Awful Announcing reader poll ranks the local announcers by awfulness

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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.

Evan Longoria: ‘I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base’

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.