Thursday, September 20, 2007

So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Bob Carpenter is out as the TV announcer for the Nats. Nice guy, by all accounts, but I can't say I'm disappointed.

At first, most of my problems with him were with his folksy style, sort of a mid-western smalltown approach that I just didn't like, although I've readily admitted that others could find it appealing and that it was just a matter of taste.

But as that grated, so did the other things: mis-understanding the rules, calling for strategies (ie a 2-out squeeze) that didn't make sense, and his tendency to anticipate the play, instead of calling it. (How many times has he called a double play in advance, only to watch one of our gruesome infielders botch it?) And SBF from Nats 320, certainly someone who's going to give the home team the benefit of the doubt, pointed out that he sometimes was a little too optimistic and, in the process, came across as if he thought we were suckers. Add it up, and I won't really miss it. Good guy. So-so announcer.

Sure, the next guy might suck. And there are plenty of people who like him. But we'll find a new guy. Didn't take people long to warm up to someone besides Proctor.

If I were in charge, and thank God I'm not, I'd throw Chuck Slowes in the TV booth and let Jageler (a superior announcer, if less of a voice) take over lead radio. Then find the next Jageler and bring him in as the second on the radio -- or even find an ex-player to provide a little more color?


  • Put Charlie Slowes in the TV booth with Sutton. Then move Robert Fick off the field and into the radio booth with Jageler. Of course with Fick's potty mouth in the booth you'd need a delay on the radio broadcast, but that would just end up synching it up with the TV broadcast. (If you ever turned down the TV sound this year and listened to the radio instead while you watched, you'd have noticed that Charlie and Dave anticipate the call of the play even more than Carpenter. The difference? They are always right, unlike the unfortunate Bob.) So, to summarize: An upgrade on the field, an upgrade in the TV booth, a change in an admittedly great radio booth that's likely not to hurt. What's not to like about that?

    By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 9/20/2007 9:43 AM  

  • I liked Carpenter and it would be nice to have some continuity as the Nats will now have their 4th different set of TV announcers in 4 years. Transitioning every year makes the operation seem rinky-dink IMO.

    As for Carpenter's mistakes, the guy is calling 150+ games a year anyone is going to make a mistake here and there. The guy clearly knows the game of baseball as he has been working in the game for 20+ years and has even designed and published his own baseball scorebook.

    I get the MLB extra innings package, and Carpenter is better than 75% of the local TV guys IMO.

    My only beef with Carpenter was a really minor nit:

    He gave me the feeling that the Cards were still his team and was a little too enthusiastic about St. Louis whenever he got the chance.

    It would be nice to have someone local take the job, but since Washington went without baseball for 30+ years its doubtful there is anyone that can fit that bill. Charlie Slowes is OK for radio, but he is a dullard, and for TV you need someone with more of a personality as the play by play angle is less important on TV as the viewer can see what is going on.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/20/2007 10:39 AM  

  • I liked Carpenter, but I'm from St. Louis (Cubs fan though), so his Midwest approach was fine with me.

    I also like Sutton, even though he is a bit dry at times. He knows baseball and the people and is generally intelligent in his observations, although not necessarily exciting. What the Nationals should do is invite a bunch of potential candidates to a cocktail party and secretly mic Sutton, and whoever Sutton seems most lively with in conversation should join the team.

    By Blogger Natsfan74, at 9/20/2007 10:57 AM  

  • I really miss Paciorek. He made watching that brutal team last year fun. Bob's alright, but he has this patronizing tone that kind of grates. That said I'll be sad to see him go.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/20/2007 11:22 AM  

  • I'm not really that broken up to see Bobby C. go. I will say that he had a tough job with Sutton, who, though very knowledgable, is often a stick in the mud. Trying to liven up the broadcast -- and elicit material from Sutton -- often contributed to Bob being overly folksy.

    I like your idea about moving Slowes to the TV side. I really prefer the set up with a professional play-by-play guy, and I do like Jags, and a former-player color guy. Admittedly, those former-player broadcasters can be really hit or miss, too. See Ron Darling as Exhibit A.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 9/20/2007 11:56 AM  

  • thrilled to see this. banal bob offered little except ridiculously optimistic and flattering portrayals of the players.

    i felt like he was watching the 27 yankees and i was watching, well, the 07 nats. he made nook logan sound like jose reyes, austin kearns like alfonso soriano, brian schneider like pudge rodriguez and robert fick like albert pujols. c'mon, now, the flowery praise (even when the players in question were doing nothing praiseworthy) started off as grating and ended up being insulting to the intelligence.

    finally, paciorek was brutal (BRUTAL!) but i really warmed up to sutton this year. leave the radio team alone so something has continuity BUT don't have them switch off during the leave. leave slowes on play by play the whole game and leave jags on color the whole game. switching off makes it seem like we have to play by play guys and no color guy.

    By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 9/20/2007 1:34 PM  

  • IMHO Sutton's main problem is that he sees the ball game from a pitcher's point of view--i.e., narrowly. I thought (forget the flames) that Ray Knight was better because he understands the game from the dugout, not the pitcher's mound. I get tired of hearing Sutton explain the finer points of a pitcher's mechanics--who knows whether he's correct or not? Has he ever been a successful pitching coach? Is it riveting

    It's true a really good play-by-play guy is hard to find, which means the Nats crack marketing department likely will come up with a dud.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/20/2007 2:04 PM  

  • That is really a shame re: Carpenter - I like him a lot. This isn't good news. I also liked Pajorick.

    Sutton is a bit of a snob, talking about playing the gaem "the right way." I keep wondering if that includes skuffing the ball on any surface imaginable.

    But - for the LOVE of all that is holy, do not put that Slowes on TV! Truly a voice for radio if ever there was one. "Another curly W in the books!" Pa-lease.

    By Blogger Ray Firsching, at 9/20/2007 3:44 PM  

  • what about harold renyolds?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/20/2007 6:54 PM  

  • I think they replaced the wrong man. Sutton is just a bore. Pacjorek was so much more fun. And Carpenter had better chemistry with him, too.

    Of the available choices, I'd put Slowes and Ray Knight in the booth. Although, I, too, like Harold Reynolds. But I think he tried out for the analyst role, not the play-by-play.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/20/2007 7:11 PM  

  • I am really sorry to see Bob go. Being from the Midwest, I appreciate his approach to the game and the way he calls it. He has made baseball fun to watch on TV. I realize that he has his faults, but every broadcaster has faults. I worry that Don will become the play by play guy and I will have to watch the away games on mute. Don is a guy who reportedly scuffed the ball during his days and still made it into the Hall of Fame. Clearly there are some integrity issues there. Bob makes him look good in a broadcast. Don's comments often have a hint of arrogance to them and it turns people away from the game when they are trying to learn it. Bob, we are really going to miss you next year.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/21/2007 10:23 AM  

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