Joe Castiglione, Boston

joe_castiglioneJoe Castiglione, PbP, Bos – Rookie Year: 1979. A New England native with a distinctive high pitched voice that is so devoid of bass that it should only exist on AM radio. A purist, he resists drifting into the silly anecdotes that so many play by plan rely on to get through the mid-summer doldrums, instead choosing to pepper the listener with historical information regarding the Red Sox opponent.  If the Sox are playing in Detroit you might just learn about Sandcut, Indiana, the hometown of former Tigers pitcher Dizzy Trout (1939-1952). The effectiveness of these anecdotes are probably best described as “listener dependent”. Nonetheless, when you wake up from the inevitable 6th inning siesta, any seasoned listener will be able to accurately gauge the status of the game by detecting the tension in his voice.

Quotes (provided by the Red Sox telelvision broadcast team): “I feel bueno”

Sit in a lawn chair in the mid-July sun, drink domestic beer, sneak in a few naps rating: 1  bud, 2(+) nap. Total Score: 3

Harry Doyle, Cleveland

harry_doyleHarry Doyle, PbP, Cle – Rookie Year: 1989. A wasted talent in Cleveland.  Once a rising prospect in the broadcast game, his career was derailed by losing, bitterness, and day drinking. Fills the airwaves with disdain for the hometown, though it likely comes from a good place.  Frustrated with management and seems to have no interest in career-preservation. Disinterested mood creates influences broadcast negatively. Well too aware of dismal ratings. Would be fascinating to listen to during a pennant chase, though that seems unlikely in this lifetime.

Quotes: “Heywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When this guy sneezes, he looks like a party favor.” “This guy threw at his own son in a father son game” “In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar.”

Sit in a lawn chair in the mid-July sun, drink domestic beer, sneak in a few naps rating: Full 6 pack of buds, 0(+) nap. Total Score: 6

Jeff Levering, Milwaukee

jeff_leveringJeff Levering, PbP, Mlw – Rookie Year: 2015. Uninspiring Bob Uecker 3-inning fill-in. A receding tide. Provides a breather each game for a legend, while also providing listeners a window for napping. Talks of the players with a Midwestern kindness, untainted by the knowledge that baseball players are scum. Spent his formative years training in Pawtucket, but sadly did not pick up the charming Rhode Island accent. Computer generated generic broadcaster voice type 1.

Quotes: “That baby is a real good sleeper” “Anyone out there today with young babies, sleep is at a premium”

Sit in a lawn chair in the mid-July sun, drink domestic beer, sneak in a few naps rating: 0 buds, 1(+) nap. Total Score: 1

Danny Gladden, Minnesota

danny_gladdenDan Gladden, PbP/Clr, MN – Rookie Year: 2006. Sounds half in the bag during second inning of a Thursday day game. Middling former player bonus points galore: A career .270 hitter known as “The Dazzle Man” with a World Series Grand Slam. His voice is strained, stilted, and tainted with years of greenie usage. Ups the professionalism when burdened with the responsibility of a play-by-play inning.  Really spreads his wings as a color man. Strong aversion to using Twins players’ given surnames in favor of y-ending nicknames (Gibson -> Gibby).

Quotes: “Hey bear stay there!” “I thought the gift would be a Coors Light or something”

Sit in a lawn chair in the mid-July sun, drink domestic beer, sneak in a few naps rating: 6 pack of buds, 0 naps. Total Score: 6

Cory Provus, Minnesota

cory_provusCory Provus, PbP/Clr, MN – Rookie year: 2009. Smooth jazz voice that isn’t smooth enough to make it work. Voice needs to age a decade or two to distinguish itself from any random college basketball announcer – currently about as interesting as his face would suggest. Whiskey and cigarettes would help.  Temporary excitement feels forced.  Classic replacement level announcer, could work any market and be unspectacular. Seems to feel superior to his boothmate, Danny Gladden.

Quotes: … honestly, he just calls the game.

Sit in a lawn chair in the mid-July sun, drink domestic beer, sneak in a few naps rating: 2 buds, 2(-) naps. Total Score: 0

Denny Matthews, Kansas City

 

denny_matthews

Denny Matthews, PbP, KC – Rookie year: 1969. Gruff, old, likely (definite) smoker. Strong ability to inflect at any moment mid-sentence. I didn’t realize he had a color man in the booth for 20 minutes. Ueckeresque in tone, though lacks high end comedic talent.

 

Quotes: “The only way Sano gets picked off is if he takes a mid-afternoon snooze.  Sometimes you ask a pitcher why they threw over to first and they’ll just say, ‘Idunno, I just did’”

Sit in a lawn chair in the mid-July sun, drink domestic beer, sneak in a few naps rating: 5 buds, 2(+) naps. Total Score: 7