|Drew Goodman and George Frazier during the FSN days.|
However, those committed fans are stuck, for better or for worse, with the broadcasters that the network and radio stations pick to describe the game for them. There is usually little common ground when it comes to a team's broadcasters, people either love them or hate them.
The Colorado Rockies are no different, there are plenty of opinions that abound about the guys and gals who become a part of every fans living room six to seven times per week. The Rockies have some extremely talented voices, along with some that have jobs in baseball for some unknown reason.
On the radio side, Jack Corrigan has been calling baseball games in Colorado for the past 11 seasons. To say that he has seen some bad baseball is an understatement. He also broadcast Cleveland Indians games from 1985 to 2001.
Corrigan has a great voice for baseball. His understanding of the game is solid. His signature home run call "It's touch 'em all time" is good, but not great. However, his pace is perfect. He does a great job of explaining enough about the game, without getting boring. He is clear and concise. Overall, he is a very good radio broadcaster.
As good as Corrigan is, he has to spend half of his time compensating for Jerry Schemmel. The former basketball play-by-play guy came over to the Rockies in 2010 to great excitement. He was phenomenal in his years calling Nuggets games. He was descriptive with a fun pace to the game.
Baseball has proven not to be Schemmel's forte. He often seems disinterested in the game, and forgets to describe the all-too-important aspects of the game to the radio listener. Often times he will say phrases like "it's a hit to center field...and it's caught." To the fan listening on the radio, it sounded like the player got a base hit to center, so when the player catches the ball, it is confusing. He also over amps fans on too many occasions. Routine fly balls are often met with an excitement in his voice, leading a fan to think something besides a can-of-corn fly ball was hit. On several occasions Schemmel mis-reads fly balls. On more than one occasion he has called a pop-up with excitement saying "a drive to right-center field...and the second baseman will make the catch." Even the casual fan would be able to tell the difference between a drive to right-center and a pop up on the infield. His descriptions and pace are maddening.
The Rockies play-by-play man on the ROOT Sports side is simply one of the best in the business. Goodman doesn't make the common mistake of talking just to fill dead air. He describes the game very well and is always able to bring something insightful to the broadcast. One thing is clear with Goodman, he does his homework. His preparation shows during every game and he doesn't put it on cruise control. Even in a rough 2012 season in which most fans had tuned out, Goodman took his job seriously and brought his best effort every night. Rockies fans are lucky to have a guy who has the talent to be on the national stage in Denver full time.
George Frazier is the most polarizing figure on Rockies broadcasts. He has fans, and he has people who can't stand him. There is no in-between. For me, Frazier is extremely good. He does a great job of explaining what is going on inside a pitcher's head. He brings little tidbits of information that can teach a fan the details that make Major League Baseball special. For example, on Sunday Michael Cuddyer hit a home run on the first pitch of his 3rd inning at bat off of Rays starter Alex Cobb. Frazier pointed out that Cobb was making a slight adjustment with the grip on the ball when he would throw his sinker. He pointed out the slight movement in his glove was likely noticed by the Rockies hitters, allowing Cuddyer to tee-off on the first pitch.
Frazier doesn't overdo it. He doesn't take himself too seriously and seems like he understands that the average person watching knows a decent amount about baseball, but insight from someone who has played is valuable.
The critics of Frazier point to his annoying laugh and his seemingly lack of attention as reasons why the would like to see him go. The former pitcher can go a little overboard with his antics sometimes, but overall he is very good. His chemistry with Goodman works very well. It is evident that they are good friends.
The great debate is who is worse, Huson on TV or Schemmel on the radio. The honest answer is that it is a toss-up. Both are so terrible that they ruin the experience of watching or listening to the game. The issue with Schemmel is that his pace and style doesn't lend itself to radio. Huson's style only lends itself to those who have no ability to hear.
Huson is baffling. It is difficult to decide if his style is one that is trying to teach a six-year-old how to play the game, or if he takes himself too seriously. He will often simply repeat a statement that Goodman just made, but they way he says it, it comes across as a counter-argument. Many of his statements start with the word "and" and as he explains, his voice continues to sound more and more whiny. He can spend a full inning explaining how and why the grounds crew of a stadium will manicure an infield a certain way. If that isn't bad enough, the explanation comes immediately following Goodman explaining the exact same thing in one simple sentence.
Huson seems strained on the broadcast. It is easy to imagine that he is completely warn out after every game because he was so stressed about making the right points at the right time. There are no words to fully explain how terrible Jeff Huson is at color commentary on the TV side. It is hard to imagine that there aren't hundreds of far more talented TV broadcasters who would do a far better job than Huson could do on his best night.
For the most part, Rockies fans have at least one decent option on both the TV side and the radio side. The nights when Goodman and Frazier are in the booth together are easy for fans. On the radio side, the innings when Corrigan takes the play-by-play are far more enjoyable.
It will be interesting to see if any changes are made once the 2013 season concludes.
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