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How Biased Is Your Announcer?
The Wall Street Journal ^ | 9/24/2012 | JARED DIAMOND

Posted on 09/25/2012 6:15:09 PM PDT by Beave Meister

If you're wondering what's going on in the American League Central pennant race over the next week, all you need to do is tune into a Chicago White Sox telecast and listen for the voice of the team's play-by-play man, Ken "Hawk" Harrelson.

Harrelson is, to put it diplomatically, a bit of a "homer." In other words, he's unapologetic about his devotion to the White Sox, the team he routinely calls "the good guys." According to one measure, Harrelson and his booth partner, Steve Stone, make more nakedly biased statements during a single game than every other TV broadcast team in the American League combined.

"Let's just say that if we're losing, you're going to know it," Harrelson said in a recent interview. "I won't sound happy."

The conventional wisdom in sports is that TV announcers should strive to call the game straight down the middle. It's a philosophy that's been embraced over the years by most of the famous baseball voices.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Sports
KEYWORDS: americanleague; announcers; baseball; bias; chicago; kenharrelson; mlb; stevestone; thehawk; theworst; whitesox
It's not just because I'm a Die Hard Cubs Fan........these two really suck. I can tolerate Stone, but Harrelson is like an infant.
1 posted on 09/25/2012 6:15:12 PM PDT by Beave Meister
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To: Beave Meister

You tolerate Stone because you feel that the Sox “stole” him from the Cubs. Harrelson is an infant, but that would make Banks a zygote. There, I said it.


2 posted on 09/25/2012 6:19:44 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Beave Meister

aren’t they the play by play team of the White Sox? If so they are employed by the White Sox.

Generally the Play by play and color men on local TV & radio are employees of the team. They are by definition Homers. They watcjh and root for the team they cover every day.


3 posted on 09/25/2012 6:20:55 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Jim from C-Town

The baseball teams hire their own announcers....at least that’s how it’s done in Chicago.


4 posted on 09/25/2012 6:23:44 PM PDT by Beave Meister (Die Hard Cubs Fan.....if it takes forever.)
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To: Beave Meister
The most non-biased play-by-play announcer I've ever heard.

Cawood Ledford

5 posted on 09/25/2012 6:25:08 PM PDT by Bratch
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To: Beave Meister

Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson!

Just the other day I was wondering what ever became of him.

I still remember when he came to the Indians with much hoopla and delievered only poopla


6 posted on 09/25/2012 6:26:11 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

He works for us in Chicago, but you must be drunk. Otherwise, you switch to Farmer and Jackson.


7 posted on 09/25/2012 6:28:18 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Beave Meister

It seems like the SF Giants announcers go too far out of their way to be unbiased. Specifically Mike Krukow, who more often than not defers to the other team on close calls, IMO.


8 posted on 09/25/2012 6:29:08 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: Jim from C-Town

While the announcers are hired by the teams, they do vary in how biased they are.

Vin Scully always does a great job of calling the game no matter how the Dodgers are doing. Most are homers to some degree, but are honest about the other team.

Personally, I only like watching Harrelson and Stone when the Sox are losing. The Schadenfreude of listening to a sullen Harrelson is worth the price of admission.


9 posted on 09/25/2012 6:29:57 PM PDT by MediaMole
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To: 1rudeboy
Sir, Harrelson played for the Indians -- unless this is sombedy else.
10 posted on 09/25/2012 6:31:12 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: Beave Meister
Exactly, That is how it works. Particularly in markets where the team OWNS the broadcast venue, like Cleveland, New York and I am sure more than a few others.

I watch the local team, I expect a bit of Homerism. That is part of what they are paid for. It is OUR team in OUR city after all.

11 posted on 09/25/2012 6:32:01 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Beave Meister

I remember this fool, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, when he was brought to Cleveland from, I think, Boston, to save the Indians during the 80s or so. First he said he didn’t want to come to Cleveland, then, after a couple hundred thou more offered, all of a sudden he loved Cleveland.

Once he got here, we were all treated to his tippy-tap-toe front batting foot (kinda’ like a ballerina’s toe), and his wild worthless bat swing . . . probably struck out more times here in Cleveland than Bill Maher would walking around a whorehouse with a $100 dollar bill.

Then the goofus disappeared after he couldn’t save the Indians. I didn’t know he was still involved in baseball.


12 posted on 09/25/2012 6:33:39 PM PDT by laweeks
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To: BenLurkin

I am not aware of Harrelson’s history, but I did listen to him today. If I recall, all I got was a “dadgumit.”


13 posted on 09/25/2012 6:33:51 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Jim from C-Town

YOure right on. But the author of the article is an idiot.


14 posted on 09/25/2012 6:35:31 PM PDT by nikos1121
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To: MediaMole
They should be objective, but I want them to also be realistic.

Take the Indians this year, PLEASE! They went from first to worst in a matter of weeks. Now they where not that good of a team to begin with, but I would expect the local broadcast to portray the slide in realistic terms and to have empathy with their fellow fans. After all, they are going through it right along with the fans.

15 posted on 09/25/2012 6:36:53 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: BenLurkin

hehe

In a baseball world filled with entertaining characters, Harrelson stands out as just a jerk.

This loudmouth BSed his way into the White Sox GM job, fired Tony LaRussa and traded away Bobby Bonilla before being fired himself.

Brain-damaged White Sux fans deserve his televised dementia.


16 posted on 09/25/2012 6:38:40 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Jim from C-Town
I can get both the BoSox and Yankees. Used to be able to tune in the Expos...

The BoSox guys are snoringly boring. The NYY are at least excited about calling the game and working in all the ads. Their sound guy also adds in the crowd as background. The BoSox lack the ambiance of the crowd.

I did see blurb the other week that WCBS got the Yanks for another year. I guess ESPN is desperate to acquire them.

17 posted on 09/25/2012 6:42:13 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: MediaMole

Harry Carey was a great announcer for the Cubs, even when he was hammered up in the booth. Years ago my younger brother was an Andy Frain at Wrigley and his most important job before all home ball games was to make sure Harry’s fridge was stocked with Bud.

I remember watching a Cubs game years ago when Harry was more popular than “Da Mayor.” with Harry and Steve Stone....Cubs are at home, it was the top first, the Cubs pitcher has bases loaded, nobody out and walks the next batter. Stone says, “Well Harry, it’s one to nothing.” And Harry says, “Get the bum outta there, he’s stinking up the joint.” Harry called it like it was didn’t care who he offended. That’s also the reason the White Sox fired him. He was brutal on the White Sox the year they fired him and Jimmy Piersal.


18 posted on 09/25/2012 6:44:09 PM PDT by Beave Meister (Die Hard Cubs Fan.....if it takes forever.)
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To: BenLurkin

“I still remember when he came to the Indians with much hoopla and delievered only poopla”

And had a horrendous broken ankle on a late slide.


19 posted on 09/25/2012 6:45:40 PM PDT by Cyman
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To: Beave Meister
"Let's just say that if we're losing, you're going to know it,"

And that's just the way Sox fans want it. We won't tolerate company man announcers like cubbie fans do.

20 posted on 09/25/2012 6:48:29 PM PDT by dznutz
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To: Beave Meister

You always knew Harry was into the sauce when he started saying players’ names backwards.


21 posted on 09/25/2012 6:49:57 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Conservatism is not a matter of convenience.)
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To: jjotto

LaRussa was a prick, Bonilla was overrated, and you are upset over who knows what? Did the White Sox beat your team, recently?


22 posted on 09/25/2012 7:07:39 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

hehe

LaRussa is a prick, but he’s a winner, unlike Hawk.

Bonilla: averaged 22 HRs and batted .279 over 16 seasons vs. Jose DeLeon, 9W-23L in 2 years with the White Sox.

Harrelson: Merits an unflattering story in WSJ.

I rest my case.


23 posted on 09/25/2012 7:19:17 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Beave Meister

I want my guy to be a “homer”. I’m a Diamondbacks fan and I love Darrin Sutton and Mark Grace. They are homers in every sense of the word.


24 posted on 09/25/2012 7:26:19 PM PDT by sean327 (God created all men equal, then some become Marines!)
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To: jjotto

I’m not sure if you are even in the proper courtroom. We’re talking about broadcasters. How are LaRussa and Bonilla doing in that regard?


25 posted on 09/25/2012 7:29:28 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Besides, if you are claiming that there is any announcer who is a more disgusting “homer” than the nefarious Vin Scully...then all I can say is http://www.johnspeedie.com/healy/believe.wav


26 posted on 09/25/2012 7:42:28 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: Calvin Locke

The Yankee radio announcer John Sterling, famous for just making up the game as he goes along. Known to shout “going going caught by the shortstop behind second base”


27 posted on 09/25/2012 8:09:36 PM PDT by gusty
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To: Beave Meister

All the announcers I listened to for the Packers growing up during the Packer’s glory years like Ray Scott and ex-Packer great Tony Canadeo were solidly in the Packer camp. Ditto for the MILWAUKEE!!! Braves announcers Earl Gillespie and Blaine Walsh.


28 posted on 09/26/2012 5:56:37 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Bratch

While Ledford certainly wanted Kentucky to win, he was a tremendously knowledgeable announcer and called the game fairly. I used to listen to Wildcat games when I was a teen from my bedroom in Wisconsin during the Riley-Dampier years. When they had Riley jump ball at 6’3 and Thad Jaracz was the center at 6’5. Interestingly enough, I just read a book about Kelly Coleman where Ledford is mentioned.


29 posted on 09/26/2012 6:01:32 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: Beave Meister

Yeah, gotta agree with the premise of the article — hometown announcers should be biased in favor of the hometown team. It’s their job to rally support and interest in the team, and not just to do play-by-play or game commentary.

Let ‘em act like fans, it makes the game far more interesting.


30 posted on 09/26/2012 6:05:19 AM PDT by kevkrom (Those in a rush to trample the Constitution seem to forget that it is the source of their authority.)
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To: Beave Meister

I expect the home announcers to be biased in baseball. I’ve never listened to this duo, but I expect Mario Impemba and Rod Allen to be very skewed. Sometimes I am angry that they are not biased enough! ;-)

Now, when they get pre-empted for a national spot, I expect the Fox or ESPN announcers to be unbiased.


31 posted on 09/26/2012 12:08:03 PM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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