Cubs Announcers

Len and Bob

I had a conversation with my Aunt and Uncle (Manstrength’s parents) over the weekend and they both expressed that they can’t stand Len and Bob as announcers.  I have never thought of them as bad announcers or annoying, so I wanted to see what you readers think about them.

Now, Len and Bob are not my favorite announcers, but I have respect for anyone that can talk for about 3 hours, 162 times a year and not come across as a conversation-repeating idiot.  I think because I have heard so many bad announcers over the years, Len and Bob don’t seem that bad to me.  Listen to ESPN or FOX baseball broadcasts and you’ll hear what I consider to be the bottom of the barrel.  When it comes to baseball, I want some opinion or for a lack of a better word, homer-ism displayed.  When you listen to a local broadcast, you’re getting the inside scoop.  You’re hearing things from guys that spend a ridiculous amount of time with the team.  If you listen to ESPN, you are hearing generic play-by-play calling and some fluff piece about a player that they will talk about every single broadcast they do for that particular team.  Oh yeah, and you hear about the Yankees and the Red Sox.  While we are on the topic of bad sports announcers, my most hated are Brent Musberger and Keith Jackson.  I’ll spare you all from my Brent Musberger rant…for now.

Now, I wouldn’t put Len or Bob in the same category as Vin Scully.  Vin is my all-time favorite announcer.  When I lived in Southern California, I watched Dodgers broadcasts, just to listen to him call a game.  But, these two are way better than Hawk and DJ, who announce for the White Sox.  It’s unbelievable how bad those guys are.  When I travel to a different part of the country, I always try to listen baseball game or football game on tv or radio, just to hear the local announcers.  I’ve not really heard any that astounded me.  I have liked about everyone that the Diamondbacks have had in the booth, though. 

I have to say though, that this year, I have grown real tired of listening to Pat and Ron on the radio.  I like Pat, but Ron is just terrible.  He adds nothing to the broadcast besides having a fan in the booth.  And I can appreciate that he plays that role, but then he just needs to be a fan and shut up.  I think it’s his unfinished sentences that get me the most.  “Well, the thing about that is….”  or “One of the most important things about playing shortstop is….”  and he never finishes the sentence.  It takes him 10 seconds to get that much of the sentence out and then the next pitch distracts him.  I used to think of Ron as the drunk, slightly off uncle that entertains the family at a gathering, but you wouldn’t trust him with anything.  Now he just irritates me.  Maybe Ron and I just need some time apart.

My solution for WGN radio is this…add another announcer in the booth.  Let Ron play the role as the ultimate homer in the booth and don’t put the pressure on him to say anything profound or insightful.  Historically, I haven’t liked 3 announcers in the booth.  I end up turning the volume down on Monday Night Football because none of them ever shut up.  But the radio is something different.  Descriptions are all we have to put us in the stadium.  And right now on WGN radio, there is 1.5 guys in the booth, so I think adding another person wouldn’t be overkill.

So tell me Cubs fans, what do you think of Len & Bob and Pat & Ron?  In my opinion, no Cubs broadcast will be as good as Harry Caray and Steve Stone.  But what kind of game viewer are you?  Do you listen to Len and Bob or do you turn the volume on the tv down and listen to Pat and Ron? 

3 Responses

  1. I have become a fan of Len and Bob. At first, Bob seems like he might not be very intelligent, but he really is insightful about the game having been a player and a manager. Sometimes he will have quite a flash of intelligence as well. As I said in a previous post, we are fortunate to have Len and Bob and not commentators like the Hawk and DJ.

    I don’t mind Pat and Ron, but that might be a result of me not listening to their broadcast much.

  2. But Ron has no legs. He gets added sympathy points. Any time a Cubs pitcher throws over 95 mph someone makes a “big, big” donation to JDRF. And I like how he says “back to back jacks” even though they quit that promotion two years ago.

    So, while I enjoy Len and Bob, I prefer Pat and Ron. I don’t do the tv down radio up because the delay is off. I agree with all of the above, except I find Ron humorously tolerable.

  3. I’ve noticed that the delay is not always there, though. There is automatically a delay if you watch games on digital cable. One of our tv’s is not on digital cable and there is about a 2-3 second delay from that one to our other tv. ESPN also has a delay. If you don’t go through your cable box and it’s a WGN or Comcast broadcast, it should line up pretty close.

    Last night, I had to turn on Pat and Ron because I can’t stomach ESPN announcers.

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