Rhadigan Strikes Out
John Rhadigan’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t love baseball. This is obvious to everyone who does. Someone who loves baseball would have watched enough by his 13th birthday to know RBI and save rules backwards and forwards. Someone who loves baseball wouldn’t have to stop and think about when to inflect his voice to show excitement. Excitement or disappointment would naturally flow with what transpires on the field. The octave of an announcer’s voice shouldn’t peak after each inning ends. I and everyone else who loves the Rangers was on the edge of my seat in the ninth inning of yesterday’s game, and hanging on every pitch. Someone who loves baseball, or at least the Rangers, would have known that Neftali Feliz was working with a 3-1 count to Alberto Callaspo prior to the pitch Rhadigan called “Strike 3! er, Strike 2!”.
Rhadigan seems like a guy who kind of likes baseball, and is forced into pretending to be something he’s not…A baseball guy. It seems like the natural buzz generated by big plays on the field is killed when Rhadigan speaks up. Literally seconds after a graphic on the screen showed that Adrian, “don’t call me Andre”, Beltre trailed Jose Bautista by four RBI for the American League lead, Beltre hit a three run homer, and according to Rhads, “took the lead”. I’m sure I wasn’t the only fan whose excitement over the home run quickly turned to loathing our announcer’s incompetence.
I understand that the front office seems to want a Texas-themed broadcast. I also understand that Texas has long been “Football Country”. If the Rangers ownership group doesn’t want these types of problems to persist, they might just have to adapt. If they can find a Texas guy who can deliver quality play-by-play, more power to them. If they can’t, they need to be flexible enough to sacrifice a little Texas for a little baseball savvy. Think Eric Nadel or Josh Lewin.
Nolan Ryan is in charge now. Major League owners unanimously approved him as the control person for the club last Thursday. Nolan is loved by Rangers fans, myself included, and has been given an extended honeymoon, and “can do no wrong” attitude by the Texas fan base. However, he should be held accountable for the disaster which is Rangers TV. His first mistake was hiring Rhadigan. Every day that passes without things changing can be chalked up as another. It’s time to make a change, Nolan. Those of us who love baseball and the Rangers are counting on you.