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

Apr 8, 2011, 9:29 AM EDT

Chip Caray

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.

  1. schmedley69 - Apr 8, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    It’s about time that someone in the mainstream media finally addressed this. The Marlins announcers are far and away the biggest culprits in this. They come off as complete homers and lose all credibility, IMO.

    • oilcanjim - Apr 9, 2011 at 7:27 AM

      Calling Craig mainstrea media made his day.

  2. macjacmccoy - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    who cares what they call them. As long as the listeners know who their talking about that’s all that matters. That’s the only problem I see with it some of the casual fans might not know who Jason or Wes is.

  3. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    you no Big Papi ??, you David Ortiz, who dat ??, Craig get real.

  4. roseann894 - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    NFL announcers are also strongly pressured to do this, but primarily just with QBs. It’s to help personalize the most visible players and by extension all players but because there are so many more players involved in a typical play it would be too awkward to apply it to all the players. I think it’s stupid, since it’s such an obviously contrived and artificial thing to do, especially in football as it only applies to one position. I’m waiting to see if they persist in this, if certain QBs backslide into criminality.

    • notdumb - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:35 PM

      they dont do this in the NFL except with Brett Favre so i dont know what your talking about. i think they do this in the mlb because they decided to corner the cute market Blyleven and Bremer do this also always calling mauer and morneau joe and justin and it is annoying as are the corny tv ads for the team the ads the twins run make me blush and hope people from other states cant see it

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