Fangraphs had readers rate each MLB team's TV broadcast teams and, not so surprisingly, Buck and Pat don't do all that well. They came in 25th of 30 MLB teams. They received more votes than any of the other teams.
I'm never sure that my opinion of the TV commentators really matters. They really aren't talking to me (or, for that matter, to you). They are talking to the more casual viewer that needs the game explained to them. After watching ball for however many years I have, I really shouldn't need to be told what's happening. Generally I try to ignore what is being said. Sometimes it is tough to ignore.
When I was new to watching baseball Dave Van Horne (Hall of Fame broadcaster) and Duke Snider (Hall of Fame player) did the Expo games. I really enjoyed their work. I think I owe some of my love of baseball to listening to them. Now it is entirely possible that, if I could go back in time and hear them again, I might not have the same fondness. I know they felt the need to teach baseball to a Canadian audience that didn't know a lot about the game, I might not enjoy that now.
Commentators have a tough balancing act, they have to be new fan friendly without driving us longtime fans too crazy. Buck and Pat fail that latter part, at least in my opinion. I did like Buck as the analyst back with Dan Shulman, maybe because he didn't have to talk as much as he does now, maybe because Shulman was just so good at the job that he could make anyone sound good beside him. Now, well, maybe he's carrying too much of the load. Having to talk all the times, we get bothered by his voice and his inability to pronounce names properly.
Pat? Well, he's a little better than Rance Mulliniks. Rance totally drive me crazy (yeah, I know, short drive). Pat, well the big and strong thing is just awful. And I could do without being told that the other teams play the game the right way. Beyond that, he doesn't seem that well prepared for the games.
To be, their best moments, are when they relax and just chat like old teammates, discussing baseball. As former players, they do have knowledge that the rest of us don't, but most of the time they seem fall back on cliches.
I like Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby, but then I don't hear them that often, maybe the lack of familiarity that hasn't bred contempt. I find they are knowledgeable and easy to listen to. Zaun? I didn't mind him, but I think any broadcaster whose role model is Don Cherry should really get out of the business. Add in that he has been making some really strange comments of late. He wants to be controversial. I think wanting to be controversial is a bad thing. Being it, is fine, but trying to be....I don't like that. It seems too much like jumping up and down yelling 'look at me, look at me'.
Anyway, this was going to be a short bit, asking you what you would do with the TV broadcast if it were up to you. Give us your ideas.