Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Bring Los Angeles Dodger Announcer Ross Porter Back

Baseball has stood for loyalty to the verities, memories of innocence, patience with ritual; surely, no one who cared about baseball could be an opportunist at heart.
Edward Hoagland, U.S. novelist

For Toner Mishap readers who are out of state, you will have to trust The Misanthrope on this one. There has never been a more eloquent announcer in the game of baseball than the Vin Scully, who has been broadcasting Dodger games since the team was in Brooklyn. He apprenticed with the legendary Red Barber and came into his own when Barber did not go west with the team. But, this piece is not about Scully, it’s about the way the current Dodger owners and management callously released the number two announcer Ross Porter last month after 28 years of dedicated service. Frank McCourt will never get The Misanthrope’s loyalty. (The Misanthrope will provide more commentary throughout the year on the unfortunate ownership of the once proud Los Angeles Dodger organization.)

Porter brought a depth to the game and insight. Rick Monday, a former player, is the number three announcer. Problem is he is a distant third. His deep droning voice is better suited to the midnight shift on a jazz station. Monday’s voice, cadence, and stories put The Misanthrope to sleep.

Scully’s style served to place the radio listening fan in the box seats right behind the plate. Porter’s approach put the listener in the press box, watching the game with all the stats that the press have at hand. Monday allows the listener to find out the score at the top of bottom of each inning.

Talking to the listener one on one is a style that Scully perfected and Ross worked well in. The listeners benefited because the announcer talked directly to them, not to his partner, there were no inside jokes and no idiotic banter -- just baseball, what a concept.

The Dodgers have hired Charley Steiner, who The Misanthrope suspects is a fine capable broadcaster. The problem is they are going to team him with Monday. So, now the new Dodger owners will try to mimic Fox football’s intelligence insulting and distracting buddy chat. The good news is the games are broadcast on a weak-signal radio station, so we won’t have to hear them, and Scully will continue to broadcast the television games.

Let’s hope the Angels have the good sense to hire Porter.

Bring Ross Porter back

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