The Big Mac Blog

Mac’s Mailbag: Rangers’ fans split on new TV broadcast

The Texas Rangers’ new broadcast team of Dave Raymond (left) and C.J. Nitkowski.
The Texas Rangers’ new broadcast team of Dave Raymond (left) and C.J. Nitkowski. Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers would be better off to lose every game for the remainder of the season than to switch up their television broadcast team.

The reaction to a column I wrote in defense of the changes Fox Sports Southwest and the Rangers made to their broadcast was unexpected. I believe the additions of Dave Raymond, C.J. Nitkowski along with Tom Grieve were good. It’s a good broadcast. Not everyone agrees.

Enjoy ...

“I will give the new broadcast team time to grow on me, as there is no other choice. Truth is however that the duo is excruciatingly boring, seem to know little of the team history, and bring no real value added. Although they are not the only broadcasters guilty, I'm sick of hearing of wonderful bats of seven or more pitches are great even when they result in strikeouts, ground outs and pop ups. They come off as homers with no real love for the game or the team. Just worthless blabbing. And they could lose the ties.

“But hey, I've got enough issues just trying to figure out if the team is worth investing three or four hours.”

— Darrell

“C. J. = mute button. He talks about himself too much, his stories go on while game is being played and half the time his story is irrelevant.

MUTE button is the tonic to this irritant.”

— John

“Thanks for your needed article.

“I have NOT liked the new experiments in the broadcast team. I watch and listen, from China, to all of the Rangers games (I am from Dallas) and the new team has been really disappointing, especially Dave Raymond. CJ is a needed help to Raymond’s rather ‘clueless’ remarks. CJ actually knows about baseball and has great and interesting insight and comments, if you can hear them. You mentioned that the Rangers wanted to attract a younger crowd but this is going too far, it is like watching a baseball version of Sesame Street. Raymond is ‘flat lined,’ boring, and uninspiring, a ‘yes man’ to other’s points of view. Sometimes I switch the audio to KRLD, but the sound quality isn’t as good as the Fox SSW broadcast. I hate to be negative and harbor no ill will to D.R. and wish him the best, so I will keep watching but I would have thought the Rangers could have selected someone more iconic and exciting. He is super small market forgettable.

“Maybe you are right, in 10 years I might be lamenting his departure, but for now…can’t see it. Wishing you and the broadcast team and the Rangers ALL THE BEST.”

— James

“Don’t tell me who to like. I like Tom Grieve, always have. When Dave Barnett showed up last year, I figured Tom was getting close to retiring, and I hated it. But, you can’t fault a guy for wanting to lighten his load.

“Do you LISTEN to CJ? He drones on and on, and he talks too fast. He puts me to sleep when the game is slow. I want announcers who are from here, who actually know the team members. Furthermore, a five-minute discussion of whether a pitch was a cutter or a slider is not necessary. You are correct that fans don’t like changes. We don't like to see favorite players traded away.

“Thanks.”

— Rosemary

“I am not ready to embrace Raymond and Nitkowski and probably never will. First, let me establish my credentials: I LOVE baseball and have followed it for nearly 60 years. I grew up in New York and saw The Mick, Whitey, Yogi et al on a regular basis. I have been a Ranger fan since they arrived in 1972 and I still haven’t recovered from Game 6.

“I KNOW baseball and I know what people want to hear from TV or radio broadcasters. Vin Scully was and Eric Nadel is a master of communicating the beauty and the essentials of the game. Steve Busby ripped it for me last year when he filibustered about various pitchers’ release angles — NOBODY wants to hear that. Raymond and particularly Nitkowski, drone on and on about technical aspects of the game that just don’t matter (has there ever been a bigger waste of time than talking about a batted ball’s velocity?).

“Also, Raymond commits the cardinal sin of referring to Elvis as ‘Andrus.’ Elvis is ‘Elvis.’ Nadel has always referred to him this way. And … Nitkowski never shuts up. He feels obligated to fill every second with his pointless blather. The first rule of TV announcing is to let the picture tell the story.

“So there you have it. We will probably watch Ranger games this year with the sound turned off or with the radio on.

“Regards.”

— Doug

“I was a Buzz and Tom fan. However the new team of Dave and C.J.is a good one. My complaint is that C.J. provides too much information. He is a good analyst but he feels the need to constantly talk between pitches and it is tiring to me. Give us a little information and let us try to figure out a few things for ourselves. Give us a break! It may just be my age. I liked Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean!

“I enjoy your column Mac.”

— Bryant

“ During the Rangers game telecast I had to call our son at home and he had the same comment, no wonder ESPN is going down the tubes, those guys were just as boring to listen to as the new guys in Arlington.

“Why didn’t they bring back Steve Busby? He has a great “baseball voice” and as an ex-star pitcher is very knowledgeable. More importantly, he always keeps your interest in the game. I have already stopped complaining about letting the best “TV” announcer the Rangers ever had…Josh Lewin and I still haven’t heard anyone replace is enthusiasm for the game and his uncanny way of describing what he was seeing that may escape the viewers. Must of the negative comments I ever saw against Lewin were posted in the Dallas paper…jealous?

“About the best move the Rangers ever made was letting all those three announcers you mentioned go. Glad they kept Rhadigan but not as part of the TV crew where he showed an incredible lack of knowledge for baseball rules.

“Once again I have stopped listening to Rangers TV crew, they put me to sleep. It’s just like when John Rhadigan. Dave Barnett, Vince Cotroneo, et al where here. I am back again watching the game with the sound off, listening to the radio broadcast! In between innings, I’ll watch the Astros and listen to their very professional TV crew.

“PS - Bite your tongue for mentioning mentioning Scully and Carey in the same article as these two new guys. How can anyone not mention Tigers Ernie Howell? Talking about a great baseball voice and announcer..WOW!

“Sincerely.”

— Hugh

“Sorry MAC the guy in Busby's chair sucks! He is in love with his own voice and thinks he has to fill all the air time with noise! I mute him! Also I love Emily but she is no Jim Knox he was interesting and fun to listen to and watch! I have asked this question of the Rangers and fox why were they let go?”

— Jim

“The new team is just not as good as Tom and Buzz. Maybe they will grow on me but they are a big step backwards. Even the radio broadcast is not as good as it once was. Eric Nadel let his Hall of Fame induction go to his head. He is no Mark Holtz. The Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team is even worse. I had to turn the volume off.”

— Tom

“Mac — you’re the best! I love reading your columns. And your books. And listening to you on the radio. I wish I could have taken your class at TCU. You should be on TV. Every TV. ”

— Mac Engel

Mac Engel: @macengelprof

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