hawk harrelson

Awful Announcing reader poll ranks the local announcers by awfulness


To be fair, there are good ones here too, but I think people have a lot more fun talking about the bad announcing teams.

Here is Awful Announcing’s list. I don’t take serious issue with most of it. My personal least favorite, as well as the least-favorite of the Awful Announcing readers, is the Hawk Harrelson-led White Sox broadcasts. I understand he’s polarizing — a lot of White Sox fans love him — but nah, never gonna come around on that.

I have no idea how the Braves are as high as 21. I watch more Braves games than any other team’s so I am sort of acclimated to their awfulness, but when I think about it I am stuck by just how annoying they can be. I’m assuming Braves fans stuffed the ballot box. I think the Reds are too high too. They’re only watchable when George Grande calls the games and that’s pretty seldom these days compared to Thom Brennaman who is just horrifying.

I see the Tigers second-most after the Braves, and while I don’t necessarily love Mario and Rod personally — not sure I’d have them at 11 — I totally get their appeal. Particularly the stuff about them not taking things too seriously. The analysis is often kind of derpy, but they get the tone right and that’s important when you watch dozens of games.

The top five — which you have to go click on to see ranked — is hard to argue with, even if you quibble with the particular order.

Are reader polls scientific? No, but the comments Awful Announcing collected all seem pretty astute and mostly constructive.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.