The little I watched of the World Series on FOX, I was constantly reminded how good we have it in terms of our current local sports announcers. The job of a good announcer is to present the important information, give us quick opinions and a few quality laughs. Think Marv Albert or Al Michaels.
Basically, the FOX go-to announcing duo of Tim McCarver and Joe Buck does everything in the opposite fashion. They get in the way and are really frustrating to listen to, even when you don’t even have a rooting interest. Ask yourself this: have you ever met anyone that enjoyed McCarver or Buck?
Radio: Scott Zolak and Gil Santos on the Sports Hub (98.5 FM)
TV: It rotates although Phil Simms and Jim Nantz usually get Pats games
The retirement of former Patriot Gino Cappelletti couldn’t come soon enough. He had dragged down the excellent Santos for years with his slow and often incorrect commentary. Zolak might be a clown but he is a very capable color commentator. The fact that he played (sparingly) in the NFL somewhat recently is his biggest asset. Santos has recovered from major health issues last winter and he’s still a regional treasure.
Radio: Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell on WEEI (93.7 FM)
TV: Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn on CSNE
It’s hard to picture two people that are more different than Grande and Maxwell but somehow, they make it work almost seamlessly on the air. Grande is full of tidbits and opinions and most importantly, he is able to reign in Maxwell’s occasionally insane thoughts. Their on-air dynamic is best summed up by the call immediately after the Celtics won the NBA title in 2008: Grande launched into a long rehearsed speech but Maxwell cut him off midway through. Gorman and Heinsohn have been working together since 1981 (!) so they are like an old married couple. Like the radio crew, Gorman often plays the bouncer to Heinsohn’s rampant outbursts but you can tell they are close friends, which makes a huge difference.
Radio: Bob Beers and Dave Goucher on the Sports Hub
TV: Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley on NESN
Out of these four sports I think hockey, by far, is the toughest one to cover on the radio (since it moves so quickly) but for that and many other reasons, Beers and Goucher are superb. They are entertaining and informative while not getting too slogged down in the endless play-by-play. Many can’t stand Edwards’ style of hyperbole and insane rants but he loves the Bruins so if you support them, you can usually overlook some of his bluster. Like Beers, Brickley is a former Bruin and he brings a good knowledge of hockey’s X’s and O’s which are largely unknown by the general population.
Radio: Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien on WEEI
TV: Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo
Baseball is the best sport on radio since it gives the announcers ample time and space to have some fun calling the mostly mundane action. O’Brien is a pro’s pro and we are lucky to have him as much as we do - he also works a busy schedule for ESPN. Castiglione is cartoonish at times but he is an institution and does a solid job. Remy peaked when the Red Sox were winning games but in the last few years, people have realized what a dour, shameless guy (always plugging his crap) he can be. Luckily, Orsillo is much more likeable (an everyman type) and he can balance out Remy’s doom and gloom on most nights. We also have to admit that covering 162 baseball games is borderline insane so we should cut them a little more slack.