Awful Anouncing recently polled their readers on how well or poorly they received all the local TV broadcasters for each MLB team. They employed a system much like that of public schools, using a scale of 0-4 and calculating the average from the voters' ballots to determine each broadcast team's "grade point average."
The polls were broken down division by division to gain the perspective of both fans and rivals for each broadcast team.
[...] we weighted your grades on a four point scale for each broadcast crew and sorted them to determine who your favorite and least favorite broadcast teams were. Each "A" vote received 4 points, 3 points for a "B" vote, down to 0 points for an "F" vote. The total points scored were divided by the total number of votes to calculate what amounts to a GPA for each broadcast booth.
Our own TV broadcast team; consisting of regulars Mark Grant and Dick Enberg as well as occasional fill-in guests Mike Pomeranz, Jesse Agler, Tony Gwynn; was ranked 12th in the league. They were given a 2.46 GPA (C+ average) overall, though most readers gave them a ranking of 3 (or a B). It seems their readers really hold Dick [Enberg] in high esteem and enjoy Mudcat's humor.
One of their readers commented:
"Enberg deserves an A, but I really think Gwynn brings down the broadcasts when he acts as an analyst." -DanielOrmsby
It has always seemed like people outside the Padres fandom, who don't watch games on a regular basis (or at all), automatically think Enberg is a top-notch announcer.
Most of us who do have the
privilege duty task of listening to Enberg on the reg know that isn't an accurate assessment. It's even less accurate than Enberg's play-calling and pronunciation of player names.
Mud and Dick
Whether it's a product of his age, poor eyesight, or some other factor, it is common knowledge that Enberg isn't the announcer he used to be (AvengingJM had a good example of this over at PadresPublic last year), and isn't one many Padres fans would choose to have in the booth over someone like Andy Masur (*cries*), Matt Vasgersian (come back, Matty V), or even a guy like Mark Neely, who held the position of play-by-play announcer in 2009 and became backup for Enberg in 2010-2011. When Neely was in the booth, some people (myself included) thought of him as slightly bland, but keep in mind we were comparing Neely to Matty V back then, and that is a tough act to follow. Now, I find myself actually yearning for the days when Neely was in the booth and we didn't have someone routinely miscalling plays, mispronouncing names, or getting overly excited for the opposing team. When I see Matty V on MLB Network or hear Neely's voice as I'm watching a college basketball game, I remember the good times.
Now, Enberg has improved a little over the years. His rapport with Grant has gotten better, and sometimes it even seems like he's happy when the Padres are winning and disappointed when other teams do something good. The dickisms remain plentiful, but WG bless the guy, he wears them like a badge. I still look forward to a day when he moves on from the Padres broadcast booth.
As for the other guys in the booth, I don't have too many bad things to say about them. Mark Grant is a treasure and I would be happy with him staying on the broadcast team for years and years to come. Between his pop culture references (that 99% of the time fly completely over the head of Enberg) and comments on fans in the stands, he adds so much color to the booth, whether he's sneaking in "Baba Booey" into the broadcast or singing Van Halen after a home run or just pointing out things that are "some kinda nice". He's also a great follow on social media.
"Say my name!" pic.twitter.com/APfQeBh6mu— Mark Grant (@Mudcat55) September 30, 2013
Mike Pomeranz isn't my favorite PBP guy, and he has his faults, but I don't think he's terrible. Jesse Agler has been a great addition to the team, despite his arrival pushing Andy Masur out of San Diego. I really enjoy the broadcasts when he fills in for Enberg. He knows what he's talking about and has a great rapport with Grant (and there are times during broadcasts when he kinda sounds like Masur - I noticed this during Spring Training when he called games on the radio - so sometimes it feels like he is still with us).
As for Tony Gwynn, I cannot bring myself to say anything bad about Mr. Padre. Maybe it's just his infectious laugh - I don't know - but I always enjoyed when he used to join the guys in the TV booth and I feel like he adds something special to Padres broadcasts. I'm not sure what DanielOrmsby is thinking, but if it were up to me, Tony the Gwynn would be allowed in the booth any time he wanted. I'll be looking forward to the day when he returns.
Taking all of that into consideration, I would do like most of the Awful Announcing readers and give the Padres TV broadcast team a B. Despite how much I want Enberg out of the booth, I think Mudcat and co. do a great job of picking up the slack.
You may recall FanGraphs doing a similar poll a couple of years ago. On a scale of 1-5, their readers gave the Padres TV booth (for the 2011 season) an average of 3.1 overall, with a 3.4 for charisma (I'm gonna go ahead and give most of that credit to Mark Grant) and a 3.1 for analysis. Seems pretty in line with AA's rankings.
How do you feel about our TV booth? Are you an Enberg lover like Dex or do your sentiments match mine?