Broadcasters: please stop calling players by their first name all the time

65 Comments

I meant to mention this in ATH, but it got a bit long talking about my treadmill and everything. Anyway:

While watching the Marlins broadcast last night I noticed that the announcers for FSN Florida — I believe it was Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton — were constantly calling Marlins players by their first name.  “Hanley is up with it…”  “Wes really got a hold of that one …”  “Chris had the green light on 3-0 …”  But they’re not alone in this. The Braves are on a FOX regional station too, and Chip Caray is constantly calling Heyward “Jason” and Prado “Martin” and stuff.  I figured it was just a Chip thing — fisted! — but now I can’t help but wonder if this is some sort of diktat from FOX central, demanding that announcers personalize the players with first names.  If anyone knows if this is the case or, rather, if it’s just a coincidence, please chime in below.

Whatever the case, I’m not fan of unnecessary formality, but I’m struggling to think of something that transforms a broadcaster from an authoritative voice to a silly fanboy faster than constantly using first names like that.  They’re ballplayers. Say that Shlabotnik was caught looking, not Joe.  It’s what we expect and it’s jarring and somewhat silly to do otherwise.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

Getty Images
1 Comment

Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.