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….
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