I've been watching a lot of baseball on MLB.com lately. The website has been in business for over ten years now, but I just discovered it. So I'm a little late in my evaluation of things, and I have no idea what it was like in the early days, but I can tell you it has its charms today.
An old TV guy, I was used to the broadcasts on Fox on the weekends, when baseball was all business and Joe Buck and Tim McCarver called games with the righteously cold neutrality of journalists.
Before that I had my time with the Chicago Cubs' great, occasionally drunk, homer-announcer Harry Carey, and Bob Costas on NBC.
Hell, I go back long enough to recall Dizzy Dean working color on CBS's black & white Yankees' broadcasts in the 60s!
All of them, Dean and those that came after him, told stories. They lauded the game, and referenced its history whenever the action paused long enough to allow them the opportunity, an historically frequent occurrence.
MLB.com shows a free game a day, and the show always features the home team's broadcasting crew. The crews are often lacking.
Tonight I watched the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks from Miami, with Miami broadcasters Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton calling the game. They excel at telling stories and relating the game's history.
In a game-long homage to Cuba-born players, tonight's broadcast was a pure pleasure to listen to.
Waltz and Hutton kept it interesting, even during another Marlin blow-out loss. And they have no problem granting plaudits to the opposition when warranted, which many announcers are loathe to do.