Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Something I'd Hate

The changes in the broadcast teams this year have been for the better. I really like Dave Juggler Jagermei . . . the guy who replaced the guy who didn't say bang zoom. The new TV play-by-play guy is innocuous enough, and I started out pro-Tom Paciorek. But, as I've mentioned once or twice, I can't watch the Nationals, so small sample size caveats apply. The sample size got a little larger this last weekend when our unbelievably heated series with the Orioles merited extra TV time, and that was enough to turn me against Paciorek.

I don't think I ask for too much from my broadcasters. As long as you're not as big a loudmouth jackass as Rick Sutcliffe, I can pretty much ignore you. I can even tolerate Joe Morgan, as his awesome accent and awesomer suits make up for the nonsense he often forces Jon Miller to be polite about. Not everyone, I realize, can be Buck Martinez, and that's okay.

But Paciorek ventured into Ron Santo territory this weekend, and that's unforgivable. Cubs broadcaster Ron Santo holds two important distinctions: being maybe the best player not in the Hall of Fame and being maybe the worst broadcaster in the history of sports. Here's what Ron Santo says when something bad happens to the Cubs: "Nnh." Or "Oof." Or maybe "Augh." No analysis, just a pissed-off noise. It's completely unprofessional and the distillation of all the anti-intellectual homer tendencies that are always trying to ruin sports for me. You can probably see where I'm going with this, but here's a quick summary of Tom Paciorek's contributions to Friday night's broadcast.
  • Corey Patterson triples. Paciorek: "Oh."
  • Jeff Conine doubles. Paciorek: "Yrgh."
  • Ryan Church flies out. Paciorek: "Blugh."
At least it's somewhat understandable when Santo does it. He has, after all, been a Cub in one form or another for about eighty years, and one can appreciate the kind of blow it is for the old guy when things don't go the Cubbies' way, as they never do. But Paciorek's been involved with the Nats for about three months, and it's hard to believe that them blowing a lead is the bowling ball to the gut kind of experience he makes it sound like.

In a more positive development, I noticed a while ago that they've started playing "Hail to the Chief" when Chad Cordero comes out. I think that's completely, 100% great, which surprises me. It seems like something I'd hate.

4 comments:

El Gran Color Naranja said...

I have to admit, I love Ron Santo on the radio. It's a big reason I got the mlb audio subscription year after year. He makes listening fun. Certainly not the wrost broadcaster in the histroy of sports. Now "worst analyst in the history of sports"...

DM said...

I like Santo, too, perhaps because I don't expect much. I had to listen to Thursday's game on XM with him. In the 6th, he was interviewing Jackie Robinson's daughter, and had this gem:

"So, Jackie contracted diabetes at the end of his career. And that's what put him down, right?"

But he did have this one insight:

"It's amazing that Ramon Ortiz has pitched so poorly all year and he's beating the Cubs today."

Hard to argue that!

Bote Man said...

Ron Santo is not so much a broadcaster or analyst as an entertainer. He's worth at least a few laughs during any given Cubs game.

As for the Nats broadcasters, I have never had the pleasure of a MASN broadcast, but I am growing increasingly tired of Charlie Slowes.

His rhythm reminds me of that radio commercial a few years ago with a woman typing a note to her husband, pausing to return the manual typewriter's carriage with comical results. I also do not need to be barraged by a Gatling gun of statistics that might or might not be pertinent to the current batter, increasing in rapidity asthepitchcomesinforastrikeit's1and1.

Bang. Zoom.

Shemper said...

As a Phillies fan living in Florida, I just had to endure 3 straight Phils-Nats games on MASN listening to Paciorek. I agree with your comments 100%! After almost every pitch he utters a "geez", "ouch", "ooh", depending if it was good or not for "his team". He had the same schtick the last few years for FSN South doing Braves games. I have never heard a more unprofessional announcer in my life. It's a shame because he does know the game and relates some good stories about his playing career. I understand he worked with the ultimate homer, Hawk Harrelson, in Chicago for 14 years and must have learned from him.