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Daron and Bill

It seems to happen every month or two: the crew at Al's Ramblings starts piling on the FSN Brewers TV crew of Daron Sutton and Bill Schroeder. Take Eric's comment from yesterday:

The cheerleading isn't nearly the worst thing they do. Actually, and this will probably ruin my credibility on the subject of announcers, I sort of enjoy Hawk Harrelson. Yeah, he's way over the top, but I want my announcer to be a fan of my team. Daron, though, doesn't have the command in his voice to pull it off; I imagine him with fists clenched, knees knocked together and eyes shut tight hopping up and down going, "I hope, I hope, I hope!" But it's not so bad. What is, in fact, so bad is when he falls in love with the opposing team, usually the pitcher. At times it seems like he's almost rooting for the "bad guys." I would go back and pick through some broadcasts in order to cite specific examples, but I haven't the fortitude.

Jason jumped in a bit later; Some excerpts:

Man, Daron Sutton makes me want to puke.

...What a buffoon.

...Listening to these two for the last half of the game after listening to the first half of the game to Bob Uecker and Jim Powell, it is just astounding the separation of talent.

Usually, I read complaints like this and wonder why folks can't just remind themselves of the serenity prayer and move on with their lives. Nobody's arguing that having Daron and Bill in the booth is like listening to Vin Scully and his twin brother, but if you want to watch televised baseball in the 21st century, you're pretty much going to have to deal with bad announcing.


Of course, I'm not saying it's easy--I got a little riled up myself after suffering through three games of Joe Buck and Al Hrabosky on

There are a couple factors at work here that make almost all TV baseball announcers objectionable, and that we need to recognize and--see a theme developing here?--learn to get over. First off, a lot of us are of a statistically/analytical bent, and virtually no announcers are. Jim Powell is an exception, and Brewers fans are spoiled because of it.

Because of this difference, over the course of a game it's virtually guaranteed that we'll hear a bunch of things that we think are really stupid. Maybe they are really stupid--I'm not going to go into that now--but that's the way it is, and probably will continue to be until another couple generations of baseball men retire from the booth.

The other factor is more simple, and suggests we all need to be considerably more patient with announcers. If you watch an entire telecast (no even counting the ever-dangerous pre- and post-game shows), you're listening to the same two guys chat with each other for three hours.

Even accounting for commercial breaks, they're probably spouting in the neighborhood of 20,000 words off the top of their heads, instantly reacting to everything that happens on the field. Some guys (*cough* Vin Scully) are much better at this than others (*cough* Thom Brennaman), but how many of you really think you could do that without sounding stupid a least a handful of times.

I'm quite sure I couldn't--heck, I get to edit everything I write on this site for as long as I like, and I can guarantee you're not going to find 20,000 consecutive impeccably reasoned words here. But maybe that's just me.

Jim Powell and Bob Uecker are very possibly the best radio team in the business, so as I said before, Brewers fans are spoiled. It doesn't mean that we should hold our TV guys to some impossible standard--a standard that, frankly, Bob and Jim don't meet, either. If Al and Jason called a game, I'm sure I could find plenty to nitpick, despite their understanding of baseball analysis.

It seems like an awful weak conclusion to say, "they really aren't that bad, really!" But that's what needs to be said. After suffering through a week of Thom Brennaman, Mark Grace, Joe Buck, and Al Hrabosky (not to mention babbling Mets fans at Shea Stadium!), Daron and Bill were a very welcome respite on Monday night. The glass may be 3/4 empty, but can we please just be thankful that there's any water at all?

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Update [2006-4-21 14:30:18 by Jeff]: I made a serious error in my original post. I originally attributed the first quote to Al, though Eric wrote it. Thanks for Eric for letting me know, and my apologies to Al for the misattribution.