as any on the M’s, having played for them the majority of their careers.
New York Mets: Gary Cohen and Ron Darling
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Cohen does a nice job of calling the game, but Darling is tough to figure out.
Sometimes it seems like he is trying to be funny, while other times he is very direct and to the point.
They make a good pair for the Mets.
Kansas City Royals: Ryan Lefebvre and Frank White
For as bad as the Royals have been, these two aren’t afraid to say what they feel regarding much of anything dealing with the Royals.
Minnesota Twins: Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven
These two guys are a natural fit for each other.
Blyleven’s sense of humor along with Bremer’s Minnesota background have made them one of the top-rated broadcasts in baseball.
New York Yankees: Bob Lorenz and Al Leiter
You can’t go wrong with any of the Yankee media, especially their radio broadcasts, but Lorenz and Leiter are just a step behind Dick Enberg and Tony Gwynn.
San Diego Padres: Dick Enberg and Tony Gwynn
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Enberg has just recently returned to the booth, and with Gwynn as his analyst, this makes for the second-best tandem in the majors.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Vin Scully
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The gold standard for announcers. Even at his age, he’s still doing plenty of games and doing them alone in the press box.
He is an icon in baseball and still at the top of his trade.