Posted at 7:41 AM on October 9, 2007
by Bob Collins
Way back in the early '70s, before the beautiful people of Boston discovered they could feel better about themselves by being seen at Fenway Park, a college friend of mine -- Wayne Larrivee -- would sit high up in the grandstand, away from most people. Wayne, a wonderful broadcaster if ever there was one, would take a small tape recorder, and do the play-by-play of the game. He was that focused. He was a sophomore in college at the time.
Wayne, still a friend, is now the play-by-play voice of the Green Bay Packers after a career in Chicago that included being the play-by-play voice of both the Bears and Bulls. He also does a ton of Big 10 football and college basketball games.
He's that good, partly -- I always thought -- because he prepares so hard.
So what's Chip Caray's problem? The announcer for postseason baseball, who has been allowed by TBS to tarnish an otherwise sacred time of year is, I think it's safe to say, horrible. Apparently using his connections because of his famous dad and more famous grandfather, the kid approaches a game as if we're idiots.
Don't take my word for it, read the scathing review in the New York Times this morning from Richard Sandomir.
Had the frequently (and ridiculously) loud Caray stayed on mute throughout the series, the analysis of his partners, Tony Gwynn and, to a greater degree, Bob Brenly, would have been worth three or four hours of my time. But a stronger play-by-play voice, like TBS’s other division series announcers, Don Orsillo, Ted Robinson or Dick Stockton, would have made Brenly and Gwynn better. TBS knows how to fix what’s wrong. Yesterday it added SNY’s Ron Darling to its studio program, providing experience that neophytes like Frank Thomas and Cal Ripken lack.
Here are some questions to ponder through the rest of Caray’s work this postseason. Why isn’t he better prepared? If his producer, Jeff Gowen, is listening to what he is saying, why isn’t Caray improving? And why should I have to keep rushing to MLB.com to fact-check his facts?
Newsday was slightly more forgiving, but not by much.
Adam Gold on the 850 Buzz Blog shot a fish in a barrel:
Here’s another Chip Caray idiotic statement. He was talking about how the Yankees hit 6 home runs in the series, but offered that 5 of them were solo shots as a telling statistic as to why the Yanks struggled to score runs. Meanwhile, at the exact same time in the game, the Cleveland Indians also had hit 6 home runs in the series and would you care to guess how many of them came with the bases empty? You guessed it, 5.I gave up on the game last night on TV and retired to my garage to separate nuts and bolts into small plastic trays while listening, instead, to Tom Hamilton, the Cleveland Indians' fine -- and prepared -- announcer.
But by the 9th inning, I was in front of the TV when Alex Rodriguez took a pitch from the insufferable Joe Borowski and hit, according to Caray, a "pop-up to short right field," which Franklin Guttierez caught...
... one step in front of the warning track.