When ranking the best play-by-play guys in the business, the top spot approaches unanimity. Vin Scully is as good as they get. His simple but descriptive style is welcome in any age where it seems everyone wants to be defined by certain calls. (See ya! Hegone! It is high…, etc.) I listened to some of the Dodgers-Phillies series on my BlackBerry and it was nothing but a pleasure. Had Matt Snyder of FanHouse not listed Scully atop his best and worst TV broadcasters list, people likely wouldn’t have read any further.
Of the remaining nine, only three are national guys: Bob Costas is second, Dan Schulman eighth, and Gary Thorne ninth. The Mets’ Gary Cohen ranks fourth; he’s the one good thing the Mets have going for them. Even after having MLB.tv for the past three years, I don’t have any strong opinions of any of these other guys. I guess that years of listening to Michael Kay causes me to tune out baseball commentators.
(Kay was also considered: “bad voice, good at drawing analysis from his partners.”)
The worst, of course, is Hawk Harrelson. He’s bad for sure, but he’s a parody of himself. It’s funny when heard occasionally, especially the Hegone! thing. Chip Caray and his fists rank second. It seems TBS realizes this, too. Both MLB playoff announcers made the list, with Joe Buck coming in at fifth.