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Rangers fire play-by-play announcer John Rhadigan after two months on the job

May 26, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

john rhadigan rangers

Josh Lewin was so good and so popular as the Rangers’ play-by-play announcer that replacing him was a very tall task, but John Rhadigan probably thought he had at least a little job security.

Less than two months after stepping into Lewin’s big shoes Rhadigan has been fired, according to Richie Witt of the Dallas Observer.

In talking to some Rangers fans the consensus seems to be that Rhadigan was pretty shaky early on in what was his first play-by-play gig and has been criticized a lot by fans and media members.

However, when asked to evaluate Rhadigan’s performance as recently as two weeks ago Rangers president Nolan Ryan said:

I feel as if he is improving his play-by-play. We are asking him to do something he hasn’t done and need to give him time.

Apparently “need to give him time” meant “we’ll fire him in 15 days.”

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Dave Barnett will move from the radio side to replace Rhadigan.

Can anyone recall another announcer being let go in the middle of a season for performance-related reasons rather than health problems or personal issues?

  1. poorwalt - May 26, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Does Dibble count? He got the axe in early September of 2010 if I remember correctly…

    • benyamen - May 26, 2011 at 2:22 PM

      I think that was more because he was a thoughtless, offensive, blow-hard than that he just sucked at his job.

  2. klwillis45 - May 26, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    So giving someone with zero PBP experience a MLB lead announcer job worked out badly? Who’d of thunk?

  3. halladaysbicepts - May 26, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    “Rhadigan was pretty shaky early on in what was his first play-by-play gig”

    Shaky is right! Rumor has it that he was caught pounding some beers with Josh Hamilton in the basement of the ballpark after games.

    • uberfatty - May 26, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      go away

      • halladaysbicepts - May 26, 2011 at 2:42 PM

        It’s called making a little joke. Take your own advise earlier you made to me and “lighten up Francis.”

      • uberfatty - May 26, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        jokes are generally funny. your comment, as has become the norm, was crass and unfunny.

  4. isdtyrant - May 26, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    That’s the way play-by-play go.

  5. thekingdave - May 26, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    That dude sucked on Fox Sports Southwest as well.

  6. halladaysbicepts - May 26, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    Seriously, how bad could this guy have been to have been fired after less than two months? LOL!!!

    Does anyone have audio on this guy?

  7. deathmonkey41 - May 26, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    After having to listen to Sarge during Phillies games, I didn’t think it was possible to be fired for terrible play by play ability. He just made the comment that it was better to be on the winning side. His insight is staggering.

    • yankeesfanlen - May 26, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      If that were true, someone would have been gone twenty years and two radio stations ago. But I like him anyway, and that’s what counts!

    • halladaysbicepts - May 26, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      Yeah, listening to Sarge analyst abilities at Phillies’ games is just bad. He earned the nickname Sergeant Obvious for his useless commentary. I would have fired him long ago.

      As a side note, a Phillies fan just ran on the field and did a McNabb air guitar impersonation. Priceless.

    • kellyb9 - May 26, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      Truth be told, I can’t stand him either. However, I heard him on the radio the one day talking to those guys. He actually has a ton of insight. It’s really amazing, it was like day and night listening to him. I’d prefer that he tried to call the baseball game rather than try to entertain. Thats why you have color commentators.

  8. sportsdrenched - May 26, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    I’m all for giving people time to adjust to their jobs. But he had no PbP experience? And he got an MLB gig?

    No wonder it didn’t work out. At least hire a guy who’s called HS Football or something.

    • dlevalley - May 26, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      Seriously. How many great minor league/college announcers are there that would just kill for this job? And it’s not like it’s a market where there is a lot of cost considerations. I bet most the minor league guys are getting paid pennies.

      In fact, the guy who did play-by-play for the Portland Beavers was just let go last winter when the team was moved. I’ve only heard him call a couple of games, but by all accounts he was great…

  9. Senor Cardgage - May 26, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Oh wow. I mean, I thought he was horrible—so much that I watched games with the sound off—but I never thought he’d get fired. I just didn’t think that was done.

    For me, it didn’t matter how much time you gave him, because the problem ran deeper than what he was saying, but rather how it sounded. Put simply, he has an grating play-by-play voice. It’s gravely. He practically growls when he gets excited, and given that the important plays are the exciting ones, this is not a good combination.

    He always seemed like a nice enough guy, so I’m sorry it didn’t work out for him, but this is definitely the right decision.

  10. roycethebaseballhack - May 26, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    I’m with you, Cardgage. I was all for giving the guy a little time to get his feet wet, but his PbP really was dreadful. John’s been around the DFW area for a while – I had no idea he had no baseball PbP experience. It makes sense now, though.
    But really – who’s the idiot, here…?
    John Rhadigan, trying to ‘learn’ how to do play by play, live, with the standing AL Champion..?
    Or…
    The Rangers Guy who tossed the loved and admired Josh Lewin, in the first damned place???
    This move by the Rangers caught everyone off-guard.

  11. gostros19 - May 26, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    John Rhadigan was by far the WORST play by play announcer I have ever listened to. One thing that always pissed me off about him was how he would always call each player by their first name like he knew them personally. (Michael, Ian, Josh, Elvus, and the worst, Nelly.) Tom Grieve isnt any better at this gig either. Good Lord listening to these two is painful. Rhadigan was probably the most unprofessional announcer in the broadcasting world.

  12. cjasfenton - May 26, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    I grew up listening to Rhadigan do the sports reporting for the local NBC channel, and really thought he’d be okay doing PBP. Turns out the “local guy getting the big break” story wasn’t really all that great. I can’t count the number of times he forgot how many outs there were or had to restart thoughts because he got his tongue twisted around his teeth. I like the guy, but PBP wasn’t his thing.

    And what’s with all the Lewin love? I couldn’t stand that guy. He was like the nerdy little brother that won’t leave you alone.

  13. 27xwschamps - May 27, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    This guy “sucked” and I’m a NYY fan living in the 512..Let’s go YANKEES !!! G ot rings???? We have 27 !!!! Boo ya !!!

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