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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California

    Worst play-by-play announcer in baseball

    I know he's been announcing in the National Laeague forever and is in the radio hall of fame , but Milo Hamilton of the Astros is my choice for the most uninformative announcer in the game. I say that, of course, without having heard most of them. So if you've got another choice, vote here.

    Last week, I was on the road to and from Colorado from California. And here I must confess my A's bias. The A's were playing an interleague series with Houston and we were forced to listen on XM Radio, which only supplies the home team's radio feed (same for ACC basketball). As a result, we listened to the games via the Houston radio crew.

    One of their backups (didn't get his name) was pretty good. But Hamilton seemed to think he was a TV announcer. You never--I mean never--got a description of what was happening on the field; he simply assumed you somehow knew. In addition, his use of pronouns just confused the issue. I never could figure out which 'he' was 'he.' And the nonbaseball rambling...ooh!

    Hamilton couldn't even describe fielding plays except to once in a while give his private 'blue star' award on his scorecard. He didn't even know the names of the opposing team's players. He often used pet nicknames for the Astros players, too. I figured out that Beej was Craig Biggio, but never got more. He let pitches pass without note. Suddenly the count was 3-2, when all he'd called was the first strike. Once he described a double play as: "double play." A few moments later he said it was a 6-4-3 DP. No players mentioned. How about 'swung on, grounded to NAME, flipped to NAME and' -- you know the basic drill. Player positioning was not in his consideration. Type of pitch thrown? He didn't know or couldn't tell.

    Beyond all that, the broadcast was often interrupted by sponsored "scoreboards" during the play by play, talking right over the action. Stupid use of a commercial, IMO. Not done for teams on the West Coast for either league.

    So, Milo Hamilton, my vote for worst announcer in baseball goes to you. I'm not too excited by Houston's radio management team, either.

    You're over the hill, Bud. Accept that and let someone else do the job. You no longer can.
    Last edited by Jim3k; 06-16-2007 at 07:26 PM.

  2. #2
    I don't watch much National League...but on the AL side it would hands down go to Hawk Harrleson. This guy is the biggest homer in any sport, Michael Kay for the Yankees is pretty bad too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    ← Bay / Valley ↓

    get off milo!

    (disclaimer: i haven't heard a game covered by milo hamilton in about 5 years) Yes he's old, and in fact, he only covers Astros home games now. But his tangents are what makes his coverage more interesting (but understandably frustrating in your situation). About the double play in question, if it was with the Astros on offense, I really wouldn't care who was involved in the play. If it was with the Astros on defense, I'd probably have a good guess if you said 6-4-3 (Lamb-Biggio-Berkman, or could be Burke-Loretta-Lamb on days Biggio and Berkman aren't playing).

    [Added later]His "pet-names" for the Astros players are ones the fans are probably familiar with - I can't think of any that are hard to figure out, but wouldn't this be a problem listening to any other team's home broadcast?
    Last edited by hc5duke; 06-17-2007 at 05:15 PM.

  4. #4

    Not Play by Play, but

    He's a color commentator instead of play-by-play, but, God bless his heart, Ron Santo is atrocious. I've learned virtually nothing from him in a number of years in terms of insights on the game, strategy, etc. His commentary is usually nothing more than a more detailed description of what just happened on the field. He's basically a mascot in the radio booth, there for his cheering abilities. Which is fine, I guess, as it's pretty apparent that's what WGN is looking for. As far as that goes, he's pretty good, I guess; I mean, he sounds like he's literally doubled over in pain sometimes when the Cubs are blowing a late inning lead, and his excitement on a Cubbie homerun is palpable. His play-by-play partner, Pat Hughes, is excellent, on the other hand.

    Good call on Hawk Harrelson, dahntaysdawg. Not only is he a complete and utter homer, but he pretends to be otherwise. He's often too hard on struggling players for a guy with a .239 lifetime average. He encourages poor grammar (one of his two signature calls is when an opposing player strikes out and he calls out "He gone"). His other signature call, the homerun call, is just stupid and annoying - "You can put it on the boooooooaaaaaarrrrrd, YES!" What is that all about?

    As a Twins fan living in the Chicago market, I love nothing more than watching the White Sox lose to the Twins. Hawk can hardly hide his contempt for the team that, other than 2005, has regularly beaten his "superior on paper" Sox like a rented mule. He never acknowledges that they've won the division 4 of the last 5 years through anything other than luck and their opponents imploding. And if the Sox lose, you can sense his apoplexy over the airwaves. It's fantastic.
    Last edited by Mal; 06-18-2007 at 03:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lompoc, West Carolina

    Talking Gear switch

    I couldn't tell you from baseball but I feel certain that if the late Jim Thacker ever did the game he'd tell you the catcher's name as the guy who just took a leap over the right field fence to snag a homer away from the batter. I'm sure he meant well but he was really bad for getting it wrong.

    Must have just been in awe of being in the presence of Billy Packer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA (Buckhead)

    John and Mel

    I can't tell you their names, but the guys calling Braves games on TV this year are just boring to me.

    On the flip side, anyone out there remember John Lowenstein and Mel Proctor as announcers on Home Team Sports for the Orioles (late 80s, early 90s)? Those guys were hilarious!

    -EarlJam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Now I can't feel good about myself without defending poor Milo. He's definitely getting to Harry Caray mode, but the dude is still fun to listen to. Even if he sometimes forgets he's not doing TV anymore.

    He's deservedly in the hall though. I've listened to him since the controversial firing of Gene Elston in the '80s and Milo stepped right in and became the first definitively "Houston" announcer (and this after an already long and distinguished career in which he called Aaaron's record breaking home run, among other achievements.)

    Anyway, he had a funny the other day. Astros were getting killed, like they do, by the Reds the other day. It was one of those games where the announcers are looking for anything to talk about. Well Reds pitching coach walks out to talk to the Reds pitcher. His name happens to be Dick Pole.

    So setting the scene:

    Milo Hamilton: "So the Reds pitching coach, Dick Pole, comes to the mound"
    <silence>
    Jim Deshaies: <muffled chuckle>
    Milo: "That seems redundant, doesn't it?"

    Ahhhh, Milo.....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post

    Milo Hamilton: "So the Reds pitching coach, Dick Pole, comes to the mound"
    <silence>
    Jim Deshaies: <muffled chuckle>
    Milo: "That seems redundant, doesn't it?"

    Ahhhh, Milo.....
    Funny, but not much of a recommendation for keeping him on the job.

    Any announcer who won't learn the names of the opposing players is over the hill. Even the hometown fans want to know who is doing what on the field.

    Time for an honorable retirement.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    Funny, but not much of a recommendation for keeping him on the job.

    Any announcer who won't learn the names of the opposing players is over the hill. Even the hometown fans want to know who is doing what on the field.

    Time for an honorable retirement.
    I think people generally agree Milo needs to retire (he only does home games now), but let's just say the Astros have a reputation for holding on to their assets too long (Milo, Biggio, Bagwell. Heck, Jason Lane and Brad Ausmus).

    Still, I think it ends up being more of a positive than a negative in the long run. The fans never forgave the previous owner for letting Nolan Ryan walk, and I'm glad Biggio and Bagwell ended as Astros. It's a loyal organization to a fault, and Milo has been an important part of the Astros

    Milo won't be the first announcer to go on waaaay past his prime. He's not even the only one working right now who probably needs to get out.

    As an aside -- check out on wikipedia or elsewhere on the net his history with Harry Caray. Some funny stuff, even if a little sad. The rumor is that Milo honors Harry by adorning Harry's statue at Wrigley with some birdseed each time he visits Chicago.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California

    Holy Toledo?

    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    As an aside -- check out on wikipedia or elsewhere on the net his history with Harry Caray. Some funny stuff, even if a little sad. The rumor is that Milo honors Harry by adorning Harry's statue at Wrigley with some birdseed each time he visits Chicago.
    Holy Toledo! I took your suggestion to look up Hamilton on Wikipedia. There I discovered that his catch phrase was "Holy Toledo, what a play!" That is a stunner, since I now don't know whose catch phrase it was. Long time A's announcer Bill King (also Warriors and Raiders) used the phrase throughout his career. After he died in 2005, the A's honored him by memorializing the phrase in a microphone logo. I first heard King say it when he broadcast for the Warriors in the late '60's (and I didn't live here in those days, but was in Seattle as an early Sonics' fan). He was absolutely famous for it.

    So who really owned the phrase, King or Hamilton?

    OK. That's rhetorical.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Lanny Frattare (Pirates) is atrocious. He's the main cheerleader for the awful Nutting/Littlefield management team. He always points to exactly ONE incidence to say that some player is capable (eg.: Paul Maholm, Jack Wilson), even though it's more likely a fluke. He gave this awful closer Salomon Torres an awful nickname, "King Salomon". As a Solomon (different spelling, but same thing), that offends me, because I don't want to be associated with such failed garbage as Torres. And, of course, his classic line of, "And there was NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO doubt about it!" after a win. Of course, what every Bucco fan knows is that with the Pirates, the outcome is ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLWAAAAAYS in doubt. When Mark Cuban eventually gets the cojones to force a hostile takeover of ownership, the first person to go after cleaning management out should be Lanny Frattare. Bob Walk's excellent analysis and taking management to the mat can't cover up Lanny's gawd-awful cheerleading.

    And there was NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO doubt about it!!!!

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