May 19, 2011

Chip Caray for President

It’s been raining in New York for the last week or longer; I lost count. The vegetation is so green and over grown that it makes me feel like I’m in the Pacific Northwest—I half expect to see the Twilight kids come out of the woods when I’m walking my dog. Thanks Global warming!

So, recently I have noticed a lot of hate for the Braves play-by-play announcer, Chip Caray, on Twitter, Facebook, Message boards, blogs, etc. While everyone has a right to their opinion, I don’t see why the hate for Chip and I cannot disagree with it more, and frankly, it’s beginning to infuriate me!

I first saw Chip on WGN when he started announcing part-time with his grandfather, Harry, for the Chicago Cubs. After Harry passed away, the gig went to Chip full-time. Since the Cubs were on at 2pm ET and the Braves at 7:35pm, I was able to watch two games almost every day during the summer. I spent most of my childhood watching the Caray family call ball games.
When Chip got the job with the Braves and TBS I couldn’t have been happier. It was a joy for me every time Skip and Chip were in the booth together. Joe Simpson does a fine job when he is paired with Glavine on Peachtree TV, but for me, nothing beats Chip and Joe calling a Braves game.

I have watched game feeds from each of the 30 MLB teams over the last year. Vin Scully is top dog; I know he may seem boring to some people, but for baseball purists, he is a legend. The Yankees have a pretty good team, as long as Michael Kay is nowhere near the microphone. The Giants have two great guys, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow calling games. The White Sox have Hawk Harrelson, who may be off-putting to some, but I love him. Of course I am partial to the Braves announcing team, not just because I am a Braves fan, but because I actually like their commentary.

That’s it folks! The other 26 teams have absolutely BRUTAL announcing teams. So, when I read multiple fans complaining about Chip Caray as the Braves announcer, it drives me up the wall. I don’t know if it’s because Braves fans were spoiled the last 30 years with Ernie Johnson Sr., Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray, etc., but the grass is NOT always greener (except right now in New York).

If you are a Chip Caray hater, the next time you think about a replacement do yourself a favor and check out another game…MLB Network has games on all the time with feeds from the home team— you may be unpleasantly surprised.
I know that fans will always be unhappy with something, it’s part of the game—but I thought we watched baseball because it was fun… Of course, if it bothers you that much, you can always watch something else.

*****

Obscure Braves of the week: Darren Bragg.

Bragg was an outfielder who played 11 seasons in the major leagues for 9 different teams (Mariners, Red Sox, Cardinals, Rockies, Mets, Yankees, Braves, Padres and Reds).

Originally from Waterbury, CT, Bragg was drafted in the 22nd round of the 1991 Amateur Draft by the Seattle Mariners. He played for the Braves from 2002-03 and was a valuable player off the bench. He had good speed and power, but was never able to put a whole season together as a starter.

In 2006 he was named hitting coach of the Dayton Dragons, a class-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. He currently heads a company named, “The Hit Club” in Thomaston, CT where he works with kids and high school baseball players.

I met Bragg in 2005 at a game against the Bridgeport Bluefish when he was a member of the Nashua Pride, an Independent team in the Atlantic League. He rocked a home run on the first pitch of the game and before his second at-bat the game was delayed due to fog. We were sitting in the first row behind the on-deck circle, so he came over to shoot the breeze.

(The day before, the Long Island Ducks were in town and I had John Rocker sign a ball for me, nice guy, really.)
So as I spoke to Bragg I asked him, “Hey can you sign this ball?”

He said, “Sure.”

“One thing,” I said. “John Rocker signed it too.”

Bragg looked at the ball, signed it, and as he tossed it back to me he replied, “F@#! Rocker!”

I love that guy….

Follow me on Twitter @BRAVEinNY.

 

 

15 Responses to “Chip Caray for President”

  1. 1
    Vinnie Says:

    I agree with you on Chip in this regard. Being 40, I grew up with more “unique” broadcasters. Now, on the whole, announcing is ho-hum. Jim Powell is beginning to grow on me, but he and Don are a bit boring most of the time. Chip is a link to the past. Not just of the Braves but of baseball. With Harry calling Cubs and Cardinals games and being on the Mt. Rushmore of baseball announcers, Chip has a real tie to the past. We’re one of the few teams that can say that. My nightmare is someone replacing Chip and then we’d have New Guy, Glavine (Zzzzz) and Brain Jordan (Zzzzzz with bad sentence structure) or Smoltz (I know it’s baseball, but let’s talk golf!).

  2. 2
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    Vinnie, I agree 100% about the link to the past and the former players announcing. I love Glavine and Jordan, but as announcers they are bland.

  3. 3
    Steve Says:

    I think you are both out of your minds. Chip is awkward, forced and often wrong. I love Skip as much as anyone, but Chip is really sub-par. And he has zero chemistry with Joe. In fact, I think it’s pretty clear during the broadcasts that Joe does not like working with him.

    Glavine is easy and knowledgeble. I do agree that Jordan absolutely blows. And Gant, too. Both really horrible.

  4. 4
    Paul Says:

    Great blog!! I mentioned his deep fly ball calls in my blog but other than that Chip is the gold standard. With MLB.TV you really notice how awful some of the commentators are. Sometimes I will watch the other teams broadcast just for a different perspective but I usually switch back. To me were lucky to have him doing games, he should be a national broadcaster, so much better than joe buck.

  5. 5
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    Joe Buck is the devil!

  6. 6
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    Steve,

    For the record I never said I was sane….

  7. 7
    Mike Baker Says:

    I do not like broadcasts without Chip Caray. I think he is a class act. Anyone who is human will make mistakes from time to time, and I think that all of the outpouring of hatred for him is uncalled for. I appreciate the Caray family legacy and hope that it continues for many generations to come. It speaks well for Chip that he holds his head high and keeps on keeping on, despite the unkind remarks.

  8. 8
    Brave in new york Says:

    Well said Mike!

  9. 9
    Jo-Bu Says:

    I like Chip Caray, too. There are far worse announcers out there. Since Skip passed, Joe Simpson is, by far, my favorite Braves analyst.

    If you think Chip is awful, you should have heard his brother Jason who did the Gwinnett games for the first season. Brian Jordan is my least favorite and my goodness, he can’t even pronounce Raul Ibanez’s name correctly nor form a correct sentence on the air. I do however, love his analysis during the Gwinnett games and he tells it like really it is. There’s a lot of value in that but maybe it should be pre/post game only. I’m ok with Ronny Gant but it looks like he’s hedging his bets with MLB Network in case he doesn’t get the Braves gig (he’s in competition for the job vs. Brian Jordan). Fred Hickman is great.

    I’m still trying to get into Jim Powell. Far better at PxP than Don, for sure!

    Don Sutton is an excellent analyst and I hope we never lose him again. He does have a problem with plurals: Braves = Brave just about 95% of the time. His strong suite is NOT PxP — he has no excitement in his voice at all at times when a home run is hit. But as an analyst, the HoF has such an insight to the game.

    I love Scully, but he never played the game. But Scully is the greatest man on earth with all of those little sometimes obscure nuggets of information that we baseball fanatics love to hear.

  10. 10
    Jo-Bu Says:

    Ooops, that’s be Josh Caray, not Jason :)

  11. 11
    Runnin Says:

    Chip has a great voice, but baseball just doesn’t suit him. Joe and anybody other than Chip. I miss Skip and Pete greatly but I love Joe’s sense of humor. Joe and Boog were awesome!!!

  12. 12
    Jo-Bu Says:

    Joe and Boog were the best. I guess the ESPN radio gig that Boog went to pays better. Sure wish he would have stayed here.

  13. 13
    Tim Carver Says:

    When it comes to the Braves or any other teams announcers, I think they’re a waste of time and mostly excess noise. I like hearing the sounds of the game and not relearning the game after and during every pitch (when in the stands you don’t hear announcers). They should have channels for first time game watchers and experienced game watchers and the reason I say that is they repeat the same crap all the time and it gets old, Chip is most certainly guilty of doing this and really, that’s nothing against Chip as a person and yes, he does have a Great Voice. Joe is a little better, but once again, every pitch the same stuff. He talks like he was a really great hitter and knows all about hitting, but he was barely a 200 hitter in his brief career. I wouldn’t want the job either. Now the rest of the crew are completely awful, Gant, Jordan and the other guys, Wow!! It’s not an easy profession, announcing MLB games. Tim

  14. 14
    Jim Edwards Says:

    Chip is so smooth. Do you notice how he goes out of his way to make his co-broadcasters look and sound good. He is always ready with a relevant comment and the respect Joe has for him is obvious. They are a great team and make watching the game easy and a very enjoyable experience. I also like Tom and Jerome but think Brian Jordan just does not appear comfortable when called on to offer his analysis.

  15. 15
    Lynn Sauers Says:

    Love the play by play Braves announcers Chip Caray and Joe Simpson. I’ve been watching Braves games for over 30 years. They had tough shoes to fill after Ernie, Skip an Pete left, but they have pulled it off. LOVE ‘em !

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