In a surprising turn of events, I'm actually continuing the "Ranking the Announcers" segment (well, at least for one more). This week I'm checking in on my favorite team, the Cleveland Indians, and one of my stud fantasy pitchers, Cliff Lee, as they take on the Seattle Mariners in the Pacific Northwest.
7/26/09 Cleveland Indians at Seattle Mariners on FSNW
The first thing that strikes you when listening to the Seattle announcing team of Dave Niehaus and Mike Blowers (and after the third inning Dave Sims replaces Dave Niehaus for the remainder of the game) is just how pleasant and complimentary they are. Whether describing their own team, the opposing team or just the daily happenings in baseball (which happened to be the HOF inductions, of which, Niehaus and Blowers simply gushed over Ricky Henderson) . Niehaus, with his olde-tyme style is particularly enjoyable to listen to, although it seems to be more fluff than actual baseball insight. Blowers adds the typical "player's perspective", but doesn't seem add a whole lot of actual baseball insight.
When Dave Sims takes over as the play-by-play guy, the broadcast becomes noticeably less interesting, although not necessarily worse. Sims is very professional and technically competent, but fails to be very engaging. He also doesn't have much of a flow with Blowers, who seems to become less active after Niehaus left the booth. When the Indians binged on Seattle pitching for 6 runs in the fifth inning, Sims and Blowers showed little reaction or emotion. While I appreciate their professionalism, I would also like to hear a little bit more than just disappointment in their voices from two guys that call 162 Mariner games a year. And, yes, I realize that I'm straddling a fine line.
Once the game was out of hand, Sims and Blowers really became generic, throwing out the obligatory stats and baseball talk, but for the most part just "getting through the game". While I can certainly understand that they would lose focus during a blowout, the Seattle booth really hadn't established themselves enough in the early innings to completely write off their lack of late game effort. While the Mariners announcing team was a pleasant enough listen, they really didn't add alot to my MLB game experience... sounds like they will probably end up somewhere in the middle of the rankings... and definitely ahead of the Nationals announcers.
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