Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rating the current SF Giants Broadcasters

It's real easy now, after a couple of World Series victories, to give this current crop of SF Giants' broadcasters an A+ on all counts.

Wrong.

Not even close, in fact.

Let's start by stating that the very BEST Giants play-by-play broadcaster was Lon Simmons. Period. End of story.

Hank Greenwald was a master wordsmith too, on radio especially where his style and delivery suited the format. Greenwald, like Simmons, preferred radio over TV.

Let's go broadcaster to broadcaster:

*Jon Miller is a very accomplished baseball PBP broadcaster, no doubt about that, but he's not even close to Simmons nor even Greenwald. Miller has HOF and numerous industry awards but he's also, at times, too much in love with himself and his voice.

On technique, Miller is strong. He obviously knows the game of baseball and his nuances are just fine but frankly, on one count, he's dreadful. Miller, and the rest of his team, have a bad habit of NOT giving the score. Yes, I'm anal on this subject because if  you're driving around and don't know the score and the announcer fails to mention it, it drives you crazy. Ken Korach, over in Oakland, gives the score, on average, every three minutes. Miller, at times, is more interested in telling stories.

Sometimes, the endless Vin Scully impressions get stale and old. The "Adios Pelota!"call each time a Latin player hits a homer is starting to grate too. Just my opinion. Maybe Miller thinks it's unique and a trademark. I think it sounds gimmicky.

*Mike Krukow: Krukow has the love of the fans and is considered God so even remotely criticizing him here is tantamount to blasphemy, but I'll try.

Krukow also, by virtue of playing the game, knows his stuff, no doubt. But his constant bickering on umpires is getting tired. And yes, Krukow is a homer. A good homer, but the rampant, Timmeh has good velocity, just needs location, is repetitious and banal. I know he works for the Giants but seriously...and the trifecta, Grab some pine, meat!...gamer babes....ownage is forever uber-annoying even to the most loyal Giants fans.

*Duane Kuiper: In my opinion, the weakest link. Kuiper's dreadful, OUTTA HERE! home run call is loud and highly overrated. It is nowhere near the vaunted Simmons, "Way back, Way back--You can tell it goodbye!"nor even close to Greenwald's exciting "It is gone!" staccato simplicity.

*Dave Flemming: I saved the best for last.

Flemming, in my opinion, is the best out of the bunch and that's remarkable given the fact that he's perceived the "kid" in the foursome. Flemming gives the most consistent, on-point, excited-when he-needs-to be--objective account of the action. He's fluid, he has a great delivery and he's quick to point out subtle aspects of the play, the game, that the others simply ignore or are too busy trying to be cute. In addition, I like the fact that Flemming has a no-nonsense approach, both in style and substance. He doesn't need any gimmicks--he just broadcasts the game. What a concept.


*Follow me on Twitter





54 comments:

  1. Rich Lieberman criticizing Jon Miller is like Pee Wee Herman critiquing Sir Lawrence Olivier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JM is as good as Lon ever was. I was there. I remember. I'd give the edge to Lon on voice tone alone, cuz he was one of a kind.

      That's also why I consider Dave, as good as he is, the weak link in the group because he will never be a classic broadcaster with that tone of his voice. He forces bass tones typically until the most excitable moments come and his natural high-pitch tone comes through. It's not bad or off-putting in any way. It's fine. He's doing well for not being born with the classic chops, it's just not creme de la creme.

      They don't make Lindsey Nelson's anymore. Jon Miller is as close to the classic baseball broadcasters there is these days. I like the spanish calls cuz it means one of the boy's hit a home run. get over it.

      Delete
  2. I like Flemming, to the point and pretty much tells it like it is and seems to give the score a lot more often than the other 3. However, the only one who can really be faulted there is Miller as Kruk and Kuip are TV announcers, and there is a graphic right on the screen.

    As you stated, Miller talks WAAAAAY too much, and some of his stories I've heard don't even have anything to do with the game. I also HATE his Spanish. There is NO reason for it to his audience. There is a Latino broadcast for the Spanish speaking audience!

    I like both Kruk and Kuip. Yes they are "homers", but both have playing experience and add some valuable insight to the game having played their respective positions well.

    I would like to see Kruk a little more objective with his discussions of the home team pitching. Timmie has been pretty rank this year, and needs a lot more than control. I welcome his bickering on umps. Some of the umpiring these last two years has been abysmal. I don't see how Angel Hernandez is still working as an ump in MLB!!! He has made some pretty hrrific calls against us. Aren't they subject to performance appraisals?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fleming, in my opinion, is the worst. always pointing out the obvious. Even worse, he points things out that can't happen. "Well if Tulowiski wouldn't have,hit that home run, the Rockies wouldn't have scored." No shit Dave! But it did happen, you cant go back and revise history. Kruk is a total homer, but he tempers it with a lot of good points. I agree about Miller - sometimes he talks ro much and doesn't report the score enough. I like Kuip - kind of the balance between Miller and Kruk.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Krukow stood out again today. After Zito was nailed for yet another hit..Krukow said "Great hitting by so and so".. Once again,not bad pitching or the Giants fault.
    Whats scary about Krukow is that he doesn't understand that its his job to shill..its that off the air he still--like Fitz- is indoctrinated in Giantology. It never ends with Mike. He's the Duke of Giantologist to the day they bury him.
    s

    ReplyDelete
  5. johnny bom bonneyMay 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    In the old days of just terrestrial radio, you'd always hear ABOUT other broadcasters and if you were lucky, there would be some instances where you'd get a bit of their broadcasts, or, they would appear on a national stage. With satellite, you can hear 'em all and most fall into two categories: guys with top 40 puker voices who overdramatize everything while hawking everything they can between pitches, batters or on rejoins, or, guys who barely register, guys who are so low key that the crowd betrays them cause the crowd actually gets excited. The Giants announcers are neither; they're a great team. I go back to Hodges and Simmons and sure, you can make a solid case for those two and Hank. But, jeez, Rich, give me a break. Miller in love with the sound of his own voice? Well, duh! Who on the air isn't in love with their own voice? Kruk & Kuip? We're lucky to have them; remember, these are two guys who lived the cliche of having to have the uniform taken from them before they quit. The 'Kruk-isms' you rag him for are his shtick; thats what many people want to hear. Flemming is great at three sports but it wasn't always that way. Baseball was his weakest sport; his home run calls have improved immeasurably. He is extremely quick; anything Jon tosses at him he handles and one up's him a lot, too....have no complaints about Miller's Spanish; he knows Japanese, Hawaiian, and smatterings of other tongues. If you listen to the post-game show, you'll hear Dave try his Spanish on Pagan or Sandoval and they always answer him in a way that sounds like they feel condescended to, but, maybe that's just me
    Rich, I think we have it good when it comes to Giants broadcasters

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ken Korach blows all the Giant's broadcasters out of the water.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kruk and kuip were marginal ball players at best and any insight they offer is a waste of air.how can they critique players whose game is at a higher level than could ever achieve?they could never play with these guys at this level and they resort to being homers to get a check.miller stopped caring once he got the giants job after leaving espn.flemming is captain obvious.boring.the postgame guys arent better,but why does laskey get under radnichs skin so easily?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. During much of Krukow's career, he played on bad ball clubs. Yet he still managed to have a winning career W-L record of 124-117. His numbers in 1986 (20-9, 3.05 ERA, 1.057 WHIP, 178/55 K/BB) were hardly marginal.

      Kuiper was a good, but not outstanding, "Punch and Judy" hitter. His defense was well above average. This in spite of playing with a very serious knee problem. He too played on some dreadful teams.

      Two solid pros, during their playing days and in the booth. In regard to critiquing players who were/are better, some of the greatest managers and coaches in baseball history truly had "marginal" playing careers.

      Delete
    2. Krukow, personal opinion, is the worst by far. Yes, he's a homer. He's also a liar. I heard an emailer one day sent one about Krukow telling his kids that whatever they could get away with in sports , Ex. cheating, was ok to do. He said to Gary that he didn't actually say that on the air. I heard him say it on the air, he's a liar. He loves the cheats when they're on the Giants. Bonds, Melky Cabrera, whatever that ahole's name is. He's the reason the giants got to the world series that yr., MEAT. Why does Krukow always have a ball in his hands doing the games? Insecurity I'm guessing. If I ever meet up with Krukow, I'll say it to his large face, Meat.

      Delete
  8. The worst is when Kruk, and espeically Kuip, talk about their playing days.

    Tim McCarver was right about one thing: unless you retired within the last two years, no one wants to hear about your playing days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "unless you retired within the last two years, no on wants to hear about your playing days."

      That comment is just asinine!

      Delete
    2. You like hearing these guys living in the past?

      Delete
    3. Actually, although I don't like Krukow at all because a) he's such a homer, b) he's such a Giants company man and c) he's kind of boring and full of himself, I don't really mind Krukow and Kuiper talking about their playing days.

      They both played the game for a long time, were good players, and know a lot about the game and what it's like to be professional MLB players. Those experiences provide the basis for certain insights or memories that non-players don't have.

      Kuiper, BTW was a really good ball player and I like the fact that he doesn't make a big about it and if anything tends to play it down.

      Also, I don't feel like Krukow does a lot of showing off about being an ex-jock no matter how obnoxious he is for other reasons.

      Delete
    4. In response to "You like hearing these guys living in the past?"

      Evidently many of us enjoy hearing accounts of past games, players, teams, stadiums, etc., given the strong emphasis that baseball and other sports put on their traditions. Appreciating the sport's history and its current greatness are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

      Delete
  9. Kuiper's unprofessional bellowing during home runs is an embarrassing.

    He stinks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. One other footnote regarding Krukow's playing career:

    He had one chance to pitch in the playoffs, and his performance was stellar. The Giants were down 2-1 in the 1987 NLCS, and Krukow came through with a complete game W. His "Giant" '86 season, and that memorable performance against the Cards in the playoffs, were delivered in spite of a damaged right arm. In his last years as a player, he relied on his considerable craftiness when the once powerful right arm lost its ability to blow pitches by the hitters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fine. Just don't bring it up during the broadcast.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, unfortunately nobody cares about that during the broadcast.

      Delete
    3. Somebody wants to hear Kruk and Kuip's anecdotes during the games. Both have over 2 decades in the Giants booth, and 12 Emmys between them.

      Delete
    4. Are you talking about Bay Area "Emmy's?" Sorry, but those get handed out to just about everyone in this town.

      Delete
    5. I remember that 1987 series well.
      Rodger Craig should have gone with Krukow in game 7 instead of Hammaker.

      Delete
    6. Yeah, Atlee was a nervous wreck. I still have nightmares about Oquendo's homer in the 2nd. As a fan (and I know I am not alone on this one), that was the hardest loss to take.

      Delete
    7. Please don't ever again mention Atlee Hammaker, Candy Maldonando, Johnny LeMaster, Livan Hernandez and, worst of all, Salomon Torres. Thank you.

      Delete
  11. Russ Hodges is my favorite. I'm OK with John Miller. Krukow is an absolute phony. When Scott Cousins ran into Posey, Krukow said it was a clean, hard play. The next day, when the extent of Posey's injury was determined, he totally changed his tune. I guess he got a
    call from Larry Baer. The Giants' handling of that entire incident was nauseating. None other than Johnny Bench said Posey was out of position, but if you listened to Sabean and Krukow, Cousins was John
    Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald rolled into one.

    ReplyDelete
  12. John Miller is a pro's pro where pronunciations are concerned. This takes homework and he does it. Kuiper is horrible in this regard. He
    mispronounces names on a regular basis. BUMGARNER has no "D" Kuip.
    Sheer laziness.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I couldn't disagree with you more on Kuip. I like is style, his flow and love "Outta Here!" His call of Angel Pagan's walk off inside the park HR yesterday, had my La-Z-Boy levitating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was another one of Kuip's forgettable calls.

      Delete
    2. "It was another one of Kuip's forgettable calls."

      That is bullshit..

      Delete
  14. Lon Simmons was the best. Period.

    Jon Miller is in love with his fatself. It's about THE GAME, not about YOU. If you're good, you don't need gimmicks. Keep your Spanish to yourself.

    Kuiper and Krukow are the biggest bunch of ass-kissing pandering squak boxes. You two should grab some pine meat.

    Dave Flemming: solid. Best of the bunch. He doesn't win by default.

    These peoples should take a lesson from the bunch in Oakland. Compliment the game. Don't be the star. It's the players on the field that are the stars. You're like the sourdough bread on a burger -- something to enhance the experience. Korach, Cotroneo and Fosse follow that very well.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Rich I though you were trying to be more positive. This bunch rates from good- Kuiper to HOF - Miller. Dave will be there one day too. I have learned more baseball from Mike than anyone but Joe Morgan. Listen to the A's, they are so boring, especially the TV pukes. Gotta have some humor, baseball is too slow to take it that seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've felt that Jon Miller has been bored with the games for a couple years now, his story telling may be a reflection of his mind wandering. I wouldn't be upset if he retired.

    Krukow is a homer, but that is somewhat expected because of who writes his checks, but he also does bring good insight to the game talking about how one pitch just set up a couple options. But I do agree that he is not critical enough of Lincecum and some of the other players when they aren't doing well.

    Kuiper was a solid journeyman as a player, and is the same as an announcer.

    I can't agree that Fleming is even the third best of these four, let alone the best. "There is no score in the game" isn't correct, even if the score is 0-0; and he often tells us what 'Bochy is thinking' instead of saying that 'He doubts Bochy is happy' with something. Perhaps his big ego, which he probably needs to work daily with Miller, makes him over compensate when announcing to an audience that can't see what is happening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree with the above. "Miller is bored with the games" rings true to me, there is a big difference between an effortless broadcast and putting no effort into a broadcast -like he does most days.

      Krukow may be a homer, but his "unbelievable" when a Giants player commits a stupid error or base-running gaft shows that he isn't completely bought and paid for.

      Taking Kuiper off the Channel 3 broadcasts and moving him to radio makes you realize how good Kruk and Kuip are as a team, and how bad decisions are at Channel 3.

      Fleming is young, but I actually think his performance is worse now that when he came up - and again I agree with the above that it may be that he needs to be pompous to exist next to Miller.

      And how about Amy G = now there is an embarassing part of every Comcast TV broadcast.

      Delete
    2. Miller and Flem are pretty hard on the Latin players, especially Pablo. I can hear the exasperation in their voices when they say his name as he swings at a bad pitch.

      Delete
  17. I loved Greenwald's dry/deadpan wit. I remember back in the day (I forget which year..and the exact words/instance--I'm gonna paraphrase here) when--during a typically dull Giants game...in the top of the 9th, with the GIants losing...Greenwald mentally realized that he hadn't named a "Giants' replay". With time running out, one a batter hit a routine grounder for an out. Greenwald said something like "so-and-so hits a grounder to short...Uribe up with it...THROWS to Clark for the out--AND THAT'S YOUR GIANTS REPLAY! TUne in tomorrow to Mike-and-Mike...yadda-yadda"

    Man--I was cracking up for weeks after that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great. I remember a similar situation..."and there's a long foul ball to right field... and THAT"S your Giants replay! Tune into Frank and Mike in the morning...." With all due respect to Lon, Jon, Kruk and Kuip, Hank was THE best of all time.

      Delete
  18. Rich, since you bring up Korach again while putting down Giants announcers, lets rank the A's broadcasters.
    Korach: great set of pipes, in the Lon Simmons/Jon Miller mode. His cadence puts me to sleep though.
    Fosse: the Bay Area's biggest homer. Real bad toupee.
    Kuiper: nepotism at its worse. Guy is horrible.
    The rest: pedestrian.
    Any of the above ever going to be offered a national gig or a job in a larger market? Doubtful.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I get the feeling that few of the responses come from people who have listened to baseball announcers in other cities. There have been so great ones; Ernie Harwell (Tigers), Mel Allen (Yanks) and Harry Caray (Cardinals, but not when he was the Cubs' TV guy.) Scully is still top notch, and there are several other good ones, but generally speaking, the best of the best are no longer around.

    The Giants' team comes as close to the best in today's crop. Korach is also very good with the A's, but the rest of the A's announcing team on radio and TV is average.

    Miller, Kruk and Kuip sometimes get a little too
    'custey,' and 'homerish,' but generally, they DO give informative and entertaining material to the listener or viewer, and keep them involved in the broadcast. I really liked Greg Papa when he was a swingman in the booth with the Gianats radio broadcasts, his A's TV work was also very good, and his football P B P is terrific, except he needs to tone down his "TOUCHDOWN...RAAIIIDERRRS!" call. Greg says it's a tribute to Bill King, but the silver tongued King never stretched out the Raiders TD calls quite like Papa.

    I'll agree with most of the posts who selected Lon Simmons as the all time best baseball broadcaster in Nor-Cal history for radio announcers. He had a wonderful voice, great timing, an understanding of the game, and a terrific sense of humor. King was by far the best basketball announcer, and I'd also have to put Bill ahead of Lon as far as the NFL (Raiders 1966-92, Lon(49ers 1957-80 and 1987-pre season 1989).

    Good provocative column Rich!


    ReplyDelete
  20. Jon Miller loves to call the pitch as it's thrown..."and the pitch -- slider, low and outside."

    How can he tell a slider from a cutter from a sinker?? once last year, Kruk and Kuip, two former big leaguers who threw and swung at tens of thousands of pitches up close in their playing careers, on air admitted they couldn't tell what a pitch was from way up in the press box, other than a fastball.

    Yet Miller professes to identify the pitch immediately. What a phony. I'd pay $$ to watch him try to hit a bucket of balls in the batting cage!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. the giants broadcast team is the best in the nation...bar none

    and im speaking after listening to many

    hey rich...try and listen to the dodgers broadcast team...and im not talking scully, who does tv and no longer travels with the team (unless its to sf or sd) and i dare ya to get through a single inning of the halo's broadcast, or friars, or seattle, etc

    know why miller and company no longer give scores every 3 minutes? market research

    unlike a's or other baseball fans, giants fans listen to entire broadcasts...the vast majority also multitask...connecting to social media as they listen or watch...so they dont need the scores repeated constantly

    kruk and kuipe are good at what they do....sell the team and the park...that is what they are paid to do

    simmons was great, hodges a bit better

    greenwald was brilliant, as he had to broadcast for a lot of really bad teams and yet kept every broadcast entertaining...i wish someone would give his kid a shot. he does grizzlie broadcasts, sounds just like his dad and is just as professional

    flem is good, but he still needs to develop a style

    know who has to go? amy g....dear lord, she is bad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your post is full of nonsense. What market research are you referring to? Your own? And Giants fans aren't exclusive to connecting to social media to getting scores during the game., or multitasking.

      Delete
  22. The way I see it, it's baseball. Football and basketball require to hear the score every 3-5 minutes. Baseball? I will take the longer route to hear the stories, the sounds of the game, the voices.

    I've been listening to Jon, Duane and Mike for 15 years now and I am perfectly OK with that.

    Maybe it's the Silicon Valley feel that just gets people impatient.

    PS - I work in tech too. So it's nice to have it slower from time to time.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Miller has been over-rated for years. One of the reason's that ESPN got rid of him was because he seemed distracted during games that he broadcast. He even mentioned the Giants as a team that was playing one of the last World Series that he did. And the Spanish stuff is getting old.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Last night on KRON,Raddy did his "extort a grope" on the KRON woman again. He's just all Hornysexual as he comes up with ways to brush up against Pam Moore or like last night,cop a feel of the Weather woman. In "congratulating" her on LA's hockey win,Raddy wink winked her to give him a hand shake...and he hung on like it was his first touch in years with a woman. He also reached for her..and just nearly brushed Pam Moore's breasts. If she hadn't leaned back,it would have been YouTube tv at its best. Twice Raddy forced a grope on the weatherwoman. As Pam Moore said right then on air "You're just making an excuse to grab Jackies hand". The 900 pound KRON Canary of no shame didn't say a word to that.
    The KRON woman are his playthings. I guess his wife is ok with Raddy lusting like the Hornysexual he is on Bay Area TV.
    Allan Martin on ch5 must be happily married..never groped Liz Cook even once.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Message to Stan: Your obsession with Radnich is over-the-top. You listen every morning like he is a media god. You watch every newscast for his three minutes of sports. You think he reads your comments, then changes his position. Get help. Or get a job. Or get a girlfriend. Finally, the comment is so misplaced. This post is about SF Giants announcers. Please explain (without name calling).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Message to idiot: Don't tell me what I can say. 2. What I wrote is true dimwit,did you see my quote of PAM MOORE :" YOU'RE JUST MAKING AN EXCUSE TO GRAB JACKIES HAND". She said EXACTLY what I've been posting lately of out of control personal behavior and putting female co workers on the spot by the scheming Radnich. 3. If Rich wants to move this to today's newest post..fine with me.

      Delete
    2. I knew from the moment I posted here on 415MEDIA a month ago about Raddy leaning on Cathy's shoulder and how Jackie would never let Raddie pull that on her,he would try to prove me wrong. So he groped Jackie on air,twice,tried a third time and she said "NO WAY".
      And behind the wink -winks and show you's..he got away with it. And it must be true that KRON has no HR.

      Delete
    3. And to finish my "After all that" line of thinking..Raddy got what he wanted..a thrill. Something for him to take home with a little chubbier feeling...

      Delete
  26. I know it's blasphemy and most Giant fans love all of them, but Giants broadcasters are a vastly overrated group...I'll take Bill King, Lon Simmons, Hank Greenwald, or any of the current A's broadcasters...

    Krukow, a homer to the point it's obnoxious and impacts credibility. We know you love the Giants Mike, but lighten up.

    Kuiper, stop trying to be cute and clever, stop yelling, and your pet phrases are stale and old, get some new material.

    Miller, not good at calling a game, but he would be great sitting around the campfire telling stories.

    Fleming, a boring lightweight...

    ReplyDelete
  27. Loved Lon Simmons and his long drawn out pauses.
    So much so, you found yourself on occasion, turning up the volume wondering if the sound was working.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow, you are way off dude. Best hands down all time: Hank Greenwald. Hank was the master in all ways. His knowledge, insights, delivery and, above all, wonderful sense of humor, made his tenure in the broadcast booth the gold standard for this or ANY market. We'll miss you Hank! I loved Lon, but he was a little TOO understated, especially for radio. When Lon didn't have anything to say, he didn't say anything. Too much dead air. Kruk and Kuip are a hell of a team. Krukow's insight's and humor are unmatched in this or any market and Duane Kuiper has become one of the great voices in broadcasting. Of course Hruk anf Kuip learned and mastered their craft under the tutelage of the master, Hank Greenwald. Kruk and Kuip are the best baseball broadcast team I have ver heard in any market, and I have heard quite a few. They are AWESOME! Jon Miller is very good and would seem great if we weren't so spoiled with other great Giants broadcasters. The worst, by a long, long way, is Fleming. The guy's voice is grating and his lack of any real experience playing the game is obvious when he gives his uninformed opinions of what's going on. On top of that, he is a consistently whining critic of the Giants. He's like those crappy uber-bitchy "fans" in sports dungholes like Philadelphia. God I hate Fleming. That guy sucks so hard. To be fair, the Giants have always had one lousy broadacaster in the booth with the pros. Fleming can join the mediocre ranks of Ron Fairly, David Glass, Dennis Higgins, Phil "check that" Stone and the truly dreadful Ted Robinson.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Flemming is an insufferable mono toned nerd, Period,

    ReplyDelete
  30. these two are just terrible homies

    ReplyDelete