Clash of the Talking Heads Rd. 8: TAMPA BAY RAYS

Well, we're back on the road which means another installment of the Clash of the Talking Heads--wherein I describe the joys & pains of watching another team's broadcast. (Note: I missed the Yankees series with classes and work...so I won't be able to vent any spleen on them--suffice to say the little bit I did hear was filled with talking points and loaded down with stats...but not as smug as I expected)

Tonight's Contestants: Dewayne Staats & Brian Anderson of Sun Sports
Credentials: Staats is a serious journeyman of announcing booths, starting at AAA Oklahoma City in 1973 and touring through 5,000 Major League games with the Astros, Cubs and Yankees before settling down as THE voice of the Rays. Meanwhile Anderson's a journeyman of a different sort: He won the 1994 AL Rookie of the Year with the Angels and after 13 seasons and 82 wins between the Angels, Indians, Diamondbacks and Royals, called it a career and moved into broadcasting.
Analysis: I'm going to come out and admit that three nail-biting losses skewed my attitude, but even from the outset of game one, I felt like something was off. Both announcers were clearly fans of their home town crew, and while that's not a bad thing it can seem a wears a little thin to explain most plays via the: "our opponents are hapless/our team is clutch" paradigm--even if it was pretty accurate this series, it wasn't the only answer. They also tended to prognosticate knowingly what would happen--speaking ahead to batter-pitcher match-ups if there were two men on when the 5th man due came up, or describing the Rays history of 4 game sweeps while down two runs in the 7th. While the two had a pretty solid rapport, they found almost everything one another said to be unbearably witty. Not funny, just witty--so play-by-play would be waylaid for a few pitches so that they could get out a string of self-satisfied "heh, heh, heh"s.
Sample Quote: Staats"And Cuddyer swings and misses WAAAAAAY out ahead of that changeup [hehehheh]
Anderson: "His eyes got real big there [hehhhehehheh] Hellickson sets them up for the fastball and they just never see that great curveball coming [heehhehhhehh]"
Staats: 2-0 to Valencia...
Rating: 1.5 Blylevens--I'm willing to assume most of my analysis was exacerbated by perceived slights during our struggle, but I maintain that there's a lot of simplicity and a LOT of smug chuckling.

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