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The Scully Series: Episode 1

Modern exploration of local broadcasters for all 30 MLB teams

Oh, the good old days of listening to baseball broadcasts on your local radio station. As a fan, you’re partial to your hometown crew because of familiarity. As almost an extension of your family or a longtime friend, some of the greatest MLB broadcasters have a unique place in the hearts of millions of baseball fans. Are you one of the people that have the misfortune of being in a market that has a substandard color team? But here’s a thought! Have you ever said to yourself, “I wonder what other teams’ broadcast booths sound like?” Well, modern times and a global pandemic make that possible. Some baseball fans have a goal to visit every major league stadium in their lifetime. Now that our society has been partially shut down, that is no longer possible this season. But having the ability to add some local flavor to your baseball watching this year will give you a taste of what you’re missing by not being in attendance.

With an MLB.TV subscription, we have the capability to listen, rate, and rank every team’s broadcasters. With an homage to the best to ever do it, we have nicknamed this “The Scully Series.”  The best part is that you can do this as well along with us from the comfort of your home. Let us dive in…

 

Seattle Mariners

 

Announcers: Rick Rizzs & Aaron Goldsmith

 

Play-by-Play 

 

The smooth calls have been a staple for Rizzs for quite some time. It seems as though the play-by-play just flows off of his tongue. Always keeping the game interesting and energetic, Rizzs brought a tempo to the game that you wouldn’t know was there just by watching on television. Goldsmith is able to intertwine quite nicely without interrupting the flow that Rizzs has brought. Seems like these two really enjoy working together and have similar baseball minds.  Rating: A

 

Storytelling, Modern Adaptations, History

 

In the game that I listened to, there weren’t any mentions of modern baseball terminology and statistical categories that we know and love here at Pitcher List, at least that I picked up on. Very old school broadcast, a few small stories about Shed Long and Dee Gordon, but other than that, not much in-depth storytelling. There were mentions of staff conversations, coaching approaches, and teleconferences that the Mariners’ coaching staff held during the time off. Seemed a bit surface level during the conversation as I would’ve preferred more detail-oriented and longer stories. Rating: C+ 

 

Likeability / Ease of Listening Rating 

 

This duo definitely has the timing and likeability of the casual fan. With their timing and very little blank air time, you can throw them on in the background as you roam around the house, cook a meal, and enjoy the burst of energy of action plays every time the game gets going. Rating: B+

 

Signature Calls

 

“Holy smokes, how about that?!” – Rick Rizzs

“Goodbye baseball” – Rick Rizzs

“Grandma, get out the rye bread & mustard, it’s grand salami time” – Rick Rizzs

Rating: B

 

Oakland Athletics

 

Announcers: Ken Korach & Vince Cotroneo 

 

Play-by-Play

 

As a long time A’s broadcaster since ’96, Korach is a staple in the bay area. The game was moving at a decent pace, but there were some noticeable blank air time-spaces involved. During a game, there is absolutely time to pause and let the listener use their imagination. Quite a few remarks were made about fellow AL West teams (mainly the Astros) in the “scoreboard watching” talk between the two announcers. While under normal circumstances, this may not be relevant, every game is of high importance with the shortened season.  Rating: B+

 

Storytelling, Modern Adaptations, History

 

Definitely has a modern feel to the broadcast, especially with their new partnership to carry games on iHeartRadio this season. A few mentions during the game brought the listeners” attention to the virtual A’s-cast. Korach and Cotroneo were able to bring to life a few moments about seasons past with very accurate depictions of what exactly was going on and how it tied back into their current point. Rating: B

Likeability / Ease of Listening Rating 

 

Korach & Cotroneo both have easy to listen to voices and their longtime pairing is well received. They play off of each other well, but I would’ve preferred a bit more of Cotroneo because I enjoyed some of his representations of pitch sequencing as a former catcher. Korach has a style that enunciates on specific words during a play, which gets very exaggerated as the game progresses. Rating: B+

Signature Calls

 

“The kid from Stockton has done it!” – Ken Korach on Dallas Braden’s perfect game

Rating: C

 

Since this is an exploratory series that will be continued throughout the season. let me know in the comments if you’d like to see other categories or concepts discussed. I’d love input to incorporate into future team reviews.

 

Illustration and image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Collin Carlone

Collin is somehow a fan of the Phillies & Dodgers simultaneously; although Matt Stairs had some thoughts about that back in ‘08. In his spare time, he plays disc golf like a pitcher in hopes to defy physics enough to be featured by Pitching Ninja.

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