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Thread: Wall Street Journal: How biased are your announcers?

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    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Wall Street Journal: How biased are your announcers?

    The Wall Street Journal did some game-watching recently to find who the most biased baseball announcers are.

    They charted the number of "comments perceived as bias" over the course of one game. Surprising no one, Chicago White Sox's Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone carried the torch with 104 biased comments DURING ONE GAME. The next closest was the Indians duo who made 23. Meanwhile, our hometown pairing of Dick 'N Bert finished tied for sixth-most biased comments with nine (with one such example being "I hope there's no suspense. A nice, methodical win would be nice.").

    In regards to why this phenomenon happens, Dick Bremer said:

    "Former players have tremendous equity in the franchise they played for. From their perspective, I could imagine a strong desire for the team to do well."
    While it makes sense in the case of Blyleven but Harrelson, who played in the majors for quite some time, never suited up for the White Sox.

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    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    Home team broadcasters should be biased. They are broadcasting to fans of the team by a large percentage.

    National broadcasters shouldn't be biased.

    Finishing 6th... Our guys should be shooting for #1.

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    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Showing a bias is one thing, unabashed homerism is another entirely.
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

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    Senior Member Triple-A Gernzy's Avatar
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    Does this suprise anyone? If you have heard the White Sox announcers you'll understand. They are terrible. I think it's funny people call our guys homers. While they are at times, at least its not this bad,

    FYI if you don't know what I'm talking about watch a White Sox game. They're on WGN now and then. It's actually funny its so bad.
    I bent my wookie...

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    Senior Member All-Star 70charger's Avatar
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    I think the Dickbert strikes a pretty good balance, actually. After having watched the Reds' broadcasts more than a few times (used to live in Ohio), I'm surprised they're not higher.

  6. #6
    Dick and Bert aren't really that "homerish". I actually think that MLB, in general, doesn't suffer from this problem compared to many NFL and NHL broadcast teams I can think of (though the NFL would be more radio, since there aren't "local" NFL TV crews).

    I'm not always a fan of Dick Bremer but I did rewatch the highlight of the Parmelee triple several times just to hear this call:

    "Driven to center field..."
    (Dead air)
    (Ball goes over Granderson and hits wall)
    (Dead air)
    "Baby needs a new pair of shoes!"

    Ah, the stuff you come up with at the end of a 90+ loss season.

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    I would rather listen to any local crew including Hawk/Steve Stone than a TBS Fox or ESPN squad. Since Jon Miller went back to radio, it is totally unbearable across teh board. Worst broadcasting of the year is during the playoffs.

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    The White Sox must really encourage this. In '77 I was in Chicago for a July 4 weekend series with the Twins. I went to two games and I listened to two on the radio. To this day, I have never heard so much homerism, jingoism and mockery of the other team as I did that weekend. It was a truly miserable weekend as the Sox swept four.

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quadruple the rate of anyone else? Yup, this study sounds like a pretty accurate assessment to me.

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    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Quadruple the rate of anyone else? Yup, this study sounds like a pretty accurate assessment to me.
    Right? A one game sample size is not going to yield accurate results.

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    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    No baseball announcer has anything on Paul Allen, who shrieked like he was watching his mother get hit by a car when Nate Poole hauled in that TD to bump the Vikes from playoff contention in '03.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    No baseball announcer has anything on Paul Allen, who shrieked like he was watching his mother get hit by a car when Nate Poole hauled in that TD to bump the Vikes from playoff contention in '03.
    Agree, other than Hawk Harrelson who is every bit as much of a mindless homer. I do everything possible to avoid hearing either of them. Ever. The only tiebreaker may be that Allen thinks he's smart, funny, and relevant. I really can't decide who is a more annoying waste of airtime.

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    Head Moderator MVP glunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ofx1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    No baseball announcer has anything on Paul Allen, who shrieked like he was watching his mother get hit by a car when Nate Poole hauled in that TD to bump the Vikes from playoff contention in '03.
    Agree, other than Hawk Harrelson who is every bit as much of a mindless homer. I do everything possible to avoid hearing either of them. Ever. The only tiebreaker may be that Allen thinks he's smart, funny, and relevant. I really can't decide who is a more annoying waste of airtime.
    On the other hand, Hawk is fun to listen to when the White Sox are losing.

  14. #14
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    I don't mind Hawk and Stone at all. It's blatant homerism and just doesn't bother me.

    I'm much more bothered by the announcers who try to appear to be unbiased but then put in snide little jabs, etc.

    Give me a blatant homer any day.

    And give me more dead air from most of them including most of the national crews (my biggest complaint about Bremer and whoever he happens to be paired with at the time is that they make my ears hurt. Yammer, yammer, yammer).

  15. #15
    I have MLB and often listen to a few innings from both home and away announcers. Even though
    its a sloppy survey, the three facts sound about right: Hawk is 4 times more biased than anyone else,
    Cleveland a distant second and Bert And Dick 6th.

    But the two things it really doesn't address -- Hawk is entertaining. And the Yankees anouncers can
    get off on their special place in the baseball universe (entitlement to such a high payroll, etc.). Even
    if that doesn't quailfy as "bias" in the Wallstreet journal article, its for all intents and purposes
    impossible to listen to if you are not either a Yankee fan, or a Yankee hater collecting fodder for
    your next sports bar brawl.

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    Right? A one game sample size is not going to yield accurate results.
    That said, it did conclude with the proper findings, unbalanced as the results may be.

    Even as obnoxious as Paul Allen is (and good god, the english language is in desperate need of devising a new term to more properly encapsulate the manner in which he makes me want to hurt small, cute animals every time I hear his voice) he has little on Hawk.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 108 Double Stitches View Post
    Hawk is entertaining.
    I don't think "entertaining" is the word I would use for Hawk.

    ...well, maybe when the Sox have just suffered a soul-crushing defeat, then he's entertaining. One of these days, we're going to hear him cry on-air and it will be glorious.

    He's easily the worst announcer in baseball. Well, maybe Rex Hudler is right there with him. Hudler is ****ing awful.

  18. #18
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    At least Hawk knows the players names.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer gil4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 108 Double Stitches View Post
    Hawk is entertaining.
    I don't think "entertaining" is the word I would use for Hawk. / ...He's easily the worst announcer in baseball.
    I agree - he's an illiterate, inarticulate jerk. John Sterling gets a dishonorable mention for his "Yankees win. Theeeeeee Yankees win", mainly because it reminds me of Harrelson's ""You can put it on the board! Yes!" But he's nowhere near the Hawk range, except for that one call. (Hopefully he gets to choke on it again tonight.)

  20. #20
    Senior Member All-Star
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Quadruple the rate of anyone else? Yup, this study sounds like a pretty accurate assessment to me.
    Right? A one game sample size is not going to yield accurate results.
    True, Hawk would have been everybody's first choice as most obnoxious/homerish announcer going into the study; it's possible that could have already swayed the opinion of the evaluators.

    On the otherhand, I'm pretty sure his picture is next to the definition of "outlier" in several Statistics 101 textbooks.

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