Texas Rangers Radio
I grew up in Philadelphia, and as a kid living in a town, I didn’t know much baseball outside of my own town. Hell, until I was 23 I never saw a baseball game anywhere except Veterans Stadium (which is being shut down next weekend – I’ll be going there from Garland, TX for that). To me, baseball has always been the voice of the Phillies (and to another extent, baseball). Listening to a game has always meant Harry Kalas’ voice.
When I moved to Texas in 1992, that meant I needed a new voice. I knew of the legends of broadcasting (Vin Scully, Ernie Harwell), but those guys were in the wrong town. So I started listening to Rangers baseball. I honestly forget who the radio team was in 1992 (might have been Brad Sham, I don’t remember). Anyway, I didn’t really get totally hooked until 1995 for some reason, and that’s the year that Eric Nadel became the “lead voice” of baseball for the Texas Rangers. Anyway, Brad Sham left after the 1997 season, and was replaced by Vince Cotroneo. At some point since 1998, Eric Nadel became one of those voices to me. I can’t tell you why, or what it was, but in my mind, he’s as equal as Harry Kalas is to me. I respect Scully & Harwell, but without hearing them for myself over time, I can’t really properly comment on them.
Vince Controneo was someone I can’t say I liked right away – but he definitely grew on me, and in the 6 or so years he’s been doing Ranger games, I have to say he and Eric have gained a nice rapport. It’s nice to listen to them talk about the game, and in the last year or so they’ve started calling each other partner. That may have happened earlier, but I didn’t notice it until recently. They’re a great team. Which brings me to the point of this entire blog entry…
Yesterday, the Rangers announced in one of those stupid bonehead moves taken from the Jerry Jones head coaching school of ownership the last several years that they were going to be looking at replacing the #2 voice on the radio (Cotroneo). Something about not having “passion” in the broadcast. Excuse me? What is that all about? Randy Galloway writes about this in today’s FTW paper, saying “Check the mound, Mr. Cramer. It ain’t about the radio booth. It’s about the pitching.” Randy’s totally right – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the radio booth, and if there’s one thing that pisses off an already shrinking fanbase, it’s bonehead moves like this. They’re trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing, just so they can say they did “something”. Fix Chan Ho Park’s pitching, first. Fix our crappy record on bringing good pitchers here. FRICKIN FIX THE BASEBALL TEAM – not the broadcast booth.
ARRRGH! I’m so irritated at this, I can’t express myself very well. It’s one of those things that to me totally defies logic, I don’t know how to say anything else except “Leave it alone – you’re looking in the wrong place to fix something, DAMMIT!”
Vince Controneo should not only be left in the booth, he should be given an extension. Now granted, I’m not naieve enough to think I know everything that’s going on – there may be some other things going on behind the scenes, but unless we’re told about them, I have to proceed on the stated reasons they gave, which are (excuse me) bullshit.
And while we’re at it, can we get Mike Cramer to stop showing up on the Jumbotron before games at the ballpark – he says he reads and replies to each email that is sent to him – that’s a lie, he does not reply to each one. Ask him why they’re building an office building in the middle of the parking lot (hey we’re finally getting the 8 year old developemnt around the ballpark with a friggin office building!) and see how much he replies to your email. I think we were better off with Jim Lites as president. Oh hell, bring back Tom Schieffer, it was WAY better back then. And we had red uniforms, too. Sigh.