Picking on TV personalities/on-air talent provides great sport and fodder for any self-respecting blogger. Biases, both real and perceived, are highlighted and scrutinized from all manner of national sports network talent and used against them in the everlasting blood feud between fans and the unbalanced media.
It would seem regional broadcasters are immune to this disease, with most modern booth teams serving as glorified cheerleaders, reporting from deep within the organization. The Hawk and the Santo are two high profile cases and symptomatic of this worsening epidemic. I understand this is hardly uncharted territory, and I recognize most broadcasters are in fact employees of the team. But my recently acquired Exta Innings package only exposed the depth of the homer.
This afternoon I caught the pregame and a few innings of the Nats/Mets game broadcast by MASN. Play by play man Bob Carpenter is an old pro who understands the programming mandate: you are the voice of the Nationals. Speak for the Nationals, of the Nationals. No big deal, his non-regional diction and smooth delivery overshadowed his shallow homerism. Unfortunately for me, the Nats colourman is shameless huckster Rob Dibble. Dibble's made quite a career for himself as a broadcaster; using his outsized personality to cover baseball for numerous networks and a variety of roles. This is Dibble's first year with the Nats, but you wouldn't have known it during the game.
We. We we we we we we. Not the sound of little piggies going all the way home nor the sound of Rob's last trip to Montreal, this was the pronoun of choice for Mr. Dibble. Rob Dibble played zero games from the Washington Nationals (or the Montreal Expos), has broadcasted a maximum of 12 Nationals' games, yet there he was, speaking as though he had a locker between Elijah Dukes and
Lastings Milledge anybody named Zimmerman. Sorry Rob, you aren't on the team. Your job is to provide inane banter relating to a batter or pitcher's mindset in a given situation and cliche-laced puff pieces distracting from the 100 loss certainty.
In my experience, even widely acknowledged homers like the Remdog or Michael Kay abstain from the first person plural. Look at the photo above. Vin Scully has been an employee/broadcaster of the Los Angeles Dodgers for SIXTY YEARS and to him; they're still "the Dodgers."
You can and should learn from Vin, Rob. Everyone could. Syracuse and other high profile broadcasting schools should issue WWVSD bracelets to each graduate. I appreciate the need to invigorate and emotionally invest a flagging fan base around a moribund franchise, but please remove yourself from the action. The Nats already have a flash in the pan righthander in their bullpen. Even a team this haphazardly assembled wouldn't see the need for another.