HUZZAH! A Win!!! (Though Vladmir Gurrero did his best to impale our hopes, we survived and we survived the onslaught of all things Texan, now we're off to the drizzly, coffee soaked, poetic nirvana that is: Seattle...cue ominous music).
But before we say goodbye to Arlington, it's time to review how the rest of the world lives with our ongoing series covering announcers throughout baseball.
Tonight's Contestants: Josh Lewin & Tom Grieve of Fox Sports Southwest
Credentials: Lewin, the play-by-play man (on the left in the picture above) has a history throughout the middle markets of baseball including stops in Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago and finally Texas (where he's been for 8 years). He turns up on Fox baseball from time to time, and spends weekends in September doing San Diego Chargers radio broadcasts. Grieve was an outfielder (invovled in a trade for Bert Blyleven!) then became a general manager in Texas, and then seems to have wandered into the announcer's booth, and there he stays.
Analysis: One of the first notes I made about these guys was when Lewin said on Monday: "I have a short attention span." No, kidding. To say that Rangers broadcasts are scattershot would be an understatement. Ranger's broadcasts are the Yosemite Sam of the broadcasting world, hitting a lot of things...but not many of them baseball related.
BUT! That's not always a bad thing...after all, Yosemite Sam is a pretty funny guy, and so is Josh Lewin. At various points during this series he went on extended riffs about Kleenex boxes, Mary Tyler Moore, Entourage, puppy chow, funny band names (Mouthful of Turf-face, any takers?) and hair braiding. At times, it almost seems like he's working out material for the next local open mic night, but most of the time it seems like you're just hanging out with one of your funniest friends and watching a ball game. Meanwhile, Grieve plays the straightman pretty well, and thanks everyone who sends the announcers food and gifts (there's a lot of them). Actual analysis isn't too common, both announcers rely on technological innovations (Fox-X-Mo and a Pitch Tracker doo-dad) and point out what the audience can already see, rather than offering additional depth to the game. These guys love their Rangers, love their community and love talking about whatever amuses them most.
Best Quote: Grieve: [Pointing out a Kleenex box sent to them by a fan] "T, is for Tissue."
Lewin: "And C, is for Cookie!"
*** Bonus Quote from Mark McLemore (who offers both depth of analysis and silly rejoinders to Lewin) "Jim Thome can turn the world on with his smile!"
Rating: 4 Blylevens. (Like I said, funny is funny--but I do like a little analysis, and therefore hope McLemore gets a chance at the big chair someday)
Photo credits for first photo: Photo attributed to Ben White