Sunday, August 3, 2008


Not even going to BS it anymore. For those who figured it out over the past year with Scribe, I'm an Atlanta Braves fan. Have been since around the year of their lone World Series win in Georgia back in 1995. Despite pretending to be a Yankees fan for extra credit for my 9th grade English class, I had been intrigued by the Braves because a) even when the family didn't have cable, we had TBS and b) they played teams that I normally didn't see on the handful of Mets and Yankees broadcasts over the air during the season.

A major reason why I became a Braves fan was because as someone who was still learning the game and its players, I felt (and still feel) that the Braves' broadcasting team did a tremendous service to their fans by presenting a less-micro, more-macro prism. In other words, they aren't homers so much as they want their home fans to know a bit more about their opponents, the Braves' performance in relation to the rest of the National League and didn't necessarily toe the company line.

Sure, the Braves stunk up the South for quite a while, which may have forced media magnate Ted Turner to ask his talkies to not pan his product too much. Yet, he also didn't want to sugarcoat anything either. All of this is theoretical, but the Braves' approach to baseball could have easily applied to the booth: bring in well-adjusted people who wanted to be in the organization and garner the respect of others.

They have a manner of keeping their attention on the game and the game alone. While occassionally discussing a pressing issue or referring to some news in the world, they have an approach that while lacking in favoritism bordering on arrogance, or even subdued reluctance in miserable times (as this current season has been), it endears true fans of the sport by respecting the guys paid to put on a show.

Unsurprisingly, a far-better scribe, Bomani Jones reflects in his blog:
That, to me, is what made those broadcasts so good. There has never been a less obtrusive set of announcers than Skip (Caray), Pete Van Wieren, Don Sutton and Joe Simpson. They know what they were talking about, but the game always took center stage. Nothing ever felt forced, and never was there a distraction to stop you from being able to enjoy the game. Somehow, they’ve never gotten proper credit for that.
Skip's passing underscores how much respect he, along with Van Wieren, Sutton (who has moved on to Washington) and Simpson received within baseball circles and with Braves fans. For those of you who glanced by a Braves broadcast in their TBS years or never cared to, you missed something unique and rare in the business. A guy who for his personal battles and relative obscurity - even in the shadow of his beloved famous father, Harry - truly appreciated the responsibility of the announcer: to not call the game as he saw fit or as how a team owner beckoned, but by how the game was actually being played.

From a 'strange' baseball fan from New York City, thanks, Skip.

Say What?!?!: From Mark Bradley at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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