Of Vin Scully, Eric Collins and Steve Lyons – What a Difference

Caveat – I do not speak Spanish, and do not listen to Dodgers’ Spanish language broadcasts, so I include no comments regarding fellows who broadcast games in Spanish

Dodgers’ fans should be thankful for another upcoming season with Vin Scully as the Dodgers’ lead announcer. However, when those other guys are calling the games, watch out.

Through the more than 50 years that the Dodgers’ have played in Los Angeles, Vin has stood alone among a slew of announcers employed by the team. While Vin has always been number one, the powers that be have brought in announcer after announcer to be the number two guy, and in recent decades, the radio guy while Vin does primarily TV. With rare exceptions, it hasn’t worked, and Dodgers’ fans are suffering, especially when watching road games on TV when Vin is at home.

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In the early years of LA Dodgers’ baseball, it was Vin and the barely competent Jerry Doggett, but Jerry was a nice guy, Vin’s buddy, and he only did two innings a game. Thereafter, especially with an expanding realm of media outlets – remember the early pay-TV service “Dodgervision” in the mid-1980s? – a long line of incompetent and barely competent announcers were tried and found wanting, to fill the innings and games that Vin could not do alone.

The first was the totally incompetent former trojan football announcer, Mike Walden, who lasted

through the one awful season of 1970 as the third guy. After that failed experiment, they waited until 1977 to bring in a new third guy, and they chose the underrated Ross Porter, who may well have been the second best announcer the team has had. Porter was followed by former Dodgers’ great, all around nice guy, but very average announcer, Don Drysdale. After Drysdale’s tragic death, Rick Monday took over that spot, and somehow, is still on Dodgers’ radio. Monday is absolutely one of the two worst announcers the team has had, whether doing play-by-play or commentary. The other former announcer as bad as or worse than Monday, was the guy who did the pay-tv games for two or three years just before the advent of cable TV, Eddie Doucette.

But speaking of commentators, the team tried various guys in that spot over the years, such as Al Downing and Jerry Reuss, but overall they added very little, and of course, Vin would NEVER work with a number two next to him, interrupting him.

The primary radio guy now is Charley Steiner, and he ranks up there with Porter as the best the team has had other than Scully. While Steiner is not always the most accurate guy around, he provides a level of excitement in his descriptions that few announcers can match.

And that brings me to the current road TV guys, the awful Eric Collins and Steve Lyons.

While Collins as the play-by-play guy is generally ok, it’s when the idiot Lyons opens his mouth and the uninformed Collins can only agree with him that they get into real trouble. Time after time, Lyons gives out fantasy as fact, as if he lives in an alternate reality. As a recent example, this past week during one game, these two nimrods went on and on about a game that Davey Lopes had back in 1973, in

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which, according to THEM, he set the CURRENT Dodgers’ team record for total bases in a game and tied the Dodger’s home run record with three in a game.

Have these guys NEVER HEARD of Shawn Green, who, on May 23, 2002 had perhaps the greatest game any single player on ANY team has EVER had? Least you drink the Kool-Aid or suffer from temporary amnesia, on that day, in the beautiful city of Milwaukee, Green came to the plate six times, and collected one single, one double, four home runs, a major league record 19 total bases (still standing today), and major-league record tying five extra base hits and six runs scored.

But Collins and Lyons never heard of it. Or is there more to it? Remember, back in 2004, when Green sat out an important game in observance of the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur, Lyons made some obnoxious, clearly anti-Semitic comments. That got him a brief suspension, and after he made other racist comments over the next couple of years, in 2006 he was fired by his then employer, Fox Sports, only to be brought back by the Dodgers a few months later.

Makes you wonder.

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