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10 Suggestions for Improving the Poorly Ranked Astros Radio Broadcasts

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The Astros have one of the worst-ranked radio broadcasts in baseball
Baseball blog and stats-geek delight Fangraphs did a little post over the weekend ranking the radio broadcasts of the 30 major league teams (h/t to Crawfish Boxes). There's nothing really shocking in the rankings, unless you count the Astros radio broadcast team only finishing at number 23 -- they're definitely not the worst in the majors, and having listened to the Yankees team over MLB.com at times, it's easy for me to see why that team is ranked as the worst in the majors.

Reading the comments, it's obvious why the Astros are ranked so low, and that's Milo Hamilton, which is another reason to be happy that Hamilton's leaving after this season. Dave Raymond and Brett Dolan have done admirably in their roles as Milo's caddies, especially considering that they were brought in to replace the popular Alan Ashby. But with Hamilton on his way out, here are a few things that, hopefully, Jim Crane will consider when it comes to assembling next season's radio broadcast team.

10. While it's doubtful that Larry Dierker would want to return to full-time duty as a broadcaster, ask him. He would lend some gravitas to the booth, and there's nobody better acquainted with the history of this team, and held in as high regard among fans, as Dierker. He's articulate, well-versed in the history of baseball, he has a sense of humor and he's not afraid to express an opinion.

9. If Dierker doesn't want to do it, then look around for another former player or coach to put in the booth. A good analyst who actually played or managed adds so much more to the broadcast than the average play-by-play guy just speculating. But look for a Dierker-type who's not afraid to express an opinion, and look for a guy who formerly played for the Astros.

8. Nothing against Raymond and Dolan, but I do know of people who still can't tell them apart, so make sure the other guy in the booth has a voice that's easy to distinguish from them.

7. No more gimmicks. No more discussion of blue stars. No broadcaster who is more concerned with creating a catchphrase and using it at every opportunity. Just tell me the guy hit the home run. There's no need to shout "Holy Toledo" or "Whoaaaa" just because something happened on the field. And there's definitely no need to talk about lunch.

6. I don't care who's attending the damn game. No more guest interviews in the booth. Let's just have the broadcasters in the booth talking about the baseball game. (This also applies to the TV broadcast where it seems like Patti Smith and her insipid in-game interviews get more airtime than Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies.) 5. Stats, stats and more stats. And throw in some more stats while you're at it. There can never be enough discussion of stats in a baseball broadcast. And by stats, something more than batting average and RBI.

4. And while we're discussing numbers, make sure the radio crew is constantly giving the score, ball/strike count, the number of outs and the inning. After all, if a person's driving a car, it's not like they can look up at a TV screen and look at the graphics.

3. What's happening on the field is more important than anything else. Keep the non-game chit-chat to a minimum.

2. No cute nicknames. Don't make the listener have to struggle to figure out which player's being discussed. And please feel free to disregard every player nickname created by Milo Hamilton.

1. But no matter what, anything will be an improvement over the agony the Astros fans have endured since Milo Hamilton joined the Astros radio crew in 1985.


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