Tag Archives: Vin Scully

The Great Joe Posnanski

My favorite writer is the great Joe Posnanski. He could write about a chemistry competition and make it sound interesting. I love that he grew up in Cleveland and still harbors all the heartbreak of 50+ years of being without a championship. I also like how I agree with almost his entire philosophy when it comes to Baseball and advanced statistics (everyone who likes baseball should be lucky enough to read this book). In his previous role as senior writer for Sports Illustrated and current role as Senior Writer for NBC Sports, we’re lucky enough to have him write about a wide variety of sports. If you count his blog, almost no topic is outside of what he’ll write about.

My favorite Joe posts are on his blog when he writes about either nerdy baseball topics (WAR vs. traditional stats) and when he writes about life. It sounds cliche, but I’ve saved a few of his articles in my RSS feed that I feel everyone should read. In a way, I hope my writing can achieve a small part of what he accomplished. With that said, I encourage anyone reading this blog to check out these links and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

1.Fifteen Years – An article about being married 15 years to his wife Margo. I love when he writes about non-sports and I wish I could be this articulate about events in my life.

2. The heart of Los Angeles – A great article about the incomparable Vin Scully.

3. The Biggest Winner – An article about Rulon Gardner and what inspiration in sports means.

4. Home in Capital Letters – There was a time when I thought I would be moving from Columbus. I specifically saved this article because it resonated with how I feel about the city. If I ever leave Columbus, this will be the first article I read to try to capture how I feel about leaving my adopted hometown.

5. Katie the Prefect – I know I’ve said all these articles are brilliant… this is an article about taking his daughter Katie Universal Studios to Harry Potter World and how the smallest deeds can have the biggest influences.

If you have any authors who have had a positive influence in your life or want to drop a note about Joe Posnanski, feel free to use the comment box below.

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Rating the Announcers

In various past posts, I haven’t been shy in voicing my opinion that Minnesota Twins announcers Burt Blyleven and Dick (Richard) Bremer are unlistenable (they’re so bad that I just invented a word to describe them). Because of this, I find myself listening to the away team broadcasters the vast majority of the time when I watch Twins games.  Occasionally, if I watch on the laptop or listen in the car, I can get the Twins Treasure Island Baseball Network Radio Feed with Dan Gladden and Cory Provus. This is the best case scenario because Dan and Cory do an amazing job and are a delight to listen to. In an ideal world, Cory and Dan would replace the tv announcers full time.

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I met Dan Gladden in 2006 at an Indians Game….
really really nice guy

Anyway, since I’ve been watching a lot of different broadcast teams, I started taking some notes on which crews I thought did well. These are ranked in no apparent order (although it’s probably the order in which the Twins played the opposing teams).

1. Orioles – The Orioles were one of the first games when I started listening to the non-Twins feed. Let me say, what an amazing crew to start with. I couldn’t have been more impressed with Gary Thorne and the other person in the booth (I didn’t get the name but I think it was Mike Bordick). They were incredibly insightful and entertaining and really kept the game moving along at a good pace. After a month of road feeds… the Orioles have been the the best of the bunch (Vin Scully excluded). – Grade – A+

2. Brewers – First impression – Average announcers. When they played the Twins, the Brewers were not a good team but the announcers still had optimism. I thought there was a little too much banter with the Brewers Live crew (the studio portion of the crew) that seemed forced. I could see where this would get annoying because I was slightly bored with it after two games. In the end, I thought the two play-by-play announcers did a good job and kept the game moving along. – Grade – B-

3. Seattle – Nothing flashy. They had nothing but nice things to say about the Twins and Minnesota but became boring as the game went on. I’d like to see more personality. – Grade – C+

4. Kansas City – Nothing special and it seems they didn’t do their homework on the Twins saying ‘Parmalee has always been a great hitter’….. Very very bland. They brought in Jeff Montgomery and offered really good analysis. I’d like to see more of that. However, the main play-by-play guys are not good. I think it’s Rex Hudler who is especially bad. Grade – C

5. Philadelphia – By far the worst broadcast I’ve heard. They made a complaint that Joe Mauer only had 18 RBI’s, which is horrible logic because the hitters in front of him have the lowest batting  average and OBP of any team in the league so there are literally no runners on base for Mauer to drive in. They also said that an error by the SS Escobar would have been a sure double play despite the fact there were two outs…. then said he makes that play 10 out 10 times… despite the fact that he just booted it. Sarge is brutal. They were so bad I actually turned back to Fox Sports North. Grade – F

6. Chicago White Sox – Hawk Harrelson can be a lot to handle, but really I like that he’s all in for his team and has an actual personality. When I watch, it feels like I’m watching the game with another fan or a friend. After watching a bunch of different announcers, it’s amazing how many are completely boring so it’s nice to have personality. Grade – A

7. Los Angeles Dodgers – I still have trouble believing how awesome Vin Scully is. LA had a day game today and I was able to listen to the first 3 innings (Vin does both TV and Radio for the first 3 innings, then switches to TV only). Grade – A+

If you want to weigh in on your favorite team’s announcer or want to tell me how stupid I am for my opinion, please feel free to drop a note in the comments

It’s Almost Next Year!!! Opening Day on April 1!

Opening day is nearly here! The Minnesota Twins open at 4:10pm versus the Detroit Tigers on April 1. For those who don’t follow baseball, the Twins are coming off consecutive last place finishes in the their division. In 2011 they won a grand total of 63 games and in 2012 only won 66. This year doesn’t look to be much better with Vegas putting the estimated win total at a robust 68.5 wins.

Part of the beauty of opening day is that anything can happen for one game. The Twins are facing  the odds-on favorite to win the division in the Tigers. Detroit will be pitching Justin Verlander. He’s not only the best pitcher in the league, but also won the MVP two years ago making him the best player in the league. The odds are not in the Twins favor, but like so many things in life… hope springs eternal. If Baltimore and Oakland could compete last year, anything can happen. With that said, here are a few things I’m looking forward to this year.

  • Watching Joe Mauer play
  • Listening to and watching Vin Scully, Bob Uecker and Charlie Steiner via the MLB.tv package
  • Seeing if the Twins can get any value from trading Justin Morneau or Josh Willingham at the trade deadline
  • Watching Trevor Plouffe and Aaron Hicks development (I think Plouffe is going to have another breakout year)
  • Watching Glen Perkins and Jared Burton
  • Reading the great Aaron Gleeman and Joe Posnanski (who can also be found at http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/)

Another one of my favorite things about baseball season is listening to the Gleeman and the Geek podcast for their annual Over/Under predictions. I thought it may be fun to jot down their predictions and join in with some of my friends. The plan is to check back at the end of the year with how everyone did. If we were in Vegas, my top picks would be the under on the Twins and Red Sox and the over on the Rays. With that said, below are the over/under predictions (Note: on the podcast, Bonnes said he was confident about 5, but I only counted 4).

overUnder

If you have anything you’re looking forward to for the upcoming MLB season or want to get in on the over/under fun please feel free to drop a note in the comments.