Thursday, February 24, 2005

I can do the hully gully, I can imitate Vin Scully

At long last, the Nats have selected their radio announcing team

Charlie Slowes, who once served as a radio announcer for the NBA's Washington Bullets, and Dave Shea, a former announcer for hockey's Boston Bruins, will be named the radio broadcasters for the Washington Nationals' inaugural season as soon as Thursday, sources close to the negotiations said Wednesday night.

I have no idea who these guys are. But the WaPo article does state that Slowes has spent the last seven years doing radio for the Devil Rays; by happy coincidence, my cousin through marriage, DeWayne Staats is the television play-by-play guy for the D-Rays. So maybe I'll have occasion to see if DeWayne can provide some info on Slowes' style.

As Chris notes, the other guy did some work for something called the National Hockey League. Maybe it was a league that operated in the distant past?

Anyway, maybe it's because I grew up admirer a baseball announcer, but I think the announcing team is a very important element of a baseball organization. In many ways, it is the team's public face. As a consequence, aside from its performance on the field, the team's legitimacy is established to great measure by its announcers. (Obviously, one is especially inclined to think this way if one listens/watches lots of games.)

That's one reason why I've focused (okay, obsessed) so much over the radio deal. The act of getting on a good station---and picking good announcers---is a kind of bling-bling for a baseball team.

So, let's hope these guys are good. I was becoming kind of partial to Elliot Price, actually.

Do you have a connection with DeWayne?

I remember him doing the Yankee broadcasts on MSG. He shepherded them through the dark ages and they dumped him right as the team started to turn the corner.
Sure do. His wife is my cousin. She's about 25 years older than me (DeWayne too) b/c my father is about 20 years younger than her father, his brother. Got it? ;-)

DeWayne's probably why I love baseball so much. DeWayne did Cubs games on WGN when I was about age 10-13. One summer, I stayed with them in their condo in the Hancock Tower, got to meet Harry Caray, Leon Durham, Ryne Sandberg, Bob Dernier, Rick Suttcliffe, etc. It was pretty cool.

But you're right; he left (or whatever . . . contractual issue) the Yanks right as they were getting good again, right at the '94 Strike. He did Wednesday games for ESPN, then the Rays were a natural fit for him, since his family had relocated to Tampa and then Boca Raton during the Yankee years.

Their daughter is actually married to Dan Wheeler, ex of the Rays, ex of the Mets, momentary star playoff middle reliever for the Astros.
Good thing I didn't rail on him then! ;)

Actually, I don't remember a whole lot about him, other than that he has a unique-sounding voice.

If you talk to him, ask him if he's jealous that Slowes gets to broadcast an actual major league team! :P

(I have a feeling I might need to eat those words by the end of the year!)
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