Padres Broadcast Booth: Announcers Bring a Variety Of Styles

Jon TriebelContributor IMay 4, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01:  Jake Peavy #44 of the San Diego Padres throws a pitch in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 1, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO - The Padres had a promising start to the season, however slowly but surely the team's 40th campaign will become another losing proposition. Fans may complain about the club's on-field performance, but in the broadcast booth, the Padres have a solid lineup.

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If the departed Matt Vasgersian was a banana split, then current rookie Padres play-by-play man Mark Neely is a scoop of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and with a few sprinkles on top.

Neely is very competent, but easily falls into the stereotypical baseball announcer category. His voice and delivery style does not stand out as the  majority of current baseball announcers. The “sprinkles” come in small quantities as he displays a sense of humor at times and a little excitement on other occasions. Once Neely is completely comfortable and the Padres are winning on a consistent basis, maybe he will inject more personality into his broadcasting.

Now I admit this assessment may not be truly fair, since he is following a tough act, the banana split of play-by-play announcers, Vasgersian. After seven years of calling Padres baseball with tremendous flair, comedy and excitement, he moved to the big stage of the MLB Network. The other common ingredient of the duo is the sidekick, Mark Grant, the “hot fudge” of the broadcast team.

Grant’s talent as a stellar analyst has come to the forefront this year, as he has seamlessly transitioned to working with his new partner. In his 13th season in the booth, the former big leaguer’s eclectic and “homer” style has endeared him to many of the Padres' faithful. Grant injects life into almost every telecast, even when it can be painful to watch the team on the field.  He provides viewers with good information and insight, despite having a class clown image.

As in baseball, a strong bench is very important and Channel 4 San Diego has that aspect covered. Reserve play-by-play man Steve Quis is another steady performer. He has a similar style to Neely, but shows his emotion more often. As in the case with Neely and Grant,  Quis and Grant make a strong duo.

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When Grant decides to take day off, his replacement is the future Hall of Famer, former ESPN analyst and current San Diego State University baseball manager Tony Gwynn. He delivers his baseball knowledge and expertize in a friendly, low-key style which is easy on the ears.

San Diego Padres Radio

Jerry Coleman is the patriarch of Friars’ announcers and his 37-year career is full of great moments and unique calls. Known affectionately as the “The Colonial,” Coleman has a limited broadcast schedule for the 2009 season.

Joining Coleman in the booth for the 29th year is Ted Leitner. The San Diego icon, who either loved or hated by fans, is celebrating his 30th campaign with the Padres. In addition to the Padres, Leitner has an extensive resume that includes being the current voice of San Diego State University football and basketball and formerly the play-by-play man for the Chargers and Clippers. Leitner’s quirky delivery style of humor, story telling and game action calls is truly his own. He is not your run-of-the-mill announcer, as he is as entertaining as he is informative.

The relative new kid on the block is Andy Masur, who is in his third season behind the microphone. Groomed in Chicago, Masur joins the ranks of the classic baseball announcer. Nothing fancy about his delivery, it is solid just like his Midwestern roots, and he has developed a nice working relationship with Leitner and Coleman.