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October 9, 2015

TBS Replaces Caray With Three Play-by-Players, Adds Smoltz

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 16th 2010 6:02PM
Ernie Johnson of TNT and TBSAfter the heaping helpings of criticism that got larded onto TBS after their subpar presentation of the 2009 baseball postseason, the network has decided to take no chances with its broadcast teams this season.

According to Richard Sandomir of The New York Times, the network has decided to replace Chip Caray, who they dismissed after the 2009 playoffs, with a three-headed play-by-play rotation. The announcers are all pros: Dick Stockton, Brian Anderson (who announced one of the Division Series for the network in each of the last two years) and Ernie Johnson.

Yes, your eyes saw that last name correctly. Johnson (picutred above) is best known as the studio host for both TNT's NBA coverage, making sure he got words in edgewise between Charles Barkley rants. He's been TBS's studio host for baseball, and has broadcast it in the past. Even with his relative lack of baseball experience, though, he's got to be a step up from Caray, who seemed to miss a good number of plays and liked to use words like "fisted" quite a bit.

Another interesting piece of news from Sandomir is that former Braves pitcher John Smoltz is going to join Johnson in the booth for both national games on TBS and Braves games on Turner's Atlanta-area station Peachtree TV. What's interesting about it is that Smoltz, who ended last season on a strong note with the St. Louis Cardinals, hasn't officially retired yet. Does this mean that Johnson will be looking for another partner if a team gives Smoltz a call for a late-season pick-up, a la what Pedro Martinez did with the Phillies last year? It'll be interesting to find out as the season unfolds.

No word yet on which broadcast teams (Buck Martinez and Ron Darling are still around to do color, but they haven't been assigned partners yet) will be doing the postseason. But any combination of these folks will be a vast improvement over Caray and his flubs. Stockton, who's been at the top of his game since the 1970s -- he called the Carlton Fisk World Series homer, for crissakes -- should get the nod.

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Their coverage wasn't that bad, it was all the freakin' Lopez Tonight advertisements that ruined it.

March 16 2010 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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