A couple of weeks ago, I provided my rankings of the MLB television announcers, from top to bottom. Predictably, the list provoked some interesting debates. Here's my list of the radio broadcasters. I think that radio broadcasting is tougher than television broadcasting, because the broadcaster has to paint a picture that the listener cannot see. Still, I give higher overall marks to the MLB radio teams than their TV counterparts. As always, keep those comments coming.
1. Cincinnati: If you haven't tuned in to Marty Brennaman, give him a listen. He strikes a perfect balance between rooting for the Reds and telling it like it is.
2. Seattle: Dave Niehaus is excellent, one of those instantly recognizable voices, and I think Rick Rizzs is a good sidekick.
3. Chicago Cubs: Ron Santo is the dictionary definition of a homer, but he's endearing and a local legend. Play-by-play man Pat Hughes is outstanding.
4. Texas: Eric Nadel leads a crisp broadcast team.
5. San Francisco: I think Jon Miller has good days and bad days -- on his good days, he's among the best in history. Dave Flemming is a strong understudy.
6. Boston: Joe Castiglione is another voice that oozes history and local charm. Dave O'Brien is better suited for TV, but I like him anyway.
7. Kansas City: Denny Matthews means summer and baseball to many midwesterners; even though he's in the Hall of Fame, he's not as well-known as he should be.
8. L.A. Dodgers: Vin Scully's first three innings are exceptional. Rick Monday is pretty solid and Charley Steiner is horrendous.
9. L.A. Angels: Not flashy, but very descriptive and insightful.
10. St. Louis: John Rooney is a classic. I know Cardinals fans love Mike Shannon, but I just don't think he's a very good broadcaster. A regional icon? Yes.
11. Philadelphia: I'm not a big fan of the constant rotation (the Phillies are one of those teams with a handful of announcers that alternate between radio and TV), but there's a lot of talent on this crew. Harry Kalas' voice is great for radio, but unfortunately he spends most of his time on TV.
12. Cleveland: Tom Hamilton goes from talking normally to screaming like a banshee faster than any other MLB announcer. Still, I find the Indians' radio team a good listen.
13. Pittsburgh: Another team that alternates its broadcasters constantly; some think these guys are boring, I think they're smooth and relaxing.
14. Toronto: Jerry Howarth is very good and Alan Ashby has always been one of my favorite analysts.
15. Arizona: Greg Schulte is a rising star and Tom Candiotti is a capable analyst.
16. San Diego: These guys are a fun listen, if not technically sound. Ted Leitner is the real-life Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell's character from Anchorman), Jerry Coleman has six decades of professional baseball experience and Andy Masur is an up-and-comer.
17. Baltimore: Joe Angel's voice can get on my nerves; I like Fred Manfra.
18. Colorado: They're solidly in the middle of the pack.
19. Oakland: See above.
20. Detroit: More of the same.
21. Milwaukee: Bob Uecker is pretty good, but his monologue style can get tired and he would be way more entertaining if he acted more like his character from the Major League movies.
22. Chicago White Sox: Ed Farmer might be a decent analyst, but as a play-by-play voice, he's one of the worst. Steve Stone is excellent and salvages a respectable ranking for this crew.
23. Houston: I used to really like Milo Hamilton, but he's gotten very curmudgeonly in his age. His young sidekicks are rounding into form.
24. Minnesota: I think these guys are boring and I have a hard time following their descriptions.
25. Washington: They try, but their enthusiasm exceeds their talent.
26. Tampa Bay: See above.
27. Florida: See above.
28. N.Y. Mets: Howie Rose and Wayne Hagin are pretty bland for my ears.
29. Atlanta: If they were boring on TV, Skip Caray and company are unlistenable on radio. They don't give enough description of the action and they're painfully slow.
30. N.Y. Yankees: John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman are just awful. An embarrassment to the nation's largest city and the sport's most storied franchise.