WOW! NICE AREA!

By: Kurt Snyder

As all of you know by now, Mike Illitch has decided he would like to use a team of TV color analysts in 2015, rotating Rod Allen, Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris, between the booth and studio.

This move, an interesting one to say the least, makes you question where Craig Monroe fits in.  Heck,  Monroe and Mateen Cleaves (studio analyst for the Pistons) may have gone to the same broadcasting school after their playing days were over as neither look at home in front of  the bright lights.

So, in light of Mike Illitch’s desire to add more knowledge and more “Tigers” to the television broadcast team, a highly rated broadcast I might add, I immediately wondered one thing.

What does he think of the radio team? Are we good there?

Dan Dickerson and Jim Price definitely have a lot of fun and maybe Illitch is good with that style for radio. But things are getting stale.

Dan Dickerson is far from the weakness on the radio team.  It’s Price that, let’s just say, tests your patience. Repetitive words and phrases have certainly put a stamp on Price’s broadcasting approach, but he needs to change things up a bit.  His perspective never changes.

Dan Dickerson, outside of the fact that he doesn’t give the score to listeners nearly enough in a game, is a solid and exciting play-by-play man. His home run and strikeout calls have become replay worthy for years now. He has done well. But remember, when you have to follow Ernie Harwell, it’s not that you have big shoes to fill, it’s about finding your own style of shoe, because Ernie’s shoes don’t get filled by anyone.

Dickerson does a decent job calling games for the most part, but sometimes gets caught up in conversations with Price that really distract from the play-by-play every listener is counting on. They get stuck on topics that don’t stop and continue sometimes over several innings.

And that is where Price tends to fall short. His constant repetition about a pitcher’s “arsenal” and “the art of pitching” and the continual use of the word “wow” when he just doesn’t know what else to say, can wear on you over the course of 3 hours.

The “nice area” stuff doesn’t bother me. It’s funny, light-hearted, and I get it. It’s definitely an idea born from Ernie’s reputation of recognizing the home town of a foul ball catching fan. It was amazing at the time how many people actually wondered how Ernie could have possibly known where all these fans were from. Who knows maybe people think Price has been to all those “nice areas.”

Anyway, the bottom line here is, if you want to improve a broadcasting team, I wouldn’t ignore the radio crew. Rod Allen actually would be a nice replacement when Price hangs up his spikes in the booth. But at the same time, removing Rod completely from the TV crew wouldn’t be a smart idea when he has been the strength of a highly rated broadcast.

So given that success, it may be smart to just leave it alone, Mike, and come up with a plan to improve radio, because TV “ain’t broke.”

6 thoughts on “WOW! NICE AREA!

  1. In addition to not giving the score .. Dickerson also doesn’t always say strike 3. If I turn on the radio in the middle of an at bat he has often said something like “and there’s a strike on the outside corner” and then back he goes to the open conversation with Jim. I dont know the guys out until he announces the next batter. It makes me mad and then I yell at the radio. I may need professional help.

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    • Doug my brother – we have talked on this subject many times and I know Dickerson drives you nuts. But he truly is influenced by the escapades of his partner who distracts and derails the broadcast, even though if asked, Dickerson would never admit it. But I have to ask, does the radio ever talk back when you yell at it? If so, we may have to block you in the future. You may want to google other sites for professional help. Cheers my brother, thanks for contributing. I am probably going to have just as much fun corresponding with you as I do writing posts. Kb

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  2. “Dickerson does a decent job calling games for the most part, but sometimes gets caught up in conversations with Price that really distract from the play-by-play every listener is counting on.”

    All kinds of this. Doug, you’re not the only one who yells at the radio when Dan and Jim talk over pitches.

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  3. Alex – most of us grew up listening to a Hall of Fame broadcaster in Ernie Harwell. And believe me, no one we have now and I mean no one, both on TV and radio can hold a candle to what Ernie brought to us through the radio dial. So instead you strive to look for value in what you have. Dickerson has value in his enthusiasm. He shows genuine excitement over a big strike out and game changing homers. But I think he could be much better with a quality and more professional color analyst along side him. I believe Price holds him back.

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  4. Great read. I chuckled at the comparison of C-Mo and Mateen Cleaves, two of my least favorite local sports analysts….”I see you Kurt.”

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