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Forget Matt Holliday; Chip Caray is the playoffs' biggest goat

Oct 9, 2009, 1:20 PM EDT

As a Minnesotan who’s been forced to listen to Chip Caray announce the most important games of my beloved Twins’ season I’m in complete agreement with Richard Sandomir of the New York Times, who basically eviscerated the TBS play-by-play man in his column today.
Sandomir gets into all the gory details of Caray’s ineptitude–including his numerous screwups from Game 1 of the ALDS–but here’s the short version:

Caray is still prone to bad play calls, descriptive exaggerations and factual errors. Every announcer makes mistakes, but Caray’s lips form a pattern of an announcer out of his element. The producer, Glenn Diamond; the director, Lonnie Dale; and the statistician are either failing him or he is spurning their advice and support.



No one in the production truck could rescue him from his 10th-inning classic faux pas during the Twins-Tigers tie breaker Tuesday night. Caray called the Twins’ Nick Punto’s sharply hit liner to left field this way: “Line drive. Base hit. Caught out there. The runner tags. Throw to the plate. On target. And in time! A double play.”

Sandomir’s description of that play doesn’t even do it justice, as Caray completely botched the call of one of the most important and action-packed moments of the season. Worse, he made zero mention of the massive blunder and then did the exact same thing the next night, breathlessly announcing another line out to left field as a “base hit” before trying to save himself by acting as if the ball nearly dropped for a single.
Those are the two most glaring mistakes, but Caray is incredibly tough to listen to even when he’s not making huge errors. Every ball hit with any sort of authority is “belted” or “smoked” and every pop up is “fisted.” He fills the broadcast with non-stop babble focused on hyperbole, lavish praise of mediocre players, half-truths passed along as facts, apocryphal stories and anecdotes, and the blatant misuse of statistics. And at least once an inning he says something that’s just flat-out wrong.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post described Caray’s announcing style perfectly when he wrote: “He’s like an interpreter who can speak with a French accent but doesn’t know French.” It’s almost as if Caray is playing the part of a baseball announcer, rattling off the lines he’s supposed to say with the inflection he’s supposed to use, but unlike his legendary grandfather Harry Caray and his highly underrated father Skip Caray he’s not fit to actually do the job. I’m already dreading listening to his mistake-filled nonsense tonight.

  1. Rob F - Oct 11, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    I miss Tom Cheek – he’s still the best baseball broadcaster I ever heard…..
    His replacement, Alan Ashby, is pretty good, though…..
    Jerry Howarth is coming up on 30 years in the Jays’ radio booth…..pretty impressive in this day and age…..

  2. Mark Fox - Oct 12, 2009 at 2:17 AM

    Old Chinese proverb says it all:
    富不过三代 (fu bu guo san dai)
    Literally: Wealth does not pass three generations
    Meaning: It’s rare the wealth of a family can last for three generations (the 2nd may see the value of hard work, the 3rd, forget it)
    Explanation: In business, the first generation works extremely hard, so that the second generation reaps the benefits. By the time the third generation arrives, the wealth is squandered.
    In this case, I think the wealth is wealth of knowledge.
    I hope he gets better and, also, that he stops using the word “fisting” in place of “He got handcuffed,” or “He hit it off the handle.”

  3. Antwan Mcgillis - Feb 18, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    You are a very smart person!

  4. Alayna Redditt - Feb 18, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    I’ve been trying to speak with my Natwest Business Account “relationship manager” since before Christmas only direct number to her is mobile, always on voicemail where she says she will endeavour to get back to me by the end of the day ha ha ha. The office number where I am assured that someone will be able to help me quickly tells me (when it is not constantly engaged) and I quote, that I will need to speak to “one of her little chums”.

  5. Alphonse Gushard - Feb 28, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    Lots of Fantastic information in your post, I favorited your blog so I can visit again in the future, Cheers

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