Monday, June 27, 2011

Polls: Best Broadcasters

Some umpires think good broadcasting is a fantasy these days, given what appears to be poor rules knowledge and overly critical commentary, dissecting play after play with slow motion replays from countless angles (not that we don't use replay in the UEFL, too). In determining a sports official's performance, fans tend to be critical. That is just the nature of the beast. 1,800 years ago, the family of a losing gladiator (and in those days, when you lost, you really lost it all) wrote:
After breaking my opponent Demetrius I did not kill him immediately. Fate and the cunning treachery of the summa rudis killed me.
Simply put, blaming the referee (or umpire, judge, or summa rudis) has always been in vogue, and as our previous poll demonstrates, often times, the maligned individuals are us.

Previous Poll (Umpiring Experience) Results: Our previous poll, Polls: Umpiring Experience, asked which levels of 'ball have you ever umpired. Combining your votes on the blog and on our Facebook page, we see an overwhelming majority of UEFLers have donned the blue - or black, white, red, or pink. And even taking those pranksters who answered "Pro (at least one MLB Game)" into account (though a few of those Pro (MLB) responses are indeed accurate), we see that most UEFLers umpire in the youth - college ranks. (Total Votes: 450):
  • 5% responded Pro (at least one MLB Game)... of those 21 voters, at least a few are verifiably accurate.
  • 24% responded Pro (MiLB only)... we do indeed have a niche following amongst some up and comers in the minors.
  • 16% responded Pro (Other)... this would include independent leagues, any non-MLB entities such as overseas ball, or any other league resembling a professional structure.
  • 19% responded Semi-Pro... this includes a wider range of leagues and levels, and accordingly falls somewhere in between Pro (MiLB) and Pro (Other).
  • 22% responded NCAA Division I... this is the highest domestic level of college ball and requires a very high level of rules expertise.
  • 45% responded Any other College... like the Pro (MiLB only) group, many of these are undoubtedly up and comers in the collegiate ranks, with many others being dedicated hobbyists of the craft.
  • 61% responded High School... this is the highest percentage in this poll, and confirms that most UEFLers umpire locally while pursuing other endeavors.
  • 39% responded Middle School... not as popular as High School or Youth or Rec Leagues, Middle School ball is generally not as organized or formal, and therefore likely has an overall less dedicated workforce. Many Middle School officials also responded affirmatively to the High School and/or Youth League options.
  • 57% responded Youth League... Of all youth sports organizations, Little League Baseball is probably amongst the most known and cherished. It is a fairly easy route through which one enters umpiring, and after getting into it, many stay on the youth level, in addition to working others.
  • 48% responded Rec or Misc Leagues... From beer league softball to that pick up game at the park, almost half of all UEFLers have worked that class of ball in which the players seem to be the least educated and most agitated. The most informal of all levels, Rec League can be incredibly easy... or incredibly challenging.
  • 8% have never umpired... This is probably most telling: Umpires pay attention to and watch umpires. Fans pay attention to and watch players and teams. Only one tenth of UEFLers are non-umpires, which is a comforting thought: at least we still have people left who care to learn the game... or at least show up to the website after Tony Randazzo ejected Papelbon just to rant about how the computerized pitch f/x system is only right when the call benefits the home team, and how no matter what a computer or umpire says, you can always see the calls better from the stands.
Current Poll: From an umpire's perspective, who are the best broadcasters in Major League Baseball?
The poll is below, please select all applicable options. This poll is a two-parter. First, we are asking for the "best." Our next poll will ask for the "worst." Options for the "best" poll have been compiled based on previous game data and user feedback. Sorry, Hawk Harrelson is not an option for "best broadcaster." If you disagree or would like to add your own option to the poll, visit our Facebook Page; the Facebook poll's functionality allows you to add your own options! Poll results will be a combination of votes received on the UEFL blog as well as the UEFL Facebook page.

From an umpire's perspective, who are the best broadcasters in Major League Baseball?

Bonus: Think you know positive praise broadcasters? Try matching each quote below with the broadcaster who said it.
  • "Good play by Downs and I would argue good call by Marquez as well."
  • "Hey, don't get me wrong. Joe west is a good umpire. I think he is a good balls & strikes umpire."
  • "It's not easy to get back there and concentrate, call balls and strikes, be responsible for the flow of a game, keep it running, and maintain all the rules that you have to remember. Umpires don't get lots of applause and when they get dinged like that, I think you need to point out that they're really special at what they do."
  • "Well, you make the call. Imagine with the high powered equipment that we have, and Tom Hallion has only one shot."
Your options (links to each broadcaster saying his respective quote): Vin Scully (LAD), Mike Krukow (SF), Mark Grant (SD), Jim Deshaies (HOU)


Dan said...

I'd like to mention Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling who do the NY Mets games. Maybe I'm biased because I'm a Mets fan, but I think they're a great broadcast team, and they're also usually fair to umpires. I've heard them criticize when warranted, but also praise on numerous occasions, as well. Guess I'll have to write them in on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

Remy/Orsillo from Boston are great together,but nobody competes with Scully in this category. The man is a legend.

Anonymous said...

Why did you neglect to include Orsillo/Remy (BOS) on your list? They do a decent job -- they're pretty fair to umpires and don't take "potshots".

Anonymous said...

I would say Vin Scully hands down...It is like he is too nice to even criticize umpires on a bad call. When he thinks an umpire misses one, he is so gentle with his criticism. He goes out of his way to give umpires the benefit of the doubt. Just total class...

tmac said...

Leyland got tossed tonight.. you guys asleep at the switch?

tmac said...

here is the leyland EJ video

thexfactor264 said...

I agree with Dan, and I too am a Mets fan. There is a bias since I don't get to hear many other broadcasters, however I do think they try to be as fair to umpires as possible. There are times where they don't fully understand the rules and heckle the umpires. However, they try to be as fair as possible, and give the umpire the benefit of the doubt. There are plenty of times where I can recall the Gary/Keith/Ron trio saying "That was a great call" or at least they will make a comment about how tough it is to be an umpire.

Anonymous said...

Who was that governor or someone who almost got elected because of the write in vote? I think something similar will happen with the facebook poll and the mets team.

Anonymous said...

agree with dan and xfactor.....gary cohen is hands down one of best and most exciting broadcasters....i miss the days when he was on radio and could be more descriptive. He's usually very fair to umpires as well without the "homer" attitude....

Jon Terry said...

I used to think a lot of Vin Scully. But then he said a lot of really crappy things about Adrian Johnson last year, in the Mattingly 2-visit game, about how Johnson wasn't good enough to call important games and didn't belong there. I was really shocked.

Anonymous said...

How does one vote for Cohen and Darling?

Lindsay said...

Write-in votes are done through our Facebook page. Visit the UEFL Facebook page, and add your write-in vote to our poll question. Or click here to access the poll directly (click here for https:// access).

Jeremy Dircks said...

Speaking of Brenly and Kasper, Kasper just opened up the White Sox-Cubs game announcing the crew, stating Rob Drake was one of those guys that has worked hard at every level with a lot of years of pro ball under his belt. He mentioned that he just became a part of the full time staff last year and that "these guys work awfully hard to get where they are."

Nice to hear some recognition from the announcers.

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