Royals fans have gotten a fair dose of exposure to the Fox baseball broadcasts lately what with all their post-season appearances the last two seasons. Don't get too familiar with their broadcasting crew, because Fox will be shaking up personnel for the 2016 season.
Following the departure of longtime analyst Tim McCarver after the 2013 World Series, Fox tapped Verducci, a highly respected baseball writer for Sports Illustrated, and Reynolds, a former player and an on-air personality for MLB Network. The three-man booth drew mixed reviews, and now Fox is making a change.
Verducci and Reynolds will likely have a role in Fox's coverage, but the specifics have not yet been determined, and could include studio work or other reporting. Fox is still considering various options for its broadcast, but all with Buck and Smoltz in the booth. Harold Reynolds, who was part of a 3-man booth at Fox, will continue to have a role at the network.
Joe Buck will continue to do broadcasts, much to the consternation of many Royals fans. Smoltz had been working as a broadcaster since retiring in 2010, working for TBS in the booth and in the studio the past few years. Smoltz has already shown himself to be one of the brighter ex-players in the broadcast booth with genuine insight into the game.
Harold Reynolds has been working as a broadcaster on national television since 1996, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why. Reynolds is full of malapropisms, statements that completely contradict the point he made, and sentences that go nowhere. I get that speaking on live television can be difficult, but he has been in the business for almost two decades. He brings very little in the way of an interesting perspective, humor, or insight. His disdain for modern statistics has been evident. His sexual harassment case at ESPN should have ended his career, but somehow he has endured with gigs at MLB Network and Fox since then.
Tom Verducci seemed fine to me, although he was a bit bland and I'm not sure how much perspective he brought to the game. Verducci has always been a fine reporter, but his analysis has been a little less solid. His claim to fame is the "Verducci Effect" on innings workloads for pitchers that has been widely debunked. The three-man booth was a bit wonky anyway, and with Verducci not really being a big name or bringing much to the table, it was probably easy to cut him from the broadcast team.
Smoltz should be a fine addition and I look forward to what he can bring to a bigger national audience. We complain a lot about broadcast teams, but I thought we should celebrate those broadcasters who do a competent, entertaining, and informative job. Who are your favorite broadcasters? Who would be your broadcasting dream team for a national television game?
Royals largest lead of any division but hey it's Harold Reynolds ! https://t.co/tSgcFCM2mg— A. Martin (@itsamarty) July 17, 2015