The Indians' TV announcers rank in the bottom half of the league's 30 teams, according to the results of a survey recently conducted by popular blog Awful Announcing via a series of poll questions at their site and on Twitter. Matt Underwood and Rick Manning are at #19 on the list, putting them not far from the middle.
I don't think Underwood and Manning are especially good at calling a game, but honestly, more often than not when I'm watching, I've got the sound turned so low that I'm hardly listening to the announcing. The comments from respondents were especially hard on Underwood, while many lamented that radio man Tom Hamilton isn't on the TV call.
The survey was conducted to be asking respondents to give each team a letter grade. 960 people scored the Indians, with the breakdown of grades as follows:
- A: 11%
- B: 25%
- C: 38%
- D: 13%
- F: 13%
#1 on the list is at least a mild surprise, because it's not the Dodgers. Vin Scully was edged out of the top spot by San Francisco's Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow. Those two teams were separated by a very slim margin, both far ahead of any other team. Baltimore's Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer were the distant #3 finishers, making them the top broadcast team in the American League. All three of those are broadcast teams I like, but count me among those who consider Scully to be the best. Second on my personal list might be the Cubs, because I think Len Kasper does an excellent job (he and Jim Deshaies came in at #5).
Dislike for Hawk Harrelson's work is widespread and well known at this point, so it comes as no surprise that the White Sox finished in last place by a wide margin. Colorado and St. Louis also did poorly. I can't say I've listened to either of those two teams enough to have an opinion, but I'm surprised to see the Cardinals so low on any sort of rankings. Beyond Hawk, my least favorite is the Yankees, because play-by-play man Michael Kay drives me nuts, and most of the teams rotation of analysts are not better (David Cone being the exception).
Who are your favorites and least favorites? How would you rate Undermanning?